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Pilgrim Papers.

REFLECTIONS.

BY THE LATE MR. R. ROBINSON.

(Continued from page 363.) O LORD Jesus Christ, there is no physician but Thee, that can cure the wounds of Thy sin-stung inheritance, and to take their pains away, “without money and without price ;” they have a full discharge, and are made young again. To walk in newness of life, and to live upon Thy fulness, is to be immensely rich, and, though poor, yet possessing all things. “We have these treasures in earthen vessels, that the excellency and power may be of God, and not of us ;" for Thou, dear Jesus, hast opened the pathway of life for us, to follow Thee in newness of life. Hold Thou our feet, and order our goings, that we slide not, for it is not in us to order our steps. We follow our rich Lord, as beggars in forlorn shapes, bit and stung by sin-serpents, &c., and much cast down by reason of the way-weak and feeble-kneed, and our spirit failing within us, yet panting like the thirsty hart for the view of our journey's end. And when Thou, dear Jesus, hast appeared in divine manifestation to us, we have ofttimes enjoyed a sacred, sweet, and a pleasurable delight; and in Thy personal fulness we have made our boast of Thy present help in time of need; we have known prosperity under Thy smiles, and Thy shining rays have led us into Thy love-visits, where our cups have run over, and for a time we have, undisturbed and unmolested, sat under Thy banner with sweet delight. Dear Jesus, how refreshing this has been to Thy needy children when weary and faint, to sit under their vine and fig tree, and the wine of the kingdom is handed to them from the water-pots of Canaan -served up unto them and the welcome guests are divinely refreshed, and cheered on their way, so that they walk and not faint. Oh, how welcome are such seasons as these to every needy soul, when favoured to receive fresh supplies from the stores of Thy unchanging love, that administers gifts, comforts, and consolation, to meet their deepest case of trouble and trial, that may lie hid from all creature-knowledge and all creature-help, and opens the intercourse of that enjoyment to prove that Christ and His people are one. And there is none but Thee, 0 precious Jesus, that is sufficient to repulse the foes of Thy Church, when their fury is carried out against them to annoy and spoil the resting-place of Thy saints, and to be all-sufficient to Thy needy ones, to give bread in the wilderness, and to take the stone from the spring-head, that Thy thirsty tribes may drink, and lead them beside the still waters, where their

cups run over, and their joys are unceasingly great, and ever new. O Lord Jesus, how wondrous is Thy way in sovereign mystery opened up to show Thy redeemed family their frailty and weakness and helplessness in themselves, and to prove to their experience the sufficiency of Thy grace, to lead them through their chequered scenes of adversity, temptation, and trial, and to say to the weak, Be strong; and lift the beggar from the dunghill

, and adorn his head with the princely crown that fadeth not away.

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Be not weary in well-doing.—2 Tuess. iii. 13. It is well-doing when all we have to do with is given to us, but it is labour in vain for the Ethiopian to try to change his skin, or the leopard his spots, or to make one hair black or white, or to change a black hair to a white one ; we may paint a post, but that is not a post of paint. A painted sepulchre does not make corruption incorruption, nor the myrtle to grow out of grave-clothes. Every seed has a body of itself, and produces its own likeness. The Lord prepared the ass's mouth to rebuke the mad prophet, and her colt was chosen to carry more than the heavens and the earth upon her humble back, adored by angels, and palm branches were strewed in the way, and the hosannahs of children perfected praise, that pierced the free-will priests to mad despair. 0 Thou immaculate Jesus, whose goings-forth for the salvation of Thine elect was a secret to angels' minds, of how its God-like wonders could be accomplished, and when they viewed Thee in the wilderness, where never man was seen, under overwhelming attacks, unthought of by man, when Thou hadst nowhere to lay Thy head, and earth's created supplies were untouched by Thee. Dear Jesus, our low conceptions of Theo, when brought to have a right bearing upon us, bring us to see our vileness, and our shame covers us; here our creature-pride and ignorance are dumbed and paralyzed, and self-abhorrence is pioneer for humility to take the highest room in the soul, to kiss the cross, while mercy drops as the honey-comb, and the bitter is made sweet to the hungry soul. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to

pass.

