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were offered in sacrifice to God for the sins of his brethren. When oppressed by the motions of sin which are in the flesh, we fly to the appointed refuge; tell God our sorrows, mourn over our sins, and hope for deliverance from evil ; we put God in mind of his covenant love and promises, and we plead for the execution of them ; that we know and enjoy the fact, that “as sin reigned unto death, even so grace reigns unto righteousness by Jesus Christ our Lord." These distinct principles of action in the christian, are contrary to each other ; so that he cannot do the good that he would. He is not entirely spiritual in his actions, nor is he wholly sinful; for, though sin and holiness can never blend together, yet their contrary natures are felt and lamented by every devout mind. 66 Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace." In all the scenes through which the christian is passing, he is reconciled to God; no storm drives him from the fountain of life. How mysterious to our shallow judgments are the works of providence ! We frequently apprehend when adverse things appear, and afflictions rush in upon us, that these things will be our destruction; but as we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” we are taught to discover the hand of God governing and directing all things in an orderly manner. 66 The man of God is not an idle spectator of the works of providence, or the state of the world, though he stands on very different grounds to the men of it; so his heart is not upon it. As a christian, he never considers himself a loser by the distribution of providence; his portion is the same in all cases ; in affliction, as in health ; in adversity, as in prosperity: for God is bis portion, glory his inheritance, and heaven his home. An earnest of this he now possesses in a work of grace upon the heart; a foretaste also he enjoys by the lively actings of spiritual faith ; and, through the power of the Holy Ghost, he lives in the joyful hope of actual possession.” When we view all events in the hand of God, the glorious doctrines of the gospel comfort the mind, and reconcile us to God in all the various scenes through which we pass; for they are appointed for us by him who worketh all things according to the purpose
of his will." Our Lord has told us, “ not to take thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what
shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them : are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature ? And why take ye thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin : and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" An old divine, commenting upon this
passage, has said, “It was of old determined when these sparrows should live, what grains they should pick, where they should lodge, upor: what boughs they should hop, where they should hatch, how long they should live, and when they should die.” There is no case nor circumstance in the whole providence of God, but what is perfectly wise, holy, and good,
What a comfortable consideration it is to the child of God, who has nothing of his own but sin and misery, that his heavenly Father loved him before he fell into sin, and that he “ has appointed him to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ ;" whose righteousness is a legal cause why he is entitled to the blessings of the gospel here, and endless life beyond the grave. To those who are sanctified by God, Christ is a head of grace, dominion, and glory; and he has become “ Jehovah our righteousness." The friendship which he has expressed already towards us, reconciles the mind 10 his decision, and as it is the comprehensive cause which contains within it all that God intends to make known to his people, they wait in hope of seeing the plan of infinite wisdom unfolded in the world of perfect purity. A few days will at most be all that we shall see in this world; for the bounds of our habitation are fixed, and Christ has opened a path for his disciples to follow him into his kingdom. There is no curse in the lot of a real christian. Love is the principle of action that is discoverable in all the ways of God. Every event of life is working to bring about the end for which the christian was first called to the fellowship of the Son of God; and when his knowledge of the will of God is perfect, his service on earth will finish, his character will be complete, and he will go to the home provided for him in the heavenly world, and live in the enjoyment of the friendship of God, who saved him by love, blood, and power, to live in his presence for ever and ever.
FRAGMENT. THERE can, perhaps, be no better judgment formed of a man's state Godward, than by the estimate he has of the world. Every real christian looks upon the world as his soul's foe; and whilst he is in the world, is not of the world: nay, even when the world puts on the most alluring face, he accounts its smiles as those of a deceitful harlot; and the language of his heart is, “ Thou art my portion, O Lord! whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee !" His opinion of the world at all times must be, that it is a poor, empty, worthless bubble, which will very soon vanish
and even at those seasons when he feels himself too much entangled and drawn aside by worldly objects, still his judgment is not changed, and he wonders be should be so much the dupe of a bewitching strumpet.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Sir,
On reading over again the first volume of your Spiritual Magazine, I met with a paper “ On Human Perfection.” In this paper, the writer says, ' I really cannot understand what is meant by human or christian perfection; only as the church is perfect, considered in her great Head, the Lord Jesus ; as the apostle Paul tells the church at Colosse,“ yė are complete in him," Again, he asks with an air that savours of every thing but the mind that was in Christ, “If we are to seek perfection in the creature, &c. &c. how is a spiritual and unceasing warfare to be maintained and kept up ?'
