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with your request, I have written freely, but I trust you will not consider me either presuming or dictatorial. I do not assume the privilege which belongs to infallibility. I have, in compliance with your expressed wishes, merely remarked, agreeably to that meas, ure of understanding, with which, by the giver of every good and perfect gift, I am endowed. Had we an opportunity of conversing upon these important subjects, we should, perhaps, gradually assimilate ; we would try the spirits, we would bring every tenet to the test of the divine word, steadfastly abiding by its sacred authority. Of such an opportunity you give me hope, and I will then show you a letter I have written, which will explain my sențiments upon many points of doctrine, but, in the interim, I wish to hear from you as often as possible. As to my visiting you, it is, at present, out of the question; I have the will, but not the ability; what'events futurity may produce, none can say.
I send you a copy of the Union, written by Mr. Relly, to every line of which, I wish you seriously to attend. You will find it an inestimable treasure. May you grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the world's Saviour, may you come up from this wilderness leaning upon the Beloved.-Farewell.
To the Reverend Mr. C.
Your favour by a gentleman, whose name I have not the pleasure of knowing, has recently been put into my hand, accept my thanks, and as it will not be in my power to be present at the association, I take leave to address you in this way.
You commence your letter by styling me August Sir. If I did not know you to be a friend, I should believe you were making a jest of me. Do you know, my dear Sir, the meaning of the word you have selected ? It is royal, magnificent ; I wish you would be so good as to pay attention to what I once took the liberty to men
tion to you, that is, to get a dictionary, and look for the word you may want to use, that you may not thus write at random. I hope you will excuse this freedom ; I should not thus presume, if I had no regard for you; I know you did not mean to insult, but to evince your respect for me in the title you have conferred upon me: but the greatest respect I ever wish to receive from
my fellow labourers, is that which is due to a friend and brother. I am a very imbecile creature, and merit nothing; but I have obtained mercy of God, and in this mercy, some experience.
You give me a question from somebody, and your answer; and you desire my approbation. To be plain with you, Sir, I do not think either you or I have any business with such matters. Questions may be asked by lisping infancy, which God only can
Sir, I conceive if you had answered the inquirer after truth, in the language of a simple Christian, you would have told him in plain language, that Jesus was the truth. These questions, and these answers, seem a mere trial of skill. You have given à display of some natural abilities in this answer of yours, and shown us that if you had been a man of education, you might have been a poet. But what would you have been the better for that?
Beside, give me leave to tell you, my dear Sir, that such arguments as these never did any good in the world; there are arguments which must have more weight than these ; arguments drawn from a consideration of that peace we experience in our own bosoms, as often as we are enabled to act in conformity to our characters as men, and as Christians.
It will never be of any advantage to tell mankind that evil is good; you may as well tell them that light is darkness, and pain, pleasure. What, though both may be alike to the Creator, whom our conduct cannot essentially affect, as he is an independent, selfexistent Being, evil and good can never be alike to the creature.. What, though God can bring good out of evil, we cannot. It is more common for us to bring evil out of good.
Secret things belong to God, but things revealed, to us, and to our children. But it is revealed to us, that we are bought with a price, and that, therefore, we are not our own, that we are bound to serve God in our bodies, and our spirits, which are his.
It is revealed unto us that we are the servants of whomsoeyer we obey ; nor are we at a loss to know what will serve God, or what will gratify the adversary.
Have we not been too long engaged in mere theories, in defining terms, and explaining doctrines, in furnishing the heads, rather than the hearts of our hearers ?
We have been talking a vast deal about God, and saying but little to God; we have been wholly engaged in defining the doctrine of God our Saviour, but too inattentive to the adorning thereof. Because my garments are no part of my body, shall I therefore throw them away? Because the adornings are not the doctrine, shall I neglect them, and expose the nakedness of God's children ?. How many barren and unfruitful souls are there, who in words profess, but in works deny God! Alas, this is too much the case with us all !
Sir, evil has not lost its name; nor did Jesus Christ come so much to let us know, “what we call evil he ordained, and for good ordained it," as to destroy this evil. Why, what a dreadful, shocking idea it is, to hold up among poor, ignorant people, that alt evil ever since the world began was intended by God for universal good! Believe me, the wisest men who ever touched upon
these subjects only gave proof positive of their own folly. Let us, my friend, keep clear of these hidden matters. Let us one and all say, with the Apostle, Cease to do evil, learn to do well. We know but very little about this great scale of which you seem so familiarly to speak; we are little folks, and it would better become us to confine ourselves to the scale by which God has directed us to measure.
