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I flattered myself, I flattered my better self, that in our Anna Maria she would have been favoured with a constant correspondent ; that mutual pleasure and profit would have been given and received. But-but-I know not what to think ; I will, however, suspend my judgment; I will yet indulge the pleasure of expectation ; I will wait for letters from my ever-dear Plymouth friends. For, O, I cannot patiently give them up! nor is this strange, when I reflect upon the many precious opportunities I enjoyed among them! Pleasures and pleasures of the most refined kind I reaped in your family. How often has retrospection given me back those pleasures ! Sweet are the pleasures which will bear reflection. How miserable are those unhappy beings who are continually toiling in pursuit of enjoyments that will not bear reflection. How poor are the rich, who answer to this description ; how miserable the happy. O, my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly; mine honour, be not thou united. Yet we must have our residence in the midst of such; and we are therefore sometimes constrained to say,
« Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar.” But we are strangers here, and so may we ever be; we shall be at home by and by, where we shall no more be strangers, but fellow-citizens with the saints of the household of God; there the wicked from within and from without will forever cease from troubling, and there the wearied soul will find undisturbed repose. Here then I will rest, and for the time which separates me from this my rest Why it is not worth a thought.
I have not much time to spare ; my private and public labours engross my attention. If I did not feel a very strong affection for my friends, I should not wish for their correspondence, especially as I have so many corresponding friends on this side the water; but to you and yours l-am warmly attached.
How is your son, whom though I have not seen, I love ; or rather whom I have seen in his letters to you, and therefore love? Let me hear if he be still fighting the good fight of faith? If he be still wielding with success the sword of the Spirit, and if he finds it mighty through God to the pulling down strong holds ? In short, let me know every thing, of every one of your dear family.
I reverence, I do more, I love the Rev. Mr. G.; we have, I am persuaded, drank into the same spirit; and I feel myself rich in his brotherly affection. I am persuaded he is a Christian ; but I have expected, and still expect, that I shall have evidence thereof from
under his own hand. Give my love to him, and tell himn this. There are not many in Plymouth on whom I have claims. There are many whom I feel for, and should rejoice to hear from ; but my mind is not greatly discomposed at their silence. But upon you, your Anna Maria, and our mutual friend Mr. G. I think, I have a right to call. Need I repeat, that you are all dear to the heart, to the warm heart of your friend and brother?
To Mr. W. H, merchant in Falmouth, Great Britain.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Hving so good an opportunity by Mr. S. who will either deliver my letter himself, or take care that it shall be delivered; I embrace it with pleasure, just to inform you that I have not heard from you since I have written to you. I do not, I never did wish to intrude either by letter or otherwise ; I do not say, that
in the present instance, an intruder. Indeed I am not unhappy enough to believe I am. But if you cease to respond to my letters, unpleasant conclusions will be forced upon me.
I confess it is not generous to harbour doubts of friends ; but an acquaintance with human nature, will generally originate doubts. Man is mutable; the longer we live in the world, the more we are convinced of the propriety of this sentiment. Hence, old men are commonly more suspicious than young men. It is not that age is more depraved than youth; but old men have had so many opportunities of obtaining a knowledge of mankind, and sometimes it may be, have purchased their knowledge at so dear a rate, that they are at last convinced of the propriety of the divine admonition, Put ye nọ trust in man; and thus taught of God, they listen to the poet who
says, “ Lean not on carth.” But, blessed be God, the same divine Spirit which directs and even commands us not to put trust in man, not to put confidence in a guide, and even pronounces a curse on those who put their trust in an arm of flesh. I say the
same divine Spirit encourages us, indeed commands us to trust in the Lord at all times, not being afraid.
But, alas, alas ! we are by nature prone to transgress both these commands; we are strongly affected by objects of sense, and sweet are the enjoyments derived from the social haunts of men. I will freely own to you, that my reception at Falmouth, and the kind offices rendered me there by you in particular, and by my friends in general, has left a durable impression upon my mind; and were you or they to think of me as an alien, or not to think of me at all, it would afford me exquisite pain. I think I should, in such circumstances, exclaim with Dr. Young, “Good lost, weighs more in grief than gained in joy.” However, inform me how you feel, and I will endeavour to conforın my wishes to yours.
