« PreviousContinue »
For my own part, so great are the obligations I am under to the world's Saviour, that should this Saviour be preached either through envy or through gain, still I must rejoice. But I shall rejoice more abundantly, when I think he is preached from conviction, and from love, and adoration of his character. When the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, if one died for all then are all dead, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again from the dead; I say, when Christ is thus preached, my pleasure is more abundant.
Of that part of your letter which relates to me, I know not what to think. I am ignorant what information you received from your correspondent, and indeed it is a light thing with me to be judged by man's judgment. One thing is certain, ignorance and prejudice has often laid that to my charge, to which I am a stranger. However, if, as I trust, you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ, you will judge no man before you hear him. I am ready at all times to give a reason for the hope that is in me, in meekness and fear. I confess I wish to have fellowship with those, whose fellowship is with the Father, and with the Son Jesus Christ, and to accompany them without the camp, bearing the reproach of our Saviour, and this I am persuaded I shall some wa or other do.
True, my name has been for many years tossed about by censure. and applause ; among my enemies no good was said of me, and among friends no evil, for love thinketh no evil; but both friends and enemies are accustomed to exaggerate.
I am one of the least of God's servants; I speak not this out of feigned humility; I am but a babe, still desiring the sincere milk of the word; and so conscious am I of my own weakness, that I dare not venture to adopt a religious sentiment, for which I cannot produce a “thus saith the Lord.” Doubtless the scriptures con. tain many things which it is not yet given me to see. Doubtless the Lord hath said in his holy word many things which I have not yet heard; but as my day is, so will my strength be.
As a preacher, my sole object is to make manifest the Saviour of the world, well persuaded that the poet, was, as a divine, strictly correct when he said,
“If all the world my Saviour knew,
and well do I know, that when love takes place in the heart, a desire to glorify him who has loved us, and given himself for us, will assuredly succeed.
If providence should direct your steps this way, it will give me pleasure to see you; and if I should not be so favoured, I should be glad to converse with you upon paper ; and the more you are falsely reproached for the name sake of your Redeemer, the more I shall sympathize with, love, and admire you.
I am, believing you are a member with me in the same body, and drinking with me in the same spirit, with fervency of christian affection, your friend and seryant, &c. &c.
To the same.
MY GREATLY VALUED FRIEND,
Your welcome, your thrice welcome favour of September 21st is now before me. It has relieved my mind from a weight of anxiciy, and filled my heart with gratitude to that beneficent Being who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
I am right happy that you have more health than when last I saw you; and I am cheered by the prospect of your being able to visit those friends which still remain to you in your native state; and that you contemplate the felicity of once more declaring among them the unsearchable riches of our Redeemer's grace. May the Lord of the harvest confirm your health, and make the conclusion. of your career. better than its commencement.
For many years I have stood alone upon this vast continent, and now my prayer to God is, may you be strong in the cause of our Emmanuel; may you come up from this wilderness leaning on the Beloved. I rejoice to learn that the number of your hearers increase. May the God of peace continue to add unto you such as shall be saved; may. they, under your ministry, continue to grow in the grace, and in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son
Jesus Christ. To know both these characters is life eternal; and O, how pleasing, how transporting the reflection, that the knowledge of both these characters, constituting a complete whole, shall fill the animated, human earth, as the waters cover the sea.
I am extremely pleased with your purpose, respecting the piece you are preparing for the press. May the spirit of that divinity, the fulness of which dwelt in the humanity, constituting the one Emmanuel, or the only wise God our Saviour, furnish
with such ideas, as when delineated on paper, may flash conviction on the minds of those unbelievers who presumptuously, most irreverently call this sublime and salutary truth in question. May those bloodbought infidels be constrained with strong faith, and its inseparable attendant, fervent affection, to exclaim, my LORD, and my God.
You do me honour, and give me inexpressible satisfaction, when you inform me, that the
mind is fixed on me, as the. very dear friend to whom you address the letters in question, and whom you still mean to address in the letters you may yet be enabled to write upon this truly important subject. I flatter myself, no one of your connexions can produce a clearer title to the appellation, friend, than myself; no one can feel a more warm and sin-. cere affection for you than I have delighted to cherish; and I have not hesitated to wish you, most cordially, God speed.
