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dence in the divinity of the testimony he is engaged to advocate, which a heart established in a faithful persuasion of the truth as it is in Jesus, always inspires. May you press forward in the race set before you, fighting the good fight of faith, until you at last lay hold of eternal life ; the knowledge of your progress will gratify all your friends, but no one more than your truly affectionate, &c. &c. &c.
To Mrs. Y.
I HAVE recently made inquiries respecting you and yours, to which I can obtain no answers. No news, it is pertinently said, is good news. I say pertinently, for evil tidings fly upon the wings of the wind, I confess I feel anxious respecting you—I ought not; you are in the hands of a wise and gracious Parent—so am I; yet I am subjected to inquietude and fear. Nor should this fact, every thing considered, be matter of surprise; I am not, indeed, apprehensive that the judge of all the earth will not do right; I do not fear that he will cease to be gracious, or that his mercy
will not endure forever. I am persuaded God is, and ever will be good, as good when he takes or witholds, as when he gives, and that all things will work together for good. Yet as no trouble is at the present joyous, but grievous, and as our happiness is in a good degree dependent on the enjoyments with which we are indulged, as we are no where assured we shall never lose them, and as many of our Father's children have been thus afflicted, and as I have myself, in numberless instances, experienced such and such sorrows, it is extremely natural for me to suffer in the dread of a repetition of calamities. I am instructed by my blessed Master, to expect tribulation in this world, and to look for peace only in himself; and as I have full faith in this divine testimony, I live in the dread of those evils, which, in this world, I am taught to expect. Yet am I frequently refreshed by that cheering hope, which is full of a blessed immortality, that I shall one day live in the full
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enjoyment of that peace which I have in him. Whenever I am made to drink of the bitter cup of disappointment, my soul turns to its strong hold, to its rest in God, and is soothed by the rich grace contained in his soul-elevating promises.
There are none of God's children who do not need the rod. Foolishness is bound up in their hearts, and it is the rod of correction must drive it from thence. And when this gracious purpose is effectuated, we shall bless the rod, and him who appointed it, we shall then sing of mercy and of judgment, all the day long.
Circumstanced as I have been in life, my visible enjoyments have flowed from the bosom of friendship; friendship has still continued my prime source of good, at least, friends have been the conduits through which consolation has been conveyed to me.
But as I have passed on, many of these conduits have been stopped, and I have felt unutterable anguish. My misery has been in full proportion to the happiness, to the confidence, with which my believing heart delighted to repose in the prospect before me. “ Friends, said the author of the Night Thoughts, " are our chief treasure ;" they have been mine through life ; “but,” said the same writer, “ how they drop!” Alas! how many of these treasures have I lost; and to aggravate my misfortune,could never learn the disorder,which proved fatal to them, or rather to me. For it is the survivor dies. “Lean not on earth,” said our divinely inspired poet, “it will pierce you to the heart, a broken reed at best, but oft a spear, on whose sharp point, peace bleeds, and hope expires.” But a greater than Doctor Young, or any other poet, of any age or country, hath taught us, not to trust in man. Read the seventh chapter of the prophecy of the prophet Micah, there you will find melancholy truths.
Reading, and lending credence to this delineation of the Prophet, with what heart-felt joy shall we adopt his resolution, as expressed in the seventh verse of this seventh chapter. “Therefore, I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation ; my God will hear me.” Many a time from my youth up have I been driven to look unto the Lord, and never, blessed be his great name, have I looked unto him without being lightened. Often have I walked in darkness, when suddenly, the Lord has become a light to my paths ; I will then bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him. Shall a sinner receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall he not receive evil also ? Yet, although a
sinner, and bearing the indignation of the Lord, I have the conso. lation to believe, that he will plead my cause, and execute judgment for me; he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. My attention having been recently turned to a portion of Micah's prophecy, has given me more acquaintance with this blessed prophet, than I formerly had; you will read him at your leisure, and I am sure you will read him with pleasure, and with advantage.
I address you as one of my family, one of my congregation, assuming it as a fact, that you receive a gratification from the knowledge of divine truth, which you could not receive from any thing, which this world hath to bestow. I have no intelligence to coin. municate ; you obtain from your children and other connexions, whatever of this sort the town can furnish. My family, I bless God, are in health, and my congregation as usual.
