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be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity." In the judgment, then, of our church, according perfectly, in this as in other things, with the unerring word of truth, there is such a thing as an assurance of final safety, which those are permitted to entertain whom God has called to the fellowship of the gospel.
affectionate heart, knit to their hearts in more than a father's sympathy, assured him that they were children of God; and he knew that God would not forsake his own work, or leave them to perish whom he had chosen in Christ to save. "He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ." This was his confidence-not anything inherent in them, not anything imparted to them, not any moral strength or virtue in them, whereby they would be able to stand against their spiritual enemies, but the coutinued presence and support of that Almighty Saviour, who, having loved his own which were in the world, would love them unto the end.
I beseech you, brethren, mark well this distinction. It is not that in converting the sinner to himself God gives him a stock of grace, and then leaves him to trade with it as best he may; but that he puts the Spirit within him as an abiding inmate, helper, sanctifier; a perennial source of grace and spiritual strength; "a well of water" (as our Lord tells the woman of Samaria) "springing up unto everlasting life." Hence the Holy Spirit is called by St. Paul "the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession ;" an earnest being, as you know, a part of the thing promised, and
And in proportion to the value of this assurance should be our anxiety to possess it, and our carefulness to ascertain the grounds upon which it may legitimately rest. For doubtless there is such a thing also as presumption. A man may be very confident of his safety, who is in the high road to destruction, and think himself sure of heaven when he is fast going down to heil. How may we distinguish between a scriptural confidence as to our state, and "the hope of the hypocrite," which, as Solomon tells us, "shall perish?" St. Paul furnishes a reply to this important question in our text. For on what did he found his assurance of the final happiness of the Philippians? On the evidence which their conduct afforded of a real work of grace in their hearts. "Even as it is meet for me," says he, "to think this of you all; for I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the de-a pledge and security for the remainder. fence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace." What could be more rational, what more practical, than this conclusion? He judged of the tree by its fruits. He was sure that a great change had taken place in their hearts from the mighty change wrought in their behaviour.
The worshippers of dumb idols had become servants of the living God, and believers in an unseen Saviour. And their work of faith had evidenced itself in their labour of love. They loved one another, and loved the instruments of their conversion, and impoverished themselves to help them in their distress; and stood forward manfully in defence of the gospel, in the face of suffering, persecution, and death itself. Could any sober man doubt the reality of the change wrought in them? But whose work was it? Not their own, not Paul's, but God's; and on this simple fact the apostle grounds the assurance we are speaking of. "God has begun the good work,' says he; and "God will finish it." It was not (you perceive) on the existence merely of the good work wrought in them, but on its authorship, that he rested his confident hope respecting them. He inferred the reality of the change from its effects, its permanence from the divine power exerted in the production of it. His own
Hence, also, the same apostle tells us that true believers are "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of an inheritance;" his indwelling in the heart answering the double purpose of a seal to certify and to secure, showing those in whom he dwells to be the children of God, and keeping them such. "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us (he writes to the Corinthians), is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.'
Would you, then, dear brethren, have a good hope through grace, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God? To do this, you have no need to pry into God's secret counsels, or scrutinize the book of his decrees. Of your election you can judge only by your calling; and of your effectual calling only by the fruits of it in your hearts and lives. Be sure the good work is begun in you, in the first place. Rest not for one moment till that be ascertained. For, if there be no real turning of the heart to God, no true repentance, no lively faith in Christ, ye are yet in your sins; and no hope of heaven can you have whilst this is the case. But, if "the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are indeed his children," by working in you the dispositions and acts of children,
then may you adopt the apostle's train of reasoning and chain of consequences: "If children, then heirs―heirs of God, and joint
heirs with Christ."
