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wonderful relief from that text. Oh! it has often been a sweet text to me."
It was said by Luther, the great Reformer, that three things were necessary to make a minister :prayer, meditation, and temptation. Our departed friend was not without the last. The following conversation took place between us, June 18, 1827 :
"No man," said he, "has had such temptations as I have had." "You know your own, Mr. Jones, but not those of others."
"Of what kind have they been?" "Of a blasphemous kind. have sometimes been so violently assailed, that I have been obliged to fall down on my knees, where
was, and pray for deliverance." "Had you any doubt of your safety?"
Yes, at times. I never lost hope; but had some suspicions of my own case. I have heard some say, that from the very first they never have had any doubt; but I cannot say so."
"What was your relief when thus tempted?"
"It was this:-that the suggestions were temptations, inasmuch as I hated from my inmost soul the very things, the very temptations, which led me to suspect my own case." He then added, "I believe these temptations have been of use to me, and that they have made made me more fit to assist others under similar temptations. My own trials have taught
me to administer help and comfort to others."
There is a subject, not yet mentioned, which is entitled to particular notice-"The Creaton Cler
ical Meeting." When it commenced I am not able to say; it has been in existence probably for fifty years, held annually, in Trinity week, continued for two days, and closed by a sermon at Creaton or Spratton, the last evening; the preacher, the director, and the subjects being fixed the previous year. Unlike other meetings of this kind, it has been usually attended by some brethren from all the counties which border on Northamptonshire, having been a sort of a central meeting for a portion of the clergy in the midland counties. Mr. Robinson regarded it as his annual feast, attended it as long as he lived, and often preached on the occasion.* He was the chief, though not the only attraction. After his death, Mr. Jones supplied his place more than any other. Though he ever appeared as the least, the servant of all, yet his influence was very great. His sen
timents, especially of late years, were regarded as almost oracular, and were ever expressed in a clear, concise, and striking manner.
The influence of a such a meeting as this can hardly be calculated, imparting, as it did, new energies, new impulses to its members annually. Some of those who now belong to it have regularly attended it for thirty years. It has ever been remarkable for the spirit of
*The day after one of these meetings, Mr. Jones and Mr. Robinson went out to take a ride. They met a poor man, a labourer, on the road; who very respectRobinson, said, “I thank you, sir, I fully saluted them, and, addressing Mr. thank you, sir, for the rich feast you gave us last night." The prompt answer of Mr. Robinson was, 46 I hope, my friend, you ate heartily of it."
union and brotherly love, and has hitherto been found to have been an atmosphere peculiarly pure and heavenly. As a specimen of the subjects, those discussed in 1827 shall be added. There were present twenty-five clergymen :
1. What is the difference between the conflict in natural and spiritual persons?
2. What is the meaning of "rest" in Heb. iv. ?
3. What are the Christian views which we ought to take of the West-India Slavery, and of our conduct with respect to it?
4. What is the meaning Rom. ii. 14, 15. ?
5. What is the Scriptural view of imputed righteousness?
6. What is the precise meaning of "being inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost," in our Ordination Service?
7. What is the meaning of 2 Cor. iii. 11.?
This meeting has been the parent of at least two useful undertakings-the publication of the "Christian Guardian," and the formation of the "Creaton Clerical Education Society." The object of the first was to supply the midIdle and lower classes with useful and religious information, and to preserve unalloyed the essential doctrines of the Gospel. The object of the other was to enable young men of piety and suitable talents, when without the means, to become ministers in our Church; and its past success is quite sufficient to encourage it to go on.
A leader in doing good is a most important character, though others may afterwards assist, and be the chief instruments in carrying it on. To originate an extensive plan of usefulness, is what falls to the lot of a few. But whether we devise what is useful, or carry it on, the glory is all due to Him JULY-1845.
from whom every good and perfect gift cometh.
