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The Calling of the Lord.

"Many are called, but few are chosen," MY DEAR EDITOR:-You ask if some one of the scribes can give you a clear distinction between that call of the Lord which is ward, and that which is effectual unto salvation. Now, I do not profess myself a scribe, nor do I promise you a clear distinction, as that will much depend on the judgment of the reader, seeing that often what is clear to one is not so to another; but so far as the letter of the law and the testimony is concerned, I hope to show that there are more divine calls than one, or two; and also somewhat of the nature of those calls. And I shall be glad if the matter is made plain to your correspondent with that unction and power he desires.

ness.' The truth here to be believed is merely that contained in the letter of the gospel report. Thirdly, By the wonders of creation and providence, both in blessings and judgments; for these have a voice, and that voice is a call. Fourthly, By the miout-racles of our Lord; for these called men to believe in his divine mission, and hence the condemnation of the pharisees, as it is said, 'But though he had done so many miracles among them, yet they believed not on him;' whereas, of others it is said, Many, when they saw his miracles, believed on him.' And thus he had many disciples, who like Magus, were still in the gall of bitterness. And fifthly, By the visitation of affliction in body, mind, or estate; on which point you have this remarkable passage of Elihu's in Job xxxvi. 8, He openeth their ears in affliction, to discipline, and commandeth that they return from their iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity; but if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword.'

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Doubtless, many of us in our pursuit of the doctrines of grace, have overshot the mark to some dangerous extreme; so that as we have advanced to more mature and sober judgment, we have felt obliged to return and gather up certain valuables which in our puerile haste we had thrown away; and perhaps in nothing more so, than in those proper calls from the Lord which are not effectual to salvation. And truly, unless these be understood, the Scriptures must appear contradictory, and our minds wrapt in confusion on the whole general drift of the word; for neither practice, experience, doctrine, or prophecies, can be justly understood, if we understand not that line of truth which, though highly important, yet comes not within the bond of the covenant of grace. And

Here, then we have a mere verbal call on the part of the Lord exclusively on moral ground: to which, if obedience is rendered, temporal blessing is the result; but if not obeyed, then judgment: and this call is common both to saint and sinner.

II. We find a providential call, and that attended with a choice to a certain end, but not to salvation. By this a person is called to act as an instrument for a certain work, just as we make choice of a pole for scaffolding which must be adapted to that purpose, as anything would not do. And thus Pharaoh was called to oppress Israel, and to oppose Moses. For this cause have I raised thee up,' &c. Thus Jehu was called I. We find there is a verbal call on the to be king, to execute judgment on Baal; part of the Lord, which may, or may not and Hazael on Israel. Thus the evil spirit be responded to by the persons called. This was called to tempt Ahab, by being a lying call we find in the following passages, 'Be-spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. caused I have called, and ye refused; I Thus Nebuchadnezzar was called to be the have stretched out my hand, and no man Lord's servant to punish the nations; and regarded. I also will laugh at your ca- be a special type of anti-christ. Thus also lamity,' &c., Prov. i. 24. Again, 'There was Cyrus called and chosen to destroy fore, it came to pass that as he cried, and Babel, and deliver Israel. And those last they would not hear, so they cried and I two might, or might not be saved characwould not hear, saith the Lord of hosts.' ters; but this affects not the question at Zech. vii. 13. And this call is given in all. And lastly, we find that Judas was these several ways: First, by the force of both called and chosen to do that great natural conscience, as acted upon by the work of betraying the Lord of life and common power of the Spirit. My Spirit glory. shall not always strive with man.' And again, 'Ye do alway resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.' Secondly, By the letter of the gospel. 'Come ye out from among them, and be separate.' God now commandeth all men every where to repent.' 'Repent and believe the gospel.' 'Break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor.' And on this ground, exclusively, it is said, that our Lord could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Also, 'For this cause shall God send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteous

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Here, then, we have a call from the Lord in providence, by which, persons previously adapted, are chosen to do that work, which, without such adaptation could not be done. A good angel could not tempt Ahab; nor a good man betray our Lord. And here, both in the case of Pharaoh and Judas, for lack of understanding, we are ready to say that Jehovah is an austere man; but no; he is mercifully just.

