Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

this purpose is that of Sunday-schools for instructing children in Atheistical principles. The Atheists of London,' says a paper published in

“ Pimlico, are now engaged in attempts to imitate or parody the forms of Christianity. It is not very long ago that, with feelings of revulsion, we witnessed at Cleveland Hall the

reception of an infant into the Atheistic body. Its mistaken mother publicly placed the child in the arms of the notorious lecturer, Mr. Bradlaugh, who bestowed upon it his Atheistic blessing, in some sort of way imitating the forms of Christian baptism. The journal conducted by the same individual has also recently contained forms for ceremonies at burials and marriages. The latest movement is an attempt to establish a Sunday-school, of which we believe that Mr. Charles Watts, Mr. Bradlaugh’s alter ego, is the secretary, and which is to be opened next Sunday.'

"Nor is this all, frightful though it be. "Ladies,' it appears, are as busy in their endeavours to propagate Atheism by organized instrumentalities, as the Atheists of our own sex. It is proposed, it seems, to establish a 'Ladies' Secular Club'—the word 'Secular' meaning • Atheistical'

and the two ‘ladies' most active in the business are, according to the London Review, Mrs. Bradlaugh and Miss Emily Faithful.

“Surely these are signs of the times which possess an awful significance. They clearly portend the near approach of the period when the terrible conflict which is pointed to in so many prophetic portions of the Scriptures will take place. The great practical question will ere long be, not what form of religion we are to have, but whether we are to have any form of religion at all-whether we shall recognize the existence of God, and a future state, or whether we shall not, in imitation of the French at the time of the Revolution of 1794, openly proclaim in the ears of all mankind, “That there is no God, and that death is an eternal sleep.'

“It will be seen that I have devoted much of the present volume to a succession of chapters on The Heresies of the Plymouth Brethren.' I mentioned in my previous volume that I had, in my day, including my literary works, written fifty-two volumes; and now cannot refrain from saying that I never, in preparing any work, met with anything approaching the amount of difficulty I experienced in getting at the more important facts connected with the · History and Heresies of the Plymouth Brethren.' The difficulty chiefly arose from the perpetually-recurring contradictions of each other's statements, which I had to encounter, in conjunction with the flat and frequent contradictions which their leaders made of themselves, owing to changes in their opinions at various periods of their lives. I hope, however, I have succeeded at last, although I have not been able to go so fully into the subject as I could have wished. But I trust I shall be able, before long, to republish in a separate form, very considerably enlarged, what I have here written. My intention to do this is grounded on a profound conviction that the heresies of the Plymouth Brethren have not hitherto been as effectually exposed, as it is not only in the interests of religion, but in the interests of society as well, that such a system of religion as Darbyism should be fully comprehended, and its pernicious tendencies made manifest to all. It will, of course, be understood that there are exceptional cases to those I have described, as there are to every rule, but I pledge myself that there is no exaggeration in what I have written in relation to the Plymouth Brethren as a body.

“Before I close my Preface, I am desirous of saying that it was my intention to have written at much greater length on the deplorable advances

6

[ocr errors]

6

which opinions of the most pernicious kind not only have already made, but are at this hour making, in what is called the religious world ; but the extent of the space to which I was obliged to limit myself has precluded the possibility of my going further into the subject than I have done.

“I will only say, in concluding this Preface, that to me it is one of the worst signs of the times that the appalling progress which error, in every form, alike dishonouring to God and destructive to souls, is making, appears to excite scarcely any concern on the part of thousands of persons filling the pulpits of the land, and who profess to hold and inculcate Evangelical principles. Instead of sounding the alarm in trumpet tones in the ears of their hearers, one may listen to their ministrations for weeks and months together, without a single reference escaping their lips, to the fearful position in which we are placed. The responsibility to God and to souls under which such unfaithful ministers of the Gospel have laid themselves by this indifference is something immeasurably more awful than the mind can conceive ; but the day will come--and no one

