« הקודםהמשך »
in heaven; in that he hath by him soul they can enter the dark valley,
proclaim deliverance to the cap- set before him in the Gospel;" how tives.”
He was born to bring his calm and serene his state of mind! people to glory; he lived, that how ready is his soul to yield up its they might be rescued from eternal mortal tenement again to dust, and death; he died upon the cross, to go to that “ city of habitation” that they might live for ever. He which God hath prepared for them “ overcame death.” By his own that love and fear him! The soul death “ he destroyed him that had of every true believer feels, that the power of death,” that is, the Christ hath overcome death,”. devil; and thus “ delivered them, taken away all its sting and terror, who, through fear of death, were by the happiness and peace that he subject to bondage.” He, by his enjoys in the very prospect of disdeath on the cross,
“ swallowed solution. “ He hath opened the up death in victory,” and fulfilled gate of everlasting life.”—See the his gracious promise to his people, truth and power of this blessed de“ I will ransom them from the claration in the experience and anpower of the grave; I will redeem ticipations of the dying believer, them from death: O death, I will bidding adieu to the world, to sin, be thy plagues! O grave, I will be and temptation, and rising on the thy destruction!” By his death wings of faith and love to joys unhe vanquished all the enemies of fading and immortal. « Christ is man's salvation. By his cross he in his soul the hope of glory;" he subdued all the powers of dark- is fixed on the rock, and full of asness, triumphed over all the wiles surance of endless happiness beand malice of the devil; and by yond the grave. He is possessed his glorious resurrection he hath of Him, who is “the resurrection withdrawn the veil that hung over and the life,” in “ whom whosothe shadow of death, and opened ever believeth shall live though he to us the gate of everlasting life. die; and whosoever liveth and beBy his word and example, by his lieveth in him shall not die eterpromise and spirit, he hath dis- nally.” The true Christian knows, armed the king of terrors of all that though his “ life is hid with power over his redeemed people, Christ in God, when Christ, who brought life and immortality to is his life, shall appear, he shall light by the Gospel, and made the also appear with him in glory." way through the wilderness, and See the power of divine faith in the even through the “ dark valley,” Son of God in this trying hour! clear and plain, till the soul of a When
and foundbeliever enter the paradise of God. ation will prove to the careless, the He hath “ overcome death.”—To sinner, and the worldly-minded, witness the truth and the bless- but
wood, hay, or stubble," ing of this victory of Christ over be all consumed with the fire of the terror of the grave, we must God's anger, and leave them to visit the dying beds of sincere perish in despair who trust in such believers, and there see with lying vanities; the soul of the what holy confidence they can humble Christian is “ full of joy view the approach of death, and and peace in believing that with what composure and peace of death will only put an end to all
his sorrows and sufferings, and live to the glory of God. As in introduce him to the kingdom and the first creation all
66 without crown of glory, " which are re
form and void,” till the Spirit of served in heaven” for all who love God called into being what had no and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in existence before; so in the second sincerity.
creation, the soul is dark and with“ We humbly beseech thee.”. out life, till the Spirit of grace Humble prayer is the breath of a
“ breathe on the dry bones," and believing soul; it is ever most impart a new and spiritual life pleasing to God; and receives all where none existed before. It is the blessings of heaven for the grace that “quickens the dead ” soul's present enjoyment and eter- soul, enlightens the dark undernal safety. Humble prayer will standing, and awakens the sleepy never be rejected; such praying conscience. It is grace
that breath will never be spent in vain. enables the blind to see their naThe believer in Christ must be tural state of guilt and danger, humble. The consciousness of his and that bestows both the deown numberless defects and infir- sire and the ability to turn from mities will make and keep him sin and serve the living God. It humble; a sense of the daily un- is the mighty energy of divine merited mercies that he receives grace, that conquers the pride from the hands of God, will and reluctance of our nature to "clothe him with humility.” He yield the whole soul to God, to will find, that every other Chris- cleave steadfastly to Christ, to tian grace will grow and flourish,“ deny all ungodliness," and to as his humility is confirmed and the become “ holy in all manner of spirit of prayer is increased. Clear holy conversation.” It is the spiand scriptural views of himself rit of grace only, that keeps the will often bring him
his soul from all evil, that preserves knees in prayer, to cry for par- it through all dangers, and
prepares doning mercy. Humble believing it for glory. This grace is • speprayer will receive an answer of cial.” It is sovereign and unmepeace. Humility will lead to rited; it is distinguishing and free; prayer, and prayer will keep him it is all grace, mere favour, and humble. Humility will keep him boundless mercy. It is given acwatchful over himself, and against cording to the “ good pleasure every besetting sin. Humble prayer of God, as he will and how he will, will receive and secure him " grace where he will and when he will. to help in time of need,” to keep If one or two are called out of a him from falling under the power family, and others left; if, out of of temptation, and to keep his soul, the same seat in this house of " by the power of God, through prayer, “ one is chosen and anfaith unto salvation."
“ That, as
other left;" it is the blessed effect by thy special grace preventing us, of “special” grace and distinthou dost put into our minds good guishing mercy. As “the wind desires." -As the “Spirit of God bloweth where it listeth, so is moved on the face of the waters,” every one that is born of the Spirit.” to give life and effect to his word in It is “ God that worketh in us, the first creation; so the Spirit of both to will and to do, of his good divine
grace moves on the sinner's pleasure.” It is from God, as the heart to give the first motion and & fountain of all goodness," that feeling of spiritual life to the soul, “ all holy desires, all good counbefore « dead in trespasses and sels, and all just works do prosins," that it may, in the second ceed.” Every redeemed sinner creation, be “ born again,” and will readily and thankfully confess,
that it is “special grace," whereby lar season, felt these “good dehe is delivered from the bondage sires" arise in his own heart? Who of corruption, and made to live to hath not felt a desire to be happy the glory of God “ in newness of in God, to be pardoned through life.” Every saved sinner will ac- Christ Jesus, and to be saved knowledge, both in earth and in through the precious blood of the heaven, that it was distinguishing cross? These “ good desires ” are mercy that carried him through all from God. He is “ the giver of his pilgrimage, and that brought all goodness.” They are the opehim safe to glory. This grace is ration of divine grace on the soul. also preventing, not hindering, but If you wish or endeavour to stifle going before, to awaken the sleepy or suppress them, you are " fightconscience, to arouse the careless ing against God.” If you disregard soul to a feeling and serious consi- them, you
“ resist the Holy deration of its state and danger, Ghost,” and “ do despite to the and to purify and prepare it as a Spirit of grace." These good holy temple of the living God. desires” are the voice of the Spirit Every expression seems here pur- of God within you, speaking to posely chosen to humble the pride your souls in accents of mercy
and of man, and to give all the glory of love to win you to happiness, of the soul's happiness and salva- and to drive you from misery. If tion to the sovereign grace
stop your ears against the It is grace, special grace, prevent- voice of the charmer," and harding grace, by which the sinner is en your hearts” against the salusaved. Grace, special and pre- tary admonition of the Spirit of venting grace, stops the sinner in God, you oppose your own happihis course of sin, and gives to the ness, if not seal your own destruconce thoughtless heart the first tion. But “ good desires" alone desire to ask, “ What must I do to are not sufficient. Many have had be saved?" Preventing grace re- good desires and yet have perished. strains the believer from a thou- Good desires and good wishes, if sand sins, and wards otf unnumber- not reduced to practice, and foled dangers of which perhaps he lowed by holy obedience, amendhad no idea. It keeps the soul ment, and newness of life, are all from falling under the power of unprofitable; therefore, be contemptation, and preserves it from vinced that you will need “ contiyielding to the commanding in- nual help to bring the same to good fluence of besetting sin. It ope- effect."- We need daily help from rates as a shield to the humble be- God to cherish and cultivate these liever to guard him “ by night and good desires, that they may be by day.” We owe to preventing fruitful in all good works, and prograce more than we can well ex- duce the “ fruit of the Spirit” in a press. This subject, so important holy life and godly conversation. and so deeply interesting, would The newly awakened sinner, that profitably occupy more of our time, is just beginning to see his real as it is not sufficiently perhaps con- condition before God, and to feel sidered by even believers in Christ his misery from sin, needs daily Jesus : but we must proceed. help to escape from his wretched “ Thou dost put into our minds bondage, to yield a ready and good desires.”—These good desires cheerful obedience to the call of are the first breathing of the holy God, to believe in the Lord Jesus Spirit of God on the soul of man, Christ for pardon and life, to regraciously calling and inviting him sist and conquer the opposition of to be happy. Who is there among his sinful nature, and to do the us, that hath not, at some particu- will of God from the heart. The new convert to Christ needs "con- own it to be the sole effect of distinual help” to keep him in the tinguishing mercy. We must give way of life, to overcome tempta- God all the glory of our happiness tion, and to proceed safely and and of our salvation. We must happily in the path of duty. The "count all things, all we do, and believer in Christ needs "continual all our attainments, but dung and help” to guard against “besetting dross for the excellency of the sin," to subdue inbred corruption, knowledge of Christ Jesus our. to overcome the world, to adorn Lord;" and give to the Father, the the Gospel, to preserve his peace, Son, and the Holy Ghost, one to fight manfully and successfully God, equal and everlasting praises "the good fight of faith,” and to for his mercy and for our salvagain " the prize of his high calling tion, now and for ever. Amen. of God in Christ Jesus.” We all Beloved, Can you, with thankneed it, and shall need it till we ful and rejoicing hearts, celebrate die. We need “ continual help” the wonders of this glorious day? from the Spirit of that gracious Be thankful, and adore that grace God, who “hath put into our mind which hath brought salvation to good desires,” that we " bring the your souls. Are you “risen with same to good effect."- If good de- Christ” from the death of sin, and sires are not followed by good ef- are you now " walking in newness fects, they are all as the wind, and of life?” Bless God for his disempty as the shadow.
