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with the free offer of salvation at the very outset. But if it be true, that those of them who wilfully persist in those misdoings, which they could give up on the inducement of a temporal reward, will not, in point of fact, be so impressed by the offer, or be so disposed to accept of it, as those who (on the call of ‘Flee from the coming wrath;’ and on being told, that unless they repent they shall perish; and on being made to know, what our Saviour made inquirers know at the very starting point of their progress as his disciples, that he who followeth after him must forsake all,) have begun to break off their sins, and to put the evil of their doings away from them; then we are not stripping the offer of its attribute of perfect freeness, but we are only doing what God in his wisdom did two thousand years ago; we are, under him, preparing souls for the reception of this offer, when, along with the business of proposing it, which we cannot do too early, we bring the urgency of an immediate call to bear on the children of iniquity, that they should cease to do evil, and learn to do well. “The publicans and harlots entered into the kingdom of God before the Pharisees, and yet the latter were free from the outward transgressions of the former. Now, the fear which restrains many from lifting the immediate call of “Cease ye from your transgressions,’ is, lest it should put those who obey the call into the state of Pharisees; and there is a secret, though not avowed, impression in their minds, that it were better for their hearers to remain in the state of publicans and har}ots, and in this state to have the offer of Christ and all his benefits set before them. But mark well, that it was not the publicans and harlots who persisted in their iniquities, but they who counted John to be a prophet, and in obedience to his call were putting their iniquities away from them, who had the advantage of the Pharisees. None will surely say, that those of them who continued as they were, were put into a state of preparation for the Saviour by the preaching of John. Some will be afraid to say, that those of them who gave up their iniquities at the bidding of John were put into a state of preparation, lest it should encourage a pharisaical confidence in our own doings. But mark the distinction between these and the Pharisees: the Pharisees might be as free as the reforming publicans and harlots, of those visible transgressions which characterized them ; but on this they rested their confidence, and put the offered Saviour away from them. The publicans and harlots, so far from resting their confidence on the degree of reformation which they had accomplished,
were prompted to this reformation by the hope of the coming Saviour. They connected with all their doings the expectation of greater things. They waited for the kingdom of God that was at hand; and the preaching of John, under the influence of which they had put away from them many of their misdeeds, could never lead them to stop short at this degree of amendment, when the very same John told them of one who was to come after him, in comparison of whom he and all his sermons were as nothing. The Saviour did come, and he said of those publicans and harlots who believed and repented at the preaching of John, that they entered the kingdom of heaven before the Pharisees. They had not earned that kingdom by their doings, but they were in a fitter and readier state for receiving the tidings of it. The gospel came to them on the footing of a free and unmerited offer; and on this footing it should be proposed to all. But it is not on this footing that it will be accepted by all. Not by men who, free from many glaring and visible iniquities, rest on the decency of their own character;-not by men who, deformed by these iniquities, still wilfully and obstinately persist in them; but by men who, earnest in their inquiries after salvation, and who, made to know, as they ought to be at the very outset of their inquiries, that it is a salvation from sin as well as from punishment, have given up the practice of their outward iniquities, as the first fruit and evidence of their earnestness. “Let me, therefore, in addition to the lesson I have already urged upon you, warn you against a pharisaical confidence in your own doings. While, on the one hand, I tell you that none are truly seeking who have not begun to do; I, on the other hand, tell you, that none have truly found who have not taken up with Christ as the end of the law for righteousness. Let Jesus Christ, the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever, be the end of your conversation. Never take rest till you have found it in him. You never will have a well-grounded comfort in your intercourse with God, till you have learned the way of going to the throne of his grace in fellowship with Christ as your appointed mediator;-you never will rejoice in hope of the coming glory till your peace be made with God through Jesus Christ our Lord ; you never will be sure of pardon, till you rest in the forgiveness of your sins as coming to you through the redemption which is in his blood. And what is more, addressing you as people who have received a practical impulse to the obedience of the commandments, never