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connection with persons; and thirdly | love, and power and since God could they would look at what he would not produce an unholy being, and was call local holiness—“The place where- the author of all angelic life and exon thou standest is holy ground.” cellencies, all the angels of God were What should he say about our holy holy beings. But let them look at Lord ? The Lord God
holiness in connection with the saints; essentially holy. God's holiness ap- and he supposed it was the possession peared to him to be, if he might so of holiness that constituted saintship, speak, the bright and shining and and that a person was a saint because glorious garment which Jehovah he possessed the principle, the element
Was God a God of love ? and the power of holiness. Now the His love was holy. Was he a God of holiness of the creature was measurgrace and mercy ? Mercy and grace able and limited; but the holiness of were holy. The omnipotence of God God was infinite. The holiness of the was also a holy power. He would be a creature in connection with Christ terrible Deity if holiness did not ani
The angels would keep mate His omnipotent arm. And their first estate as long as Christ kept what should we say of God's wisdom ? them; and saints would remain saints If it were not holy it would be cunning. as long as their union to Christ abided, All the perfections of God, then, were But they had to do with what he vencovered and characterized by His tured to call local holiness, and he holiness; “ Thou art holy, 0 Thou need not say that the occasion of their that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” meeting there that day suggested the God was also personally holy: the above text to his mind. Father was holy, the Son was holy, something peculiarly interesting in a and of course the Spirit was holy, for holy place, and in connection with He was in almost every portion of the that which consecrated a place. God word designated the Holy Spirit, or and God alone was the author of all the Holy Ghost. Then with regard to local holiness. He supposed that the purposes of God. He knew that Moses was the greatest man on earth God's mind was inscrutable, and since at the time referred to in the text; He was inscrutable and deep, and in- but when Moses drew near to the comprehensible, he was pleased to place whereon Deity stood, God said, know that He was holy; he would be * Moses, Moses, put off thy shoes afraid of his life, frightened to death from off thy feet, for the place whereto mention His name, since there were on thou standest is holy ground.” It so many deep purposes in His mind, was the presence of God that conseand wonderful decrees in His heart, crated a spot; the most costly cathedid he not confidently believe that dral in the world that had been conseGod was incapable of committing sin, crated by the greatest ecclesiastical or of doing wrong.
The Lord our official, might be a waste, howling God was personally holy, and holy in moral wilderness, notwithstanding its all His purposes and decrees. The architectural costliness; whilst a sandy words of God also were holy; the spot in the parching desert might be words of the Lord were right and true; none other than the house of God, and and His works were holy like Himself. the very gate of heaven. The preWhen He made the world and brought sence of God converted a barn into the it into being, it reflected the glories of gate of heaven--an attic, or a cellar, its holy Creator; and when He made their God could sanctify and consecrate. man He made him in His own image; It was the presence of God that made man had made himself a sinner. a place holy, and the presence of God Secondly, let them consider holiness constituted that place holy as long as in connection with creatures. We he was there, and no longer. In all always spoke of the angels of God as probability the sheep, after God had holy beings; they were the produc
left it and Moses had gone away, fed tion of His infinite goodness, wisdom, on the place where God appeared to
Moses. Therefore this local holiness was spiritual and not physical, and was also only temporary.
Some persons appeared to him to believe that a certain element which they could not define entered into every brick and stone of a building consecrated to God. The sand of the desert, on the occasion referred to in the text was not changed; no element from the Deity entered into it: the holiness was not physical, but spiritual. He read an account the other day of the de-consecration of the old London churches which were about to be pulled down. Well, persons who believed in that sort of thing were quite welcome to the comfort, happiness and consolation they could get out of such things. The holiness of places was transient and temporary Holiness was also untransferable. We could communicate sin from ourselves to others; but we could not communicate grace. The thought of this consecration by the presence of God of any building, however humble it might be, was one of the greatest spiritual necessaries of the age
in which we lived. Churches and congregations were too worldly; what we needed was nearness to the Father, and a larger measure of the Holy Spirit. When we had obtained those things, the material and the carnal, and architectural would be regarded as secondary matters. After referring to the admonition continued in the text-"Put off thy shoes from off thy feet”—which he said denoted reverence, a sense of unworthiness on the part of the creature, purification and submission, and a readiness to obey, Mr. Hazelton concluded by expressing a hope that the chapel might be a holy place to his hearers and to hundreds of immortal souls in Waltham Abbey.-From a local paper.
make it the language of their own system. The words themselves are so clear, that it seems strange that candid and earnest enquirers could miss it. It is purely a question of language which may be safely left to the mere heathen scholar — thoroughly quainted with the Greek language, but wholly ignorant of eternity-to set forth its meaning. The parties foreknown were loved, chosen, and predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus from eternity. The object of this foreknowledge is not faith, good works, or compliance with the gospel call, but the persons themselves, wholly irrespective of anything to be done by them. Foreknowledge precedes predestination, from which flows salvation and everything therewith connected. All the called of God are thus foreknown; they are the objects of eternal love, which is the first cause of their predestination, calling, justification, sanctification, and glory. Nothing short of this will adequately explain the apostle's language. So far from this electing love and predestinating purpose militating against holiness, it is its greatest guarantee. That holiness is the only proof of election, it is only by this that Christians can make their calling and election sure. Effectual calling is the work of the Holy Ghost; it never stands alone; it is the middle link in the chain of salyation. It proves election and foreshadows glory.
