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night with my friend? What, though your night be dark and long? Yet hath not your Saviour given you a song in the night? Have you not been able to say, “Although I walk in darkness and have no light, yet will I trust in the name of the Lord, and stay on the God of
my salvation ?" Yes, my brother, God will bring you into his light, and make his goodness pass before you. Assuredly, all things shall work together for good.
Yes, I believe your affection for me, originates in your affection for the sinner's Friend, in whose name I spake unto you; and it is, therefore, right precious to my soul.
I experience great delight in attending to the word of life. I make
many discoveries, in consequence of essaying to make provision for my Father's children. I am delighted when the number of hearers increase ; and I am assured that, in due time, the number of believers will also increase; but at present I am far from supposing, that the number of believers increase in proportion to the number of hearers. There are, even among our preachers, those who do not appear to understand the truth as it is in Jesus. Indeed, how can they understand him, whom they do not know? Few, among preachers or hearers, appear to be taught by that Spirit, from which the prophets and apostles received their teaching. Much confusion is consequent upon this fact; the people are perplexed; the trumpet is blown with an uncertain sound ; and there are preachers, among the people, denominated Universalists, who, ignorant of the true character of Jesus Christ, cannot agree, even in the fundamental doctrines of our holy religion. It is truly astonishing, that so few have learned that, “It pleased the Father all fulness should dwell in the character, Son ;' that the gospel, preached by the Spirit of God unto Abraham, was true; which gospel declared, That in Christ Jesus all the families of the earth should be blessed. I trust, my brother, that you are taught by that Spirit, which taught the patriarch ; and that, believing what he believed, you give glory to God; and that, thus believing with your heart, you find peace and joy; such peace, and such joy, as the world could never give, and, blessed be God, which it can never take away,
There are, my friend, too many, who talk about the Saviour and his salvation, as they converse about news, or any other subject of minor consideration; their hearts are unaffected. With the heart, all those men who are taught by the Spirit of God, believe; and
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with the mouth, they make confession unto salvation. But, that which is written shall be ultimately accomplished, they shall be all taught of God; and such who are thus taught, will judge with righteousness, will walk uprightly, will act irreproachably, will feel happy, and will be proper subjects of that heaven, into which our Forerunner hath entered for us.
I have lately received letters from New-York, informing me that my friends, tile friends of the truth of God, have purchased a meeting-house, which belonged to the Lutheran Congregation; they have given me an invitation to remove to New-York-and their pecuniary offers are very handsome ; but my engagements in this place are solemn, they are indissoluble ; while life shall remain I cannot burst asunder ties so sacred, nor do I wish to break the ties which bind me to this metropolis. Were I not established in this town, I think I should make no permanent engagements any where; I should visit my friends from place to place, according to my former custom, uniting in various parts of this country, with those who delight in contemplating the subject, which, of all others, is the most likely to give the heart to burn with the fire of divine love, that is, the opening of the scriptures. The Redeemer of men will finally bless us in this way, he, himself, will open unto us the sciptures.
When I first commenced my ministerial career, as I was decidedly not commissioned by man, and as I was not positive any more than was the Israelitish Gideon of old, that I was sent of God, I determined to take every possible method to ascertain a point so important. I was persuaded if I were, indeed, an ambassador of heaven, the God, in whose hands I was, would teach me in the same huur what I should say, that he would incline the hearts of his people to hear, and, last of all, that he would dispose those, who received the words of truth, to administer to my necessities. I was, therefore, systematically resolved to take no thought what I should say ; never to solicit for a place, in which to speak; nor to ask any individual to hear me; and finally, I resolutely determined to take no method for procuring a pecuniary support.
It was, upon these terms, I began to promulgate the gospel of God our Saviour; and from each of these experiments, I have received an answer of confirmation. God hath never permitted me to want matter; it hath always been given me in the same hour what I should say. I have never suffered in the want of the real
enjoyments of life, and what is better than all, I have obtained a full assurance that the everlasting Father of our spirits, will perform all the good words he hath sent me to proclaim; that a crown of righteousness is reserved for me, and an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, which fadeth not away. Nay, more, my Saviour hath given me to know, that not on me only will he bestow this inheritance, but upon all those who love his appearance; and all who know him will assuredly love his appearance;, and all shall know him, from the least unto the greatest.' Observe, my friend, thus runs the text; from the least unto the greatest; not from the greatest unto the least.
