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Finding all my remonstrances unavailing, I then recurred to stratagem; I earnestly besought of him to mention the circumstance to me out of the Confessional, in order that I might apprise the intended victim of his danger, or caution the conspirators against the committal of so inhuman a deed. But here ingenuity itself failed in arresting the career of his satanic obstinacy. The conspirator's illegal oath, and his apprehension of himself becoming the victim of brutal assassination, should he be known as the revealer of the conspiracy, rendered him inflexible to my entreaties; and, awful to relate,-yes, awful, and the hand that now pens it shudders at the record it makes a poor inoffensive man, the victim of slaughter, died a most cruel death by the hand of ruthless assassins.

It is useless to attempt to tell us that this is not the spirit of Popery -the Babylonish whore! We know better; we are not to be gulled by any sophistical arguments; we behold the cloven foot underneath them all; and are thoroughly convinced that it is only for power to be granted her, ere the same bloody transactions as have ever characterised her worthless name, shall be re-acted with renewed energy and virulence. Oh! cursed, cursed system! Ah! unhappy man, whoever thou art, that can sanction such! Whether thou art the pope, surrounded by all thy pomp and splendour; or the poor infatuated peasant who would fain draw nigh and idolatrously kiss his "holy toe," we tell thee that, if the grace of God prevent not, the fruit of thy doings will be to lift up thy head in that dire abode "where the worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched." Thou mayest term us heretics for the expression; and, if it will gratify the avarice of thy blood-thirsty mind, thou mayest consign us to the pains of purgatory; but we have too firm a belief in that blessed book which it is our privilege yet to hold in our hand, to be moved by thy curses; we form likewise too high an estimate of the value of thine immortal soul, not to warn thee of thy condition, and the ultimate issue of thy procedure.

It may be in thy power, O Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, again to persecute the church of the living God; but, blessed be his holy name, though thou mayst torture and put to a cruel death their poor mortal bodies, thou canst never injure their immortal souls. They shall live for ever, and shall rise up as swift witnesses against thee in the presence of Him, who has declared that he will avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him. Oh! how lamentable will be thy condition when the price of that blood is charged home upon thee, and thou art visited with a double damnation as a recompence what thou hast either hypocritically or delusively done for the glory of God.

for

The Illustrated Watts's Hymns. Part I. Edited by the Rev. ALEXANDER FLETCHER. London: Onger and Meryon, Fenchurch Street.

THE work is got up with considerable taste; the engravings are very superior. One which particularly attracted our attention, was Belshazzar's Feast; the handwriting upon the wall is thrown in very effectively.

City Press, Long Lane: Doudney and Scrymgour.

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"ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PRACE." "JESUS CHRIST, THE SAME YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER

WHOM TO KNOW

IS

LIFE ETERNAL."

VOL. I.]

FEBRUARY, 1841.

[No. 2.

THE HOPEFUL CHRISTIAN.

THOU WHICH HAST SHOWED ME GREAT AND SORE TROUBLES, SHALT QUICKEN ME AGAIN, AND SHALT BRING ME UP AGAIN FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE EARTH. THOU SHALT INCREASE MY GREATNESS, AND COMFORT ME ON EVERY SIDE.-PSALM LXXI. 20, 21.

Thou-then

BELOVED, the words are full of rich consolation. it is not the world, nor the flesh, nor the devil, that is showing thee trouble, but the Lord; this is manifest by the words which follow, shalt quicken me again. Now the world, the flesh, and the devil, are foes; and as such, would destroy us if they had the power, rather than quicken us again to life, hope, and expectation. That the trouble springs from one or the other of these sources, or from the whole combined, there is no question; but then the language implies that the trials, of whatever nature or kind, are in the hands, and consequently under the control, of the Lord. This fact established introduces us to another rich mercy; for in Isaiah, liv. 17, we read this blessed promise, No. II. Vol. I.-New Series.

F

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.”

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Secondly, there is another sweet feature in the words before us. "Thou which hast showed"-showed-not brought me into, not visited me with, so as to overwhelm or destroy me; but showed them to me, merely brought them before me, or exhibited them to my view to convince me of what might have been laid upon me. "But this," say some, "is very strange, and does not at all accord with my experience; for I am in the very depth of affliction-troubled on every side and moreover," says such a soul, "I see no way of escape. look this way and that way-upon the right hand and on the left, but all is so dark, mysterious, and gloomy, that I can discover no prospect of relief; and where it will end I know not." We can tell thee, poor soul. It will end in thy deliverance, and in the establishment of thine heart in the love, the grace, the faithfulness of thy covenant God and Father in Christ Jesus; so that thy soul, in taking a review of thy present troubles and calamities, whatever they may be, shall exclaim, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.' 'It has been good for me that I have been afflicted; for before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy law'-walked more closely, tenderly, and watchfully with thee, and in the ways of thine appointment. And blessed be thy holy name," says the soul, "I find thy ways to be ways of pleasantness, and all thy paths are attended with peace; thy service is perfect freedom; thy yoke is easy, and thy burden is light." "This does not belong to me," says such a soul as we are addressing. It does, and you shall ere long acknowledge the truth of our assertion. The Lord give you grace to examine your heart, and answer us in candour and in truth. Turn to the fourth chapter of the second of Corinthians-bear with us a little; we are speaking for your comfort. Don't cast aside the precious word of God, and peevishly say "that there is nothing for you." Look to the eighth verse of the chapter referred to; why, there the apostle describes your very exercises, "We are troubled on every side." Mark, this was the language of the APOSTLE PAUL, who had been "caught up into the third heavens, and had heard unspeakable things, which it was not lawful for man to utter; who, whether he was in the body or out of the body, could not tell." Come, come, poor soul; here is hope for you. Was Paul in trouble after all this? Yes. And did all his present trouble and calamity prove that his former experience had been a fancy and a delusion? Assuredly not. Well, then, here is real comfort for you. If Paul's was not a delusion, neither were the former joy and rejoicing which you experienced; for the same Lord that spoke to Paul spoke to you; and he that brought Paul off more than conqueror, shall surely bring you off more than conqueror too. But mark what follows the apostle's expression, "troubled on every side, yet not distressed" not overmuch, not despondingly so; "perplexed, but not in despair" hope was still in exercise; "persecuted, but not forsaken "—there was a consciousness that still "underneath were the everlasting arms;" "cast down, but not destroyed"-he could unite with the psalmist,

