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destroy that representation of the Lord's body, that is to be discerned in a Christian church."
True, my venerable friend, were I to take this bread, and this wine, without respect to any other, I should certainly not discern the Lord's body. But were I to discern only the objects presented by my bodily eyes, in any single congregation, I should be nearly as far from discerning the Lord's body, as if I were in every sense alone. Rightly to discern the body of our Lord, is to consider him as the Shilo, unto whom is the gathering of the people, of all the people ; and whenever, with an eye of faith, I behold the bread and wine, either alone, or associated with my Christian brethren, I discern the body of our Lord, in which I see the whole human family collected, and the fulness of Jew and Gentile reconciled in one body on the cross.
The apostles were sent forth, they were commanded to preach the gospel to every creature. This they certainly did, if they preached it at all, even although they had proclaimed it in the presence of a single individual ; for whenever, or wherever, or to whomsoever they made a proclamation of the gospel, they proclaimed that abundant grace which bringeth salvation unto all men, thus preaching the gospel, which is the grace of God or glad tidings, to every creature. The Apostle, Colossians ii. 5, expressively says, “ For, although I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”
When the depths enclosed Jonah, and the weeds were wrapped about his head, he says, “I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came in unto thee in thine holy temple.” Jonah ii. 7.
The just shall live by faith “ Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye can have no life in you. He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life. John vi. 40."
Thus, you see it is impossible to believe on the Son of God, without eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
But a genuine believer may be banished to a desolate Island, where he may have neither bread nor wine, or where he may have both, and no human society, yet, in both cases, he may be an obedient disciple.
To the Rev. James Relly, of the city of London, Great Britain,
For as a faithful friend I must continue to regard you, although your silence, your long silence, has given birth to a little world of conjectures. I yesterday saw a line from you to Mr. P. and I greatly rejoiced thereat, for I was fearful you were numbered with the dead. There is not in this world a person whom I am so desirous to see, or to hear from, as yourself. O, Sir! if you knew the state I am in, the numbers in this new world to whom I have preached Jesus; the many inveterate adversaries and deceitful friends who have mingled in the train of my persecutors, while many have received the truth in the love of it, who are indeed of the true circumcision, worshipping God in the beauty of holiness that is in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh to whom it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe but to suffer for his name, if you knew the difficulties I encounter of one kind and of another, the many disagreeable matters to which I submit, rather than injure the cause in which I have embarked, were you capable of forming any just idea of these things, I think you would hasten to my relief, or at least you would embrace every opportunity of strengthening my hands by your invaluable letters.
Pray, dear and honoured Sir, write to me frequently, and condescend to guide me by your counsel.
I have written you, some months past, a long letter; indeed I have often written to yoự, and I am determined to let no opportunity slip. It is true, I cannot write to please myself, and it would, therefore, be absurd to suppose I could give you pleasure; yet, viewing you as a faithful friend, I do not apprehend your censure.
. But, upon what subject shall I write ? Not upon politics ; we have nothing to do with politics. Let those whose kingdom is of this world, busy themselves about the things of this world; yet I cannot but acknowledge, I have had a strong propensity to take a part in the general confusion ;. but I am at length convinced, that
I have nothing to do with any subject, save Jesus Christ and him crucified; and I have the heartfelt pleasure of seeing the word of my God take deep root downward, and bring forth much fruit upward, to the glory of his grace ; thus am I soothed by the hope, that I have been the instrument of much consolation.
In the place of my present residence, the doctrines of God our Saviour have been openly embraced by the first characters. I pity our enemies upon this occasion, and when I recollect what I was with regard to you and your testimony, I discern the spirit which operates upon their hearts, to be precisely the same as that by which I was actuated. We are ačcused of publishing damnable doctrines, but with what propriety? Is salvation damnation ? Who will say that it is ? Surely we do not deny that the Lord hath bought the people : nay, we declare that he hathi purchased the people with a price, all price beyond : not indeed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with his own precious blood, with that life which he hath given for the world. When I dare to tell the people this incontrovertible, this gospel truth, and attempt to' prove it by a variety of corresponding scriptures, which either they have not heard, or hearing have not understood, the indignation which is excited against me is astonishing. No opportunity, either in public or in private, is neglected, of loading me with every epithet which can render both me and my testimony odious to their disciples; the consequence of which is, that I am frequently insulted as I
pass the streets ; and I will confess to you, my dear Sir, that I am more hurt by this contumely than I have words to express : I condemn myself for this weakness, nor can I account for it, since it must be obvious that insults of this description, can only be offered by the lowest order of the people.
