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and pointing me to the Cross of Christ bid me look there, for He was God and none else. Thus I was delivered from the law that drank up my spirit, and I was brought into the substitution of Christ, from whom, by faith, I drank long draughts of consolation. Thus much, and ten times more, the Lord did for my soul, when he convinced me of sin and righteousness. And thus I came by my religion.
Now I began to say, “ What shall I render unto the Lord for all His goodness ?' having received pardon, I wanted to honour Him who had honoured me, by walking in His way. Now I began to long for communion with the saints, but feared I should take the wrong road; so I cried unto the Lord to show me the way I should go. And now I became impressed with the certainty if I searched Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, that I should find the appointed way, and that without any human teaching ; so I began prayerfully, without any prejudices, to search the Scriptures to find out the appointed way of the Lord ; and in the 3rd chapter of Matthew I found Christ coming to John to be baptised of him; and after baptism as He went up from the waters, “ The heavens opened, and the Spirit, as a dove descended; a voice proclaimed from heaven, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Thus I saw that Christ was a Baptist; but having no teacher to consult I read on, pondering over the words “ well pleased.” Much encouraged by the first ten verses in the fifth chapter of Matthew, and as sharply rebuked as I read through the other part, and the sixth and seventh chapters, and every stage that I went, I found more and more the all-sufficiency of Jesus; and saw the lepers healed, the blind, deaf, and dumb cured, devils cast out, and all things yielding before Him; and I earnestly prayed to be one of His disciples. Still fearing I never should. But the words “ well pleased,” kept me seeking and saying, “ Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.” And when I came to the last two verses in Matthew's Gospel He spoke unmistakeably to me. I there saw that after He had finished the work, in turning iniquity from Jacob, in destroying death, and rising triumphantly from the grave, that He was risen a Baptist, and that His baptism did not end baptism (as some say itdid), for if it had Hewould not have enjoined it on His disciples after His resurrection. Here I saw that teaching, believing, and baptising were joined together; and His disciples were commanded to teach the people to observe all things He had told them ; with the promise of these conditions He would be with them unto the end of the world. Here I saw that what Christ has put together no man is allowed to pull asunder; therefore I saw that all teaching that is contrary to Christ's teaching was contrary to the Holy Ghost's teaching; for He is to take of the things of Christ, and show them unto His followers. And He never teaches more than Christ, He never teaches less; and I dare not take away believer's baptism, nor add infant-sprinkling, because of the threatenings connected therewith. See Rev. xxii. 19. Hence, whosoever teacheth that believers' baptism may be neglected teaches contrary to Christ, and are not in that part taught by the Holy Ghost. Thus I became a believer and a Baptist, and cannot, yea, dare not preach or practise anything less; for in Mark xvi. 6 He says, “ He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Thus, I am a Baptist because my Lord was; and because I believe in His infallible command as firmly as in His unalterable purpose; and He hath said, “ If ye love me keep my commandments ;" and because I love Him I do so.
II: I believe in believers' baptism, because thereby I have proved the devil a vile and wholesale liar, for he opposed me in baptism in the following way :- He told me that my faith was not right; that I should prove an hypocrite; that God would frown upon me; that
my creditors would distress me; that my former friends would entangle me; that I should fall away, and thus become twofold more the child of hell; and thus he followed me to the water, and drew such a cloud over me that I could neither see, hear, nor understand what the minister was saying. At this moment the Lord put this resolution into my soul, “ Let others do as they will, I and my house will follow the Lord;" and I know He did it, because He removed the cloud, relieved the mind, stopped the temptation ; and I went down into the water like a lion, and came up like a giant refreshed with new wine, and went on my way rejoicing, and experienced just the reverse to what Satan told me, for I found
faith strengthened, my love warmed, my fellowship with saints, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, much more abundant; and my former worldly companions all fled, my temporals increased, my soul enlarged, and I walked at liberty for many months. So I know in whom I have believed, how I came to believe, and the blessed result of believers' baptism. This, my dear friends, the Lord hath done for my soul; and my earnest prayer is, that like precious things may be done for and by you, for in keeping His commandents there is great reward ; and my soul thus blessed shall make her boast in God, " and the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad," and give glory to God.
