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We complete the Seventh Volume of our Magazine amid the scenes of much political confusion. Every ear is open to, every eye is intent upon, and every mind is engrossed with, the great question which has been for some time past the theme of debate in the lower house of Parliament-a reform in the representation of the people. It is not our province to enter politically into the subject, and we only allude to it to call up the attention of our readers to matters of far higher concern. Let it not be supposed however for a moment, that we undervalue, or wish to depreciate the rich blessings of civil and religious liberty; the privilege of worshipping, after the dictates of our own consciences, the God of our salvation; and of being protected in the exercise of this high privilege from the assaults of such as would invade it. Can we forget what our forefathers suffered in the gloomy days, when the sensual Charles, and the bigotted James, wielded the sceptre of these realms, banishing true religion from the churches, to seek refuge in the wilderness and the solitary place, causing bitterly the tears of the saints 'to flow, and their lamentations to arise? We would tell these things to our children's children, to be handed down to remotest posterity; and we tould tell them then of the great mercy of our merciful Jehovah, who, when the day of his wrath had passed, beamed a full ray of his goodness upon this
benighted land, by seating upon her throne the illustrious house of Brunswick.
We introduce this subject, to urge upon our readers the blessedness of being able to depend more upon the sovereignty of Jehovah, to rely more upon the faithfulness of Him, who hath said of his church, “I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will watch it night and day :” and of being able more and more to separate our thoughts and affections from the world, and the things of the world; and to be able to fix them daily more intimately on God and heaven.
Is it not a delightful employment, and a consolatory one -when upon every countenance around us we see depictured painful anxiety, arising from too great an acquaint: ance with the things of the world—is it not delightful and consolatory, to be able to turn from the contemplation of its unstable affairs, and to reflect that in the land to which we are hastening, the purest bļiss unalloyed by anxiety and by pain will be ever enjoyed by uș, for we shall dwell in the presence of the Redeemer!
El Our ardent and continual desire is, that the number of those to whom this privilege is a familiar thing may be daily increased.
We have only space to add our thanks and prayers. Our thanks to our esteemed correspondents for their continued favours; and our fervent prayer, that God the Holy Spirit, who ouly is able, may render their communications the means of much usefulness, in awakening some of God's chosen ones who are yet in their sins, of encouraging the tempted believer, and of building up and edifying the weakest saint into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
“ There are Three that bear record in heaven; the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY GHOST: and these Three are One."
John v. 7. “ Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
(For the Spiritual Magazine.) “ WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST ? WHOSE SON IS HE?”
Matt. xxii. 42. IMMEDIATELY before Jehovah delivered his law to Moses in Sinai, he commanded that bounds should be set round that awful mountain, lest the Israelites, urged on by curiosity, should press forward to gaze on Deity, and many of them should perish. One great moral lesson seems to be, by this provision, furnished for our instruction : there is point in holy things, beyond which it is imminently dangerous for man to venture. The Holy Ghost has drawn a line of demarkation in his word, and he who passes that line, treads on ground too holy for human footsteps. And yet, such is our lamentable perverseness, it is often found that “ fools rush on, where angels fear to tread;" and whilst the solid and all-important doctrines of mercy are overlooked, that which is absolutely beyond the grasp of mortal power, is pursued with avidity and determination.
God has thrown the vail of impenetrable obscurity over the secrets of his being and works; the brightness of his essential glory is too splendid for mortal gaze : it is an excess of light that must blind the eyes of every creature that turns to look upon it: and hence, the propriety of the challenge, “who can find out the Almighty to perfection"—Where God has drawn the curtain, all inquiry should cease.
The revelation of divine goodness in the gospel is a subject, not of speculation, but of faith. It is not a proposition to be subjected to mathematical scrutiny, but a statement to be received with humility, as coming from “ the God of peace.” The divine Spirit leads the Vol. VII.No. 74,
mind which is seeking the truth, not to reason, but to believe ; not to controvert, but to pray!
Against no doctrine of heavenly mercy has there been such an uniform and perpetuated hostility exhibited, as against that which proclaims forgiveness through the intervention of a Saviour ; against the person of this Saviour, the heart of Satan has burned with the fiercest malice, and in all ages he hath laboured to poison the minds of men on this essential subject; and let not this statement excite surprise, for it was of old declared that whilst Messiah should be the eternal salvation of multitudes, to others he would prove “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence,” Isa. viii. 14. I Peter ii. 8. Luke viii. 34. During the Saviour's life, we find how truly he was “despised and rejected of men ;' and after his triumphant ascension to his mediatorial throne, his apostles soon discovered the necessity of warning their beloved people against the spirit of antichrist, which had already appeared, 2 John i. 7.
Before the close of the first century, the Deity of the Saviour was openly denied by some, and his proper humanity by others. In the second century the Gnostics and Valentinians were sedulously propagating their destructive heresies on this doctrine. These were followed by the Ebionites ; in the third century Sabellius introduced his doctrine respecting the person of Christ; he was succeeded in the next century by Arius, who filled the whole christian world with contention and misery; and in the sixteenth century the cause of the destroyer seemed to have reached its maximum in the appearance of Socinus! And since his day, great talents and erudition have been frequently employed for the dreadful purpose of undermining the only rock, the only foundation, which the stupendous mercy of the Eternal has provided for the support of the soul, amid the thunderings of justice, and the storms of human and infernal malevolence. Their opposition has, however, effected nothing; this rock continues, firm as the immortality of God!
In attempting to answer the question which heads this article, it must be premised, first, that the scriptures, as they are delivered to us, are the word of God. Second, that these scriptures are designed for the use of all nations and men. Third, that they are adapted to this universal purpose ; and fourthly, that from these is to be attained, all our knowledge of Christ. “They said Jesus) testify of me." On this momentous point, which involves the dearest hopes, and the highest destinies of man, the word of truth is most completely explicit and decided. If we err here, the consequences of our error will be fatal to the soul. Woe to him who defers his decisions to eternity! He who knows not Christ as a Saviour now, shall never love him as a Saviour then.
Immediately after that first transgression, in the fearful consequences of which we were all involved, God proclaimed by his angel messenger, his determination to save man from the tremendous results of his own iniquity. The seed of her who transgressed, was