I trust your endeavours to erect a convenient building for the worship of the true God will be crowned with success. Every genuine believer will acknowledge the true God to be the only wise God, and our Saviour, the Saviour of all men.
The quotation from the introduction with which you have favoured me, corresponds exactly with my wishes; yet, as there has been so many instances of religious fraud practised upon similar occasions, I doubt not you will readily agree to any plan proposed by liberal minds, calculated to prevent any thing of this kind which may arise from the zeal of Pharisaical leaven, fermenting in the minds of future bigots. You are well enough acquainted with the nature of man, even in his best estate, to know that privileges of this description cannot be too cautiously guarded. Would it not be well, therefore, I avail myself of the privilege to which friendship entitles me? Would it not be well to submit your plan to the consideration of judicious individuals not immediately connected with you? Possibly some salutary regulations might be thus suggested. In the multitude of counsel, there is security; and I am persuaded
so generous a procedure would meet a just reward; nay, such are my sentiments of
yoll, that I am confident, were you able to build a house yourself, you would wish to keep it like the heaven to which our gospel leads, perpetually open. If you proceed upon the lib, eral principles which you contemplate, my efforts to perfect your plan shall not be wanting; I have already addressed many of my friends upon the subject.
It is uncertain when I shall be able to visit your city; the winter is a season most unpropitious to my health. I suffered much during my last journey, and, and, and--but no matter, I shall tell you more when I see you. You will journey to New England in the spring ; you will assuredly pass a few days with me, when we will, at our leisure, investigate this, and many other abundantly more imports ang matters. Farewell.
To the same.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
YOUR letter of November 26th, enclosing the fragments of your invaluable production, hath reached me in safety. I know not how much pleasure you might derive from perusing the letter to which you advert, but this I know, if your satisfaction abounded, our pleasures were mutual. The excellent writings to which you advert will always be preferable, I will not say to yours, but certainly to mine. Both the matter and the manner are admirable ; but if you do not favour us with a visit, the end of the extract will not be answered; and I am really concerned to perceive that you speak of this event as doubtful : 1, however, acknowledge with gratitude, your distinguishing kindness in writing to me, when you had no leisure to bestow upon any other correspondent.
The article respecting your health has removed from my bosom many fearful apprehensions; it hath given birth to a flattering hope, that although at present scarcely a convalescent, you will ultimately be wholly restored ; and as you have been able to per.
form a journey to Virginia, you will be in such full possession of this best of temporal blessings, as to be both able and willing to visit New England in the spring.
I wish the printer who engaged to print your letters, had, previous to the engagement, been a Christian, he would not then have given you so much just cause of complaint, respecting his carelessness; but if arguments drawn from the fountain head of divine authority were of themselves sufficient to irradiate the human mind, and make God manifest in the flesh, not only the printer in particular, but the readers of your letters in general, would clearly discern that the fulness of the Godhead did indeed dwell in Christ Jesus.
But alas! It is not all that the prophets and apostles have said, with all that he of whom the former prophesied, or the latter preached, did, when by signs and wonders he confirmed their testimony, that can turn the deceived soul from the darkness of error, to the light of truth. It is the Almighty Spirit, the divinity dwelling in the humanity; it is this Almighty Spirit alone, which is able to take away the veil from the human heart, and so effectually to make the Saviour manifest, as to constrain the soul to cry out, with the Apostle, My Lord, and my God.
It is those who have learned of the Father, as the divinity, who will come to this. Father, as manifested in the flesh, and with devout adoration acknowledge the Deity, thus clothed, as the only wise God our Saviour.
But this spirit frequently makes use of instruments, and through the medium of such instruments, however contemptible they may appear in the eyes of the wise and prudent, the wisdom of such wise and prudent is oftentimes confounded. I humbly trust that he who sends by whom he will send, will make use of you as a faithful witness, through whom the Redeemer will be known. Much more depends upon the truth of the doctrine you labour to inculcate in your letters, than people in general imagine. I conceive it impossible to find peace and joy in believing, or so to be. lieve as to be saved from whatever is contained in the damnation, that must be the portion of every unbeliever, until we are firmly persuaded that beside the Saviour, there is no other God. But he who believeth on the Son, beholding the fulness of paternal Deity dwelling in the Son, viewing the divine and human nature as constituting one God, the just God and Saviour, beside which there