The severity with which I am reproached, has hitherto been proportioned to my success; and I am, of course, in this town, the object of inveterate hatred. But I am about to commence a long journey, to visit many towns where I have many, or what is bet
divine Master hath many friends. I shall proceed from to Philadelphia, passing a day or more where the prov. idence of God may direct my steps. : There are places where your writings bave been my harbinger; and wherever they have been received, they have been greatly blessed. Were you sensible how many there are, who with their whole emancipated souls, bless the God of their salvation, for the instrument he hath employed to
bring them into the light, and make them acquainted with the things that belong to their peace ; which, until they read your books, were hidden from their eyes, you would, you must feel inexpressible satisfaction : thus you do, in effect, join me in my mission, preaching to the American people, by your most excellent writings.
Often do I retrace, and with great astonishment, the time when I was filled with pious wrath against you, when I was immeasurably delighted to learn that my friend Mason had written in opposition to you. True, I had never seen your publications, but you had written them, and that was sufficient : nay, I was persuaded it would have been doing both God and man service to have killed you, and joyfully should I have held the clothes of any who had stoned you to death. How truly wonderful is the power and goodness of that God, who has made choice of such a person to spread that very testimony contained in the volumes you have written; contained in the volume of the Bible, through so many towns, cities, and provinces ; and with fervency of spirit, and great devotion, to advocate that very gospel, which before he persecuted !! Truly it is the Lord's doings, and it is marvellous in my eyes,
My first stage after quitting B will be the town of Pa; from thence to NP, where I have preached much, and where my labour hath not been in vain in the Lord. A religious character undertook to write against me, and thus helped the cause he aimed to destroy. In
NP there are some faithful souls. I shall next proceed to N. in Connecticut, where there are a great number who attend with delight, upon a preached gospel, and who are neither forgetful nor unprofitable hearers of the word. From N— I pass to N. I have not associated with any disciples of our Lord who are more sincere than those believers who have their residence in this city : they walk in the light, are invigorated by the beams of the sun of righteousness, and greatly refreshed by those doctrines which distil as the dew, as the small rain, upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the
grass. My next preaching stage is G-where, although I have always preached as I pass and repass, there are but few who acknowledge the force of divine truth. From GI shall go on to F; I have frequently almost resolved to preach no more in F; I never laboured in this place with
and although there be many in this town who flock to hear ine, yet as I do not believe they understand what they hear, I am inclined to think I am not sent there. From thence I proceed to NR, the first stage in New-York government. In N—Rthere are some who know the truth, and the truth hath made them free : the hearts of those believers rejoice whenever I make my appearance among them, for they contemplate fresh discoveries of the Redeemer's grace : there are beside these, in N—Rmany who seem attached to me, but I declare I scarcely know for what; and although gratified whenever I am the object of attention, let the motive producing such attention be ever so remote or obscure, yet I am abundantly better pleased, to receive but a cup of cold water from a disciple, in the name of a disciple. Real disciples must undoubtedly be friends of the Saviour ; and such, I am persuaded, will be abundantly more to the praise and glory of divine grace, and more steadfast in their friendship to the humble instrument of their information.
I was going to point out regularly, my several stages until I reached Philadelphia, which is from this place about four hundred miles; but in compassion to you, I will put a period to my narration. I recollect you have matters of much more consequence to engage your attention, and the recollection arrests my pen.
I have lately written you very copiously, yet I have not said the one half which was in my mind to say. I have often observed to you, there is nothing I so fervently desire as to see you once more ; once again to converse freely with you. I have much to say, many questions to ask, many matters to unfold, many difficulties to lay before you, which must be reserved to an interview. You are my father, my brother, my friend ; I feel, sensibly feel, my own weakness, and I need your
aid. My spirits are w, my constitution is weak, my evil heart is strong. True, God is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, and he has always been better to me than my fears, but I am sometimes greatly depressed and of little faith-Blessed be God for a better faith, the faith of Christ Jesus. The asthma grows very fast upon me—but enough of complaining. Gratitude and admiration for
my bosom. May your faith continue to shine more and more unto the perfect day.--Farewell.