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My daughter in the Faith, what a mercy to know and understand these truths, with others of like nature ; and, being taught of the Lord, to believe that every event that takes place in our little eventful lives, was fixed for us by Love and in Love, as also all our life's blessedness in Christ, before the foundation of the world! And, as the Divine properties of the same are realised by faith, it will constrain ns to be joyful in tribulation, rejoicing in hope, looking unto Jesus, and waiting patiently for His coming. And we shall say, our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; and every fresh deliverance strengthens faith ; produces the abounding of hope ; and we say, unless the Lord had been our help when men rose up against us,” they had swallowed us up quick ;” and by these things we know the truth of what you wrote unto me, He delivereth and rescueth, and we rejoice, saying, He hath delivered, He doth deliver, in whom also we trust that He will yet deliver.
By the experience of the preceding truths, we are constrained to say our help cometh from the Name Jehovah; and in and by these things He shows us His love, grace, and mercy; and, through all our weakness, we learn that the Lord is our strength, and a very present help in trouble. And I believe that it is in this way that the Lord endears Himself unto us ; and we cleave to Him with full purpose of heart, and trust in Him at all times, casting all our care upon Him, for He wareth for us. And, as I have been a witness of these truths for years past, I write the more freely unto you in tribulation, and pray that the salt of the covenant may not be found wanting unto you ; that the Lord at all times may be your confidence and the rejoicing of your heart. Hope firm unto the end, for He abideth faithful ; He cannot deny Himself.
Be of good cheer, beloved ; more are they that are for us, than they that are against us ; for if God be for us, who can be against us? I felt sympathy with you by the hint you drop, but there have always been Christ despisers and Holy Ghost deniers, and of truth ; but the purpose of God, according to election, must, and the Word of our God shall, stand for ever. And the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand ; but the wise shall understand. The time is drawing nigh with you and me, when flesh, with its feelings and all wilderness trials, will for ever end ; and, beyond all these things, it will be, Jehovah shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
Ah, beloved ! how loving, gracious, and merciful the Lord is unto us. As Peter saith, that the trial of your faith being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, we are still learning what it is to walk in that path no vulture's eye hath seen, nor lion's whelp trod thereon ; yet it is the right way to the City of Habitation, and though it is very exercising to flesh and blood, it is all in love, and the truth is always the same to and for us. The Eternal God is thy Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and the Lord is our Defence, and the Holy One of Israel is our King, and we have found, and still do, and shall find, the strength of the Lord is made perfect in weakness, and we have no control over any thing or circumstance; but the Lord performeth the thing appointed for us, and many such things are with Him, and He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will ; and through all things we shall pass safety, and it will be as He saith : “Where I am, there you may be also.'
These dear truths are encouraging, comforting, and Christ-endearing, and they constrain us to cleave to Him with full purpose of heart; and it is of small moment, and of short duration, if our little eventful lives are filled in with afflictions, grief, persecution, and tribulation. Yet in and through all this, Christ is our All and in all ; and we are not only called to believe in His Name, but to suffer for His sake ; and because of this, we learn another truth : that as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so alsó our consolation aboundeth by Christ Jesus, and we count the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us, And the Lord saith to us, "Fear
none of these things which thou shalt suffer; fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”. Isa. xli
. 10. In and by the experience of these truths we are constrained by love to say, “Bless the Lord, Oʻmy soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name ; e giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.” And well might the apostle say, “ Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice ; for happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." And the hope that is given unto us is a good hope through grace, and is as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus ; and the Lord is the Hope of Israel ; the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble ; and the Lord is our Hope and Shield, Refuge, and Strength. His Name is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.
Beloved, how very blessed to live on daily, casting all our care upon the Lord, for He careth for us, and saith, He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of His eye. The Lord give unto us an increasing knowledge of these unchanging truths, and also that we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and no plague can come nigh our dwelling.
What a sweet employ it is to me to sit and write to you of Jesus, the friend of publicans and sinners, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and hath been tempted in all points, like unto His brethren ; and He knoweth how
; to succour them that are tempted, and He knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation. Amen. Yours, in our precious Lord Jesus,
John Ryland's Poetical Izretter.
John RYLAND, Sen., the father of the hymn writer whose hymns were last month the subject of remark in the Gospel Herald, was a Baptist minister of considerable eminence in his day, first at Warwick, afterwards, for twenty-six years, at Northampton. He died at Enfield, July 24th, 1792, aged sixty-nine years. The subjoined letter was written on his return from a meeting of an association of Baptist churches held at Sheepshead in 1764, and was put into rhyme by his son, John Ryland, Junior, then in the twelfth year of his age. It is a remarkable production, and, although repeatedly published, may be new to many of the realers of the Gospel Herald, and cannot fail to prove interesting to all. A wish for its insertion was expressed by an esteemed sister in Christ some months ago.
"My dear brother CHRISTIAN, whom much I esteem,
That I got safely home, through the care of the Lord.
Whose providence graciously prospers our ways.
O that He would give me more courage and faith,
“ These lines, which the postman to you
Gospel Oministers of Former
The people of God are told by the Apostle to remember those who have spoken the Word of God unto them; to follow their faith-i.e., to hold fast the truths they preached, and to consider their conversation-i.e., their godly example—and to imitate them in their holy lives. This is the evident import of the exhortation in Heb. xiii. 7, which appears to refer to ministers then deceased ; the exhortation in v. 17, referring to those who were living pastors at the time the Apostle wrote, both of whom, whether past or present teachers, taught the same doctrine of Christ, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, in His Person, His grace, His love, His example, His testimony.
What was good for the Hebrew Christians in Paul's day, may not be unuseful for Gentile believers in the present day, considering what changes are taking place around us in men's belief and teaching; whilst the true Gospel of Christ is just the same now as when the Blessed Spirit caused it to be inscribed in the Holy Book of God many centuries ago. It is, therefore, intended to give a few sketches in these pages of departed men of God whose faithful teaching and godly lives rendered them worthy of remembrance and imitation, hoping they may prove acceptable and profitable to our readers. And we begin witis" Thomas Sutton ; not for any special reason placing him first, but simply because his is the first name occurring at the moment, having been brought to remembrance in a recent conversation with a minister of the Gospel who knew him. He was born at Cottenham, Cambs, January 21st, 1779. His parents were persons in very humble life; so that, at the age of ten, he was called upon by stern necessity
to assist his father in his occupation as a shepherd, in which calling he continued, without the omission of a single week, for the long period of thirty-one years ; when, having become pastor of a church in his native village, he relinquished his field employment. He was thus, like David of old, called from the sheepfolds to minister to the people of God, whom he led in the integrity of his heart, according to the gift and ability bestowed upon him by God. His powers of mind appear to have been of an extraordinary order, but not greatly developed until near middle life. Still
, from very early years, he had peculiar thoughts and wonderings of mind respecting God, the world of which he was become an inhabitant, and the heavens above him. These, and many other things connected with his life, are depicted by him in a very interesting manner in an original poem, published in 1838, entitled “The Powers of Memory," which contains a brief record of his history up to the age of fifty-seven. From the description of his call, by grace, at the age
of twenty-three, we take the following lines :
“God, in His wisdom, infinite and good
(Grace still is sov’reign, absolute, and free),
And, oh, His love had thoughts of love to me !
Nor hoped for heaven, but feared to think of God,
Which raised my soul to ecstacy and love.