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assure you, nor do I expect uninterrupted health, until I am permitted to take my departure from this distempered state of . things.
You unite with me in lamenting the demise of captain B.Dear man, his departure is sensibly felt by many, particularly by his bereaved kindred, but thanks to redeeming love, our loss is his unspeakable gain, With all our sorrows, we sorrow not as those who are without hope. Thanks be to God, in our risen Saviour, we have a hope which is full of immortality. If any man sin, this Saviour is an advocate, a righteous advocate with the Father.' But while, on his behalf, we give thanks to God, for that precious blood which we know cleanseth from all sin, we cannot, while confined to the body, but mourn for ourselves. For
my own part, I feel so much for his dear family, that I hardly dare think of myself. Yet he was to me, a faithful, steady friend ; I loved the man, and how numerous soever my professing friends and acquaintance, I assure you, Madam, friends of his complexion, are thinly sown. However, when I am robbed by death, or by the grand adversary, of those I so greatly love, I can still sing of mercy, as well as of judgment; for on these occasions I am constrained
to turn about, and to look with a single eye, on that never-failing , friend, of which blessed be his name, neither the grand adversary,
nor death can ever rob me. In this friend, I am, dear Madam, with affectionate compliments to your family, your obliged friend, &c. &c.
To a friend in the State of New-Jersey.
HANK you my very good friend for your letter of May 27th, and for the ready compliance with my wishes, which it announces. Forgive me for suspecting that you might have lost your spiritual appetite; mankind are prone to change, it is God alone who is immutable.
You say true, false friends are no loss; too much of the seed of the enemy still remaineth, blessed be the Saviour of men who will, in his own time, and manner, exterminate this ruinous growth of weeds. No, my friend, thanks to the Father of mercies, his spirit is not departed from his poor, rich servant; the spirit of my God is an abiding witness, which witnesseth with my spirit, to-the truth of the divine testimony, and I think my being able to content myself without the feather, to which you advert, is a corroborating proof thereof. Neither am I circumstanced as was Saul, nor do I recollect any particular command of our Saviour, with which I have refused to comply. I am not lamenting the loss of any gourd, under whose spreading foliage I took shelter from the scorching heat. Blessed, forever blessed, be our divine shadow, from the heat; I have long since been convinced of the inefficacy of all temporal, temporary gourds; and I have, with full purpose of heart, taken refuge underthe healing wings of the sun of righteousness.
Had the evil spirit dispossessed the good spirit, it is not the arrival of Mr. S. nor the friend who promised to accompany him, could exorcise the-fiend. I should be constrained to say, miserable comforters are ye all: however, I need not, I cannot sày, how much pleasure a sight of the friend to whom I am writing would afford me.
"You wish you were both a wit and a poet; you are, or I am very much deceived, what is infinitely before either, you are an honest man; and one of the greatest wits and poets of the last century assures us,, " that an honest man is the noblest work of God.” Your advice is good, and it is doubly recommended as coming from you. But as to my Master, I know him too well, and am too happy in his service, ever to wish to run away from him. It is not in his service, which is perfect freedom, we encounter distress;, it is not with his commands, which are never grievous, that we are ever burdened. When we groan, being burdened, it is with the body of sin and death, from which we shall, in God's own time, most certainly be delivered
I do assure you, it gives me much pleasure to hear you, express yourself so strongly respecting your unalterable attachment to the everlasting gospel; and I can hardly conceive it possible you can omit any opportunity of hearing the Saviour's name spoken well of. You say, and I believe you, that the gospel trumpet is seldom sounded in your ears; but you have been blessed with the mes
sage of peace, twice in one day-accept my congratulations; your preacher was once a virulent opposer of God, our Saviour; surely, you will miss no opportunity of attending upon his labours,
Are your inquiries relative to the ten virgins for yourself? I believe not. However, thus I have considered this parable. The kingdom of heaven is likened unto ten virgins; observe, it is not the ten virgins are likened to the kingdom of heaven. He, Jesus, took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; it was not we assumed the likeness of the divine Nature. Five of those virgins, to whom the kingdom of heaven was likened, were wise, and five of them were foolish. Thus, was the kingdom of heaven likened to the foolish, as well as to the wise. They all slumbered, they all slept together; at midnight there was a cry made. What was the cry ? The bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. At midnight, when darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people; when vision ceased among the Jews, and the Gentiles were without God in the world, then was heard the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; and the wise men spread the alarm. Then all those ten virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps; both Jew and Gentile were roused; but the difference soon became visible : Five had oil in their vessels, with their lamps, and, by consequence, entered in; the other five, or other half of the kingdom of heaven, were shut out.