A ministry energetically exercised for nearly half a century,-I say "nearly," for though he was fifty years the curate and rector of Creaton, he was yet unable to do duty for three or four of the last years and at intervals much blessed, must have been the means of doing immense good. How great the number which he had been the instrument, in God's hand, of bringing from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, during this long period, the great day alone will disclose. The importance of such a ministry exceeds all human calculation, compared with which, the greatest temporal advantages, the most beneficial inventions, the most salutary laws, the most humane provisions for alleviating the present miseries of man, appear as wholly insignificant. To be employed as an instrument in the heavenly work of saving the souls of men, is of all the greatest; and it is the highest dignity and honour that can be conferred on mortal beings: and this honour the Lord vouchsafed to our departed brother, in a measure, more or less, through the whole course of his ministry. The degradation of the office has arisen from many who have entered it having not been sent by God, and therefore not owned and blessed by him, for the great end for which the ministry has been designed.
We may also add, that God had employed him extensively in assisting, comforting, and strengthening his fellow-pilgrims, in their journey through this evil world to a better. And to many of his brethren in the ministry he had for years been a great help and encouragement by counsel and advice, and afforded great comfort by tokens of love, sympathy, and affec
tion. The esteem, and even veneration, in which he has been long held by such of them as were intimate with him, is a sufficient proof of what has been said.
However highly we may think of Mr. Jones's influence as a minister among his people, or as a brother among the clergy, the most extensive and permanent good he has done has been no doubt through his writings. Many of them, especially "Jonah's Portrait," and 'The Prodigal's Pilgrimage," have had already a wide circulation; and they are books which are as
likely to live, to continue to circulate, as any published in our day. They embrace subjects, which nothing but ignorance, indifference, and irreligion can antiquate; treating as they do of the doctrinal, experimental, and practical truths of Christianity, without any mixture of what is novel or extraneous. They are written in a style both simple and nervous, plain and striking, remarkably clear and concise, neither hard nor difficult for the illiterate, nor low or vulgar, so as to be offensive to those of culti 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, as a "word in season," at the present time.
"The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world... last times".
-See REV. xiii. 8. and 1 PET. i. 20.
was manifest in these
"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 is useful as a witness, but not as a guide." And, indeed, let us ask ourselves, how we can make Tradition our guide, without inverting the Christian order of things; which is to be progress and not retrogression? Let us suppose for a moment, that the whole visible Church of Christ had gone steadily on from the very days of the
Apostles, in purity of doctrine, in unity of discipline, in holiness of works; while among its several branches there had been always maintained the intercourse of brotherly love, and mutual counsel and assistance in preaching the Gospel "to all the world." Who can imagine the almost incalculable increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love," which such a
blessed and such a consistent course would, with the blessing of God, have ensured! Gathering from among the heathen, and the dispersed Jews, numbers of such as should be saved"-while there was no scandal or cause of offence in its own holy and united body-infidelity would have found no pretext for blaspheming the truth. For
we may learn from St. John's 1st Epistle, chap. ii. 10, that the "occasion of stumbling," is the want of love and unity in the Church, and among those who profess to be, and ought to be,
brethren." But in the case we are supposing, wherever a Church had been planted, there had been a seat of beneficence towards the whole human race, there had been the balm for all the evils of fallen humanity. There would have been held forth the Word of God, revealing Christ, the wisdom of God, and the power of God, and teaching repentance, faith, holiness; while the heavenly fruits of the Spirit, would have made glad the wilderness, and caused the desert to blossom as the rose. How beautiful, wherever they approached, had the feet of Christ's ministers appeared upon the mountains, the feet of them that brought glad tidingsthat published peace. It would have seemed as if the garden of Eden were brought back at the sound, that the Sun of Righteousness was arisen, with healing in his wings-that the Light of the World was revealed to them who yet sat in darkness and the shadow of death. Oh! who can imagine the blissful state to which our earth by this time had arrived, had the nominally "Catholic Church" been always as holy as catholic; or had not the very contrast to this imagined case been, alas! the sad truth. We can only compare what the state of our earth ought to have
been, to our ideas of Paradise before the fall, or, still better, to those hopes which shall yet be fulfilled, when the malignity of Satan, or of Antichrist, shall no longer interfere and frustrate; but when "the Lord our Righteousness shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” -Jer. xxiii. 6, and 5.
