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still abideth faithful in keeping the feet of his saints. said, my foot slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up." "But have been upheld till now;

Who could hold me up but thou?"

We are not out of the wilderness yet. Trials and crosses, fires and waters, still may be before us, and death itself in the end. Yet "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" is the promise of him that cannot lie. You and I can say, with the apostle, "He hath delivered, he doth deliver; and in whom we trust he will yet deliver."

May the dear Lord increase your faith and mine, and grant us patience to run the race set before us, looking unto Jesus; who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of God; where he ever lives to carry on his people's cause above. The Lord shall perfect that which concerneth us.

Mrs. Chivers and Mrs. Milford, with the friends at Calne, desire to be kindly remembered to you. Give my very kind and Christian love to Mr. and Mrs. Newbury, when you see them. Likewise to Mr. Freeman and his, and all inquiring friends. I shall be very happy to see you at Sutton if at any time you can make it convenient to come when you are in this neighbourhood. Let me know when you come, and I will try and be at home to take a walk with you into Draycot Park, &c. Shall be very glad to have a line from you. Yours in the best of bonds, Sutton Benger, April 1st, 1858. JAMES HUGGINS.

Dear Mr. N.,-You say it is a long time since I saw your handwriting. It did indeed seem a long time from Nov. 6th till Feb. 14th. Still I feel that four letters in a year are more than I ought to expect from you, knowing that your time is so filled up, and that you have so many better correspondents. I really feel sometimes such a poor nothing that I wonder I should ever presume to write to you or any one else. But it did me good to hear you say that I had not been forgotten by you. I have often been ready to say," The Lord has forsaken me," as I have been in strange places of late. I was in a very bewildered state of mind for a fortnight, and what made it more trying was that it was just when I was so poorly. I could neither read nor pray. I had no power to move a thought heavenward. I seemed as it were set fast; and really felt the truth of the dear Lord's words: "Without me ye can do nothing." But on the Sunday morning, as I was putting away my breakfast things, there came over my spirit such a sweet gentle influence, which softened my heart, and caused tears to flow; and these lines of dear Hart's came so sweetly: "O that closer we could cleave To thy bleeding, dying breast!"

They just suited my feelings.

But this did not last long.

I soon got back into the same

place. I could feel no power, and felt dumb before the Lord. In

that state I went one night to bed; and, feeling much distressed, I said, "What shall I do?" When the Lord spoke these words: "Look unto me, and be ye saved." How it gladdened my heart to get a word from Him! I think I felt a little of the same gladness which the disciples did when they saw the Lord.

You speak of my having much to make my path a trying one. Indeed I have; and often am obliged to cry to the Strong for strength to enable me to hold on my way. But my chief troubles now are of a different nature to what they were a few years back; as we then had such sharp trials in providence, arising chiefly from losses in different ways. Now, although we still have to struggle hard, yet we have much cause for thankfulness, seeing what we have been brought through, and little else than the labour of our hands to get on with. I feel sure, if the Lord had not been on our side, we could not have got through as we have done. But I have reason to hope those trials were sanctified to my soul; as I had many sweet and precious times in the midst of them, when pleading with the Lord. One circumstance comes to memory-one that will never be forgotten or erased. It was just when we were at the worst. We were indeed greatly distressed in our feelings, as we knew not what to do. My heart was continually going up to the Lord. One morning, as I was walking about the house, still pleading, these words dropped into my heart: "I will bring the blind by a way they knew not." I felt much comforted, and said, "Choose thou the way; but still lead on." In a little time a friend came in and said, "You are in trouble?" I replied, "We are." He said, "We have a little money we do not want to be using at present. If £20 will be of any service, you shall have it." This we gladly accepted. An agreement was made for us to pay it back in four years, which we were able to do.

It would take too much space to tell you my feelings. We must be brought into close and trying places to prove how good the Lord is to us. One says,

"Trials make the promise sweet." This I have often proved, and am still proving.

I have been reading again the piece in the "G. S." on "Grieving the Spirit," and have found it very instructive. It led me to see in how many ways I have been led to grieve that Holy and blessed Spirit. O Mr. N.! What a debtor I am to sovereign grace! If I am saved, what a wonder of all wonders it will be! As dear Rutherford says, "I want to be sure it is Him, and no other that I have;" as I know every other refuge will fail me when I come into the swellings of Jordan. another place he says, "Let me forfeit all, providing I may anchor my tottering soul on Christ."

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I must close, or I shall weary you. I don't know how it is, but I mostly feel some freshness on my spirit when I try to scribble a line. Still, there are so many ifs and buts put into my mind, that I have enough to do to stand against them. But since I

have been writing, it came to my mind how the enemies tried to hinder Nehemiah from building the wall at Jerusalem. This gave me some little encouragement.

I do hope the Lord will be with you. I believe some here feel a spirit of prayer for you. My kind love to Mrs. N.

Yours very truly,

INQUIRY AND ANSWER.

R. D.

Is it correct to say of a Christian man that he has and does come to Christ? Or should it rather be said that he has been and is brought to Christ? I have heard it positively affirmed that the first of these forms of expression necessarily implies creature-power. Is this the case? B. P. C.

REPLY.

THE question has certainly the advantage of being stated in a precise and definite manner; and therefore admits of a brief and definite reply. We believe that both of the forms of expression are in themselves perfectly sound, and that the first is in reality the most in harmony with the expressions of the Bible. Each of these forms of words may be rightly used by a godly man. Each in the lips of one really taught by God may convey pure truth; and each may in the lips of one who is erroneous, whether his error lies on the side of free will, or of the letter without the power of truth, convey an erroneous impression. The one no more than the other necessarily implies creature power.