forget, that, while the reformation of your first and earliest stages in the Christian life went no farther than to the amendment of your more obvious and visible defieiencies, this reformation, to be completed, must bring the soul and spirit, as well as the body, under a subserviency to the glory of God; and it never can be completed but by the shedding abroad of that spirit which is daily poured on the daily prayers of believers; and I call upon you always to look up to God through the channel of Christ’s appointed mediatorship, that you may receive through this same channel, a constant and ever increasing supply of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. “I call upon you to be up and doing; but I call upon you, with the very same breath, not to rest satisfied with any dark, or doubtful, or confused notions about your way of acceptance with God; and let it be your earnest and never-ceasing object to be found in that way. While you have the commandments and keep them, look at the same time for the promised manifestations. To be indifferent whether you have a clear understanding of the righteousness of Christ, is the same as thinking it not worth your while to inquire into that which God thought it worth his while to give up his Son unto the death that he might accomplish. It is to affront God, by letting him speak while you refuse to listen or attend to him. Have a care, lest it be an insulting sentiment on your part, as to the worth of your polluted services, and that, sinful as they are, and defective as they are, they are good enough for God. Lean not on such a bruised reed; but let Christ, in all the perfection of that righteousness, which is unto all them and upon all them that believe, be the alone rock of your confidence. Your feet will never get on a sure place till they be established on that foundation than which there is no other; and to delay a single moment in your attempts to reach it, and to find rest upon it, after it is so broadly announced to you, is to incur the aggravated guilt of those who neglect the great salvation, and who make God a liar, by suspending their belief of that record which he hath given of his Son, “And this is the record that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.’”
Sketch of the Life of John Jameway.
“O most delightful hour, by man
All heaven unfolded to my eyes,
Among the numerous pleasing instances of the cheering power of religion on the mind, in a dying hour, few have equalled and perhaps none ever excelled the following. John Janeway was born in Hertfordshire, in 1633. His parents were pious persons. Before he became acquainted with real religion, he appears to have possessed many amiable qualifications. He made a considerable progress in various branches of literature; and at the age of seventeen was chosen to King’s College, Cambridge. When he was about eighteen, it pleased the ever blessed God, to lead him to an acquaintance with those things which belonged to his everlasting peace. The change in his heart appears to have been gradual; and the conversation of a young man, in the same college, to have been one of the means employed for his conversion. At this time his views respecting some of his favourite studies changed. He saw that astronomy surveyed but a mole-hill, compared with the glorious objects, which the gospel discovers. He pitied those who curiously inquire into everything but the “one thing needful;” and counted all things as dross and dung compared with Christ and him crucified. From this period of his life to its conclusion, he manifested the power of heartfelt religion; the peace and satisfaction of his soul were discernible in his countenance; and his affections were set “on the things which are above.” As he himself enjoyed the comforts of the divine favour, he longed that others should partake of the same delights. Influenced by this desire, he wrote many affecting letters to different friends; recommending their eternal interests to their care; and directing them to Christ, the sinner's refuge. With prayers and tears he sought the divine blessing on these attempts to lead others to that source of consolation, whence his comforts flowed. In private conversation he pursued the same object; and his endea. vours among his own relations were very successful. In his own conduct he displayed the lovely nature of real piety; and while he thus recommended the gospel to men, prayer and communion with God were his delight. It was his custom to set apart a portion of his time daily for secret retirement and solemn meditation. This practice is warmly recommended in Mr. Baxter's “Saint’s Everlasting Rest,” a book which he peculiarly prized. On one of these occasions a friend of his, unknown to him, happened to be in a situation where he observed all that passed : and his remarks on what he saw are worthy of insertion. “O what a spectacle did I see surely, a man walking with God, conversing intimately with his Maker, and maintaining a holy familiarity with the great Jehovah. Methought I saw one talking with God. O! what a glorious sight it was ; methinks I see him still; how sweetly did his face shine! 