« PreviousContinue »
I know that the scriptures affirm, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. And thus the same scriptures will continue to say, For the gospel day, which is the day of salvation, is the last dispensation. The scriptures will therefore continue to say, “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
If in this life only we had hope, we should indeed be miserable. This is a solemn truth, which we are taught by experience forcibly to feel, and we know that God is able to subdue all things to himself.
No, dear Sir, God will not say at the moment of our dissolution, Let him who is filthy be filthy still ; let him who is unholy be unholy still ; for who then could enter into that rest, where nothing that defileth can enter ? Are there any who can say, I have made
I my heart clean? But after that the Lord of the harvest shall have thoroughly purged his floor, he shall then say, Let him that is filthy be filthy still; and him that is unholy be unholy still. O, my friend, how much more we shall know in future than we have yet been taught; but this we may now know, that many of God's offspring may, and no doubt will be everlastingly blessed and happy without being born; and this being the case, all the words of our Saviour may be true ; their names may have been written in heaven ; they may sit on thrones, &c. &c. although it might have been better for one of them that he had never been born ; in other
; words, that he had given up the ghost ere he drew, in this vale of tears, his first vital breath.
What a changing state is this; blessed be God, it is not our everlasting home. There is a rest remaineth for the people of God. You must sensibly feel the loss of your amiable sister ; yet she is not lost, but gone before-yet, a little while, and we shall hear our Saviour say to us also, Come up hither.
I regret that I cannot have the happiness of looking in upon you in your little retreat; but we shall meet at home. Forever blessed be our Redeemer, who hath assured us, that in his Father's house are many mansions; there, through his almighty love, and almighty power, we shall ultimately meet though death and hell obstruct our way ; until that period, may you encounter as few of the evils, and experience as many of the blessings of existence, as may consist with a state of humanity.-Farewell.
To a Friend, entreating him to cominence a Gospel Preacher.
OURS of the second instant was delivered me yester. day. The vein of humour which it contains is perhaps peculiar to yourself. I cannot say that I do not experience some pleasure in casting my eye over such productions; but the effect is as transient as the cause is light. Pope has said, Wit's a feather; and you will have no hesitancy in subscribing to his opinion.
Let me see you as soon as you can find it convenient; and if this cannot be immediately, do not delay to indulge us with the music you have composed for the particular measure of Mr. Relly's hymns. Your harmonical friends, and they inform me I merit a place among them) are anxious for your performance of the promise, with which, as they say, you voluntarily indulged them, relative to this said music. ;
There is no one, or rather there are very few, who take so much pleasure in music, as I myself do; and although I am entirely ignorant of those rules of which you are master, and probably shall continue in ignorance in this particular, at least while I remain at the foot stool; yet none are more sensibly hurt by discordant sounds. Does this fact rank me with your harmonical friends ? At any rate, I think it characterizes me a lover of music. Yes, I delight in harmony; and although I can never hope to bear a part with those who sing with understanding in the present state, yet, in' that hope which is full of immortality, I please myself with the prospect of bearing a considerable part in the grand chorus taught by your teacher. There, I trust, through the merits of a complete Saviour, I shall be permitted to join in singing the song which will be forever new; and if what' the Poet affirms be just, I shall unite with those who say,
“The chief of sinners you'll allow,
Must be the chief of singers now.” Vol. II.
I think I have heard it somewhere observed, and if I have not, I take the liberty to make the observation myself, that no person ever made a good singer who was not inspired; and although there is divine inspiration to some souls, even in mere sounds, yet I cannot forbear thinking the sweet singer of Israel made much better music, when he felt the divine enthusiasm accompanying the witnessing spirit, when the truth was made known to him, which stands on record in those divine songs which were penned for our instruction and consolation : I say, the royal Psalmist sang a higher and a bolder strain when he tuned his harp to such heavenly music, than when he warbled thoughtless and unmeaning sounds. O, my friend, the subject of those inspired songs of Israel's King warm and elevate the soul, giving it to soar, on wings of fire, to its native source.
· This leads me directly to a paragraph in my last letter, to which you have not replied. Was it that when you penned the facetious epistle before me, you did not feel yourself sufficiently serious for a subject so important; or, not having well weighed the matter in question, did you intend to take it up at a more convenient season?
