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chinery by which this is brought about ; but it seems very much like what Ezekiel saw in vision—a wheel within a wheel—a vast piece of mechanism all working together, according to the counsels of His own will. Yes, friends, the teeming millions of ransomed souls are to be like so many mirrors, all reflecting Jehovah's glory; and Paul seems to have caught the electric shock, so to speak, concerning this. This is the great object-Your Captain, Priest, King, and Brother, contemplates your being like him--our Great Redeemer.
But I come, secondly, to the Period of its Completion,-“ When I awake." I should like to dwell on these three words. There is infinitely more in them than we could exhaust, if we spoke on them at all our services to-day. It shows the pleasing death of the Christian, like going to sleep. There is nothing comforting to those who die in open hostility to His truth. Believers go sweetly to sleep in the arms of Christ, like a child in the arms of its mother. Yes; they sleep until the morning of the resurrection Christ will come and awake every one. Not the soul that never sleeps ; not mind, but matter. He will wake the body with the sound of a trumpet, from the cold grasp of death. I do not know how long this world will last; some say a few days, a few years—I don't pretend to know—I believe they will rise. It is a beautiful thought, “Christ perfuming the Christian's grave." Putting them to sleep, He say, “ I'll come and wake you in the morning”—the morning of eternity. Try and realise the pleasure; for there will be no fading summer, no chilling wintry winds; no, but all sunshine there-like Christ. And with reference to the resurrection of Christ, it is a pledge of
God will gather the glory, but the merit of Christ is the power of the resurrection. Mary said, “ Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died.” Pleasing thought, that death must flee when the Saviour comes.
All power over death is vested in Christ. The Saviour had not suffered when Lazarus lay dead; so He asked His Father as a favour to let Him raise Lazarus, before the demon death was conquered.
But we come, Lastly, to the satisfaction. And I remark, first, it is complete. You will never, will never realise perfect satisfaction here, in this world. I do think that the powers and capacities of the mind will be
very much more enlarged there. The real essence of mind is the same in all men ; but one is gifted with a more capacious mind than another. And if we have here great minds and lofty intellects, what will it be in heaven, with no impedimemts, no obstacle whatever. A host of things that pleased me as a boy, afford me no consolation now; and also things more recently too; no, they are like Jonah's gourd.
Just one solemn question. We shall all awake—for there is to be a resurrection of the just and unjust. Shall we awake, then, in His likeness, to eternal salvation? May the Lord fix these truths in your hearts, for His name's sake. Amen.
Perhaps you are ready to say, “ I am afraid that I am not a child of God, because I am so dull and lifeless, my prayers are so cold and dead, and I am so heavy and careless under ordinances ;" this is the method which God takes to make you discontented with yourself, your duties, and performances, and to make you look at Christ as your all.
Mr. R. Edheeler's Experience, and Thoughts
a word in
DEAR MR. EDITOR,—Allow me to lay before the Church of Christ a few thoughts on the above subject.
