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the time and employ it in some other way, to obtain,' for instance, the favour of your fellow-mortals. Dare you take that and bring it into comparison with what is to be obtained by the object we now bring before you? Why, common sense may answer the question. Or a man might, in the same time, get an addition to his worldly property. Now, suppose two men equally attentive to their worldly business; but there remains a part of their time which might be devoted to serious thought; one man does só devote it, the other does not. Now, he that devotes the remaining hour to business will get so much money, and thinks himself so much the wiser man. But may we not make an appeal to the conscience, and call on him to think of the benefits of prayer. It would shew utter destitution of the understanding, if we did not make him go away quite silent. Many other things might be contrasted. But there is another
kind of “profit.” The wages of sin is death; here you may have a : strong and triumphant answer. But we know men are not fond of making these comparisons. You that love religion would be pleased if you could get men to compare. But they will have their own pursuits, though with a betraying consciousness that they cannot be compared to yours. Our text says, “What profit?" What do you think of all the promises God has made to prayer ? You have but to open the Bible and
to point them out, each rising in animation and dignity. That which - prayer will gain constitutes the value of prayer. The question then is,
What is the value of all the promises? You may take one of the promises and say, Suppose all this was granted, how much would be the gain ? and
80 with another. They are words here, mere words; but the words of - God may all be turned into substance. And then the promises that look
into eternity; they contain more than you can understand; they are · made in the language of time; the things will be in proportion to the words as eternity is to time. So you may go through the Bible to the book of Revelation, where most encouraging promises are made, of sitting down on Christ's throne, &c. If you ask the question, “What profit?" I would reply, Have you time to hear all I can say about the promises 2
Recollect the experience of good men,-the exhortations they have given to their friends. There is no change in the word of God; no portion can ever, so to speak, be filed off; there is no loss. Men have used it for ages, but it has lost no weight; it still possesses the same intrinsic value. Now, if you can believe what these men say, will not that furnish you with a great deal in answer to the question. Consider what things there are which there is no other way, but this to obtain. As to all the good things of this life, though they do not belong to religion, prayer is a good instrument. If worldly things are obtained in answer to prayer, they are much more valuable than the same things to other men. For instance, health. Prayer is a kind of extra means. The good man recovers his health, and prayed all the while. Now, do you not think that health to that man will be a far greater blessing than to the man who never asked før it as a favour from God ? But there are many things for which prayer is the only means; things of mighty importance which nothing else will obtain. For instance, the forgiveness of sins. Now, when you feel the importance of this, how must you obtain it ? You may go round the earth and not find a way, unless you think of praying to God. Sinthat detestable mischief, that essence of hell, which renders men hateful the forgiveness of this is a grand object, for attaining which all the treasures erer collected might go to the centre of the earth. You may go to all contrivances and expedients, none will do unless you fall on this right one.
There is the grand victory over the fear of death. To a thoughtful man in health this must be a very serious concern. He cannot but hear
and know that men die, and it is impossible for him not to feel that is would be a great thing to obtain a victory over the fear of death. And what expedient 'is he to employ for this? Why, a person might do ta million things and not tremble less on the verge of the grave, expecting soon to go in. Prayer cannot secure a victory as matter of merit, but as the means by which men lay hold of the grace of God.
* There is one more reply. How do dying men estimate the profit of prayer—from whose eyes the mists of earth are clearing away, and on whom are beginning to come down the rays of eternity-who are begin ning to see things just as they are ? Here good and bad men are agreed. Pious men regret they have not prayed oftener; even if they have prayed a thousand times, that does not prevent them doing it again at the hour of death. They feel the dignity of the employment increasing with the approach of eternity, and as the objects of time appear less. What must we think of that which is greater as it approaches that which is great, inconceivably great ? It seems as if a good man's prayers had been received into heaven to be reflected down again in celestial rays, in the inviting voice of the Redeemer. Must not that be the noblest employment, which men can leave unfinished to finish in a higher strain in another world? The transition from this world to the next only forms a pause in a good man's prayer. But those dying men who have neglected prayer, have esteemed it at that time no less. Thus, two neighbours of just opposite characters, on a dying bed at the same moment, have just the same opinion of the profit of prayer. What a mournful thing for a man to reflect, “I had other objects and other means.” Who can describe the awful and profound regrets of such a man !
Let us recollect that we too shall be in this state of infinite consequence. But shall it be so with us? We have answered the question, and what proof is stronger than what we have given ? But, then, do we need something more than proof? A melancholy case that proof should be of no use. The affections have left the judgment forlorn. Let us pray for the spirit of prayer.
