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striking and startling than the appalling and terrible passiveness with which God as man submitted, for our sakes, his incarnate body to all the horrors and tortures of the crucifixion. But our wonderment at the stupendous sacrifice only increases when we reflect that, whilst thus enduring for our sins the most cruel and agonising form of corporeal death, he was ultimately "slain.” not by the effects of the anguish of his corporeal frame, but by the effects of the mightier anguish of his mind; the fleshy walls of his heart-like the veil, as it were, in the temple of his human body-becoming rent and riven, as for us, “ He poured out his soul unto death ; "-" the travail of his soul” in that awful hour thus standing out as unspeakably bitterer and more dreadful than even the travail of his body.
Believe me, my dear Dr. Hanna, ever sincerely yours, Edinburgh, May 1, 1862.
J. Y. SIMPSON, M.D.
The Book of the Revelation,
UAINT old Joseph Hall has the following remarks upon the Apocalypse, which strike us as being not more pithy than true.
When a man sets himself up as one who is thoroughly able to loose the seals, we expect to hear from him next from Bedlam or Hanwell :
“ If there be any deeps in Divine Scripture wherein the elephant may swim, they are surely to be found in the Book of the Revelation; wherein many great wits have both exercised and lost themselves.
“ Arias Montanus, that learned Spaniard, whose labours are famous for that noble edition of the whole Sacred Volume of God, when he comes to illustrate the Revelation with his Commentary, shames himself with his improbable glosses; and, by his ridiculous abstracts, moves both the wonder and pity of the judicious of either religion. Castellio, whose elegant and painful version of both Testaments hath wont to pass with the learned for an useful paraphrase, when he comes to this Book of the Revelation, is not ashamed to pass a non intelligo upon it. Master Junius, though given to this last age for a great light to the Holy Text, yet professes himself in many of these mysteries to be in the dark : and no marvel, when Diodati grants that there are some parts of this book still reserved under God's secret seal; the explication whereof is utterly uncertain. And, amongst ourselves here at home, one,* whom no man will envy the reputation of one of the greatest clerks in his age, when a plain man came seriously to him, and asked his opinion concerning an obscure passage in that book, answered, · My friend, I am not come so far.'
“Yet, I know not how it comes to pass, such is the nature of our inbred curiosity, that there is no book of the whole Scripture wherein men are so apt to spend both their time and judgment: like as every man is apt to try his strength in lifting at an over-heavy weight, and to offer at the string of that bow which is much too strong for him to draw.
"Whereupon have issued those strange obtortions of some particular prophecies to private interests. Mr. Brightman, a learned and godly divine, thinks to find, not England only, but Cecil and Walsingham there. A Belgic doctor, in the Synod of Dort, thought to find Grave Maurice there. Joannes. Brocardus thinks to find Venice there: and a grave divine, whose name I will spare, was so confident to find the Palatinate there, both in the loss and recovery of it, as that he would needs present his thoughts to the judicious eyes of King James himself, with small thanks for bis labour. Neither wanted there some that made full account to find the late victorious Gustavus Adolphus therein plainly designed. As if the blessed Apostle, now in his Patmos, overlooking all the vast continent betwixt us, should have had his thoughts taken up with our petty occurrences in this other side of the world. What, should I tell how many, both of our own and foreign divines, have baffled and shamed themselves in predefining, out of their mistaken constructions, the utmost period of the world ; and have confidently set God a day for his Final Judgment!
* Dr. Andrews, Bishop of Winchester.
* As for this place* which we have in hand, how rocky and shelvy it is, appears too well in those ribs of splitted vessels which lie still scattered on the sands.
"Not that I think the opinion of our new Chiliasts so deadly and pernicious in itself, as to make shipwreck of their own or others faith. Far be it from me to be guilty of so much uncharity, as to lay so deep a charge upon my fellow Christians: for, what prejudice is it to me, if the souls of Martyrs get the start of me, in resuming their bodies a thousand years before me, if, in the meanwhile, my soul be at rest in a paradise of bliss ? And what can it import any man's salvation, to determine whether the saints reign with Christ on earth or in heaven; while I know that, in either, they are happy ? Surely, in its own terms, the tenet seems to carry no great appearance of offence.