When the Lord brought Israel out of their long captivity, and safely landed them on the other side of the Red Sea, so that they could look upon
its shores and see all their enemies dead, they sang of His conquest. So, when the child of God (after many long weary years of slavery, and hard bondage of spirit) is brought into the sweet liberty of
Sonship,” and sees in the life, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the complete destruction of all his enemies, and is raised in Him where there is no condemnation,” the change is so wonderful, the free dom so sacred and delightful, that his prayers (for deliverance) are now turned to prase; and, like Miriam and the liberated children of Israel, with timbrels and dances he takes up the song,
Sing ye to the Lora, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider He hath thrown into the sea.” Thus it was with me about ten years ago ; my soul was so filled with love to Him (who had so freely knocked off my chains, and set my soul at large,) and to His dear children, that I thought I should like to tell them of His goodness, hoping to be the means of removing some of the stumbling-blocks out of their way ; and as an indistinct knowledge of the true nature of " chastisement
" had proved a sad one to me for many years, I ventured (in love) to publish a small essay on the subject. To some it has proved season;" but some have misinterpreted its true and proper meaning: hence has arisen the hue and cry, “ Beware of that Mr. Wheeler; he holds error; he denies the chastisement of God's people ; he sets aside heart-work;" with divers others of a like nature. Not that I ever taught an erroneous doctrine; God forbid I ever should. Neither does the treatise above referred to contain anything (if weighed in the balances of impartial justice) but good wholesome Bible truth, “ doctrinal, experimental, and practical.” (To be misunderstood and misjudged by those we love, and have walked in fellowship with, is very painful to an honest mind.) And it is the wrong construction, making the doctrine appear to be what it is not, and then drawing conclusions from the same--that does the mischief; and this has caused me to be held in contempt; for certainly, if the doctrine taught is perverted, it follows of necessity that false inferences must ensue; and the man is condemned for what he was never guilty of. They said the apostles taught evil practices to fetch good out of them. This is just the case in point; be
, and in every part of life's journey ; that God always bears towards His Church the same " most tender affection; and because I separate between outward affections (common to all the world) and those peculiar to, and which make manifest sons from bastards ; they say I deny God has any discipline, correction, or chastening in His family at all; that He takes no notice of anything they do or say, so that they may so loosely on in sin, cheating, lying, drunkenness, and divers filthy practices ;
that it is no matter to them, for God does not chasten, but winks at it all, and so they may like the “ sow wallow in this mire.” This is the spawn of the bottomless pit; and if I taught, believed, or practised such hellish doctrine, I ought to be branded, shunned, and despised by all godly ministers and godly members, and justly deemed a fit companion for the reprobate here and hereafter.
Now, briefly, to the point. First, Who are they that are chastised ? Secondly, What is chastisement for? Thirdly, What is chastisement ? In answer to the first proposition, Who are they that are chastised? First, None but the objects of God's everlasting love; Second, None but those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life ; Third, None but sons; Fourth, None but the bride, members' of Christ's body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
Second proposition- What is chastisement for? First, To separate sons from bastards; Second, To raise them out of their spiritual death-state in Adam the fallen to live in Christ, “the resurrection and the life;" Third, To bring them into subjection to the Father of spirits that they may live; Fourth, To make them partakers of Christ's holiness" ; Fifth, To profit their souls ; Sixth, That afterwards it may yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness in the spirit exercised thereby.
Third proposition- What is chastisement ? Chastisement is the exclusive work and operation of the Holy Ghost; God's discipline in the heart commenced the moment the Spirit breathed the breath of life in the dead soul, and creates, or deposits within the cell of frail corrupt mortality, the “ incorruptible seed."
incorruptible seed." The first fruits of this is “ godly fear,” which never leaves its possessors, but is its chiding, correcting, or approving companion to the end of this new journey from the city of destruction, till he lands safe in the celestial city; as Hart says,
The fear of the Lord is clear and approved,
A confidence that's strong;
A bar to all that's wrong ?” For the sake of brevity, I mention “godly fear” is one of those blessed and prominent properties of the new creation-work in the “ town of Mansoul," but is nevertheless attended by its godlike and inseparable companions, “ faith, hope, and love." These all do their sacred work in the soul ; and in proportion to their operations produce a hallowed' influence on the life, walk, and conversation. " But the flesh is flesh" still; and only “sons
know and feel it. I admit all that is admitted by them that have opposed me. The child of God hates sin, and flees from it; but if through the power of temptation he is like Peter overcome he will
, he must, like Peter, weep, because he has done what he hates ; his spirit within is grieved. I have wept again and again over the existence of evils within, that God's restraining power has kept within ; and if my days are many on this earth, doubtless I shall weep again. The conflict, then, of sin is between the holy life within and the unholy flesh, in the which that life is found.
But the question of sin, between God and His Church, was for ever
settled on Calvary, when Christ, as the husband of that Church, stood arraigned at the righteous bar of inflexible justice. There, on Him, the whole Church stood before God as their Judge. They were found guilty, the sentence passed, and in its utmost rigour was fully executed on Him, when that agonising substitutionary Victim yielded, on the accursed tree, obedience unto death, His own most precious life-an offering for sin. Here He brought the whole flesh, Adam, or the fallen-state of His Church, under its righteous sentence before God, as their Judge ; and in the sleep of death, the end of all the flesh of His Church hath come before God.
