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successors, for hundreds of years, held the truth of God; both men and women were very familiar with the Scriptures, and copies were multiplied by the Notarii, whose duty it was to faithfully transcribe them. The Waldenses--or Western line of Witnesses-who were certainly in existence in the ninth century, if not earlier, were likewise distinguished for their intense love of the Bible, and for their unanimous rejection of tradition and adherence to inspiration. Their heraldic arms consisted of a lighted candlestick with the motto, “The light shineth in darkness;" and during many ages Rome endeavoured, by terrible persecutions, to extinguish the light of God's Word, which, in the valleys of Piedmont and Dauphiny, had made so many “wise unto salvation." Peter Waldo, in the twelfth century, translated the Scriptures out of Latin into the vernacular French, and this is believed to be the first nearly complete translation made into that tongue. The knowledge of the Word of the Lord was diffused by the Waldenses in a true missionary spirit. As pedlars and hawkers they passed over Western Europe, and wherever an opportunity occurred they repeated chapters and portions of Holy Writ, or disposed of such copies as they carried with them. Their memory was wonderful, and one of them, referring to the Papists, says, “ There is hardly a teacher among them that knows by heart three connected chapters of the New Testament; but among us there is scarce a man or woman who cannot repeat the text in the common tongue.This practice of committing to-memory entire books of the New Testament was also adopted by the Huguenots, for whilst copies of the Scriptures might be destroyed, their memories could not bé touched. - The Word of the Lord was precious in those days."

The Adversary of Souls having thus vainly used Pagan and Papal Rome as his rinstruments in endeavouring to suppress the Word of God, has in these days .adopted means to the same end still more subtle and mischievous. The invention of printing, and the consequent diffusion of the Scriptures over the whole world, have rendered it impossible ever to destroy the Sacred Book, and, therefore, it is now assailed by Infidelity and, by what is more dangerous, a Rationalism which, while outwardly professing reverence for its solemn and sublime truths, is secretly - endeavouring to sap the belief of the professing Church in its Divine origin and plenary inspiration. This rationalising spirit has invaded nearly every religious denomination, and some of its fruits are to be seen in allusions to “ the science of religion,” and in that antipathy to creeds and articles, and definite statements of doctrine, which are apparently on almost every side. Hitherto, the churches holding the doctrines of sovereign and distinguishing grace have been free from this influence, but there are occasional indications that “the spirit of the age" has unfavourably affected some of their members. God grant that our churches may ever be kept faithful, and that they may hold the doctrines of grace with increased tenacity, through the Holy Spirit, giving a deeper and richer experience of their power ! A diligent and prayerful study of the Word is more than ever needed in the day in wkich we live, for we shall be best prepared to withstand error, not by reading constant attempted refutations of it, but by having the mind filled with truth drawn from the Fountain-head of Truth.

It is deeply iv teresting to recall to mind the diligence and anxiety with which the Christian leaders in the days of old studied that Book which to them had been so long sealed or hidden, and how powerfully God the Holy Spirit applied portions to their souls. Whether it be Augustine, in the fourth century, arrested in the garden at Milan by the words on which his eyes fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the Iust thereof;" or, whether Luther, in the fifteenth century, painfully ascending the Santa Scala at Rome, and hearing in his svul the voice saying, “The just shall live by faith,” the Scriptures are seen to be “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

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Solomon complained of the multitude of books in his day, and Luther remarked to his friends, "The Bible is now buried under so many commentaries that the text is nothing regarded. My object, my hope, in translating the Scriptures was. to check the to, prevalent production of new works, and so to direct men’s study and thoughts more closely to the Divine Word. I would not have those who read my books in these stormy times devote one moment to them which they would. otherwise have consecrated to the Bible.” When such was the case in Luther's time, what can we say of the incessant streams of books, good, bad, and indifferent, which daily proceed from the pres ! Never was there more urgent need for the dissemination of pure literature ; but, at the same time, Luther's warning as to the multiplication of religious books is more than ever necessary. The best modern works on vital Christianity contain nothing that cannot be met with in the writings of the great Puritan divines, where, it is almost needless to say, the great doctrines of the faith are treated of with an amplitude, precision, and force generally wanting in more recent books. It has been said that these old authors

“not philosophers ; but such a remark must surely have arisen either from thoughtlessness or ignorance of their writings, for nearly every page of Owen, Goodwin, and other leaders bears ample testimony to their sanctified genius, profound learning, and philosophical acumen. The ordinary religious books of the day are so often faulty in doctrine, and weak and insipid in style, that but little benefit can be gained by reading them, and the time spent upon them is frequently entirely wasted.

