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God." "When my soul is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." "But I give myself unto prayer," saith the same sacred writer, when princes sat and spake against him.
Faith in invisible realities is, also, then most strengthened when it is the only light that shines. When we see nothing of a present world, then the glorious realities of a future state break upon the Christian; and these become more glorious from the shade which prevails around them. He says with the prophet, "Though the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
But time reminds me to stop. I will only say, in application, Remember, Christian, the privileges and duties which are before you. The time will come when you will bless God for your corrections, and consider them the most important portion of his dealings with you. These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will have worked out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Your present sorrows will soon end: they may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning: the vision is for an appointed time: they that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. He that goeth out weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Of those who are singing now in heaven their songs of triumph and joy before the throne of Christ, there is not one but who came out of great tribulation. Remember that the trials to which piety is exposed from the contradiction of the world to the Spirit of Christ, is a part of this tribulation. As many as Christ loves, he rebukes and chastens. Thou shalt consider, saith Moses, in thine heart, that as a Father chasteneth a
son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. This is the season when God is doing business with you in mighty waters. He seems to retire from you and hide his face; but his hand is active, and his wisdom employed still. The veil will soon be taken away, and you will see those afflictions to be the most necessary which were the most bitter and painful. Your faith, though now tried in the fire, will be found at last to praise and honour and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
The Lord Christ was the great type and pattern of suffering. He achieved glory by sufferings. He obtained dignity by humiliation. By being made the subject of death, he obtained eternal life. We must be conformed to him in his death. We must drink of the cup which he drank of, and be baptized with the baptism wherewith he was baptized.
If you wish for an easy life, for worldly prosperity, for indulgence and comfort, then choose the broad road; but if you choose the narrow path, you must take up your cross, you must expect to be bound and chastened; you must be in subjection to the Father of spirits, that you may live for evermore.
The writer of the above sketches finds that his introductory observations have not altogether satisfied some of the intimate friends and admirers of Mr. Hall. This is quite natural. The writer had never seen that astonishing preacher till the moment that he beheld him in the pulpit, towards the very close of his ministry. He was in Mr. Hall's company only once for any space of time. Six sermons in the ordinary course of his doctrine, and not on any special occasion, did he hear, and six only. And the design of taking notes even of them, was insensibly formed as he heard them. The remarks were still less in the writer's intention. He put them down at the moment, when copying out the discourses from his short-hand for his own private use. Not an idea
did he then entertain that they would ever see the light; and indeed, when, after Mr. Hall's decease, he sent the manuscript volume to the Editor of the Christian Observer, at his request, and allowed its publication; he had no notion that the prefatory matter would be considered worth retaining. It is not at all surprising, then, that the old friends of Mr. Hall, who, like your correspondent T. H. K., had been in the habit of hearing him for twenty years or more, should detect many errors in the conjectural part of my observations, and even in the account I gave of the impression of Mr. Hall's manner and voice. I quite believe I may have been wrong in all these respects. I wrote what occurred to me at the time; but had I known and heard Mr. Hall as much as the friends who have animadverted upon some of my expressions, I should very probably have concurred with them in almost every point.
One thing I wish particularly to observe: These six sermons are by no means a fair specimen of what the public may expect from the care of Dr. O. Gregory. I have discovered, in the course of the four or five years that have elapsed since I wrote out the above sheets, that such extraordinary diligence has been taken by a variety of friends, in catching the very words of this wonderful man, that many specimens of his preaching exist far more complete than mine. I have myself read such; and I wish it to be understood that the more intimate friends of Mr. Hall consider my notes as imperfectly representing his discourses; they do represent them imperfectly, except perhaps the last of the series, which I think is almost word for word. I am told I am mistaken; that it is impossible. However, such is my persuasion. I may also add in justice to myself, that these sermons, such as they are, have been read by many of the first judges in the kingdom, and have been preferred to most of his published discourses. In fact, the manuscript
volume has scarcely ever been at home since it was completed. What then must that preacher have been, whose ordinary sermons, imperfectly taken down, attract such admiration on the one hand, and are yet considered to fall so far short of the real excellency of the discourses themselves on the other?
