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Lamð as I shall do, when I come to heaven, through him who is the way, the truth, and the life." »
Amid all his self-abasement and contrition, he was blessed with spiritual apprehensions and reviving discoveries of the Saviour. His evangelical views of Christ's person and work, are manifest from a variety of entries. With regard to his divinity, he says
“This morning,” July2, 1714, “ I awakened between 4 and 5, with that sweet word, John xvii. 4, 'Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was;' in which word, I got a view of the divine nature of the Lord Jesus, which made my soul to acqaiesce in him as a complete Saviour and Redeemer.” With regard to his coming in the flesh, he says"Looking forth again this night at my window, Dec. 17, 1714, and seeing the glory of God in the hea. vens and the stars, I admired the greatness and glory of the eternal Lord, and I wondered at his condescension in assuming the human nature. The greatness of that condescension is such, that it confounds the soul with admiration, and is almost ready to stagger faith, and cause the believer to say, 'Can such a thing be?' But, О it is true, it is true: His ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts; but as the heavens are bigh above the earth, so are his ways above ours, and his thoughts above ours.
I rejoiced to think of the truth of it, that the great God is become man, bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, my friend, my elder brother, my husband.” With respect to his vicarious obedience, suffer. ings, and death, he observes,-"July 18, 1716. About 5 at night, I went to God in prayer alone, and was helped to exercise faith on the blood and merits of Christ. I saw evidently, the dignity and excellence of his person, which gave value and worth to the whole of his undertaking in the room of lost sinners. I saw the whole preceptive part of the law fulfilled by his perfect obedience; and the pepalty of it endured by him in his death upon the cross.
And thereupon my soul cried out, O Lord, I see myself a debtor to the whole law, and in myself I am undone for ever, if thou proceed against me according to the tenor of the covenant of works: but, O Lord, I flee unto the righteousness of God. Here is my Surety's active obedience, whereby the whole covenant of works is fulfilled, yea, magnified and made honourable. Here is his passive obedience, by which the justice of God is for ever satisfied in my room, so that now I cannot come into condemnation, my Surety having been condemned for me. The view of this made a Sabbath of rest in my soul, which I hope shall never hare an end. My soul freely disclaimed all pretensions to any righteousness in itself, and acquiesced entirely in the righteousness of God, crying, This is my rest, here will I dwell, for I have desired it. As for my sins, I see them all swallowed up in the ocean of Christ's merit. And as for my own personal obedience to the law, I see that there is nothing left to me, but to serve the Lord, without fear, in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life; in regard that weakness on my part cannot make void the covenant of grace, which is sealed with the blood of Christ. I was made to pray for the Spirit of Christ to be poured out upon me; and believe that, in some measure, I have the Spirit, and shall have it yet in a more liberal measure, to kill all my sins and corruptions, and to make me meet to be a partaker of the inheritance. I find that nothing but such a view of Christ as this can give ease or quiet to a poor soul under the
charges of the law, and the aceusations of conscience. But when I get this view of the Lord Jesus, I see I may boldly say, "Who can lay any thing to my charge? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that con. demneth? It is Christ that died My soul was made to rest in the way of salvation through Christ, because I saw it to be a way to glory, which for ever empties and debases man, and which contributes for ever to exalt and magnify the glory of free, free grace. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.'"
Mr. Erskine clearly discerned the sanctifying as well as the consoling power of the cross. of this, the following lively passage affords still further proof. Having adverted to a discovory of the grace of God in Christ, by which his fears were dispelled, he thus continues :
“ And, O my soul wondered at the height, the depth, the breadth, and the length, of his love in bim, I saw his righteousness to be a broad everlasting righteousness, sufficient to justlfy ten thousand millions of worlds, being the righteousness of God. On this blessed foundation do I build all my hope. O shall ever such a mass of iniquity as I am, be admitted to behold the glory of the Lamb, and sing hallelujahs unto him, with the rest of the redeemed company. If I were sure to be with him where he is, and to be eternally rid of sin, I would be glad, glad that my soul this moment should break prison, and Ay, out of the clay taber. nacle in which it is coopt up, Words cannot tell the longing that I find in my soul after the immediate enjoyment of the blessed Jesus. I hope that time shall come, because he gives, I think, some of the earnests of it, and because he will satisfy the longing soul, and fill the hungry with good things. Christ is the cope-stone of my happiness."