But, who are the least, and who are the greatest ? Our Saviour, on the mount, answers this question : “Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven ; but whosoever shall do, and teach them, the same shall be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” But you see, my friend, this inimitable Preacher, who spake as never man spake, assures us, that both these characters are ultimately in the kingdom of heaven, because ** by grace sinners are saved.”
However, they will not be breakers of God's law, in the kingdom of heaven. The subjects of that kingdom, saith our God, shall be all righteous. Religious people, (I mean such as are religious according to the forms of this world,) being under the influence of the God of this world, believe as his Spirit teacheth them. They consider the devil, and all manner of sin and abomination, as eternal; and that death and hell will consequently be eternal. But those who are blessed with a knowledge of the religion of Jesus, who are under the teaching of his spirit, know that the devil is come down, having great wrath, because he is assured he shall reign but a little while; they know that Jesus will destroy every work of the devil; they know that death and hell shall be destroyed, and that there shall be no more pain. They know, because they believe the word of their Redeemer, that all old things shall be done away, and all things shall be made new. Well may it be said, Blessed are the people, who know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.
I long, my brother, to know how you do, both in temporals and spirituals ; but most of all in spirituals, because spirituals are of the most consequence, even here; for in the knowledge of redeeming love, and in this love, of the things which make for our peace, our eternal peace, we obtain what nothing earthly gives or takes away; we obtain the soul's calm sunshine, and we possess genuine heart-felt joy.
Remember me to all who love our Lord Jesus; I hope you and yours, are in the enjoyment of health. Adieu, my friend;
I am as usual,
Delivered by request, to the brethren of St. John's Lodge.
HEN we hear an illustrious brother declare, that we have need to be often reminded of what we so well knew before, an apology upon the present occasion, respecting the subject, may be deemed unnecessary; and when I add, that honoured by your choice and pressing invitation, I stand up as a monitor, to stir up your pure minds to a sense of the importance of our theme, of its magnitude, and exhaustless worth, however incompetent I may be, to an undertaking so arduous; although many of my honoured brethren, in whose presence I now stand, are abundantly better qualified to discharge this trust with honour to themselves, and advantage to the fraternity; yet I will not so far betray a want of respect to that judgment, to whicli I am indebted for my election, as to fatigue you with those pleas of inability, which candour may characterize as superfluous.
Ye know your calling brethren ; your calling is an holy calling; ye are children of the light, of that true light, which shall ultimately illumine every man that cometh into the world. You were sometimes darkness, when you
your conversation according to the course of this world, and possibly you may have joined with those, who are in the habit of speaking evil of things they could not understand. But the secret of the Lord, which hath never yet been manifested to the great mass of mankind; the mysteries which, to the
world in general, are yet unknown, and which, no individual in the world can know, until he is brought into the light, which can alone manifest, what the darkness conceals. With this secret, and these mysteries, you are made acquainted; and I have confidence, that your institution will add lustre to an order ever ennobled by virtue.
Your monitor stands not up to teach; you are not now to be taught the first principles of your craft. But I am appointed to provoke, and you are assembled together for the purpose of provoking one another to love, and to its genuine effects; to that-love, which invariably issueth in good works.
It was for this purpose, that our transcendently august Master called us out of darkness, into his marvellous light, that we may let our light shine before men by love, and the labours of love. But who can love what does not appear lovely? And who that hath not love, can perform the labours of love?
We are, however, called upon, after giving the best affections of our hearts to the supreme Architect of all worlds, to love our brethren, brethren who are collected by infinite wisdom, and connected by the strong cement of infinite love. . These brethren, we are to love as ourselves; and we are commanded to love our species in general, whether friends or enemies, with a love of pity and compassion ;. nor are we destitute of the strongest incentives thus to do. Our supreme Head, the adorable Redeemer, though descending among us tabernacled in clay, has, nevertheless, so far made himself known unto us, that we can behold him with filial reverence, as the perfection of wisdom, power, and love. His visdom stands conspicuous in his plans; his love, in the beneficent designs, manifested in all his gracious plans; and his power, in the execution thereof.
He who built all things is God; and for his pleasure, the things that are made, were formed. Ye free, ye accepted masons, ye are called out of darkness into light, that ye may alternately labour and rest; ye have your origin from your illustrious, your transcendently illustrious, and right-worshipful grand Master, who was before all things, and by whom all things consist. The model of his plans were formed in his own eternal mind; and in his comprehension, all worlds from eternity existed. He formed materials; he commanded, “ Let there be light, and there was light.” When he had brought order out of Chaos, and reduced tumult to peace, he raised from the dust the figure of himself, and fearfully and wonderfully