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not in man,
ter of Deuteronomy : our system is very clearly taught in those verses ; but in what chapter of the book of God is it not taught? Here we are very happy; here we have the advantage of all others, without any cause for boasting. But we want no cause for boasting ; Jesus is enough for us, since we know him ; we want no more. It is enough for us that he is wise and good, for he is ours.
I wish to hear regularly how you proceed in the new and living way? Do your hearers increase, is your strength proportioned to your day? Do your friends appear serious, and are they so? Do they believe with their heart, or with their head? O, may God prepare you, for whatever is prepared for you! I sincerely pray you may be fitted for disappointment; let your expectations be ever so moderate, they will not be fully answered. Trust
ye in any man; trust ye in the Lord alone, in him you may at all times trust, not being afraid, but in him you will not always trust, you will sometimes lean upon an arm of flesh, and you will find it wa broken reed at best, but oft a spear, on whose sharp point your peace will bleed, and your hope expire," and then you will resolve, and then you will re-resolve never again to rest your hopes of happiness on the creature, but you will confide again, and again be disappointed, until the emancipating moment when you shall leave the dull body behind.
Do you not often find you gain more information by preaching, than you communicate? But you cannot precisely answer this question--yet you will find as you proceed, abundant remuneration. And you will pronounce it your interest as well as your duty to speak well of your Redeemer's name. By the way, are we not servants of Christ Jesus? And if servants, is it not our duty to do whatever we have to do ? Are we not still under an obligatory law to Christ? Is it not one thing to have the answer of a good conscience by the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead, and another to have a conscience void of offence respecting our duty as servants ?
What does the apostle mean, when he says, I trust I have a good conscience, and when he says of others, their consciences were seared as with a hot iron ?
I venerate all those who act conscientiously, supposing their consciences do not lead them to act contrary to the law of Christ. But what would you think of a professor of Calvanism, who could go to mass, and take the wafer from the hand of the priest, and
receive the sprinkling of the holy water? What sort of a con. science do you think such a Calvanist must have? Such Calvanists, such christians must have a very inoffensive, accommodating religion. These christians will commend in private, the narrow way, and walk in public, in the broad way. Will such servants, if their Lord cometh and findeth them so doing, be commended ?
What does our Saviour mean, when he says, whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and my words, in this adulterous generation, of him will I be ashamed before my Father and his holy angels?
Yes, yes, the world is a witch, that is certain, and right sorry am I you are so much bewitched by this same world; take care my good friend, I am not much afraid of the deceitfulness of riches, but the cares of this world, which increase so fast upon you, may become very injurious to you—No, no, it is not in our day that the truth will prevail as we wish to see it, and indeed we have very little reason from scripture, or the nature of things, to expect the religion of the Redeemer will ever be popular, until the face of the covering be taken from all people, and the veil from all nations. No, my friend, truth will not suddenly become acceptable to the million, until it is sufficiently tempered by worldly wisdom, and in fact it then ceases to be truth. However, it may, indeed it does prevail, in a good degree, and if our Redeemer should grant us, and those who see the truth as it is in his blessed self, sufficient grace to conduct properly, and to act a faithful part, much may be done. For myself, my journeyings in this country have been laborious, but I have the felicity to believe I have not laboured in vain.
I am sorry A. did not answer your expectations, but you must remember his frame, and consider it is but dust; that he is of the earth, earthy; that to err is human, and to forgive, divine : You may, for ought I know, be again in the garden, and in the same company, and if so, I trust your feelings are the same. God is present, were our eyes open to see him, every where. I wish no greater bliss to any being whom I love, than a feeling sense of the presence of God.
The testimony of that description of Universalists, to whom you advert, really afflicts my soul; they are doing all in their power to throw the whole Bible into confusion. What think you of their asserting that Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, were lively types of Jesus Christ? They insist that no being who was ever once happy, can now be miserable; the experience of every hour contradicts
their absurd assertions. In fact, the devil has so deluded those poor souls, as to induce them to deny his existence-hence every scripture, which points to the adversary, they apply to our Saviour ; These blasphemies are beyond expression shocking, and I am beyond expression pained by these wild, extravagant ideas. I have sought opportunities of conversing with preachers of this description, not for their sakes, nor my own, but for the sake of the people in general, among whom they labour. I really think they want, whether they know it or not, to be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly.
But I a little suspect, they are amicted with that plague of the heart, spiritual pride, they will not submit to be taught, even by our Lord or his apostles; yet surely it cannot derogate from the importance of any individual, to receive instruction from any one, however humble, whom the divine master chooses to employ in his service, for whoever be the instrument, God is the source. Surely Apollos was not less taught of God, because his two christian. friends took him to their houses and taught him the way of God more perfectly. My wish for a union of sentiment among those, especially teachers, who advocate the pure doctrines of God our Saviour, is a predominating wish. I have been accused of assuming the dictator, but the truth is, it would give me inexpressible satisfaction to find, in every town on the continent, a preacher infinitely superior to myself, both for matter and manner. I do not think I should be tortured by envy: God all-gracious, increase the number of faithful, well instructed labourers, who may administer the truth in righteousness.