PSALM XXXIV. 8. (first clause).The apostle applies this expressly to Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. ii. 3.) The experience which faith makes way for of the Lord's faithfulness and goodness may be compared to the evidence received by the senses concerning their respective objects. The believer tastes and sees that God is good, as he perceives that honey is sweet, the light pleasant, and the landscape beautiful. This is no longer a matter of reasoning or expectation, but of actual enjoyment in which he cannot be deceived. While unregenerate his taste was vitiated, and sin was what he fed upon with pleasure, and dis
BIBLE NOTES: FROM VARIOUS COMMENTATORS. ROMANS VIII. 29, 30.—Men the most distinguished for talents and learning have laboured as for life, to divest this passage of its obvious import, and to
sumed to be previously converted, and it was as such that he obtained the gift.
relished everything good ; but in regeneration a new taste is given, so as to have a saving experimental knowledge of the grace and goodness of God in Christ in such a manner as to live upon it and be nourished by it.
EPH. IV. 30.—In respect of the things that precede and follow these words, Christians should beware of grieving the Holy Spirit of God. The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit
believers as the peculiar people of God to the day of redemption, even to the resurrection of the just. As a kind and wise Friend, the Holy Spirit watches over them for their good with infinite condescension and love-all their hope, wisdom, strength, and joy are from him. But if they yield to sinful anger, malice, selfishness, etc., use vain conversation, become unwatchful, negligent of the means of grace, or of the duties of their respective stations, He hides His face from them, withholds His consolations, and leaves them to darkness, fears and anxieties. We must not, therefore, do anything that is contrary to His holy nature or His revealed will.
1 COR. XII. 7.-Writers of a certain class misapprehend the import of these words, which have been urged as an incontestable proof of the doctrine of what is called "
common grace" and common light,” as the property of every human being-grace which he has only to use aright in order to the regeneration, repentance, and faith, which are connected with salvation. But Paul is not here speaking of man as a race-nay, he is not even speaking of the whole body of the Corinthian church; but of that small class among them on whom was bestowed one or more of the “divers gifts” specified, enjoyed and abused. These were given, not to gratify the individual possessing them, but to edify the church and to promote the glory of Christ. Such is the import of the expression, “ to profit withal;” it is not that the party might profit by it to secure the conversion of his own soul, but that he might profit the church. The man possessing the gift is pre
PURITAN NOTIONS. COLLECTED BY THOMAS STRATTON.
PLACES or conditions are happy or miserable as God vouchsafeth His gracious presence more or less.
God maketh straight lines; but we think and call them crooked.
What we are afraid to do before men, we should be afraid to think before God.
The revelation made of Christ in the blessed gospel, is far more glorious, more excellent, and more filled with rays of Divine wisdom and goodness than the whole creation, and the just comprehension of it attainable can contain or afford.
Without the knowledge hereof, the mind of man, however, priding itself in other inventions and discoveries, is wrapped up in darkness and confusion.
Blessed Jesus! we can add nothing to Thee, nothing to Thy glory; but it is a joy of heart unto us that Thou art what Thou art, that Thou art so gloriously exalted at the right hand of God; and we do long more fully and clearly to behold that glory, according to Thy prayer and promise. John xyii. 24.
Then do we find food for our souls in the word of truth; then do we taste how gracious the Lord is therein; then is the scripture full of refreshment to us, as a spring of living water, when we are taken into a blessed view of the glory of Christ; and he is the Sun of Righteousness in the firmament thereof which only hath light in itself, and communicates it to all other things besides.
They are said to keep His testimonies who seek Him with the whole heart. Set the best saints' hands at work, and they shall fall short in many degrees; but set the heart on work, and it inwardly intends all. It is impossible by any outward act to do this: with my mind I serve the law of God; but when I come to put this in act, my good works are infinitely short of what my
sincerity aims at; I can never be so outwardly holy as inwardly I would be. This is the nature of sincerity that it falls in with all the will of God, and begs that every tittle of the will of God may be written in the soul and expressed in the life.
The sufferings and obedience of Christ afford the highest motives to dissuade from sin and press to holiness, and lay a man under infinite obligation in point of gratitude to live unto God. That very grace which enables him to believe in Christ, equally inclines him to love God.
A formal act of saving faith includes in it a desire of holiness and purpose of using all proper means to attain it, and by the grace of God to live holily.
God's great design in the method of salvation made choice of by infinite wisdom was to stain the pride of all glory, that no flesh might glory in his sight; but that he who glorifieth should glory only in the Lord.
