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ing, but all in vain, for my sins seemed but to increase. I felt convinced that I was lost, and that hell would be my portion for ever and ever. O wretched state! Thus went I on, until one night, never to be forgotten, I went to bed expecting that before morning I should be in hell, and my expectation seemed confirmed, for before the dawn of morning, the devil, to my imagination and feeling, came into the room. Up to the bed he came, took me out, placed me under his arm, and away he flew. We were soon abroad, and over the tops of the houses he went. Hell appeared at a distance, large and deep, enclosed within a wall, and columns of fire and smoke ascending high. We rapidly approached the place, and, O! dreadful feeling, the gate stood wide open. The devil entered in with me under his arm, and, to my feelings, the flames began to kindle upon me. To prevent, if possible, my entering, I tried to catch my foot upon the side of the entrance, and in doing so I turned my head, and, lo! the dear Redeemer appeared descending from the skies towards me. In agonies of despair, I cried, "Lord, save, or I perish!" In an instant hell was gone, the devil was gone, and I and my dear Redeemer appeared alone. I awoke, full of joy. O delightful time! My sins were gone, Jesus was truly precious, and joy never to be expressed was felt within. I knew not where I was, nor scarcely whether in the body or not. And, O how sweet and precious did the dear Redeemer appear to me for several weeks! But, ah! this sweet frame of mind and sweet communion with God so gradually declined, that I scarcely missed it until it was gone. The enemy set in upon me and said, "You are deceived; you thought you were going to heaven, but it is not so. Yea, if indeed the Lord did ever appear for you, he has now forsaken you; you are too great a sinner to be saved.” O mournful state! I went often to the place where I thought I had enjoyed bis presence, but all was barren. "Now," I cried, "I am lost, I am lost after all; what can I do ?"" To go where I thought I had enjoyed my Lord appeared to be of no use. "The Lord has forsaken me; I am too great a sinner to be saved," was my daily cry; until one Lord's day that I shall never forget, I went to the door of the place I had usually attended, walked away again, exclaiming, "It is no use to go there ;" but, where else can I go? thought I. I turned back, and in I went. The preacher ascended into the pulpit, and soon took his text, “But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." My soul was set at large in an instant; joy inexpressible filled my breast; never more, thought I, will I say the Lord has forsaken me. But, ah! many a long year has passed since then; many trials, mostly of a providential kind, have I experienced; many cries and groans have gone up to the dear Lord, and some sweet answers to prayer I think I have enjoyed; yet, often now I think that perhaps after all it is nothing but the working of a deceitful heart under the influence of the devil. I sometimes think that perhaps the devil can counterfeit a death and life as well as any other part of the travail of a real Christian, for he can make up such a striking imitation of the work of God the Holy Ghost, that I often think it is impossible to tell the difference. Does the real Christian become dead to the law? Hypocrites tell us the same. Does the real Christian experience deliverance from the curse and condemnation of the law? There are those that I believe to be mere formalists who declare they

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have experienced the same. Does the Christian love God? The formalist says he loves God also. Does he love the children of God? The formalist appears to love them too. Does heaviness in the heart of a Christian make him stoop? Formalists feel a casting down also. Does a good word, applied with divine power, lift him up? Formalists can speak of passages of scripture being applied to their case also. In short, the devil appears so capable of imitating the work of God, that I often say, How am I to know the difference? Yea, I sometimes say, It is impossible to know the difference! O the mystery of iniquity! Well may Philpot say, "Nature has the appetite of a vulture, and the digestion of an ostrich ;" for the very sword that stabs her to the heart, she feeds upon, and truly nothing seems to come amiss to her. I often say, Shall I ever really know whether I am a child of God or not? I suspect every thing in myself, and of almost every thing I see or hear I often say, perhaps it is nothing but the flesh and the workings of a deceived heart. If I hear those that I think are Christians talking about the things of God, I feel little or no pleasure in joining, for fear it should be nothing but nature after all; and there is but one here and there that I can speak to. If I hear some that I thought to be Christians speak of their being cut down under the ministry of the word, or of their being blessed, I suspect, and say within myself, perhaps it is all flesh; and then to feel so little love to God, if I feel any, makes mine a truly doubtful case. Miserable state; I feel dead to the world and dead to God. These threatening passages match me well, "Twice dead, plucked up by the roots;" and then again, "Your life shall hang in doubt before your eyes; reprobate silver shall men call you, because the Lord has rejected you." Have you, dear Editors, ever felt, or have any of your Christian correspondents been in such a path; a heart, at times, as hard as a stone, and, I fear, destitute of any real love to God? Perhaps, I often say, if there was no hell I should care nothing about these things, and this again appears a dreadfully bad sign, "Shut up, and cannot come forth." At times my trouble appears to be dying away, and "O!" I cry, "I am sinking down into my old careless state; my troubles were natural, and it is coming to a natural death without any manifestation of the love and mercy of God to my soul. Lord, have mercy upon me! "Lord, save, or I perish!" Ö eternity, eternity, how dreadful doth it appear to me at times! The soul once lost shall be for ever lost. "O spare me a little that I may recover my strength before I go hence and be no more!" June, 1839.

A DOUBTER.

EDITORS' REVIEW.

Free Grace. By John Saltmarsh. (Recommended by William Huntington, S.S.)-London: Bennett, 1839. 12mo., pp. 132, price 3s. It is trying to us in the exercise of our office as reviewers to pronounce an unfavourable opinion of works which bear marks of having been written by gracious men, especially if they have been approved of by others whose opinions earry with them spiritual weight and authority. Thus with the book before us; we are loath to condemn, and yet are more loath to approve. It is sound in doctrine, and combats many legal errors of the day in which it first appearedthe times of the Puritans. But there is a tone running through it which we can by no means approve of. What, for instance, shall we say to such passages as these? (p. 56) "I suppose, instead of questioning, men should set about believing, and they would soon know whether they do believe or not. My grounds for this

observation are these, Ist, Christ's command-believe; and this is his commandment that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Now commands of this nature are to be obeyed, not disputed. Good servants do not reason their duty out first with themselves, but fall to doing what they are commanded." Again; "In the things of the Spirit, to be jealous of the truth of them doth not honour the faithfulness of Jesus Christ." Again (p. 58); “We ought, I suppose, no more to question our faith, which is our first and foundation grace, than we ought to question Christ, the foundation of faith." A man preaches and writes to little purpose who is so ready with his "oughts." Again (p. 59); "It is Satan's greatest policy to put a soul upon resolving such a question." So the cry, "Search me, O God, and try me," according to John Saltmarsh, comes from the devil; and it was Satan who dictated Paul's precept (2 Cor. xiii. 5); “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith." One more extract (p. 60); "In the gospel all are immediately called to believe; so that none can believe too soon or too steadfastly in Jesus Christ our righteousness.” P. 116; "Salvation is not made a puzzling work in the gospel; it is plain, easy, and simply revealed. This is short work, believe and be saved; so look but upon Jesus Christ for life, and salvation is in thy soul; believe with thy heart and thou art saved." So many of these dead flies, found in nearly every page, cause J. Saltmarsh's ointment to send forth in our nostrils a stinking savour. Mr. Huntington, we think, must have read the book carelessly, or not observed such passages when he gave it the powerful sanction of his recommendation.

The Carnal Professor. By Robert Bolton, B.D., 1634.--Hamilton. We hardly know what to say about this little book. In some respects it is right, in others it is wrong. Some parts of it are very legal, others are true. However, this we know, it is not to our mind; it is not, in many respects, what we like. It is much in the style of most of the old writers. It states some truths respecting the total fall, ruin, and depravity of human nature, but in such a legal way as if dead sinners could quicken their own souls. It also contains some true experience, but very little; nor is it clearly and satisfactorily traced out. It jumbles up the dead and the living together. There is no proper separation kept up throughout the work; and though it contains some good truths, yet the truth in doctrine and experience is not closely and particularly enough stated to warrant us to recommend it to the notice of the children of God.

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When God the Spirit made me see But only Jesus could me cheer;
My horrid, foul deformity;
He knew what my odd feelings were.
I had a sight and sense of sin;
He brought me to his blessed feet;
Odd feelings then I felt within.
With him I had communion sweet;
Such were the pangs that tore my heart, His love, which he did then impart,
My running sores, my dreadful smart, Eased the odd feelings of my heart.
My soul was fill'd with great dismay,
His precious name, his charming voice,
At these odd feelings, night and day. Did make my very soul rejoice;
My load of guilt, my bitter foe, But, though I eat of living bread,
Fill'd this my helpless soul with woe; Odd feelings are not from me fled.
My heart, it was as hard as steel;
I find I'm in a barren land,
O what odd feelings these to feel!
Where foes appear on every hand;
Whilst passing thro' this dreadful flood, And ofttimes even on the knee,
There's some would say, "Trust thou in Odd feelings then are felt by me.
But they, alas! could never see [God;"But soon the tempest will be o'er,
These strange odd feelings felt by me. Then Satan he will cease to roar;
My ghastly looks, my groans, and cries, And I shall never feel within,
'Tis true, did fill them with surprise; Odd feelings through the plague of sin.
Great Wakering, near Southend, Essex.

