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He is, I trust, not far from me; but, sincerely as I love you, I hope I love him more; and yet I seem as though I were lonely. Do not think from this that I am unhappy generally; no, my heart is light; but when I write to you, and am about to close, it is like saying farewell perhaps for ever; then it seems to enter into my soul. I remain, my dear friends,
Yours, very affectionately, August 21st, 1836.
HENRY ALFRED HARRIS.
[The controversial character of the annexed letter, and that to which it has reference,
would have precluded their admission to our pages, but for one fact—that we deem them highly calculated to draw forth the writers to an exhibition of real principle, to a positive demonstration of the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart. It is heart-work we want; not speculative, dry doctrine merely. Our knowledge of Mr. Pym justifies our fullest conviction that he is prepared to answer Mr. Triggs' inquiries; his reply, therefore, we trust, will be such as to lead to great searching of heart among our readers; awakening them to an inward, personal inquiry-in this day of mere outward profession and head-knowledge-as to when, where, and how the Lord met with them; charging home the guilt of sin upon their consciences, and then pronouncing pardon, and filling them, at least for a season, with a peace and a joy which the world can neither give nor take away.--Ed.]
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. Dear FRIEND AND BROTHER,
As you have given yourself the appellation of "middle man,” it gives me liberty to send you the following remarks for insertion in your widely-circulated Magazine, which have arisen to the mind from reading the letter addressed to you by your valuable correspondent Mr. Pym, with his strictures on my - self-deceiving creed ;” and I believe, from your love of truth, you will as readily publish this as you did that. And I write with all due deference to Mr. Pym's rank and talents, being myself a rustic; therefore, ! do not think I can enter with him polemically. Yet, there is a position I stand in, that I claim a full equality with him, as it is written, “For ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. iii. 28). It appears my saying sin is a “nonentity,” is the dreadful offence, which produced a nonentity of love in him; therefore, without any jury in court to prove me guilty, he passed the sentence. This appears to me a self-deceiving creed, and acting contrary to his own statement; but I do not attempt to condemn him, but write in love, for the truth's sake, and for the benefit of the church. And let Mr. Pym state, in the pages of your Magazine, that if sin be not a nonentity to the spiritual church of God, what it is, where it is, and how it exists ; and when, where, and how it is to be put away, and another atonement rendered; for, without shedding of blood there is no remission. Then, having done this, let him define the divine properties and spiritual import of Rom. v, 20, 21, “ Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;" the blessed experience of the same demonstrated in his heart by the power of the Holy Ghost. And, in doing this, I feel persuaded he will give us a true account of what God hath done for his soul; that is, the time when the Lord quickened him, how long he was in bondage under the guilt of sin, when he received the atonement and the pardon of his sins, and when he received, by the ministry of the Spirit, the doctrine of justification from all things, freely by grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. For these things are not a creed founded on self-deception ; therefore a lucid detail of the same is requested of Mr. Pym, which, no doubt, will be very
profitable. And I fully expect that, in addition to the former detail, he will state when, where, and how the Lord called him to the ministry and I shall bless the Lord, with others, on his behalf. I will not now attempt to say anything about the seventh of Romans; only, if I am not self-deceived, I have known something of its contents nearly thirty years ; but I would ask Mr. Pym to say what commandment it was that came to Paul, so that sin revived and he died; and also, what law it was that Paul saw in his members, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which was in his members ? These laws must be distinctly set forth by him ; for, if these things are not known by experience, the saying, “ wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” is in word only. These things, with the following detailed according to Scripture and experience, will enrich the pages of your Magazine, and be very acceptable to its numerous readers ; that is, in addition to the former, let Mr. P. give us a statement on the sacred contents and divine properties of Rom. vi. vii. viii., not drawn from authors, but from his own knowledge of the same, arising from the personal ministry of the Holy Ghost in him, and from the personal experience of the same in his own heart; also the spiritual import and blessedness of 1 Tim. i. 5—11, as realized in his own heart. And, in doing this, I trust he will not be found guilty of what he charges me with—namely, “ self-deception in fitting our state and condition to the Gospel, instead of seeking after the Spirit's application of the Gospel truths in their suitableness to our state and condition as it is;" then he will not misconstrue, misrepresent, and misuse the truths. And, I assure him, that I have not the least desire to withdraw or retract from one thing I have written in the letter, although he hath so strongly animadverted thereon; nor do I attempt to charge Mr. P. with wilful perversion, but think arose from his non-acquaintance with the person and work of Christ, and of his being a new creature in Christ, being a partaker of Christ, his holiness, and a divine nature (Heb. iii. 14; xii. 10; 2 Peter, i. 4). It is plain that most professors are looking after a new creature in themselves, instead of being a new creature in Christ, created in righteousness and true holinesss (Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10); and this appears to be the reason why they so judge of their state by their frames and feelings, and so think the Lord is such an one as themselves; and I must bless the Lord for that he hath made me to differ, Himself is my all, and in him I have salvation with eternal glory. Herein I live, and sin is a "nonentity,” according to Rom. vi. 7, 17, 18, 22; and no man shall stop me of this boasting, having redemption in the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins (Eph. i. 7; Col. i. 14). Nor hath Mr. Pym brought the word of God against me to condemn, only his own expanded intellectuality, with reasoning suppositions and corrollaries raised thereon. I hope, ere long, to see his statement on the body of sin being destroyed, and of himself being dead and freed from sin. But if he decline to act as he is desired, he will then prove that what he knows is only in letter and not in power; and I say with Paul “But it is a small matter with me to be judged of you or of man's judgment, yea, I judge not mine own self.” Grace, mercy, and peace, be with you.