Never forget that God's calling is a holy calling. Wherever his call is effectual it is sanctifying. Holiness is as invariably the means, as God's distinguishing grace and mercy is the cause, of our salvation. If he has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, it is that we should be "holy, and without blame before him in love." "We are bound," says St. Paul to the Thessalonians," to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because he hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth," whereunto he called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, finally, to show the nature of Christian assurance, and the necessity of growth in grace as a means of maintaining it for these very Philippians, of whose final perseverance he speaks so confidently in the text, he prays in the verses following (as I do, beloved brethren, in conclusion for you) "that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve those things which are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
VISIT TO AN EMIGRANT-SHIP*.
attached; and that next the head of the vessel, for single men, for whose use an hospital-cabin is having an outer rim, run from head to stern in the also provided. Boards, planed smooth, and central space between the ranges of berths, a wide passage being left free on either side: these stand about four feet above the flooring, and answer the purpose of a table for meals and other uses. Above this long table, and fixed about eighteen inches below the upper-deck, a corresponding length of boarding affords a shelf for the deposit of vessels the hospital-cabins, which are quite inclosed, the in use, and other articles. With the exception of three compartments above-mentioned are separated by feather-edge boarding, with latticed doors, so as to insure their uniform ventilation. In this last respect, the utmost precautions which science and experience could suggest have been a hand-wheel, is fixed in the two hospital-cabins, An apparatus, set in motion by by means of which not only is all foul air abstracted, but supplies of fresh air drawn in, and circulated as need may require. At one point of the deck above our heads we were asked to place ourselves underneath the mouth of a funnel, which a supply of pure external air is kept conand main by stantly descending into the thronged quarters below; while at another spot we raised our hands towards a second air-pipe, the atmosphere in which is kept heated by its passing next the kitchen fire: this pipe is continually drawing and getting rid of any foul or overheated air which may be engendered between-decks. By the operation cation of the atmosphere, breathed by hundreds, of these two pipes, or funnels, a constant purifiis regularly maintained." The emigrants, who, when their complement is made good at Plymouth, will, with their officers and crew, number nearly half a thousand, enjoy an abundance of good wholesome food, including meat every day; and they will continue to enjoy it during the whole four months' voyage; better food, and more plentiful, than most of them have probably tasted since they were weaned. It is indeed but justice to the commissioners to say, that, under their careful superintendence, nothing capable of administering to the bodily comfort of the emigrant seems to have been forgotten. A code of pre-regularity, good order, and cleanliness among excellent regulations, rigidly carried out, secures them. We were informed that this little colony is conveyed across the seas at the expense of the inhabitants of Sydney, who have remitted to the commissioners the funds required for the embarkation and support of the emigrants until they reach their destination. I was told by one of them, that, in order, however, to provide for the supply of utensils, &c., each adult passenger had paid a fee of one pound, and half that amount for each child he took with him: this, and the cost of conveying themselves to the place of embarkation, appears to be the whole expense incurred by the passengers. Upon their reaching Sydney, the mattrass, blankets, and utensils, which they have used while on board, becomes their own property; hence they receive much beyond an equivalent for costs them, in vulgar parlance, "less than nothe fee they have paid. Their passage therefore thing," in a pecuniary point of view.
Gravesend, July 24. THIS was a day of peculiar interest to us. were afforded the opportunity of visiting the "General Hewitt," a vessel of twelve hundred tons burden, formerly belonging to the East India company, but now fitted up for the conveyance of emigration and troops. On the
sent occasion she had been chartered by the commissioners of emigration, for a voyage to Sydney, New South Wales. As soon as we reached her quarter-deck we were accosted by Mr. Cooper, the commissioners' superintendant, to whom we are greatly indebted for the urbane reception, and as welcome information, which he gave us. The ship is well found in every thing that can be required for the health and comfort of her multitudinous passengers; particularly in her internal fittings and arrangements. The whole of her betweendecks, which is some twelve feet high, is supplied with a double range of roomy berths, one above the other, against both her sides; in her centre, or midships, with large berths for the married; and single ones, for the unmarried, at either end of the latter, the compartment next the stern is appropriated to single women, with an hospital-cabin
* From a Correspondent.