Now, in each of these extracts, (both of which I would extend but for making too free with your time and paper) I think the writer exhibits much more self-importance than biblical knowledge.
Surely that is very stuff of logic which assumes a false premise, and then reasons upon it as though it were God's truth ; nor is that sound speech which cannot be condemned that confounds things palpably different. “I really cannot understand what is meant by christian perfection ; only as the church is perfect, considered in her great Head,' &c. What, Sir, should we say to a modern Sabellian, who would, in denial of the plainly revealed and often repeated doctrine of Christ's personal Godhead, urge as an argument against it I really cannot understand what is meant by Christ being God, only as he is God by union to the Father.'
Had your Correspondent, Sir, asked for information, instead of setting up his own understanding as the unerring standard of truth, he might have been directed to many and plain portions of holy writ, in which the apostles, with their divine Lord and Master, most evidently preached a perfection, which they exhorted their several charges to pursue ; which they would not have done if such a perfection had been already attained, or was not to be attained to in this life. I mean, a state of body, soul, and spirit perfection, which although it could only be derived from, was not one and the selfsame state of perfection as that mentioned by Paul in Col. ii. 10. In proof of this, I will barely insert the following texts, leaving my readers to put their own comments upon them. Only let me caution them against the popular sin of persisting in the denial of a truth which they themselves can but allow is certainly in the scriptures. Our Lord
ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Paul says, Brethren, be perfect, be of good comfort,” &c. &c. He said also to Timothy, “that the scripiures were to make the man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works ;" and for the Hebrews he thus prays, “ Now the God of peace, make you perfect,” &c. Epaphras prayed that the Colossians « might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” James
says, “ If any inan offend not in word, the saine is a perfect man.” Peter says, “ The God of all grace, &c. perfect you." Now who will dare to say, that the perfection mentioned in the Vol. VIII.- No. 92.]
above scriptures is the same as that mentioned in Col. ii. 10. where the church is said to be complete in Christ ? And who is there on the other hand but must allow, that all these scriptures treat of not
HUMAN,' (for of that, as David said, I have seen an end) but • christian perfection.' How then can any man be so enslaved to a party spirit, as to insist that the scriptures know of no other christian perfection but that only of which the church was possessed in Christ from everlasting. But your Correspondent asks, * If we are to seek perfection in the creature,' &c. how is a spiritual and an unceasing warfare to be maintained and kept up?' &c. Had this writer been a wise scribe, he would not have substituted the word christian for creature ; it being of christian, and not creature perfection, that the Bible treats. The Arminians themselves never think of attaching perfection to the existence of any till they are “ born of God.” But pray, Mr. Editor, does your Correspondent believe, that the man Christ Jesus, made of a woman, made under the law, maintained and kept up a spiritual and an unceasing warfare? If he does, he himself disposes at once of the unchristian insinuation, that christian perfection, and the maintenance and keeping up of a spiritual and unceasing warfare, cannot exist in the same person.
But for the present I shall only add, that I shall be greatly obliged, and I doubt not many with myself will be greatly served, if some of your scripture-taught Correspondents will furnish your readers with some divine instructions on this important subject of religious controversy.
I am, Mr. Editor, respectfully yours, C-r-s, July 11, 1831.
OBITUARY OF MR. THOMAS LEWES. MR. THOMAS LEWES was born at Weedonbeck, October, 1775 ; and died at Peckham, the 12th of February, 1831. He appears, according to what I have heard him say, to have been made acquainted with the plague of his own heart when about seventeen or eighteen years of age; and about two years in particular distress of soul, as the few lines from his own paper3 will shew, I have heard him relate much of the dealings of the Lord with his soul; and he frequently dwelt upon the faithfulness of Jehovah, and often said, 'I have proved him a faithful God and Friend to me.'
