Page images

of the seven golden candlesticks, one like unto the Son of man, cloth. ed with a garment down to the foot. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in me, The blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, cleaneth from all sin.

But let us return to Judah. Judah, thou whom thy brethren shalt praise ; thy hand is in the neck of thine enemies ! Thy Father's children shall bow down before thee, Judah, a lion's whelp! from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stooped ; he couched as a lion, and as an old lion, who shall rouse him up ?

The hand of Judah being in the neck of his enemies, his Father's children should bow down before him : yes, and all nations shall call him blessed : and therefore it is Judah whom his brethren shall praise : they shall praise him for his MIGHTY acts ; praise him according to his excellent greatness. His brethren will praise from the heavens ; they will praise from the earth ; and let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.

But, Ist, Judah is a lion's whelp ; 2dly, a lion ; 3dly, an old lion. 1st. As human, as born an infant, and as increasing in stature and in favour both with God and man--a lion's whelp. 2dly. As Emmanuel ; as full of grace and truth ; as mighty to save, and strong to deliver-a lion ; yet in this character he stooped down; he stooped so low as to be made of no reputation ; he stooped to the death, the ignominious death of the cross. But he couched as a lion watching for his prey— And from the prey, my son, thou art gone up! Where John saw him as an old lion ; as the lion of the tribe of Judah, prevailing to open the book and to loose the seals. No more weeping then.

I am thankful to God our friend S. is recovering, and I trust the same kind God will go on to perfect bis health, both of body and mind. In one of your letters I was pleased with the prospect of seeing him here once more, and of doing all in my power to sooth and please him. In the next I behold him seated at your table, where he will lack nothing which you can bestow.

I congratulate you on having so advantageous an opportunity of investigating divine truth. May you go on and prosper in this good old way; and may no discouraging difficulties ever damp the ardour of your soul. Conversation on our grand subject must be followed by conviction or confusion. Light and truth will prevail ;

nor will opposition render these united luminaries less powerful. May your encouragement equal your most sanguine expectations.

The work of God goes on in this place ; the house of Saul wax. eth weaker, and the house of David stronger. Some who were very inveterate foes, are now very warm friends, and I believe will adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour. They have formed themselves into an independent church of Christians, worshipping God in the spirit; and having no confidence in the flesh, I trust they will grow in grace, and in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ.

Our friend T. goes on in the way of peace, and I have hope we shall see many Christian societies established upon this continent. I am persuaded the way of the just will be like the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

I wish you would open your Bible, and turn your eye upon the ninth chapter of Isaiah's prophecy; read, if you please, the third verse of this ninth chapter :

“ Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil."

Attend, if you please, to the fifth verse of this chapter :
“ For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and

garments rolled in blood : but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire."

I wish to know if you and I correspond in judgment on these passages.

How much is contained in the fourth verse : “For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midian."

“ The people shall rejoice before God according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.Two striking figures these! V nat joy can equal that of celebrating harvest home, or dividing the spoil after victory! But how should this come to pass? Why the conqueror should break the yoke and staff, and the rod of the oppressor, as in the day of Midian. Turn now to the seventh chapter of Judges, and in the conclusion of that chapter you will observe, that the victory obtained by the Lord, (for assuredly, it was not by Gideon) was completed by the destruction of two kings, Oreb and Zeeb, one at the rock and the other at the wine press. In the Hebrew tongue the name Oreb is literally raven, and Zeeb is in the same language, literally wolf! The raven is first slain, and then the wolf. In the tenth of Isaiah's prophecy, twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, our attention is again drawn to this business :

For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

“ And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him, according to the slaughter of Midian and the rock of Oreb."

What is the raven ? Emblem of uncleanness. What is the wolf? Emblem of the adversary, that goes about seeking to devour. Were not our iniquities, the uncleanness which adheres to our nature ? Was not the implacable enemy of the human family, our adversary the devil, destroyed in figure at the rock Oreb, and at the wine press of Zeeb? You know where this was accomplished in substance, in the head of every man ; and you know, where it will, in the Lord's good time, be accomplished in every individual.

“ And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken from off thy shoulders, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."

O, my friend! what things are these ? I assure you I am highly benefited by going regularly through this evangelical prophet. Why are we not more solicitous to discover these inestimable pearls ? and when discovered, why do we not more generally exhibit them? Why do we seek to hide brilliants of such incalculable value ? Are we discouraged because we sometimes find swine, where we had calculated upon serious hearers? Alas! if we are thus deterred, who will ever promulgate truth, who will ever hold forth the word of life?

