« PreviousContinue »
conquests in His own person and by His own right, for the benefit of His own people, and the eternal glory of Jehovah; conquests over sin, death, and hell? He led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; that His "good soldiers” might also be “more than conquerors through Him that loved them.”
When thou placest this transcendently perfect Pattern before thee, thou wilt indeed
not think as though thou hadst already attained perfection, or wert already perfect; but thou wilt strive humbly, yet ardently, to follow after; if that thou mayest “apprehend that, for which also thou art apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Thou wilt see that the Christian life, con. sisting as it does in a state of progress towards perfection, in growth, in increase of faith, and abounding more and more in the fruits of faith, will necessarily be stopped by self-satisfaction, as if we had already attained, and were already perfect. And thou wilt pray, dear reader, that thou, and the writer of these few words of exhortation, may be enabled to go
strength to strength,” and receive out of Christ's fulness, " grace for grace,' until, through His mercy, we appear
with all saints' “ before God in Zion.”
COLUMB. E. T. R.
on from "
“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a
rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”—Rev. iv. 3. “And I saw a mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a
rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire."-Rev. x. l.
Clouds do indeed at present appear to be around us; darkness is covering the land, and gross darkness the people; and often is the mind cast down in the contemplation of these things; but much as we must lament the errors and wickedness of the times in which we live, yet, when we dwell upon the Word of God, what precious rays of light burst upon us! What can be more cheering than the view here given us of the mighty angel clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow upon his head? The rainbow was round about the throne like an emerald. In the old world, the rainbow was the sign of the everlasting covenant which the Lord made with Noah, that He never would again destroy the earth; and that when He brought a cloud over the earth, the bow should be in the heavens, and He would look upon it and remember His covenant: and however man's wickedness might call for judgment, He would not again destroy the earth. For the Lord knows that the thoughts of men's hearts are only evil continually. Not for their sakes, therefore, was the earth preserved, but for His own Name's sake, and the everlasting covenant.” What a beautiful type is this of the covenant which is established between God and His beloved Son. “ The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” And again, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my mouth.”
And what is the Covenant? Is it not that the Son of God put Him. self in the place of sinners, suffered all the wrath of an offended God, to make peace
for us? And this Covenant shall stand fast with Him for evermore, that whosoever believeth in the Lord Jesus Christ shall never die. He is our peace. He hath broken down the middle wall of partition, and preached peace to us who were afar off. Through Him we have access to the Father, being justified by faith, and have peace with God.” · This man shall be the peace.” Yes: even now in Heaven the rainbow of the Covenant is round about the throne on which He sits, and the Almighty looks upon that, and destroys not this world of sin. It is preserved in Christ Jesus, and He pleads that it may not be destroyed, for a blessing is in it. For the sake of the everlasting Covenant, the judgments of the Lord do not fall upon those who now set “at nought His counsel, and who will none of His reproofs." The Lord is long-suffering, and slow to wrath, but not slack concerning His promises or His threats. His patience is salvation. He waiteth to be gracious, and willeth not the death of the sinner. Souls are every day added to the Church of Christ. His messengers are going forth throughout the world, to carry the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, for all nations must hear its sound, as a witness.
Were it not that the Lord is long-suffering, slow to anger, and of great kindness, we should be like Sodom and Gomorrah ; for the measure of our iniquities seems full. When we look around and see the sad forgetfulness of God, the idolatry, the inventions which the carnal heart sets up in the place of that pure and spiritual religion which is alone acceptable to the Lord, but for the rainbow of mercy, we also must have been swept away with the besom of destruction. Though the great angel is clothed with a cloud, still he is surrounded with a rainbow; and therefore we, the sons of Jacob, are not destroyed, for His mercy endureth
But the times and seasons are in the hands of the Lord; and when the appointed time is come, shall we see the destruction of all who are not sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb. It will, to them, be a day of trouble and anguish, as when the Lord slew the first-born in every house where the blood was not on the door-posts.