I only add, that if the editor, Dr. Gregory, should be pleased to accept of these sermons as a contribution to the work which he is preparing, it will afford me the sincerest gratification; and I heartily beg his forgiveness if any of my remarks on his illustrious friend have given him a moment's pain. D. W.
MR. BULTEEL'S MISAPPLICATION OF
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
HAVING been amongst the hearers of the discourse delivered by the Rev. Mr. Bulteel, at St. Clement Danes in May last, in behalf of the Continental Society; I wish through the medium of your paper to offer some remarks on that part of it which referred to the seventeenth chapter of St. John's Gospel.
I have long been of opinion that the chapter in question has been much misunderstood and perverted by Calvinistic expositors, with whom it is evident Mr. Bulteel concurs from the manner in which he quoted it in that sermon.
It may tend to strengthen my observations in some quarters, if I premise-not however wishing to raise a
controversy on the matter in your pages, that individually I fully subscribe to that view, which, as it seems to me, the formularies of our Church have so scripturally set forth, and which Mr. Bulteel so faithfully propounded,-namely, that under the present dispensation, an elect church only is to be expected to be gathered to Christ, and that although the death of Christ, is a "full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of
the whole world," there is no scriptural ground whatever to suppose that the whole world will be converted by that Gospel, which is nevertheless to be preached to every creature:" the utmost we can look for is, that a church out of every nation shall be gathered, chosen to be partakers of 'the grace which is to be brought unto them at the revelation of Jesus Christ." But while I believe this to be the very truth of God as declared in Scripture, I must protest against the application of that. part of the seventeenth of St. John, quoted by Mr. Bulteel in connexion with it.In confirmation of this view he adduced the words of our Lord (often so quoted by others), at the ninth verse of the seventeenth of St. John, "I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine." He also quoted the twenty-first verse, in which the Saviour prayed for the complete union of his church with this view," that the world may believe that thou hast sent me; which he interpreted in the way of judgment, that at last the world, when about finally to be destroyed for their unbelief, would too late be convinced that Jesus is the Son of God. Now, sir, I conceive that these passages are wholly misapplied to any such purpose.
Whoever attentively considers the last intercessory prayer of our Lord, contained in the chapter referred to, will perceive that it is divided into three parts, perfectly distinct from each other. In the first part, to the end of the nineteenth verse, the Saviour prayed exclusively for his immediate disciples then standing around him, who were to be his first messengers of salvation to Jerusalem, and to the world, When therefore he said at the ninth verse, "I pray for them, I pray not for the world," it is manifest from the whole context, that he only used the expression, to shew that at that moment his petitions did not extend beyond those who had the first claim to his intercessory regard, because CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 355.
they were to stand forth in the very front of the warfare which was about to be waged in his name, against the powers of darkness. The expression "I pray not for the world," amounts to no more than this, "I now pray exclusively for these my immediate disciples whom thou hast given me for the work of apostleship."
When our Lord, however, had finished his exclusive petitions for his apostles, he enlarges the sphere of his intercessions. At the twentieth verse, he distinctly says, " neither pray I for these alone, but for all those that shall believe on through their word!" Here then commences the Saviour's prayer for his whole elect church, to the end of the present dispensation. But he does not close here, for after having asked that their unity might at length be perfected, he proceeds to pray in behalf of the world at large,-“ that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Now to suppose that this petition was uttered in judg ment, and not in mercy, is surely a perversion of its meaning.
Does not Mr. Bulteel allow that a time is to come when the world shall be converted? What means then the assurance that "all the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ;" that "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea;" that a happy period is to arrive, when "Babylon shall fall, infidelity shall come to an end, Satan shall be bound, and all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest?" Assuredly this consummation will be an answer to that gracious petition of the Saviour, "that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
It is true this will not take place, until God has "accomplished the number of his elect," under the present suffering dispensation; for not until then will "His kingdom come," in which they who have suffered with him shall reign with him. I am satisfied that in no other 3 E
view than this can the Scriptures on the subject in question be consistently interpreted; and I heartily wish the honest mind of the faithful preacher, on whose discourse I have remarked, may be led to re-consider the point. I am &c.