Amen. Yours, in our precious Lord Jesus,
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. Dear Mr. EDITOR,
Your consuming ordeal of my omnigenous papers, lessens not my estee for you, nor does it cure me of the cacoethes scribendi so generally found with those of my years; as such I feel inclined once more to draw your attention
to passing events, and of which you are not altogether ignorant from the position you have taken this month, and the great cause there is for alarm. During one of my perambulations (and they are now very few) last month, owing to the buoyancy of my spirits, I was induced to extend them from the Row, into the arena of St. Pauls; where I soon found myself, from necessity, a spectator of the sickeving sight attendant upon the Bishop of London going to the cathedral. What a contrast was there between this would-be successor of the apostles, and the laborious tent maker! How it saddens the heart to see the similarity between this pompous parade and what history affords us as being the case when the Mother of Harlots was in the habit of exhibiting the host in the different avenues leading thereto, and which still bear the popish names ! Nor can I tell you what were the feelings of my heart, in the approximation to that not very distant day, when not only the Church of Rome, but that of England also, shall perform the same things. What a rapid progress this way hath been made since that lover of all good men, Bishop Porteous, was in the metropolitan chair (this was the last bishop who gave countenance to the Gospel MAGAZINE). I would willingly have entered the cathedral, but meeting with a friend who promised to favour me with the Charge when published, I wended my way, as well as I was able, through the dense multitude; and, having reached my stall, was soon absorbed in the astounding thought, " What shall be done in the end thereof.”
The promise of my friend being fulfilled, and ensconced, as you say, within my stall, not feeling the unpleasantness of a November eve like those without, with the assistance of my spectacles and a little extra light, I conned over this famous Charge, and a more maluminse was never produced. I have long since ceased to look for anything spiritual in the Charge of a bishop; the covenant of grace and the God of the covenant are obsolete things with the present race, who are not worthy to rank with the Ridleys and Latimers of bygone days. What can be the meaning of N. B. on the title-page? Just exported from Rome? Is it in the handwriting of Sibthorpe or Spencer? What a sensation runs over me, dear Editor! what can be the cause of these forebodings in my mind? or is it my imagination working me up to fancy 1 hear the discordant sounds of the muttering priest and the misguided multitude, at the elevation of the host? Indeed, indeed, if these fears be not allayed, I must leave the favourite corner, vacate my stall, and seek a more secluded niche near unto you. What say you, will you favour the Crispin ?
I was not surprised at the common-place manner in which this Protestant (?) bishop opened the Charge ; For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." Had he been a spiritual successor of the great apostle to the Gentiles, we should have heard something of the heirship of them to the blessings of the Gospel ; but of these things the bishop appears quite ignorant. He very kindly informs them of the divided state of the church, of which fact all are in possession who are in the least acquainted with the history of the church for the last century. Hence the solitary instances of a Toplady, a Romaine, a Hawker, and a few others, amidst the vast multitude, the laxity of whose morals tended to bring her into contempt. The difference is now on other grounds. Not to say that this laxity is altogether improved, but it appears there is a great inclination in many of her sons to travel towards Rome; and the good bishop, not willing to impede their progress, kindly assures them there is not the least probability of Rome relaxing in any of her measures, therefore it must be altogether on their part to go over to her; and this he hath prepared them for, by kindly stating that she is not to be considered otherwise than a part of the true church. What more could his tripled Holiness require, in order to confer the first transmission of purple from the Vatican upon the vacillating Bishop of London, who maintains the popish notion that the clergy of a national church are “the only lawful guides and governors in spiritual things.” Alas ! for that people, if the Bishop of London be a fair sample of their spirituality; who himself is of opinion that the Articles of his own church are so vague as to admit different constructions being put upon them. But it is quite impossible to follow the bishop in his semi-catholic and Jesuitical Charge, therefore will only point out a few of his unscriptural tenets.
