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The Earthen Vessel

The Earthen Vessel is a 19th century magazine promoting the values of Strict and Particular Baptist Churches. Its 21 volumes comprise the complete set of monthly publications extending over a 20 year period (1845-65). The magazine was printed in London by the following publishers: (1) James Paul, 1846-55; (2) Banks, 1848-55, 1857-65; (3) Houlston & Stoneman, 1855-6; (4) Patridge, 1856-8; G. J. Stevenson, 1859, 1862, 1864-5. The editor was Charles Waters Banks and by 1859 its circulation had reached to more than 8,000. The content included a variety of materials including theological essays, devotional articles, sermons, anecdotes, poetry . . .

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The few lines now sent were written after visiting two poor distressed aged females, who lived in a garret in Doctor’s Commons, and who complained much of the roughness of the path through which they were called to pass. On my second visit I read these verses to them, which, from their own statement, was made a blessing to them. They have long since been called into an eternal world, and though poor and destitute in this world, in temporal matters, they were rich in faith, and I have no doubt they are now singing the high praises of a covenant God—where all sorrow and sighing, is for ever done away.

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Grace! What a great word is this! The eternal favor of the Eternal God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without fluctuation, variation or change; in which divine favor, God’s people everlastingly stand; nor can sin, death or hell, get them out. And when this great and glorious gift is bestowed on its elect objects, instead of tending to what is called Antinomianism, it leads to soul-as­tonishment; clothes its unworthy recipient with humility; bringing him, or her, to wonder why, or wherefore, God should have been thus gracious to them while so many are passed by.

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“Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh him glad.”—Prov. 12:25

I believe all natural men are the subject of heaviness in the heart, and sadness of heart, at times, to a greater or less degree, produced by disappointment and vexation, blasted hopes and blighted affections; and I believe that all natural men are, at times the subjects of gladness, produced by worldly ad­vantages, prosperous circumstances, and smiling prospects; but the diversity of feel­ing expressed . . .

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“There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen.”—Job 28:7


There is a path which no one knows;
Tis in this path the Christian goes;
It lies conceal’d from reason’s view,
From carnal, dead professors too.

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Christian Reviewer.

Review of a Pamphlet entitled, “Seven Reasons for Free Communion at the Table of the Lord, with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” By Cornelius Elven.

With the view of giving our readers at once a fair and a concise view of the positions really assumed by the writer of this “sevenfold” defence of open communion, we will enumerate, in fewer words than our author uses, his various propositions, and endeavour, (praying for the blessed guidance of the Holy Spirit,) to show their fallacious and sophistical character. Mr. Elven affirms either directly, or by inevitable implication, the following things:—

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In giving the following testimony and declaration of the work of God on the soul of an elect vessel of mercy, our minds have been secretly impressed with the instructions given by the God of Israel unto his people in ancient times; he said not only that they should set up a standard to the people; that is, Christ Jesus the Lord: but he also commanded them to “set up waymarks; and to make high heaps;” that so the virgin daughter of Israel, in her turning again to her own cities might be assured of the certainty, and the safety of the way in which she was caused to travel.

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Ransomed soul, dismiss thy fear,
Jesus for thee will appear;

He will shew a smiling face­—

You will sing delivering grace.

Thy every need he will supply,

Jehovah, Jireh, still he is nigh;

He knows thy wants, he hears thy prayers,
And bottles all thy mournful tears.

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An Answer to the Enquiry—“Is Baptism instead of Circumcision? And the Lord’s Supper instead of the Passover?”

A doubter enquires by anonymous letter, to know if “Baptism (or sprinkling) is not instead of circumcision, and the Lord’s supper instead of the passover?” If this person is really sincere in his enquiry, we desire to sympathise with him, and could say “search the Scriptures,” and look up to the Lord in earnest prayer and not to so-called great men’s opinions . . .

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William Skelton’s Parting Song at Brabourne

The following verses were dropped into the mind of William Skelton, as he sat upon his seat, making shoes: and, after preaching his farewell sermon to the dear people at Zion Chapel, Brabourne, from 2 Corinthians 13:11, on the last Lord’s day, in April, they were given out by our esteemed Brother John Mate, and sung by the congregation.


Father of mercies, God of grace,

Grant us the visits of thy face,

While we would crave with godly fear,
Thy blessing for thy servant here.

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