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of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus ; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy ii. 1-6.

And again, “ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.2 Peter iii. 2.

Now, if it be said, that, in the above scriptures, the words " any ” and “all ” refer to the elect, we reply that this is an unwarrantable liberty to take with the word of God. If the inspired writer had meant,“ any of the elect,” or “ all of the elect,” he would, most assuredly, have said so. But he says nothing of the kind. It is not according to the desire of the heart of God that any should perish.

But man is a responsible being; although your letter is totally silent on this very important question. In short, you seem to lose sight altogether of two weighty truths: first, the largeness of the heart of God—the fulness and freeness of His grace—the wide aspect of His salvation—that His righteousness is unto all—that the gospel is to be preached to every creature-that God commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Mark xvi. 15; Acts xvii. 30; Romans iii. 22.

And, secondly, man's responsibility. Is the sinner responsible or is he not? If he be not responsible, then what mean such words as these" Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels; in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lorci, and from the glory of his power ?" And again, “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not tbo truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians i. 6-9; ii. 11, 12.

Are men responsible to believe the gospel ? Yes, verily, inasmuch as they shall be punished with everlasting destruction for rejecting it. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ? People find difficulty in reconciling man's powerlessness with his responsibility. It is none of our business to reconcile things that are revealed in holy scripture. It is ours to believe. They are reconciled, inasmuch as they are distinctly taught in the word of God. It is remarkable that we do not see the same difficulty in reference to the things of this life. Suppose a man owes you a thousand pounds; but he has by unprincipled extravagance, rendered himself wholly unable to pay you. He is quite powerless. Is he responsible ? And are you not perfectly justified, according to worldly principles, in taking legal proceedings against him? How much more will God be justified in His judgment of all those who reject the glad tidings of a full and free salvation sent to them on the ground of the atoning death of His only begotten Son!

6. “R. G.,” Ireland. Your poem has come to hand. It is too long for our limited space.

Thanks for your kind note.

7. J. P.,” Sale. We cannot conceive how any true Christian could engage in such a practice as cardplaying. We consider it perfectly shocking. We must confess your letter surprises us.

8.“ M. B.,” Dawlish. Your truly kind and interesting letter has come to hand. We are very thankful for the help you have received from the article on Hebrews vi. The Lord bless you !

9. “W. L.," Illinois, U.S. 1 Corinthians i. 17 gives you a divine reply to your. inquiry. May the Great Shepherd and Bishop of souls keep you ever in the holy shelter of His own blessed presence !

CONVERSION: WHAT IS IT?

PART III.

Having thus far, seen the absolute necessity, in every case, of conversion, and having, in some measure, sought to point out what conversion is not, we have now to inquire what it is. And here we must keep close to the veritable teaching of holy scripture. We can accept nothing less, nothing different. It is greatly to be feared that very much of what passes, now-a-days,

for conversion is not conversion at all. Many so-called cases of conversion are published and talked of, which cannot stand the test of the word of God. Many profess to be converted, and are accredited as such, who prove to be merely stony-ground hearers. There is no depth of spiritual work in the heart, no real action of the truth of God on the conscience, no thorough breaking with the world. It may be the feelings are wrought upon by human influence, and certain evangelical sentiments take possession of the mind ; but self is not judged; there is a clinging to earth and nature ; a lack of that deep-toned earnestness and genuine reality which so remarkably characterise the conversions recorded in the New Testament, and for which we may always look where the work of conversion is divine.

We do not here attempt to account for all these superficial cases; we merely refer to them in order that all who are engaged in the blessed work of evangelisation may be led to consider the matter in the light of holy scripture, and to see how far their own

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mode of working may call for holy correction. It may be there is too much of the merely human element in our work. We do not leave the Spirit of God to act. We are deficient in profound faith in the power and efficacy of the simple word of God itself. There may be too much effort to work on the feelings, too much of the emotional and the sensational. Perhaps, too, in our desire to reach results—a desire which may be right enough in itself—we are too ready to accredit and announce, as cases of conversion, many which, alas ! are merely ephemeral.

All this demands our serious consideration. It is of the very last possible importance that we allow the Spirit of God to work and to display-as He most assuredly will—the fruit of His work. All that He does is well done, and it will speak for itself in due time. There is no necessity for us to blaze abroad our cases of conversion. All that is divinely real will shine out to the praise of Him to whom all praise is due; and then the workman will have his own deep and holy joy. He will see the results of His work, and think of them in adoring homage and worship at his Master's feet—the only safe and truly happy place to think of them.

Will this lessen our earnestness ? The very reverse; it will intensify our earnestness immensely. We shall be more earnest in pleading with God in secret, and in pleading with our fellows in public. We shall feel more deeply the divine seriousness of the work, and our own utter insufficiency. We shall ever cherish the wholesome conviction that the work must be of God from first to last. This will keep us in our right place, namely, the blessed place of self-emptied dependence upon God, who is the Doer of all the works that are done upon the earth. We shall be more on our faces before the mercy-seat, both in the closet and in the assembly, in reference to the glorious work of conversion; and then, when the golden sheaves and mellow clusters appear, when genuine cases of conversion turn up—cases which speak for themselves, and carry their own credentials with them to all who are capable of judging-then verily shall our hearts be filled with praise to the God of all grace who has magnified the name of His Son Jesus Christ in the salvation of precious souls.

How much better is this than to have our poor hearts puffed up with pride and self-complacency by reckoning up our cases of conversion! How much better, safer and happier to be bowed in worship before the throne, than to have our names heralded to the ends of the earth as great preachers and wonderful evangelists! No comparison, in the judgment of a truly spiritual person. The dignity, reality, and seriousness of the work will be realised; the happiness, the moral security, and the real usefulness of the workman will be promoted; and the glory of God secured and maintained.

Let us see how all this is illustrated in 1 Thessalonians i. "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ : grace be unto you,

and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without

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