We must tinguishing mercy, Do you wish give proof of a good state of heart to die happy? You must die to by a good life. We must mani- sin. Do you desire the victory fest our peace and purity within, over death and the grave? You by our holiness and obedience to must look simply to Christ, who is God in our daily walk and con- “ the resurrection and the life” of duct. This crowns the whole; the soul. Are you sensible of
your without this, all our “ good de- need of daily help from God to sires” are fruitless, and without“ keep you from falling ?" You any “ good effect.” Every proof must ask it in faith of God, who is without this is mere delusion. “the Fountain of all goodness, Every other evidence without this and the Giver of all grace.” Have is false, and will be deceitful. We you obeyed the voice of the Spirit must not only wish well and desire of God? If not, you are living well, but we must also do well, live without hope. Have your “good well, and labour well, if we would desires” in the heart been followed glorify God, and prepare for his by “ good effects” in the life? If presence in heaven. This, and not, you are living without Christ, this only, proves the sincerity of and unprepared for heaven. Pray our good desires. Practical obe- for grace to “ know Christ and the dience to the Gospel of Christ is power of his resurrection.” Pray the sure fruit of saving faith in to be consistent, and to live as you his name. If our faith be not thus profess. Pray to be churchmen, fruitful, and if “ good de- not only in name and in form, but sires” are not followed by “ good in reality and in truth. O pray, effects," our faith is a dead faith, that the Spirit of Christ may quickand we are yet “ dead in sins." en your souls, renew your hearts, But, if our faith be fruitful in good and preserve you unto his heavenly works, and if our “ good desires kingdom; that " when Christ, who be brought to good effect,” we is our life, shall appear, you may must humbly and thankfully ascribe also appear with him in glory.” all to the “ special, preventing, and Amen. eontinual
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE REV. EDWARD TOWNSHEND,
This eminent servant of God divine law : he was unacquainted was the only son of the Hon. and with the peculiar blessings of the Rev. Edward Townshend, Dean Gospel, and, to use his own expresof Norwich, who married Mary, sion respecting himself, he was “a daughter of General Price. Being 'blind leader of the blind." He deprived of his father when young, had long indeed confessed vaguely, he was received into the family of that he was a sinner; but he saw his uncle the Hon. and Most Rev. little or nothing of the sinfulness of
Dr. Cornwallis, Archbishop of sin, or of its deserts in the sight of : Canterbury, with whom he resided God, or consequently of the need
till he went to college. He receiv- of a Saviour; and therefore he
him the distinguishing and approIn the midst, however, of worldly priate fruits which accompany true distinctions and amusements, it repentance and faith. He speedily pleased God to bring him to a deep renounced many worldly pursuits sense of his own sinfulness and cor- in which he had formerly indulged. ruption, to lead him to relinquish the He was no longer to be seen in applause and favour of the world, 'those resorts of fashionable amuseand consecrate all his talents to the ment in which he had previously service and glory of Him to whom mingled, but an attendance on they were due. This, however, which he now perceived to be not was not accomplished without only incompatible with the nobler much inward conflict and outward objects of his vocation as a Chrisopposition: but the power of di- tian, but irksome to his renewed vine grace at length triumphed, taste. He therefore felt hiinself and those Christian friends who had called upon to declare publicly his hitherto regarded him with affec- altered sentiments, and preached tion and admiration for his many in consequence a sermon at Henattractive qualities, had now the ley church, candidly and boldly delight of seeing all that was ami- recanting his former views, both able brought under the dominion of as to doctrine and practice, and Christian principle, by the pervad- warning his people with simplicity ing influence of which he was now and godly sincerity, not to shelter enabled so to let his light shine, themselves in worldly conformity that God was glorified.
from his former example. At Bray This important change began to meanwhile his altered tone of take place in his religious charac- preaching, and his newly-acquired ter in the year 1798: till this pe- zeal in the exercise of his minisriod he was ignorant of the holy terial office, were striking to all, and spiritual requirements of the and variously received, according