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not at the outward appearance, but at the heart, and He knoweth that heart that is open to receive Jesus Christ as its all, and in all.

Our departed friend was an every-day Christian. He not only manifested the power of religion in the House of God here, but he gave proof of it at home, and in his business dealings. I feel sure that I am not saying more than I ought to say, when I declare that a more straightforward and honest person could not be found. He might be equalled, but not excelled. His was, indeed, an every-day religion. Such men of God are missed, and we deeply feel our loss here to-day; for those who are decided for the truth, and practise godliness, are the characters we want; whose lives

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with what their lips express. I thank the Lord all such are not dead, and pray Him to increase their number.

IV. But our text will bear looking at in the light of DIVINE 'CONSOLATION. What a blessed fact to know that, when creatures fail, Christ is still our all, and in all.

“He never takes away our all ;

Himself He gives us still.” He takes our most valued friends away, but He still reigns in, over, and for His Zion. We grieve when we suffer such losses as the present, but we have no right to murmur. Zion's members fail and die, but Zion's God and Redeemer for ever lives. He takes away our earthly props, that we may find our all in Himself. Oh, for grace to have these trials sanctified to us! To our departed brother's sorrowing relatives I tender my sympathy, and sincerely condole with them, but only God can really heal the smarting wound. There is one thought that diminishes our grief, and that is the fact that he is now completely blest. May we be favoured to meet him beyond the skies! If Christ is our all, and in all, we certainly

but if the world is our all, and in all, when we come to die, we shail have to leave our all behind, and sink to eternal misery, where there is no hope. May the Lord prepare us by His grace for glory, and command His blessing upon this service, for the Redeemer's sake! Amen.

shall;

The Creator First, or the Creature, Which ?

THE late John Stevens commences his work, “Help to the True Disciples of Immanuel,” by informing his readers that the author" is neither a Calvinist, an Arminian, nor a Baxterian. Yet he believes many things in common with them all, while he claims the liberty of dissenting from them all, where, in his apprehension, they severally deviate from the straight line of truth.” He evidently, then, considered that truth has a straight line, deviations from which must necessarily not be truth, but error; it being, in his estimation, "an indubitable fact that truth is evermore consistent with itself.”. In this view of truth he is upheld by the Apostle John, who tells us that “no lie is of the truth," i.e., deviations from the truth are all of them wrong, inasmuch as no lie, whether great or small, can be true. Paul, speaking of the salvation of sinners, declares that it must be by grace alone ; not partly by grace and partly by works, that being, as he clearly proves, impossible in the nature of things. Since his day, however, this has been made a matter of great dispute, and, in fact, was so before he finished his earthly course, and it is matter for great thankfulness that the Holy Spirit, by Paul as a medium, has given us authoritative teaching on this all-important question in his replies to the false teachers that arose in the churches in the Apostle's time.

Speaking broadly, the two parties into which the Christian world at large have been and are still divided, may be said to have inscribed on their respective banners, “Salvation is wholly of the Lord,” and, “Salvation is not wholly of the Lord;" the little word not indicating the difference and distance between the two parties, which may be looked upon as more or less wider or narrower, according as opinions moderate or extreme obtain on either side..

Speaking broadly again, the religious world, so far as it has any definite ideas at all on the subject of a plan of salvation, may be said to be divided into Calvinists and Arminians. Many persons in the present day who might elect to be classed under one or other of these designations, would hardly be very distinguishable from those who might prefer to be classed under the other. Many, so-called Calvinists of to day are very like Arminians in regard to some of their interpretations of the Word of God. Nevertheless, there is a wide and essential difference between Calvinism proper and Arminianism proper, inasmuch as the one must be considered as ascribing the salvation of poor lost sinners wholly to the Creator, and the other as making it wholly or partly dependent upon the will and works of the sinner himself.

A pamphlet* has recently been published, written by a “Strict Baptist Minister, calling attention to the statements made by these two parties as to their respective sentiments on this question of salvation, whether it be entirely gratuitous and absolute on the part of the Great. God, or partly contingent on the will of those needing to be saved ? Put into another form such a question may stand thus, Is the Creator first, or the creature, in salvation matters ?

The pamphlet commences with a quotation in which the following extraordinary words occur, “ All high truth is the union of two contradictions." Old-fashioned folk have for long years been accustomed to hold the opinion that two contradictory propositions cannot both be true. But now, it would seem, according to the quotation, that by putting them together, by uniting contradictions, they cease to be in opposition. That is, as it seems to us, by putting a truth and a lie together, the lie not only ceases to be a lie, but the truth itself gets greatly improved by the admixture—it becomes a “higher truth.”. That seems to us a fair way of putting it; but not having had an opportunity of seeing how the writer of the extraordinary words in question explains or defends his proposition, probably we do not apprehend his meaning, being unacquainted with the ways of “ modern thought.” As at present viewed, the assertion, to us, appears a most astounding