."-PSALM xxxvii. 5. Come, thou tempest-tossed and tried believer, thou canst not do without thy trials, no more than thou canst do without thy precious Jesus, for His engagements are as good for you in your trials, as He is in your salvation, and His promise is as good to be fulfilled for you in your trials and deeps of all kinds, as it is in your triumph. Ask the tender mother if she can forget or forsake her tender child in its afflicted hour, and if she thinks she has failed to meet its necessities in a proper way? How is she pained at the thought! Forget and fail she may: yet, saith Jesus, “I will never forget thee; behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, and thy walls are continuously before me.” Dear child, commit thy way unto Him, do not be meddlesome, nor fretful, leave it with Him, Jesus will bring it to pass, it is enough for thee to learn ; stand still, and watch ; meditation will be more sweet to thee than to be meddlesome, for things will be too hot for thee to handle.

LABOURS AMONG THE NESTORIANS. It may well be wondered by angels and Spirit-taught men, how it comes to pass that missionaries go forth to preach Arminianism to the heathen. To place a man in the midst of heathenism with no religion save the idols they behold and worship, and then address them in the language of Arminianism, is little else than mockery of their sunken condition. So did not the apostle Paul (Acts xvii.). To set before them God's plan of salvation by Christ (ver. 31); to describe the effects of a work of grace upon the heart (ver. 27), and its influence upon the life when He commands repentance (ver. 30) is the right way, and the only way, to meet the case of the heathen.

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But, say some, are there not parts of Scripture that speak a different language, and give countenance to the appeals usually made to creatureability and a free-will faith, such as, “Flee from the wrath to come;' “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;” “ Ask, and it shall be given you, and such like? But these and similar passages of Scripture are not based upon the foundation that man can be beforehand with God, and that he can do something to prepare the way for grace; they are simply God's instructions to the sinner, and His description of His own work in the soul, which is produced by divine power, “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me; and the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.” This is the hearing of faith, and faith is the gift of God; as our Lord declared, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” The bent of the human mind naturally being in unison with Arminianism, it early learns to twist effects into causes ; hence, God's instructions to His people, and His descriptions for their encouragement of a work of grace

. on the soul, are made by Satan and the natural mind to speak the Goddishonouring language of creature-power and free-will ability,

But Arminianism is the same in every age and in every clime; it is a native principle in the human breast, the product of the fall; and strikingly this is manifested in missionary labours. The fact now, as of old, that "Jesus sends His disciples whither He Himself would come” and where His elect are to be found is a truth not known or concealed by the most who

a go forth to preach to the heathen. But every individual conversion is a testimony to the doctrine of election, and of the sovereignty of God. The appointment of a preached Gospel is to gather out the elect scattered up and down in the world, who are foreordained to glory; but losing sight of this leading truth, and probably never having had any vital experience of it in the heart, men drift into all sorts of contrivances to effect what God has not purposed, and in false zeal" to win souls,” and push them into a profession, take all methods to make the road easy that leads to this end. This may account for the curious difference between the morning and evening sermons of the bulk of evangelical teachers in the present day. God is exalted in the morning, man in the evening. The morning gives a very fair display of the work of God for, and in, His people, to the praise of the glory of His grace : the evening is devoted to creaturework and free-will power, and the whole weight of salvation responsibility is laid upon the sinner. In the morning the cry is, Salvation is of the Lord! in the evening, Salvation is of Jonah! The modern theory of two first principles, Pelagius was too wise to propound, and Arminius, who, after the lapse of many years, reigned in his stead “as king over all the children of pride,” never dreamt of foisting such a senseless faith upon the intelligent of mankind. These evening discourses devoted to creaturepower and free-will worship are called, " Preaching the Gospel,” which is anything in the world but good news” to poor and needy souls, who feel they have nothing and can do nothing, while it sends away in peace the unrenewed, who promise themselves they will some day do as they are told by the preacher, repent, believe, pray, and seek the Lord. Thus, as of old, false shepherds deceive the people, and their voice now, as in Ezekiel's day, crys, “ Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Not so, say some; the wicked are warned, and solemn appeals are made about sin and salvation, whereby the ungodly are told of their danger. So they may, but no sooner is the wound made than it is healed over by the balsam of something suggested that he can do. Hearers will stand any amount of

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alarmı, and terror, and any amount of truth, if only the preacher will add something to do. Then the hope rises that some day that something he will do, and, notwithstanding all the terrific appeals, he returns to his home and his sins in peace. “But,” say some,

“the masses will not tolerate Calvinism.” This is true, for the doctrines of grace are so adulterated now with the leaven of creature-work and free-will-ism that the pure Gospel of a full, finished, and unconditional salvation is a strange sound in our Christian land, and deemed by some heretical notions.