; can tell how near it may be—when those on whom the responsibility rests will realize it in all its tremendous proportions,—in all its crushing power. But, as it is not impossible that this volume may meet the eye of a greater or less number of such ministers of the Gospel—of those, at least, who are conventionally so considered—let me, in the hope of their escaping such a doom, earnestly ask them to weigh well the dreadful denunciations on those unfaithful pastors and priests who lived in the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, &c., which abound in the prophetic books of Scripture. They are, it might be supposed, sufficiently terrible to make all unfaithful ministers of the Gospel in the present day tremble at the thought that they should be applicable to them. As a parting word to those unfaithful preachers who crowd our pulpits at the present day, I would entreat them to remember that it is not those only who preach doctrinal errors of a deadly kind that have placed themselves within the limits of the dreadful denunciations to which I have referred. No less guilty are those in the sight of God, and no less certainly do they come within the scope of those severe threatenings, who do not faithfully preach the grand central truths of the Gospel, though professing to entertain them,—those truths whereby alone souls can be saved. I regard, indeed, the suppression of vital truth as the great besetting sin which attaches to our present pulpit ministrations. It is my profound conviction that more mischief is done through our modern preaching, by withholding the saving truths of the Gospel, than by the actual inculcation of positive error. " JAMES GRANT.

"London, April, 1869." We have thus enabled Mr. GRANT to speak for himself. We would only add, that his many years' intimate connexion with the literary and newspaper world has given him an opportunity above most other men of knowing what is transpiring in the world at large. Hence Mr. Grant is entitled to the greater consideration in his expression of opinion. We have long thought with him, that the varied secular and carnal uses to which the professed houses of God, more particularly among dissenting bodies, are of late applied, are among the marked and lamentable features of our times, as confirming and illustrating the fact, that we live in a day of great declension and soul-destructive dissipation and error. Mr. GRANT has likewise dwelt with too good reason upon the extreme apathy and indifference exhibited by those making a great profession of religion, in regard to the fearful and fatal fallacies of our times. A spirit of supineness seems to have come over the community at large. We have long said that the tone of mind exhibited by men high in authority in the so-called religious world, with respect to the progress of evil, has been that which we are wont to consider was selfish and criminal in Hezekiah : “There shall be peace and truth in my days," as much as to say,

" As to what follows, I must leave to those who sud eed me; they must take care of themselves.” Humanly speaking, had there been less of self, and more zeal for God, and a becoming concern for our sacred privileges and advantages, the undermining and threatened annihilation of those privileges and advantages would not have progressed as it has done.

Mr. GRANT's book will, we are sure, like its predecessors, be read with deep and but too painful interest, and it is well that men's minds should be aroused to the facts it contains. A Handmaid of the Lord. Some Records of Johanna Brooks. London :

Morgan and Chase, Ludgate Hill, ALTHOUGH we by no means approve of women-preachers, but feel they are never so much in their right place as when “keepers at home," and

guiding the house," JOHANNA BROOKS was a remarkable character, nevertheless. We dare not say her labours, in itinerating among the wilds of Devon, were not to some extent owned and blessed of God. She died at the age of 71.

BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS RECEIVED. Our Own Fireside.-Sunday Magazine.- Churchman's Monthly Penny Magazine.-The Rosebud.- Recollections of Past Mercies. By F. Farvis, Tetbury.—The Shipwrecked Mariner.—The Record of the Priests' Protection Society.– Nelly Scott; or, The Orphan Child.—Peace with God; or, The Sinner's Refuge.— Words of Wesley; or, Constant Communion. - An Essay upon "The Greatest of Created Beings." -None but Christ.

- The Two “ Co-ops ;" or, Geoffrey Trundle's Christmas Home. By Rev. P. B. Power, M.A.-The Lord's Love. Rev. H. L. Harkness, M.A. -"It is Finished.” A Sermon for Good Friday.--Our National Church : Its true Glory. A Sermon by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. —The British Workman Out and at Home.-- The Evangelical Church Union.—The Gardener's Magazine.

