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THE REV. J. C. RYLE ON THE ENDOWMENT OF POPERY.
The Rev. J. C. Ryle says, in a letter to a contemporary : “If English statesmen are going deliberately to endow Roman Catholic priests; if the Church which burned our Reformers, kept back the Bible from our forefathers, and held this country for centuries in superstition and irreligion, is to be paid, encouraged, and supported by Act of Parliament, there is an end of our Protestant Constitution. If this does not offend God and provoke His judgments, I know not what will. I shall be told, I suppose, that
Ι the position of things leaves no alternative. We must either pay the Roman Catholic priests or be prepared for complete disendowment of the Protestant Church. I have not the slightest hesitation about my answer. I would rather see the whole United Church of England and Ireland disestablished and disendowed to-morrow, than see Roman Catholic priests paid by the State. God can make up to us the loss of endowments; but the God of the Bible, in my judgment, will never bless the Protestant Government which deliberately puts the clock back, returns to Egypt, and endows Popery. Eighteen hundred years ago there was a man named Caiaphas, who said a wrong thing must be done because it was expedient. There was another named Pontius Pilate, who sneeringly asked, "What is truth ?' There was another named Gallio who called religious questions questions of words and names.' Do we see nothing like this in our days ? Disestablishment is bad enough. It is a tremendous descent from a high principle to proclaim to the world that Protestant England is going to try to govern Ireland without God! But the endowment of Popery is worse still. If English Nonconformists, Scotch Presbyterians, and Evangelical Churchmen can sanction this, I can only say actum est de republica, all is over, and the glory is departed from Great Britain.”—The Rock.
PERSONAL RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN,
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR SIR,—I have been astonished in reading “A Wise Son who made a Glad Father,” in the present (July) number of the GOSPEL MAGAZINE, to find that the writer denies the doctrine, which has comforted so many bereaved hearts, that believers will recognize in heaven those whom they have loved in the Lord while here below. If I understand him aright, the multitude which no man can number of the redeemed in glory will be strangers to each other through all eternity; for, he says, “Were the heavenly order to be disarranged by individual greetings or personal recognitions, it would disturb the harmony, displace the equality, destroy the peaceful unity, distract the soul's fixity, and thus deduct from Christ's glory."
I have been accustomed to think that the communion of saints here was a preparation for the far higher and infinitely more blessed communion of the spirits of the just made perfect before the throne ; but what communion can there be in an assembly where individual greetings and personal recognitions will be unknown? I know that the presence of Jesus will constitute the bliss of heaven; but, while we shall know Him, the Head, so perfectly, “even as we are known,” will all personal
knowledge of His members cease with our present life? What, then, I would ask, becomes of that eternal, indissoluble oneness of each individual member with Christ the glorious Head-a precious truth, for which the writer so earnestly and ably contends ? For, if our recognition of the person of Jesus will be instantaneous and perfect, then the personal recognition of each member must be instantaneous and perfect also.
May I ask “ Josiah" if David's was a fallacious hope,” when he said of his departed child : “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” It surely could be no comfort to his bereaved soul to know that his body could be laid beside the dead body of his child in the grave. But that it was the soul to which he referred is obvious, for, the lifeless clay, from which the spirit had just fled, was no doubt still with him.
In support of his views, "Josiah” refers, in a note, to an anecdote in Old Jonathan ; on turning to which I find, to my surprise, that the incident there related is dead against him, as it implies that his doctrine would suppose us to be "greater fools in heaven than we are here.?' (“Seeing Jesus,” Old Jonathan, June, page 43.)
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus seems to me to set the matter at rest, and so I must continue to think, until
66 Josiah prove that it is merely an “allegorical figure," and not a fact. Our Lord says, “there was a certain rich man," and "there was a certain beggar;' and I maintain that to say there was not is to give Him the lie. If
you, dear sir, or any of your correspondents, more able to deal with the subject than myself, will kindly say a word or two on-it, I shall be glad and thankful, as I confess I never read anything in the GOSPEL MAGAZINE which cast such a depressing gloom upon my spirits. The picture of the Christian father, and the dying Christian son, his only son, whom he acknowledges, or implies, he almost idolized, reasoning the matter over, and at length coming to the conclusion that they were about to part for ever, is one of the saddest, in this aspect, which was ever presented to my mind.
