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How I became a Preacher of Christ's Gospet


To Henry Wise, Pastor of Carmel chapel, Pimlico. MY DEAR BROTHER, -1 address this letter to the readers of the VESSEL through you,

partly because of our long and tried friendship in the Gospel, and partly because you could, if necessary, verify all the statements I have made. Much has been omitted, which you know might have been inserted, and what is written has been

written only that “The Lord might be magnified.” Yours truly, J. BRUNT. I was called by grace in my sixteenth year, under the ministry of a man of God, of the Independent persuasion, but was led to see that I should be immersed before I could properly join a church: I was baptised at Watford, Hertfordshire, by a Mr. Hall, under whose ministry I was much instructed and greatly blessed. Being engaged in the Sunday school, I was asked to accompany some friends into the villages, where they went every Sunday to preach the Gospel. I was requested to read and pray, and afterwards encouraged to say a few words, as I might feel at liberty. This continued until I was sent forth alone to hold a service. Time passed on, and our pastor sent in his resignation, this being accepted, we had supplies, and among them a Mr. Pottinger. I heard this minister of Jesus Christ, with a strange delight. I now know, that he preached differently from our other supplies, but then I did not know that there were differences of opinion, and of doctrine.

Mr. Pottinger did not settle with us, but left Watford for Newcastle, and I have never been favoured to meet with him, and perhaps I never may this side Jordan. However, the Lord blessed the occasional ministry of our brother to me, yet was I as ignorant as a child in the matter. His ministry left an aching void, that all our other supplies, could never fill.

Will any reader credit what I say? I know not, yet must I say it, “I knew not wherein he differed from his brethren. I only knew that I had heard from his lips what I had never heard before. I became dissatisfied under the ministrations of the various supplies, and also under the teachings of him who became our pastor ; but really why I objected, I did not know; I could not explain the experience of which I was then the subject. For the first time in my religious life, I was dissatisfied with what might be called the preaching of the Gospel.

In God's good Providence I was led to a little chapel in our town, where some people, wbo I had been told were Antinomians, met, who having no settled pastor, had the services of men who were some Baptists and some Independents. I remember creeping into the chapel, almost afraid of being seen, and truly seeking something which, had I been questioned, I could not have defined. Yet here, the Lord made the crooked straight, the rough plain, and the darkness he turned into light. Under the ministry of Whittle, Eason, Tite, Osborne, Southall, Blackstock and others I heard, I rejoiced, and truly, if ever any soul was brought out of prison, or brought back from captivity, mine was that soul.

I left the fellowship of the church, where I had spent about twelve years, but I could not join this people, for they did not practise immersion, but they did practise open communion. I began, I trust in the fear of the Lord, to speak in the name of the Lord one night a week, in a school-room hired for the occasion. Some of the Lord's people gathered


round me, some said, “If he were not so young we could hear him;" others asked me if I had read Huntington, Gadsby, Philpot, Murrell, Foreman, Wells and others. I answered, truly, that so far from having heard them, I had not heard of them.

Twelve months passed thus, and some friends took a little chapel for Sunday worship; suffice it to say that here a Church was formed, and we called ourselves “The Particular and Strict Baptists." I thankfully own that during the five years I preached in Watford, the Lord gave many signs of approval, such signs, in fact, as will be my comfort as long as I stay in the wilderness. May I say that I preached for no salary, being in business ; but, by a singular Providence I was invited to preach at Bedford one Sunday; here the Lord so blessed the word that I received a unanimous invitation to the pastorate, and was persuaded that I should give up my business and “go into the ministry." I did so, and my salary, was twenty shillings per week. Reader-I had at this time a family of five children. The Lord

text to go with, “I will never leave you." He never has. He says, or, rather the word declares, “ The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.”

Thus the Lord made me a preacher of Christ's Gospel, and why do I thus speak? Because although I talked about the Gospel, before the events above narrated took place, yet I preached the Gospel according to Moses, “Do and live,” and what I now know to have been the Gospel according to Fuller, “That men ought to believe in Christ for life and salvation.”

When the Lord graciously brought me into love, light, and liberty,
I preached THE GOSPEL, and hope to continue in the same until the end.

Wycombe, Bucks, January 7, 1867.