“But all the danger is in that train of strange paradoxes and uncouth consequences, which it draws in after it specified in the following discourse : and in the ill uses that are made too commonly of it, by some ill-advised and mistaken clients. Whereof some,t vainly imagining this reign of the saints already begun, cast off Scriptures and ordinances as utterly useless, and please themselves in a concerted fruition of their happy kingdom, and an immediate conversation with the King of glory. Others, construing all mutations wbich befall the church, as either the harbingers or several stages of their Saviour's approach to his new kingdom and theirs, applaud themselves in their immment and already descried glory ; rejoicing to tell us how far he is on his way; and, lest we should appeal to our own eyes in so important a case, tell us that this object is not for our discerning, but for qualified persons only; men, not like the ordinary sort of professors, who are of a low, poor, pusillanimous spirit, but for such only as are deeply engaged in the church's cause, and sharers in her troubles and sorrows: whereas, certainly, if those which suffer most may be allowed to be the most quick-sighted, it may easily be known whose eyes we may best trust for intelligence. Hence have followed heavy censures and harsh entertainments, of the otherwise affected ; and an insultation upon dissenting brethren, as the oppressed and down-trodden enemies of this kingdom of Christ.
“I desire not to aggravate either these or any other inconveniences, which do usually attend this opinion : as one that wishes rather to heal than to corrode the public sores.
“Let me, therefore, pre-engage my reader not to mistake my discourse or my intentions. For my part, I am persuaded in my soul, that the coming of our Saviour is near at hand: and that, before that great day, God hath decreed and will yet effect a more happy and flourishing condition of his church here on earth than we yet see ; which I do humbly pray for, and hopefully expect; ambitiously suing to my God that my poor endeavours might be thought worthy to contribute anything to so blessed a purpose. But for the particularities of the time and manner, I both have learned and do teach silence. And, if any man think that he hath sufficient intimation of either or both of these, in the words of Holy Scripture ; yet, since those clauses are involved in some obscurity and may afford multiplicity of sense, my desire and whole drift is, to beseech him to suspend his judgment concerning these so deep and intricate doctrines, till God shall be pleased to clear them by apparent events; and, in the meantime, to rest contented with those evident and unquestionable truths of the gospel, which the church of Christ hath hitherto unanimously taught and maintained: wherein he shall do that which may happily conduce both to the church's peace and his own.”
• “Concerning the Thousand Years' Reign of the Saints with Christ upon Earth.” † “ Five Lights at Walton."
3 Brotherly word to Christian Pastors.
BY C. HEWITT, BREACHWOOD GREEN. RESUMING that the pages of this excellent periodical are perused by a mission of the esteemed editor, I'humbly submit to them a word of friendly and earnest counsel. I do not desire to assume the responsibility of instructor, but it has long been my cherished wish to offer a few suggestions touching our cominon trials and experiences. I would venture first to remark that the “ chastisements" endured by gospel ministers, while they are very similar to those inflicted upon other believers, nevertheless deserve special consideration. When we speak of affliction, we include in that term trials of various kinds. We may be chastised by bodily infirmity, losses, disappointments, bidings of God's face, or the withering of our hopes, and the thwarting of our purposes. In short, chastisement seems to be “the crossing of our wills and wishes.” It would relieve us of a considerable weight of anxiety if we could ascertain the reason or design why we are afflicted. May we not suppose that,
“Our Heavenly Father chastises us for our folly.”
Perhaps ministers more than most Christians have to sinart for their follies. Let it not be deemed imprudent to speak upon a topic so painful and suggestive, far better to expose the evil, however humiliating it may be, than conceal it, to the injury of those most concerned in its revelation. Is it not a fact to be lamented, that we are, dear brethren, frequently liable to commit gross mistakes? This danger may arise in attempting the impossible; or it inay be by a too ready reliance upon our abilities, or upon our judgments and acquirements
. We often exhibit our folly by rashness of speech, and it is too readily manifest when we are thrown into the society of our friends. We should be the last to decry the great benefits accruing to us from a college training, but are there not perils in connection with an institution of that character? We well remember while in college the tendency we felt towards excess of levity when surrounded by so much humour and youthful wit, and the same inclination to become vain and trifling is still inherent in us. For our frequent folly, then, we conclude that God chastises us.