Those books of uninspired writers which have been most widely useful have been those of men who have taken deep draughts from the Book of Books, and a brief glance at some of these works will prove this, and also show the relationship which one bears to another. Augustine has been alluded to, and his numerous writings were, next to the Bible, the spiritual food of the Church of God during the dark ages. Martin Luther ever esteemed them_next to the Scriptures ; the Exposition of the Psalms, and the work, “On the Letter and the Spirit,” being his especial favourites. John Staupitz, the vicar-general, whose visit to the monastery at Erfurt was made so useful to Luther, had also been greatly helped by the study of Augustine. When Luther questioned him about the doctrine of election, which sorely perplexed him, Staupitz pointed him to the Saviour. “Behold the wounds of Christ,” said he, “and there thou shalt see God's counsel towards man clearly shining forth ;” and thus the teaching of Augustine on the cloctrine of free and sovereign grace was very useful to these two good men slowly emerging from the night of Popery. Our own Wickliffe was, no doubt, helped by the same great writer; and, in turn, some of his works fell into the hands of John Huss, and were made the means of bringing the Bohemian Reformer to a knowledge of the truth, and from some of his books Luther gained light on that chained Bible which he read so prayerfully at Erfurt.

Next to his translation of the Bible into German, probably none of Luther's works have been more widely useful than his “Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians," with its accompanying preface; it was published about 1536, and was the fruit of fifteen years' meditation on the Epistle. Take one instance out of many. John Bunyan was earnestly seeking the Lord, but was still in a state of great darkness of mind ; he read the historical books of the Bible, but strangely avoided the Epistles; the conflict in his soul became intense, and one of the chief means by which he was brought into liberty was that he found a tattered copy of Luther on the Galatians. Of this book he says, “It seemed as if it had been written out of his own heart," and, ever afterwards, he prized this work of the Reformer next to the Bible itself. To how many hundreds has Bunyan's immortal Allegory been made useful in a spiritual way? The influence of such a book none

? can estimate.

The writings of the Puritans have been sources of help to many who came after

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and who, in their turn, influenced subsequent generations ; they were such to Philip Doddridge, whose best-known book, “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,” has been translated into nearly all the languages of Europe, and into some of the Eastern languages. Doddridge, at the commencement of the book, prays that it may be “the blessed instrument of converting and saving one soul,” and may this “ be granted to one who pretends no claim but Thy sovereign grace." Abundantly has this prayer been answered ; one example will suffice. Williani Wilberforce, when in his twenty-sixth year, was already a brilliant parliamentary debater and conversationalist, the friend of Pitt, and one of the idols of the fashionable world. He possessed wealth, honour, - troops uf friends,” but lacked the "one thing needful.” Doddridge's book fell into his hands ; it led him to the study of the Bible, and the Holy Spirit wrought within him. He conferred with John Newton, and at length boldly avowed the change. Henceforth, whilst abandoning his worldly pleasures, he devoted himself to public life with different aims, his chief one being attaired in 1807, when a Bill was introduced which placed on the Statute Book the fiaal condemnation of the slave trade, and the name of Wilberforce will evermore be gratefully remembered by his countrymen. In 1797 he published “A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians iu the Higher and Middle Classes of this Country Contrasted with Real Christianity.” This work, proceeding from the pen of such an eminent man, was eagerly read, and much blessed by God. It was made useful to Legh Richmond in the Isle of Wight, and his siniple narrative of “The Dairyman's Daughter” has given help and comfort to many. In 1803 Thomas Chalmers was ordained to the charge of the parish of Kilmany, and for eight years he preached to the people, though himself ignorant of the way of salvation ; during this time he lectured on Science at St. Andrew's University, and this was more congenial work to him than his pulpit ministrations. In theology he professed what was then known in the Scotch Church as “ Moderatism,” of which it has been well said, “ The only earnestness it ever showed was in repressing earnestness, which it was careful to denounce as fanaticism. It seemed to ice even the • Milk of the Word ;' and the only honey it could drop was the bland praise of virtue and decorum." In 1811 he had Wilberforce's "View" put into his hands, and it was made the means of revealing the grave defects of his creed, and showing him the insufficiency of his own righteousness. His parishioners soon detected the change which had taken place, for his sermons, instead of being lifeless disser. tations on virtue, were filled with that evangelical fervour which ever afterwards distinguished them, and which, with his impetuous eloquence, made him so great a power for good in his day and generation.

It would be easy to pursue this subject further ; but, perhaps, enough has been written to show how interesting such an inquiry may become. None can tell how wide or how deep is the influence of a good book, and who can measure the influence exercised by the Book of Books ?

My Word

. shall not return unto Me void ; " this encouraging promise is ever being fulfilled by results ensuing upon the circulation of the Scriptures ; by the effects of the preached Word ; and by the “signs following” those books of uninspired writers, which have had their origin in hearts vitalised by the indwelling Word.


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Brom Saint to Saint.

No. 29.



