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The Banquetting House:
WHAT IT IS-AND HOW A REDEEMED SOUL IS BROUGHT INTO IT.
[During a recent affliction, I was induced to peruse at intervals a work entitled-' The Drawings of Everlasting Love made known in the conscience of a sinner.' By JOHN WADE. And, truly I can say, I found it to be a very solemn, yet blessed testimony of what I fear thousands of professors know nothing; but of which most of the real sheep of Christ shall sooner or later, (in a greater or lesser degree) realise in their own souls. Passing over the very lengthened account which our beloved brother gives of his deep travail of soul, temptations, and conflicts, I only furnish my reader with a part of the account which he gives us of coming into liberty- -a point in divine experience so little preached, because so little known in these days of cold formality, empty hypocrisy, and vain, pretended pulpit humility. Reader! in this book thou hast DEATH and LIFE clearly and spiritually traced out. Read it for thyself; and if it prove a mirror to thy soul, and a confirmation to thy experience being divine, happy art thou!-ED.]
Or his happy deliverance, he thus writes :"Now for the eternal glorious it that came to pass, in my instance-no powers that I possess can describe the mercy-I will, as the Lord shall enable me, simply relate it to the Lord's glory, as a testimony to his truth, and for the comfort of his people, as the Lord has appointed. It came to pass, on the eleventh of May, 1829, (Ezekiel xxiv. 1,) that I arose from family prayer (if it might be called prayer) with my heart if possiblemore insensible than ever. I went immediately alone to the Lord, and simply asked him if he ever had any purposes of love or mercy to me, if he pleased, to make it manifest? In about half an hour after, I was called out to work. While I was at my work, these words were darted with sweet power across my mind-' GOD THE FATHER'S LOVE!' which much astonished my soul. I cried in my heart, 'What is it, Lord?' Astonished at the relief I felt, I wondered whatever it could mean, as they were not the exact words of Scripture. In about half an hour after, as I returned home, which was about half-past nine, these words were spoken to my heart, By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified; for, both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.'
"The light and power that flowed into my soul with these words, broke assunder my
fetters, and revealed to me the great mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh.' The Lord Jesus Christ, in my nature, bearing my sins in his own body on the tree this wrought the sweetest melting, mourning, and rejoicing as can never be described. O the sweet overpowering love, the precious love of Christ! How wouderful! how astonishing! so richly and freely poured into such a wretched, rebellious, polluted, and guilty poor, disconsolate, soul. O the sweet embracings of soul as in the very arms of Jesus; and Jesus pressed to and clasped to my heart as my beloved, together lovely!' Here I lost all my inward my chief one among ten thousand, and alsecret dread of the wrath of God; all my terrors, bondage, fears, darkness; and all and put away by the sacrifice of himself. He my sin completely and for ever pardoned finished the transgression, made an end of sin, and made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought into my soul everlasting righteousness. And what gave still more sweetness to the mercy, and fixed it with double firmness and delight to my heart, was the delightful power which came with these words, It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.' Col. i. 19. Oh! the sweet and delightful opening as into the very heart of God the Father, and the overflowing of his everlasting love to my heart. Not persuaded to it by my prayers, &c. but of his own good will and pleasure chose me in Christ, blessed me in Christ, adopted me by Christ, and accepted me in Christ, 'to the praise of the glory of his grace.""
"No pen or language can describe that experience when the rejoicing of the Lord is very graciously felt and enjoyed in the soul."
"Here I am constrained to leave the subject, as I have no words or ability to set forth all that passed between the Lord and my soul, under these divine manifestations. It was indeed a 'joy unspeakable and full of glory,' a love which passeth knowledge,' and a 'peace which passeth all understanding.' As it was under the curse and wrath of God, revealed in my conscience in a broken law, so in the divine manifestations of Christ by the Holy Ghost, my poor nature could not have borne up under it; had not the Lord, who weigheth' the path of the just,' weighed out both judgment and mercy, and also weighed out strength in both. This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,' before we shall be able to bear that 'exceeding and eternal weight of glory;' and 'see him as he is.'"
"After about three weeks it pleased the Lord to close the communion for the present, and my comforts declined; the Comforter withdrew, and left me with an aching heart."
The Watchman's Complaint-and his Expostulation.