“ We are corrected for our worldliness.”
Considered professionally as men set apart from the world, looked upon by our fellows as spiritually minded and holy men, alas, alas! let us take to ourselves shame and confusion of face. Let us take up our lament for the ministers of the sanctuary, because of the worldliness that abounds among us. Can the Lord bless us while we continue to be so carnal? Does not our earthliness of mind injure our reputation, and prevent. our success? Shall we condescend to make our great life-work a trade, a profession, to be pursued from motives of pecuniary profit and loss? Must we necessarily be foremost to interest and amuse, by our conversational tact, the gay and thoughtless of our respective neighbourhoods! O let us not bring into contempt our solemn calling, or the glorious Master and cause we serve by such inconsistency. If in any of these respects we are criminal, no wonder that we are chastened.
We are also rebuked for our prayerlessness." We are frequently in the attitude of supplication, but is there not a great lack of the spirit and grace of prayer in ourselves and in our services? Does it not require much watchfulness and self-denial in order to maintain the life of devotion? Far, far be it from us to congratulate ourselves upon the ease and readiness with which we conduct derotional exercises. God deliver us from addressing the divine footstool mechanically and formally. We have to
We are glad to insert this zealous, fraternal word from a country pastor. its simple pleadings will do us all good.
deplore the fact that we too frequently make the mere act and word of prayer suffice. If, on the other hand, we try to pray with the assistance of the inspiring Spirit, do we not even then, at times, feel prayer to be a task and a burden? There are, we regret to confess it, hours in which we entirely neglect the mercy-seat, and seasons when secret prayer is almost forgotten. Oh, if we were more with God, surely God would be more with us. How much more pleasant would our lives be, how much more joyful and calm our souls, were we found more frequently in communion with Jesus! Our work is vast and momentous, we need, therefore, much prayer mingled with our labour. An American preacher has said, that “we preachers have to thik so much for others, that often we have hardly time for prayer, unless we think and pray at once; and yet nothing but prayer can keep our thinking from withering up the life of our personal godliness." It is sadly and painfully true that we spend too little of our time in fellowship with Christ. Luther must needs bave his three hours a day with God, hence the mighty work he accomplished. Let us not be amazed, then, if we receive the stroke of our Father for our prayerlessness. For many other reasons we are tried ; even for our “ pride, ignorance, wilfulness, indifference, indolence and rebelliousness; but I must forbear.
I would close with a few observations upon another topic, namely, “The spiritual attainments of the Christian minister. We are not all born geniuses, neither are we created with the full development of our faculties. The heights of learning are still far above us. “ We have need of more knowledge.” Now, in all our gettings we are urged to get understanding and wisdom, and it is no small privilege to possess a right understanding of the heart, nor should it be a matter of indifference to become acquainted with " that wisdom which cometh from above," even with Christ who is the true wisdom. While then we may learn a thousand things useful and profitable, let us not omit to learn savingly of him who is meek and lowly. It is desirable that the book of God be understood in the original, and critically examined, but it is of superior moment that we be experimentally conversant with its precious truths.. May we learn to rely more implicitly upon the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit to make us practically acquainted with its sublime mysteries.
"A more complete state of sanctification is required personally."