Our friend, however—the writer of the pamphlet referred to-seems inclined to fall in with the proposition he quotes, in relation to Calvinism and Arminianism, and asks: "May we take for granted that there is a higher truth embracing both systems and uniting these contradictories ; or must we be partisans of one system against the other ?”. Probably most thoughtful, devout minds will accept the latter alternative, feeling it impossible to unite these contradictories, which Paul the Apostle, in effect, says cannot be done. For-reverting to his words again-it is not of works, but of grace, otherwise grace is no more grace ; and the Calvinist considers that salvation is all of grace, and that God is first in

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Calvinism, Arminianism : Either? Neither? or Both ?” A lecture by John T. Briscoe. To be had at the Vestry, Rye Lane Chapel, and Baptist Tract Society, Castle Street, Holborn. Price Threopence.

every branch of it; while the Arminian conceives that the creature is first, and that God's salvation is, in some way or other, contingent upon the action of its objects. Not that the Arminian denies in toto the grace of God in the salvation of sinners, but he neutralises it—makes grace not grace by bringing in the idea of merit, or first action, as being a condition, or cause, for the bestowal of the favour. With him it is grace, but not free grace ; favour, but not free favour. Thus, he says he believes in election, but then the choice is prompted by some good foreseen in the creature. The Bible says we are chosen to be holy, the Arminian says we are chosen on account of our holiness. And so on, through the whole of his religious belief, he holds to the idea that, in some way or other, creature actions or deserts lie at the bottom of every spiritual blessing we actually receive. Yet he believes in the atonement of Christ, in the grace of the Holy Spirit in regenerating sinners, in the salvation of persevering believers ; but then he considers all depends on the will of the sinner whether these blessings reach him or not. He reverses the Divine order of things, and reads the words “My people shall be willing in the day of my power” backwards—thus, “My power shall be put forth and the people be mine, and continue to be so if they so will it.” He has windows in his edifice of religious thoughts professedly to let in Divine light, but, that light being too strong for his weak optice, he weaves himself curtains to darken the windows. The light that comes in by the window of election is very distressful to his feelings, frequently so disliked by him that he will have nothing at all to do with it, and so walls up that window altogether. Finding himself unable to expunge the doctrine from his Bible, he does what appears to him the next most fitting thing to do—he refuses it admittance into his book of praise, the book which, next to the Book of God, is the dearest to the heart of the child of God. Hence his hymn-book is altogether void of hymns on God's electing love ; and thus, as far as he possibly can, he avoids coming into contact with the to him, poor soul, distasteful thought that his Maker chose him to salvation independently of his own merits.

It hardly appears from our friend's pamphlet whether he would prefer to be called a Calvinist, or an Arminian, or neither. Certain indications, however, point to the conclusion that he has a more friendly feeling towards good men of the Arminian persuasion than to those on the Calvinistic side. His anecdotes are in favour of the Arminian, and the only martyrs for their opinions he mentions are on that side, although the whole stream of Church history is full of instances of good and godly men of Calvinistic views who have been hunted to death for their faith. The only disparaging remark he makes, referring to any one's writings, is to those of a Calvinist-good Dr. Gill-who is spoken of as being “not a little dry.” Verbose the good Doctor certainly is, but his "Body of Divinity” is so full of light and life of a spiritual and heavenly sort, that lovers of the doctrines of distinguishing grace find themselves well repaid by the perusal of those thoughtful pages; to other readers he, no doubt, is "not a little dry.” It is somewhat remarkable that none of the illustrations of Calvinism given in this lecture are taken from Dr. Gill, the ablest and most distinguished Calvinistic writer of modern times.

Moreover, our friend's quotations as to the tenets held by Calvinists, as agreed upon at the Synod of Dort, held 1618, are taken from the writings of enemies of Calvinism, and are gross misrepresentations of the Articles of Faith agreed upon by that assembly of eminently learned, earnest, devout, and godly men as representing their religious opinions. Probably our friend is not aware of this, not having seen the genuine articles themselves. But where is the wisdom or the justice at exhibiting either men's opinions or their actions in the light in which prejudiced foes present them to view? Concerning the spurious Article I. of the definitions of the Synod of Dort, as quoted on page 7 of our friend's pamphlet, a Calvinistic writer (1817) says, and that truthfully : “Misrepresenting and slandering men

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called Calvinists has been very general ever since the term was invented, but I never before met with so gross, so barefaced, and inexcusable a misrepresentation as this. It can only be equalled by the false testimony borne against Jesus and His apostles as recorded in Holy Writ.” Four other travesties of those articles quoted by our friend are open to the same severe censure ; he, however, cannot be supposed to be aware of their spurious and libellous character. His assertion that a few preachers in the present day teach the horrible tenets thus wrongly ascribed to the Synod of Dort we think must be a mis-statement.

