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yet no event shall disunite them from the vine ; but being united they may bid defiance to every temptation that assails them, and welcome every trial, which shall but loosen them from earth, and bear them nearer home. Jesus well knew that tribulations, which under the regulating power of sanctified operations, are humbling seasons, were best adapted as a mean of his own appointment to effect their welfare; for in such seasons the branches bow to the root, in humble dependence on his grace for their support; and it is then the “Tender grape appears." Yet, notwithstanding all that seems to make against them, every moment the feeblest brauch in Jesus shall be watered by the superintending care and power of the Holy Ghost; so that in spite of all their barren seasons, they shall bear, flourish, and again put forth their graces, when thus excited by such reviving influence; so that they shall bear fruit upward to his glory, and shall never be rooted up, by all the opposing power that is collected against them.-In virtue of this cementing union, the saints, described as living branches in Christ, have delightful communion with each other; and being alike dependent on one source for all they are and have, they possess a coninon equality with each other as fellow citizens. This harmony is like a hearen begun below; but communion with the Father and eternal Spirit, and fellowship with Jesus, is indeed far superior, for it is like a heaven above.
How truly blessed and serene then must be the branches so sovereignly implanted! And blessed indeed will it be, both to writer and reader, if the eternal Spirit is pleased to open up to their apprehensions, the sweetness of the subject, and their innmortal interest in it;-surely then the accents of the still small voice will be more ravishing to the ear, than music in all her softest strains, and captivating melodies.
In this soul-animating discourse Jesus assured his disciples, that in his Father's house were many mansions, and that he was going to prepare a place for their reception; he also told them his absence was therefore needful, but that he would send them another Comforter.-How affecting must have been this address ! and surely no considerations but these could have reconciled their minds to his departure. But the gracious declaration, that Jesus was about entering the abode of blessedness, to become their constant Advocate and Intercessor; and that he would at length bring them safely home, by his Spirit's unremitting conduct, and introduce them himself into ineffable glory, where “all tears should be wiped from their eyes"; must have considerably allayed their sorrows, in that he said, “ It is expedient for you thai I go away.”
What a sublime subject most truly is this, for our contemplation! It is the wonder of angels, the glory of the redeemed, and the covfusion of devils ! And when the ransomed of our Lord shall have safely anchored in their destined haven, this is
the theme which shall beget seraphic harmony, and call forth their united strains of love, adoration, and praise, through the countless ages of eternity.
The glory of the triune Jehovah is alike and intimately connected with the plan of salvation, divine and unfathomable love has so mercifully devised ; and in its consummation, that law once violated, is now magnified and honoured ; justice is satisfied, and singers, vile as hell by nature and by practice, washed in redeeming blood, are eternally blessed; while all the praises shall redound to rich, free, and unmerited grace, abounding richly, and flowing sovereignly, and freely, through the Son in whose person (to sum up the whole) “ Justice and mercy have met, peace and righteousness have embraced each other.”. Thus is God glorified, and sinners are saved. The universal anthem of redeeming love, will therefore be resounded with boundless acclamations througb a vast eternity.
Now, to the King immortal, invisible, and eternal, be ascribed glory and honour, and majesty, for ever and ever. Amen. Peckham Park,
H. C. March 9, 1825.
( For the Spiritual Magazine.) A LETTER TO A PERSON IN GREAT PROVIDENTIAL
AFFLICTION. My dear Friend,
MAY the God of all grace most richly shine upon you, and support you in your present trouble! It is your mercy that your God is a God of providence, as well as a God of grace; and you may rest assured by your being brought into the present difficulty, your heavenly Father designs your real advantage. You will now have many opportunities of seeking his aid, trusting his faithfulness, watching his holy hand, following the cloud, pleading the promise, observing how he can open new doors, set fresh rivers running, and send you many supplies from unexpected quarters; and that at seasons so exactly suited to the circumstances you are in, as will constrain you to say, surely this is the finger of God! you will lose nothing, but gain much by the present dispensation.
I think you have been trying indirectly, to live independent of the Lord. There has been a coldness in your prayers, a formality in your conversation, and you seemed to avoid introducing and keeping up spiritual conversation; and, as you have given many proofs of your being one of the royal family of heaven, I do not wonder that the King of heaven has permitted this trial to overtake you; but he has promised you his supporting presence in the fire and in the water, and he will give you a safe deliverance out of all your distresses in his own time; but he does whatsoever pleases him ; he wounds and he heals, he kills and he makes alive; he brings down and he raises up; he makes poor and he makes rich. it is his holy pleasure that some saints should have a very rough road all the way to heaven, while the path of others is more easy and even. All his saints are in his hand, he loves them all in Christ, but manifests more of his love to some than others. His people cannot be more perfectly saved than they are in Christ, and he evidences his salvation to the souls of his saved ones, very frequently, in their deepest distresses. May the Lord give you sweet submission to his will, support you with his Almighty arm, and cheer you with his heaven-making presence.
Many of the dear children of God are in similar situations, and have been before you. One of old cried out, “ I was brought low and he helped me;" another precious pilgrim exclaims, “O Lord! I am oppressed, undertake for me!” and another, “ I am cast out of thy sight, yet I will look again towards thy holy temple." I do, my friend, feel for you, but you have a better friend than all earthly friends put together, who loveth at all times, who does not change, as even our best friends do; he knows your present situation, the exercises of your mind, that you wish to be kept from bringing a stain upon your profession, that all lawful demands on yon may be paid, and yet you think it impossible unless a miracle be wrought; well, Jesus can work a miracle, as much now as ever, it is a miracle wrought every time a sinner is converted, a captive delivered out of bondage, an answer sent to the prayers of his people, deliverance in the time of outward or inward trouble ; and he will work a miracle for you, by sending a raven to feed you, opening an unexpected door in providence, or in raising up an unknown friend, as shall be most for his glory and your soul's advantage.
