« AnteriorContinuar »
afresh, and put him to an open Thornton, Esq.of Clapham, near
B. and C. in a course of kingdom. This sentiment is sin, dissipation and worldconfirmed by his saying, He who ly distraction, have been appreis not with me, is against me ; and hended by the preventing grace he who gathereth not with me, scat- of the Almighty ; their faces tereth abroad. If crucifying have been turned toward Zion by Christ may be construed to mean the power of assisting grace, any thing, aside from the actual without any thing good in them, shedding of his blood, which will already or foreseen, to deserve not be doubted, the guilt of it such a distinguishing favor, but must be involved in being against purely and solely by the soverhim, and scattering abroad, ac- eign mercy of their great Creator cording to his meaning, in the and gracious Redeemer. They use of these terms. Their prac- are all three now supposed travtical language is, Away with elling towards the heavenly him, let him be crucified :-We world ; all well apprized of the will not have this man to reign danger of sin, all convinced of over us. Being guilty of this, the necessity of a change of heart afresh, clearly denotes that it is and principles, all want an interdone a second time; and is thence est in the blood and righteousness analogous to what has been said of Jesus the Redeemer, all are of being renewed again unto re- the subjects of divine teaching, pentance. It is some additional and probably will all at last get evidence, therefore, that the con- safe to glory.--A. labors under struction given to the whole pas- the terrors of conscience, awaksage is according to truth. ened by the law ; sees and feels [To be continued.] the guilt of sin ; is sensible that
sin unpardoned will sink the soul
into the bottomless pit; is afraid GENTLEMEN,
of the power, holiness and justice I SEND you the excellent and of God; can get no comfort from pious thoughts of the late John la reflection upon the goodness, love and mercy of God; the law has been acquainted with the threatens its curse, guilt is trou- drawings and comforts of the blesome, the heart is broken. Spirit : These have been with-A. has recourse to prayer, drawn, and B. has had his doubts pleads Christ, mentions his mer- and fears again and again ; and its with very little knowledge of so far B. joins with A. In the folthe value of them, a cloud is up- lowing particulars B. goes be. on the understanding, doubts and yond or farther than A.-B. has fears possess the soul.-A. grows been made sensible that inward more earnest in prayer as he sees comforts, without a foundation, his danger to increase ; feels at are not to be depended upon : He intervals some inward comfort, has made further enquiry by the drawings of the Divine Spir- prayer and reading the word, has it; while these continue A. is seen in scripture that Jesus happy, and thinks these to be Christ and him crucified, is the comfortable tokens of divine fa- only foundation and hope of a vor, and knows not but these are sinner-has seen that justificathe manifestations of Christ to his tion, redemption and salvation soul. These intervals are the are in and through Christ. These zenith of A's happiness in his points he can speak of with tolerpresent state. These happy vis- able clearness, having the infalits prove transitory ; when they lible word for his guide. These are gone, guilt and fears return, are valuable discoveries ; yet and A. suspects all to have been notwithstanding them all, B. delusion-wants them again, wants something more ; for looks upon them as necessary to doubts and fears arise, whether salvation, and the highest evi- or not these blessings belong to dence of divine favor that can be him, though they are held out attained in this state of things. in scripture for sinners, as such.
A. has inward impulses and B. knowing the way of salvation suggestions ; but views the per- from the word, begins to be more fect righteousness of Christ as earnest for an assurance of it in the only sure rest. These man- his own heart. To this end are ifestations may be from the Ho- all his petitions now directed ly Spirit, not given for A.to rest for he is firmly persuaded there in, but refresh him by the way ; is more implied in the very letto revive his dying hopes, that he ter of scripture, especially when may be encouraged to seek fur- the riches of Christ and the privther aids and influences of grace, ileges of his children are menand at last be brought to center tioned, than he has ever yet been all his hopes of salvation upon acquainted with. Now he is in that sure foundation laid in Zion, quest of blessings which he has the Lord Jesus Christ.-If A's had no experience of, consework of grace is not a common, quently is much in the dark resbut an extraordinary one, this pecting their value, and how anchoring upon Christ will be they are to be attained. B. waits the happy result in God's due at the throne of grace, an humtime.