A SONG IN THE NIGHT. LORD, whisper to our hearts

Then, though the dark’ning clouds Thy messa

ages

of
peace,

May hover o'er our way,
Let patience have her perfect work, We linger not, we murmur not,
And faith and hope increase ;

We're looking for the day.
We long to love Thee more,
To do Thy righteous will,

Thou art Thine Israel's God, While trav'lling on from day to Oh! guide us by thine eye; day,

Shield us from every treacherous Oh! whisper peace be still!

snare,

And fix our thoughts on high ; How that sweet Word of Thine

We're journeying on to rest, Will cheer our drooping heart,

And soon shall reach our home: Forbid our unbelieving fears,

A few more struggles here below, And solid peace impart.

And we no more shall roam! Birmingham.

E. B. M.

THE

GOSPEL MAGAZINE.

"S COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD."

“ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OP PEACE" 'JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER." " WHOM TO KNOW IS LIFE ETERNAL.

[blocks in formation]

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.

THE END! THE END !
Through every period of my life,

Thy goodness I'll pursue ;
And after death, in distant worlds

The glorious theme renew.” " The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me : Thy mercy, O Lord,

endureth for ever : forsake not the works of Thine own hands.".

PSALM CXxxviii. 8. BELOVED READER,-In once more taking up this subject, let us again remind you of the satisfaction and blessedness couched in the very opening of this declaration. Mark you, it is the Lord, and the Lord alone, is the Doer! With Him, and with Him only, originated the plan, the purpose, the design of all His wise and merciful and gracious arrangements in regard to His Church and people; and as He designed, so He has maintained and carried on to the present moment; and as He has carried on, so most assuredly will He perfect and complete! Beloved, we earnestly desire that both your mind and our own likewise may be increasingly led forth in a contemplation of this great fact, that it is the Lord-THE Lord-is the Designer, the Maintainer, and will finally be the Accomplisher of each and all the great and the glorious things bearing both upon the time-state and the eternal condition of His redeemed. The more our poor finite minds are enabled to cherish and to dwell

upon

this rich and distinguishing mercy, the more stable will those minds be, and the less ruffled by the merely passing circumstances of our wilderness

our merely temporary sojourn in this vale of tears. Oh to be privileged to enter into the fulness of that precious declaration of the psalmist, “ I have set the Lord always before me.

Because Heis at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Now from this arose his satisfaction. Here was his stay-here his consolation. So continuously do we find, dear reader, that David's mind was led off

course

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

from passing circumstances to an appeal to and a resting upon the Lord Himself! His thoughts and His words were so constantly directed to Him—the Person-the Divine Person of the Lord. Again we say, “ Oh to be thus privileged !” If we mistake not we

' once before stated how much our mind was impressed, more than forty years ago, with a quotation from one of our great poets, as inserted upon a tablet on the wall of St. Mary's Church, Southampton :

His hand the good man fastens on the skies,
And bids earth roll,

Nor feels her idle whirl.” Ah, here is the secret-a taking hold of His strength; a faith's grasp of the Person of Christ; a fleeing to and a sheltering in Him, as the Lord our Righteousness; as having all power both in heaven and earth; a knowledge of and a rejoicing in the fact, that "the government is upon His shoulders.' How blessed is the prophet's testimony, with regard to the Person and the power of Jesus: “And I

“ will fasten Him as a nail in a sure place; and He shall be for a glorious throne to His Father's house. And they shall hang upon Him all the glory of His Father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons” (Isa. xxii. 23, 24).

We speak particularly of the Person of Christ, beloved, because " it hath pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell." Again we_read, “Of His fulness have we received, and grace for grace.” It is with the Person of Christ we have to do. He is the one, and the only “one, Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus."

That was a precious testimony, beloved, of our most glorious Christ, in answer to Philip; and it stands remarkably as being among his last assurances and His parting words to His disciples, just prior to the agony of the garden and His Calvary sufferings. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest-thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake" (John xiv. 8—11). Hence it is most clear that

) the Father is revealed in the Person of His dear Son, and that all our access to and our dealings with the Father must be in and by the Son. This is very blessed, beloved, because it is so expressive of nearness. When the Holy Ghost is pleased to lead us into a knowledge of Christ, and into a contemplation of His mediatorial undertaking and personal acts as well as gracious promises, during His personal sojourn in this vale of tears, it so diverts the mind from

us.

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »