Page images


and short-comings,—but having a knowledge of his sorrows, He appears in a way of deliverance.

Another, without being tempted of Satan, is yet tried by the Spirit of God. That holy Revealer of secrets has been at work in his soul, has taught him some deep things, has shown him the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and opened up to him some of the foulness of his heart; at the same time that He has revealed, also, some of the grace and glory, sufficiency and dignity of Christ, and his blood and righteousness. The Christian so taught is exercised with sorrow, that he knows so little of that precious Saviour,--that he is so little like him, -that his soul seems so dead and cold, and responds so feebly to the deep and unconquerable love of the Mediator. He longs” for some fresh manifestation of that love and grace; he “ pants” for the knowledge of God, and for his salvation ; his heart yearns after communion with that adorable One who is indeed “altogether lovely” to his soul; and while to outward observers he may be growing in grace, and in conformity to Christ, he himself feels a bitterness of soul that he cannot live more to Him, and enjoy more fellowship with Him. The Lord, however, knows his sorrow, and when the * set time” to favour him arrives, visits him with such a flood of light and joy, that he becomes almost like Paul, lifted up to the third heavens. He has so rich an insight into the glory of Christ, and so delightful a taste of the love of Jesus, that his sorrow vanishes, and he sings aloud of the mercy and loving-kindness of God.

Thus “many are the afflictions of the righteous:" but he is not left alone in them; " the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

Is any reader in sorrow and affliction, tempted or tried ? “Fear not,” the Lord says,

“ I know thy sorrows." His hand is not slack ; nor his ear heavy, that he cannot hear thee; his eye is not dim that he cannot see thee ;

“ His love in time past forbids me to think,

He will leave me at last in trouble to sink." He will guide thee in the dark way; He still will support and comfort thee in the toilsome and dangerous road ; and if thou art in a strait, with mountains of difficulty, on either hand, a sea of doubt and despair in front, and the enemy raging behind ; the Lord will find a way of escape which will relieve thee,-exhibit his power, and avenge his honour on his enemies. He will not keep thee there, nor drive thee back, nor remove the mountains into the sea; but he will command thee to “go forward,” for he never falters for want of method or power. By his integrity and wisdom he guides and sustains thee ; he supplies thy every need, he strengthens thee when weak, encourages thee when faint-hearted, and enriches thee when poor. One word more, dear reader. Did Christ, thy Lord, suffer, and wilt thou repine ?

“Cold mountains and the midnight air,

Witnessed the fervour of his prayer.” He was not bound to take upon himself thy sins, but love prompted him to the mighty work of redemption. Love-undying, death-subduing love-sustained him under the mighty load. He bore the curse for wretched men; he fulfilled the law, and justified God in extending mercy to thee ; and now his love constrains him to watch over thee, and to keep thee, to bless thee and enrich thee in all spiritual blessings. He knows thy sufferings, for he was tempted in all points like as thou art; he can sympathize with thee, for he endured greater sorrows than thou art enduring, and therefore he bids thee cast all thy cares on him, for he careth for thee. Remember, these light afflictions are but for a moment, and by way of contrast we are told that they work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. For "affictions” we shall have “far more” glory; for light afflictions, we shall have a weight of glory which shall exceed them; and for light afflictions which last but " for a moment," we shall have an eternity of glory! E. St. B. C., Walworth.

H. G. D.



“He shall grow up before him as a tender plant."- Isa. liii. 2.
"I will raise up for them a plant of renown.”—Ezek. xxxiv. 29.

In these two texts of Scripture the Lord Jesus Christ is, in a metaphorical manner, set before us under two aspects ; that of humiliation, and of glorification.

Jesus may be likened to a plant, inasmuch as he was not a being of spontaneous growth. He was planted in our world by God the Father. He sprang not up like the heath in the desert, the thistle in the field, or the weed in the garden. According to Jehovah's purpose, and by his power, was he placed in this earthly state of ours.

