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Gleanings from my District
Effects of the Holy Spirit
Clifton Christian Conference, The
Depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord !" 595
Caught in a Trap
Christian Man's Duty, as embodied in the
Deceitfulness and Danger of Riches 141
Fulfilment of Prophecy
Great Propitiation, The
Joyful Prospect ...
Letter of John Berridge
Quiet Thoughts at Eventide
Father's Cries, A
Life, and the Comforts of Life
Sheep, The, crying to the Shepherd
Raven and the Dove, The
Rev. John Brown (The), of Haddington
Sheep crying to the Shepherd
.333, 350, 468, 518
Warfare with the Flesh, The
Presence of the Lord, The. By J. Jay
Another Conqueror through Him who hath
Young Disciple (A): her Walk in Life, and
488, 542, 651
Escape for thy Life”
New Year's Prayer
Song in the Night, A
Thy Will be Done
Thoughts Suggested by the Passing Year
To a Friend
“ With Our Lives"
PASSING EVENTS-A MONTHLY NOTE:
558, 612, 661
" COMPORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITII YOUR GOD."
" ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE." “JESUS CHRIST, TUE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER." " WHOM TO KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL."
No. 1,237, OLD SERIEB.
The Family Portion;
OR, WORDS OF SPIRITUAL CAUTION, COUNSEL, AND COMFORT. “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any
trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”—2 Cor. i. 4.
A COVENANT PLEDGE FOR A NEW YEAR, AND FOR
ALL THE TIME-STATE OF GOD'S PEOPLE.
“My people shall never be ashamed.”—JOEL ii. 26. BELOVED, we cannot conceive of any really thoughtful mind entering upon a new and altogether unknown year, without feelings of peculiar solemnity. As lately intimated, we cannot but believe that as
, time advances, and the closing up of the present state of things draws near, matters in general will assume a graver and still more serious aspect. This we think is most clearly to be inferred from various prophecies in the Old Testament, and especially by what our Lord, and what Paul and Peter, his apostles, testified in the New. And (singular as it may appear) with all that has been advanced both from pulpit and press, in regard to Romanism and Infidelity, we are at a loss to perceive that either one or the other has received the least effectual check. Both progress as though nought had resisted them. Not merely the world, but professors of religion, seem either spellbound or under a fatal delusion, in regard to the invidious encroachments of the man of sin. Checked, and all but crushed, as Popery has been in other lands, it would seem as if England (with all her dear-bought lessons) were determined in respect to her, to cast off all the teachings of history, and the fear of God, as enjoined in His word, and nestle in her bosom the apparently-harmless viper, that, once warmed and nourished, will be only too glad to turn again and sting to the very heart's core those by whom it has been cherished. We dare not attach ourselves to those who say, there is nothing to apprehend from Popery. We believe, on the contrary, that there is everything to fear from what has proved, age after age and generation after generation, to be the proud and presumptuous usurper of both Jehovah's name and authority, as well as the inveterate enemy of
man, and the destroyer of both his temporal and spiritual interests. We altogether sympathize with the saying, that Popery is Satan's masterpiece ; hence the utmost possible craft and subtlety and deception are to be expected from the whole system. We believe, moreover, that one of the most dangerous features of the times is, that men who once prided themselves in the name of Protestant, have become weary of the exhortations and remonstrances whereby they were warned and cautioned against the advances of such a dangerous and perfidious foe. Whilst such have relaxed in their vigilance to resist and repel the invader, there has been no laxity or want of the most dogged perseverance upon the part of that invader. No, prompted by the powers of darkness, there has been, and still is, firm, steady, indomitable resolution, upon the part of Popery, to obtain, at any cost, its long-cherished object-namely, the subjugation of England; and we are free to confess, that our hope, as to results, is not in man nor his devices, but simply and solely in the Lord our God! We think that, as a nation, He has given over England “to believe a lie;" and that Popery will most assuredly progress to such an extent as to defy all creature-power; and that when it has attained that eminence and dominion for which it has so long panted, then, in the most signal and awfully-momentous way, God Himself will visit Babylon with all His ruinous, crushing, and most destructive power. When Popery has filled up the cup of her filth and abominations, then, as it is written, “God will remember her iniquities.” When she shall say in her heart, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” then “shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come” (Rev. xviii. 8–10). . Reader, be assured that this destruction of the mystic Babylon is inevitable. Turn, we pray you, to what is recorded in the 6th chapter of this same book of the Revelation ; there we read: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth ?” (Rev. vi. 9, 10.).
But our present object, beloved reader, is by no means to dwell on these things. We merely glance at them as introductory and bearing upon the great and glorious declaration of our text, “ My people shall never be ashamed.' It is strong and emphatic language, but not too strong nor too emphatic for the varied emergencies and diversified trials and afflictions with which the dear children of God are more or less familiar. Nay, it is the very assurance they need. It
is a testimony exactly adapted to their state, and, under the powerful application of the Holy Ghost, may well assuage their fears, and cheer and comfort them, as they step over the threshold of a new and untrodden year.
“My people shall never be ashamed.”
Now, beloved, first mark the claim, “My people.” How marve lously gracious and condescending upon the part of Jehovah to speak of poor sinful worms of the earth in such terms as these. That there may be no mistake or misapprehension as to the fact of such being the condition, in a spiritual point of view, of those of whom the Lord speaks as His people, observe what the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to say, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, 0 earth : for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isa. i. 2—4). Again, the prophet adds: “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isa. i. 5, 6). Beloved, we make special reference to this testimony of the Holy Ghost by the prophet, because we full well know how apt the children of God are to believe that it is impossible they can be His people. The longer they tarry in the wilderness, the more do they discover the vileness of their own hearts, and the deadly antagonism of everything appertaining to their poor fallen state to all that is of God. “The law they find in their members warring against the law of their ” (better or new-created) “mind brings them into captivity to the law of sin which is in their members,” and “works in them all manner of concupiscence.” Hence, as they are led into a painful discovery of these things, they become the subjects of doubt and fear and apprehension as to whether they really can be the people of God. They for the time overlook the great fact, that this very experience (however painful) proves that they are His children, and that what they are now learning is the immediate fruit and effect of the Holy Ghost's having said to them, “Turn about, O son of man, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these." This is the method by which He humbles them, and brings them to lay low and broken and contrite at His blessed footstool.
Whilst upon this subject, beloved, we cannot but express our conviction, that the Lord will specially maintain His work in the souls of His people, in a very clear and distinctive way, in these evil days; there shall not be, upon the part of His Spirit-taught ones, in the leastwise a mixing up and a confounding with prevailing fatal errors and destructive delusions, on the one hand; nor a gliding into and a