It is deplorable that no provision should have been made for the pastoral superintendence and due administration of public worship among so large a flock. What a blessed opportunity for training them for heaven has been lost! What a work of mercy and blessing to their souls might have been done during the four months of quietude and seclusion from the world! A generous liberality has provided for every reasonable want of the body; but none but a niggardly and irregular provision has been made for the necessities of "the inner man ;" the spiritual as well as medical care of the emigrants being committed to a pious and kind-hearted layman, who has volunteered his services. I doubt not that he will be faithful and zealous in the discharge of his twofold functions; yet how much more efficiently would not both have been performed, had he been released from the other by some chosen servant, ministering in the name and by the appointment of the great Physician of souls! It is possible that the neglect has arisen from the varied persuasions to which the emigrants belong having suggested obstacles to the ministry of any one particular church; but these would have been divinely overruled, had choice been made of one who was really called to be a leader of the flock by the good Shepherd."
We were met on board by the visiting secretary of the Prayer-book and Homily Society, who had attended yesterday (Sunday), and assembled the emigrants to prayers and the reading of scripture, addressed them on the subject of their duties to God and their neighbour, with especial reference to the new relations in which they were now placed, and had held much instructive communion with them generally. Many of them expressed to us their grateful sense of this, his labour of true Christian love. He had again come on board to-day, with a supply of a selection from the liturgy, for morning and evening prayer for every day in the week; and he presented a copy of this useful manual, as a gift from the society, to every individual emigrant who did not, on account of his or her dissent from the rites of the church of England, decline to receive it. He met, I believe, with but one refusal. Besides this, he placed in the hands of the head of each mess of eight emigrants a copy of the "homilies," also a present from that truly church of England society; for it publishes no book or tract but such as are stamped with the authority of the church. The gift is designed for the reading and edification of the whole mess during the voyage, and becomes the property of the individual to whom it is entrusted for that purpose upon disembarkation. The visiting secretary collected, while we were on board, the single women who were in the ship, to the number of forty or fifty; and, having made them take their seats in their own compartments, prefaced his work of distribution with an impressive address: in this, he called their attention to some of the homilies best IT was the hour for afternoon sernoon, on the adapted for their instruction in the practical first Sunday after the Epiphany: the bell was duties of Christianity, and exhorted them, by ap-sounding for prayers; and, in obedience to its silposite reference to the teaching of the great Head of the church and his apostles, to the prayerful and diligent cultivation of that spirit of love, and peace, and unity, which become those who confess Christ, and which would prove the surest guarantee of their comfort and well-being, not only during the voyage, but through their whole after-life. It was delightful to witness the deep and eager attention with which these poor sisters in Jesus listened to his affectionate exhortation: from the eyes of not a few of them fell speaking tears.
The emigrants consisted of males and females (some with their whole families) from what is termed the "industrial" class of society; operatives, husbandmen, herdsmen, sempstresses, menial servants, &c. We entered into conversation with many of them; and I was well pleased to find, in the case of those with whom I conversed, that not one of them had embarked without having a bible with them. I had brought with me some small religious books and tracts, which were eagerly accepted by those to whom I gave them. Some of the mothers came up to me, and inquired whether I had any which were particularly suited for children; and many intreated me to give them some book or tract which commented upon the "book of life," or illustrated it. Happily, I had with me several copies of that admirable tract, "Scripture the Guide of Life," published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. My poor alms seemed to be so acceptable, that I had reason to lament that their extent was so slender.