Had we the Charge of a bishop of the sixteenth century before us, we should not find the grace-taught prelate, like his successor, stumbling at the fundamental doctrines of our church-viz., regeneration, faith, and justification, and proving himself quite a novice as to their nature and design. The former he declares takes place at baptism, and to be actually the doctrine of the church: if so, what is the position of those who are only favoured with a part of this ceremony being performed, and thousands, after partaking of its full benefits, grow up and evidence in life and death, that they were never made partakers of the Holy Ghost? Having this Romish idea for a foundation, it is no wonder to find the prelate of London still make apparent his ignorance of “the faith once delivered unto the saints,” as set forth in the following language: “The doctrine of our church, as to the Christian's spiritual life, has always appeared to me to be this ;—Justification begins in baptism, when the children of wrath are regenerated by water and the Holy Ghost, and made the children of God; remission of sins is expressly declared to be then given, and remission of sins implies justification in the proper sense of the term; grace is also given, and, by virtue of that grace, the person receiving, and henceforth using and improving it, continues to believe in the atonement made by Jesus Christ, and, so long as this is done, he continues in a state of justification.' To say the bishop never read the Epistle to the Romans, would be going too far; but we are warranted to conclude he understands not the Gospel doctrine of justification. Oh! that there were a Latimer to oppose such a mingle-mangle system.
Nor is the bishop more acquainted with the doctrine of faith, or we should not hear him speak of faith being the cause of salvation, nor that the death of Christ was to purchase the Holy Ghost to dwell in sinners, by which they are sanctified; “In order that finally they may be saved, and admitted to different degrees of bliss in glory, proportioned to their improvement of grace here." Why, it would appear that, in the bishop's view, the great work of salvation, in which the power and wisdom of God are displayed, is not by any means to all the seed, but left at an uncertainty who they are and the glory they shall have hereafter. Well would it have been for him, had he confined himself to the secular benefit of improvement by what is called translation from one see to another ; this is done, I believe, by degrees, yet always found to be in the ascendant.
The labour is too much for me to follow this Laudean bishop in the frivolities of his Charge regarding the dress of his clergy, the looking to the south or to the east, with his indirect sanction of having candles at the communion table, and other trammels of the great whore; these all prove the near approach to that day when her advancement will not require the working of such a plot as we are this day reminded of; for Oxford is already ripe for the thing, and if the bishop's charge be considered the organ of the church, the flag of truce is gone forth to Rome, and many have already received the mark of the beast in the palms of their hands, to be secreted for a time, and, ere long, it will be plainly exhibited in the forehead.
Let the trembling accents from the quivering lips of an old man be heard, when urging you to sound the alarm. Let all minor considerations give
place; be not fearful but strong. While permitted to inhabit the stall, its walls shall bear witness of my breathings for you; and if I am doomed to exclusion from the pages of my early companion, from the imbecility of age overtaking me, I shall not from a continual remembrance of it and you; and, after making allowance for all that is unbearable in age, must give all due weight to the fact, that another Editor has arisen, who knows not
CRISPIN. From my Stall, Amen Corner, Nov. 5, 1842.
P.S.—The exploding crackers of the rising-ones outside, quite un-nerves me; for, no doubt, upon many of them will the direful event fall. [Now, Father Crispin, we understand you. To be very candid with you, we
had supposed you só wedded to the Church of England, and so immersed in your contemplations or “Missionary” matters, that we thought you were blinded to the lamentable facts of which you have just given us a statement.
Abstractedly considered, we are alarmed for the Church of England, nor can we see how things can become much blacker respecting her ere a crisis shall arrive, which shall compel those within her pale to declare whose they are and whom they serve. We are at a loss to conceive how any with the fear of God in their hearts, who have ventured to stand forth in defence of the truth, can be silent in such a day as this. Let such as really love the truth, and count not their own comfort of any moment when compared with that truth, now speak, or for ever hold their peace. Let them declare plainly and faithfully their conviction of the Church's present position, ere the power to express that conviction is taken from them, and themselves either led captive by the same snares into wbich many of their professed brethren have fallen, or are doomed to retire into an ignoble silence, under a consciousness that they spoke but partially the truth, while yet the opportunity to speak “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," was afforded them.
As to the Bishop of London, we are in no way surprised. His Charge is a mere jumble-a sad admixture of truth and error; what truth it does contain is poisoned by the error which accompanies it; and, humanly speaking, it would have been far better had it been all of a piece on the enemy's side, inasmuch as it now leads astray the minds of such as are not well grounded in the truth.
Jehovah has yet a few ministers in the Church of England ; the names of some are familiar with the readers of this work. We are scrupulously watching their movements; and, whilst their minds are led to abide in their present position, without endeavouring to stifle the convictions of conscience, and they continue to feel a holy liberty in their office, and a boldness therein to declare the whole counsel of God, we still have hope of the Church of England. While this is the case, we should advise such to remain where they are-in the place the Lord hath fixed them; but, should a voice be mani. festly heard in their consciences, “ Come ye out from her;" should communion be closed, and bondage, dearth, and death take the place of holy freedom and enjoyment; should they, from the effects thereof, feel themselves compelled to withdraw; from that moment we bid the Church of England fare. well as to her present standing, and look for the immediate incoming of Popery and Infidelity-twin handmaids from the bottomless pit; over to which will go the vast majority of mis-enlightened professors among the Dissenters of the present day, who now view the Church of England's position, not with grief and sadness, but with a species of Satanic glee; little thinking that by the very snare into which she is falling, they will be entrapped. Ed.]
ERRATUM.- Page 357, ninth line from the top, for increasingly," read
D. A. DOUDNEY, CITY PRESS, I, LONG LANE.