Jesus was, in the eyes of men, a “ tender,” sickly, or despised plant. He was "rejected of men.” Nothing in him called for the admiration, or elicited the delight of unrenewed humanity. No earthly grandeur, or carnal pomp, or worldly splendour marked his career. The very fact that he stooped so low, lost men to save, made many despise and reject him. Such would willingly have been redeemed by one of the world's great ones; but to be saved by “ the carpenter's son,” that they could not brook. To the very letter was Isaiah's prophecy concerning him fulfilled, “ He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground : he hath no form nor comeliness : and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." But notwithstanding the fact that evil men have rejected, and still do, and will reject him, he is, to every enlightened sinner, a plant of renown." “I," saith the Lord, “I will raise up for them [i. e. his own people) a plant of renown.” In the sight of God, and that of everyone of his people, Jesus is truly a plant, lovely, and much to be desired.

“Let the world deride or pity,

Such will glory in his name.” As a plant of renown, Jesus is an exotic. He is a foreign plant; not entirely, although partially, is he the production of this world of ours. He came from heaven, and to heaven he has returned. He is now in the presence of his Father and our Father, of his God and our God. The plants of foreign and far off climes are rare; they excite a great deal of admiration, and draw numbers to gaze upon them. So our Jesus is rare, wonderful, and attractive. All who experimentally know him can say,

“When I saw him,-gazed on him admiring,

Then my resurrection morning broke,
Heavenly zephyrs o'er me breathed inspiring,

And a new and blessed life awoke.
In a vision, I beheld ascending,

First a stem, and then a fragrant flower,
Feeble in itself, yet earthward bending,

Yet upheld by more than earthly power." Jesus is “ a plant of renown,” for he is a choice plant. Choice plants are of great value. Almost fabulous prices, both in ancient and modern times, have been given for plants of this character. But the price of Jesus, who can tell ? Nay, he is beyond all price ;

“Solid gold cannot be given for him,

Nor silver be weighed for his purchase ;
He cannot be ght for the ingot of Ophir,

For the precious onyx, or the sapphire.”
He is "the chief among ten thousand," the "altogether lovely."

Again, Jesus is "a plant of renown," inasmuch as he is a prolific plant. All plants have the power of propagation ; but when this power is possessed in an extraordinary degree, it is much spoken of. How small was the commencement of his kingdom!—how wide-spread its influence now! We love to anticipate that day, when “

a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,” shall stand before his throne, in saintly raiment clad. And all these will be the fruit of his passion. From him shall spring plants of God's right-hand planting so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.”

As a plant of renown,” Jesus is fragrant. There are some plants very beautiful to look upon, which nevertheless emit an unpleasant odour. Not so is it with Jesus. His name “is as ointment poured forth.” It is said that fragrant plants exude most scent when bruised. So has it been with our Saviour. We should not have known half the sweetness of his name, nor half the preciousness of his perfume, had he not been“ bruised for our iniquities.” “My friend is to me a bundle of myrrh, that lies all night upon my breast.”

As “a plant of renown,” Jesus is also a medicinal plant. Wonderful healing properties are found in plants ; but our Redeemer is, in this respect, the most wonderful of all. He is the “ balm of Gilead.” He cures not only diseased bodies, but sin-sick souls also. Men, covered with guilt's leprosy, have only to apply to him, and they will be made whole.

“Jesus, the plant of old renowned,

Whose sacred leaves are healing found;
Throughout the world we'll tell of thee,

For thou art life's fair healing Tree." Yes, Jesus, we will tell of thee! Thou art the good and the great Physician. To others, thou mayest be“ a tender plant;" to us thou art truly “ a plant of renown.”

Braunston, Rugby.




" Then can no one go to heaven ? "

“BLESSED be God, mercy has found

a means by which even sinners can be “ Did you think that you could ever be saved ! Sin is the burden which weighs worthy of heaven ?”–

us to the dust, which prevents us rising “Not you, nor I, nor the holiest man to glory. The Lord Jesus came from that ever lived, (One excepted, who was heaven that he might free us from sin, not only man, but God,) was ever worthy take our burden from us, and bear it of the kingdom of heaven.