Nothing is too hard for the Lord! may this precious motto be kept in sight by you; it has supported my soul many times. I have been in similar circumstances, and like Jehosaphat, have not known what to do; business distressingly bad, friends failing in friendship, dreadful darkness of soul, great embarrassment in preaching, no access in prayer, at my wit's end, and yet forced to follow ou ; now and then a secret hope springing up, that deliverance was nigh, and that a faithful God would not fail me: and, thanks to his dear name, he has not disappointed my hope, nor suffered my expectation to be cut off. Well, my friend, this will make one trouble the less, out of the number allotted you ; if sanctified, it will make you more dead to the world, less anxious after a portion here; it will teach you to hold all creature good with a very loose hand, and that all out of Christ is cursed. May you see the Lord's band in the pr ent dispensation, learn an instructing lesson from it, see the wisdom and love of God in it, justify him for appointing it, constrain you to say, I know, O Lord, thy judgments are right, and that thou hast in faithfulness afflicted me.
You will now see a suitableness in the precious promises, that you never saw before ; some mysteries in the Lord's providence will be explained ; and the sequel of this painful circunstance will probably unfold some secrets that have long lain covered with a cloud. May Jesus, in his glorious person and work, be more than ever precious, his holy aid most earnestly sought, his wise providence constantly watched, his holy throne frequently resorted to, his blessed word repeatedly researched : for in this way, a correspondence is carried on between the God of all grace, and his poor, needy, afflicted people. May he sustain you in your trouble, and command deliverance for you in his own time and way, is the prayer of your's, affectionately,
(For the Spiritual Magazine.) THE LOVE OF GOD MANIFESTED IN A PECULIAR MANNER
TO THE PEOPLE OF HIS CHOICE. The beloved apostle John, felt and enjoyed experimentally the love of God to his own soul, when he penned these words, “ Herein is love ; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins ;” beholding at the same time the enmity and hatred which there is in us, and the great inequality between God and ourselves. Oh! could the redeemed of the Lord see more and more of the height, and depth, the length, and breadth of this everlasting love ; could they experimentally feel and enjoy more of that mysterious love that surpasseth knowledge, that love which caused God to do so wondrous an act as to send his Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, to be the propitiation for our sins; how it would draw their affections from all earthly objects, froin the things of time and sense; with what self-abasement and abhorrence would they be enabled to look upon themselves; for the greater enjoyment we have of the grace, love, and mercy of our covenant God, the more we see our own nothingness and insufficiency to do the least thing that is good. Wonder, O heavens ! and be astonished, 0 earth! at the great love of our ever-loving Father, that he should send his only beloved Son to redeem and bring to glory such helldeserving monsters as we are !
It would have been one of the greatest favours bestowed upon the angelic race, for God to have been one with them; it would have been great grace for God to have manifested his everlasting love, and to have entered into oneness with Adam in his primeval state ; but man! vile man ! was to be the object of his love and mercy. The love of God in redeeming man from wrath and fiery
indignation, and from the filth and pollution into which he is fallen, shines forth with much greater splendour and magnifi
He humbled himself for our sakes; “ He became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be made rich.” . No act revealed in the sacred scriptures, no solemnity either in heaven or upon earth, can be compared with this depth of his love. Oh! the amazing depth of that passage recorded by the prophet, “ Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities ;' it is in Zion among his blood-bought race where God hath done all his solemnities. That Christ should take compassion upon such lost, ruined, and undone creatures as we are, surpasseth all human understanding; it is too deep for the plummet of reason to fathom, and too profound for seraphs to know. Oh! what love ! to be bone of his bone, bis body the church, the bride, the Lamb's wife. He taketh the beggar from the dungbill; he maketh enemies to be one with him; he espouseth the blackest of characters, that his grace, love, and mercy might be exceedingly manifested to the sons of men ; yea, even his delights were with the sons of men before the foundation of the world; and, for ever blessed be his holy name, “Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have sáluted each other,” in the person of our ever-blessed God.
His love was so immeasurable and profound that it needs must burst forth, and 'ere that could be, divine justice must be fully satisfied, the eternal Word must become man, to bear the sins of his people, which is a secret too mysterious for either angels or men to pry into. The love of God is divinely set forth by Isaiah,“ And the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” What could have induced God to have laid iniquity upon his bosom Son, to have made him sin for us, but bis wonderful love to the people of his choice? herein is love, that God should bruise his only begotten Son, for such wretches as we are. Again in Zechariah, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow.” That the wrath of God should be poured forth upon Christ, wonderfully manifests his love to his peculiar people; it is here that we must look and behold with astonishment the love of the Father, that he was bruised for our transgressions; and behold him in the garden of Gethseinane, where he said, “If it be possible let this cup pass from me; not my will but thine be done.” Here was love, that God should bruise bis Christ, and divine justice be amply satisfied, for the sins of his people. Follow him to the cross,
and behold his agony
which made him cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me !". The will of the Father laid so near his heart, that he must needs finish transgression and make an end of sin.
And, Oh ! how sweet it is to enjoy a glimpse of the marriage covenant; to know experimentally, that our Maker is our husband. How blessedly does the Holy Ghost speak by the prophet Jere