Page images

our friends to this effect, “ Can you not adopt some means for a reduction in the price of the Spiritual Magazine, to meet the circumstances of those who would gladly avail themselves of it, but who are precluded by the price, which is above their means?" and to accomplish this, our thoughts have often been directed. feel great pleasure in announcing, that by connecting our Magazine with the little periodical, entitled Zion's Casket, a work exactly in unison with our own views of divine truth, we shall now be enabled, from the very large circulation which will doubtless be thereby secured, to supply a monthly number, containing, by a new arrangement of the pages, as much letter-press, as is now given for sixpence, at the very reduced price of two-pence. This gratifying reduction will commence with our next Number; and thus a Magazine which has been for many years peculiarly owned and blessed to the Church of God, will now be published at a price suitable to the circumstances of even the poorest of the household of faith, being, we might add, the cheapest of all our contemporaries.

In conclusion, we would urge the friends of a free grace salvation, as unfolded in the choice of the Church in Christ from all eternity, and made known to every member of the elect family, by the quickening operation of God the Holy Ghost, to a continued and increased exertion, that by every proper medium of circulation, the doctrines of our most holy faith, with their connected influence on the life and conversation, may be more extensively known and happily experienced; and as this publication aims exclusively at the dissemination of the glorious gospel of the blessed God, it invites the free communications of every lover of God's truth ; and while, in this militant state, a difference of opinion on some points of faith and practice will always exist, our pages will still be open for their discussion, when done in the spirit of our divine Master. Opposition from the worldling, the formalist, the hypocrite, and the disguised heretic we expect; but this, instead of intimidating or discouraging us, will only stimulate our efforts, and warm our zeal, remembering “ that in the last days, there shall come scoffers, walking after their own lusts ;” and which prove that we are fast approaching that wished-for period, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. Hasten it, O Lord, in thine own time; eyen so, Amen and Amen.”

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

* There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY
GHOST; and these Three are One.”

1 John v. 7.
« Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.".-Jude 3.

JANUARY, 1837.

And be ready to give an answer to every man thut asketh you a reason of

the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."-1 Pet. iii. 15.

It is my unspeakable privilege, while passing these low-
lands of time, to join the cloud of witnesses who bear testimony
to the peerless reign of unfrustrable grace, and exalt the absolute
honours of rescuing love; and also to give you a reason of the
hope I entertain of finally inheriting the pleasures of a world of
endless joy; and the more so as I am conscious, rolling time will
soon hurry me off its shores into the ocean of vast eternity.

My hope of being a final inhabitant of the realms of bliss,
springs from the Holy Ghost's indwelling in my heart, from his
impartation of spiritual life, drawn forth under his light and pre-
cious teaching, in his revelation of indignant majesty in a broken
law, and the terrors of inflexible justice set in battle array against
me. Having lived a life of open rebellion against God, I had no
seemingly good works to look at, or hope in. Through the
blindness of my mind an amendment was resolved on, but soon
proved I had no strength to resist the devil, the world, and my
own heart. I soon fell a prey to his devices; the world, with its
ensnarements, soon overcame me; and the floods of evil within
swept away all my delusive hopes. Fear now seized all my
powers : death and eternity appeared an awful gulph, ready to
swallow me up; my frightened soul began to gaze upon her
awful state : tottering on the brink of perdition, on the borders
of both worlds, she exclaimed, What shall I do to be saved ?"
I could see no escape from danger; despair began to break in
upon every avenue of my soul, a gaping hell stood present to my

VOL. XIII.-No. 156.) B

thought, and an offended God drank up all my spirits : but lo! in the small still voice of the gospel, the Holy Ghost proclaimed a sin-bearing victim, ravished my eyes with the disclosures of mercy in the vicarious death of Jesus. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” My heart danced within me for joy, while the Lord the Spirit assured me, that all my sins were laid on this antitypical scape-goat. It was here my hope fastened, and twisted its fibres around the bleeding heart of Jesus ; it was here my lost, ruined, and helpless soul found pardon, free, full, absolute, and everlasting. It was in his spotless life and atoning death, I found a justifying righteousness, that cleared my soul of all blame, and exonerated me for ever; while all the honours of the Deity are maintained unsullied in my acquittal ; here hope settled, and was eternally satisfied in the great salvation of my Lord; and amidst all the conflicts, trials, darkness, temptations, and insinuations of earth, hell, and my own desperately wicked heart, the Holy Ghost has maintained a persuasion in my soul, that the blood of Jesus has cleansed me from all sin. His daily teaching has brought me into such an acquaintance with myself, that under a review of all my best services, I am gladly necessitated to go before the throne, in the language of one of old, " I will make mention of his righteousness, even of his only.The Lord has stript me of all dependence and expectation from self, and brought me to live by faith on the fulness of his Son; to see all my security in his completed work, to expect the fulfilment of all his promises, to rest on the word that has gone out of his lips, to cast anchor in his equitable character, to confide in his name for the consummation of all he has promised me, and given the pledge of; and a firm persuasion, that when my immortal consciousness is dislodged from this breathing frame, I shall be with him, and for ever enjoy the beatific vision of his face.

But beloved, my chief design is to set before you the solid and immoveable ground-work of these high expectations of future bliss, (to shew you the walls of salvation that for ever enclose my saved soul) on which imperishable basis, I am as safe as the saints in glory. Every thing connected with my salvation, is wholly of God; this is the sheet-anchor of my soul, and ground of my rejoicing.

