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has been pleased to make me, in any sort, useful to his people ; but this I know, that he has been pleased to make them very useful and very pleasant to me; and more, much more so, in a spiritual than a temporal sense.' On
my arrival in Exeter, I received letters from London which totally deranged my little plans, and occasioned my departure much earlier than I had contemplated. My plans, I have fre
. quently been induced to suspect, are not well laid, since they are generally disconcerted. “But I ought never to forget that the way of man is not in himself; that it is not in man who walketh to direct his steps;" and this also is right:
“Since all the downward tracts of time,
“Since none can doubt his equal love,
My heart at times, and my head at all times, must say Amen to the sentiment contained in this quotation.
Judging of your heart by the feelings of my own, I conceive it will give you pleasure to know where I have been, how I have · been, and what I have done since we parted. Our mutual friend Mr. P. can tell you where we stopped, and what we did from Truro to Plymouth; there the good inan
me, and, let me add, his goodness to me rendered his departure extremely painful to me. At Plymouth I tarried longer than I intended, attempting, in many places of Worship, the investigation of divine truth, " that truth which is indeed of sovereign aid to peace," that truth, first delivered to the apostles by their, by our divine Master, in the character of the ministry of reconciliation, and which we commonly call the gospel of the grace of God; the believing of which brings the sinner into a state which gives him a consciousness of that com. plete redemption which was perfected when our Saviour exclaimed on the cross, “ It is finished.”
At Plymouth I took the stage for Bath, stopping one afternoon at Willington, where I preached in Mr. D's. church. I tarried a few days in Exeter, preaching alternately in the Baptist and Inde
pendent meeting-houses, and proceeded from thence to London, On my arrival in London I found myself exceeding ill, and, as soon as I was able, I accepted an invitation from a respectable friend in Hampstead, where I rapidly recruited, and was enabled to preach twice in Mr. Whitefield's meeting-house in that place. Letters received from New England determined me to return by the first opportunity. The ship in which the American ambassador was to return was on the point of sailing. I engaged a passage, which I did with the greater avidity in consequence of information from the captain, that his ship would stop at Falmouth, for the purpose of taking in the ambassador's family. But after my things were put on board, and I had pleased myself with the hope of embracing my greatly valued friends once more, the ambassador changed his purpose, and ordered the ship to Portsmouth; to which place I set out by land, and waited there two weeks before the arrival of the vessel. But here our divine Master was graciously pleased to open for me many doors in Portsmouth, Common, and Gosport, until, by repeated exertions, I got so very ill, that for some time after my embarking, with the addition of sea sickness, I really suffered much distress. However, I was soon well
enough to be able to speak, on the Sabbath, to the company on board; but to what purpose I have spoken there, or in any other place, he who sent me can best determine.
I should be both ungenerous and unjust, which I pray God I never may be, if I did not add, that in every place where I have been called to speak, the very worthy characters who statedly laboured in the several churches, treated me with brotherly affection, and true, christian regard; for which I pray God abundantly to reward them. Thus have I hastily sketched a tour upon which my heart delights to dwell, and upon which I could with pleasure dilate through almost countless pages.
To each of those dear, christian friends, whose names are col. lected at the bottom of the paper you put into my hand at parting, I beseech you present my warmest regards. For although I had no occasion to make any use of that paper, I am nevertheless much indebted to the kind intention with which it was furnished; not only for that, but for many other instances of their unexpected, unmerited attention. To good Mrs. D. say everything your own kind heart can dictate. I shall, I do assure you, ever remember that truly excellent lady, with sentiments of the most grateful and re-. spectful regard. To your good lady, and the amiable family under whose roof you dwell, I beg you to tender my warm regards.
To learn that each of my friends are in possession of health of mind and body, will afford inexpressible satisfaction to the heart of your greatly obliged friend, &c. &c. &c.
To the same.
This time, three years since, I was happy in the company and affection of the friend, the brother with whom I now sit down to converse. To your obliging favour of July 28th, I am indebted for the pleasure I now enjoy; a pleasure, next to that I am indulged with a repetition of, by retrospection; but a pleasure, with which, the delay of your responses to my last letter, induced me to fear I should never be favoured.
My voyage to England, my stages through it, my connexions in it, my return from it, all appear, to me, corroborating proofs of the truth of that part of the shorter Catechism which assures us that “God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful, preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions." But, thus steadfastly believing, I am considered by many who adopt this very Catechism, as an erroneous enthusiast. Yet I must, of necessity, receive every sentiment precisely as it appears to me; and, suffer me to add, that it is a source of very sincere satisfaction to me, to believe that the infinitely great, but as infinitely gracious God, interests himself in my concerns; that he hath so often
; encouraged me to cast my care upon him, by giving me, in a great variety of instances, proof positive that he careth for me.