You ask, “when will the enemy cease to persecute?” I answer, when that wicked is removed, of which you and I have our portion, and as I believe, not before. My heart feels every thing you say. Yes, I believe we are the happiest and most unhappy beings in the world. When our souls are enlarged and our tongues loosened, the audience numerous and very attentive, it is then we are in our glory, it is then we are the happiest of human beings; but, but no matter; I hate to dwell on the gloomy side of such a subject. This, however, I can truly say, when I am really sensible of my own weakness, it is then I have the greatest strength in the Lord. True, most true, all will by and by be well. I know I must appear to you uncommonly variable, but whatever you obtain from me, you obtain warm from my heart, precisely according to the frame

[ocr errors]

I may chance to be in, when I am engaged in writing; and if my frame and my feelings are as changeful as the weather, it would not be matter of wonder, that I am sometimes clear and sometimes cloudy.

I sigh for the appearance of that morning without a cloud, for which we are taught to look, agreeably to the gracious words spoken unto us, by that consoling Spirit which taketh of the things of salvation, shewing them unto us; O, for faith and patience! How often are we constrained to repeat, if in this life only we have hope, we are of all men the most 'miserable. Often am I induced to breathe forth the sighs and wishes of the prophet: “Would I had in the wilderness the lodging place of a way-faring man, that I may leave my people, that I may leave this bad world.” I do not pretend to say, that this wish is not as much a proof of evil in myself, as in my associates ; indeed, I know none of those among whom I sojourn, who are as bad as myself. But the plague of the heart, wherever it originates, must always be vexatious. O this pride, this busy sin, how it spoils our best attempts! Yes, I repeat, I am never so happy as when engaged in the work of my divine Master. Pity I cannot always be thus engaged; I ought to be so. Preaching is not the only work he has sent me to do. Who does our Saviour mean when he says, “ Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing?”

The grace contained in the gospel is more and more precious in my sight. Merciful God, liow much am I indebted for the unspeakable gift of thy Son! Is it to be wondered at, that I should determine to know nothing, either in my public or private character, but Christ Jesus, and him crucified ? Take away my Saviour, and you leave me nothing; but how soon is attention fatigued by this subject, and how much are professors in general, like the people of Israel ; how soon do even the followers of the Lamb grow weary of this manna! this bread of God, which cometh down from heaven. “ Nothing," said the murmuring ingrates, “ Nothing but this manna !”

I was pleased with your exposition of the cleansing of the leper, and your answer to judge H. on the doctrine of free will ; it was like every other truth, simple and self-evident. There is inexpressible pleasure in the first discovery of truth. Why does it not continue ? But in heaven we shall find a song which will never tire, which will be forever new.

Vol. II. 17

I have in many places on my journey, discovered an ardent desire to hear : a spirit of inquiry is gone forth, and knowledge, even the knowledge of the true God and our Saviour is increasing. I stopped at S, where I could not be prevailed on to preach ; but where I preached all the time, in a way I have frequently thought best calculated to convey useful information, I was engaged in opening the scriptures as God enabled me, by answering the interrogations of serious inquirers, and I have reason to hope, that I left some individuals in the kingdom of God's dear Son, who were on my arrival at S, in the kingdom of darkness. From SI passed on to T. where I was assisted both by friends and enemies. The parish minister knowing I had been summoned thither, had been long engaged in preparing my way, and so strongly had he warned the people, that they became impatient for my arrival, and no sooner did I make my appearance, than by previous desire intelligence was sent to the neighbouring towns, ten or twelve miles round the country. At then I preached to large and attentive congregations ; fcom whence I proceeded to D-, where I had an opportunity of delivering my message to multitudes collect. ed from six different tcwns, and where, I am sure, salvation was brought, at least to one family; you would have been delighted to have seen the light of life, dawning upon the benighted mind. From D-I journeyed to promulgating what I hold to be the truth of God; and taking B- in my way I came on to Pwhere I have often been, but never, as I am persuaded, to so much purpose. Bigoted religionists have been thrusting out the disci. ples of our Lord, and have by that mean helped the cause of the Redcemer. The excommunicated members are acknowledged the best characters in the church of which they were members, or in the town of P--they are extolled for sobriety and morality, and until they believed God, they were considered as excelling in piety.

Governor W. of S-, earnestly solicited me to visit him on my way to N- I did so, and proclaimed there the words of grace and truth; two gentlemen engaged in the work of the ministry were among my congregation, determined to withstand me to my face, but I am persuaded one of those gentleman, the Governor thinks both, are now with us; they tarried with me, as did many of their hearers, until midnight.

« PreviousContinue »