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more labourers shall be sent out, if bourers, and for an increase of usemore of us join in fervent prayers, fulness in those he has already sent nothing wavering. While we conti- out; and if you do pray thus, and nue to pray, he will continue to an- continue to pray, it will be the most
This is fixed as the throne of likely means of your experiencing God, 'I will not suffer
faithfulness more of his love, for he cannot alter to fail. O how has my dependance the word that is gone out of his on his unalterable word been strength- mouth. His promise to them that ened, by seeing it so constantly ful- pray for the peace of Jerusalem is, filled! and how has my attachment *They shall prosper who love thee,' increased to our established church, which is a by his raising up more ministers “Fifth argument. It is good for among us! Indeed he owns our es- our own souls. They prosper by it: tablishment at this day; and thereby while we are concerned for the honour he encourages us to pray on; and if of Jesus, and for the advancement of we do, we may hope to see greater his Gospel, we are taking the best things than these. May you and I care of our own interest. The soul find reason to be asking the enlarge- that watereth others shall be watered ment of Christ's kingdom in our itself; so it prospers. The prayers lạnd, until he remove us into his for blessings on our fellow-labourer kingdom of praise.
brings a shower of blessings into our “4. These arguments are conti- own bosom. I should be very unnually enforced by the constraining thankful, yea, beyond measure, if I love of Jesus, which keeps the soul did not acknowledge it. I have not in a good frame to pray for the ad- prayed in vain for these eleven years. vancement of his honour and glory. No: I have indeed prospered, and While I find a warm heart to him, I have received many mercies; some I cannot help wishing that others may will mention, not to set myself up for be won over to the love of him. To any thing, who am the very sink of set him forth, that they may behold hell, and feel in me to this moment his matchless glory, is our office. indwelling corruptions enough to Every gospel minister is raised up to damn a thousand worlds: but I mensound aloud the praises of the won- tion them to the glory of sovereign derful person and of the infinitely grace. There is in every one of us perfect work of the divine Saviour, a desire to be great and esteemed; a in whom all the perfections of the bitter root of pride, which works in Godhead shine out in the richest dis- abundance of vile tempers, all display of their beauty, love, and power. honourable to Jesus, and hurtful to The gospel ministry was ordained for our own souls. I found, this praying this purpose, and it is blessed to this for my dear brethren, and always by day to the hearts of poor sinners, by name, has given many a blow at that bringing them to see, to admire, and bitter root, and has checked several to enjoy the love of the Father through of its branches, such as envy at their the salvation of the Son, by the grace success, shyness to their persons, an of the Spirit. This is the ministra- evil eye at their gifts or graces. tion which exceedeth in glory. Oh That party spirit, under the bondage what an honour is it that we should of which no one ever laboured more be called to partake of these blessings than myself, has been in a good deourselves, and that by our means the gree conquered; and so has the unLord would and does convey them to willingness to bear reproof, very hard our people. The sense of this work is to bear: and the will given to be constraining. Under the influence thought less than the least, the sole of it we cannot but pray for his min- work of Almighty grace.
