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nor, I dare affirm, will be found to do so, being candidly and charitably judged; because other doctrine than the doctrine herein expressed I have never held, and therefore, being an honest man, can never have expressed. Whether or not I may have expressed myself at all times in the terms best fitted to convey my mind; whether in a moment of indistinct perception, which every one proves, I may not have dropped an expression which may seem to bear, or even may really bear, against my constant and stedfast faith, I say not; but of this I am sure, that never have I uttered any thing derogatory to the holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ, but ever laboured, by word and deed, to demonstrate the same unto my brethren.
If you will insert this, my dear friend, I will thank you; and meanwhile I pray God to bless your most valuable labours in His cause.
“ London, 15th December, 1830. “We, the Minister, Missionary, Elders and Deacons, of the National Scotch Church, Regent Square, feel it a duty we owe to ourselves, to the Congregation to which we belong, to the Church of Christ, and to all honest men, no longer to remain silent under the heavy charges that are brought against us, whether from ignorance, misapprehension, or wilful perversion of the truth; and therefore we solemnly declare,
“That we utterly detest and abhor any doctrine that would charge with sin, original or actual, our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whom we worship and adore, as the very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father; who, when the fulness of the time was come, did take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin,'-—'very God and very Man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man;' who in the days of his flesh was 'holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth;' who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,'—the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,' -'a Lamb without blemish and without spot :' in which offering of himself "he made a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in our behalf.'
“ And we further declare, That all our peace of conscience, progress in sanctification, and hope of eternal blessedness, rest upon the sinlessness of that sacrifice, and the completeness of that atonement, which He hath made for us, as our substitute,
“And, finally, we do solemnly declare, That these are the doctrines which are constantly taught in this church, agreeably to the standards of the Church of Scotland, and the Word of God.”
(Here follow the signatures of every member of the Session.)
TO CORRESPONDENTS. THE press
of matter which could not be delayed bas obliged us to postpone many most important papers, On the Restoration of the Jews, The Transfigurution, Christ the Head over all to His Church, Calvinism, the Number of the Beast, and many shorter papers and letters. We are also obliged to defer till our next the continuation of Mr. Irving's paper on the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, and remarks on the controverted Doctrines, which we hope
may now be modified to an an altered form of controversy. We have to express our unfeigned sympathy with his family and friends on the
sudden death of Dr. A. Thompson; whose many services in the cause of truth will be long remembered with gratitude, while the infirmities which he shared in common with all men we desire to bury in oblivion.
THE PEOPLE OF GOD, IN ANCIENT, PRESENT, AND
FUTURE TIME. THE Church of God, and the People of God, are often used indifferently, as if both terms conveyed the same idea. sense there is a propriety in this, as they will apply to many of the same persons, some of the People of God subsequently becoming the Church of God; but in other respects it is improper to confound them, as they denote very different stages of the same mystery in times past-may with no more propriety be interchanged than Type and Antitype and shall become still more distinct from each other in the ages to come. Though all the counsels of God have been from everlasting, and with reference to Him are before all time, and without time, the church being chosen in him before the foundation of the world; yet with reference to Man, the creature of time, there are successive stages in the evolution of the mystery of God: He first chooses a People; out of that people calls a Church ; in that church has an Election, the proper church of God.
Having, in our last Number, considered the Church, headed up in Christ, as the full manifestation of the purpose of God, the ultimate end of creation and redemption; we would now briefly consider, The People of God, the visible expression, the first sign, the type, of that glorious antitype and consummation. We would shew how God, appointing a Land, a People, and a Covenant, typified therein the three requisites to a church, Place, Persons, and Communion; or unity under diversity; a body of divers members, with Christ the one Head, filled with one Spirit; one church, a communion of saints. This mystery being put forth in the land, the people, the covenant, is successively gathered into the church-gathered, not abrogated: not abolished or destroyed, but taken up in order to be given forth and fulfilled in a higher and nobler kind; not in the letter only, but in the spirit also; not imperfectly and for a time only, but perfectly VOL. III. NO, II.
and for ever. The Land, the People, and the Law, are revealed in successive order before the coming of Christ : He fulfils the law, and gives it forth in the higher kind, the law of love, the new commandment: the ancient people are then called into the church, and form the nucleus round which all nations shall gather, to form the universal church: and the land, finally, is taken up and possessed in perfection, like the garden which the Lord planted in Eden, and diffusing its fertility and bloom over the whole world, and abiding in perennial beauty for ever and ever; inhabited by the people of God, governed by the church of God. These are startling things to utter; and we have many things to say still more startling, not only to the natural man, but to both Jew and Gentile believers; and time runs on so fast, that we cannot wait to prepare the way: we must utter them now, whether men will hear or whether th will forbear. We desire earnestly, and seek diligently, to utter nothing but the truth of the word of God; and may He from whom it came, and to whose glory we endeavour to employ it, give to his people such a spirit of discernment, that they may reject every thing erroneous which we in our ignorance may express. May He also supply all those deficiencies which in our weakness we may fail to express, and carry conviction to the minds of those who prize the engrafted word, which is able to save the soul!