Himself; and so we have hope of salva“We are all sinners, all polluted with tion through him.” guilt. Not one day passes in which our “I went some years ago with a wealthy actions, our words, or our thoughts, nobleman to visit a prison at some diswould make us lose all title to eternal tance. Many improvements have been life. The Bible says, “There is not one made in prisons since then : at that time that doeth good ; no, not one. Every they were indeed most fearful abodes. living soul is included under sin.

" In one damp dark cell, small and con“Since Adam, our first parent, sinned fined, where light scarcely struggled in and fell, all his children have been born through the narrow grating to show the into the world with a nature tainted and horrors of the place, where the moisture full of wickedness.

tickled down the green stained walls, “Even as every object lifted up from and the air felt heavy and unwholesome; the earth, if unsupported, will fall to the in this miserable den we found an unground ; so we, without God's grace, happy prisoner, who had been confined naturally fall into sin.”

there for many weary years.

He had Within the new Jerusalem shall meet; As music to the ear of list'ning youth,



been placed there for debt which he was “Where is the friend to pay my debt ?” unable to pay, and he had no prospect of “ It has been paid already," said the ever getting free. Can you see in this clergyman. man's case no likeness to your own ? Paid ! oh, when and by whom ?" Look on sin as a debt that you owe : do “It was paid when the Saviour died you not feel that you have no power to ' upon the cross; it was paid by the pay it ?" No reply.

eternal Son of God! He entered for us I had the will to help the poor man, the prison of this world, He paid our but providence had not afforded me the debt with His own precious blood, He

I had no more ability to set him opened the gates of eternal life; through free from prison, than I have to rid you His merits; for His sake, we are pardoned of the burden of your sin.”

and saved, if we have faith, true faith, in “But the wealthy nobleman”

that Saviour ! He had both the power and will. This is wonderful !” said "and this He paid the debt at once, and the prisoner faith must produce a holy life : but here was released. Never shall I forget the is the place where I went wrong. I poor man's cry of delight as the heavy thought men were saved because they iron-studded door was thrown open for were holy !” his passage, and he bounded into the “They are holy because they are bright sunshine again ?”

saved ! Here was indeed your mistake, ** And what became of him after- my friend. The poor debtor was not set wards ?"

free because he had served his benefactor, “He entered the service of his generous but he served him because he was set benefactor, and became the inost faith- free! A tree does not live because it ful, the most attached of servants. He has fruit, however abundant that fruit remained in that place till he died ; he may be ; but it produces fruit because it seemed to think that he could never do has life, and good actions are the fruit of enough for him who had restored him to our faith ?” freedom.”

A. L. O. E.


THE COMMUNINGS OF CHRIST AND | Grateful thy conversation is to me, [drop; HIS CHURCH :

The words are pleasing from thy tongue which A Poetic Paraphrase, and an occasional Com- | Mine shalt thou be throughout eternity,

Mine, when I number all my jewels up. mentary upon the Book of Canticles. No. XXVI. By J. W. COLE, BRAUNSTON, RUGBY. Most precious fragrance from thy robes ascend,

As perfumed zephyrs from the morning flowers; CHAPTER IV.

Love, truth, and holiness, thy steps attend, Verse 11.—Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the

Thy life with lasting joy Jehovah dowers. honeycomb : honey and milk are under thy | Thy garments of salvation, pure and bright, tongue : and the smell of thy garments is Are sweetly-scented by thy Saviour God; like the smell of Lebanon."

The Lamb's own blood has made thee clean and

white; Thy lips, my spouse, drop as the honey-comb,

Spread, then, the merits of his death abroad. Beneath thy tongue honey and milk are found; Thy raiment hath the smell of Lebanon, Within, without, thy comeliness is seen, And sheds its rich perfume on all around. All over glorious art thou to my sight;

I am a King, and thou, my bride, a queen; Sweet, O my spouse, sweet are thy accents kind, We twain are one, and both are God's delight.