very tongue, the worshippers were assembling in the house of God. Children, too, were there; children of the Training, National, and other schools-children who, according to the wise directions of the rubric, are accustomed each sabbath, after the conclusion of the public baptismal service at the close of the second lesson, to stand and meekly answer the catechetical questions of God's ordained minister. Highly favoured, indeed, are those little ones; for the chief pastor of that church delights in little children, and loves to lead the lambs of the flock to the good Shepherd, who "gathers the lambs with his arm, and carries them in his bosom." And now, on this blessed sabbath afternoon, when the pastor stood in his accustomed place of catechising, and the assembled children rose to await his questions, very interesting was the scene to all who rejoice to see the tender and pliant mind of childhood taught how to abide in him who is the true and only way of salvation. The selected subject was the gospel of the day (Luke ii. 41); a subject peculiarly suitable for children, since it speaks of the time when our Lord condescended to be a little child like unto them. After various introductory questions, the kind pastor observed that "many have wished to know more events of our Lord's childhood; but we can only say, the sacred narrative is all it has pleased the Holy Ghost to reveal to us; and, though we desire to know more, we must therefore be content: in another world we shall learn many things we do not know now."
And is not this a glorious thought? I cannot
help interrupting my narrative to dwell upon it. Surely we may humbly hope it will form part of the bliss of heaven to be permitted to view, as in a mirror, the actual life of our Lord upon earth. And O what an inconceivable privilege will that be! what a wondrous study for human glance to scan, even though seen with eye of renovated and exalted humanity! What marvel that only the faint outlines are pourtrayed to us in this our fallen and degraded state? For how should sinful beings venture to gaze on the glorious reality, or contemplate the unimaginable anguish of the actual agonies and death of the incarnate Son of God?
But to return. It would be superfluous to narrate how verse by verse was explained, whether by question or comment, to the youthful pupils; but I cannot omit the remark offered on the verse: "And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them." "He was subject unto them. What a wonderful verse is this! He, who was the mighty God, subject to his earthly parents! Think of all the little details of every-day life which you are required by your parents to perform; and remember that all such Jesus performed for his parents, and was subject unto them as a poor boy: all the duties that would be required of a poor boy, in humble life, Jesus did for his parents. We know they were very poor. When they came to Bethlehem, there was no room for them at the inn, because they were poor. No doubt there was room enough for those who had money; for money can gain admission any where. And therefore they were obliged to repair to a stable and a manger. At the presentation in the Temple, the mother of Jesus offered two turtle-doves. Was that the offering of the rich? No: of the poor. Whenever your parents require you to do any thing you would not like to do, and you feel rebellious, and disposed to murmur, think of Jesus-think of this verse; that Jesus went down with them, and was subject unto them.' O, remember that Jesus was subject to his parents."
But I must not continue to multiply extracts; for I am only quoting from memory. Does not the above passage teach a good and a holy lesson to all-to grown people as well as to children? Assuredly, it must; for who is there among us, even in the most favoured position, that is not sometimes called upon to perform duties that are repugnant and distasteful? and human naturesinful human nature-is at all times far too prone to murmur. Let us look towards the patient, the self-denying Saviour: if he so meekly endured the same trials, the same sorrows as our own, how should such as we presume to complain? O, may we all-aged as well as youthful, rich as well as poor-pray, in his prevailing name, to our Father, that he would graciously vouchsafe to imbue us with the Spirit of Jesus in every trait of our character, in each action of our every-day life and conversation; that, when we are required to perform any unwelcome duty, be it important or be it what the world calls trifling (for nothing is really unimportant), it may be sanctified to us by the reflection that Jesus is in it; that Jesus cheerfully underwent the same, and bare the like sorrows, when sojourning for our sake in this trou.. blous world.
