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Yet, Christian, rid thee of thy chain,
We want something upon which to rest our anxious spirits, in the prospect of death and eternity. CHRIST is the resting-place of the soul, and there can be no solid peace, no lasting satisfaction, until the dependence of the heart be placed upon what he has done and suffered for us. Oh, then, come to Him; and, leaving every refuge of his, and turning away from all the sandy foundations of your own doings and deservings, look to, and lean upon that “ Rock of Ages,” and trust alone in the Lord Jesus Christ; for in Him alone is righteousness; in Him alone is everlasting salvation.-Rev. C. Neat.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.
(FROM HALDANE'S EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY.)
The following instance of the conversion of an opposer of the gospel is so remarkable, that for the glory of Divine grace it ought to be recorded. I know nothing in church history, since the days of the apostles, more illustrative of the power of that grace, and of its visibly instantaneous operations, while its reality has been proved by its effects to the present time:
• A pastor of a French Protestant church, near Marseilles, visited Montauban, in the south of France, in the year 1818, when I resided there. On his arrival I was introduced to him, and we immediately entered on the subject of the gospel. I found him strongly fortified in his opposition to the grace of God, and learned that on his journey to Montauban, having heard of the discussions that were agitated there respecting justification, and the way of acceptance with God, he had in various meetings entered keenly and even violently into the subject, thinking it his duty to oppose, with all the energy he possessed, such a doctrine as that of justification by faith without works. This question among many we fully discussed at our first and subsequent interviews. I had not encountered one who appeared more decidedly hostile to the truth as it is in Jesus,
although he was not an Arian or Socinian, but professed to believe in the divinity of Christ. Having met him one evening, I proposed that we should take a walk in the country. We immediately, as usual, commenced a discussion respecting the gospel, each of us maintaining his own views on the subject. At length I began to speak on the all-important declaration of the Lord on the cross-" It is finished,” and endeavoured to shew, from that expression, that everything necessary for a sinner's acceptaạce with God was already accomplished, and that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. I had only spoken a few minutes when it pleased God to shine on his heart, giving him the light of the knowledge of the glory or God in the face of Jesus Christ. He suddenly stopped, and with extended arms vehemently exclaimed, “ C'est trop grand pour être vrai:” “ It is too great to be true.” From that moment there was no more difference of opinion-no farther opposition on his part—no more objections. In Christ he was a new creature; old things had passed away ; behold all thing had become new. It was now all his desire to hear more of the great salvation. Our conversation, in returning to town, was most interesting and edifying: he remarked, with earnestness, how differently he would preach when he should go back to his flock; he confessed at the same time that he had often preached on texts in which there was something that he had not fathomed, 'approfondi,' and that now he knew what it was. This is worthy of notice, as it discovers the unsatisfactory state of mind of many who, professing to preach the gospel, understand not what they say, nor whereof they affirm. He said he JULY, 1839.
wondered that his people should have had patience to listen to such a system as he bad been endeavouring for seven years to inculcate, so totally different from what he now saw was the doctrine of the grace of God. When we parted, he who an hour before hated and opposed the doctrine of salvation, was filled with peace and joy in believing.
This happened on a Friday. Next morning he called on me in the same state of mind in which I had left him the evening before, rejoicing in the grace of God; but he said, that being engaged to preach on the Lord's day, he read, after we parted, the sermon he had prepared, and found that not one sentence of it could he make use of, for it was altogether opposed to what he was now convinced was the truth of the gospel. He added that he was utterly at a loss what to do, for he was not accustomed to speak extempore ; and that the sermon he had with him, and which he had greatly admired, as so well composed, he would not on any account make use of. I replied that I never knew a case so similar to his but that of the jailor at Philippi; and therefore advised him to preach on his question to the apostle, and the answer he received, “What must I do to be saved ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
After pausing for a few moments he said he would do so. The place where he preached was at some distance in the country ; I therefore was not present, but was informed that his hearers, who had known him before, listened with astonishment, wondering that he now preached the faith which so lately he destroyed. He spoke with great feeling and power, and what he said made a deep impression on those
who were present. During the short time he remained at Montauban I had several most agreeable conversations with him, and shall never forget his prayer when we parted; I never heard one more affecting; it was evidently the warm effusion of his heart, entirely different from those studied and written prayers used by many of the French pastors. He referred in a very striking manner to his conversion, and to his former and present state ; confessing the great sinfulness of his past ministry, and prayed earnestly for himself and his tlock.
On his way home he passed through Montpelier, where he preached the same sermon as in the neighbourhood of Montauban. It produced an impression on those who heard him, very different from what they had ever received from the discourses to which they had been accustomed to listen.' A flame was instantly kindled. The elders of the consistory remonstrated with their own pastor in the strongest terms, demanding of him how he could employ one to preach who brought forward such doctrines. He affirmed that these doctrines where the same which he himself taught. They denied this most peremptorily, and threatened to denounce him to the government. During more than three months, the greatest agitation prevailed in his church. several letters which, in the course of that time, he wrote to bis friends at Montauban, declaring his apprehension that in the issue he would be dismissed from his charge. At last however the storm subsided, and the preacbing of the pastor from the neighbourhood of Marseilles appeared to have been useful.
A very different feeling was excited when the