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iii. 335, iv. 380.
Queries and replies, 53, 104,
209, 261, 366.
Letter from W. R. McChes-
The long expected, and anxiously waited for prophetic year, 1843, with all its responsibilities, is gone for ever! It is now numbered with the days which were before the flood. How many of its moments have been spent by the disciples of Jesus in sowing to the Spirit, and how many in sowing to the flesh, the judgment alone will declare. The time, it is true, is gone; but the facts, and truths, and sins, as well as the good works, which have occupied the attention of saints and sinners, will all be impartially reviewed on that day, by Him who cannot mistake either the actions, words, or motives, of any of his accountable creatures. With Him, all is clear and transparent, and according to the divine testimony, every man shall be rewarded as his work shall be.
With the commencement of a new period of time, the disciples of Jesus still have the privilege of recognizing the Saviour in heaven, to intercede on their behalf; the Holy Spirit as their comforter, bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God; the Bible in their hands infallibly to instruct them into the will of their heavenly Father, while at the same time they are surrounded with a
church, and the world both engaged in a great and most painful conflict, every thing, whether religious or political, unsettled and shaken to their very foundation, and no one can tell or even imagine, what shall be on the morrow. But something marvellous, no doubt, is expected shortly to take place.
It has been remarked that “there is as much and more good now in the world than at any former period," but seeing the population is greatly on the increase, there must be inore of both, unless it can be proved that the evil is overcome by the good, and so the good is made to preponderate. This we fear is not the case; for although it be a fact that many sinners have within the last thirty years, been saved hy the truth as it is in Jesus, still, millions more have been born into the world than have been saved from its evils-consequently, superstition, infidelity, and crime, are amazingly on the increase among the nations of the earth.
What then is to be done ? Who is to destroy these wicked influences from among men, so that the whole earth may be filled with the glory of God ? (Num. xiv. 21; Hab. ii. 14.) Can a few poor weak scattered disciples of Jesus, with the Bible in their hands, do this great work ? Ah, no. The inspired apostle said to the Thessalonians, that this evil should be consumed by the breath of his mouth, (the Bible) but that it should be utterly destroyed by the brightness of his coming.
Since then there are more children born into the world than there are sinners converted to Jesus, and consequently, crime in one form or other abounds on every hand ; and since the disciples of Jesus are forbidden to “root up” or destroy the wicked (Matt. xiii. 30) from among the righteous, are we brethren to be discouraged, or to relax our exertions in attempting to save some from the impending vengeance ? Heaven forbid it. The gospel is still the power of God to the salvation of every one who believes it, and all who become enriched with the heavenly wisdom therein revealed,
shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.
We read that the church is to make herself ready for the reception of her Lord and King, as a bride adorned for her husband. This certainly is not the case with her at present. She has too much theory and too little practice in her constitution. Is she not too ignorant of His claims ? too much discomposed in her mind; too much divided in her several parts, and too unintellectual for His reception and presentation to the Father of all ? (Ehp. v. 25—27; Psalm xlv. 13—17; Jude 24v.) She certainly is !
From these and other reasons, we are almost ready to conclude the Lord will not immediately appear to take to himself his great power and reign, as some are expecting. But be that as it may, let every disciple of Jesus buckle on the armour afresh and prepare for new conflicts. Let it be the irrevocable determination of each one, that the year 1844, shall be spent in sowing to the Spirit and not to the flesh. Whatsoever our hands find to do, let it be done with promptitude, intelligence, energy, and righteousness. In so doing, the envious, the lukewarm, the ignorant, the self-seeking, are sure to rise up against us, but let us learn of Him, who though meek and lowly in heart, nevertheless, endured this part of the cross, despised the shame, and is now exalted at the right hand of the majesty on high. May the same motives and heroism constantly burn in every
heart. In commencing another volume of the Messenger, we beg to apprise our readers, that our resources for information and discussion, are equal, if not superior than at the commencement of any previous volume. All articles adapted to lengthen the cords, or strengthen the stakes in the kingdom of Jesus; or in other words, all articles adapted to convert sinnirs and establish saints, will be gratefully received.
Beloved brethren, the Messenger is your own. Sectarians
will not read it to any great extent; but here you can ex. press your mind freely on all subjects connected with the religion of Jesus, provided the communications be written in aspiri t corresponding with primitive Christianity as revealed in the Bible. Let the mind of every correspondent be single, fixed on the intelligence, purity and happiness of the readers as was the case with the prophets, Jesus, and his apostles in all their communications to the children of men.
An addition of four pages is made to this number, which will be continued, if the Lord will, to the end of the volume.
Respecting the quality of the matter already introduced, I shall say nothing, but leave it to the judgment of our readers. I am fully convinced that the more of pure
and inflexible truth inserted, the more it will be opposed by the superstitious and disobedient of this age; but, brethren, we have nothing to do with this; our duty is onward-the prize is before us-our feet have been placed on a rock, having God's word instead of human imagination, for what we believe and practice; and even now, while contemplating the surrounding difficulties, we are reminded of the exhortation of an apostle, “Be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour SHALL NOT BE IN VAIN in the Lord.