God hath from the first reserved a portion of each kind for his own-as, one tree of the garden, one day of the week ;-and so the land of Canaan, where he determined to plant his people
This is declared Deut. xxxii. 8: “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam; he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel : for the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” The land of Canaan was given to Abram by promise: “And the Lord said unto Abram, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward : for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it: for I will give it unto thee" (Gen. xii. 14,17). The promise thus made had not even an inchoate fulfilment for 470 years, and has not yet received its full accomplishment, but waits for that time spoken of by all the prophets : “ For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers". (Ezek. xx. 42).
The people, too, who were to possess this land are not called the people of God till 430 years after the promise to Abram ; when the Lord says, “I have surely seen the afflic tion of my people which are in Egypt...and I am come down to deliver them” (Ex. iii. 7). He also reveals himself in a new character to them at the same time, the character of Jehovah, the “I Am,” the present God in the midst of them (Ex.iii. 12, 14); a nearer and dearer relationship than any by which he was known to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob (Exod. vi. 3). But this too, like the promise of the land, received but an inchoate fulfilment in the experience of the ancient people of God, and waits for its full accomplishment in those new heavens and that new earth, when former troubles are forgotten and shall not come into mind, when the Lord shall proclaim,“ Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy: and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people” (Isaiah lxv. 18).
The land was thus given by promise, and the people chosen, and aetually called the people of God, before the covenant of Sinai, before the giving of the law. Their only title to the land was the promise of God, his free gift to Abraham: the law formed no part of the title, but forfeiture was incurred by any breach of the law. Were this rightly considered we should not dream of justification for fallen man by a law, or merit or right or title of any kind from keeping a law, or pardon or acquittal in law, or any such absurdities. A law can only condemn; it cannot pardon : acquittal comes not from the law, but is escaping beyond its reach : the law is inexorable, admits of no relaxation, allows no compromise. Where, then, is pardon to be found? Not in the law, but in that God from whom law came; in grace superabounding over law in another attribute brought into action; which neither weakens the law nor becomes weakness itself, but exhibits holiness and love in all their perfections, and rendered still more conspicuous by the contrast; mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissing each other. Nor could law give title to the land, or merit of any kind. Keeping the law could not possibly give a right; it only barred the forfeiture of a right already given. The law, while kept, was the tenure by which possession might be held; but a right older than the law must first have given possession. Law has no promise of its own; nothing but threat: the Fifth Command, which seems like a promise, is but the averting of premature death ; and so of the rest.
This is set in the clearest light by the often-repeated declarations, that, if the people should forsake the law of God, not only should they themselves be plagued with sicknesses and cast out of the land, but the land itself, though the glory of all lands, should be cursed for their sakes. “ Keep, therefore, the words of
this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do...that thou mayest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God that he may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God..... The Lord will not spare him...and the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel.... So that the generation to come of your children, that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the Lord hath laid upon it, and the whole land thereof is brimstone and salt and burning......even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land ? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt” (Deut. xxix. 9–25).
The children of Israel were chosen to be the people of God not because they were better than other nations, for they were always stiff-necked and rebellious; but the Lord loved them, and would keep the oath which he had sworn unto their fathers (Deut. vi. 7). And though they never kept the law, and provoked him to anger continually, yet the Lord spared them long, and wrought in the midst of them; not for their sakes, but for his own name's sake. (Ezek. xx.) But when those whom he had chosen to be a peculiar people, a peculiar treasure above all the nations of the earth (Ex. xix. 5, Deut. xiv. 2), had multiplied their transgressions against the Most High God their Redeemer, by rebellions and provocations innumerable. He, after various unavailing chastisements, allowed a revolt of the Ten Tribes from the house of David ; who gathered themselves to Samaria and Bethel and Dan, instead of worshipping at Jerusalem. The idolatries of these revolters still increasing, the Lord declares that he will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, but will utterly take them away (Hos. i. 6). This was precisely reversing the promise given to Moses (Ex. iii. 7, 14; vi. 7), “ My people, "I Ám that I Am ;” declaring them to have become “Lo Ammi, not my people,” and “ I am not to you” (Hos. i. 9). The house of Israel, or the Ten Tribes, from that time ceased to be the people of God; were shortly after cast out of the land; and yet remain outcasts—Lo Ammi, not the people of God. But a time is coming, spoken of in the same chapter (ver. 10), when these outcasts shall again be brought hack, again taken into favour; and, " in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Still they were to abide many days "without