I never shall think of Falmouth, of Macclesfield, of Mr. R. and Mr. W. or of any one of my much loved friends in England, without experiencing a lively, grateful sense of the divine goodness vouchsafed toward me during my sojourning there. For although England is the place of my nativity, yet my natural friends were many of them called home, and those who remained were dispersed, and with the places I visited I was totally unacquainted. I was a stranger, bending beneath the weight of accumulated distresses, from which I fled, without knowing whether. ' But God was with me; in his hands are all hearts; and he disposed you to lend a gracious ear to the brief, frank, but faithful recital I gave you of myself and my circumstances, as a member of society, a member of Christ, and a promulgator of his everlasting gospel.
Do you recollect that, as a promulgator of the gospel, I determined to know nothing but Christ Jesus, and him crucified; that,' as a private Christian, I endeavoured to come up from the wilderness, leaning on the Beloved; and that, as a member of society, I' was solicitous to adorn the doctrine of God, the Saviour, in all things. In each of these characters, by the grace of God, I still continue. I pass through evil and through good report; some take friendly, and some malicious notice of me: 'the former, actuated by that love which thinketh no evil, take pleasure in applauding me; and those who listen to them without prejudice, are willing to give me credit for many good qualities: the latter say all manner of evil of me falsely, (blessed be God that it is falsely) and many believe their slanders, through whom the way of truth is evil spoken of.
You justly observe that I am no stranger to trials in this wilderness: indeed I am not. I have drank of that bitter cup of which you inform me you have been obliged to drink. In the world, said our Saviour, you shall have tribulation : but there is a rest which remaineth for the people of God, where, as I humbly hope, the now scattered and harassed human family will one day meet; where the wicked, from within and from without, will cease from troubling; and where, consequent thereon, our weary, way-worn spirits will find undisturbed repose. Your way was hedged up with thorns, but the Lord hath made for
your escape. I am happy to learn you have visited Ireland, and that you are requested to repeat your visits. Lrejoice that you have been, and that you have a prospect of still being an instrument, in the hand of your great Master, to bring your guilty brethren to a knowledge of their disease in themselves, and their recovery in Christ Jesus. That you have been thus instrumental in both kingdoms is, to me, matter of great joy; and my soul's desire and prayer to God is, that you may be continually refreshed
in your own soul, while you are thus leading the thirsty to the overflowing wells of salvation.
You inform me you have been told I am a Universalist; upon Mr. W.'s plan I am not. Mr. W. preaches the restitution of devils; I am not sent to preach to devils. Mr. W.considers weak, ruined individuals as paying their own debts; yea, to the uttermost farthing. I see no strength but in Christ Jesus: be you assured, therefore, I am not of Mr. Wi's school. I receive the doctrine of the general restitution, as did the Apostle Peter, according to the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of all God's holy prophets, ever since the world began. If your views of the great redemption be not as mine, I judge you not, I censure you not, I do not love you
the less. A Methodist preacher has just left me, after thus questioning: Do you, Sir, believe that Jesus Christ died for every man? I do indeed. Then we must differ on that head. But why differ, or rather, why not agree to differ? You believe he died for
I believe he died for me; let us then, as the redeemed of the Lord, 'love one another, and converse with one another, as though we only were in existence.
You heard me in Falmouth speak the truth as it is in Jesus. I preach the same truth in America, as when on my visit to Great Britain. I am fully persuaded of the truth of the doctrines of God our Saviour: no man in the world more faithfully believes the doctrines of the cross than myself. Sir, I believe with my whole heart, the gospel preached unto Abraham. God hath given me so much of that faith, which distinguished the Patriarch, that I do not, any more than he did, stagger at the promises through unbelief; and I am as fully persuaded as was Abraham, that God is both able and willing to perform all the good words that he spake unto his servants, the patriarchs, the prophets, and the apostles. But as this faith is the gift of God, and no man can know the things of God but by the spirit of God, I am indebted to the distinguishing grace of God, for power to believe the gospel preached to Abraham. It is to the same distinguishing grace I am indebted for that light, through which I see a divine consistency in all the sacred writings, so that I can set to my seal that there is no yea and nay with God. So much do I know of my, of our Saviour, that I can trust in him at all times, not being afraid. They who know the name of God will trust in him; and to know God is life eternal,
; VOL. II.