0, with what a lovely countenance did he walk up and down, his lips going, his body oft reaching up, as if he would have taken his flight into heaven His looks, and smiles, and every motion spake him to be upon the very confines of glory. O ! had one but known what he was then feeding on 1 Surely, he had ‘meat to eat which the world knew not of!’” He was full of love to the souls of men; and often lamented that Christians, in their mutual converse, do no more to advance each other's spiritual welfare. He once sat silent and wrote down in short-hand, the discourse of some that professed to have a peculiar acquaintance with religion, and afterwards read it to them; and asked them whether such conversation was such as they would be willing God should record.—“Oh, said he, to spend an hour or two together, and to hear scarcely a word for Christ, or that speaks peoples hearts in love with holiness! Where is our love to God and souls all this while * Where is our sense of the preciousness of time, of the greatness of our account? Should we talk thus, if we believed that we should hear of this again at the day of judgment And do we not know that we must give an account of every idle word? Did saints in former times use their tongues to no better purpose Would Enoch, David, or Paul, have talked thus 2 Is this the sweetest communion of Saints upon earth 2 How shall we do to spend etermity in speaking the praises of God, if we cannot find matter for an hour’s discourse 2 “Doth not this speak aloud that our hearts are very empty of grace, and that we have little sense of spiritual and eternal concerns f" He walked humbly with his God; and was favoured with so much of the divine presence, and with so bright a hope of glory, beyond the grave, that, in the midst of all worldly comforts, he longed for death; and the thoughts of the day of judgment made all his enjoyments sweeter. He earnestly desired the coming of the Lord; and, when some persons were discoursing with him respecting that solemn period, he smiled and expressed his delight in the thought of its approach. On an occasion, when “that day for which all other days were made,” was mentioned, he said, “What if the day of judgment were to come, as it will most
certainly come shortly If I were sure the day of judgment were to begin with. in an hour, I should be glad with all my heart. If at this very instant I were to hear such thunderings and see such lightnings, as Israel did at Mount Sinai, I am persuaded my very heart would leap for joy. Of this I am confident, through infinite mercy, that the meditation of that day hath ravished my soul, and the thought of its certainty and nearness is more refreshing to me than the comforts of the whole world. Surely nothing can more revive my spirits, than to behold the blessed Jesus, the joy and life, and beauty of my soul. I lately dreamed that the day of judgment was come. Methought I heard terrible thunder, and saw dreadful lightnings; the foundations of the earth did shake, and the heavens were rolled together as a garment; yea, all things visible were in a flame; methought I saw the graves opened, and the earth and sea giving up their dead; methought I saw millions of angels, and Christ coming in the clouds. Methought I beheld the Ancient of days sitting upon his throne, and all other thrones cast down. Methought I belield him whose garments were white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire, a fiery stream issued and came forth from him; thousands of thousands ministered unto him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; and the judgment was set, and the books were opened. O ! with what an ecstasy of joy was I surprised methought it was the most heart-raising sight that ever my eyes beheld : and then I cried out, ‘ I have waited for thy salvation, O God!’ and so I mounted into the air, to meet my Lord in the clouds.” It was not long before his earnest desires for heavenly bliss were satisfied. When he was about twenty-two, the symptoms of a deep consumption appeared. Words can scarcely express the triumphant state of his mind, during a great part of his last sickness. His soul was filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Often would he say, “Oh, that I could but let you know what I now feel ! Oh, that I could show you what I now see O that I could express the thousandth part of that sweetness that I now find in Christ! you would all then think it well worth while to make it your business to be religious. O, my dear friends, we little think what Christ is worth upon a deathbed. I would not for a world, nay, for millions of worlds, be now without Christ and a pardon. I would not for a world live any longer: the very thoughts of a possibility of recovery, make me even tremble.” A person who came to visit him ex