He was a man generally respected, but more particularly amongst the followers of the blessed Jesus. It made no difference to our dear friend what denomination any might belong to; if they bore the mark of the meek and lowly Jesus, then he would kindly greet them, and something instructive was sure to drop from his lips : and if opportunity offered, he was always ready to converse, if the subject matter was about his Lord and Master. When speaking of Jesus Christ, his whole soul would appear to be fired with love.
Nothing grieved him so much as to hear any one speak ill of an absent friend, especially if a professor of religion. He was always an advocate for saying nothing, if he could not speak well of such, yet at the same time a strenuous advocate for consistency of walk and conduct.
When in health, he would never lose an opportunity of being at a prayermeeting, if he was near a place where there was one held, provided the doors of his own place were not open. He would often lament, if he heard any one say, “ it is only a prayer-meeting ;" and would say, he had often more of the presence of the Lord at a prayer-meeting, than in sitting under
the word. Our dear brother was upwards of twenty years deacon of the Baptist Church in East Lane, Walworth, under the pastoral charge of Dr. Jenkins; and the last six years of his life he filled a similar office, in the church of the same denomination, under the pastoral care of Mr. Thomas Powell, Rye Lane, Peckham. It pleased our heavenly Father to lay his afilicting hand upon him, he being seized with a paralytic stroke, about eighteen months before his dissolution, from which he never recovered.
The writer of these lines had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the subject of this memoir about four years hefore his death ; and for the last three years was very intimate; and I trust I can say, I have reason to bless God for that intimacy that subsisted between us, as I often enjoyed his conversation, as did also my dear wife, being both members with him in the same church. During his illness, he was sometimes under great darkness of mind, and would often say, “ the enemy lays hard at me;" but for the last six months, he was blessed with much of his Master's presence, and anxiously desiring to depart. If any friend engaged in prayer with him, he would say, “I need more patience to wait my appointed time.” He, as well as his dear partner, looked for the change for some weeks : at last nature gave way, and his God that supported him through life, he found faithful to his promise in the article of death. In the latter part of his illness he had very great difficulty in breathing, and often very much tried with a cough. About six hours before he died, his dear partner perceiving a change, and wishing to ascertain the state of his mind, asked him, “ if all was well ?" His answer was, “ all is well !" Some little tinie after, she said to him, “ Is Christ precious ?” He replied, “ He is the chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely!” These were his last words.
Thus died this servant of the Lord in the seventy-sixth year of his age, having found the Lord faithful to his promises about fifty-seven years of his life. The following is transcribed from his own writing :
“Hearing so much talk of late about the power of the creature to perforın spiritual acts which I cannot understand, I was induced to look back to the time when I had a reason to hope the Lord made himself known to me. I was near two years striving with all my might, to do something to please and obtain the favour of God; and at last, I was convinced by the blessed Spirit, that all my labours were vain, that there was no help for me but in Jesus Christ; but whether he would receive me or not, I could not tell. But for ever blessed be that Holy Spirit of all grace, who brought to my mind those sweet words, “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out;" and from that day I was led to trust in the Redeemer, and look to the dear Comforter to bring all things to my remembrance.
“In the year 1774, a young man came from London, with whom I and a few more became acqnainted. We frequently met together for prayer during that time; I was much exercised with many changes in my frames--sometimes up and sometimes down. I related to him my feelings. He told me to believe in the Lord Jesus, and represented as if I had power of myself to do so. I prayed that I might be taught by the dear Spirit that first led me to Jesna ; and in answer to my prayer was directed to those words, “No man can come unto me, except the Father draw him;" which silenced him.
“ From that time, I have been taught by daily experience, that without him I can do nothing. If I attempt to search the scriptures, to find some word to direct me to my dear Lord, I have found him faithful to take of the - things of Jesus, and shew them to me. The same in attempting to pray ; without his aid I cannot be comfortable. And now after so many years' experience of finding him always a Friend in the time of need, I hope to persevere to the end. My dear Redeemer has told me he shall abide with me for ever; and as I have found him for upwards of fifty years leading me to see his all-sufficiency, and to glory in his righteousness, I submit myself to his teaching. Here I rest my everlasting all.” Peckham, July, 1831.