His attention was directed to his Redeemer, not only as crucified, but as risen and exalted. The luminous and cheering views he entertained of his resurrection, ascension, intercession, and glorious appearing, are expressed in the following entries :
“P. Dec, 3, 1708. My heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth, that I have a great High Priest, who is passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Glory to the Lord, I may now ask any thing that I need, and may ask it with boldness, and may now believe that I shall have whatsoever I need ; justification, sanctification, adoption; victory over corruption, atheism, hardness, and all the plagues of my heart. Since Christ is risen, I will set my affections on things that are above, where Christ is at the right hand of God.”
His faith in Christ, and devout affections towards Him corresponded with the views he entertained of the Saviour's character and mediation. His faith was decidedly self., renouncing; as appears from the following passage:
“God was pleased in prayer to give me a sweet view of the way of justification by Christ. I saw that it is in the Lord Jesus Christ only, that we have righteousness and strength. My soul did renounce the law as a covenant of works, and betook itself unto the better Husband, even to him that is raised from the dead, him that hath fulfilled all righteousness, and paid the ransom as my Surety. I see the Gospel way of salvation is the sweetest way that ever a poor soul travelled in. It is not fear but love that now obliges the soul to obedience; and seeing it is the obedience of love, the believer cannot but obey with joy, and cheerfulness, and liberty of soul, rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God.”
While he thus renounced every legal principle and hope, he earnestly sought, and in a high degree attained, a strong, assured, confiding, and appropriating faith. His ardent desire of assurance is thus expressed :
“ I see myself standing on the brink of an endless state. I see the uncertainty of my time; I know not when the Lord shall call. My soul is - panting and thirsting after the Lord. I long to be filled with God, and to be in readiness to depart. I see that I have a great God to do with after death, by whose sentence I must stand or fall through eternity. I long to be assured of his love, and to have the full assurance of faith ; and I cannot rest till I attain to a well-grounded hope of glory.”
The expressions of assurance possessed are often blended with the most explicit appropriation.
“P. July 24, 1722. This night, in secret prayer, and 'in family prayer, the Lord loosed my bonds, and enlarged my heart, and the way he did it was by helping me to appropriate and apply Christ to my soul, upon the ground of the free offer and gift that he has made of him to me, in particular, in the Gospel. Oh the little word my is a sweet word to my soul. I was made to say, my Saviour, my Redeemer, my King, my Priest, and my Prophet. He is mine, because God has given him to me; and I cannot please God better than by taking him to myself; and, accordingly, I take him with heart and hand, and I bless the Lord that ever gave him. O Lord, keep me at My Lord, and my God, and never let me quit it, through unbelief. And let me never quit con. tending for the appropriating act of faith. I bless the Lord that has honoured me, in any measure, to contend for it; and to contribute to set it in any light, either among Ministers or Christians."
We select the following examples of this humble believer's ardent affection to his Saviour, for it is an essential character of true faith, that it worketh by love imm
"A sight of Christ, as God-man, just swallows up my spirit-draws out my heart, so that I have not a heart behind. He carries away the flower of the affections, when he presents himself to the soul. O he makes me toʻgire my heart, my soul, my body, my wife, my children, my servants, my friends, my estate, to him; and I can refuse him nothing. When he shows himself, he makes me to lay all down at his blessed feet; and o I love to give Christ all.”
"O he is wonderful, and I admire his lore, and adore him, and shall adore him through an endless éternity. I find love burning in my heart towards this lovely One. This fire can never be quenched ; for he hath said that he will not quench the smoking flax,' but will cherish and encourage it, till it become a flaming and a burning lamp, to burn in hea. ven for ever and ever. Thanks be to God, who has kept his lore alive in my heart, when I thought was quite drowned with the floods of sin, corruption, and temptation."_“O'for grace to manifest to the world, and to my own soul, the reality of my love, by a holy, tender, humble, and circumspeot walk before him, in the land of the living."