W. W.

THE

GOSPEL STANDARD,

OR,

FEEBLE CHRISTIAN'S SUPPORT.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."-Matt. v. 6.

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."-2 Tim. i. 9.

"The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."-Rom. xi. 7.

"If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.-And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.-In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."-Acts viii. 37, 38; Matt. xxviii. 19.

No. 47.

NOVEMBER, 1839.

REGENERATION.

"Ye must be born again."-John iii, 7.

VOL. V.

A short statement, involving a long subject, uttered by the Prince of Life, who spake as never man spake, and the substance of which is engraven on the heart of every living member of the mystic body.

To be born of God, is to receive life from God. By nature we are dead in trespasses and sins, and have no more conception of spiritual things than a man perfectly blind has of the judgment of colours.

All

It is a life given by the Father, in Christ, through the Spirit; by it we feel, see, and know. He who is born of God is quickened to feel he is lost; to see he is justly cursed by a righteous law; and to know that he deserves eternal wrath. Such a soul lives, to die. his fancied comeliness perishes from view; stript of a supposed hope in divine mercy, he beholds Jehovah is just; in the blaze of majestic holiness he sees himself undone; the refuge of lies in which he previously trusted is swept away, and the deepened convictions of his anguished heart entirely destroy his hiding-place.

He who is quickened by the Holy Ghost feels the revelation of a righteous law manifest in his conscience; sin appears in its true character as an offence against the throne of heaven; and although it be true that these convictions are the proofs of divine life, yet the poor wretched captive apprehends them as portentous of eternal damnation. The new birth is not evidenced by an abstract fear of hell; a mere dread of punishment is more the feature of a slave than a child. It is to be feared that many thousands have no other evidence of divine favour than an apprehension of wrath; but as to a holy hatred to self,

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and a melting sense of unworthiness before God, these things form no part of their credenda. Such, I apprehend, is not the religion of the Son of God.

The new birth is entirely the sovereign work of the ever blessed Spirit. It is the coming into a new state; "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature;" "Ye are God's workmanship." "Tis the formation of the soul in the image of Christ; "Ye are quickened together with Christ." "Tis the erection of an empire in the heart, never to be destroyed; for the Spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead dwells in all the regenerate family.

Regeneration differs from conversion; with propriety, we may say, they have often been confounded. The former is life imparted; the latter is life in its act and exercise. With respect to the matter of the Spirit's work in regeneration, it is perfect in its kind, but progressive in its apprehension. The new-born babe in the mystic family has all the properties of regeneration; but not an understanding of their use: hence we are said to " grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;" but who that have been brought into the school of Christ do not find a progression in self-knowledge to loathe and abhor themselves, whilst they are certainly conscious of desiring, with the apostle, to know Christ more, and the power of his glorious resurrection?

The new birth is distinguished by peculiar acts in the soul: hence helplessness is felt, yet help experienced. In the perfection of this work the sinner's imperfection clearly appears. Thus the life that comes from God heaves the soul to the throne in groans and sighs. The chains that are around the conscience are felt to be galling. Sincere desire for mercy would put up her head; but a cloud is seen. Jehovah is just, cries the anxious prisoner; and, therefore, will he have compassion upon my guilty soul?

I well remember, (sometimes with humbled feelings,) those many years of intense anguish, passed in heavy bondage of soul, whilst waiting for the moving of living waters,-the hymns of that blessed man of God, Mr. Hart, and the Bible, being my only companions, except a conscience drenched in agony. I ran from chapel to chapel with a desire to get ease; but they appeared only to minister fresh torment to my distracted soul; and sure I am, as of my own existence, that no relief to such a state can be found, but in the peaceful blood of the cross. Many convictions have been healed by men; but the wounds made by the arrows of the Almighty can receive no cure but from Gilead's balm.

The Holy Spirit creates anew to lead to Christ. Immanuel is glorified by the testimony of the blessed Comforter. He always leads to the Lamb. Let the religion of thousands be tried by this test, and it will appear emptiness itself. New-born babes in the household of favour see they have no righteousness. As to their own, it appears them filthy rags, or as dung and dross. They, therefore, admire the salvation that finds them a robe that God approves,-a pardon, just, equitable, and complete, and a plea at the mercy seat that Jehovah will ever delight to hear.

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