To believe in general redemption will be of no avail; each one must himself be sprinkled with the blood of Christ; each one must himself believe that Christ died for his sins; and the work of grace must be wrought in each individual heart. We must bring none of our own leaven; the old leaven must be purged out, and we must become a new lump in Christ Jesus. No church in outward ordinance can save us; none can have everlasting life but he that believeth on the Son; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. These are the words of Christ himself, and who can reverse them? This word is Truth. By this word we shall be judged. Then shall every mouth be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God.
When the Spirit of the Lord, like a sunbeam, shall show the guilty soul its wretchedness, its nakedness, then will each one be accused by his own conscience, and call upon the rocks to fall upon him and hide him from the wrath of the Lamb--from that face, which, like the sun in
its brightness, no guilty eye can look upon; for it will consume all those who reject Him. They cannot abide the day of His coming, “for it shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn up, saith the Lord of Hosts, and shall leave neither root nor branch.”
How awful, then, the position of those who are trusting in any refuge of lies, however it may be sanctioned by a world lying in wickedness. “The proud are now called happy, yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.” But the day is fast approaching when the difference will be seen between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not. Oh, that the blind eyes might be opened to search the Scriptures, and to cease from man, before the threatened destruction comes! before the angel stand upon the sea, and sweareth by Him that liveth for ever and ever, that Time shall be no longer! May we all, like John, take the little book from the angel's hand, and feed upon it as the manna which can alone nourish our souls. It will prove sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. Oh, taste, and see that the Lord is good; and should we be called upon to testify before people, and nations, and tongues, and kings, however bitter and painful to the natural man, strength will always be given us from above. When we are about our Master's business, He will watch over us, and give us wisdom, which all our enemies shall not be able to resist; and His strength will be perfected in our weakness. When we are weak then are we strong, for we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. May we be found watching when our Lord comes
the angel of the everlasting Covenant. With what joy shall we then behold the rainbow, the sign of our pardon and our peace! For He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne, and He shall be a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” What confidence and assurance does this Scripture give to every one, who is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Whosoever buildeth upon this rock can never be shaken. The storms of persecution may rage, the winds of error, of doubt, may blow around, but his trust is established; it is founded upon a tried corner-stone, elect, precious; and none who trust in Him shall ever be confounded.
Error is finite, but truth is eternal. In the beginning of the world this truth was established, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. The holy child Jesus is that seed, which must effectually destroy Satan and all his works: and though he is still permitted to rise up against the Lord, and against His anointed, at the appointed time the Lord will come to burn up and destroy all the workers of iniquity. Then shall the wicked be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God. But unto those who love His appearing, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing on his wings.“And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a father spareth his own son that serveth him.' We shall then be no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens, and of the household of God. For Christ has made our peace through the blood of His cross; and we who were enemies hath He reconciled in the body of His death, to present us holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight, if we continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and not APRIL1845,
moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which we have heard, and which is preached to every creature. “The hand-writing of ordinances which was against us, and contrary to us, is blotted out and nailed to the cross.' There remains nothing to condemn us. Christ is our advocate, and none can accuse us to Him who is our Mediator, and whose blood has cleansed us from all our sins; for whosoever washeth in that fountain which is open for sin and for uncleanness, is made perfectly whole, without spot or stain, or any such thing. Let us no longer draw from wells which can hold no water, broken cisterns of man's hewing, forsaking the fountains of living waters which is a well springing up unto everlasting life, and which is freely promised to all who ask. “ Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely, without money and without price”. Christ is Himself the Well of Life, and all our springs are in Him. Christ is the Light, and in His light we shall see light, which shall grow brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. For when He shall appear, we shall be made like Him, for we shall see Him as He is; and whosoever hath this hope purifieth himself even as He is pure: and being changed into His image at His appearance, when He shall shine as the sun in its splendour, we shall not shrink from the dazzling brightness, for the rainbow is around the throne, and that testifies that we are saved by the everlasting Covenant sealed in the blood of the Lamb.