The book, which will form a valuable addition to Con. gregational libraries, we sincerely recommend to the peru. sal of every practical Christian. For the sake of our readers we shall continue our extracts in the next Number.
'PRESBYTERIAN REVIEW AND RELIGIOUS JOURNAL.
We have read the first two numbers of this periodical with much pleasure, and if not also with profit, it is our own fault. Its title “Presbyterian” is, to our eyes, especially pleasing ; not because it is our own ; nor be. cause, for aught we know, we have been the first to apply it to a religious journal; but because such a work, conducted with talent, and in perfect accordance with the glorious reformation principles of the Church of Scotland, will do much to rescue the name of “ Presbyterian" from the odium attached to it in England; where, until lately, “Presbyterianism” has been identified with Arianism or Socinianism. This popular misapprehension and slander, bave arisen from the melancholy circumstance of some of the original English Presbyterians, in prominent situations, haring turned Arians or Socinians in sentiment, and independent in government; yet retaining the name of Presbyterian for the sake of the endowment, which they have been thus enabled with or without law, and against the will or purpose of the donors, to divert into their own coffers, spoliating the Orthodox Pastors and people for whom the endowments were intended and practice of which we know at least one instance in Ireland every Orthodox Minister, of every new erection in the Synod of Ulster, being entitled to £5 per annum, for five years. But no Minister, of the Synod of Ulster, so far as we know, has ever received a penny of it. Who are the heirs-at-law of the trustees? Who received the income during the last thirty years ? To whom are the mesne rates legally due? On all these questions we have our own opinions, and shall, perhaps, say more of them hereafter.-To return to the Review. We beg to call the attention of Scripture critics to No. I. art. V. on 1 Tim. iii. 16. in which the arguments of Dr. Henderson, in defence of the common reading, are well examined, and a still more luminous and conclusive statement of the truth made by the reviewer himself. Though we do not say he has silenced the Socinians--for even though vanquished they can argue-we yet think he has settled the question. Our limits will not permit us to add more than decidedly to recommend the work to every one who, from inclination, is disposed, -or from want of time for reading, is compelled, -to take the short and pleasing path to knowledge, that is furnished by a critical Review.
RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE. ORDINATION.-On the 13th September, the Rev. D. Jeffry was ordained to the pastoral charge of the new congregation of Grey-Abbey. The services were conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Henderson, M'Auley, and Morgan,
NEW SYSTEM OF NATIONAL EDUCATION, VIZ. Destruction of the Kildare-Place Society-expulsion of
the Bible from Schools—deceptive recognition of Presbyterianism-attempted Establishment of Popery by Act of Parliament: the whole uttering a loud call to every honest, consistent, and determined Protestant to examine his danger, and stand upon his post, for the defence of religion.
Had not the word of God assured us, that there is a time when men cry "peace, peace, while there is no peace;"> and when they repose in the possession of fancied safety, till “sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape," -we had not ventured to stir up or alarm our readers with the foregoing momentous title. There are bold men, we doubt not, who will despise our ideas of danger; there are witlings, we doubt not, who will laugh our opinions to scorn; there are trimmers and time. servers who will accuse us of rashness; there are liberals and theorists who will charge us with narrowness of mind and bigotry of principles ;-above all, there are calm, contented men, who being, from circumstances or neglect, utterly ignorant of the matter, will refuse to lend attention or credence to our warnings, till the threatened evil is converted into reality, and the iron heel of Popish supremacy tramples upon the neck of prostrate Protestantism.
With politics we take no concern : they are either above us or below us. We are humble men; and the political concerns of the world are generally as far above our ken, as the speculations of the philosopher are above the comprehension of the peasant. We are, at least we should be, Christian men; and the views, and parties, and interests of politicians are as much beneath our concern, as the baubles of a little child are beneath the care of a man. We do, therefore, in what we are now to offer, utterly disclaim all design of intermeddling with the political affairs