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service. Beading.—Mr. Lord lectured here on Wednesday, Sept. 23, Rev. C. J. Goodhart in the chair. Colchester.—A lecture is announced to be delivered by Mr. Lord, in this town, on Tuesday, September

29. Southwark. —A Protestant

Meeting was held in the National School-room, Borough-road, on Tuesday, September 8, Charles Shaw, Esq., in the chair.

IRELAND. —A Convert to the Established Church.—Maria Isabella Keon, eldest daughter of Ferdinand Keon, of Newbrook, county of Leitrim, Esq., solemnly renounced the errors of Popery in Kilcar church, county of Donegal, on Sunday, the 2d of August last. She subsequently signed the roll, and received the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.—

Evening Packet. Reformation in

Dublin.—On Sunday, September 6, we had the gratification of seeing ten persons publicly renounce the errors of Popery in St. Audeon's Church. Three of the converts were educated for the Romish priesthood; but they have now abandoned for ever the idea of taking on them that yoke, and have embraced the doctrines of Jesus Christ. One of the converts had been a priest's clerk for upwards of thirty years, and is deeply versed in the mysteries of the profession he has left. All the converts received the Lord's Supper, and signed the renunciation roll in the usual way. The Rev. R. H. M. Eyre read prayers, and the Rev. Thomas Scott preached from the words, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord." (2 Chron. xxxv. 15.) He was listened to by all present with breathless attention. We shall give none of his observations, as we understand that his discourse on that interesting occasion will appear in the first Number of his work, entitled, "The Believer."—Dublin Statesman.

PUBLISHED, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PROTESTANT ASSOCIATION,

AT F. BAISLER'S PROTESTANT DEPOSITORY, 124, OXFORD STREET; AT

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Seven Shillings per Hundred, for Distribution.

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'If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."—Isaiah ?lii. 20.

No. 80.

NOVEMBER, 1846.

Vol. VII.

THE POPE NOT THE CHIEF SHEPHERD.

How passing sweet is it to the Christian, when thinking of the dangers that surround him and his own weakness and folly, to look up to the Shepherd of his soul! There, indeed, is the wise and skilful Shepherd, who knows his own sheep and calls them by name, who is acquainted with all their wants, and has the power and the will to supply them all. He knows how to bear them in his sympathizing bosom when weary, and to seek them out, and carry them back on his powerful shoulders, when they have strayed from the shelter of his peaceful ibid. He knows well how to restore their soul, and lead them in the paths of righteousness and peace, and to heal the wounds they receive from the thorns and briers of this wicked world; no wild boar out of the woods can break into their secure enclosure, for the bosom of the Almighty is their habitation, and the soft breast of Jesus the pillow on which they recline; they dwell in Christ, and Christ in them. The omnipotent arm of their Shepherd God holds back the raging hosts of hell, and restrains the fury of malignant men; the devil is chained, and

can only roar forth his hot rage against them, and hurl his fiery darts at them, with a fetter round his limbs; while every blast of his hellish voice, and every flaming dart from his hellish quiver, only drives the flock nearer to the side of their good Shepherd, makes them nestle closer to his heart and plunge deeper into the depths of his everlasting love. Satan storms and howls in vain against the sheep of Christ; Satan tempts and accuses in vain the soul that has fled for refuge to Christ, and has his outstretched wings spread over him. In the strength of his tender Shepherd, the weakest lamb of the Saviour's fold shall tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the dragon shall he trample under feet. He dwells in the secret place of the Most High, and abides under the shadow of the Almighty. The Lord delivers him from every snare, and suffers not a hair of his head to fall to the ground. The Lord covers him with his feathers, and hushes all his foolish fears, and calms his timid breast, with the sweet assurance, ' Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. . . , Because thou

122

THE POPE XOT THE CHIEF SHEPHERD.

hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation: there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.' (Ps. xci. 5—10.) Yes, says the believing soul, I will trust and not be afraid; for thou, O Lord, art my good and tender Shepherd, strong to defend, and mighty to save. Yea, 'though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, / will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.' The flock of Christ have to travel, it is true, through a country in the enemy's hands, beset with snares and surrounded with perils; they are weak, it is true, in themselves, and defenceless as silly sheep, but as they travel on through the wilderness, from one end of the flock to the other, there rises up a glorious and exulting shout, 'The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.' If we pass from the Old Testament to the New, we do not lose this lovely character of our Redeemer: Jesus loved to talk of himself as the good Shepherd, delighted to address his disciples as the sheep of his pasture. Like Joseph, his meat and his drink was and still is to feed his Father's flock. 'Fear not,' he says, 'little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' 'I send you forth,' he says to his disciples, 'as sheep in the midst of wolves ; .be ye, therefore, wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' How carefully, when on earth, did he watch over the interests of his little flock! When he was rudely seized by an armed band in the garden to which he oft resorted, how beautiful his tender care for the sheep, while he, as the Shepherd, submitted, without a murmur, to be led away to prison and to death!' If ye seek me,' says he, 'let these go their way.' And this he said, we are told, ' that the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.' Yes, the sheep were preserved and secured, though the Shepherd was smitten! All through his sojourn with them he fed them with Gospel truth, as they were able to bear it, and now, when he is cruelly torn away from them, he gives

them a parting proof of his fidelity and love, as their good Shepherd. Neither did he neglect his flock when he ascended up to the right hand of his Father and their Father, and his God and their God. He gave his flock pastors and teachers after his own heart; he raised up subordinate shepherds who should nourish them with the sincere milk of the word, and feed them with all the fat things of the Gospel Feast; and to every one of these inferior shepherds of his flock, he said, as he did to Peter, 'Lovest thou me P feed my sheep. Lovest thou me? feed my lambs.' Still, still, to this very day, is our spiritual Joseph feeding his Father's flock—nourishing them to everlasting life, with his broken body and his poured out blood, which they spiritually feed upon by faith. 'I,' he says to them every one, 'I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.' (John vi. 51.) Still does he feed every hungry soul amongst his scattered sheep, and measures out to each their appropriate portion of food in due season. It is he who acts as the chief Shepherd of his Father's flock, appointing the station of every pastor, and enabling them, by the gifts of his grace, to feed rightly the flock of God committed to his charge. It is his blessing breathed upon the bread of life, as it is dispersed in fragments by his ministers to the hungry multitudes, that makes it sufficient to nourish so many thousand souls. Yes, Jesus presides at the spiritual entertainments provided for the refreshment of Zion's pilgrims Sabbath after Sabbath; and as the eye of faith can discern the presence of her Lord in the sanctuary, with the banner of love floating above her, so can the ear of faith distinguish the sweet accents of his voice, welcoming her to the banquet, and dispelling her diffidence, 'Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.' 'Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life freely.'

It is a mistake, a great and an awful mistake, to suppose that Christ has given his charge as chief Shepherd of his sheep, and head over all things to his Church, into the hands of any other person. No, he, and he alone, has the government upon his shoulders; to him the Father has committed the flock which he purchased with his agonies and blood, and he loves his flock too tenderly and too dearly to commit them to the care of another. He watches over them himself; he feeds them all himself; he knows every pitfall that endangers their safety; he sees every impediment cast in their way; he watches every motion of every foe that prowls around the fold. No mere man could do this. No one but an omnipresent and an omniscient Being could do this. And blessed be God, dear brethren, we have an omnipresent and an omniscient Shepherd to watch over our souls. Men may be mistaken in judging of what is wholesome and good for our souls; and they may lead us to pasture in unwholesome meadows—feed us on the husks of outward forms, instead of the sweet kernel of Gospel truth, and give us to drink of the muddy streams of human tradition, instead of drawing for us the pure waters of life from the well of salvation. But Christ never can make such a mistake as this. He created our souls at first, and he knows what is best for them. The full-grown saint and the tender lamb are, equally the objects of his tenderest care: and he opens his hand and supplies them each with the spiritual nourishment they need. The shepherd must be eyes to the sheep to watch over them, wisdom to the sheep to guide them, strength to the sheep to protect them and deliver them from the paw of the lion and the bear, and he must be able to cleanse and purify them when defiled with their march through a filthy land; and all this is Jesus to the sheep of his pasture. He is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. He has opened a fountain from his own precious side in which to wash away all our pollutions, and the sanctifying grace of his Holy Spirit is ever at work ripening us for heaven, and preparing us for his