C. S. HAWTREY.
USE OF PLURAL NUMBER IN PULPIT
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
YOUR correspondent J. K. S. has completely succeeded in shewing, what I did not deny, that the use of the first person plural in pulpit addresses is very common: but he has not proved that it is either correct or graceful; and some of the very instances which he adduces are to my ear not a little displeasing. My reasons for appealing to the younger rather than the older clergy, were that those of the latter who have long adopted the practice, cannot be expected to change their usage; and that I also thought it more modest, as well as more useful, to address younger men, who have not yet become mannerists, and in whom pluralism of style is more improper and bombastical.
Common sense and correct taste seem plainly to dictate, that when a clergyman speaks professionally he should speak in the plural; when personally, in the singular. To say our discourse will be divided into so many heads; andwe intend to shew you," &c. is pompous and unnatural. I admit that this style is not uncommon; and I am far from meaning to insinuate any charge against those who adopt it; and who probably do so, from a wish to avoid being egotistical: but this does not prove that it is abstractedly laudable, or to be imitated. Educated laymen are often much displeased at this manner of pulpit address; especially from the lips of a young man; and I think that if J. K. S. will submit some of the very passages he has quoted to a
miscellaneous jury of the first twelve merchants, noblemen, or country gentlemen whom he meets with, they will decide that from the lips of a young clergyman, they would read better in the singular number.
But then there are distinctions which a man of true delicacy of feeling will instinctively perceive. When, for instance, the speaker can, as it were, include his audience with himself, there is often a modest propriety in so doing. Such are some of the examples adduced by your correspondent; as when Mr. Biddulph says, "in discussing this branch of our subject, we shall review," &c. It is not his subject or his review: no; he has made common cause with his audience; all are considered as interested in the subject, and parties in the discussion; so that there is, what in a secular oration would be termed a delicate compliment to the hearers, rather than an assumption of superiority over them. In other cases, also, when the words appear pompous in print, they may have been spoken with such modest humility, as to divest them of their displeasing aspect. I would not therefore presume to lay down any general rule; but my strong impression is, that in general the mode of expression animadverted upon, assumes in young men, in oral delivery, at one of loftiness not to be commended.
These are not indeed the weightier matters of the law: the first thing is to see that the heart is right; for if the love of the Saviour, and the doctrines of righteousness dwell there, the lips will not go far astray; but still, minor points are not always unimportant, and may deserve an occasional notice in a religious periodical miscellany.
ON THE APOCALYPTIC TRUMPETS.
(Continued from p. 345.)
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. ACCORDING to the generally received interpretation, which I have endeavoured to confirm by citations from history, the first woe announced by the fifth trumpet, terminated on the translation of the Arabian Caliphate from Damascus to Bagdad, "the city of peace;" and during the long period of five hundred years, for which this caliphate subsisted, no event appears to have occurred of such vital importance to the Eastern empire, as to call forth the notice of the Spirit of prophecy. Wars of more or less importance occurred, but they were wars of an ordinary character, and the Greek empire still maintained her Eastern barrier of the Euphrates. This long lapse of time is not obscurely intimated in the language of the prophecy. "One woe is past, and behold there come two woes more hereafter" (Rev. ix. 12). The expression hereafter sufficiently implies, that a considerable space of time was to elapse between the termination of the first woe and the commencement of the second. The prophetic vision thus proceeds: "And the sixth angel sounded; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions: and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men
killed; by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts" (ix. 13-21.) It is necessary to analyse the import of the symbols and expressions employed in this vision. On the sounding of the sixth trumpet the Apostle hears a voice, or (according to the original) one voice, from the four horns of the golden altar, which is before God. Now this golden altar is manifestly the altar of incense, which stood within the holy place, and was typical of the intercession of Christ, the sole Mediator between God and man; who " gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.' The denouncement, therefore, of the woe from its four horns with one voice, unequivocally imports, that the woe was to be considered as a judgment of God upon the church of Christ for its superstitious and antichristian invocation of saints, worship of relics, and other idolatrous and corrupt practices; and this interpretation stands confirmed by the concluding declaration of the prophecy, that, notwithstanding this heavy judgment, the Christian world would still persevere in the same antichristian practices. The next symbol used, is that of the four angels said to be bound in or upon the great river Euphrates. The term angel, it need hardly be observed, is in its primary sense used in Scripture to denote those celestial spirits whom God is pleased to employ as his messengers or ministers to execute his divine