But now the resurrection changes the whole scene. The whole of the old creation has passed away under the deep deluge of Divine wrath, and is buried in the grave of Christ for ever. God now declares Himself fully satisfied; Christ sees the travail of His soul brought forth in the resurrection ; and in the new creation God stands forth no longer the Judge but the “ justifier” of this new creation, and says to the husband of His Church, and to her the bride in Him justified, " Come, thou, and all thy house, into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” So, by this discovery of Divine truth (in marriage union) I see God, not only as my Father but as my Justifier; and He is perfectly righteous in justifying me as a new creature in Christ risen, having once condemned Him, and put Him to death for my offences. And what He did for one He did for all His children, though all do not
“ what great things He has done for them.” And by faith (which is the operation of His Spirit) I am taught to reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, even whilst sin still lives in me. Crucified, or dead in Christ, although I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ; for “ Christ is my life, my wisdom, my righteousness, my sanctification, my redemption." This gives solid peace; and this is the peace I preach by Jesus Christ ; He is Lord of all.
Some may ask, what about trials and afflictions ? If soul trials, soul afflictions, soul conflicts, is meant (which none but God's children know), I answer, they lie just between the journey from the city of destruction and the celestial city Jerusalem above ; they begin with the first step, and only finally end
“When death that puts an end to life,
Shall put an end to sin,” or sinful flesh. If outward afflictions are meant, such as losses and crosses, sickness, privations, deaths, solemn visitations, &c., then I answer in these there is no distinction. The Holy Ghost (Eccles. ix. 1, 2) says, " All things come alike to all.” There is one event (of an outward kind) to the righteous and to the wickel, so that no man shall know by all that is before him either love or hatred; something infinitely higher than outward afflictions, must prove whether “ I am a chosen, loved, adopted son of the Most High God, or whether I am a bastard. When outward afflictions befall the child of God, he may
be very submissive or he may be very rebellious. I have seen persons destitute of grace as patient and submissive as a lamb under severe affliction ; and I have seen the children of God as rebellious as Jonah. Since grace has occupied its seat in my heart I have experimentally proved these two extremes, by which I have learnt it is not the outward affliction itself
that can sanctify, but the Spirit of God; and He can do so either with or without them. I speak thus, because sometimes when the child of God sees trouble, like a gloomy cloud, gathering around him, he asks, “ Art thou come to bring my sin to my remembrance? what have I done that this calamity is come upon me?” This is a distressing mistake. On the other hand, he may say,
" because I have troubles and afflictions here 'tis a proof that I am a son. This is a false comfort. I say that outward trials, sorrows, crosses, or afflictions, neither make us sons or prove that we are sops. “ Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision;" but first, a new creature; secondly, “ faith that worketh by love,” which purifies the heart, and is the only true regulator of the walk and conversation of a Christian man.
R. WHEELER. 36, Charles street, Middlesex Hospital.
THE LORD OF THE HARVEST.
“ They that sow in tears shall reap in joy: He that goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."-Psalm exxvi. 5, 6.
The time for toil has passed, and night has come,
The last and saddest of the harvest eves;
Each laden with his sheaves.
Lord of the harvest, and my spirit grieves
Master, behold my sheaves.
Through all my frame a weary aching leaves,
Yet these are all my sheaves.
Brambles and flowers, dry stalks and withered leaves,
“Master, behold my sheaves."
With evening dew upon their folded leaves,
The glory of my sheaves !
For well I know thy patient love perceives
Thou wilt accept my sheaves.
September, 1867. This large, we may say handsome weekly and monthly journal, being conducted by Shirley Hibberd, Esq., F.R.H.S., is decidedly one of the best of the Horticultural and Floricultural papers now in existence; and its low price places it within the reach of many thousands who now, as amateurs, amuse themselves in their gardens, shrubberies, nurseries, and groves.-Ev.]
When God brings Paradise restored into a man's heart, he brings him first into the deep valley of humiliation.