Telling the glories of thy risen Lord; Calling to Jesus lame, and halt, and blind, Sing, then, the wonders of redeeming love, Inviting starvelings to his well-spread board. Laud the rich mercy that to thee is shown,

Till songs below are changed for songs abovePleasant thy counsel to the weary soul,

The anthems of the saved before the throne. I Seeking the peace that comes from on high; Thy praises in mellifluous numbers roll,

Hail, happy period ! when earth's ransomed band, Ťby prayers, like incense, soar towards the sky. When men of every tribe and every land,

Their crowns shall cast before Immanuel's feet. As cheering odours to the fainting frame, So, unto dying men, thy words of truth,

* Mal. iii. 17. † 1 Cor. xii. 27. 1 Rev. v. 9. The soundings forth of thy Redeemer's name.

Ś Rev. iv. 10.


O Father, grant that while we live,

We may for thee employ our days.
May we endeavour to sustain

In thine appointed way, O Lord,
The honour of thy glorious name,
And own thee for our covenant God.



ALMIGHTY Father, in whose hand

The issues are of life and death, Who all things hast at thy command,

And who sustains our mortal breath; Teach us, for each new mercy given,

A song of gratitude to raise, Fervent enough to reach to heaven,

And swell the angels' hymns of praise. Teach us to know that by thy power,

And thine alone, we stand or fall,
To feel that even death's dark hour

Cannot, if thou art near, appal.
O Lord, bestow more grateful hearts,

That, after every added joy
Which thy beneficence imparts,

We may rejoice in thine employ. The blessings thou dost hourly give

Deserve a constant meed of praise;

"I hate vain thoughts.”—Psa. cxix. 113.

THESE include my every sin,
Pride without, and lust within.
In the temple when I bend,
They do still my steps attend;
In hosts venomous they rise,
And pollute my sacrifice;
Ever changing to and fro,
Wheresoe'er I am or go.




be reasonably expected. These controver

sies were continued, till one day Cory The subject of this memoir, the only quoted Eph. ii. 8, 9. This was an arrow child of George and Ann Hardy, was born shot from God's naked bow, and it pierced at Ely, on March 29, 1791, and the town a vital part. His condition as a lost, helpin which he was born was the town in less, and guilty offender, dawned upon his which he expired, September 21, 1869, in mind, and for some time he was filled with the 79th year of his age. In 1800 his darkness, doubts, and soul distress, till a parents took possession of the house and sermon by Mr. Sheppard, an Independent premises, where the business of a fello minister, from John iii. 14, 15, greatly enmonger was carried on.

Here they lived lightened and comforted his mind. But it and died, and here the subject of this was not till Rom. viii

. 38, 39, were applied sketch lived and died also. His parents to his mind by “the eternal Spirit," who belonged to the Church of England, but never fails in his covenant office, that our whether they were communicants or not, friend was brought into the liberty of there is no evidence. It is evident that, the children of God.” Having heard Mr. as a real redemption implies a certain sal. Huntington once and again, the ministry vation, so the wisdom of God has prepared of Mr. Sheppard failed to interest him as all the instruments and means of a sinner's at former times, and he sought a home conversion to God, which are often such | under the ministry of Mr. Brittan, who as human reason, in the fulness of its pride, preached at Little Downham, in the Isle of would signally disdain. The father of the Ely. Here he continued for fourteen deceased had in his business a man named years, and was baptized by Mr. Brittan, Cory, who feared God and knew the at Prickwillow,-a somewhat noted place truth, having received it probably from for river baptisms. The exact time of his the lips of Mr. Huntingdon, who for some baptism we know not. But when the late years visited those parts in his annual Mr. Orriss, of Somersham, who had been tours. With this Mr. Cory, our departed preaching for the Huntingtonians, at Ely, friend, when about fifteen years of age, left that people, and formed à Strict held lengthened arguments about the way Baptist church in that town, the deceased of salvation, maintaining that salvation joined himself to this church for better or depended on man's free-will, and the per. worse, and through all its vicissitudes, he formance of certain duties to which God was its firm, consistent, and honourable obliged all mankind, and upon the proper advocate. He never deserted it till cir. discharge of which future happiness inight | cumstances compelled him to leave, a few

« PreviousContinue »