And I isters, that they may spread his gos- ascribe it to my constantly praying pel and advance his fame. O, for for God's ministers, that he has enmore love to this precious Jesus, and abled me, in any degree, not only to to his cause in your heart! it will be get the better of those vile tempers, as a thousand arguments to put you but also to grow in brotherly love. I upon praying for an increase of law find my heart knit to those I never
saw, and am glad of their prosperity 'Whatsoever ye ask, shall be done for in mind, body, or estate. My very you of my Father, who is in heaven soul rejoices in any good in them, or for the Father himself loveth you, and good done by them. Their present will give you whatsoever you ask in my number, (may the Lord add to them name: and when any two of you agree an hundred fold,) their being almost to
for more and more labourers, of one mind and of one heart, their or for greater usefulness in them who growth in grace, their usefulness do labour in the word and doctrine, among their own people, and their I will then be in the midst of you, spiritwritings for the public benefit: these ually present, that you may have are become sweet subjects of thank- communion with me in prayer, and fulness. My prayers are more in that you may be satisfied that I do faith, because I reap the fruit of them, hear, and will answer.' How inviting, and can join praise with them. To how persuasive are these words! every petition I can say, Thanks be Surely, they ought powerfully to into the Lord, I have good encourage
What may we ment to pray on. Every year I see not expect from meeting often in the our Jerusalem prosper, and they also presence of Jesus? Try, my dear prosper that love it. Are not these brother. Be much in his company, great advantages, and are they not and see what will come of it. Your sufficient to induce you to join your heart will certainly be more knit to prayers with mine? As for me, God him, and he will knit you closer to forbid, my dear brother, that I his other ministers in the unity of the should cease to pray for you. May Spirit. He will bring us to be of the the Lord, the Spirit, put it into your same mind in the Lord. This is the heart to pray for me, and for the rest three-fold cord which is not quickly of our fellow-labourers, until you find broken, because it is a bond of the more advantages from your prayers Lord's own making, and of the than I have done. If you weigh these Lord's own keeping. He maintains things with attention, and God incline it, and he ties it closer by giving us you to join us in prayer, there is a sweet fellowship in one another's Scripture which warrants this, and prayers, and by enabling us to act which contains some gracious pro- and live according as we pray, for the mises to the practice of it: the con- good of our brethren. Thus He sideration of it has been with me a makes it appear, that we are taught
“Sixth argument. It is in Matt. of God to love one another; for He xviii. 19, 20. “Again, I say unto only can teach us to love unfeignedly, you, that if two of
and with a pure heart fervently. earth.' We do agree to meet together This is the most blessed union upon in one place. Where is there a better earth, because it flows from our being than the throne of grace? We do one with Christ, and proves that we agree touching the thing we are to hold the Head, and are under him ask, namely, the blessing of Him that as living members in his body united sitteth upon the throne, on his own together, having the same care one ministers. What can be more pleas- for another. Hereby we know what ing to Him, than to wish them well, the communion of saints is : we exto whom he has done so well, as to perience and we rejoice in its blesscall them to, fit them for, and prosper ings.
Oh how will this strengthen them in, His work? Oh it is not to the hands of each other! it will make be described nor conceived how His us mighty through our God to do heart is set upon this! To send out our work, to endure hardships, to ministers to promote His glory fight our battles--yea, to the many through the salvation of His people, antichrists of this our day, we shall is the ruling affection in the Head of become as terrible as an army with the church; and when he intends to banners! May the Lord make you a send them out, He gives His people good soldier in this noble army; and the spirit of prayer, to desire of Him he will, if you will join us. Your pastors after His own heart, and to prayers will not return void into your encourage them to ask the promises, own bosom. No, no. Every prayer
brethren will bring down a “A second thing is desired of you, blessing upon yourself , and you will namely, that you would
for the find more arguments daily than I brethren by name.
This is not a have room to mention.
trifling matter. Indeed it is not. My dear brother, if God should Make a trial of it, and you will find incline your
heart to this work and more advantages in it than I have labour of love, there are two things mentioned above. It has been exearnestly recommended to you: ceedingly profitable to my own soul
“ The first is to meet at a set hour: for several years, and I doubt not that we may agree in our joint prayers, but experience will make it so to and may have the divine promise to de- yours. pend on for the blessing we ask. We “ I leave all that I have said in the have for some time met every Friday Lord's hand, that he may apply it to at noon, but it has been found incon
you, as seemeth him good. Whether venient; and by consent, it is now you join with us or not, I will not fixed from nine o'clock on Friday cease to pray for you and yours, that morning to ten. You will then meet the work of the Lord may prosper in a great deal of good company at our you and by you. Only remember, court - several dear ministers and the time is short—the work is great. fellow-labourers round the throne, The Lord God bless you in it, that besieging it with their prayers for his harvest may be got in soon, and each other, and for the increase of his labourers may go to rest. In this their number. Whatever be the gene- happy number may you and I be ral issue, it will be well with us sup
found. When our prayers are over, plicants. Our labour will not be in may we continue our praises to vain in the Lord. If our
Father, Son, and Spirit, three Persons not remove the affliction of Joseph, in one Godhead, to whom we shall yet we, grieving for it, have a promise be giving equal glory, worship, and of safety, when that affliction comes thanks, through a long blessed Sahto be destructive, as you may read at bath Hallelujah. Amen.” large in Ezekiel ix.