Thus, Jesus Christ teaches us, in this very striking parable, what was then the situation of Jew and Gentile. How they sustained one character in every particular, except the oil, the possession of which, entitled five to the epithet, wise, and placed them in the light; while the want of this oil kept the other half in outer darkness. The vessel is the memory; the lamp is the understanding; the oil is the light of the spirit.
How perfectly correspondent the figure. Thus the gospel was offered to the Jews; but shut up in darkness, they had no oil in their lamps; they could not, therefore, discern this glorious dispensation; they could not see the things which made for their peace; their lamps were gone out. And, said the Apostle, as you judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. The gospel was promulgated to the Gentiles; they had light, oil in their lamps. The Jews once had light, (to them pertained the prophets and the promises,) but their lamps are gone
out. And shall they not be relumed? Yea, verily, when the Redeemer shall come from Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob.Farewell.--I am ever your friend and brother.
To an Inquirer.
CCEPT my grateful acknowledgments for your friend ly epistle. I am extremely pleased with your generous expressions of good will to me, and with •the mildness and candour of your remarks, upon what you suppose to be my sentiments.
Your observations respecting purgatory are rather singular; I never heard such ideas thus denominated before. I am fully convinced that sooner or later, every sinner will be brought to a sight and sense of his transgressions, and to the knowledge of the Saviour; or in other words, being taught of God, which they shall all be from the least to the greatest, they shall know themselves, and this knowledge will be their death ; but in God their Saviour, whom to know is eternal life, they will find their resuscitation. I believe, in God's own time, the spirit of every man will be both wounded and healed; and that men will be brought home with weeping and supplication; and that they will be ashamed and confounded, for all that they have done against their faithful Creator. Thus saith the scriptures; and my full heart accepts every testimony
which is found in the sacred volume. I am persuaded what the sinner will suffer when brought home with weeping and supplication, when he is made ashamed for all that he has done against his faithful Creator, can hardly be conceived of, from any thing we are called to endure in the present state. As many as are slain by the killing letter, in the present world, in like manner as the Apostle Paul was slain by the commandment, are made alive in the present world, and having past the first judgment, the second death can have no power over them, they have judged themselves, and having thus done, the Saviour says, They shall not be judged,
You inform me, that you cannot conceive the loving kindness of God was ever sold or bought; and you add, that I have thus taught the people! Where, my dear Sir, and upon what occasion, did I say the loving kindness of God was bought, either literally or spiritually ? Bought! By whom, I pray? Not by man, surely.
I Alas, we are poor bankrupts! we became bankrupts in the garden of Eden, and in our individual characters we still remain insolvent debtors.
The scriptures indeed inform us, that our Saviour bought the people with his own precious blood; and the intelligence is truly glad tidings of glorious things. The Redeemer will be infinitely more careful of his purchase thạn we are of ours.
In fact, my admiration of the language of inspiration is daily augmenting, because I think it consistent. The sacred volume appears to me invariably to teach a doctrine, which renders glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will to men. induced to believe, that being bought with a price, we are not our own, that he, to whom we properly belong, has an indubitable right to our faithful and persevering obedience; and assuredly it is our interest, as well as our duty, to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
I believe there are but few who understand the doctrines of revelation, either among those who oppose, or those who defend these precious truths. I am apprehensive that there are not many of my hearers, who enter into the spirit of what I have laboured to make manifest. My prayer to God is, that both you and I, my dear Sir, may be so taught of God, as to be able to let our light shine before men, that they, seeing our good works, may be led to glorify. our Father who is in heaven.
I have, from time to ne, according to the extent of my abilities, endeavoured to make mankind acquainted with what God has done for them, well persuaded if they receive the glad tidings into their hearts, they will not only commence genuine believers, but that the same Spirit which makes them acquainted with the grace of God, will so operate upon their hearts, as to render them lovers of God, lovers of mankind, and of course, better members of society. I hope my labours have not been wholly in vain i mere opinions, as I believe, never rendered any man good or bad. An operative belief of the truth, as it is in Jesus, is a solemn, joyful, VOL. II.