Our answer might have ended here; but we shall dwell upon the subject a little more fully.

In the heart and experience of the man well taught of God, these two expressions are really united together. In those of the erroneous man they are dissociated one from the other. If the man thus taught of God speaks of the sinner coming to Christ, he never for a moment means coming without being brought by a divine power. If he speaks of him as being brought, he never means that he is so brought as a man would convey an inanimate thing, such as a stone, or a piece of wood; but that he is brought as an intelligent and voluntary agent. When the Scripture tells us that Andrew brought Peter to Jesus, we do not understand him to have carried Peter in his arms like an infant. It was the moving force of his words concerning Christ which influenced Peter's will; and therefore he came. When, on the other hand, we read that the leper came to Jesus, we always believe that he thus came as brought to him through the blessed Spirit influencing his mind to believe in Christ's power and even willingness to heal him. When a man who is not really emptied out of self-ability before the Lord speaks of coming to Christ, he associates with the words creature-power. When the man who holds the truth improperly speaks of a man being brought, he has some idea of a mere impulsive influence, of an acting upon

the man merely as from without, or of such a bringing as is not connected with a working in the man's own heart to will and to do according to God's good pleasure. The one makes the man work and act without the Lord; the other makes the Lord work and act without the man. The one makes the man take without the Lord's giving; the other the Lord give without the man taking. In neither case is it the Lord working in and by the man through a revelation of the truth to his soul, whereby the heart is changed, the affections won over to the side of Christ, and the will blessedly and sweetly influenced. Thus both these persons, in using their several expressions, will convey the state of their own minds to the reader; the one will convey legality, and the other the chilling, uninfluential, deadening letter.

There are, of course, forms of expression which in themselves are positively erroneous. Give them a fair and honest construction, they do properly convey some erroneous sentiment. But there are others which in themselves are perfectly innocent and correct. The former, if they proceeded from an angel's lips, would be wrong. The latter derive from the state of mind of the man who uses them their true signification, and partly depend thereupon for the impression they convey to others. We say partly depend, for this is not altogether the case; as they will also depend upon the reader's or hearer's state of mind, and his way of handling them.

There are two ways of dealing with expressions the most innocent and correct in themselves, whereby they may be entirely perverted and corrupted, and made to signify something as different as possible from what was in the mind of the speaker or reader.

1. They may be isolated from all that goes before or after them. A sentence may be mangled, and only a portion of it taken; or it may be severed from the context, and in this way a few words may be made to say anything. Thus Paul might be made to say that it is right to do evil that good may come. See Rom. iii. 8; where the words, "Let us do evil that good may come," isolated and by themselves may be made to command vile iniquity; whereas, taken in their proper connection, they are used to stigmatize such iniquity, and to declare that the damnation of persons so saying is just. But we must think that no man with the fear of God in his heart, or, at any rate, in exercise, will designedly so mangle the words of a writer or speaker. 2. They may receive a most false colouring from the mind of the person who reads or hears them. Halyburton, in his Memoir, well points out how the mind will conceive of things in accordance with its own character. Two men may thus form entirely different opinions of the same writing. The mind sweetly and blessedly imbued with gospel grace, and under the influence of that gospel, will conceive gospelly; the legal mind legally. The former, for example, will find the gospel precept sweet; the latter will, through legalizing it, count it bondage.

Thus we see that not only is it necessary for a godly writer and speaker to convey his meaning in proper expressions; but those expressions must be rightly dealt with, and properly conceived of, or the reader and hearer may utterly corrupt them, and make the most harmless and even correct expressions vehicles for the conveyance of erroneous opinions.

To sum up, then, we may say-1, that when the Scriptures describe the spiritual acts of God's people as acts proceeding from them, we must always understand that they are their acts as intelligent beings and voluntary agents; but that the Holy Spirit is the original source of them, as enlightening their understandings, and effectually influencing their wills. So, again, when the Scriptures speak of the same acts as the works of the Holy Spirit, we are to understand that they are thus his acts as guiding and governing the godly in the performance of them, through a gracious influence upon their wills and understandings. He acts, in respect to the godly, with a regard to and not a disregard of their faculties, in a way of preserving, renewing, and elevating those faculties, not to the destruction of them; in fact, to the preservation and not the destruction or annihilation of their souls.

"The Spirit all the motion gives

By springs of fear and love."

2. Such expressions, then, as those in the question are in themselves perfectly correct; neither of them necessarily conveying any erroneous impression. Men come to Christ when they are brought by a divine influence upon their hearts. They are thus brought when they come.

3. The same expressions in the lips of one man may convey erroneous impressions which in the lips of another convey truthful and life-giving ones.

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4. When words are used by the godly in a right manner, preacher seeking out acceptable words, different hearers and readers, according to the different states of their own minds, may either rightly conceive of their meaning, or wrest and pervert them.

5. We should fear that error or carnality in some form or other must be prevalent in the mind which would as a rule object to either of the forms of expression under consideration. If a man showed an incessant repugnance to it being said that men are brought to Christ, we should suspect the presence of unbroken creature ability, and a consequent denial of the need of a gracious, effectual, divine power. If he showed a similar repugnance to it being said that men come to Christ, we should have our fears as to whether he was really sound in respect to the way in which men are brought. We should suspect some ignorance, or at any rate forgetfulness, of the manner of the divine working; as if it was a working apart from and independent of the renewed faculties of the soul, instead of a work of a new creation and in and by those faculties. Or at any rate we

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