WORDS OF PEACE.
“Thy kingdom come.” Thy chariot wheels, O God of love! Kindle, O God, thy fire within, Are ling’ring yet in heaven above; To brand our own most cherished sin, Weary and sad, thy children wait In home-spun weeds altho’ it hide, Till angel hands unfold the gate. Or goodly raiment, purple-dyed. Those chariot wheels will grind to dust
The sin that keeps thine own apart, How many a shape of earthly trust!
Pluck thou that evil from our heart, They will not crush the pearl that lies
While yet we hearken for the cry Deep hid in faithful souls and wise.
Atdead of night—"The Lord is nigh.” Weary and sad thy children stand, Their murmur spreads from land to
Didst thou not say that love should land.
Ere thou from heaven wouldst come “How long-thou God of love, how long
again? Shall hate and scorn on earth be
O Lord of truth, it faileth now,
Now let the heavens beneath thee bow. strong?” The envious hate, that will not see
Now bring thy glorious kingdom near, Thy truth, is truth, if crowned it be; Thy chariot wheels, we long to hear; The zealot scorn, that far aloof For severed hearts will join as one Breathes doom on many a Christian To hail Thee, God's Eternal Son! roof,
"A certain man had a fig tree planted in
his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.”—LUKE xiii. 6.
We have therefore two suitable subjects for prayer at the commencement of another year. let, that a larger supply of grace may descend into our hearts; and, 2ndly, that our own sinfulness may not interrupt our communion with Christ. Thus shall we become more fruitful in every good word and work, and our heavenly Husbandman will have less cause to bring against us the awful charge of bringing "forth fruit unto ourselves.” (Hosea x. 1.)
"There is a friend that sticketh closer
than a brother."-Prov. xviii. 24.
Whilst the parable connected with this passage gives an awful description of the state and danger of the ungodly, may not the Christian, at the commencement of another year, be led by it to mourn over his own unprofitableness in the sight of God? He has not, indeed, been unfruitful; but has not daily experience shewn a deficiency in both the quality and the quantity of his produce ? All fruit which is acceptable to God, must be the result of union with Christ, and offered through him, “being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. i. 11.) The Old Testament intimates this truth, where we read, in Hosea xiv. 8. “From me is thy fruit found;" and our blessed Lord only enlarges upon it, when he says,
“ As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me.” In vegetation, we know that productiveness depends not merely upon the adherence of the outer bark, but upon the circulation of the sap. The Psalmist therefore describes the trees of the Lord as full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted.” (Ps. civ. 16.) Nothing could more correctly illustrate the state and usefulness of the real Christian, which are wholly dependent upon the uninterrupted communication which he receives from Christ, through the influences of the blessed Spirit. In the process of grafting a tree, the gardener's first care may be to unite the outer bark with the stock; but his end is not answered until the sap flows through the whole. In the same way, the initiatory rite of baptism, and all our other ordinances may connect us with the visible church of Christ; but daily experience proves their inefficacy, as to fruitfulness, until Divine aid ac
How truly may this be said of Jesus! His omnipresence enables him to be where a brother cannot: in all places—at all times--and therefore "a very present help in trouble.” His omnipotence secures that aid which man could not afford. (Mark iv. 9.) Nor is there any danger of his love being lessened by the discovery of our corruptions; for he well knows what is in man; (John xi. 25.) whilst the unchangeableness of his attributes secures for his people all that he has promised, or they can need.