This saine congregation is composed of good, bad, and indifferent; I mean by comparison. Some attend with us from a dislike to all other associations; some, from a love of those divine truths, which they believe they cannot hear elsewhere ; these attend from principle; some, without principle, merely follow the impulse of the moment, they know not how to pass the hours usually appropriated to public worship, and with this motive or no motive, they find theraselves in the midst of the congregation ; others are actuated by the best intention ; they hear a preached word with joy, they feel an affection for the promulgator of glad tidings, and, under the influence of these first, warm impressions, they distinguish me by acts of kindness ; while I, though full of years, and much conversant in the world, receive, even with youthful ardour, the proffered friend. ship, nor dream of change until roused from my pleasing slumber, by some unexpected stroke ; and although I have, through revolv. ing years, been exercised by an almost uninterrupted succession of such events, yet do I suffer, from every new discovery, the extreme of anguish, and as the proverb is strictly true, which asserts, that one trouble never continues solitary, so I not only suffer in the first instance, from the deprivation, but from the dread of losing yet other connexions, thus shrinking from the consolation, which I might derive from remaining friends.
Alas! for me, how many friendly friends have I buried since I commenced my present career! How many of the ghosts of these buried friends, the friend buried, the man remaining, do I meet in
the blaze of day. Some stalk sullen by, and look another way; some seem to affect a resemblance of what they were, when in life ; some appear as if they had never known me, dead or alive ; they cannot be quite indifferent; they must be angry or pleased; but like the passing generation of this world, as one friend dies, another is born, while the sinner's friend will never suffer me to be friendless; and soon, very soon, blessed be the name of my God, I shall be permitted to leave this bad world, where evil spirits, and wicked men, have their residence ; this vexatious, changing state of things, where there are no unmixed delights, where, it is generally believed, the bitter predominates; and I shall be admitted into that state, where nothing that defileth can enter.
In the little space, which yet remains, very little, I humbly hope, I would court retirement,
“ For in the secret silence of the mind
When in the public character which my divine Master hath im; posed upon me, I am constrained to come forth in the presence of the people, I would consider myself as the servant of the Redeemer; and I would fear no man. If I am treated kindly, receive this kind treatment and pass on ; if unkindly, receive the unkindness and pass on; and taking refuge in my beloved retirement, look towards home, still walking by faith, not elated with the appear. ance of friendship, nor depressed by the melancholy certainty, that, what I have misnamed friendship was no more than appearance, always remembering that by the grace of God, much more con. solation has been administered to me, than my divine Master heretofore received.
I wish you, my dear lady, and every individual of your excellent family, all that your hearts desire ; that is, as far as the accomplishment of your wishes may consist with his arrangements, in whom I am, with grateful, and very respectful esteem, your friend, &c. &c,
To a Preacher in North-Carolina.
time to you.
Although my time is generally engrossed by a variety of avocations, leaving me very little leisure for attempting to enlarge the circle of my correspondents ; yet meeting, some time since, with a gentleman who has brought me acquainted with you and your circumstances, I immediately determined to devote a portion of my
I am informed you have seen the truth as it is in Jesus ; and that, from the abundance of a believing heart, your mouth speaketh thereof to the people ; that consequent thereon, some few believe, while the many mock and despitefully use you : if so, rejoice and be exceeding glad; for so were all God's faithful witnesses treated, even from the beginning of the world. They who hated the Saviour will hate his servants. But they who hated our Saviour were those who conceived themselves righteous, and despised others, who, believing that they abounded in good works, thanked God they were not like other men.
Such persons are the most embittered enemies of the message and messengers of that peace which was made by the blood of the They do not object to the messengers of that
made by their own sufferings and performances; nor have they any objection to acknowledge themselves indebted to God, for enabling them thus to establish peace and reconciliation between God' and themselves. Frequently, therefore, they say, God. I thank thee I am not like other men. These other men they can look down upon and say unto them, stand off, I am holier than thou : but we know who hath said, Every high and lofty imagination shall be brought low, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess the truth as it is in Jesus, to the glory of the Father.
I am, Sir, happy to learn that our Saviour has been pleased to make choice of you, as a minister of the New Testament, and that you are counted worthy to suffer for his name sake. His name is Jesus, that is, a Saviour ; and he shall save his people from their sins.