Well, Christ is in heaven, our true treasure, whither neither the thief nor moth, nor canker can come. This is our happiness, that he keepeth our treasure; it is out of the reach of devils and men. Were it in our hands, we should soon betray it. If we are set in heaven with Christ, Christ may may as soon be pulled out of heaven as we disappointed of our inheritance.
Men may love their friends more than they can help them; but the loving kindness of God is attended with a power as infinite as itself.
God's word only is our true religion as the divine rule; but our confessions, books, words, and lives, show how we understand it.
He is no true believer to whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow, and trouble.
I live, as it were, on the borders of another world. This, doubtless, is among the “all things ” which work together for my good. And most tenderly my kind Father deals with me as to my weak body. He debates with my illness, and frequently at eventide He makes it light. As to my poor soul, highly favoured of the Lord, he is pleased to bless me with the abiding witness of his Spirit that I am a child and an heir of God. And as such I rejoice in hope of approaching glory; of that vast inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, which is reserved for me in heaven.
And since, my dear brother, it is the enjoyed privilege of some of God's children, which ought to be sought for by them all,--after they have believed, to be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, will you not seek this for yourself? Will you not earnestly seek it? Verily the knowledge of our interest in Christ, a settled persuasion thereof given us by the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who as such is the earnest of an inheritance, is ineffably more worth than the whole world—than millions of worlds were there so many. Oh what empty things are the riches, honours, and pleasures of this perishing world! They will starve an immortal soul; the more eagerly they are sought, the farther we flee from real happiness. And the more agreeable the world and all that is therein, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life are to us, the deeper they pierce and stab our precious souls. These are the things which will kill unbelievers with death, eternal death! And though a believer in Christ is for ever secured from that, yet if we live after the flesh, though but partially, we shall die. Our spirits as a just rebuke from our displeased God, shall die in our comforts, we shall die in our graces as to the lively exercise thereof, and die in our fruitfulness to God and usefulness to His people.
The world, my brother, ever since sin entered it, is an evil place for God's people. The bitter waters of affliction,
FROM SAINT TO SAINT.
Date about 1740. MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST, – It is the good pleasure of my all-wise and gracious God frequently to exercise me with affliction of body; so that
or the dangerous waters of outward ease, honour, and pleasure run the desert through. It is best for us while in it to behave as strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and eagerly to seek a better country, that is, an heavenly; and that pure river of water of life clear as crystal, which proceedeth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, the streams whereof in the all-surpassing joys of the Holy Ghost make glad the citizens of Zion.
Oh, my brother, will you not by frequent, fervent prayer earnestly seek Jesus, that Friend who loveth at all times, that Brother of yours born for this your adversity ? Will you not seek the fresh displays of His sin-pardoning, sin-subduing, grace, and the renewed and increasing joys of His salvation to flow out upon your spirit to your sweet rest and refreshment in this weary wilderness ? The heart of Jehovah-Jesus towards you is as full of love as ever; and having loved you as His own, and called you by His grace, He will love you to the end, and crown you with eternal glory. Your soul is bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord your God. That you may be filled with all joy and peace in believing, unto increasing holiness here and great glory hereafter, is the hearty desire, my dear brother, of your affectionate friend and servant in the Lord,
* Any friend possessing the entire series of volumes from one of which the above letter is taken, would oblige by communicating with the printers, Messrs. Briscoe and Co., 28, Banner-street, London, E.C,
It is remarkable that so many of the great religious institutions of this country, should have had their origin in very humble instrumentality. No act of Parliament, no royal proclamation, no convocation of ecclesiastical notables had anything to do with founding our great Protestant Missionary Societies, the Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, or the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society. All these, directly or indirectly, arose from the efforts of a few comparatively humble individuals, whose hearts God had touched with love to his dear Son, and whose spirits he had moved with an earnest desire to do something to extend the kingdom of their Lord, to send into distant lands the gospel of his grace, to distribute amongst the nations the precious volume of inspiration in their own languages, or to“ remember the poor of the church of Christ at home. As was meet in such forms of working for Christ, the societies now referred to, relating to the spread of the gospel and the dissemination of Divine truth, began with men of God to whom he had committed a dispensation of his word, that is to say, with ministers of the gospel, or chiefly so. These were the instruments that from the nature of their high calling of preachers of the word, would be the best adapted to further the design which God was then about to begin to accomplish, of sending out his light and his truth from this land into many a distant region where the darkness of heathen idolatry or other forms of alienation from God had hitherto reigned supreme. But, as it was also meet, the last-named society—that for the aid of the Christian poor at homebegan with what for distinction sake is sometimes called the “lay element;" that is, with persons who were not any of them at the time of founding the institution preachers of the word. Moreover, as it was likewise meet, the fathers and founders of the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society were not all of them its fathers—not all of the male sex; but were some of them, of that, of those whose ministrations to our Lord in his sojourn upon earth