I firmly believe that both he and his beloved son came to a wrong conclusion; that they will recognize each other in glory; and that it will be one ingredient in their overflowing cup of bliss (the multitudinous streams of which our poor beclouded minds can, at present, form no conception) to recount the countless mercies of their wilderness journey, and then join afresh in the hallelujahs of heaven; ascribing, with all the host of the redeemed, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever."
I hope that nothing which I have said will wound or grieve the writer of the interesting article in question, whom I love for the precious and glorious truths which he enunciates; but, as I unhesitatingly believe that he is wrong in this particular, and that what he has said will lacerate many a bereaved heart, I could not resist the impulse to question the soundness of views so opposed to those of (I think) all the gracious men I have ever known.
I am, dear sir, yours affectionately in the Lord Jesus, Scarborough.
W. S. ROBINSON. [We have no wish to set up our opinion or experience as a standard for others; we wish, moreover, to afford our correspondents as reasonable a latitude as possible when expressing their sentiments. It was upon this
principle we allowed the observations to pass in the article to which Mr. Robinson refers. We did not, at the same time, sympathize with our old correspondent“ Josiah," in regard to non-recognition in heaven. We think there is quite enough in the Scriptures to justify the belief that in the world to come there will be the clearest and most grateful reviews of all the way by which the redeemed had been led on their wilderness journey. As the poet says
“And with wonder think
On toils and dangers past.” Probably “Josiah ” would regard it as fleshly, but we venture to think otherwise, in regard to parting with those we love, that we shall meet again. If we are encouraged to “sorrow not as those who have no hope for those who sleep in Him," in a general point of view, how much must that feeling be enhanced in regard to those with whom we have enjoyed heart-to-heart communion, or with respect to whom we have travailed in birth till Christ was formed in them the hope of glory. Whilst fully endorsing the view of this subject taken by Mr. Robinson, we cannot but feel that an opposite view must be fraught with that which is depressing and gloomy.-Ed.]
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. BELOVED IN THE LORD, and, for His sake, may every new-covenant blessing, for time and eternity, rest upon thee and thine, evermore. Amen. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting thy eldest daughter at the house of my highly-esteemed friend, Mr. B. C. Ogden, of Grantham. I thought, from what she intimated, that you were at times rather depressed. Is this strange ? Not to me. How oft has
heart been sorely discouraged on account of the way-so dark, rough, intricate, and trying
“ The way so close, so straight, so pressed,
There seemed no path at all.” There is a word which says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial,” &c., &c. But don't we think it is a very strange thing that oft befalls us? Israel of old, by God's express direction, pitch their tents close by the Red Sea. There they realize the truth of the words of the Psalmist, “ Thou broughtest us into the net: Thou laidst affliction upon our loins. We went through fire and water.” Yea, verily, for hitherto He has brought us out. Tried our hearts sore towards Him He has many times, and when they were overwhelmed, all our wisdom, strength, and power gone, none shut up or left, then He has appeared, turned our captivity, led us to the Rock which is higher than we; aye, and set our feet upon it, and once more established our goings, and put a new song of praise into our mouths. In and out every one of the sheep of Christ (who enter by Him the only door and are saved) must go. They who have no changes have some cause to suspect the safety of their state; for Satan is not divided against himself. The world cannot love the children of God. And sure enough the old man will never become a saint. I foolishly once thought (and for some years) that I should in time find some improvement in him; but in this (as in many other