Again, in all my searchings I never find an apostle that did not teach and command and practise baptism; neither do I ever find Jesus in company with any but Baptists. As far as we know His disciples were all baptised. Peter preached it to Cornelius and his household ; and he was sent there by God to tell Cornelius what he ought to do, and he told him to be baptised. Again, on the day of Pentecost, he commanded all that were pricked in the heart to be baptised; and if Peter had not been baptised he would not have been consistent with himself. Again, Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ unto them; and when they believed Philip's preaching they were baptised, both men and women. Again, Philip baptised the Eunuch ; and Paul baptised the household of Stephanas, Crispus, and Gaius, the Gaoler, and Lydia, and was baptized himself, Acts ix. 18. It is a fair evidence that the disbelievers of baptism have no ground to stand upon, or they never would call in Paul to help them out, because he silenced those brawlers who wanted to say he baptised in his own name, as in 1 Cor. i. 14, by saying, “ I thank God that I baptised none of you ; for God sent me not to baptise (meaning such as you, nor to make Christians by baptism, as some do), but to preach the Gospel," and baptise only them that believe ; which is evident he did, as is seen by the above quotations. So what God hath joined together I dare not put asunder.
Whatever uncertainty we are at, or whatever mistakes may arise about the time of His coming, His coming itself is certain. This has been the faith and hope of all Christians in all ages of the Church.—Matthew Henry.
Memorials of Departed Saints. .
6 GOOD BYE: WE SHALL MEET AGAIN IN HEAVEN.” THE EDITOR OF THE “EARTHEN VESSEL."
Feb. 20th, 1867. DEAR SIR, - Please insert the following in the VESSEL, and you will oblige yours in the faith,
THOMAS AUSTIN, South Hackney. " Why should the wonders God has wrought
Be lost in silence, and forgot ?" *JOHN JOSIAH AUSTIN began his mortal career in South Hackuey, Jan. 10th, 1846. It was his privilege to have Christian parents, who daily commended him to the care and guardianship of the God of all grace. For several years he attended the Sabbath school, and was a constant attendant upon the means of grace, but from year
there appeared no evidence of a change of heart, although correct and regular in his deportment, and observant of the walk and conduct of those who professed Christianity, hence the necessity of consistency of conduct in the lives of God's people. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” He was generally healthy till the spring of 1864, when symptoms of a threatening character appeared, the hectic flush, wasting of flesh, failing of appetite, and distressing cough, all seemed to indicate his early departure from this vale of tears. Yet he like most youths, suffering from the same disease, cherished a hope of recovery and clung tenaciously to life. All means within reach were used but without good result, from time to time the symptoms became more decided, he became weaker and weaker till by s!ow degrees he sunk into helpless infancy. The youth
so sprightly and active, by disease was reduced to absolute dependence. Although rapidly nearing the grave, he showed no concern about his immortal soul; his parents offered prayer fervent, and frequent, for a blessing upon the means used for his recovery, but if that was denied, that the Lord would be graciously pleased to display His sovereign mercy in opening his eyes, convincing him of his need of a Saviour, and prepare him for the solemn change. How patent it is that no circumstances in which a human being may be placed, will of itself produce a change of heart, or lead a soul to God. Six weeks before his death, Mr. Bond, a Christian friend held a conversation with him, and put some close questions about eternal things; he gave some general answers to the effect that he had not thought much about another world. His father solemnly interrogated him respecting the future, for it seemed very certain that the tie which united parent and child would soon be severed. He told his father, that he did not expect to recover, that nothing but a miracle could restore him, yet he could not give a satisfactory answer respecting his soul's welfare. By his wish the friend again conversed with him. On this occasion, he opened his mind a little. He said he had thought much of the conversation at the last interview and expressed some anxiety about his soul. How often it is persons under conviction feel more liberty in telling their feelings to a friend than to a near relative. His father in conversation again questioned him about divine things ; he said he had not a comfortable hope, in relation to removal from this world. He knew he had not lived the life of a Christian, he knew religion in theory, but had not experienced its vital power. He was desirous of being right, that he might not rest upon a false foundation, or derive comfort from a wrong source. He felt himself to be an unworthy sinner, but he did not feel assured Christ died for him. General things may suit professors to talk about in the season of health, but when the solemnities of death, and the realities of eternity are immediately before us, then nothing will satisfy our souls but that which is special and personal. His father by his request read some portions of Scripture, made a few remarks and offered special prayer that the Holy Ghost would by his sovereign power exhibit his saving grace, and bring this dying youth to a sense of his absolute need of salvation, and enable him by faith to flee to, and rest upon Christ alone for safety. At the close of the prayer he added his earnest amen, and said, “ Father, your prayer just suits me, I feel to want all the things you have been praying for. The father replied, “I am glad to hear you express yourself thus, for we can both join in humble confession, and unitedly present our earnest supplication for pardon and salvation, through the merits of the dear Redeemer.” He acknowledged a felt sense of need, but he could not say he was a sinner saved by grace, although he heartily desired it and hoped he might not be deceived or be left to rest on a false foundation. He had heard and read of the happy exit of some of God's people, he wished he could feel more of that assurance which some are favoured with. Although he was not able to say in triung ph, “O death, where is thy sting ?” he was so far taught his true condition as to say feelingly, “Other refuge have I none," &c.