BAPTIST MARTYRS. “Of whom the world was not worthy.”—Hebrews xi. 38. THE VAST MAJORITY OF ENGLISH BAPTISTS are wholly ignorant of the christian triumphs of their forefathers. The martyrologies of those denominations in England who too frequently, either previously or subsequently, were persecutors themselves of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and even Independents, are well known. The sufferings of saints who, like Cranmer, had themselves burnt and harassed other and better saints of the Most High, are told us in sixpenny books and in folios; even the Society of Friends has not forgotten to render the history of their persecutions accessible to all. But the Baptists, who preceded every Protestant denomination in entire renunciation of papal superstitions, who were the first to renounce all subjection to the civil power in matters of religion, and to teach the unlawfulness of war,—the Baptists, who for these reasons, were the persecuted of all parties, of Romanists and Protestants alike, the Baptists, in killing and banishing whom, Luther, Zwingle, Melanothon, and almost all the Reformers, thought they did God. service, the Baptists have remained in this country: most discreditably, ignorant of the dreadful sufferings, and glorious faith and patience of theie, own truly “noble army of martyrs.” The writer of this article must confess, that he shared, to an extent quite inexcusable in a “Baptist teacher,” the common ignorance, and he feels deeply indebted to the Hangerd Knollys Society for what they are now doing. Like others, he knew that John Bunyan, and many other Baptists, suffered, in common with other, Dissenters, much for conscience' sake; he also knew that the Baptists on the continent, long before, suffered severely, either as evil doers, or as op. ponents of Popery; but he had no idea of the extent to which they suffered for their distinctive view of Christ's ordinance, or for those views of religious liberty which, in theory at least, most English Protestants would now be ashamed to deny, and which the British Anti-State-Church Asso. ciation is actively diffusing, and demanding that they should be adopted in practice too. Such ignorance, so far as his observation has gone, is very general. The time is now come for it to be rolled away. The publication of this Martyrology in a readable and cheap form is a first and most im. portant step towards it. The translation has evidently been made with great care; and Mr. Underhill has been at great pains in really service. able verifications of references and documents. His introduction occupies but sixteen pages; we have never thought Mr. U.'s historical introduc. tions too long; but we trust future editors for the Society will take the hint not to waste our funds in printing their own speculations instead of ancient Baptist documents. One thing we now think essential, namely, that the Society should undertake themselves, or what would be better, get some Baptist publisher to undertake, an edition of the Martyrology in the cheapest possible form, so as to put it within the reach of all classes. What a book would this be for our members and Sunday school teachers to pore over at home, or to read extracts from at week meetings. Such a volume would need a little more historical introduction, perhaps, and an. notations from the thoroughly competent editor, and it would be well, too, to multiply fac-similes of the old wood-cuts, and to give the English pronunciation of the names. We press this subject strongly on the Council; it would be an invaluable service to the denomination, if they could induce some wealthy friends to present them with stereotype plates for the purpose of printing a real people's edition. We would do our utmost to ensure them an extensive sale.
* A Martyrology of the Churches of Christ, commonly called Baptists, during the Era of the Reformation.. Edited by Edward Bean Underhill. Vol. I. The Hanserd Knollys Society.
But why are we so earnest for this object ? Because we are convinced that nothing would be a better instructor for the age than the "faith and patience of the saints.” A history of facts like these will touch the hearts of men more than a hundred Prize Essays. The young people especially need such a volume. They read often enough the declamations of Carlyle, and his numerous American and English followers, about an objectless earnestness. Here they will see a faith and earnestness of the highest order, concentrated on an object worthy of it. Our uniddle class and richer people are in danger of thinking it hard to contribute as much as they do for the cause of Christ; here they will read of hundreds and thousands who counted not their lives dear unto themselves, that they might be faithful to their Master's institutions and doctrine. Above all, there is a general debility of faith in the church of Christ, an ease-seeking, calculating, worldly spirit come over it, which few can now rebuke without incurring the retort, “Physician, heal thyself.” In this book of the sufferings of Baptist confessors, the lesson the age needs is taught in the most touching and impressive manner, and, at the same time, with nothing to suggest an excuse for ourselves in the defects of the teacher.
It is, indeed, a most truthfully eloquent continuation of the 11th chapter to the Hebrews. We have more than once while reading it; exclaimed, Oh, for some christian, some Pauline-hearted Macaulay, to combine and present all this in one never-to-be-forgotten picture. Not that we would part with these artless and self-commending details at any price; still they would furnish a painting for a pencil guided by a heart thoroughly appreciating them, before which such pictures as the trial of Hastings, or the literal paintings of the Westminster Assembly, or the seven Bishops' trial, would appear but soulless exhibitions. Yes, we have here à record of men and women, youths and maidens, who loved not their lives unto death; time would, indeed, fail us to tell the victories of their faith, how a mouth and wisdom was given them which none of their adversaries could gainsay or resist,-how continually they put to fight the advocates of popery and pædo-baptism, and left them no answer but the sword. No tortures were deemed too horrible ; opening the side and pouring in boiling oil, roasting before slow fires, and even one side at a time, burnings and beheadings, and drownings of women, and banishments to starvation and ruin, without number,-such were the victories won by our brethren who dared to differ from the Pope, from Luther, from Zwingle, and, a little later, from Calvin.