things) I was mistaken. That which is born of the flesh will never be spirit. But the mercy lies here, the elder shall serve the younger; for grace shall reign, sin shall not have the dominion. The daily plague and the morning chastisement still follow us; the Canaanites are still in the land, and cares at times like a wild deluge roll, and threaten to overwhelm us quite. But can His promise fail ? Can He forget to be gracious ? Will He in anger shut up His tender mercies ? Never, no, never! In spite of all the lying predictions of unbelief, and the infirmities so easily besetting us, “He is not a man that He should lie.” No, He is the same, and His years have no end. He is the Lord, and changes not; and, however He may chasten us for our folly, nothing will ever induce Him to take away His lovingkindness, suffer His faithfulness to fail, or alter (for one moment) the things that have gone forth of His lips. Here lies our safety; here is the solid ground of our rejoicing. Could my faith always pierce the clouds and the darkness which appear to surround His throne, this unalterable love might always be seen. Job said, changes and war were against him. David said in his heart, he should one day perish by the hand of Saul. Hezekiah said he should not see the Lord; even the Lord in the land of the living. Jeremiah said he was the man that had seen affliction, &c.; that He had led him
. and brought him into darkness and not into light: when he cried and shouted He shut out his prayer, &c., &c. Jonah said he was cast out of His sight. Paul was troubled on every, side, and when neither sun or stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay upon us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But, my beloved, disconsolate, and tribulated brother, may we never forget that the great Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings; and it is enough if the servant be as His master. That eminent man of God Joseph Hart says,
“ Art thou tempted ? So was He!
Deserted ? He was too.”
As in nature night follows the day, so have I found it to be in my soul's experience for more than forty-six years past; yet He is, has been, and ever will be to the end, the faithful God that keepeth covenant and mercy for ever.
To His precious and unchanging love I commend thee and thine, and assure you of my unabated love to you, and that you
have occupied a place in my litany (as Romaine calls it) for several years past.
I remain thine truly in the bonds of the covenant, Sunderland.
your Great Physician heal you in His own way. Only follow His directions, and take the medicine which He prescribes, and then quietly leave the result with Him.
The causes of this dejection are varied and numerous : “My sighs are many
my heart is faint” is often the experience of the children of God. Sometimes this feeling arises from “a divided heart,” at other times from deep views of the utter corruption of the heart by nature. And occasionally Jehovah convinces us of His sovereignty by withdrawing from us the light of His countenance, in order to teach us humility and our entire dependence upon Himself (Isa. viii. 17).
THE SHEEP CRYING TO THE SHEPHERD.
(Continued from page 359.) CONFINING our remarks to the remainder of Psalm lxxxv. 1, Asaph, after crying unto the Shepherd of Israel to give ear, after reminding the Lord of His leading Joseph like a flock, as a plea why the Lord should give ear to him in a time of distress, he says, “ Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.” This dwelling-place of the Lord God of Israel was symbolical or typical of several things. It was typical of the Lord's holiness. A description is given of the cherubims in the book of Exodus xxv. 17—22. “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold : two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Ierael." Now mark, the ark was placed underneath the mercy seat, and the ark contained the testimony (law). What did the law teach? The holiness of Him who dwelt between the cherubims. Man by nature knows nothing of the holiness of God, not till he can say, as Christ said, “ Thy law is on my heart.” The ark in the tabernacle was a type of Christ, and the testimony or law deposited in the ark was typical of the law written in Christ's heart. Now just as the law of God was written in Christ's heart, so the Holy Ghost writes it in the hearts of His people; and what is the consequence ? Exalted views of the holiness of God's character: He who dwelt between the cherubims is a holy God, and therefore His law is holy; so felt the prophet who in vision "saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims : each one had six wings; with twain He covered His face, and with twain He covered His feet, and with twain He did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone ; because I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips : for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.'
Job felt that God was a holy God, when he said, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Paul, too, had a view of the holiness of God, when he said, “I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
- Thou that dwellest between the cherubims.” Who is He? He who says, dwell in the high and holy place, whose name is Holy.” Thus by God dwelling between the cherubims, the Old Testament saints were taught what the New Testament saints are taught, namely, the holy character of