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Wednesday and Thursday, June 1st and 2nd, in ronnection with the ordination of Mr. David Charles, late of the Rev. G. P. Evans's College, Swansea, to the pastorate of the Baptist church. Sermons were prearhed on the Wednesday evening by the Revs. J. D. Williams, of Bangor, and T. E. James, of Glynneath. On the Thursday morning the Rev. T. E. James delivered an address on the Constitution of a Christian Church, asked the usual questions of the young minister, and offered up the ordination praver. The Rev. J. D. Williams delivered an able address to the minister, and the Rev. Lewis Jones, of Pwllheli, to the church. In the afternoon and evening sermons were delivered by the Revs. Stephen Thomas, of Nevin, T. E. James, J. D. Williams, and L. Jones. Two of the brathren were also set apart to the deaconship of the church.
The services throughout were well attended, and deeply interesting.
LLANGIAN, CARNARVONSHIRE.-Very interesting services in connection with the ordination of the Rev. G. B. Jones to the pastorate of the abova Baptist church were held on the 30th and 31st of May. On the Monday evening the service was in. troduced by the Rev. J. LI. Owens, of Llanbaiarn, and sermons were preached by the Revs. G. H. Roberts, of Tabor, and J.D. Williams, of Bangor. On the Tuesday morning the Rev. 0. J. Roberts, of Llevn, led the devotions. The Rev. L. Jones, of Pwllheli, explained the constitution of Christian churches, and the Rev. J. D. Williams offered the ordination prayer, and afterwards preached a very interesting sermon. In the afternoon the Rovs. J. Ll. Owens and L. Jones preached : and in the evening the Rev. 8. Thomas, of Nessin, J. LI. Owens, and J. D. Williams preached. The ser. vices throughout were well attended, and the Divine presence was evidently felt.
CHIPPENHAM, WILTS.—The friends of the Rev. J.J. Joplin, who has accepted an invitation to the pastorate of a Baptist church, at Halifax, Nova Scotia, presented him and Mrs. Joplin, on Thurs. day, June 9th, with testimonials of their affectionate regard. A tea-meeting was held in the school-room, and then a public meeting in the chapel, at which E. Anstie, Esq., of Devizes, presided. The presentation consisted of a gold watch and a purse of fifteen sovereigns. The Rev. Messrs. Burton, of Frome, Pagh, of Devizes, Hurlestone, of Calne, and Barnes, of Trowbridge, were present, and gave expression to their kindly wishes towards Mr. Joplin and his family, and counsel to the church whose pastor is thus removed from them. Mr. and Mrs. Joplin, with their four children, sailed from the Mersev, at midday on the 11th ult., in the Africa, for Halifax.
NEWBRIDGE, RADNOR.-Services were held at this place on the 30th and 31st of May, in connection with the ordination of Mr. John Nicholas, Jate student of Pontypool College, to be co-pastor with the Rev. D. Jarman, who has been the minister of the place upwards of fifty-one years, but is now unable, owing to his advanced age, to retain the entire charge. The following ministers took part in the proceedings :- The Revs. D. Jarman, of Newbridge, D. Davies, of Dolan, D. Davies, of Nantgwyn, G. Phillips, of Gladestry, J. Jones, of Maesyrhelem, S. Thomas, of Dyffryn Cleirwen, J. Edwards, of Llanidloes, and E. Roberts, of Newtown. On Tuesdav evening, the 31st, a meeting was also held at Pisgah, Breconshire-a branch cause-when the Revs. S. Thomas
and D. Davies, of Nantgwyn, officiated. Mr. Nicholas has commenced his labours with cheering prospects.
New MILFORD, PEMBROKESHIRE.-On Thurs. day, May 19th, an interesting recognition service was held at the Baptist chapel in this place in connection with the settlement of the Rev, E. Edwards, Pillgwenlly, Newport. In the afternoon permons were preached by the Revs. D. Davies, Pembroke, and J. R. Jenkins, Tenby. In the evening, addresses were delivered on given subjects by the Revs. J. Williams, B.A., Narberth ; W. Owens, Solva; T. Burditt, M.A.; and T. Davies, D.D., of the Baptist College, Haverfordwest. Several neighbouring ministers also took part in the services. The present aspect of this infant interest appears cheering, and promises well for future success.
GARWAY, HEREFORD.-The Baptist chapel at the above place having undergone thorough repair, and considerable alterations and improvements, was re-opened on Wednesdav, June 1st, when three sermons were preached. The Rev. James Bullock, M.A., of Abergavenny, preached in the morning from Romans viii. 24. In the afternoon Youannah El Carey, an Arabian, and now ! student for the ministry, delivered a discourse founded on Revelation xxii. 17. In the evening the Rev. J. Penny preached from 1 Kings xviii
. 41–45. The collections during the day amounted to £21 38.
