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to the truth of this testimony. I should never be afraid of the enemy without, were I safe from his power within. It it here I groan being burdened.
Tell me, my friend, how do you go on? Do you find your strength proportioned to your day? How do your hearers conduct? Do they begin to think they are so rich that they need nothing, and do they therefore stay at home ; or if they do drag themselves to church, do they begin to find you are tedious, that you make use of repetitions, that you go too much about your subject, without coming to the point, and that you say a great deal too much on one thing ? Are they frequently ready to exclaim, Nothing but this manna. But perhaps you may have no friend, who would choose to communicate the intelligence to you, even if your hearers should thus express themselves. Yet I counsel you to prepare yourself for this, and even for worse, should you continue in your present character. God incline your heart to bear and to forbear one thing, as I trust, you will always have in your power, you will always be independent of the people to whom you preach.
You are solicitous respecting our sick folks ; they are better, but as the Doctor pronounces the disorder from which they have suffered, contagious, we are apprehensive for their attendants. However, for myself, I think not much of this'; every arrow, even the pestilential arrow has its commission. I should never hesitate to follow the calls of duty even to the bed of pestilence. I wish we could die without pain, or sickness; I am not afraid of death, but I shrink from its precursors.
I shall soon be obliged to turn my attention to the portion of sacred writ to which you advert, and then it is possible I may be able to give you my ideas thereon. I find a vast deal of profitable pleasure in going regularly through the prophecy of Isaiah. I have reached the 9th chapter. I wish I were able to communicate to you all it pleased the Divine Being to show, me as I proceeded ; but perhaps he will show it to you himself, and I believe you will have the sum and substance of the whole, at some future period, adorned with the graces of poetry, from your admired friend. She has very carefully sifted my discourses, and preserving the flower, has made them up in her own way I mean with respect to manner, and I need not, nor can I say, how much better they will appear in consequence. But you must not give her any hint of what I have told you ; if you should, it is ten to one but she will stand VOL. II.
To the same.
Go on, my
can never miss an opportunity of assuring you that I am, with fervency of affection, your friend and brother, and that I am right happy to find you my fellow labourer, may you continually see the good seed you are honored with the privilege of sowing, taking deep root downward, and bringing forth much fruit upward, to the praise of his name, who hath called you to be a witness to that truth, which hath been delivered by the mouth of all God's holy prophets, ever since the world began. I congratulate you that you have at length passed a happy Christmas, and that in your elevated transports, so many sensible friends have participated may their numbers still increase, and may you, with your increasing flock, feeding in the rich pasture of the good shepherd, go on from strength to strength, until you shall arrive where you shall no more hunger nor thirst. Yes indeed, your subject was truly glorious-pity it should ever
be thought old. We are, however, rapidly hastening to that world, where it will be ever new. friend, you will in no wise lose your reward, but you will have fre-> quent need to put up the prayer of the disciples, Lord, increase our faith.
I have often told you I am not a ready writer-I wish for my own sake I were. I hardly think my scripture expositions would be of any use to you ; you will find abundantly more satisfaction in receiving divine intelligence directly from the fountain head, from the source of light and life. However, I sincerely wish our friend's poetical paraphrase of the fourteen first chapters of Isaiah were in print-I have never seen any thing more excellent. I am glad you continue to love your hearers. I wish their rock may never cease to flow, nor they, as beloved of their God, ever cease to slack their thirst with its pure refreshing waters. I wish I could so believe, as never to make haste, and so stand still as to behold the salvation of my God. You are still wondering that I do not write, that I do not write copiously ; but when once I conceive highly of any person, and view him as my friend, and I must conceive very highly of any person,
whom I do view in that character. When I think I have made, or. rather when I think my merciful benefactor has kindly indulged me with an addition to my chief treasure, I tremble lest I should sink in the esteem of such a friend. I repeat, I never was designed for a writer, if I am any thing I am a speaker, and I really think I ought not to leap the barriers, which seem to be the handy work of nature. Yet it is grateful to hear you address me as your very dear friend, and if I do not respond, you will not continue thus to write. I have frequently written to and once thought I had very dear friends in that town, indeed I think so still; but if we had our resi. dence in the same place, we should not even then be near in every sense, yet my heart loves them, and it gives me no small satisfaction to know assuredly that we shall be very near, in every sense, when we meet in the kingdom of our Father.
I had almost come to a determination to close up my letter bag for your town, for you must know I have long since viewed friendly epistles in much the same light as a miser does his gold, and like him I have gotten a number of canvass bags to contain them, but I have once more opened my bag for - and I expect from you a considerable addition to my treasures.
I am exceedingly glad you are still determined to avoid that peace destroying subject, politics ; and I wish all your connexions were willing to make the same resolution. I bless God you are so well able to rise superior to the insults of a misjudging world, and that you are blessed with a disposition to treat with humanity, the unhappy beings who study to render you miserable. Indeed we can afford to regard our enemies with an eye of lenity, we can afford to be benevolent, uniformly benevolent, when we turn our eyes to an assured prospect of a future, permanent, and undisturbed repose. Indeed the felicity immediately resulting from our reversionary ex: pectations, exceedingly outweighs every species of trial that we can possibly endure, while travelling through this strange land. No doubt the covenant is in aļl things well ordered and sure. But alas ! there are times, while my lips pronounce this truth, that my heart reproaches me for feeling a complaining temper of mind.
How strangely sounds the apostolic admonition, when we consider to whom it was addressed That it should be necessary to caution the first christians not to suffer as murderers or thieves, as to that of busy bodies, in other men's matters. This is an error which I suppose was always extremely natural. Would it not be well to consider the propriety of classing these crimes together?