Page images


Mr. Sidders concerning his views of Ir. Philpot's Public Acknowledgment.


be drawn forth,

How great a matter a little fire kindleth! Who could things. David proved the truth of this by have thought that the little fire-brand which Mr. experience in the matter of Bath-sheba ; he it hath done through the length and breadth of the commits adultery with her, and then to gain

Nothing of late has more surprised us her as his wife, he becomes accessory to the than did the publication of Mr. Philpot's Acknow. death of her husband. There was a compliledgment in the GOSPEL STANDARD ; but, surprised as we were, there appeared to us so much in it that was cation of evils, voluntarily committed by a calculated to be useful in warning the people of God saint of God, and we read the thing displeased against such snares, that we copied the substance of it the Lord.' Did not the Lord bring good out into our pages; fully believing that here the matter of evil in this case ? Assuredly he did. But from different parts of the country, and from persons did that take away the sin of David ? No: too professing great attachment to the gospel of Christ, or he never would, in the grief of his soul, who seriously questioned the propriety of Mr. Phil have penned the 51st Psalm, and so we might all aside; but at last finding many

minds were agi- go on to notice the sin of righteous Lot, tated upon this question, we were induced to give a Gen. xix. 33-35 ; of Judah, Gen. xxxviii.; portion of Mr. sidders' letter, in the hope that some of Peter, and many others. Divines, disthing conclusive and satisfactory might (in answer) tinguished (and I think rightly) the will of give the following valuable letter, written by Mr. God, into secret and revealed. Thus, it was Smith, a member of York street Chapel, Leicester; God's revealed will that Pharaoh should let and with it we feel determined to let the matter rest, the Israelites go; that Abraham should saas far as we are concerned. As to the charge brought against us of " giving

crifice his son, and that Peter should not countenance to Antinomian principles," we will only deny Christ; but it was his secret will, as the say" The Lord forbid,"-We are for Truth and events proved, that Pharaoh should not let PEACE; but there is such an uproar and confusion in Israel go. Exodus iv. 24. That Abrahain get through without becoming entangled. uh, what should not sacrifice Isaac. Gen. xxii. 12. wisdom, grace, and firmness is needed in these peril- And that Peter should deny his Lord. Now, ous and distressi ng times ! Our brother Smith says:- I would ask, was the sin of Pharaoh or Peter Mr. Editor,— In your last month's number lessened on this account? I answer, in the of the Vessel, appeared some strictures upon words of Zanchy, the Reformer, Because Mr. Philpot's Public Acknowledgment, God's will of precept may appear to thwart signed S. Sidders. Believing those strictures his will of determination, it does not follow, to be entirely repugnant to the genius of the either, first, that he mocks his creatures; or, gospel, I take the liberty of animadverting second, that they are excusable for neglecting upon the same.

to observe his will of command.' And the Mr. S. appears to me, throughout the whole venerable Bucer, after taking notice how of this piece, to reason upon wrong premises, God'hardened Pharaoh's heart, adds, that aland as he takes the liberty of calling Mr. though God has at least the same right over P.'s confession confused, he must bear with his creatures, and is at liberty to make them me, if I add, that in my judgment, his is what he will, according to his sovereign and worse than confused. He commences by secret determination, yet it by no means expressing his sorrow that the pages of the follows that they do not act freely and sponVessel were smeared with Mr. P.'s acknow- taneously, or that the evil they commit is to legment; and then goes on to reason that if be charged on God.'

Mr. S., after saying, it Mr. P. is really called, and sanctified to the is no thanks to himself, that he did not marry Lord, he has no occasion to fear that he has an unbeliever, adds, • The Lord acts taken any wrong step in the matter under sovereignly, and deals with his children acconsideration. He then argues that if we are cording to his eternal purpose.' Right; but the peculiar care of the Lord, and are ever

can we make God's eternal purpose a rule of watched over for good; we have no reason our actions ; can we pry into the secret rolls to doubt but that we are directed right in all of heaven, and thereby determine our transour engagements and concerns. This is false actions ? No, Mr. S., secret things belong reasoning altogether, and reasoning, if fully to the Lord our God. We have his revealed carried out, would subvert the whole gospel will, his written word, for our rule and guide, of Christ. What ! is there no reason to fear and whosoever breaks one of these least comthat we may be left to take a wrong step, act mands, shall be called least in the kingdom contrary to the gospel precepts, wound our