MINISTERIAL CHANGES. The Rev. C. Bail. hache, of Watford, has accepted cordial invitation to the pastorate from the church meeting in Cross Street, Islington, and hopes to commence his labours in his new sphere on the first Sunday in July.—The Rev. Jobn Brooks, late of Ebenezer Chapel, South Sbields, has accepted the unanimous invitation of the churches
at Shotley and Rowley, to become their pastor. He entered on his labours the first Sunday in May.-The Rev. W. Hayward has resigned the pastorate of the Baptist Church, King Street, Wigan, avd has accepted the unani. mous invitation of the church at Redruth, Corn. wall.–The Rev. E. Bott, of Barton Fabis, termi. nates his pastorate at that church in the middle of Julv.-The Rev. Harvey Phillips, of Rawdon College, having received a cordial and unanimons call to the pastorate of the church meeting in Scarisbrick Street Chapel, Wigan, has agreed to supply them for twelve months, and will com. mence his stated labours on the first Sunday in July.-The Rev. J. Mountford, late of Sevenoaks, has accepted a unanimous call to the pastorate of the church worshipping in Ebenezer Chapel, Leighton Buzzard, with encouraging prospects of usefulness.-Thé Rev. T. Rose (late of Pershore) wishes us to mention that his address for the present is. Kettering: Northamptonshire.-Mr. R. A. Shadick, of the Metropolitan Tabernacle College, has accepted a cordial invitation to the pastorate of the Baptist church, Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire. - The Rov. J. Torner, of Mr. Spurgeon's College, has accepted : unanimous invitation to the pastorate of the con. gregation meeting in the Assembly Room, Old Swan, near Liverpool.--Mr. T. Canyon, of the Metropolitan Tabernacle College, has accepted the unanimous invitation of the Baptist church worshipping in East Street Chapel, Newton Abbot, to become its pastor.
• Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the
THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST.
BY THE REV, O. ELVEN. "All manner of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”-Matt, xii. 31,
What a gracious declaration is contained in the first sentence of this verse : “ All manner of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men”! But it is followed by a most alarming exception: “ The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven"! It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that many gracious souls have been greatly perplexed thereby, and many a broken-hearted sinner has found it a terrible weapon, a "fiery dart,” in the hands of Satan, well-nigh driving them to despair. The writer, in the course of his ministerial experience, has met with such cases of conscience, especially with persons of a melancholy temperament and of shattered nerves, for the wily Old Serpent knows well how to adapt his baits ; and it is commonly when all other darts have been broken on the shield of faith, that this last has made the poor sinner cry out," Iam undone ; I have committed the unpardonable sin, or if not, I nay one day fall into it, and my condemnation will be inevitably and unalterably sealed.”. But without dwelling on the fact that this very tenderness of conscience, this very fear of sinning, is in itself sufficient proof that you have not committed the sin which our Lord charged upon the malignant, lying, and Christ-hating Pharisees, let us inquire what the unpardonable sin is.
We stay not to refer to the many and different conjectures and expositions which have been given to the world by writers on this solemn subject, but at once avow our conviction that it was the individual and particular sin of attributing the miracles which our Lord wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost, to Satanic influence.
Bear this definition in mind, while, in order to ascertain the precise nature of this sin, we glance at the scope of the passage and the connection in which it stands. Christ, it will be seen, was working miracles as usual, and among
others had expelled a devil from one possessed. The popular mind was so influenced by it, and so powerful an impression did it make, that it is recorded “The people were amazed and said, Is not this the Son of David ? or, in other words, “ Surely this must be the Messiah!” The Pharisees thereon were alarmed; they were proud of the reputation and the influence they had with the people, and now saw in Christ a powerful rival. Envy, that child of hell, which moved Saul to cast his javelin at David, had now taken full possession of their hearts, and they too had a javelin to hurl at the Son of David, saying, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
Thus blasphemously, contemptuously, and malignantly, they spake of the miracles of Christ. Our Lord then, having calmly exposed the absurdity of supposing that Satan would exert his power to destroy his own kingdom and dethrone himself,
uttered the solemn warning and denunciation in the words at the head of this article; evidently declaring, that if they would thus maliciously speak against the Holy Ghost, amidst such astonishing displays of his almighty power, they proved themselves such wilful and incorrigible sinners as would judicially be given up to the hardness of their hearts, and would inevitably perish in their iniquity. If this, therefore, be a fair and common sense view of the narrative, we repeat, that by the sin against the Holy Ghost our Lord meant the maliciously and obstinately ascribing to the devil the miraculous operations of the Holy Spirit, amidst the clearest discoveries of his power and glory. “ Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit” (Mark iii. 30.).
