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wonderful relief from that text. me to administer help and comfort Oh! it has often been a sweet text to others.” to me.”
There is a subject, not yet menIt was said by Luther, the great tioned, which is entitled to partiReformer, that three things were cular notice—“ The Creaton Clernecessary to make a minister :
ical Meeting." When it comprayer, meditation, and tempta- menced I am not able to say; it tion. Our departed friend was not has been in existence probably for without the last. The following fifty years, held annually, in Triniconversation took place between ty week, continued for two days, us, June 18, 1827 :
and closed by a sermon at Creaton No man,” said he, “ has had or Spratton, the last evening; the such temptations as I have had.” preacher, the director, and the sub
“ You know your own, Mr. jects being fixed the previous year. Jones, but not those of others." Unlike other meetings of this kind, True,” he answered,
it has been usually attended by mine have been very great, and are some brethren from all the counso still sometimes.
ties which border on Northampton“ Have they been more violent shire, having been a sort of a cenat any particular time of life than tral meeting for a portion of the another ?”
clergy in the midland counties. No; I cannot say that: I have Mr. Robinson regarded it as his had nearly the same these thirty annual feast, attended it as long as years.'
he lived, and often preached on the “Of what kind have they been?”
He was the chief, “ Of a blasphemous kind. I though not the only attraction. have sometimes been so violently After his death, Mr. Jones supplied assailed, that I have been obliged his place more than any other. to fall down on my knees, where Though he ever appeared as the
pray for deliverance.” least, the servant of all, yet his in“ Had you any doubt of your
fluence was very great.
timents, especially of late years, Yes, at times. I never lost were regarded as almost oracular, hope ; but had some suspicions of and were ever expressed in a clear, my own case.
I have heard some concise, and striking manner. say, that from the very first they The influence of a such a meetnever have had any doubt ; but I ing as this can hardly be calculated, cannot say so.”
imparting, as it did, new energies, “ What was your relief when new impulses to its members annuthus tempted ?"
ally. Some of those who now be“ It was this :--that the sug- long to it have regularly attended gestions were temptations, inas- it for thirty years. It has ever much as I hated from
inmost been remarkable for the spirit of soul the very things, the very
* The day after one of these meetings, temptations, which led me to sus- Mr. Jones and Mr. Robiņson went out to pect my own case.” He then added, take a ride. They met a poor man, a “ I believe these temptations have
labourer, on the road; who very respect
fully saluted tņem, and, addressing Mr. been of use to me, and that they Robinson, said, “I thank you, sir, I have made made me more fit to thank you, sir, for the rich feast you gave assist others under similar tempta
us last night.” The prompt answer of
Mr. Robinson was, I hope, my friend, tions. My own trials have taught
you ate heartily of it."
union and brotherly love, and has from whom every good and perfect hitherto been found to have been gift cometh. an atmosphere peculiarly pure and A ministry energetically exerheavenly. As a specimen of the cised for nearly half a century,-I subjects, those discussed in 1827 say “nearly,” for though he was shall be added. There were pre- fifty years the curate and rector of sent twenty-five clergymen :- Creaton, he was yet unable to do
1. What is the difference be, duty for three or four of the last tween the conflict in natural and
years—and at intervals much spiritual persons ?
blessed, must have been the means 2. What is the meaning of of doing immense good. How “rest” in Heb. iv.?
great the number which he had 3. What are the Christian views been the instrument, in God's which we ought to take of the hand, of bringing from darkness to West-India Slavery, and of our light, and from the power of Satan conduct with respect to it? to God, during this long period,
4. What is the meaning of the great day alone will disclose. Rom. ii. 14, 15. ?
The importance of such a ministry 5. What is the Scriptural view exceeds all human calculation, of imputed righteousness?
compared with which, the greatest 6. What is the precise meaning temporal advantages, the most of " being inwardly moved by the beneficial inventions, the most saluHoly Ghost,” in our Ordination tary laws, the most humane proService?
visions for alleviating the present 7. What is the meaning of miseries of man, appear as wholly 2 Cor. iii. 11.?