of heaven. own consciences, and dishonour the truth, Whatever good may at any time result from and cause of God? Verily, if we know evil, (and God often brings good out of our anything of our own hearts, or of the history evil actions) we must not do evil that good of the Church of God, we shall at once con- may come. And if Mr. P. did not break the clude that there is much reason to fear these precept, I would ask what oeeasioned that



feeling of guilt, and grief which he expresses ? yoked together? Just as inuch as I have to Mr. š. intimates that it was prompted by do with the king of Prussia. Paul in this pride, and the reproaches of the ignorant. I chapter is giving practical instructions to the ask, was it not rather prompted by the Spirit Corinthians: very unlike preachers in our of God inwardly convincing him that he had day, he writes in this, and almost all his taken a wrong step

This proves that his epistles, the doctrinal and experimental with conscience was made tender in the sight of the practical; and he that would separate the God; he was humbled under a sense of sin, latter from the former in his ministrations, as all the children of God assuredly are after puts assunder what God has joined together. backsliding; and thus humbled, he makes a Come, come brethren, human nature is now public confession, which commends itself to what it was in the apostle's days, and he the consciences of God's enlightened children, found occasion to warn them that were and which no spiritual person could read unruly, (1 Thess. v. 14;) to walk circumwithout deeply sympathising with the author. spectly, not as fools but as wise, (Eph. v. 15;)

Fellow travellers to Zion! we have need to but whether or no, this passage has any repray continually 'hold thou me up and I ference to believer's marriage (and it has shall be safe ;' but if God suffers us to fall always been considered so), we have the into transgression, to humble us, and to teach point settled by Paul in his tirst epistle to us to know ourselves, shall we rest contented the Corinthians vii. 39. He says She is at under these things, and say with S. Sidders, liberty to be married to whom she will, only it was the will of God, or it would not in the Lord.' This certainly is enough to have taken place ? Thus charging our sins teach us that it is unlawful for believers to and folly upon the ever blessed God. Truly, marry with any but such as make a credible if this is not twisting God's decrees to the profession of Christ as believers in union worst of purposes, I know not what is ! with him. And what, I ask, tempted the S. Sidders argues that because Mr. P. has Lord to bring down his chastisements upon an excellent partner, that therefore he has his beloved Israel of old, so much as their acted right and consistent, adding that the union and their marriages with the nations, Lord seeth not as we do naturally, for what of whom God had said, ' Thou shalt not go we call evils, the Lord sendeth them for good. in to them, nor they come in to thee ?' We might as well argue that, because the But setting aside scripture precepts, if it Lord brought good out of the evil committed were lawful for believers to marry unbelievers, by Joseph's brethren in selling him for a 1 ask, would it be expedient-would it be slave, that therefore they were guiltless in sound wisdom? I trow not. The marriage the affair ; or that because Christ was de- undertaking is a solemn and serious one. It livered to be crucified by the determinate is a step, which thousands, having taken uncounsel and foreknowledge of God, that advisedly, have had to bewail in their after therefore the actors in that nefarious tra- life, and it becomes all who are about to enter gedy were perfectly guiltless !

into that solemn engagement, to think Mr. S. introduces several passages of scrip- seriously and soberly, to make it a continual ture, such as 1 Cor. vii. 14 and 17 verses, matter of prayer to Almighty God, for his which have no reference at all to the matter guidance and direction ; and, above all, to in hand. Paul is there advising the Corinth- examine whether they are acting in accordians to remain together, such of them as ance with the revealed will of God in so imwere already married, notwithstanding the portant an affair. difference the Lord had put between them, Perhaps some one will say, I have made it in calling some of them from idolatry to the a subject of prayer to the Lord, I have asked worship of the true God. But let us come his direction, and I cannot but see that I am to the precept itself, (and if words convey right in marrying such an one who is an unany meaning, never was a precept set forth believer. Ah! perhaps you have done this, in a clearer manner.) •Be ye not unequally but has your eye been single in the affair ? you yoked together with unbelievers;' and the have implored the Lord to direct you, but have inference the apostle draws, plainly shews you been willing to be directed by him, if he his meaning. "For what fellowship hath should thwart your choice, and baffle your righteousness with unrighteousness, and determinations ? This is the point. Have you what communion hath light with darkness ? asked the Lord in sincerity, willing, if it was And what part hath he that believeth with an his will, to give up the object of your earthly infidel ?' By what sort of reasoning this affections ? If you have not, you have only precept can be looked upon as analagous to gone to the Lord with a compliment like a the yoke spoken of by our Lord, in Matt. churlish boy to his father. “May I have this xi. 30, I am at a loss to find out. If such wild tather, I want it ?' 'No, boy,' is the answer, argument as this passes current, Mr. Editor, it will be for your hurt.' But I will have truly we may sit down and prove anything. it, it is so suitable to me,' says the child.