III. We find a purely legal call, by which bond children are found in the family of God, and servants in his house. And this very nearly resembles an effectual call, just as the birth of a bastard resembles that of a legitimate child. And a right

knowledge of this call is exceedingly important, because without it our blind zeal must hurry us into the guilt of very rash judgment, and induce us, like Saul, to fight even against God. And indeed both of the Sauls were guilty here: the first, in cutting off the Gibeonites, even as many now cut off professors, just because they think they are not the elect: and the latter in persecuting the saints, just as now, one good man (through ignorance) persecutes another. And I am bold to say that most of our present dissentions arise through ignorance of this branch of truth. Hence, let me intreat of you, reader, seriously to consult Paul in Galatians chap. fourth: and then turn to the history, and carefully look at the circumstances of Ishmael's birth. Is he not the child of Abraham even as Isaac? only by the bond woman after the will of the flesh: which will worked in each of the three parties; viz: in Sarah to propose: in Abraham to obey; and in Hagar to comply: by giving herself a concubine? Now get into this matter, and strike out the mystery even as you would on the part of Isaac: and you at once find that Ishmael is the prototype of the bond family, even as Isaac is of the free. And this might lead you into a secret line that runs all through the scriptures, by which many dark things may be tried and opened up. By this legal call many are so wrought upon, as to be born, and brought forth into the church visible; and so similar are they in form and feature to the elect, that rarely to be found is the man, who, for the time, can tell the bastard from the heir. Nor is this done by looking at the two babes playing before you: but only by knowing the circumstances of their begetting and their birth. Both have been wrought upon both are professors and both are endowed with marks and evidences. The bastard has had his strong convictions, his legal terrors, his fierce temptations, his deliverances, his hopes, his prospects, and his assurance! He has his gifts and talents: and his zeal and devotion to work in the vineyard. He is made use of to accomplish a certain general work, and he knows it. He is enlightened by the illumination of first principles; and thus through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, he has escaped the pollutions of the world, and from those who live in error. He is a partaker of the Holy Ghost by a divine gift, and thus he may talk as an angel, know the letter of mysteries, remove mountains, and by zeal, give his body to be burned to attain the name of a martyr! He tastes the good word of God in conditional promises, of the heavenly gift by faith, hope, and joy: and also of the powers of the world to come.

Here then is a pure legal call, and the standing it gives (as a servant) in the house of God, in its visible form. Such is the calling by which many are called, who, nevertheless are not chosen to eternal salvation; and hence, with all the knowledge

they possess, they know nothing in a saving
and new covenant way, any further than
the letter. In this they may be very sound
and positive; but they lack the grace that
softens and humbles; they want the savour;
they want the real spiritual life and
power. But still, as vessels of wood, and
of earth, they endure for a while, and then
like their father Ishmael, they are cast out,
even as they are appointed. As servants
they are hired till the year of Jubilee, when
they willingly go out; for they now wilfully
persecute the heirs of promise, and thus
reject Christ the one offering; and they
will find no other. The jubilee liberty is
come to some who are cast into the vineyard,
and these are provoked; they have spied out
that liberty, and they hate it. Some one
or more of the little Isaacs are come to their
weaning and feasting days, and these bond
children put forth the finger and mock.
But now comes forth the mandate of the
covenant of grace; Cast out the bond
woman and her son." And now even by
the true Abraham they are thrust forth,
and he saith: "Depart from me, ye workers
of iniquity, I know you not.”
they go out from us, because they are not
of us. They have gone in the way of Cain,
and hated their brethren; (see Isaiah, lxvi.
5.) in the way of Esau, and sold their birth-
right; in the way of Korah, and gainsayed
the gospel; and in the way of Balaam, and
preached error; and their last estate, like
that of Saul, is worse than the first.

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thus

Now, doubtless, it will appear strange, if I say, that even thus are the saints called! but, bless God, none of them thus fall away. But my meaning is, that they all pass under the same legal change, which stands as a shell to a more special work. Many in writing their experience, lay down things, which, however striking, are common to the bond-child, and hence, no evidence, no proof of the genuinness of the work. For, as we are all constituted under the covenant of works, so we all come under the moral force of its precepts; and thus equally with the bond-child, we have a legal call from the Lord, and by this, we engage to serve, and as servants in the visible church we stand; but then we have another call super-added, and this:

IV. We find to be an effectual call. And this is heard and responded to by those alone, who are quickened in a super-natural and new covenant way, as none but the elect are; and it is internal and saving; it is spiritual and heavenly; it proceeds from everlasting love, and is a proof of sovereign choice. And by this call we become manifestly the elect; the chosen to eternal life; the gift of the Father to the Son; the charge of the Son to the Holy Ghost the Comforter. And this Holy Ghost we receive as the spirit of adoption bearing witness with our hearts that we are born of God. And under this special and secret teaching, the covenant of grace is opened up before us, and line upon line is made plain to our understanding, and written

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upon our hearts. By virtue of this effec-overflows, and the ark-his church-still tual call, we strive; we agonize to enter the rests on the mount of eternal and imstraight gate; the new and living way con- mutable love. Thus we may still shout, secrated for us; and by power given us, and ask Who shall separate us from the we enter into life, into liberty, into joy; love of Christ ? Shall tribulation? &c. and thus we are no longer servants, but sons; Nay, in all things we are more than conno longer under legal tutors and governors, querers through him that loved us.' My but are possessors of our own estate in Christ dear brother, God's love in our election, has Jesus. And we are now come to that stand- been opened up in effectual calling, and ing which no bond-child can possess; for whom he calls he justifies, and whom he as they were not chosen, or ordained to justifies he will glorify. For, he is the this end, so have they not received power rock, his work is perfect,' and 'he worketh to become the sons of God in this saving all things after the counsel of his own will,' way. They could indeed accompany us and therefore hath he saved us, and called up to the gate of righteousness, but there us, not according to our works, but accordthey must be left behind, while we go for- ing to his own purpose and grace which ward into heights and depths, and explore was given us in Christ Jesus before the the rest that remains for the saints. They world began.' And this grace hath been, might indeed have been called before us, and still is, and ever will be sufficient for and even exceeded us in gifts; but now us; and every trial allotted us here bethe first are become last, and the last first. low, I believe grace was given us in Christ They murmur at the good man of the house, according thereto. God's people are called, and turn away in wrath; they rebel, they a nation meted out,' then nothing can persecute, and are cast out; while he who come by chance; no, all appointed were is effectually called overcomes, and eats of by him;' and he that appointed the trials the fruit of the tree of life; he is comforted of his children, appointed their duration by its sweet shadow, and his soul is re- and their end, and gave them grace in Christ freshed from the presence of the Lord, in accordingly, God doth with the temptation which is the fulness of joy; and at whose make a way for the tried soul's escape, right hand, with Christ Jesus, are pleasures though I often find, as Elihu said to Job, for evermore. 'Now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth and cleanseth them,' But, blessed be the Lord, he does give me at times to see that all things are working together for goodworking together-so that you see there is a harmony, no discord, no jar, all is in perfect unison with God's will and pleasure; and I believe he does nothing in time; but what he had before determined to do. My path, since the Lord called me to speak in his dear name, has been a trying one, especially at the outset; but I do believe, as much as I believe I am a dying man, that God sent me to Greenford, in order to break up the little church there, on account of their ways and doings being sinful in Jehovah's sight, though I have no doubt but there were some precious souls there. Although at the time it was a heavy trial to me, yet God hath given me to discover since, that out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong man came forth sweetness; therefore, I would not have had things different from what they have been; for trials have brought, and still do bring me to the feet of Jesus. I am often very much tried now in my soul in studying God's Word; I often read, and pray, and try to think, but seem to get nothing, sometimes hardly the text: I go up to God's house on the Sabbath trembling, and sometimes I tremble and shake all the time I am reading and praying, and yet to my great astonishment, when I have taken my text, the Lord has opened such a field that the hour for speaking has appeared to be only a few minutes, and the truth delivered has been so sweet and precious to my soul, that my cup has run over, and I have had to bless the Lord for his thus withholding

Thus then we see somewhat of an effectual call, as differing from the other three; and to make the distinction more clear, more might be said, but the above must suffice. I am, my dear Editor, Brenchley, Oct., 11, 1848. W. C. P.

Ministerial Correspondence.

Cuckfield August, 1848.

MY DEAR BROTHER IN THE ONE LORD:
I return you many thanks for the epistle
you sent me, and I would that my cup were
full and running over like unto your's. I
bless the Lord, the giver of all good for
what he has done, and is doing for you,
that while troubles, trials, and afflictions
abound on the one hand, peace, comfort,
and consolation superabound on the other.
It is our mercy that we have to do with
him who is of one mind, and none can turn
him, so that nothing can make him his
purpose forego; therefore, we may sing
with the poet-

Though cisterns be broken,
And creatures all fail;
The word he has spoken,
Shall surely prevail.