ble suppliant, and counts upon B. has been under the same every fresh discovery of divine conviction of sin with A.-B. has love; is thankful for all, but still been brought to true repentance, I continues sensible of a vacuum or void in the soul, which he Christ is frequently interrupted. wants to be filled up. In process He is now liable to a charge of of time, B. has a discovery or spiritual barrenness, deserves rerevelation of Christ, in a surpri- proof for neglecting his vineyard, sing fulness to his soul. What nor does he improve the talents he before saw in theory, he is committed to his own soul's hapnow certain of; for the blessings piness or the honor of his heavof Christ carry their own evi- enly Father. dence along with them ; and he Ć. can join with A. respecting can, and does rejoice in the sal- conviction of sin ; has been unvation of Jesus. He sees the der terrors, from an apprehenbible with new eyes ; he sees sion of divine justice and holiness, the promises and feels them ; knows all A's experience. C. sees Christ the wisdom and pow- can also join with B. in all his ater of God, and boasts in him as tainments-has had as clear a şuch. His affections are fixed, revelation of Christ to his own and all the powers of the mind soul as B. ; has known the time are filled with admiration, won of love, and felt the power of it; der and astonishment. In short, has as great regard for, and deB. sees enemies conquered, a pendence upon the faithfulness door of mercy opened, and him- of God in his word as B.; has self entered in at that door. He been zealous of good works as has got deliverance and rejoices B. ; has also been equally sensiin it: the bent of his soul is now ble of luke-warmness and indifto glorify God. B. from a ser- ference in spiritual things, even vant is become a son, and de- after the motives to obedience sires to walk worthy of his high have been fully known ; there is calling; he has fellowship and nothing that B. can say, but C. communion with God, is a burn- can join with him ; can talk, aring and shining light; his words gue and reason about spiritual are with power, and all that matters, with equal perspicuity know him call him the blessed and clearness ; is not a whit beof the Lord. B's views of things hind him in any matter. But are now as different from what here lies the difference between they were awhile ago, as one B. and C.-B. in his declining face can be from another; and state, has little more than a name he stands amazed at his former to live. C. will not rest without ignorance and stupidity. B. is feeling the power of spiritual life. now upon the mount, and all B. depends upon Christ's work. things go well with him ; and C. does the same, but will have what is more, he really thinks a faith, also, purifying the heart, every enemy is destroyed.-Un- working by love, overcoming the happy for B. by very nice and world, and drawing out of Christ's subtile degrees he loses his first fulness, grace for grace. B.uses love, dwindles into luke-warm- ordinances; C. will have fellowness, performs not duties with ship with God in ordinances. B. that vigor he was wont—the is a branch in the true vine ; C. more immediate evidences of must be a fruitful branch in the God's favor are withheld ;. his same vine. B. rests satisfied in soul grows lean from day to the belief of the promises ; C. day, and inward fellowship with I will be after obtaining the promVol. V. NO. 12.
THAT is the kingdom of C. enjoys them. B. is not al
heaven ? How did it ways earnestly seeking the light suffer violence from the days of of the divine countenance ; C. is John the Baptist ?-Who are ever importunate for it ; would the violent ? And, how did they not have one day pass without a take the kingdom of heaven by glimpse of it. B. can mix with force ? A correct and intelligiworldly company and suffer no ble answer to these questions great loss ; C. is sensible of its may exhibit the principal ideas loss, and mourns it. B. has a contained in the words. perfect robe of righteousness in What is the kingdom of Christ ; C. has the same ; but heaven? The kingdom of heavis earnest after inherent holi- en is the divine government or ness. B. views Christ as a Sav- kingdom set up by Christ, comiour and Deliverer from the guiltprising the kingdom of grace of sin; but is not sufficiently ear- in this world, and of glory in the nest to be delivered from the world to come. Christ is the king, power of it. C. does the same, and his disciples or church the and yet further is earnest to break subjects. And the gospel, as its power, by copying after the preached by Christ and his
spe. example of Christ ; wants to be cial ministers, contains and extransformed into the same image hibits the constitution of this in meekness, humility, love, self- kingdom, and the great charter denial, patience, and deadness to of its rights and privileges the the world. B. has a principle of engagements on the part of the grace ; C. has that principle king to his subjects, as to the drawn out into more lively exer- care he will take of them, the cise. B's faith seldom sails into protection and security he will the sea of love ; C's makes fre- afford them, the nature and manquent excursions there, and like ner of his government over the ships of Tarshish, returns them, and the nature, extent loaded with heavenly treasure and duration of the privileges In short, B. is upon a right foun- and blessings which they shall dation ; but builds little more enjoy. And in regard to the than wood, hay, stubble ; while subjects, the gospel contains C. builds gold, silver, precious and exhibits the terms of admisstones, that will endure a fiery sion into this kingdom, the dutrial.
ties required of them, the character they must maintain, and
the manner in which they must Explanation of Matthew xi. 12. conduct, in order to enjoy the
privileges and blessings of true An attempt to explain and illus- and faithful subjects.
trate the principal ideas held The subjects of this divine forth in the words of Christ kingdom constitate a society disrecorded in Matthew xi. 12. tinct from the world-widely dis" And from the days of John ferent from every other society the Baptist until now the king- kingdom or nation, in several dom of heaven suffereth vio- respects; and particularly in the lence, and the violent take it following. They all partake, by force.”
more or less, of the spirit of
Christ their king. Hence, they we may pertinently proceed to
It is to attain and possess prophesied until John." By the salvation from sin, and complete predictions of the prophets, and victory over all the enemies of by the sacrifices and various typGod and themselves--perfect ical rites and ordinances of the holiness-perfect conformity to law, the kingdom of heaven, the God, and complete happiness gracious and happy government in the enjoyment of him. Of of the Messiah, and the privilecourse, by their great and pe- ges and blessings peculiar to his culiar privileges, they are excee- administration, were represendingly distinguished from and ted as future and at some displaced high above the rest of tance. But when John came mankind. They are in a state and entered upon his public minof peace and favor with God, istry, he declared the period under the special care, protec- just arrived, for the speedy comtion and government of Christ mencement or exhibition of this their head and their king. And heavenly kingdom. “. Repent when all other kingdoms come ye” said lie ; " for the kingdom to a perpetual end, this will be of heaven is at hand.” He signibrought to its most complete and fied that he came as the immeperfect state, to endure for diate forerunner of the Messiah, ever.
to prepare his way; and that the Is not this a kingdom worth Messiah himself would follow taking pains for ? Are not the quickly after him : yea, that he privileges and blessings to be was already come, and would enjoyed in it such as may well soon be openly manifested, and engage mankind to labor and produce great and wonderful efstrive, with all their might, to fects. To the multitudes, who obtain possession of it? Hence, I came to his baptism, John