J. H. P. Brussels, Feb. 25th.
THE LAST HOURS OF A MINISTER'S WIFE.
"She, being dead, yet speaketh."
“WELL, I think this has been one of the most delightful, if not the most delightful day, I ever spent in
life.” Such, on the close of the lovely evening of the 1st of May, 1840, on stepping out of her little carriage at the vicarage door, after attending the consecration of Es- -h church, were the words addressed by a pastor's wife to her husband, the minister of the village of B- -11, in the county of Devon.
“Let us end the day,” said Mrs. as delightfully as it has been spent; and, before we enter our home, visit our schoolmistress, and the two old people who are sick, and see how they fare.”
Her errands of mercy and consolation were fulfilled, and she returned to her home with a heart overflowing with joy, peace, and love, and never again crossed its threshold in life. The next morn came the warning summons; and, on the fifth morning from that happy eve, death had achieved his victory over all that could perish.
Three new temples Mrs. was permitted to behold, on three successive days, consecrated and set apart to Jehovah's honour; and then was removed to "sing the song of the Lamb and his redeemed,” in that glorious
temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Blessed comfort to him who survives--a solitary traveller in the world's rough pathsis the remembrance of how her last days on earth were spent; and all her life agreed thereto. Yes: and that lone mourner will rend open those wounds which the Lord has mercifully bound up, and unveil the dying hours of that sweet saint, in the prayerful hope that the blessing of the Spirit may rest upon the record; and by it teach some careless souls to count their days—to stand upon their watch, as knowing not in what hour the Lord shall come.
Reader, enter then the chamber of this dying Christian; give ear unto her words, and see how, even here in the midst of pain and suffering, faith won for herself a triumph. “I am a great sufferer; but I have deserved it all. The Lord is placing me in the furnace, and proving me. I thought I had loved God and Christ my Saviour enough in the days of health ; but now I find the difference. We none of us serve him nor love him enough, and so the very best of us will think on our dying bed. But God is merciful for His dear Son's sake; and I have hope and sure trust in Christ, and exceeding peace: all my hope is in the mercy of of God, through Jesus Christ my Saviour-yes, my Saviour. What a blessed thing it is to know Christ now, in such an hour as this! My pains are very great."
Addressing her husband—“I have passed nine happy years with you, -I had looked forward to many more. It is very hard to part thus suddenly. I could have wished to live a little longer for your sake. But, alas, what do I say! I am murmuring. This is sinful. It is the Lord's doing; and he ever doeth what is best for us, though we see it not; but we shall see and know hereafter. I must be patient; His time is the best.”
On her husband's asking her if she had comfort, she answered, “I have great peace—it is all peace, for Christ my Saviour does not forsake me; he is supporting me.
Oh, how dark would be this passage, if he were not near at hand! Christ is every thing to me now, and all in all.”
At three o'clock, p. m., on the 6th, the Lord strengthened her husband to administer the blessed sacrament. She then said, privilege! what a mercy that I, a poor sinner, am once more permitted to partake of this heavenly feast, and thus to draw nigh to God! This is indeed comfort.”
She then expressed an earnest wish to speak to the servants. fore I go I must speak to them.” But her agonies did not allow her to do this till about half-past six on the morning of the 7th. They then were assembled at the bed-side of this departing saint, and she spoke thus to the man-servant—"Pray for grace to live every day, as if every day is to be your last. Forget not God in your time of health ; for, if you do, when you come to die you will bitterly lament it. In that hour every sin, however small, as you may fancy, will then press heavy on the soul. May the Lord bless you, James; and be sure to bring up your children in the fear of the Lord. Good bye—and be faithful to your master when he is left alone.”
To one of the female servants she said—“You have been here but a short time, are young, and have hitherto lived in a bad situation, with a family who mocked at God and His blessed book. I shall soon be gone from you; remember what I say-live in the fear of God, seek Him
" What a