It was not sin that brought salvation to the soul-far, very far from it; nay, it was sin that brought destruction to the soul. But Christ Jesus, who knew no sin, brought salvation to the members of his mystical body.
Will you permit a poor, weak creature, who hath obtained some little experience in the ways of God as manifested in his works, and who feels two sentiments strong in his bosom, love to God, and love to man, will you, I say, suffer me to give you the plan which I endeavour to adopt, and in which I wish to persevere as long as I am allowed to go in and out before God's people? First, I trust. I shall hold fast the profession of my
faith without wavering, and continue to preach Jesus as he is, the Saviour of the world.
Secondly, It is my wish constantly to inculcate the necessity of attending to the injunctions found in the divine word, respecting the conduct of believers.
Thirdly, I would cultivate an unceasing solicitude relative to my own conduct, endeavouring by every action of my life, to give an example of the lessons which I would constantly deliver: I would avoid, as much as possible, that trifling levity of character, which ranks the Christian with the buffoon; and I would lead the people, wherever I may be, to the throne of their heavenly Father. It is of incalculable advantage to the soul, to hold communion with God in prayer. There never was a child of God under the influence of the Spirit's teaching, who did not hold communion with God in prayer: and much, very much, both negatively and positively is gained thereby. A Christian without prayer is like a body without a soul. Sin is called the plague of the heart; Jesus is called the physician of value; the sick need a physician ; and is not such a physician as the world's Saviour worth inquiring. after ?
How glorious soever that truth which assures us, Jesus put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, we know this truth is the truth as it is Jesus. In us, in our individual selves, we still find the plague of the heart so prevalent, that when we would do good, evil is present with us; and it is our interest to cry to God continually, to save us from this evil.
We have been too inattentive to these things, and I tremble lest this lax and careless conduct should arrest the progress of truth. Let me then recommend to you, my brother, (and I do it with the greatest sincerity,) to hold constant communion with your God in prayer; in private, in your family, in every family where you may occasionally sojourn, and let them know you do not thus conduct in conformity to custom, but from an expectation of the advantages to be derived therefrom. Let it not be said, that the Methodists take delight in addressing their God in prayer, but the Universalists do not. God knows there is no religious sect that hath so much need of prayer; there is none that hath so many opposers, and our sense of obligation to him who is the only wise God our Saviour, is, or ought to be, greater than that of any other description among mankind.
It is said, the prayer of the righteous man availeth much in the sight of the Lord; and because there is but one who is perfectly righteous, it is therefore thought by some, that only this one perfect character ought to pray. Why then do preachers pray in their pulpits? But so far is this mode of reasoning from being
conclusive against prayer, that it furnishes the strongest argument for prayer. But in prayer we are admonished to ask in the name of the Redeemer, to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, to stand in the name and character of our elder brother. Sir, I would endeavour by all means to encourage a spirit of prayer among my hearers and friends. Praying, said a devout spirit, will oblige us to leave sinning, and sinning will oblige us to leave praying. For God's sake, for your own sake, for the sake of the people among whom you labour, for the sake of your little family, be instant in prayer; and let me, I entreat you, obtain an interest in your prayers. Let your orisons ascend unto the Father, our Emmanuel, in my behalf, that God would enable me both by precept and example, to be useful in my day, and more so in the evening than in the morning of my life. I pray God to be with you when you associate with your
brethren; I pray that you may pass your time with pleasure and profit, and may the hearts of your hearers be affected. Enforce, I again beseech you, the necessity of supplicating, of continually supplicating the Father of mercies. May you be drawn together by ardent sincerity, may religion be the business of your lives, and may you find your Saviour ever with you.
For me, I trust I shall soon have my discharge from this world of pain, of sin, and of sorrow; and my last prayer to almighty God shall be, that they who may come after me, may be careful to add to their faith, virtue, adorning in all things the doctrine of God our Saviour.-Farewell.
OUR obliging favour is in my hand ; what would I not give to have you at this moment seated at my elbow. In such cir. cumstances, I could a tale unfold, which, or I am greatly mistaken