BRETHREN-This is an age of but little mighty through God, to the pulling union and communion; it is an age of down strong holds; and satan's strongscattering and division among both na- est hold is in our carnal hearts and fleshly tions and churches. The nations are minds; therefore, with the weapons of divided one against another, scattering the holy word, prayer, and faith, we must and destroying one another-and people endeavour to pull down proud, vile, deprofessing religion appear to be under ceitful self, and mortify our members the same unhappy influence. It appears which are on the earth; and be assured that satan is come down unto us, having if we know anything of ourselves we great wrath, because he knows that he shall have work enough against this hath but a short time. But, holy breth- great citadel, 'satan's strong hold' in our ren, partakers of the heavenly calling, flesh. And we must in this fight have let us consider one another not to pro- weapons only from the King's armoury voke one another, to anger, envy, and house,' where there are a thousand strife, but rather to provoke unto love bucklers, all shields of mighty men.' and good works; for, if others do wrong, Song iv. 4. Therefore our weapons must it is no ground for us to go upon, nor be something stronger than the pikes license for us to do wrong. He that and blunderbusses of the poor Irish redoth wrong shall suffer for the wrong, pealers, or English Chartists; for we and there is no respect of persons with wrestle not with flesh and blood, but God; viz., God loves and respects his with principalities and powers, and spipeople above all the nations of the earth, ritual wickedness in high places. Satan but he doth not respect one of them is a high, proud spirit though he is conmore than another; nor prefer one be- signed to a low place at last; and indeed fore another: they are all loved with he has some high places, and spiritual the same love everlasting love in wickedness too, in our high, proud, Christ Jesus. And as we have known wicked, and deceitful hearts. And these the love of God, let us endeavour to are high places that we must be enlive in love; for God is love,' and he deavouring to throw down, and pull that liveth and dwelleth in love, dwelleth down about satan's ears. O we parsons! in God, and God dwelleth in him. See parsons! parsons! when shall we set that ye love one another with a pure about throwing down the high places of heart fervently. 'Marvel not if the world mystical Baal, and pulling down the hate you.' It hated Jesus when here in strong hold in ourselves? Do ye indeed, the flesh; and as we are the followers of (who profess to be the followers of Jesus Jesus, it must hate us, it cannot love us, and Paul) wrestle with spiritual wickedbecause we are not of the world, even as ness in yourselves?-Spiritual pride, he was not of this world. The world is conceit, and vain glory? Are ye going not our home, we are only travelling about to pull down the strong holds in through it to the world of love, where others, and set them up in yourselves? 'we shall never die any more.' Or in some others that will flatter you, and puff you up for a great man? And thus seek flattery for flattery, and 'honor one of another,' and have 'men's persons in admiration because of advantage,' flattering proud pharisees, and covetous oppressors, and bless the coveteous whom the Lord abhorreth.' Ah, that is 'spiritual wickedness in high places,' and one of satan's strong holds in this day. O! ye godly ministers of Christ's gospel! set about pulling down these strong holds, and throwing down these high places! These are the altars of Baal in our times! And Baal priests are many, who justify the wicked for reward, and make the heart of the righteous sad, 'whom the H H
The nations of the world are fighting for trifles-that which vanishes away. If we must fight, it should not be with one another; it should be the good fight of faith' against vile self, hell, sin, and satan; and for a crown that fadeth not away, a crown of righteousness and glory to which we are heirs, and joint heirs with Christ.' And when the Holy Ghost bears witness with our spirits that we are the Lord's, by his inward anointings and comforts, it makes us bold to fight the good fight of faith in the name and strength of the great Captain of our salvation. But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and
Lord hath not made sad.' Let us not be | communications corrupt good manners.' mingled among the heathen and learn A man cannot be long in evil company their ways. That which we see to be without being evil affected; you must evil in others, let us watch it in ourselves. either honestly resist the evil, or be parWatch and pray, lest we enter into takers of the evil; you must either offend, temptation; and by help from the Most or be offended. Be not partakers of High, endeavour to wrestle against this other men's sins.' Where there is rail'spiritual wickedness in high places.' And ing, evil speaking, whispering, and backif we must fight, we shall find work biting, there is nothing good to be enough at home, without going with the learned; from such turn away; and turn mob in the nation, backbiting our breth- to your bible in retirement, and seek the ren, or killing our neighbours, or railing Lord by prayer and meditation. 'Jesus on our Queen. saith, learn of me, I am meek and lowly, and ye shall find rest to your souls.' You will learn more true religion in one hour's communion with the Lord, than you will in a month with all the so-called, great preachers in England. Your father's house is your home, and Jesus' bosom is your resting place, and the Holy Ghost is your comforter. Look for but little comfort or peace anywhere beside. These are not days for much_communion with men, seek it with the Lord. Preachers are become heady, high-minded, jealous of one another, jealous of their own glory. Jesus is lowly. It is better to dwell with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.'