But this does not alter God's eternal truth ; now, as of old, it is a remnant according to the election of grace

that are saved. " The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;" therefore a place must be made in the heart for them, and this is effected by sovereign power, according to covenant purpose. “The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it ?” so wherever His elect are hid, they must be found out, and brought by the Spirit of God as the blood-redeemed trophies of the work of Christ Jesus. He shall say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth."

The fact that the masses will not tolerate Calvinism is no argument against the truth, for Christ and His Apostles have beaten out this ground, and shown the saints in all ages that “Strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it;" while "Broad is the way and wide the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat.” Vital religion is the same now as it was in our Lord's-day, who gave this test to the Church of God. “If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” The Apostle also supplies a test as to doctrine when he says, “ They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

Calvinism—that is, God's truth-rever was and never will be popular with the masses.

The many who are in the broad road to destruction spurn it, and the few alone who are made “willing in the day of God's power" receive it.; “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me,” said our Lord of some, while of others He declared, “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you."

Happy are they who, blest with an experimental acquaintance of their own ruined, sinful condition, are taught by the Spirit to find a peaceful refuge in the Blood of the Lamb, know the foundation of their timemercies as the result of everlasting love, and by almighty power are made faithful to the light given them, whether men will hear or forbear. The reception of the truth is God's work, the proclamation of the truth is man's office when taught of God; and those who go forth in the strength of the Lord, “not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully,” shall find the same results that are found in the Scripture the hatred of the world, the smile of God, and the wrath of Satan. But the in-gathering of God's elect may be safely left to the love and power of Jehovah, who appoints the time and the means for the accomplishment of His own purpose. The servant may never be permitted to see all that his heart desires of the fruit of his labours; but in love and faith he casts the bread upon the waters which God will find for His own glory "after many days; as saith the word, “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we

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are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life."

So contrary is this to the world's estimate of results, that the apostle asks, And who is sufficient for these things ?

But the answer supplied is, For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God in the sight of God, speak we in Christ."

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In the autumn of 1845, Guwergis brought his eldest daughter, then about twelve years of age, and begged for her admission to the seminary. He was known as one of the vilest and most defiantly dissolute of the Nestorians, and the teacher shrunk from receiving the daughter of such a man into her flock. Yet, on the ground that, like her Master, she was sent not to the righteous, but to the lost, she concluded to receive her. Still the father, during his short stay, showed such a spirit of avarice and shameless selfishness—he even asked for the clothes his daughter had on when she came—that she rejoiced when he went away.

His home was twenty-five miles off, in the mountains, and she hoped that winter snows would soon shield her from his dreaded visits. Little did she think that his next coming would result in his salvation. In February he again presented himself at her door in his Koordish costume, gun, dagger, and belt of ammunition all complete. He came on Saturday,

many of the pupils were weeping over their sins; and the teacher could not but feel that the wolf had too truly entered the fold. He rediculed their anxiety for salvation, and opposed the work of grace, in his own reckless way. She tried to guard her charge from the attacks as best she could, but they were too divinely convinced of sin to be much affected by what he said. His own daughter, at length distressed at his conduct, begged him to go alone with her to pray. He mocked and jeered, but went, confident in his power to cure her superstition. Do you not think that I too can pray?” And he repeated over his form in ancient Syriac, as a wizard would mutter his incantation. His child then implored mercy for her own soul, and for her perishing father, as a daughter might be expected to do just awakened to her own guilt and the preciousness of redemption. As he heard the words, “Save, oh, save my father going down to destruction,” he raised his clenched hand to strike; but, as he said afterwards, “God held me back from it.” No entreaties of his daughter could prevail on him to enter the place of prayer again that day. The native teacher, Murad Khan, then recently converted, took him to his own room, and reasoned with him till late at night. Sabbath morning found him not only fixed in his rebellion, but toiling to prevent others coming to Christ. At noon Miss Fiske went to the room where he was. He sat in the only chair there, and never offered her a seat, so she stood by him and tried to talk; but he sternly repelled every attempt to speak of Jesus. She then took his hand and said, “Guwergis, I see you do not wish me to speak with you, and I promise you that I will never do it again unless you wish it; but pledge me one thing, when we stand together in judgment, and you are on the left hand- -as you must be, if you go on in your present course-promise me that you will then testify, that on this twenty-second day of February, 1846, you were warned of your danger.” He gave no pledge, but a weeping voice said, “Let me pray." The hand was withdrawn, and he passed into the adjoining room, whence soon issued a low voice, that Miss Fiske could hardly yet believe was prayer. The bell rung for meeting, and she sent her precious charge alone, while she stayed to watch the man whose pre

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