S. S. evidently compares words instead of. Well then, says the father, if you are dethings. What, I ask, has Christ's yoke to termined, take it, and suffer the consedo with believers and unbelievers being' quences.' And what are the consequences ? Why, suffering to be sure ; and if I know

The late Caroline Morgan. anything of divine teaching, the Lord often lets us have our will, even in what is sinful, and hurtful, and when our perverse wills are choked, (as it were,) then comes on the My Dear Sister in the Faith-The following punishment, for this is sure to follow. Some- is the substance of what I said at the grave, times the eagerly-sought blessing itself when we laid the cold remains of Caroline becomes a curse, as was the case with Morgan in the dust. I have two objects in Rachael. But, my dear friends, we cannot view in recording these things. First, you lay the blame of this upon God; as well may now and then call to remembrance some inight the boy who had his will, and suffered of the happy moments which you have spent for it, blame his father for letting him. We with your sister who is now in glory; and, must say with Job, ' I will take my complaint secondly, that the weaklings in faith,' may upon myself,' and as Mr. P.says in his con- hereby learn that it is indeed true, that our fession, 'We cannot sin without suffering, Lord does neither break the bruised reed, for though it be delayed for a time, it will nor quench the smoking ilax. The words 1 surely come. But it is a mercy to know that read were these I know that thou wilt bring though we are chastised for our folly, we are me to death, and to the house appointed for all not given over unto death.'

living.' (Job. xxx. 23.) I simply said, there I would then say in conclusion,-To God's are some things connected with death that unmarried children, even if there were no are very certain ; and there are some things precept in the word of God relative to this uncertain. First,-it is very certain that undertaking, it would be folly in the extreme death is the consequence of sin.

• Sin ento couple with unbelievers. When two tered into the world, and death by sin.' persons are married, they become one flesh; | There is a three-fold degree of sin, orithe union is close and binding. But what ginal, natural, and practical ; so is there a union is there without communion ? and three-fold degree of death, spiritual, natural, what communion, I ask, can there be with- and eternal. It is also certain that unto out a oneness of spirit, without each are this solemn point we must all come. There taught of God ? We will imagine a believer is no escaping death; there is no other pasand an unbeliever are joined together ; the sage out of time into eternity. You will say husband is a believer, he has the love of God the Bible records two ways of departure out in his heart, he loves to keep company with of this world, where death has not absolutely those who can say, 'Come and hear, all ye come upon the body-First, in the case that fear God, and I will declare what he of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ; there the hath done for my soul. Can his wife relish Lord made .a new thing.' The earth opened such company-is she happy in their society ? her mouth, swallowed them up ; and they No. In fact, his aim, his desires, his prin- went down quick into the pit. (Numbers ciples, his prospects, are essentially different xvi. 30.) Body and soul went down into from those of his wife; he may love her, hell together. This is an awful passage inand they may live happy together, as the case deed. So you will say that ENOCH in re-consideration proves, but where there is and ELIJAH did not see death. That is one case that turns out favourable, there are true: but, as all new-covenant blessings many others that are a constant source of were shadowed forth in the Old Testaregret? It will not do to say afterwards, it ment, so I believe the extraordinary and myswas the will of God, or it would not have terious departure of Enoch and Elijah were taken place, for all the evil that is committed typical of two things belonging especially in the world, is in some sense in accordance unto the church of Christ. Of Enoch it is with God's will, or it could not have been said he walked with God, and he was not, permitted. Still, God's permission does for God took him. This preacheth unto us nit excuse the perpetration, and I am heartily the secret and mysterious passage of the glad to see Mr. P. recognise this principle; ransomed soul from time into eternity. a principle self-evident to every right think- Death to the believer, is God's gathering ing mind : take away this principle, and you home the ransomed spirit to himself; but as take away the moral responsibility of man, it is a mystery to us how Enoch was taken ; and thereby unhinge the whole state of moral so is the soul's departure out of its mortal affairs, I come then to this simple conclu- tabernacle. Elijah's was a visible and sion in the words of the learned reformer, glorious ascent into the highest heavens. Zanchy, ' Secret things belong to God, but After the Holy Ghost hath declared that those that are revealed belong to us; there there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses fore, when we meet with a plain precept, we of fire; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind should simply endeavour to obey it without into heaven ;' then he adds—' AND ELISHA tarrying to enquire into God's hidden pur- SAW IT.' This glorious and manifest ascent poses.

T. Smith, of Elijah sheweth us, how, at the last, God Leicester, Dec. 4, 1847.

will take up the church in one perfect body,


gloriously conformed unto the image of Him THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF
who is over all, God blessed for evermore.
I must not enlarge. Think on these things

: Ir. John Bunyan M'Cure, at Hadlow, Secondly, - Connected with death, there are some things very uncertain. First, it is uncertain, when, where, or under what circumstances you or I'shall die. Here is a In order to set a fair EXAMPLE before young woman taken out of the world by death, the churches; and also to make an at an early age, while thousands live and grow APPEAL to all wealthy Christians, we old and hardened in sin. In many cases, it give insertion to the following letter, is very uncertain where the soul goes to, after As an example, we say, let churches and it has left the body. I have talked to some ministers try one another as the church on their death-bed who could give no satis- at Hadlow and John Bunyan M‘Cure factory evidence of union to Christ, and yet have been enabled to do. In the settlewe dare not say that they had no living faith in Jesus. But as regards our sister Morgan, I ment of young men as pastors, the greatest feel no uncertainty about her eternal safety ;

care, watchfulness, and caution should be although in so solemn a matter I would not

exercised. In the case before us, this speak rashly. In the first place, Caroline has been done on both sides, and we Morgan, was, for a long time before her seriously believe thạt the good hand of death, a very silent but sincere waiter upon God is now directing the steps of our God, and a very constant and anxious hearer brother to a settlement among the people of the Gospel. He heart was really con- where his labours have been so abundantly cerned to know her own interest in Christ; owned of God. We trust the appeal although it was but seldom she seemed to that is here made, will fall into the hearts have any hope. The Lord says, blessed is of some, who have it in their power to the man that heareth me, watching daily at help a widowed and afflicted church, my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors; that it may again be favoured with the parted sister, therefore do I feel persuaded oversight and stated ministrations of a she is not cast away. Again, there was, as One of the deacons in addressing us,

laborious workman in the gospel field. she approached the swellings of Jordan, a calm resignation, yea, a desire to depart; says :and a solid reliance on the person and work “Dear Brother in the bonds of everlasting of Christ alone. She was not favoured with love, grace be unto you and peace be mulbright manifestations of the Lord's presence; tiplied. she cried earnestly for these ; but as they " In looking on the wrapper of the Earthen were denied, she said to me, nearly the last Vessel, we see you express a hope that the words I heard her speak—' I WILL HANG Lord will be pleased shortly to settle our

This was said brother John Bunyan M'Cure over the with such vehement sincerity and firmness, church at Hadlow. This, dear brother, is that I said, “Then you can never perish.' what we have long desired (if God will): From that moment I felt persuaded all was But why do we desire it? Because the Lord right between a holy God and her soul. The has blessed his testimony to our souls. We day before her death took place, her father can but view the hand of God in his coming requested her, if, in the article of death, she

among us.

When our late beloved pastor saw the Lord, to give them a sign to that effect. was laid aside from preaching, a friend who The father and mother had gone to sleep. was intimately acquainted with our brother An aunt was watching over her ; when all at M‘Cure, spoke highly of him as a faithful once poor Caroline lifted up her almost life- minister, and one who was consistent in his less arm and waved it round and round. The life and conversation, and wished us to have aunt not understanding what it meant, ran to him to preach to us one Lord's day, kindly call the parents : but just as her father engaging to bear all charges; this we thank. reached her bedside, she breathed her last. fully accepted. When he came, the Lord Poor soul! her afflictions were great beyond was pleased to bless the word in an especial description ; but her warfare is ended; her manner to the reviving and establishing our spirit is before the throne. Thanks be to souls, so that we could say, the word came God who giveth us the victory, through our to us, not in word only, but in power, in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. Esther-It will not be long before we him to come again. Our friend, by our

we were obliged to have supplies, we wished follow into the same kingdom. The Lord desire, engaged him for two Lord's days in bless you, prays your companion in tribu- the month, which is now about fifteen months lation.