Oh! this is a sad day of strife, among both political and religious bodies; and even those who profess the truth are divided into sections; and when they assemble in private, the chief topic of conversation is, 'slandering their own mother's sons.' I have known some go hundreds of miles, slandering their brethren. And if a brother has had a fall, or a broken bone, instead of endeavourto bind up his wounds, and wash one another's feet, (as Christ gave us commandment,) they have raked together all the dirt they could find to defile him more, mixed with some falsehood of their own. Depend upon it my brethren, satan is present in all such parties; the old accuser of the brethren is there; and the Spirit of the Lord withdraws, and leaves them to their own way and wickedness, and ultimately their own mischief falls upon their own pate. He that diggeth a pit for his neighbour shall fall into it himself.'
'When the sons of God met together, (it is said that) satan came amongst them.' And do you think satan is grown old, and cannot go out visiting now in these days? Not he. There is scarcely a teaparty, or a social meeting among professors of religion, or among the sons of God but that he is there intruding, and perhaps invited by some of the guests. But sometimes he is so extremely religious and polite in his way that one would scarcely think it is he, he has so many dresses and masks of disguise, but malice is covered up under all; and if in conversation and communion of saints the room is not full with the breath of the Spirit, and the savour of Jesus's
'Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,' you cannot be at home in such company. 'Come out from among them.' You are only at home in your Father's house, in the presence of Jesus, and holding communion with saints. Then, let us, who know the love of God, and the fatness of our Father's house, be 'laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envies, and evil speak-name, you will soon smell satan's offenings, and, as new-born babes, desire the sive breath; and if there is a jealous sincere milk of the word, that ye may parson there, most likely you will smell grow thereby.' 1 Pet. ii. 1. 'Grow in satan's breath there first; the names of grace, in which you were born from some ministers may be brought up in above, and in the knowledge of our Lord conversation, and spoke well of by some and Saviour, Jesus Christ;' and by others, who have been comforted under drawing from the breasts of the conso- their preaching, out comes the devil, in lation of the gospel, you will grow up railing, backbiting, and accusations, and from babes to strong men in Christ, and the poor dupe, made satan's agent, will become fathers in Israel to instruct others go many years back but that he will rake in the knowledge of Christ; to know up some dirt to blacken his brother him as your life, strength, righteousness, preacher; and if any godly sober-minded sanctification, and redemption. 'Evil men are in the company, they feel hurt,
and their countenances fall, and a gloom
is just now before the public, and will be
know not what I should do but for the
poor depraved mortal, and at times my soul is very heavily laden with sin and foul corruptions. Yes sir, these inbred things are my tormentors, and under them I suffer much, and should yet suffer more, but for that grace which so freely flows from the slaughtered Lamb. By this grace I am helped along and made to hope in a covenant God for better things, and for more sweet and permanent rest in a world to come, than can be obtained on these
May the Lord draw us again out of troubled waters, and from evil things, and evil men, into his presence chamber, to enjoy the light of his countenance, and live in his love for ever.
Then they may fight, and rage, and rave,
When rattling thunders round us roar.
PASSING REMARKS ON
The Present State of Things.
OF NEW YORK, BY JAMES OSBOurn. Sept. 22, 1848. MY DEAR BROTHER:-Grace be with you. I am still alive and well, only almost broken down by preaching so much. I am now in the ancient city of Peterborough, in Northamptonshire; it is a bishop's see, and it hath a cathedral, which in ancient days was a monastery; it is seated on the river Nen, over which is a bridge, leading into Huntingdonshire; it is eighty-one miles N. of London; and but a few miles from here, (an hour's ride,) Dr. Gill was born, raised, and married. I have been here several times before now to preach; but to preach last night, and next Sunday, I came yesterday, and intend leaving here for London on the 26th inst.
My calls to preach are still many, more than I can attend to. I expect to remain in England till spring. A new edition of my Building of Mercy (one-thousand copies)
I have home, eternal home in view, and expect, ere long, there to arrive, and many others with me; 'some on boards, and some of us on broken pieces;' and so it will come to pass, after awhile, that we shall escape the dangers of the tempestuous ocean, and land safe on the continent of glory, where, without a veil between,' we shall see the King in his beauty;' and One also shall we behold exalted on a great white throne,' who once stood condemned at Pilate's bar. O my soul, think on home, thy happy home, for which place thou hast so frequently and so ardently panted; and of which home also thou hast received so many sweet and exhilarating foretastes and prepossessions! I say, I am looking out for, and fully expecting this home soon. It cannot be far away, according to the course of nature. Through the mercy of God, I at present have no scruples on my mind concerning finishing my course with joy,' and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus Christ with a All is well! And indeed, all must needs be well with those whose life is hid with Christ in God,' and who are brought to live a life of faith on him, and to walk in the truth, and in love, and in the light of the glorious gospel, for he is the ark of safety to all pilgrims bound for Jerusalem above. I can find no real peace, rest, comfort, nor safety, but in him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore. The world hath no charms with me; my treasure is in heaven, and there. I trust, are the most of my thoughts, and I
wish they were all there, for there are things pleasant to behold; things to make one forget his poverty, and to remember his misery no more; and things they are to make people healthy, and wealthy, and wise. They are durable things also; things which fade not, neither pass they away, but maintain their prime they will so long as immortality endures.