pressed a hope that he might yet recover: “And do you think to please me (said he) by such discourse as this 2 No, friend, you are much mistaken in me, if you think that the thoughts of life, and health, and the world, are pleasing to me. The world hath quite lost its excellency in my judgment. O how poor and contemptible a thing is it in all its glory, compared with the glory of that invisible world, which I now live in sight of! And as for life, Christ is my life, health, and strength ; and I know, I shall have another kind of life, when I leave this. It would incomparably more please me, if you should say to me, you cannot possibly hold out long; before to-morrow you will be in eternity! I do so long to be with Christ, that I could be contented to be cut in pieces, and to be put to the most exquisite torments, so that I might but die, and be with Christ. O, how sweet is Jesus! “Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.” Death, do thy worst! Death hath lost its terribleness. Death, it is nothing (through grace) to me. I can as easily die as shut my eyes, or turn my head and sleep: I long to be with Christ; I long to die.” On one occasion, when his mother and brothers were in the room with him, he earnestly besought his mother, not to attempt to hinder, by her prayers, his departure to eternal rest; and turning to his brothers, said, “I charge you all, do not pray for my life any more : you do me wrong, if you do. O that glory, the unspeakable glory that I behold ! My heart is full, my heart is full. Christ smiles, and I cannot but smile : can you find in your heart to stop me, who am now going to the complete and eternal enjoyment of Christ? Would you keep me from my crown The arms of my blessed Saviour are open to embrace me; the angels stand ready to carry my soul into his bosom. O, did you but see what I see, you would all cry out with me, how long, dear Lord: come Lord Jesus, come quickly! Oh, why are his chariot wheels so long a coming * When a pious minister had been discoursing with him on the Saviour’s excellency, and the glory of the unseen world, he said, “Sir, I feel something of it; my heart is as full as it can hold in this lower state ; I can hold no more here. O that I could but let you know what I feel !” As he approached the end of his course, his mind was commonly filled with joy; yet even his happiness had some small intermissions; at such times, he said, “hold out faith and patience; yet a little while, and your work will be done.” He used every evening to take his leave of his friends, hoping not to see them, till the morning of the resurrec
tion; and he desired them to make sure of a comfortable meeting in a better world; and when he saw some of them weeping, desired them rather to rejoice than weep on his account. Not long before his departure to etermal rest, one of his brothers while engaged in prayer with him, besought God to continue the happiness he enjoyed, so that he might go, as it were, from one heaven to another, and from imperfect joy to perfect glory. After this the comforts poured into his soul were so great, that words cannot express his blessedness, and the relation must fall far short of the reality.—He broke out in such words as these: “O, he is come ! he is come ! 0 how glorious is the blessed Jesus! How shall I speak the thousandth part of his praises! O for words, to set out a little of that excellency! But it is inexpressible ! “O, my friends, come look upon a dying man, and wonder; I myself cannot but wonder! Was there ever greater kindness 2 were there ever such manifestations of rich grace! O why me, Lord? why me Sure this is akin to heaven; and if I were never to enjoy any more than this, it were well worth all the torments that man or devils could invent, to come through even a hell to such transcendent joys as these. If this be dying, dying is sweet: let no true Christians ever be afraid of dying. O death is sweet to me. This bed is soft. The smiles and visits of Christ, would turn hell into heaven. O that you did but see and feel what I do | Corne and behold a dying man more cheerful than ever you saw any healthful man in the midst of his sweetest enjoyments. O, sirs, worldly pleasures are pitiful, poor, sorry things, compared with one glimpse of this glory, which shines so strongly into my soul! O why should any of you be so sad, when I am so glad! This, this is the hour that I have waited for.” As joy was his portion, praise was his delight. When ministers or Christians came to him, he would beg them to spend all the time they passed with him in praise. “O, said he, help me to praise God, I have nothing else to do, from this time to eternity, but to praise and love God. I have what my soul desires upon earth; I cannot tell what to pray for, but what I have graciously given. I want but one thing, and that is, a speedy lift to heaven. I expect no more here, I cannot desire more, I cannot bear more. O praise, praise, praise that infinite boundless love that hath, to a wonder, looked upon my soul, and done more for me than for thousands of his children. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Help me, help me, O my friends, to praise and admire him that now, my dear mother, brethren and sisters, farewell; I leave you for a while, and I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.” “And now, dear Lord, my work is done. I have finished my course, I have fought the good fight; and henceforth there remaineth for me a crown of righteousness Now come dear Lord Jesus, come quickly.” At length his course was completed, and he perceived death approaching. His jaws quivered, his hands and feet grew cold as clay, and a cold sweat spread over him, but he was glad indeed when he found his spirit departing. He endured some severe pangs of dissolution, and then fell asleep in Jesus. He died in June, 1657, aged 22. His mortal remains rest, till the resurrection of the just, in Kilshall church, Hertfordshire. Pike's Consolations.