If it be inquired why the sin is said to be against the Holy Spirit rather than against Christ, we reply because Christ in his mediatorial person and work was endowed with the Holy Spirit. Thus in Psa. xlv. 7, in a prophecy which is unquestionably concerning the Messiah, it is said, “Thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows ;” again in Isa. xi. 2, "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him," &c.; also in lxi. 1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,” &c. In accordance with these predictions, at his bap; tism “the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." To this also may be added the testimony of John iii. 34, " God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.".
It was consequently by the Holy Spirit, through Christ, that these miracles were wrought, and the ascribing them to Satan was the unpardonable sin. We are not, therefore, now in circumstances which would render it possible for us to commit this particular sin, because the age of miracles is past, and their présence is essential to its commission. There is no doubt that during the whole apostolic age there was a possibility of the commission of this sin ; and that as long as the Spirit wrought miracles, either in the person of Christ or of his disciples, the sheer and wilful malignity which would declare them to be wrought by the devil would constitute that climax of iniquity which God declared should be beyond the bounds of his otherwise illimitable mercy. The possibility of this sin continuing through the apostolic age is confirmed, we consider, by the language of the last of the apostles (1 John v. 16), « There is a sin unto death: I do not say he shall pray for it.” John doubtless having the gift of miracles in common with all the apostles, the sin was possible in his time, and were the gift of miracles again to come upon the Church (of which we have no expectation), then the circumstances would return in which the malignant opposers might come into this fearful and hopeless condemnation, and neither the prayers of believers, nor the intercession of Christ, would be engaged to avert it.
Therefore let no anxious penitent sinner remain any longer in Doubting Castle, under the apprehension of having committed the unpardonable sin, for we say to such, You cannot commit that particular sin if you would, seeing there are no miracles wrought by the Holy Ghost now for you to attribute to Satanic power. Oh, then, let it rejoice your aching heart, dry your scalding tears, and banish your despondency, to know that although any sin unrepented of, and unforgiven through the atoning blood of Christ, will prove your ruin, there is no sin you have committed that excludes you from his pardoning love. You may have been an adulterer, a thief, a murderer, but you have not committed the unpardonable sin! Even the murderers of Christ had not put themselves out of the pale of his mercy, for many of the Jerusalem sinners who were intent upon shedding his blood on the cross were among the first on the day of Pentecost to know its power to pardon and to save; among these might have been “the wretch that spit in Jesus' face, the ruffian who forced the thorny crown into his bleeding brow, or the soldier who made the spear-gash in his side.” But even these were enfolded in the arms of mercy, while the blaspheming Pharisees were cast out into remediless perdition.
It is hoped, therefore, you will now see how unfounded and unreasonable are the desponding fears by which many a truly spiritually-convinced sinner has been tempted to despair ; for to all such it is now proclaimed, without limitation or exception, “ The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin.”
We conclude our remarks on the unpardonable sin by a few thoughts suggested by the subject.
1. The equity of this denunciation will appear from the consideration that these persons had resisted the utmost evidence that God could give of the Messiahship of Christ. They not only saw prophecy fulfilled, and heard the Gospel from the very lips of Christ himself, thus appealing to their minds, but to leave them without the shadow of excuse an appeal was daily made to their senses; they saw the lepers cleansed by a word, all manner of diseases healed by a touch, the dead raised by his voice, and even devils expelled by his power. It was, there fore
, the climax of iniquity to resist such evidence, and the highest pitch of depravity to ascribe these wondrous miracles to the devil. Surely they could not have done this if the devil had not been in them. Like the apostate Israelites, the worshippers of Baal, they had “sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger." And, like Pharaoh, after witnessing the miracles of Moses, they hardened their hearts against the clearest demonstrations that even a God could give, till they were left to fill up the measure of their iniquity and sink into everlasting ruin.
2. The words of our Lord now under consideration involve the important doctrine of the Personality and Divinity of the. Holy Spirit
. This Divine person is here said to be the object of a particular sin—the sin of blasphemy. By Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, the Pharisees, it is very obvious, meant a person. To this evil spirit Jesus opposes the Spirit of God. Thus, the Holy Spirit is clearly distinguished
both from the evil spirit and the Son of man. If, as the Unitarians affirm, the Holy Ghost were merely an influence, then why in this, and many other
passages, are these personal qualities attributed to him ? May it, then, ever be our joy to hold fast the glorious doctrine of the Trinity; and in the ancient ascription of praise to our triune God, let us with one heart and soul exclaim, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen!"