I do assure you, I am extremely anxious to procure the requested article for Mrs. P. I am especially solicitous to gratify her; there is no service which I can render her, as a friend, to which she is not entitled. I assure you, I have a full conviction of obligation. If indeed she had taken pleasure in hearing me proclaim the truth as it is in Jesus, I should think we were at least upon even ground; and that if she had sowed unto me carnal things, I had sowed unto her spiritual things; but as the dear lady has not hitherto been able to receive the Lord's sayings, she can have no predilection for me, as the servant of the Redeemer, and I must continue in her debt for countless acts of kindness. May God in heaven bless her; but she is already blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; and what she does not yet
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know, and what it is impossible that any mere man can teach her, she will know hereafter, when, as it is written, all shall be taught of God-May the Almighty vouchsafe to hasten this blissful period.
And so you are at last persuaded that the cause in which you are engaged is the cause of God. How much is contained in this avowal, and yet how long doth the carnal mind oppose this conviction? Yes, if we be sure of any thing, we are sure this cause is of God. Doth not the apostle somewhere say, speaking of the great first cause, Of him are all things ? But while we are assured the cause of truth is indeed the cause of God, how little beside this, do we, or can we know, and how little beside this need we know. They who knew most, knew but in part, but they pressed on to perfection, which they found when they entered into the joy of the Lord.
Suffer me again to inquire, are any of your hearing friends so satiated, that they are ready to pronounce the best property of a sermon, its brevity ; and to value a preacher more for the fewness of his words, than for the magnitude of his discoveries? Should you ever reach this era of mortification, endeavour to indulge them in this respect; a weakly body will not thrive by much feeding. Indeed, I have sometimes thought, that in the present state we are better capable of enduring a great deal of evil, than a great deal of good. Sparing diet agrees best with our constitution in more particulars than one. It is a considerable portion of time before children are able to bear strong meat, and even when they are, their health in a great measure depends on the quantity as well as quality of the food they receive. I will essay to bear this fact in mind. The spirit, while tabernacled in clay, sympathizes with, and greatly resembles the body.
Since I last wrote to you, I have seen, and conversed with the Rev. Mr. - I admire him much; his conduct and expressions evince one of the best hearts I have known. I have conceived a very strong affection for him, and to the confusion of the enemies of the gospel of God our Saviour, a very large number of respectable hearers have seen him and your friend enter the pulpit together Mr.
, and addressed the throne of grace, and, by his request, I preached. A greater part of his congregation are enemies to me, because, in their judgment, I do not sufficiently expatiate upon inward holiness; for, although they call themselves
Universalists, yet Christ is not sufficient for them; but I have preached to their preacher in private, and I have the satisfaction to pronounce, that he receives the grace of God with avidity.
I have this morning heard a very melancholy piece of intelli. gence. Poor Mrs. C. has lost her husband; I feel sensibly for the poor lady, especially in her present situation. Her parents too, I know they are children of affliction ; yet this stroke will deeply wound them, for we rarely become invulnerable to the shafts of adversity. Surely it is strange we are so easy in life, as we genierally are, considering on how precarious a tenure we hold our temporal enjoyments. We are every moment liable to be deprived of all that can render existence tolerable, and yet we laugh, sing, eat, and sleep, as if we'were beyond the reach of fate; and our consolations immortal! And is not this a' mercy; for we are thus rendered tranquil, almost as much, as if we held our possessions upon a durable grant ?' But one fact is still more unaccountable, that when these heavy calamities overtake us, unexpectedly overtake us, thus acquiring additional weight, although at the instant, we conceive it impossible to survive the deprivation, yet pass a few hours, and lo, the wounds made by calamity are, almost without
onsent, quite closed! Well, well, this also is right. I often think of the word of the Lord, In this world you shall have tribulation : but in me you shall have peace; and again, We live by faith, and not by sight.
We do not expect tribulation in the coming state, why should we expect peace in this ? No, this is not our rest; peace abideth not in this world ; and hence, sighs may sooner fail, than cause to sigh. Yet, although every day produceth its quantum of evil, we appear as if not content therewith, and are therefore anticipating evils we may never see. It is here, I conceive, that the word of our Redeemer appears as an apple of gold, in a picture of silver.
Take no thought for the morrow-but in this particular, as in every other, we are constrained to acknowledge, his thoughts are not as our thoughts. Jesus is continually directing, and we continually neglecting. Alas! for us, we are our own tormenters ! When shall we be able to cease from men, and find ourselves where we properly belong, in him? . A friend of ours is suffering from pecuniary losses, and as the pains and pleasures of my friends are in some sort my own, I am under a necessity of sorrowing with him-Yet we can say, What