Those sweet words of John have been a great help to me, and still are, 'He that cometh from heaven is above all;' in his person, his love, his wisdom, his power, his grace, his faithfulness, his constancy, and as he hath said, 'Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world,' what need we fear what man can do unto us? Our Lord is above the world, sin, death, and hell. His precious blood all mountains

the spring until the time of speaking; but these trying seasons have been humbling opportunities. I often think that if I were to feel such liberty of thought as you do in laying out a subject, my heart is so sinful it would soon be puffed up with pride, therefore, I see, at times, that in this thing also,

My Jesus hath done all things well. I had a good day, last Sabbath; morning text, 'Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.' Afternoon,' Behold he is to thee a covering of the eyes.' Evening, Job xiv. 10; a funeral sermon. Our little Bethel was like a hive of bees, so crowded. The young man that died was one that the Lord had blessed my poor labours to; he stood proposed for baptism, and (like David with respect to building the temple,) it was well that it was in his heart, though not permitted to follow the Lord through it. We have one more stands for the ordinance; so I find, (as Mr. Stringer said at your anniversary,) that they come not by twenties, but by ones and twos. This I do believe, that all the chosen of the Father, and redeemed by the Son, shall be quickened by the Spirit, and when he hath a soul to quicken and make alive he can do it without the help of man, therefore, though the preacher be what the world calls a fool, God can speak through him to the heart of the sinner. I often tell the Lord, that if any good is done at our little Bethel he is the doer thereof; and shall have all the praise. I need not say to you, my dear brother, pray for me, for I feel confident you do, and I trust I also pray for you, and sympathise with you in your joys and sorrows. May the Lord graciously give you a still larger measure of his Holy Spirit, as a Sprit of life, light, wisdom, grace and love, to enable you to live above either the frowns or smiles of mortal man, and to be determined not to know anything among men, save Jesus Christ and him crucified,

Mrs. A. joins with me in love to self, Mrs. S., and family.

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To Mr. STENSON.

E. ARNOLD,

to satan and all evil-or to Jesus and all the glory of his work, they fail not of their accomplishment, no, not in the least iota thereof: well may we therefore exclaim, when contemplating his wondrous works and wisely ordered ways,

How deep his counsels, how divine !

The glorious Lord in whom we trust, and of whom (as our peace, preserver, portion, and praise,) we may boldly say, 'he is all our salvation and all our desire;' designed wherefore, and determined when we should come into the world, how we should be delivered from it, raised above it, have the victory over it, be conducted safely, though apparently strangely, through it, and at last be carried far beyond it

Far, far beyond the skies we see

Up to the glories of his throne,
We shall ascend, and with him be,
Who loves and claims us as his own.

I have been recently speaking of 'the sons of God,' enlarging on the following important points, all of which may be fully sustained, and abundantly illustrated by the Lord' the Spirit shall be graciously Scripture, observation, and experience, as pleased to instruct us. First, that they were set apart by love in the council-settlements of wisdom ere time began. Secondly, that they are sought out by kindness in the day and way of the Lord's appointment. Thirdly, that they are separated, by power, from the world of the ungodly. Fourthly, that they are saved by grace. Fifthly, that they are sanctified by faith. Sixthly, that that they are willingly subjected to the they are strengthened by mercy, Seventhly, authority of Christ. Eighthly, that they serve him in true holiness. Ninthly, that they seek him with humbleness of mind. Tenthly, that they are satisfied with his favour. Eleventhly, that they are sur rounded with his faithfulness. Twelfthly, that they are sealed for glory. Thirteenthly, that they sigh for home. And lastly, that they sing of mercy and judgment for ever

and ever.

MY DEAR BROTHER IN BONDS:-Blessed be the name of the Lord who has removed the galling yoke of bondage from our necks; by whom the days of our captivity and darkness are all numbered, and by whom, also, the days of our sorrow and sighing shall be ended, when he shall have perfected all the good pleasure of his will, which he purposed in himself concerning us and our salvation. The Holy Ghost has blessedly tutored your mind in the delightful truth that the designs and determinations of the eternal God, are all infinitely perfect and inconceivably glorious,

We also noticed the four following sure signs of being the sons of God-the saints of God-the servants of God-the sealed of God-viz., these 1st, they tremble at his word. 2nd, they trust in his word. 3rd, they are tried by his word. And, 4th, they triumphthrough his word. Hence, they overcome all opposing powers whatsoever name they may bear, or from whatsoever quarter they may arise, through the blood of the Lamb, and the word of his testimony. And therefore, do they continue to plead his word earnestly, to prove his word experimentally, to prize his word exceedingly, and shall praise his word eternally.