coming. He knows how to revive us with rich cordials when wounded or ready to faint by the way; he knows how to give strong drink to him that is ready to perish; he knows how to allure us to the softest and the richest pastures, and to lead us gently to the quiet and the peaceful river that makes glad the city of our God. He is the only Joseph who is fit to feed his Father s flock. He is no hireling, but the actual owner of the flock. He laid down his life as the price for his sheep; and if we show our value for things by the amount at which we are willing to purchase them, then Jesus must, indeed, consider his flock as most precious and dear. He will not lose what cost him so dearly—he will not suffer himself to be robbed of so costly a treasure. Oh! the folly of forgetting this good Shepherd! Oh! the infatuation of looking to any but Jesus as the chief Shepherd of our souls! If we are not our own because we are bought with a price, so equally are we not Peter's or Paul's, for the very same reason. We are Christ's property. We are the purchase of his blood. 'The Lord himself is our keeper, the Lord is our defence on our right hand.' Peter did not die for us; Paul was not crucified for us; and, therefore, we dare not say, as some of the foolish Corinthians in early times, and the members of the Church of Rome in later times, 'I am of Cephas.' No; for our Great Shepherd and Guide, we can have 'none but Christ, no, none but Christ.'

The Lord our pasture shall prepare, And feed us with a shepherd's care.

As long as he is content to feed us, we will be content to sit under his shadow with great delight. He is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever—as good and careful a Shepherd now as he was in the day that he laid down his life for the sheep,

Peter, indeed, received a commission from Jesus to feed his sheep, and so have thousands besides Peter; but Peter was far, very far from arrogantly supposing that Christ had made him the chief shepherd of the flock of God. No; he felt that what our Lord had said on a former occasion was still most strictly true,' One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.' He never inflated himself with pride, and like Diotrephes and his Romish successors, grasped the pre-eminence, because Christ had said to him, 'Feed my sheep.' He understood the meaning of Christ too well for that. He had imbibed too much of his lowly Master's meek and unambitious spirit for that. In his first general epistle, Peter himself tells us distinctly that he never was the chief shepherd of the flock of God. He speaks to the general body of believers, and he says, 'Ye were as sheep going astrav, but are now returned unto The ShepHerd and Bishop of your souls.' (1 Peter ii. 25.) Here he emphatically declares that Jesus, and not himself, is the Shepherd and Bishop of souls. A little further on, in the same epistle, he addresses himself more especially to the elders of Christ's Church, and uses still more remarkable and emphatic words, which ought to be graven deeply on the heart and stamped vividly on the memory of every Christian prelate, and of every minister who has the charge of souls. 'The elders which are among you,' he says, 'Iexhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when The Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.' (1 Peter v. 1—4.) Here Peter speaks of the second coming of Christ, when he shall give every man according as his work shall be, as the appearing of the Chief Shepherd, evidently looking upon himself as an humble fellow-labourer with the other pastors and teachers of the Church, and recognising in Christ the Great Head and Master of them all, the true Joseph, the beloved Son, to whom was still intrusted the great work of feeding his Father's flock.—Extract from Dalton's "Life of Joseph"

A HINT TO ELECTORS.

To the Editor of the Protestant
Operative Magazine.

Sir,—I was much pleased with a
letter which appeared in your July
Number, signed "A Member of the
Anti-Maynooth Committee."

The writer of it contrasts the activity of certain legislators in opposing the free trade Corn Bill of last session with their indifference, when the atrocious Maynooth Bill of the year foregoing was introduced into Parliament.

Adopting an hint thrown out in that letter, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of printing correct lists of the members of Parliament, whether Peers or Commons, who voted for Maynooth. Let there be two or three columns after each name, for the purpose of adding whether the members voted for the first, second, or third reading—one, or all of them. Such a paper would form a very useful manual for every Protestant elector; so that if one of these recreants should presume to offer himself at the hustings, the elector might at once say to him, " on such a day in the session of 1845, you voted for the endowment of Maynooth, in all, or so many stages of the bill; how is it you can presume to solicit the suffrage of any Protestant elector, after such an act of perfidy?"

The more widely information is diffused, as to the individuals who supported the endowment of idolatry, the better.—I am Sir, your obedient servant,

An Old Protestant.

21*< Sept., 1846.

FAMINE IN IRELAND.

To the Protestant Children of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

My Dear Young Friends,—I am sure you all know that the poor people of Ireland live almost entirely upon potatoes, and you have heard how God has blasted and destroyed the crop of potatoes this year. I am sure that He has done this to punish our sinful land, but I am sure that

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