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quently complaining of his accommodations on the journey through life, especially as he knows it is no more than a journey, short, when the longest ; and while he sees so many of his fellow travellers, in circumstances much worse than his own. Glad of the opportunity, I hastily reply.—This last consideration is so far from contributing to my pleasure, that it is rather an aggravation. I feel in a great measure all the miseries I see; and this is one capital evil which serves to embitter my life. But certainly you will not say, that there are not many things which serve as sweeteners of life? have you not the light of life as a lantern to your paths? Yes; but give me leave to say, this serves to make the darkness visible. But you are thereby able to walk through the darkness. But I leave multitudes behind me. Have you not many choice friends 2 And I have many inveterate adversaries. Your friends are near, and industriously contributing to your happiness. My enemies, although at a distance, are ever shooting at me their envenomed arrows, and sometimes they take such aim, as effectually to transfix my peace. You have pleasure in reading the works of well instructed scribes. Yes; but I read as a glutton eats, till I lose my appetite, and spoil my digestion. You have pleasure in sentimental conversation with Christian friends. But I sometimes make them angry, and that makes me angry, first with them, and afterwards with myself. * How great must be your happiness when offended friends kindly forgive your petulances. How great must be my pain when I cannot forgive myself. The attachment of your friends, and their reluctance to part with you, should be a source of consolation. And how miserable to be necessitated to leave such friends. But you should find felicity in anticipating a future meeting. What, when this meeting will be only a prelude to another parting : You should reflect you will in no long time meet to part no more for ever.
Yes; but how many days of misery may first revolve, and how much of previous sufferings may I yet endure.
Then I suppose you are solicitous for a garden without weeds, a meadow without snakes, summer without heat, winter without cold, or, to present the sum total at once, you languish for a new heaven in the old earth.
Such are, I had almost said the impious repinings, which too frequently triumph over my more correct judgment. Would to God I were in possession of that uniform and calm resignation, so proper to the character I have to support. That I were content to go just where the spirit of truth shall point my path; a cheerful labourer in the vineyard of my Master-But O! this self ! this God dishonouring self! But can this same self the Almighty's will control? Can I take a step counter to his pleasure? O no, the supposition is replete with absurdity. If here, or there, still I am his creature, the creature of unerring Deity, and he will make such use of me as he pleases: and, gracious Father, let thy arrangements produce in thy wayward child cheerful obedience; give me to join the general choir of never ending praise. Shall I, because I have not every wish, unthankful feel? Shall I, so greatly blest abroad, at home, with friends, with friendship, precious gifts of heaven, unthankfully repine at heaven's high will, thus forfeiting the blessings I possess ? Shall I be thus indulged, the care of Providence, and yet complain my mercies are so few? Forbid it, heaven, that my tongue should thus speak, while mercies, clustering mercies, compass me about. | Give me, great God, with every other gift, that best of all thy gifts, a grateful heart; it is this alone which gives a zest to every other enjoyment. With this I'll patient wait thy gracious nod, and live or die, just as thy wisdom points. Let no rebellious muttering pass my heart. Give me in patience to possess my soul.
I am this day by appointinent to minister at the altar of my God. Divine Author of my existence, vouchsafe this day thy gracious presence. Give to my labouring bosom firm composure. Enable me, precious Redeemer of men, to stay myself on thee the God of my salvation, that I may calmly say to the acrimonious spirit of re
sentment, to every distracting care, as Abraham said to his attendants, tarry ye here while the lad and I go up to worship.
I proceeded to church under an unusual dejection of mind. I 1 entered the pulpit; a tear of despondence moistened my eye. I had not selected my subject. I opened the Bible. The prophet Isaiah presented a cordial; my bosom glowed; I was myself again. You may find my text in the three last verses of the forty-fifth chapter of our evangelical prophet:
“ I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
“ Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength ; even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.”
“In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Need I say that I expatiated upon these passages with immeasurable satisfaction, that they chased from my bosom every gloom, and elevated my soul in thanksgiving to the God of my salvation ?