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Yours truly,

Cast Your Anchor Aloft

, States. .

WHEN I behold men, rational creatures, possessing a never dying soul,
casting anchor, during their life voyage, in their health, or strength,
wisdom, or wealth, or in a fancied future long-life, as Dives in the
parable, my heart exclaims :-

Cast your anchor aloft, mates.
When I see gallant vessels sailing over the ocean of time, making
anchorage in beauty, blue blood, fine dress, or mental accomplishments,
I cannot help saying, “cast your anchor aloft, mates."

Or, looking to prufessors of religion, as the Pharisees, casting anchor in their self-righteousness, the church-goers in their christenings and confirmations, the Papists in transubstantiation, the Arminians in their own free will, the Puseyites in their dolls and pictures, their millinery and perfumery, and many others in their fooleries, why, had I ten thousand tongues they would all be calling out, “Cast your anchor aloft, mates."

Methinks our brave British tars will laugh to scorn my simplicity in nautical matters; " Whoever heard of such a ridiculous fellow in the world as that ' land-lubber,' here we are pitching and tossing, whilst the

breakers are ahead, and all he does is crying out, “Cast your anchor aloft, mates. Does he expect we are to heave the anchor above the blue sky, and fasten anchor there, instead of down at the bottom of the blue waters? Never was such a thing done, I know, so it is no use trying to pitch us a yarn like that.”

Stop, master Salt, one minute with you, don't be quite so hasty, I must tell you that my Royal Master, King Emmanuel has the most noble fleet in the world, and his command to all His sailors is this, “Cast not your anchor on things on this earth, but cast your anchor aloft, mates," where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, “which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail.” Look here, master Salt, in casting anchor below, what security is there that in a storm the vessel shall not follow the anchor down below to the bottom, as hundreds have, doubtless, during the past year? It is said that in this kingdom sixty thousand drunkards, all of whom cast anchor in their pot and glass, go down every year; ah ! what millions go down, their vessels dragged to the bottom, every year, who delight in the way of the world, casting anchor below the skies ; 'tis true, master Salt, solemnly true, and it is none the less true that the "patent invention" of His Majesty, my Royal Master, has secured every vessel from destruction, so that he has never lost a vessel of mercy in his life, and declares 'he never will.

You stare, master Salt, and seem to be rubbing your eyes, I hope you will see clearly presently. Look here, you see that one end of the cable, which is called To the faith of God's elect,” is fastened by Jehovah Himself to the sanctified heart of the vessel of mercy, which can neither be loosened nor broken, the other end is fastened to “good hope,” as our anchor, which lays fast hold of the wounded bleeding heart of Jesus, which cannot fail, and the fact is we must draw Jesus from His throne, or he will draw every vessel into the haven of eternal rest; the first is impossible, the last is sure to be done. Our frail bark shall outlive and outride every storm, because our anchor is above. Bravo,”. cries master Salt, shouting with all his powers, “ Cast your anchor aloft, mates." Sutton, Isle of Ely,


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Who is a pilgrim ? To such men or women I write. Those who know not the pilgrim character of God's saints have much to learn. Still they are pilgrims, and I write for their edification. Living, as we do, in cities and towns, we well-nigh forget our pilgrim character. That we are pilgrims is as true of us, as a matter of fact, as of the patriarchs. Yes, we are pilgrims ! The world to us should be but as a wilderness; and the Heavenly Canaan should be looked forward to as our home. Our blessed Jesus is gone to prepare a city for us, for we should not be dispersed in towns and villages, but be the inhabitants of a city. These are, of course, only “figures of speech,” to help our thoughts and imagitions in the present state. Well, reader, how are you living ?

If the world does not see in you a pilgrim, you dishonour Christ your Saviour. We must look to the things of this world, but not unduly so. It is one thing to be getting a living, and another to be making a fortune. Here it is we fail in testimony to an unbelieving world. It is in this we deny our principles and our profession of Christ Jesus our blessed Lord and Saviour. Let us retrace our steps; our God and Father will help on and bless us if we acknowledge our sins and failings.