Whatever may be thought of the comparative merits of the several tenets of the two classes of opinions by anyone that may try to weigh them in the balances of the sanctuary, the results of the two systems as seen in history must be allowed to tell in favour of Calvinism. The history of nations evidences this. Compare Holland with Spain ; compare our own country when under rulers of Calvinistic principles and when under those of opposite notions. Look at it in the present day, comparing that part of the United Kingdom where Arminianism in its worst form-Popery-is most prevalent with those parts where, at least, the standards of faith are generally

. Calvinistic. The history of the noble army of martyrs testifies to the sustaining power of Calvinistic principles, for comparatively few of the countless host have been Arminians. The death-beds of God's saints bear witness to the superior worth of those views of God's grace ; for, while all go home alike humbly trusting in the precious atonement of their loved Redeemer, the Calvinist

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home also rejoicing in the covenant love of his God—and this the poor Arminian cannot do, because he does not believe in anything of the kind.

The attempt to reconcile these two contradictory systems must fail, if we are to retain any definite ideas of a doctrinal kind concerning the salvation of men. It is happily quite true, as our good brother says—and with him we rejoice in the pleasing fact-all real Christians meet in unity of heart at the Cross of our beloved Lord; the hope of every one of them, for salvation and heaven, being founded on His precious Atonement. But when they begin to formulate theological opinions, some in the direction of Calvinism, others in that of Arminianism, they necessarily part company. For the two systems are based on distinctly different principles and proceed on different lines. The Calvinist considers that God is first in every matter of the salvation of his soul ; the Arminian represents the creature as being first. The Calvinist considers that God's own glory is His prime object in saving sinners; the Arminian is of opinion that the Divine honour is a secondary consideration in that important business ; the first thus reading the angelic song in Luke ii. 14 in the order in which it there stands recorded, the second inverting the couplet.

Our dear Saviour's twofold declaration, “ All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me ; and him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out" (John vi. 37), teaches the certainty of the accomplishment of Divine purposes, and the assured salvation of all who sincerely and humbly ask of Him the bestowment of that priceless blessing. The teaching or ministry that does not include both branches of this affirmation, made by our Lord Himself, cannot be said to be Scripturally complete. Instead, then, of trying to reconcile irreconcilable systems of human construction, let us, with good John Stevens, listen reverently to the teachings of the Spirit of Truth in His Holy Word. Instead of endless rummaging among the writings of men, let us search the Scriptures on the knee of humble prayer ; earnestly asking for, and, with child-like simplicity, listening to, the voice of the Spirit for guidance into all truth, which is promised for the encouragement of every diligent prayerful inquirer after truth.

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Fifty Vears

Ago.
By S. K. BLAND, IPSWICH.

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On all hands it seems agreed that the period of fifty years is a peculiarly. interesting one. “but of yesterday, and cannot command long spans of memory. “The days of our years" being but “threescore years and ten" except, and it is a rare exception, "by reason of strength they be fourscore years"-few of us can intelligently call to mind more than half-a-century. Perhaps this is one reason why, from ancient times, this was a chosen period for pausing to remember, refresh, take courage, and prompt the rising generation to go forward.

True, we have not now a Divinely appointed “year of jubilee” to break social chains and pay debts of the past, but we still cling to such Ebenezers in other ways than our few golden weddings and ministerial jubilees. The last fifty years has certainly been a remarkable time-in most directions of strong and large advances, but, we fear, not in all. For, whilst the comparison of 1883 with 1833 shows the growth of our principles in general throughout the earth to have been larger than ever before, we cannot look upon the real state of our denomination in England now with the same cheerfulness. This subject was well touched on by our editor two years ago in his sketch of “John Foreman and bis Times” (see Gospel Herald, March, 1881).

What is now thought the most proper and respectable plan regulating the Lord's Table and church membership was then treated as an innovation, while the strict (or primitive) communion then generally observed is now generally ignored, and, we must add, treated with unworthy contempt; and with this loose indiscriminate practice has spread (as was natural) a loose indifference to doctrine, running to seed in decided opposition to, and downtreading of, the distinctive truths of Sovereign grace.

Nothing has more confirmed our conviction of this than in gathering together records of the godly host of valiant men labouring faithfully fifty years ago, very nearly all of whom are now passed away.

We have thought it might prove pleasant and profitable, cheering and warning, to glance at these worthies; and, thank God, their number was so large that it must be a mere glance. Their names will call up to many of our seniors personal remembrance of their worth, while our juniors we would advise to look more into their history, and—“their faith follow.” We are no relic worshippers.; but in recounting the memories of departed saints, or detailing the history of venerable churches, we do but call up occasions for constant gratitude, and seek to stir up one another, not only to be followers of those who have kept the faith and (fighting a good fight) have finished their course, but, as is laid on those who have been “baptized for the dead," take up the work they only pursued for a little while, and seek from the God of Elijah a double portion of his Spirit, which, if it be“ a hard thing," is not beyond His power to bestow even on a ploughman Elisha.

Many of those whose names follow have not been so long called up higher but that we can remember the sorrow their departure caused us, and we love to recall many of

incidents of life, traits of character, and signs of gracious power which endeared them to us and made them of worth to the Church of God. We ought to do this-memory is given for this purpose; but we have no time to linger

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