insignificant. To be employed as This meeting has been the pa- an instrument in the heavenly rent of at least two useful under- work of saving the souls of men, is takings--the publication of the of all the greatest; and it is the “ Christian Guardian,” and the highest dignity and honour that formation of the “ Creaton Clerical can be conferred on mortal beings: Education Society.” The object and this honour the Lord vouchof the first was to supply the mid- safed to our departed brother, in a dle and lower classes with useful measure, more or less, through the and religious information, and to whole course of his ministry. The preserve unalloyed the essential degradation of the office has arisen doctrines of the Gospel. The ob- from many who have entered it ject of the other was to enable having not been sent by God, and young men of piety and suitable therefore not owned and blessed talents, when without the means, by him, for the great end for which to become ministers in our Church; the ministry has been designed. and its past success is quite suffi- We may also add, that God cient to encourage it to go on. had employed him extensively in
A leader in doing good is a assisting, comforting, and strengthmost important character, though ening his fellow-pilgrims, in their others may afterwards assist, and journey through this evil world to be the chief instruments in carrying a better. And to many of his
To originate an extensive brethren in the ministry he had for plan of usefulness, is what falls to years been a great help and encouthe lot of a few. But whether we ragement by counsel and advice, devise what is useful, or carry
it and afforded great comfort by toon, the glory is all due to Him kens of love, sympathy, and affec
tion. The esteem, and even vene- likely to live, to continue to circuration, in which he has been long late, as any published in our day. held by such of them as were inti- They embrace subjects, which nomate with him, is a sufficient proof thing but ignorance, indifference, of what has been said.
and irreligion can antiquate; treatHowever highly we may think ing as they do of the doctrinal, of Mr. Jones's influence as a min- experimental, and practical truths ister among his people, or as a of Christianity, without any mixbrother among the clergy, the most ture of what is novel or extraneous, extensive and permanent good he They are written in a style both has done has been no doubt through simple and nervous, plain and strikhis writings. Many of them, ing, remarkably clear and concise, especially " Jonah's Portrait," and neither hard nor difficult for the “The Prodigal’s Pilgrimage," have illiterate, nor low or vulgar, so as had already a wide circulation; to be offensive to those of culti and they are books which are as vated minds.
(To be concluded in our next.)
PROGRESS IN DIVINE KNOWLEDGE.
The writer of this paper begs at once to avow its great obligations to the
Rev. E. BICKERSTETH's Promised Glory,” especially the 2nd and 3rd chapters, Part I.: “On the importance of an ever-fresh unfolding of Divine Truth,” and “ The need of abiding steadfast in the Old Doctrines of the Faith.” The writer trusts that this paper will not seem to advocate any novelty, to the depreciation of those acknowledged truths, upon which further advancement in knowledge must always be based. The striking and important excellence of the above-mentioned work of Mr. Bickersteth's cannot be too highly spoken of-so calculated is it to be especially useful, “ word in season,
at the present time.
“ The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world... was manifest in these last times”.
..-See Rev. xiii. 8. and 1 Pet. i. 20. “ Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord : his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."'-HOSEA vi. 3.
It has been truly said, “ Tradition Apostles, in purity of doctrine, in is useful as a witness, but not as a unity of discipline, in holiness of guide.” And, indeed, let us ask works ; while among its several ourselves, how we can make Tradi- branches there had been always tion our guide, without inverting maintained the intercourse of brothe Christian order of things; therly love, and mutual counsel and which is to be progress and not assistance in preaching the Gospel retrogression ? Let us suppose for “ to all the world.” Who can a moment, that the whole visible imagine the almost incalculable Church of Christ had gone steadily “ increase of the body to the edifyon from the very days of the ing of itself in love,” which such a blessed and such a consistent course been, to our ideas of Paradise before would, with the blessing of God, the fall, or, still better, to those have ensured ! Gathering from hopes which shall yet be fulfilled, among the heathen, and the dis- when the malignity of Satan, or persed Jews, “ numbers of such as of Antichrist, shall no longer intershould be saved”—while there was fere and frustrate ; but when “ the no scandal or cause of offence in its Lord our Righteousness shall reign own holy and united body—infi- and prosper, and shall execute delity would have found no pretext judgment and justice in the earth.” for blaspheming the truth. For -Jer. xxiii. 6, and 5. we may learn from St. John's