We must conclude for the present, stating it as our deliberate opinion, that no Baptist that can afford this volume, especially no teacher, should be without it, and that it ought to be made accessible in price to all classes of our people.
JESUS AT JACOB'S WELL..
BY THE REV. J. H. EVANS.* We have followed our blessed Master to Sychar, to the well of Jacob; there he sits, weary, thirsty, a petitioner to that poor abandoned creature who came to draw water. There we see him rising above all the sufferings of the body, manifesting deep concern for her soul, displaying his faithfulness, his gentleness, his forbearance, and awakening in her self, righteous heart a desire for instruction. He manifests his full knowledge of her character, his own Messiahship, and says, “I that speak unto thee am he.” Let us observe,
First,_The revelation of Christ is the great end of all his instructions. All he did, all he taught, was brought to this issue. Jesus is the all in all of revelation. Did he require Israel to observe the Sabbath? It is, “that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you ” (Exod. xxxi. 13). Jesus is the true Messiah, the sanctified, the anointed One. Jehu is anointed to be a king, Elisha to be a prophet (1 Kings xix. 16), but Jesus is the anointed of God in an excellent way. As man he was anointed with the Holy Ghost, consecrated and fitted for the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. He was to rule for his people, and over his people. He was to atone for their sins, and to bless them. He was to be the only Saviour, able to save, willing to save. He is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. The law priests were only sprinkled with the holy oil, but it was poured upon him without measure (John iii. 34). The fulness of the blessed Spirit was his; he is the body of all the types, the fulfilment of all the prophecies and promises of the Old Testa, ment, and the substance of the New. Noah, what did he but represent
* Notes of a Sermon, communicated by the Rev. James Smith.
Jesus? Abraham rejoiced to see his day, he saw it and was glad. Moses in the wilderness, Aaron in the Tabernacle, the manna, the water from the rock, all preached him. Beloved, every thing was intended to make known Christ; but it is only by the teaching of the Holy Spirit that we know him. To know Christ is the great thing. A man may have con. victions, he may be tired of the world, he may have courage enough to confess Christ, he may sink his honour among his fellow-men, and yet not know Christ. It is only broken hearts and tender consciences that know Jesus.
Secondly,_In what does this revelation of Christ consist? It is not the best natural knowledge; the intellect may be enlightened, delight may be felt; the natural man may have “all knowledge,” mere intellect may see grandeur in the doctrine of justification without a work, be may look
through outward forms, he may even persue what he calls holiness, he + may put off all gross sins, his natural affections may be stirred up by a
touching sermon, and he may shed tears; but all came from nature, and in nature it will end. O beloved, it is the work of the Holy Ghost, it is his to make known Jesus. It may be under affliction the conscience is aroused and illuminated, the heart is drawn out in love, and Jesus becomes the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely. The Holy Spirit alone can give us the holy experience of what this is. It is an internal experience of the truth; the man reads, that Jesus is made unto his people “ wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption;" he assents, he consents to it; but if experimental, he says, “Yes, but I have more, he is so righteousness as to justify me, so sanctification as to sanctify me, he is so redemption as to deliver me from every enemy: complete, entire, and perfect deliverance for ever.” “It pleased God who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me." All before was merely a change of character, not of nature. Saul had now another heart. He had new affections, new objects, he lived to Christ. To such Christ is the Messiah.
Thirdly,_The marvelous grace displayed in the circumstances of this case. It was wondrous grace. A Samaritan. A poor woman. A sin. ñer-great-notorious—you hear no good of her. Yet to her a clearer, plainer, more direct disclosure was made than to any of his apostles. My dear hearers, God's grace is God's glory. It is the riches of God. "The riches of his grace!" "The glory of his grace!” God's grace is his glory, I will not say more than his justice, holiness, righteousness, yet more of God is displayed in his grace. True, she was a wretched sinner, a great sinner, but she was one of God's elect; she had been given to Jesus, and he had engaged to die for her ; she was dear to him as the apple of his eye. True, we hear no more of her; but the angels went to and made heaven glad with the tidings of her new birth. We hope to hear of her again, to see her casting her crown at his feet, and giving an account of that grace which brought her there to God's glory. I cannot but think that bigotry and ignorance always go together. I do think I see a spark beaming out in verse 25th. She had but a dim view of a dis. tant Saviour, a feeble ray of light such as you and I. Oh, the gentleness, the tenderness, the for bearance of Jesus! A bruised reed will he not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench.
Fourthly,—The effects. We find she came for water, why not drink? Why not take the water-pot away? She had found Jesus, the fountain; she met with pardon, which pacified her soul. She left the well and the water-pot, like Matthew and Zaccheus left their occupations. When a man has found Jesus, thongh love of the truth will not drive away want, it will make him but indifferent to earthly things. But why go? What