And the holy prayers were ended; and the congregation slowly wended their way to their respective homes, pondering, it may be, on the solemn truths they had heard; a few of them, perhaps, nurturing a resolution to bid those holy truths live again in their daily walk of Christian pilgrimage. I, too, must hasten to a close: before I conclude, however, may I be permitted to express a wish that the invaluable practice of public catechizing were adopted in all our churches? When kindly and judiciously performed, it affords instruction not only to the youthful members of the flock, but also to the whole congregation; while, from its familiar and colloquial style, it presents the opportunity of introducing various topics not always entirely suitable to the greater solemnity of a sermon. There are, amongst the poor, many who, having been neglected in their youth, still require to be instructed like children, and yet would shrink from the idea of going to school in their mature age; while listening to the public catechizing of the church, the knowledge they need may be conveyed in the simple language suited to their understanding without inflicting pain on their feelings; for the poor have their sensitive feelings as well as the rich, though perhaps we are sometimes forgetful of this fact. And then, too, amid the inferior portion of the middle classes, there sometimes exists a dearth of religious knowledge as great, or occasionally even greater, than amongst the poor; for these (the poor) have the pastoral calls of their clergyman, and the help of their district visitor, to teach them within their homes; whilst among the others, such visits, unless in times of dangerous illness (I speak, of course, of the irreligious part of the community, for the pious in all ranks are truly thankful for such aids), would be deemed an intrusion. Yet there may be such persons present in the church, and they too may listen; and who shall say that the Holy Spirit may not bless the simple words addressed to babes for the instruction and spiritual improvement of the worldly-wise and prudent? And even the faithful and consistent Christian may cull some flower of comfort-some means of improvement. Yes, such a one will rejoice to sit in spirit as a little child at the blessed Saviour's feet "among the lilies"; for there is the promise of a blessing on the meek and quiet spirit; and, like the bee, we should rejoice to gather sweets from every, even the lowliest blossom.
O let us, one and all, in our several spheres, endeavour, both by precept and example, to display the holy banner of the cross to all mankind; and "God shall bless us :" and, though difficulties arise, the work shall prosper; for do we not read in the sure word of prophecy that a time will come when "all shall know the Lord, from the least even to the greatest"? when real and vital religion shall reign triumphant,
"And all the world, from sea to sea,
THE FREENESS AND FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.—If the greater part of those who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus be asked what is their hope as to eternal salvation, they will almost unanimously reply that they expect it from the mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ, and that it is in order to obtain it, and render themselves worthy of it-at least as much as man is capable of doing-that they attend church, observe the duties of religion, bestow alms, and abstain from all irregular conduct. That is to say, on the one hand, they use the words Saviour, grace, free pardon, the gift of heaven; but, on the other, they study to merit and gain of themselves the remission of their sins and everlasting happiness. Thus they imitate the folly of a bankrupt, who boasts that the king in person has freed him from all his debts; but who, at the same time, economizes even his bread and water, for fear, as he says, of being imprisoned if he does not pay all himself. .... Do you not think that, if it pleased the king to grant me a complete and gratuitous pardon for some crime, I should feel certain that the law would no longer affect me, and that, therefore my obedience would henceforth flow from a source totally different from that which produced it before he granted me my pardon? .... Well; if a sinner believes that God has cancelled his debt, and has given him eternal life, because of the blood of the new covenant which has been shed upon his cross, will he, thus justified, continue to act with a view to obtain pardon? or rather, will he not follow, without alarm or disquietude, the emotions of a heart which the certainty of possessing this blessing will have filled with gratitude? That is very insufficient security, in my opinion, which leaves the debtor in fear of imprisonment. Can it be, for example, that my debt has been paid this morning by a benefactor, and yet remain undischarged, until I shall have offered my friend some token of gratitude? If, then, a man can be assured, by examining himself, that he renounces self-justification, and that he confides in Jesus Christ and in the sacrifice which he has accomplished upon the cross, God says then, and declares, that he who thus believeth on the name of the Lord Jesus should know that he is justified by faith, and that he hath eternal life.
(Suggested to the author whilst sheltering from a storm in the porch of St. Ishmael's church, Carmarthenshire).
(For the Church of England Magazine).
mayest thou ne'er like her of old‡ be found,
* From Malan's narrative of "The True Cross."
Gen. xvi. 7.