After the close of the church service I passed the evening with Madam W.: a very respectable circle was collected ; a number of interrogations were successively proposed, and, having a large flow of spirits from the cordial so recently furnished by Isaiah, I endeavoured to return satisfactory answers; and every feature in a num ber of intelligent countenances seemed to assure me they listened joyfully to the sound of the gospel trumpet : until Madam W. observed, “Certainly every one that asketh receiveth, and every one that seeketh findeth."
“ Yes, Madam,” said a stranger, to whom I had not bcen introduced, and he spake with great asperity, and in a manner truly sarcastic, “but we never knew, until we had the happiness of hearing Mr. Murray, that every one receiveth, whether they ask or not; that they find, whether they seek or not."
I turned to this oblique objector, and recollecting that a soft answer turneth away wrath, mildly replied,
No, Sir, nor did the idea you suggest, originate with me. No one ever heard me say, that any individual ever found rest to his soul, until he discovered his misery, and called upon God for mercy; nor shall he find, until he seeks, and with persevering diligence,
the way of life; and, turning to the lady, I added, they are in an error, Madam, who suppose that I ever taught, or thought the unbeliever, or the sinner, could be found in a state of beatification. The only difference between me and my opponents is, I believe “that every eye shall sce, that every tongue shall confess,” and that the knowledge of God is followed by that peace, which passeth understanding. They teach, that millions shall be shut up in darkness through a never ending eternity. I believe that every individual shall in due time be separated from sin, and rendered fit to associate with the denizens of heaven. They believe, that millions of millions shall continue without a period to their heinous offences, to curse God, and their own existence, to the unspeakable gratification of that adversary, who from the beginning hath sought their destruction. Thus, as God has called into action every effort for their redemption, and as he has sworn that he wills the salvation of every sinner, as his spotless life, and suffering death, has proved ineffectual to snatch the ransomed prey from the almighty prince of darkness, combined with almighty man, he cannot obtain his will, and consequently must remain, worlds without end, unsatisfied. I have received your letter, and you have my thanks. You ask me from whence proceeds the passion for dress, universally manifested, more or less, by every individual 2 I answer, it took place in the garden of Eden. The first discovery, that the pernicious poison infused by the adversary, had become operative, was made in the answer given by our general father, on being questioned by his Creator. “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou? “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” If our fallen father, thus on the threshold of error, was rendered unhappy by false shame, it cannot be matter of wonder that his descendants partake his sensations? But this universal passion may be traced to a good or a bad source. If we consider Adam as stripped of his integrity, and the clothing him in the skins of the first animals, slain perhaps for that purpose, as typical of that robe of righteousness, which the lamb slain from the foundation of the world wrought out for them; dress becomes an interesting, important and glorious theme: but if it be made use of, as contributing to create undue pride, it should not be cherished, it should be returned to the author of every evil. I am not quite satisfied with our friend P He should hold up the light of life, and thus give light to all who are in the house. How can he put the light he has received under a bushel ? But I trust he will not continue thus to conduct. I trust he will do all in his power to spread abroad the savour of that name, which I am assured must be ever dear to his soul. Farewell; may God forever bless you.
This letter, my friend, may be termed a letter of
fragments; indeed many, if not all my letters, may be thus characterized. Frequently shifting the scene, I gather only from memory, and time is seldom allowed me, either to be circumstantial, or to methodize my ideas.
I preached last evening; it was not my intention to be thus employed; and when it was proposed I objected : after six o'clock, however, I repented, and the bell summoned the multitude. The congregation was large, and attentive, and I dwelt with much freedom on the 22d chapter and 18th verse of the book of Genesis. “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” I endeavoured, in the first place, to point out from Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, who this seed was ; secondly, a few of the innumerable blessings the God of Abraham promised to all the nations of the earth in this seed; and, thirdly, the cause assigned.
In the first place, it was beyond a doubt, if the testimony of Paul were admitted, that Jesus Christ was the seed of which God spake to Abraham; for, said that well instructed scribe, “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made, and he saith not unto seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ.” The truth being thus fully ascertained, respecting the seed, I proceeded,
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