But one truth we may be sure of that such a state of the Church visible as we have been supposing, would always have been one of continual progress and improvement, in each individual member, and in the body at large. And so will it always be the state and condition of every true branch of Christ's Church, just exactly in proportion as they do not cease to "hold the Head," to abide in him, and to be uncorrupted from the pure simplicity of the Gospel. Ought we then, who know how soon, alas! the early Church became corrupted and much decayed from the purity of the Apostles' times, ought we to be content with seeking in any later period for that standard of faith and practice by which to regulate our own reformed and pure branch of the Church, and ourselves as individual members thereof? Ought we to be content with anything but Scripture after the Canon of Scripture was closed -after the miraculous influences of the Spirit were suspended? For we see even the immediate traces of our Saviour's presence on earth were too soon obliterated by the foul footsteps of Antichrist, with all the dark idolatries of officious superstition.
We have, indeed, then cause to be most deeply thankful for the sixth Article of our Church, "Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for salvation." And whatever unhallowed use may be made of our Articles in these days, by perverters
of the truth, who peril their own souls by their lying sophistry, let true-hearted men show a wide difference from such false teachers; by real love and allegiance to our Articles, which will be exemplified not merely by an honest subscription, but in a way that not even any added test could reach-that is by hearty thankfulness to God for such a body of sound doctrine, and at the same time a consistent carrying out of those doctrines in all their teaching and ministrations. This holy uprightness will be the best way to make their falsehood palpable, and will convict them of their Jesuitical arts by arguments which they cannot imitate or counterfeit.
For this sixth article we cannot be too thankful; it leads us to the fountain of all truth, the Holy Scriptures. It is from this source, dear fellow-Christians, from this source alone that progress in divine knowledge, growth in grace, and all solid spiritual improvement can be made. Other books of Christian divines may be very useful in ways, but it is the sincere milk
of the word" alone whereby we grow." (1 Pet. ii. 1, 2.) From 2 Pet. iii. 18, we find that growth should be made in "knowledge" as well as in grace; and it is by the study of the Scriptures only that such growth can be made. It is the highest privilege of man to be permitted to make advances in the right understanding of those revealed truths, "which the angels desire to look into." The extent to which this progress may be made, is not for any human being to prescribe, after the remarkable, the clear, the precious promises of spiritual wisdom and revelation, given in 1 Cor. ii. So that we pursue our meditations on God's word in humble, prayerful, and simple dependance on the aid of
his Spirit, and so that we arrive at no conclusions contradictory to the sound fundamental doctrines which the true Church of Christ hath held from the beginning; it is not indeed for any human being to set bounds to the light which God will graciously pour upon his own page, to diligent and humble readers. (See Psalms i., xix., and cxix.) And therefore it is not for us to limit the ever-unfolding of truth, as the progress of time requires, as the infinite needs of man require, or as the all-but infinite resources and inventions and deceits of Satan and the enemies of the Church also render necessary. But the mind
of God (blessed be his Holy Name for ever!) is indeed infinite. In Him, who is THE WORD, are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and that book in which he has revealed himself unto us, partakes of this same characteristic of infinitude. From hence spring its inexhaustible treasures of truth, which are, and ever will be, exactly adapted to meet each spiritual necessity of the Church, as they may arise, even unto the end of the present state of things. To say that the same portion of truth, the same degree of light which was vouchsafed to one age of the Church, is sufficient for succeeding periods, is to forget that different events arise, new heresies are broached, new dangers threaten. Neither time stands still, nor history, nor science, nor arts, nor worldly business and aggrandizement. Is, then, that which was intended to "leaven the whole lump" with a purifying influence, to become the only sleeping, inert, inactive ingredient in the whole mass of human affairs and human society? Shall the children of this world ever be wiser than the children of light, in knowing that continual progress must ever be