He told his father at one time he entertained infidel notions, had he fallen in with
of that class he might have imbibed their views; he thought it was a snare of Satan, but he was preserved. Frequently his father and other Christians conversed and prayed with him; as far as his physical strength would bear, he valued.. such seasons, but the thrush in his throat prevented him giving expression to his feelings as he desired, his voice was reduced to a whisper. Yet he gave satisfactory evidence that he was looking to Jesus only, and on His merits depending. “Lord, save, or I perish," was the language of his soul, the family hymn of the household of faith was his prayer,
“ Rock of ages, cleft for me,” &c. especially the verse beginning
“Nothing in my hand I bring,” also the hymn commencing
“ Jesus, lover of my soul.” These two hymns formed the sum and substance of his creed and experience; if a felt sense of need is a fitness for Christ, he felt his need and was enabled to trust alone in Him who is "mighty to save.” On the evening of the last Sabbath he spent on earth, two or three Christian friends paid him a visit, conversed, read, and prayed with him. By his request we sang
“Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah,” &c. and
“On Jordan's stormy banks I stand," language he seemed deeply to sympathize with, especially the words " where my possessions lie.” When reading the hymn by Toplady on
preparation for death, he repeated with emphasis, the words and save me in thy Son.” Part of that precious hymn,
“Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb," he repeated with feeling. A few days before his death he gave some directions about his funeral, and handing some articles to those about him as keepsakes, he calmly and submissively waited the summons. Calmness and patience characterised his disposition during his long and painful illness ; be repeatedly expressed his thanks to those who attended him, for the care and sympathy shewn him in his helpless state. His breathing became more difficult from day to day; he lingered till the 24th of Noveinber last, having kept his bed only eleven days. Several friends called to pay their last visit on that day, including Mr. Bond, whose conversation he much appreciated. He read the Word of God, spoke a few words, and offered a brief prayer, to which the dying youth responded; and putting forth his feeble hand, with an expressive look said in a whisper, “Good bye, we shall meet again in heaven.” In the course of the evening he gradually sunk into a state of non-consciousness; around his bed the members of his family were gathered ; he breathed hard for an hour; then gently fell asleep in Jesus, in the twenty-first year of his age. Forcibly the lines of the poet occurred to the mind, as we silently gazed upon the mortal remains of our beloved one
“In vain my fancy strives to paint,” &c. Mysterious are the dealings of God with his people; the useful young man, just approaching maturity, is taken away, while an afflicted helpless sister, suffering from spinal affection for a period of thirty years survives her brother ; but blessed be God she has a good hope through grace,"
," "He giveth not account of His matters.” May we adore the justice, too, that strikes our comforts dead.
His mortal part was interred in South Hackney churchyard, in a sure and certain hope of a part in the first resurrection. Mr. J. H. Dearsley, who visited him several times during his illness, preached an appropriate sermon on the words, “ That ye sorrow not as others who have no hope,” in Forest road chapel, Dalston, where the family attend. Truly his sun has gone down while it is yet high day.
THE LATE MRS. J. J. WAITE. DEAR MR. EDITOR, -It ofttimes affords a holy pleasure and satisfaction to the minds of pilgrims in the heavenly way, to learn something of God's gracious dealings with His dear people, especially the saints' triumph over all foes, and the victory they achieve through the dear Lamb, over the last enemy-death.
The subject of the following narrative was the child of praying parents; but as is often the case they did not live to see their prayers answered. They were, however, heard, and God in rich mercy called her by His grace, led her about, and instructed her in those distinctive principles which are the glory of the Gospel. She was much, in this respect, under the ministry of Mr. W. Felton, while at Zion chapel, Deptford, by whom she was baptised and received into church fellow ship.
In the year 1856 she was married to the writer, and this new era in her history brought her to London ; and after attending various causes of