Now, then, for the objective reason of the hope that is within


1. The everlasting love of God to my person in Christ Jesus, sustains my hope amidst every conflicting scene I pass through. The infinite love of Jehovah, or the delight he took in me from everlasting, as an object of his supreme choice, is a glorious fact, and an ever-enduring pillar for my hope. He loved me freely in an unchanging centre, and therefore it ever abides. Being a perfection of his nature, he loves me unalterably; he loved me, as he viewed me in his own infinite determinations; he took pleasure in me, as he saw me in the glass of his own decrees ; he delighted in me, as known in union with his dear Son; he loved me, as a predestinated heir of eternal life. His immense love to me is the spring of all the acts of his will and good pleasure; his love is the fountain of all the covenant transactions of eternal grace; all the gifts of sovereignty issue from this glorious source. Redemption's perfected system is a grand exhibition of love's unchanging reign, and the intercession of the Redeemer is a perpetual expression of it. The sins of a finite creature can never alter the affection of an infinite God. Love in forethought made an ample provision to meet all the lapsed circumstances of my fallen condition : though sovereign love has suffered me to fall off toward perdition, yet not out of its everlasting arms. Love secured my return, before I wandered a step. Divine love permitted my fall, that it might break forth in full splendour, and shew its endearing glories in redeeming blood, and shine with unclouded lustre in my uprising from the depths of disgrace to the eminence of eternal glory.

The arrest of my soul, and a discovery of its ruin, is but the hand of Almighty love stretched forth in time; it was infinite love, opening its bosom towards me; it was my Father shewing his heart, telling out the ancient thoughts of his mind, declaring the graciousness of his heart in a full remission of all my sins, and covering my naked shoulders with the imperishable robe of his dear Son. In the complete justification of my person, it was Jehovah saying, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Every manifestation of a covenant God, all the meekening, humbling, melting seasons I have enjoyed, are but the continued expressions of everlasting love; all the corrections, afflictions, disappointments, &c. are but the voice of undeviating affection. Having therefore loved me eternally, made it known by shedding it abroad in my heart in time, “who shall separate me from the love of God? What has arisen, or what can arise, to disturb the immutable love of God to my saved soul?

What can stem its unhinderable tide, or cut off its flowing into my heart? It has washed away all the embankments of my sin, that greatest foe; yea, even that has only made an opening for love to blaze forth in ten thousand endearing forms, and shew its omnipotent grandeur, as well as its immutable nature. This is the hedge that divinely secures me, and the solid basis on which my

soul rests for eternal glory ; this is one grand reason of the hope that is within me.

2. An eternal and unalterable union to the Son of God, originating in the immensity of pure grace, is another mighty support of the hope that is within me. A secret inbeing in the divine mind from everlasting, an ancient union to the God-man as a constituent part of his mystical body, taken into connection with him, and wedded in the ties of endless love to him as his

[ocr errors]

royal spouse for ever, to be a joint-heir with him, and share in all the felicities of his throne; given to him as his portion and relative for ever, who is of one mind and none can turn him." How wonderfully has he owned and recognized the relationship, and acted upon it; as my spiritual husband, he undertook to pay all my debts, and has done it. Who can lay any just and final charges against me? All the transactions of his humiliation shew an existing relation; the imputation of sin, and the grand mystery of substitution, involve a relative union between the Sufferer and them who deserve the sufferings. A vital union to him as the head of life, when born from above, and a sensible union to him realized by the faith of the operation of God, as the living head, actuates the member, as the branch lives in the vine. So Christ lives in me the hope of glory. Being joined to him by a living faith, we are one spirit; For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified, are all of one.” Being thus blessed with the spirit of adoption, I cry, “ Abba, Father ;" he holds fellowship with me, takes me into special nearness, communicates of his fulness, supports, guards, and preserves me, and by his invisible influence upholds me night and day : his unalienable right in me is the grand bond of security : the dignity of his immortal Person, the incorruptibility of the life he has given, the immutability of the oneness that exists between him and his, are a three-fold cord that can never be broken, till the head of life is destroyed. I can never perish. Who shall dissolve a union founded in the absolute will of God? Who shall destroy a relation voluntarily entered into by the Son of God of his own good pleasure?' Who has power to pluck a jewel from his crown? Who or what shall dissolve a union that has subsisted from everlasting ? Who shall overthrow the purpose of a God, or cut off the desires of the God-man Redeemer ? " That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me. Who shall disappoint the Supreme Cause of all things ? Who shall make void the vast designs of the Trinity in council, and overturn the everlasting agreement ? Shall hell? It has tried its utmost effort, and the relation remains undisturbed. Shall sin ? It has stopped the communion, but the union is inviolable; it is fully atoned, and sunk in oblivion's abyss. Shall the law we have violated ?

It is magnified, and disarmed of its Shall death? It has lost its sting in the heart of its conqueror, and its territory is now under the dominion of Zion's Lord. Shall the grave ? It has lost its power, and must give up its prey when called for. Thus greater is he that is in us, than all that is against us.

Nothing can arise to destroy this divinely constituted and imperishable union. “ I am his," will bring me through every flood and flame, through death and devils, and lodge me in the bosom of my everlasting Redeemer. It is this sustains my hope


« PreviousContinue »