hath done such astonishing wonders for my soul; he hath pardoned all my sins, he hath filled me with his goodness, he hath given me grace and glory, and no good thing hath he withheld from me.” “Come, help me with praises, all is too little: come, help me, O ye glorious and mighty angels, who are so well skilled in this heavenly work of praise. Praise him, all ye creatures upon the earth, let every thing that hath being, help me to praise him. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah; praise is now my work, and I shall be engaged in that sweet employment for ever.” On another occasion he uttered such words as these : “Admire God for ever and ever, O ye redeemed ones. O those joys, the taste of which I have The everlasting joys, which are at his right hand for evermore' Eternity, eternity itself is too short to praise this God in. O bless the Lord with me, come let us shout for joy, and boast in the God of our salvation. O, help me to praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever.” According to his desire, most of the time that was spent with him, was spent in praise; yet still he said, “More praise still. O help me to praise him: I have now nothing else to do; I have done with prayer and all other ordinances; I have almost done conversing with mortals. I shall presently behold Christ himself that died for me, and loved mte, and washed me in his blood.” “I shall, before a few hours are over,
be in eternity, singing the song of Moses,
and the song of the Lamb. I shall presently stand upon Mount Zion, with an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. I shall hear the voice of much people, and be one amongst them, who shall say, Hallelujah, Salvation, glory, honour, and power, unto the Lord our God; and again, we shall say Hallelujah. And yet a little while, and I shall sing unto the Lamb, a song of praise, saying, worthy art thou to receive praise who wert slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall reign with thee for ever and ever.” “Methinks I stand, as it were, with one foot in heaven, and the other upon earth; methinks I hear the melody of heaven, and by faith I see the angels waiting to carry my soul to the bosom of Jesus, and I shall be for ever with the Lord in glory.” A few hours before his death he called his relations together, and affectionately expressed his wishes for their eternal welfare: he concluded with saying, “And
Extract from Bishop Porteus' Poem on Death.
At Thy good time Let death approach; I reck not:—let him Conne In genuine form, not with thy vengeance armed, Too much for man to bear. O ! rather lend Thy kindly aid to mitigate his stroke. Then shed thy comforts o'er me; then put on The gentlest of thy looks; then deign to cheer My fainting heart with the consoling hope Of Mercy, Mercy, at thy hands!—And Thou, Whom soft-eyed Pity once let down from Heaven To bleed for Man, to teach him how to live, And, O, still harder lesson how to die; Disdain not thou to smooth the restless bed Of sickness and of pain. Forgive the tear That feeble nature drops; calm all her fears; Fix her firm trust on thy triumphant Cross, Wake all her hopes, and animate her Faith; Till my rapt Soul, anticipating Heaven, Bursts from the thraldom of incumb’ring clay, And, on the wing of ecstasy upborne, Springs into liberty, and light, and life.”
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