Woolwich, March 8, 1827 DEAR FRIEND,-I am informed that the God of all grace has called you to know that you need His great salvation, and has caused in you hungering and thirsting for the bread and water of life. This, our Lord has declared in His Holy Word, is a blessed case : “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteous. ness, for they shall be filled.” Truly there is nothing can satisfy the spiritual wants of a regenerate soul but the Lord Jesus Christ. And there are none more suited nor more expressly fitted for each other than the Saviour in all His fulness, and the sinner who feels that in himself he is altogether wants, emptiness, and helplessness. To believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the antidote for all the sin and misery we feel ; that He is our redemption; that His life is our righteousness; His blood our purity, and His death our eternal discharge in the sight of God from all we find in ourselves, is truly the fruit of His love, and the effect of His Almighty power

There is nothing the children of God have more need to be cautioned against than the workings of legality and self-righteousness ; because there is such subtlety in it, and it is the great interruption, in a variety of ways, to our communion with the ever-gracious Friend of sinners. It puts us upon bringing a price in our hands to God in order to obtain or increase His favour. Jesus is alone the whole of our salvation. But herein is the great deficiency of the Lord's people—they are so prone to seek some part of their salvation in themselves. They put off, they shrink back from receiving, the comfortable testimony of super-abounding mercy, because they think they have not attained to such a degree of experience as warrants them to trust upon the work and word of the Lord for themselves What is this but the working of self-righteousness ?

At times they have such views of the sinfulness and depravity of their nature that none upon earth can appear worse than they do tò themselves. Well, do they glorify the Son of God by going to Him with the whole of it just as they are? No; they fall to suspecting their state ; they are filled with doubts, fears, and distress. Yet it is the Lord's will that they, as sinners, should trust wholly on Christ's finished salvation without finding anything in themselves to encourage them so to do. But, again, when they feel some lifting up in duties--some pleasing frame of mind, some elevation of spirit—they will then draw favourable conclusions of the safety of their state, which truly shows that, while they acknowledge ther is no salvation but in Jesus, they are not aware that they are seeking for a foundation of comfort within themselves—upon what they feel, upon what they experience, upon what they think they should be, or upon what they hope to find wrought in them, so that they may get the mastery over every evil they feel.

In truth there is nothing we feel, whether of sins, temptations, blasphemous suggestions, or any other evil, should keep us from simply depending on the Lord Jesus. There is a l the evil of sin in our nature whether it is manifested or not Therefore, when it shows itself in its worst display, it proves the need we have of looking only to the remedy God, in His infinite love, has provided. The misery is within us; the all-sufficient remedy without us. The application of the remedy


for every part and working of our sinful disease is the Holy Ghost giving us to believe the virtue, worth, and efficacy of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Mediator of reconciliation, who is made of God unto us-wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption. Whatever is our weight of sin, Christ was made sin. However we deserve the curse of God, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made curse for us. Although great and aggravated may be our guiltiness, He alone is the Lord our righteousness. He is righteous. His work is righteousness, which is imputed unto us, and we, through grace, are called to believe that we are made the righteousness of God in Him-not to feel that we are righteous in ourselves, but to believe we stand before God righteous in His sight, and justified from all things. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin ; His sacrifice, once offered, is of eternal worth and efficacy. He is our High Priest, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. His love to us is, and must be, unchangeably the same. He is ever in office. He is ever near us; yea, He dwelleth in us by His Spirit and Word. He merciful and faithful; He is able to succour, and as willing as able. He is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him; and which of us can limit Christ's uttermost? I am grieved to say, the people of God make too much of their evils, and too little, by far, of the only good. Instead of being helps to each other in the Christian path, and cheering one another on the road by remindings of the precious Object of our faith—of the glories of His Person ; of the wonders of His love ; of His grace unsearchable ; mercy everlasting ; perfect salvation ; infinite power ; inviolable faithfulness, and happiness eternal--they seek to strengthen each other in unbelief and self-righteousness. They make a Christ of their humblings, graces, attainments, &c., and nothing of all these things is living by faith on the Son of God. They take pains to make themselves miserable, and keep in a low, dejected wayto avoid presumption, as they think-and perplex the minds of others, and remain staggering at the promises of God. Still, the thoughts of love He bears to them cannot be interrupted by their Christ-dishonouring doubts, although He permits them to continue, year after year, in their haltings and unfounded tears.

May our Jehovah Jesus shine upon you with rays of ineffable love, and gild your passage to the grave with solid assurance of beholding His face with eternal joy, is the prayer of a ransomed sinner. To Mrs. D




Favourite hymns and their Authors.

No. 19.


TAE Psalms of David have ever been esteemed a precious portion of the Divine Word ; so also the Songs of Zion are among her chief treasures, held as a blessed legacy, left by many of different name, who have gone to join the heavenly choir.

When our Saviour ascended He gave

abundant “gists unto men for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of His body;" and the wondrous variety of those gifts greatly enhances the value and fitness of our lymns to the

lifferent circumstances, wants, and experience of the fellow citizens. Some are “sowing in tears, while others

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