These things, these heavenly things which I now allude to, appear to me, at times, as if they were very near at hand, and also very bright and sparkling, and then do I sing for joy of heart, and call all these heavenly things mine: and much, yes, very much has my little soul seen, and felt, and enjoyed of these precious things, since I have sojourned in this, my native land; and should we live to meet again, there will be much to talk about in reference to my visit to this country, and of the many strange people and things which have come before my eyes and ears in Old England, not forgetting to make honourable mention of the vast many kind friends, and the extraordinary courtesy, liberality, sympathy, and christian respect and tenderness, which I have met with, and received since here I have been; nor shall I dare to leave untold some of the sweet and soul-refreshing seasons we have had together in different chapels and private houses.
But, my brother, be it known unto you, this is a land of much smoke; and it is increasing, and it will increase, for clouds, and frightful clouds are gathering together from round about, and churchmen and dissenters are pretty much in one and the same predicament; but the latter claim a superiority of condition, and perhaps in some things it may be so, but it is to be feared that the core is the same. Here is some light, however, but nothing like what I expected to have seen. Indeed, where most life, light, and liberty was expected by me to be seen, there my disappointment has been by far the greatest. But more of this when we meet together in New York City, where we have often talked things over again and again: and there also have we rejoiced in God our Saviour.
Whether you recollect it or not, is more than I can say; but when we first became acquainted with each other is now over twenty-five years ago; and many things and persons in the shape of religion, and religionists have we seen since then, not worth a groat. And also, did we not in those days, and at that time, spend many happy hours together till midnight in talking on subjects which make for peace and everlasting joy? And whither are those divine joys fled to? You, perhaps will be ready to reply to my question by saying, 'Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? Is this the voice of my
George? If so, then, where art thou my brother? Hast thou, since my first acquaintance with thee been carried away captive and made to endure hard things? And also made to suffer from the loss of those drops of the night, and the dew with which thy head and locks used to be bathed? Dear George, hast thou, for I want to know, hast thou, then, lost sight of the ancient land marks, and hence, wandered from mountain to hill, and found no resting place? If this be thy condition, my soul feels for thee; and if I can pray for Zion, I can also pray for George the wanderer; for long ere I knew thee, all about the mountains, and hills, and deserts, and dreary places of which in Scripture we read, I have roamed half starved, and half dead. Yes, sir, I am quite well acquainted with the swelling of Jordan, and with the correction of stocks, and with the prison houses, and with the waters of Marah, and with the secret places of thunder; but at present my foot standeth in an even place. Jer. xii. 5; Prov. vi. 22; Isa. xlii, 22; Exo. xv. 23; Psa. lxxxi. 7; and xxvi, 12.
But where will this rhapsody find you? I hope at the foot of the cross; and that you, since we were last together, four years ago, at times are enabled to realize Christ to be your rock, and refuge, and the only foundation stone on which to build your hope of eternal happiness. A precious Saviour is this rock and refuge to my poor tried and tempted soul. In difficulties great, and when in very troubled waters, I have found him to be unto me all that I have really craved, wanted, or wished for; and hence you will, I trow, bear with me in calling him a precious Saviour. I have sometimes thought that if my opposers knew, felt, and enjoyed, even but one half of the blessings of Christ, and the comforts of the gospel, which the Lord is pleased to indulge my soul with from time to time, how very differently they would think, and talk, and write of me from what they now do. I pity them, while they in wrath come out against me. Methinks no one would be worse off than myself in case I had no Saviour to take care of me; for my ignorance and weakness is such that an enemy might knock me down with a feather; but as God is with me and is my defence, no man can knock me down.
The three sisters, (you know who they are,) I hope are yet alive, and Miss Eliza I hope is enjoying better health than when I was with them all the last time. I hope too that God is with them still, and that he will be with them, and bless them, and do them good, and keep them from all evils, and feed their souls with the bread of life, so that they may be fat and flourishing in the courts of our Lord's house, which house is an honourable place of abode, and happy they whose station is here, and whose God is the Lord. Do try to remember me before God, and ask of him favours for yourselves. My principal home in England is, 'No. 50,