ago, and we can truly say the Lord has often C. W. Banks.

been with us, and has blessed the word to




to us.

our souls. Our congregation has greatly in- The Communion of Saints; creased, and the Lord has owned our brother's ministry by giving him souls for his hire, and scals to his ministry, as many of us can testify, so that our love to our brother in- “ And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled creases more and more, not for anything in the curtains one unto another with the taches; so it

became one tabernacle. Exodus xxxvi. 13. him, but we esteem him highly in love for the truth's sake. Some good-meaning people have some years ago an English gentleman, by a given us some gentle hints not to think too particular providence, had occasion to be in highly of him as he is a young man, lest we North America ; where among other advenshould make him proud. Some of us have turés, the following circumstance occurred been in the way long enough to know, that to him, which is thus related in his own whether young or old, nothing short of grace words :can keep a minister or a private christian In one of my excursions while I was in humble at the feet of Jesus, to learn of him the province of New York, I was walking who is meek and lowly in heart. Our late by myself over a considerable plantation, beloved pastor used to express his gratitude amused with its husbandry, and comparing to the Lord for the sending such a minister it with that of my own country; till I came

As a church, we are unanimous in within a little distance of a middle aged wishing our brother to be settled over us ; negro, who was tilling the ground. I felt a for which we desire to bless our covenant strong inclination (unusual with me,) to God, and which we esteem no small mercy converse with him. After asking him some in this day of awful departure from the litile questions about his work, which he truth, when we hear of such sad divisions answered very sensibly; I wished him to tell in many churches. Not unto us, not unto me, whether his state of slavery was not us, but upto our covenant God, we desire to disagreable to him, and whether he would give all the praise.

not gladly exchange it for his liberty ? Then you may say, why not have him, as · Massah,' said he, looking seriously upon there is an increasing love between you ? | me, 'I have wife and children, my Massah The reason is, we are a poor church, and takes care of them, and I have no care to have it not in our power to keep our dear provide anything; I have a good Massah, brother and his family, without his doing who teaches me to read ; and I read good something to help bring in a living ; neither book, that makes me happy.' I am glad does our brother wish to be wholly dependant replied I, to hear you say so; and pray on us, but wishes to labour with his hands so what is the good book you read ? 'The that he may not be burdensome to us. Nay, Bible, Massah, God's own good book.' Do he is determined never to be a burden to any you understand, friend, as well as read this people. Though our congregation has in- book? for many can read the words well, creased, they are among the poor ; sometimes who cannot get old of the true and good our old Adam nature wishes that some of the sense. O Massah,' says he, 'I read the rich were sent among us, but the new nature book much before I understand, but at last sees it is all right, and sometimes we are I felt pain in my heart; I found things in enabled to bless the Lord because it keeps that book which cut me to pieces.' Aye, us more dependant on him, and we are not said I, and what things where they? Why, so much exposed to that domineering spirit Massah, I found I had bad heart; Massah, which is too often manifested in those that a very bad heart indeed; I felt pain that are rich in this world. How then can it be God would destroy me, because I was so accomplished for our brother to come and wicked, and done nothing as I should do ; settle among us? We know not, unless some God was holy, and I was vile and naughty ; thing can be raised to enable him to set up so I could have nothing from him but fire in a small way in his business: he has not and brimstone in hell.' In short, he entered the means, and we are poor, but willing to do into a full account of his convictions of sin; all we can to enable him. Should some of which, indeed, were as deep and piercing as our sister churches, which have members almost any I had ever heard of; and what that have it in their power, and feel disposed scriptures came to his mind, which he had to subscribe something to so desirable an read, that both probed him to the bottom of object, we should feel deeply indebted to his sinful heart, and were made the means of them. May the Lord in mercy stir them up, light and comfort to his soul. I then enremembering he has said, “inasmuch as ye quired of him what minister or means he did it unto one of these, my little ones, ye did made use of, and found that his master was a it unto me.' Your unworthy brother in co- Quaker, a plain sort of man, who had taught venant bonds.

GEORGE CRITTLE. his slaves to read, but who had not, however, P.S. - By desire of the friends I write this even conversed with this negro upon the to you; I should much rather some one else state of his soul. I asked him likewise how had done it, for I feel my own inability. he got comfort under all his trials ? O

« PreviousContinue »