My dear brother, having carefully read your kind letter, which I received with

Whether those designs and determinations have respect to worms and all creep-heart-felt gratitude to God, who has so ing things-to sparrows and all flying fowls blessedly imbued your mind with his holy -to sheep and all cattle-to infants and truth, and having reflected thereon, I have all mankind-to devils and all damned gathered therefrom five or six particulars. spirits to angels and all ransomed spirits

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First, that you are made to review the

First, that as ministers of God, our reliance must be upon him for strength supply, and success. Secondly, that our reception must be from him of life, light, and liberty. Thirdly, that our remembrance must be of him as our rock, refuge, and rest. Fourthly, that our rejoicing must be in him as our portion, preserver, and praise.

wondrous way in which the dear Lord has | all your confidence, and build all your exgraciously led you, without desire to re-pectations upon him from whom you retrace your steps. Go forward, having your ceived your call, commission, and credenloins girt with truth. Secondly, that you tials; and aim to bring all your conclusions delight to rehearse the righteous acts of the to bear analogy with his heavenly counsel. Most High, without regretting that his Never suffer yourself to be charged with judgments have been executed, as well as willingly concealing any part of God's his mercies exercised, in order to declare truth, but conscientiously deliver that meshis righteousness. Humble yourself under sage, and declare that testimony, which the mighty hand of God, and he shall exalt requires no other defence than the sacred you in righteousness. Thirdly, that you authority under which, and the solemn are led to remember the earlier days of spirit in which, you act. Let me suggest your ministry at Greenford without re- to your thoughtful mind, the propriety of penting or repining, that you were there frequently recurring to the four following made instrumentally a destroyer, (but not axioms:-of men's lives) rather than a deliverer. May you be unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. Fourthly, that you desire to record the goodness of the Lord, in that your ministry at Cuckfield is made efficient to the salvation of sinners, as also to the edification and consolation of believers, through the abundant supply of the Spirit of God, and that without any re- Remember me affectionately to your joicing in the flesh, Give unto the Lord spouse. Peace be with you both, from God the glory due unto his holy name, hav-our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, by ing continual respect unto the honours the inwrought operations of the Holy Ghost of his throne. Fifthly, that you have upon your heart, enabling you from thence hitherto realised the helping hand of God to draw living water of lasting consolation. upon you, in proportion as your reliance I must now conclude by reminding you has been upon him; the happy result of that felt weakness in self: and faith working in Christ. Cease not to cast all your care upon him, whose eye is not dim, whose ear is not heavy, whose arm is not shortened, whose hand is not weakened, whose heart is not weary, whose mind is not changed, whose love is not lessened. Sixthly, that you are kept resting on, and rejoicing in covenant love, atoning blood, and almighty power, inasmuch as the glories thereof have been opened up in your lengthened and deepened experience of the power that first spake life into your soul, of the blood which sprinkled upon your conscience, brought salvation nigh, and set your soul on high, and of the love which, shed abroad in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, destroyed tormenting fear, and causeth continual thanksgivings to the all-glorious, and everblessed Three-one Jehovah.

May you, my beloved brother, be kept honest-hearted, humble-minded, daily feeling your own nothingness, and hourly proving the preciousness of Christ as being made of God unto you wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, yea, your all in all.

Preach Christ Jesus, my brother, with all the renewed powers of your soul subjected to the high authority and good pleasure of his holy will; preach him fairly-that is fully, freely, and wholly; preach him faithfully-that is constantly and everywhere the same; preach him firmly-that is without hesitation or fear; preach him as a dying man-to dying men; as a living man-to living men; and as a sinner saved -to sinners saved. Make no more nor less of Christ in your ministry, than the Holy Ghost makes him in your experience. Base

When all our enemies are slain
And we the promised land obtain,
Our joys will be complete ;
We there shall see his lovely face,
Whose beauties here we love to trace,
In whom all glories meet.

May we indeed in him be found,

When the archangel's trump shall sound,
To call us from the dead;
Then, in a never-ending song,

We'll praise with all the ransom'd throng,
Our resurrection Head.

That the Lord God Almighty may abundantly and lastingly bless you, is the

prayer of

Your brother and lover in the Lord,
JOHN STENSON,

Chelsea, Sept. 8, 1848.

"It is the hold which Christ hath of us,

and the rooting which we have in him, by which we are confirmed. Israel, the people of God, is said, 'to grow as the lily, and to cast forth his roots like Lebanon.' The trees of Lebanon are high, and spread out their branches, but they are also deeply rooted, they have as much under ground as above, they have as much hold in the earth as they have shew in the air. As the saints grow up and spread forth their branches, so they grow down and cast out their roots like Lebanon; so that the winds and storms which shake

them, do indeed but settle them. It is the goodness of the root which at once makes them fruitful, and makes them firm: he that stands by this strength shall stand, and he that is fruitful by these roots shall be fruitful still, and bring forth more fruit in age. The righteous shall hold on his way.'” —Caryll,

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