To reach such a condition, one of the most efficient means to be used is to contemplate the cross, and meditate upon the sufferings of our adorable Lord. In viewing his agonies we shall be incited to renounce those things which are displeasing to him. Sin nowhere and under no circumstances appears so heinous as in sight of the cross; and while we might wisely eschew evil because of the guilt and punishment consequent upon its committal, we shall eudeavour to abstain from it because of the suffering our Redeemer endured to redeem us from it. Can we indulge in sin since the eye of God is ever resting upon us? It was enough to cause the ancient Roman to be circumspect, if the words " Cato sees you” were whispered in his ear. It is said that when the Doges of Venice had degenerated into imperious and oppressive rulers, if only four of the inquisitors whom the state secretly employed were present at any of the great processions or festivals for which that city was famous, it was sufficient to overawe the mighty throng of people present. How much more guarded and serious should our deportment be, seeing that we are ever watched by bim whose eyes are like a flame of fire ! Thinking often of Jesus and abiding near his side, cherishing in our heart his word of promise, and frequent visititation of his throne, will aid us to arrive at a more perfect state of holiness.
Lastly, “ let us seek to acquire a greater robustness and success in our work."
There can assuredly be no alternative short of utter failure in our ministry, unless we realise personally the saving efficacy of those doctines we preach to our fellow mortals. Granted that our theories upon gospel verities be sound, and our creed orthodox, but what of this, if we are not savingly blessed by those truths in our heart? The question arises, have these divine realities been tasted and handled by ourselves? Have the truths of Scripture humbled us, soothed our spirits, and sanctified our souls? If so, all is well. We speak before our congregations of God's sovereign choice of his people from eternity, a comforting truth, and if we ourselves are sincere, we shall want to feel a sense of that truth in our hearts. The Holy Ghost reveals unto the children of God their utter ruin and depravity, their emptiness and wretchedness, and in the depths of their spiritual destitution, they admire that grace which chose and set them apart from others. We tell publicly of the everlasting love of God to his redeemed. Oh, sweet and joyful theme! Are we, as pastors, vitally acquainted with that love? Has it saved, cheered, and supported us? We know it is potent to sustain the weak and suffering sons of God; precious to animate and invigorate the labourer for Christ. Let us, brethren, seek to live beside its still waters. A saving faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ is essential. Talent however brilliant, learning however profound, cannot avail to redeem us and impart to our guilty spirits peace and hope, if we remain destitute of the faith of God's elect.o that we may lay it to heart that God can never own us or our preaching, if we rely upon our natural gifts and official relations! No, our God hath provided a sacrifice, and of the paschal lamb our own souls must participate if we are to stand in the great day accepted before him. We must take our stand individually upon one common platform, with the poorest of our flock; even that of acknowledging our lost condition before God, and supplicating for mercy through the merits and finished work of Christ. There is no supernatural virtue attaching to our garments, no righteous merit latent in our ministerialism. Let us then, beloved brethren in Christ, cast ourselves afresh upon the all-sufficient efficacy of the atonement, and look up to our mediator and Lord for his benediction and support. Doing this we shall enjoy his loving sinile, and see the work of the Lord prospering in our hands."
The Pastor's illuess.
A PAPER BY MR. G. ROGERS.
UR friend, Mr. Spurgeon, had hoped to the last moment to be able to have
added some words of counsel and encouragement from his chamber of affliction, at the close of the present number ; but he is prevented by the restlessness and pain of his bodily frame. “ The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” His sufferings are still great; but they are the effect, we trust, of the severe remedies that have been applied in conquering the disease rather than of the disease itself. He is sustained and cheered in his long affliction by the intelligence that reaches him of the good attendance at the Tabernacle, the acceptableness of the preachers, the remembrance of the weekly offerings, the continued prosperity of the College, and the unfaltering step with which the several agencies, instituted by him as auxiliaries to his ministrations, are still going forward. Though absent from his co-workers in the flesh, yet he is with them in the spirit, joying and beholding their order, and the steadfastness of their faith in Christ. Nor are his people less present with him than he is with them. Nor they alone, but the sympathies of the many thousands of Israel encompass his chamber, and their prayers are continually ascending on his behalf. We have witnessed the consolation derived from the sympathy which some few in humble life have had the opportunity of showing in his affliction, which enables us to assure the humblest of his friends how much he values their interest in him and their prayers.
Let none be surprised when the most useful agents are laid aside, and that, too, just at the time when their presence seems to be most needful, as though