But one truth we may 1st Epistle, chap. ii. 10, that the of-that such a state of the Church “occasion of stumbling,” is the visible as we have been supposing, want of love and unity in the would always have been one of Church, and among those who pro- continual progress and improvefess to be, and ought to be, ment, in each individual member, “ brethren.” But in the case we and in the body at large. are supposing, wherever a Church will it always be the state and conhad been planted, there had been a dition of every true branch of seat of beneficence towards the Christ's Church, just exactly in whole human race, there had been proportion as they do not cease to the balm for all the evils of fallen hold the Head,” to abide in him, humanity. There would have been and to be uncorrupted from the held forth the Word of God, reveal- pure simplicity of the Gospel. ing Christ, the wisdom of God, and Ought we then, who know how the power of God, and teaching soon, alas ! the early Church berepentance, faith, holiness; while came corrupted and much decayed the heavenly fruits of the Spirit, from the purity of the Apostles' would have made glad the wilder- times, ought we to be content with ness, and caused the desert to blos- seeking in any later period for that som as the rose. How beautiful, standard of faith and practice by wherever they approached, had the which to regulate our own reformed feet of Christ's ministers appeared and pure branch of the Church, and upon the mountains, the feet of ourselves as individual members them that brought glad tidings thereof? Ought we to be content that published peace. It would with anything but Scripture after have seemed as if the garden of the Canon of Scripture was closed Eden were brought back at the -after the miraculous influences of sound, that the Sun of Righteous- the Spirit were suspended ? For ness was arisen, with healing in his we see even the immediate traces wings—that the Light of the World of our Saviour's presence on earth was revealed to them who yet sat were too soon obliterated by the in darkness and the shadow of foul footsteps of Antichrist, with death. Oh! who can imagine the all the dark idolatries of officious blissful state to which our earth by superstition. this time had arrived, had the no- We have, indeed, then cause to minally “Catholic Church” been be most deeply thankful for the always as holy as catholic; or had sixth Article of our Church, “ Of not the very contrast to this ima- the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures gined case been, alas! the sad for salvation.” And whatever untruth. We can only compare what hallowed use may be made of our the state of our earth ought to have Articles in these days, by peryerters
of the truth, who peril their own his Spirit, and so that we arrive at souls by their lying sophistry, let no conclusions contradictory to the true-hearted men show a wide dif- sound fundamental doctrines which ference from such false teachers; the true Church of Christ hath by real love and allegiance to our held from the beginning; it is not Articles, which will be exemplified indeed for any human being to set not merely by an honest subscrip- bounds to the light which God tion, but in a way that not even any will graciously pour upon his own added test could reach—that is by page, to diligent and humble readhearty thankfulness to God for such ers. (See Psalms i., xix., and cxix.) a body of sound doctrine, and at And therefore it is not for us to the same time a consistent carrying limit the ever-unfolding of truth, out of those doctrines in all their as the progress of time requires, as teaching and ministrations. This the infinite needs of man require, holy uprightness will be the best or as the all-but infinite resources way to make their falsehood pal- and inventions and deceits of Satan pable, and will convict them of and the enemies of the Church also their Jesuitical arts by arguments
But the mind which they cannot imitate or coun- of God (blessed be his Holy Name terfeit.
for ever!) is indeed infinite. In For this sixth article we cannot Him, who is THE WORD, are hid be too thankful; it leads us to the ALL the treasures of wisdom and fountain of all truth, the Holy knowledge; and that book in Scriptures. It is from this source, which he has revealed himself unto dear fellow-Christians, from this us, partakes of this same characsource alone that progress in divine teristic of infinitude. From hence knowledge, growth in grace, and spring its inexhaustible treasures all solid spiritual improvement can of truth, which are, and ever will be made. Other books of Christian be, exactly adapted to meet each divines
spiritual necessity of the Church, ways, but it is the
“ sincere milk as they may arise, even unto the of the word” alone whereby we end of the present state of things.
grow.” (1 Pet. ii. 1, 2.) From To say that the same portion of 2 Pet. ii. 18, we find that growth truth, the same degree of light should be made in “knowledge” which was vouchsafed to one age as well as in grace; and it is by of the Church, is sufficient for sucthe study of the Scriptures only ceeding periods, is to forget that that such growth can be made. It different events arise, new heresies is the highest privilege of man to are broached, new dangers threaten. be permitted to make advances in Neither time stands still, nor his. the right understanding of those tory, nor science, nor arts, nor revealed truths, “which the angels worldly business and aggrandizedesire to look into.” The extent ment. Is, then, that which was to which this progress may be intended to “leaven the whole made, is not for any human being lump” with a purifying influence, to prescribe, after the remarkable, to become the only sleeping, inert, the clear, the precious promises of inactive ingredient in the whole spiritual wisdom and revelation, mass of human affairs and human given in 1 Cor. ii.
So that we
society? Shall the children of pursue our meditations on God's this world ever be wiser than the word in humble, prayerful, and children of light, in knowing that simple dependance on the aid of continual progress must ever be
useful in many