who said, "By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemies triumph not over me." The meaning the apostle intended to convey was this, that however painful his case was, it might have been worse; that but for the unchanging love of a faithful God, he might have been "distressed," "in despair," "forsaken," and "destroyed." And, beloved, if the Lord the Spirit enables you to take a proper view of your condition, you will perceive likewise that your state might have been worse; that you have, notwithstanding many anxious cares, much to be thankful for; that if you do not possess some of your fellowmortal's enjoyments, you have not, on the other hand, his sources of sorrow; that his path is rough where yours may be comparatively smooth; and that he has causes of weeping which you know nothing of. But we have foretold your deliverance, and we maintain our point; though that deliverance is not likely to be vouchsafed until your plans and schemes for obtaining it shall have failed, and you, with " strength shut up or left," shall be brought to exclaim, "Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercies are great." Blessed hands to fall into, poor soul; and a very desirable position is that which we have mentioned. Deliverance is not far off if this is your state of mind; and your strength and wisdom having failed in the procurement of it, will make the Lord's hand and his good-will towards you, more abundantly manifest.

no

We have, however, another point to clear up on this part of our subject. We said that it was a mere showing or exhibition of trouble. Now, this does not seem to accord with the experience of many who appear overwhelmed with sorrow. Beloved, our view of it is this, that when long-expected trouble has overtaken you, or some fresh calamity has suddenly seized upon you, the trial you had anticipated has been made by the Lord's goodness far lighter than you had apprehended; or so much additional strength has been communicated under new trials, as to enable you to endure them. And who can estimate how large a portion of the trouble are the fears and apprehensions which we are the subjects of, under or in the anticipation of them? Jacob said, "All these things are against me;" "Ye will bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave." David exclaimed, "I shall one day fall by the hand of Saul." Hezekiah said, "In the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave," &c. All these were giving utterance to their feelings under the prospect of trouble, not in the actual realization. These the good Lord frequently makes use of to the same wise and gracious purpose, as if he had actually brought upon and sanctified the afflictions of which they cry out in the anticipation.

We pass on, thirdly, to notice the expression of the psalmist, "great and sore troubles." Great troubles-so large as to block up the way; to obtrude themselves over our whole path and apparently to close every avenue of deliverance. No way of escape appears; all is dark and gloomy. The heart sinks-fears arise-and the poor soul thinks he shall never rise again. It is, too, a sore trouble; it has affected us in the tenderest part; it will not bear touching; the very spirit recoils at the thought. Pain and anguish are scattered over the whole system :

a chill of agony runs through every vein, similar to what David felt, when at the death of his son Absalom he exclaimed, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee; O Absalom, my son ! my son !"

Fourthly, we notice the triumph of faith, "Thou shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again." The psalmist is speaking in the future, hitherto he had spoken in the past, tense. He had been taking a review of his chequered path, with its attendant cares and perplexities; he had been offering up many a sigh and groan unto the God of his salvation for deliverance out of his various trials; and now his heart is warmed, his soul is comforted, and, contemplating the faithfulness of his never-failing, covenant Friend, faith springs up, and he exclaims, in the sure confidence of deliverance, "Thou shalt quicken me again.” His spirit had fainted, drooped, and had seemed almost ready to give up the ghost; but when that precious grace of the Holy Spirit is called into exercise, however dull and lifeless the soul may have previously been, new life, vigour, and animation, are imparted; and the soul goes forth in its lively actings upon the grace and faithfulness of its covenant God; for

"Mighty faith the promise sees,

And trusts to God alone;

Laughs at impossibilities,

And cries, It shall be done.'

And we do contend, that while there is nothing more honouring to God than to be able to take him at his word, and to trust him in the face of all opposition for the fulfilment of his promise, there is nothing more delightful to the heaven-born soul, the new man of grace. Reader, do you know anything of being able to triumph above appearances, and to enjoy such a blessed confidence in the grace and power of your wonderworking God, as to bless, and praise, and adore him for deliverance before it comes; while everything to the eye of sense is as dark as ever, and before even the least breaking away of the cloud has appeared ? If you do know anything of this experimentally, you have found it sweet living, even more precious to the soul than when deliverance has arrived; for carnal sense and reason soon rear their heads after God has vouchsafed a kind and gracious deliverance. Lest our poor weak hearts should be tempted to idolize or think too much of his gifts, he, for the trial of our faith and the exercise of the graces of his own implantation, withdraws his sweet presence; then Satan, unbelief, and carnal reason, set in upon the soul, suggesting that what had been previously regarded as the signal interposition of the Lord's most merciful hand, was merely the result of common-place, every-day circumstances. This wounds a tender conscience more than the trial out of which the soul has just been brought.

We notice, fifthly, the quickening of which the psalmist speaks. The language pre-supposes a languishing, failing, or dying of comfort, peace, and enjoyment. Mourning and sorrow have taken their place in the heart; the soul is afar off from peace; a complication of exer

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