3. We should guard against the presumption of salvation on the ground of our not having committed the unpardonable sin. For all the finally impenitent will perish in their iniquity. It is still a solemn truth,
“The soul that sinneth shall surely die." And all such, though they may not have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, will then also have passed beyond the boundaries of Divine mercy, and be in the same condemnation. None need now despair, but salvation
is only to be found in "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus - Christ."
4. Let us not cease our efforts or our prayers for the unconverted. For there is no such prohibition now as in the apostles' days, and during the age of miracles,
“sin unto death,” for the pardon of which prayer was not to be made (1 John v. 16); for however abandoned any may be who are near and dear unto us, we think we have shown that they cannot have committed the unpardonable sin, “the sin unto death.”
us, then, whether ministers, teachers, parents, or children, embrace the objects of our spiritual solicitude in the arms of our supplication, and cease not to direct them to Him who “is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," Bury St. Edmunds.
when there was a
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE CHRISTIAN HOPE.
BY THE REV. RICHARD GLOVER.
“ To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”—Phil. i. 21. WITHOUT regarding the circumstances those of the Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot in which these words were uttered further be wrong in regarding it as expressing the than to remark: that, the word “ To me to true type of Christian life, and forming a live is Christ,” is not used in the enthu- test by which to try, and a standard by siasm of yo hful devotion by one who had which to mould our own. And regarding yet to learn the difficulty of realizing it in it in this light, I would say a few words on action, but is uttered by an aged saint, each of the clauses which compose it. I whose course had gloriously embodied it:
would dwell on, and that the word “ To me to die is gain” The kind of life described in the first is not uttered when death was regarded as a remote experience—something whose dis- The ground of the hope expressed in the tance permitted it to be painted in hues of second. sunset brightness and described in terms I. First, then, we have to ask, What is of poetry-but is uttered by one who the exact kind of action described here? looked upon his painful martyrdom as nigh What does he mean when he says, “ To at band; I would desire that we study me to live is Christ”? them to-day as forming a motto of Chris. At first we are apt to feel that this is a tian life and hope. And I would present question more easily asked than answered ; them in this view because I think every for indeed at the first glance it seems as if Christian heart must feel that no words the intense ardour of the man had hurried could express more appropriately the him into utterances that really lack intellispirit of genuine Christianity. This single gible meaning. Had he said, “To me to utterance is, I think, felt by every Christian live is to love Christ, or to serve Christ, to express all the feelings which the great or to preach Christ; or to enjoy Christ," redemption kindles within the soul. For we should have understood his meaning, Christ might have said, “To me to live is and, understanding his meaning, should man,” so bound up were we with all the have admired his piety: but when he neg. thoughts and purposes of his wondrous lects every such middle word, as if too life. And Christ might have added, “ To weak to express the intensity of his devome to die is loss," so utterly did he in tion, and says broadly, “To me to live is death divest himself of all that was dear, Christ,” this identification of himself with and brave all that was awful. And, Christ puzzles us ; we feel in the presence accordingly, it seems only the fitting re- of some great mystery : it seems the lansponse to his life that to us to live should
guage of the miraculous rather than the cobe Christ; and only the natural result of herent language of simplehuman experience. his death that to us to die should be gain. But now let us see whether the actual
And as the feelings here expressed are experience of Paul may not throw some those which naturally spring up in every light at once upon the meaning and prosoul that subjects itself to the influences of priety of this expression. Look at what Calvary, they engage the sympathy of every happens in his conversion. Up to the Christian heart. We may not be able to time the Saviour met him on the way to use this word as descriptive of our own Damascus, Paul had lived what was essenemotions; it is only “Sauls, the sons of tially a self-contained life, drawing from his Kish," who stand head and shoulders above own feelings and his own interests all the their spiritual fellows, who can do so. motives and principles that guided his But yet the humblest Christian can use course. So that however much his reli. these words as expressive of the direction, gious zeal might point to a different conif not the attainment of his life, and of the clusion, yet to Paul to live was self." modest hope, if not the assured expectation, Every motive was connected with self, which he cherishes about his death.
every result was intended to minister to As, therefore, this word expresses the self. His whole action, secular and sacred feelings that are universally found to spring alike, had its root, its strength, its aim, its up beneath the cross of Jesus, and that issue, in self. He originated no stream respond with the exactness of an echo to of well-doing which he did not expect to