The coming of Christ is nigh at hand, and many are observing the signs of the times. Still a large portion of the Church requires to be aroused as to this. Yes, some are ignorant, and some are disbelieving, and some doubting ; some must love Christ? If so we shall both be looking and longing for His appearing and kingdom. Though pilgrims now we shall then be manifested as the sons of God. We who may sleep in Jesus shall be raised. We who may remain shall be changed: Then, called away, we shall together come with Christ. What a change ! Now pilgrims, but then kings and priests.

Dear brethren in Christ Jesus, all this should comfort our souls. If cast down by the way, and who is not, at times ? this should lift us up. God's truth is His blessed instrument of sanctification. Blessed Spirit, sanctify us by this truth, and help us to sustain our pilgrim character better than we have as yet done.

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” May our God and Father, help us in this matter. His be all the glory.

January, 1867.

Four Sons Dead in


One Day.



“When Jesus whispers to the soul, 'tis then we recollect
That tribulation is the lot of all God's own elect.
Then go, and tell your fellow men what God has done for you.
Go, tell them all God's promises are absolute and true.
Go, tell the heavy-laden souls who own their base behaviour.

Go, tell them God will save that man who feels he wants a Saviour.”
That is the very kind of commission which I have, if I have any

from the Lord at all; and when in my retirement I reflect upon the way, ministerially, in which I have been led, I cannot but seriously hope that the Lord has condescended to make use of one who feels, in every way, his unfitness and unworthiness more than he will ever attempt to tell.

Daniel Herbert, in the lines at the head of the chapter, speaks of two things which, for many years, I have been made to understand a little.

* When Jesus whispers to the soul.” That is one thing. The soft, silent, to me, at first, quite imperceivable whispers of the Lord, the most gentle breathings of the Spirit,

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have been great blessings; the rich main-spring of all my contemplations, fitting me for my work. Then, secondly, Daniel suggests—

“Go, tell the heavy-laden souls who own their base behaviour.” Here, again, is another tremendously deep feeling of my soul; it is to seek out, to speak unto, and to try to lead to Jesus Himself the poor, the afflicted, the guilty, the bruised, the wounded, and those almost in an agony of despair. I am not, I never was, and I expect I never shall be, a preacher to the good, the great, the learned, and the wise. I never shall be able to “offer” Jesus Christ, indiscriminately, to all men ; nor can I find either the will or the wisdom to “invite all to come to Jesus Christ," telling them they can come, they may come, they ought to come, that it is their duty to come, and all that ministerial stock in trade and preaching capital, which gathers, in these days, so many thousands. Not having the powerto minister in that general line of things, I am dreadfully despised; set at nought ; reckoned up as an hyper of the most dangerous class, and to be avoided and shunned by all who wish to be thought respectable. Yet, after all, there is not a man in all the freewill ranks; there is not a fellow in all the duty-faith army, that can feel more heart-bleeding concern for the salvation of souls, for the ingathering of precious immortals to Jesus than I sometimes feel; but I cannot tell men to do what I know they have neither will nor power to perform. I dare not put the will and work of the fallen creature in the place of the Sovereign Almighty Creator. Let God be true, let His true word be spoken, whatever dying men may say !

I am panting to come to the unfolding of that scene where I saw FOUR SONS DEAD IN ONE DAY ;” but in writing it is with me as in speaking, I cannot have my own way, I must follow the leading of One who taketh my thoughts, mind, spirit, soul, tongue, and mental powers, altogether; and useth them as He will. Before, then, I can return to the Saturday evening I referred to at the very commencement of this series of papers, I must have a few words upon three or four things which have sprung up in the way. I hope no improper feeling will arise, if I here attempt to give


OF OUR OWN DAY. And in the use of these words, “ fashionable and popular ministers," I intend no insult or offence. Every man (apart from the grace and special vocation of God) is just what Nature, education, and circumstances, make him; and I can respect every man who, in any honest and earnest way seeks the welfare of his fellow men; but if a minister make it manifest that he is both blind and deaf; not having the golden eye-salve which Christ exhorted the angel of the Laodicean church to buy of Him; without which he cannot clearly see the genius and scheme of the Gospel of God's salvation; and if in his ministrations he follows his collegiate tutors and professors, and not the teaching of the Great Master; follows the theology of the popular preachers, and builds not (his ministerial pillars) upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone : then, to such a man, I would, in the kindest spirit possible, present a word or two from the lips of Him who once said of His Father, “ The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a

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