"Forgetting those things which are be.
hind, and reaching forth unto those which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.-PHIL. iii. 13, 14.
One of Satan's temptations is, to hinder our progress in duty by the remembrance of past neglect. Sin must be felt, acknowledged, and pardoned. But it is not to impede our devotedness to the cause of God. When no present trial distresses us, the remembrance of past neglect, or the fear of future difficulties, will not unfrequently harass and perplex us; and why? Because we neither cast our sins nor our cares upon Him, who is the propitiation, and who careth
THE POTATO DISEASE.
WHY ARE THE CLERGY SO SILENT ON THIS GREAT JUDGMENT OF GOD?
To the Editor of the Christian Guardian. REV. AND DEAR SIR,—You very wealth's blinding influence, or science's justly remark, “What a lesson does proud pretensions (though with a this failure of the potatoes, one year royal commission to search into this after another, teach us !” How ob- mysterious disease,) should find such vious, how true, and very important a divine visitation far too deep for the is this reflection of yours! Yet true utmost reach of their vision, notwithand obvious as it is, the people who standing all the aids of even cheare suffering by this infliction, and are mistry's wondrous light; as I do even smarting severely under it, evi- with painful surprise reflect, that those dently fail to learn this lesson. Does who are called in Scripture the this failure arise from their gross ig- stewards of the mysteries of God," norance of God, or their wilful disre- the “watchmen of Ísrael,” and comgard of the“ operations of his hand”? manded to make known the judgments To both, alas! I apprehend it is as- of their God: that they should be cribable, as their conduct in general silent spectators of a plague such as too clearly proves. But are the rich this, carrying famine and misery to or the educated clear in this matter? millions of our fellow-creatures, and Have they learnt the lesson which the defying all science and past experience poor cannot read? Assuredly this to explain either its nature or origin, was not the case in the days of Jere- its operation or its cure—and not miah : No-nor is it now.
with one accord lift up their voice and hear the prophet's experience : cry aloud to the thousands of our “Therefore I said, surely these are depraved population, “Behold your poor; they are foolish ; for they know God,” yea, to all ranks and classes not the way of the Lord, nor the of our countrymen,
“Hear ye the judgment of their God. I will get Rod, and who hath appointed it!" me unto the great men, and will speak This is a circumstance which I unto them; for they have known the must confess I was least of all preway of the Lord, and the judgment pared to expect, and which I cannot of their God: but these," even the contemplate without astonishment great and the rich, these likewise and deep regret. Yet the editor of “ have altogether broken the yoke, the “Record,” a journal which circuand burst the bonds" — broken lates widely amongst the clergy, did through all the restraints of duty, in a manner worthy of his patriotism, conscience, fear, and shame, and early and repeatedly impress upon his shown no more sense, feeling, nor readers views precisely the same that I discernment under judgments of God, have taken of this calamity, but seemthan the most poor and ignorant of ingly, so far as I can observe, without their countrymen. (See Jer. v. 4, 5.) any response on their part. The co
With all proper respect for the rank lumns of that paper do, indeed, abound and condition of this class, and with with notices and correspondence, a thankful recognition of many ho- which attesta vigilant cognizanceofthe nourable exceptions, as regards the signs of the times,” and even with majority I would say, how true is warnings and “fears of things not this picture still! how faithful and seen as yet;" but they present not a exact this record even yet, in the single stricture or publication from midst of Gospel light, and, what is the pen of a clergyman, or of any more, Gospel preaching !
official dignitary, touching at all on But how extraordinary and how sad this extraordinary visitation, in the that it should be so! yet strange as way of asserting, or directing public this at first sight might seem, I do attention to it as a judgment for sin, not so much wonder that, in the case and a call upon the nation to deep rebefore us, ignorance's stupid eye, or pentance and humiliation before God,