You are, it must be acknowledged, a very useful man in your present character. But, trust me, my friend, it would give you more pleasure on reflection here and hereafter, as a servant of Jesus Christ, to know that you had turned a single individual from the error of his ways, and taught him the things that made for his everlasting peace, than if you had taught the whole world every principle of music, that your extensive genius has given you to coinprehend.
Sir, since our Saviour has made you acquainted with his salvation, there is a duty incumbent upon you. Ought you to put your candle under a bushel ? you know you ought not. Why do you not let your light shine before men, that they may glorify your Father which is in heaven? Have you not heard that they who turn many to , righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever? Is it not a desirable object to pursue a prize of so high a description ? Tell me, my friend, of whose side are you? Are you on the Lord's side ? : If you be, come up into the chariot of love, and ride on from conquering to conquer, through him who hath loved you. Many are striving to turn the children of men from righteousness, even the righteousness which is of God, by faith Should there not be some with trumpet tongues to point them to
their strong hold ? Should Satan endeavour to hinder you from entering this chariot of love, by a representation of your weakness and unworthiness, tell him, if you think proper to reply to such a foe, “ That you can do all things through Christ strengthening
love Jesus Christ? Feed his sheep. Behold, they are wandering in the wide waste wilderness where there is no way. They are following the voice of a stranger, and endeavouring to fill themselves with the east wind. Teach them, for the love of God, teach them to understand the voice of the good shepherd. Direct them, I beseech you direct them to the fertile plains, that they may go in and out, and find good pasture. Let your voice be heard in this dry desert, crying out, “ Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters of life and drink freely." Who knows but through your instrumentality many may be led to the river of life, the streams whereof maketh glad the city of God. What, shall the God of this world have so many to proclaim his destruction, so many ready servants, and will not you utter a word for your God; nay, will you not exalt your voice to proclaim his salyation?
I am in this new world nearly alone; I have long been a speckled bird in the wilderness, a sparrow upon the house-top. I supplicate the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth la. bourers into his vineyard. - Does not this Lord of the harvest, in effect, say to you, Why stand you here idle? Does he not say unto you, Go, go forth ? Hath he never, by his spirit, directed you to publish glad tidings of good things; to tell the inhabitants of the earth that the Lord reigneth? I expect to be indulged with a serious answer. Let me know if I may expect you will be a fellow labourer in our Lord's vineyard ? Whether you will consent to put on the armour of God, and to unite with me in fighting the good fight of faith, that so we may together inherit the kingdom prepared for us when we lay hold of eternal life?
Present, to as many as are of the household of faith, my christian regards. I long to see them, and to labour with them in the Lord. Farewell
. The God of peace and truth be with you.
I am with great regard, &c. &c.
To the Rev, Mr. W. of Macclesfield, Cheshire, Great Britain.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
With a heart warmed by the effusions of grateful affection, I sit me down immediately on my arrival, to write to you. Grateful to my soul will be the remembrance of the momentary opportunities which I enjoyed with you; and much do I regret, that I could not be indulged with the continuance of those enjoyments, those refreshing enjoyments. Iflattered myself, some time after my departure from your residence, with the soothing hope that I should once more visit you, before I took my final leave of a country always dear to my heart; but now, doubly so, since my introduction to friends, to those Christian friends, which my Father, God, provided for my solace during my last visit to my native Island. “I was a stranger;" the merciful High Priest of our profession will say to you, and your ever dear brethren, “I was a stranger, and ye took me in; and should you reply, Lord, when saw we thee a stranger, &c. &c.” he shall answer, “Forasmuch as ye treated that least of my brethren thus kindly, ye did it unto me."
I have been for many years a dependant upon divine favour, without any certain prospect from whence or through what channel that divine favour was to flow; and permit me to assure you, that
- very few events have taken place in the course of divine providence, in favour of a being 'whom indulgent heaven has condescended to take under his special care and direction, which appear more worthy of that providence, and more grateful to my soul than what took place on my first landing in England ; nor then, nor there alone; the presence of my almighty, my neverfailing friend was with me; his goodness opened the hearts and houses of his children, in every place where he was pleased to conduct me, even to the moment of my departure from Portsmouth. Taking a retrospect of my very short tour, I am constrained to exclaim, o, my God, my everlasting, my almighty friend, how great is thy goodness. God only knows whether he