You once mentioned sending by the New-York Packet as a convenient mode of conveyance. I have thought of it since; and if
you have any interest with any captain of a packet or any other on board, it may answer; for letters put into the post-office are charged very high. Let my ever dear and much loved friend R. know when you write, and please to present him my sincere and most affectionate regards; you will inform him also, that I sent him last season, a long letter, by a captain D. to which I have had no answer. I pray you to present my respectful regards to Mrs. H. and inform my obliging friend G. that I have made much inquiry relative to the branch of his family, about which he has written; but hitherto without effect. I can learn nothing of his friends in this State. But I shall make one more experiment, by advertisements in the public prints. That you,
and each of our mutual friends, may live in the full enjoyment of every felicity, with which the Christian character can be blest, is the fervent prayer of, my valued friend, your ever faithful and devoted, &c. &c.
To the Rev. Mr. W. of Pennsylvania.
ALTHOUGH personally unacquainted with you, yet you will not be surprised at hearing from me, when you recollect a letter which you have recently written to a Mr. B. which has been handed to me, and in which I am mentioned.
The letter to which I advert contains many excellent, because divine truths; and it afforded me, in the reading, some heavenly sensations. It is so rare to find any person on earth speaking the language of heaven, that with every other charm, it possesses also the charm of novelty.
Many months have elapsed since public fame brought to my ears the soul-reviving intelligence, that a certain gentleman who had breathed forth the spirit of Saul of Tarsus, was now like the Apostle Paul preaching that faith which before he persecuted, boldly affirning that in the way the worshippers of antichrist called heresy, so worshipped he the God of his fathers. When I heard this report, I felt, I believe, much as people in general do when they hear the gospel. I thought it was too good to be true. I did not, at the moment, attend to the power of him who calleth whom he will out of darkness, and bringing them into his marvellous light; who sendeth them forth to publish his salvation to every creature ; to proclaim to every creature, that he died for their sins, and arose again for their justification.
However, as public report is so little worthy of credit, I determined to suspend my judgment, well persuaded that if you were indeed a genuine disciple of the true Christ, the deceived worshippers of antichrist would soon, by their manifold calumnies, sufficiently ascertain the fact ; for he who said, Lo, I am with you always to the end of the world, said also, If ye be of me, the world will hate you, and they will thrust you out of the synagogue, saying all manner of evil of you, falsely, for my name sake. But if it is given you on the behalf of Christ to believe, I trust it will be also given
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you cheerfully to suffer for his name sake; nor will you sorrow as those without hope, for, blessed be God, our hope is full of immortality, and therefore it is a hope that maketh not ashamed. Sir, I felicitate you on the divine discoveries that you have made. Not unto us, not unto us, but unto the name of our God be all the glory. You can, and I am persuaded you do say, “ Not by the will of man, nor by the will of the flesh, but by the will of God.” It is not of him who willeth, nor of him who runneth, but of God who showeth mercy, that abundant mercy and grace, that bringeth unto all men salvation, and therefore maketh for every man's peace; although, for wise reasons, hidden from the greater part of mankind in this their day, is now by the favour of heaven made manifest to you by the Spirit, even that Spirit which taketh of the things of Jesus, and showeth them unto us, that we may let our light shine before men, and in that light exhibiting our good works, lead them to glorify our Father who is in heaven. If I
may form a judgment from the letter I have read, I think you have received the spirit which is of God, by which you know the things that are freely given to us of God; and if so, may you run the race that is set before you with patience, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. O, the distinguishing grace of God! To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to others in parables. But light is put into you, as we put a candle in a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. Mankind are even now in the house. In God we live, move,and have our being; but they know not where they are ; if thou hadst known, says our Saviour, who it is that saith unto thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water, &c. &c. This is life eternal to know him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent ; and why? Because Jesus is the life of the world.
Go on then, thou highly favoured of the Lord. I bid thee God speed. Go on and preach Jesus and the resurrection. Cry aloud, spare not; tell professors their transgressions; tell churchmen their sins, and show them that they, on whom the tower of Siloam fell, were not sinners worse than they; tell them that their works are evil. They will hate you for this; but remember him who hath said, They hated me before they hated you; and if they have done these things in the green tree, what shall they not do in the dry?