Page images

who is our temple and sanctuary, conveying life co various parts of the sea of this troubled world and healing them; and the effects of this healing is, that a multitude of fish appear wherever these waters come: and the appearance of these is intended to fet the fishermen to work, and so it follows-And it Joall come to pass, that the fishers foall stand upon it, from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim ; they fall be a place to spread forth nets; their filla hall be according to their kinds, as the film of the great fea, exceeding many. Ver. 10. Upon this river of life the fishermen are to stand, and upon every place where life and motion appear, or among those that seem to live and move, are the nets to be cast forth and spread out; but the miry p'aces and the marshes shall not be healed, they shall be given to falt (ver. 11), as Lot's wife was, for her unbelief; nut falted with grace, but falted with fire. . The speckles, that appeared on the fish in thy

dream want no explaration; thou wilt, in fome · future period, find enough of them to make thy heart ache. Whether the film were sent from London or not, I cannot tell; but the little life, truth, and power, that is among them, did at first principally found out from our little despised hill in this great metropolis. Thine ignorance in this business of fishing, and not knowing how to handle them, is not to be wondered at; the power that catches

them and holds them fast is from above, it is not of , us. Peter and his companions were taught this, by


[ocr errors]

toiling all night and taking nothing; but when the God of the sea and of the dry land gave the word, great was the draught of fishes.

Thy beginning, my son, is wonderful; you han. dled a mystery at your first setting off, which thousands who have been called gospel ministers never saw, even when they finished their course. To describe the rise of legal bondage, the entrance of it into the heart, the dreadful workings of it there; the rebellion, enmity, pride, and stubbornness, that it produces; the blindness, hardness of heart, and ignorance, that attend it; the dry, dead, and barren state of those that are influenced by it; and the hatred and malice that such souls harbour and cherish against all those that enjoy the love of God; together with the secret and sometimes almost imperceptible fermentations of this leaven of the Pharisees- is a work that well becomes an evangelist. A minister of the letter never saw it, therefore he cannot describe it; he that has ever felt the spirit of liberty knows its opposite, and will cry and pray for it; restore unto me the joys of thy falvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit; then will I teach transgressors thy way, and finners shall be converted unto thee. These are the men who are proper teachers; all others should be swift to hear and now to speak, and such men should be Now to wrath when wise men bid them hold their peace,

I have to tell you, with joy, that there are five places in the country where the word and power of

P 2


God hath founded out from our little despicable hill of Zion, and is going sweetly on; love, life, and light, spread their flames, streams, and rays, secretly abroad in a wonderful manner; the blessed work of travailing and bringing forth goes sweetly on, and those that come forth appear to be proper children, yea wise children, for they know their own facher, as God declares that all his children thall know him. In three of these places there hath been what is called the gospel preached for upwards of twenty years, and not one real child of God ever brought forth, that I have found yet; nothing but a spurious race of monstrous creatures, between a wolf and a fheep. A fight of this has fired my zeal not a little, and has made me with that I was an itinerant; and the goodness of God to his poor despised servant has humbled me in the dust before him, and excited my love and gratitude to him not a little ; and my affections, which met with such an extinguishing damp in the cruel treatment that I met with for conscience fake in London, have been more abundantly drawn out to these poor fouls in the country, infomuch that in every secret prayer of mine they are presented before me, saying, Tell my beloved that I on fick of love; or else, Fray come over to Macedonia and belp us. My honest and faithful fellow-labourer, Mr. Jerkins, labours with great success: God has set him to root up, to grub up, and to throw down, and he begins also to build and to plant, although he labours among a people who have been for years deceived, seared,

hardened, hardened, and braced up in nothing but an empty profession, by those daubers commonly called my L--'s men; and rightly named, for the greater part of them differ widely from what the scriptures call, a man of God; and this numbers in Lewes, and other places, now feel, lament, and confefs, with grief and sorrow of heart. My spirit has long been at G- , and I now hope for a prosperous journey to you by the will of God, and that I shall be somewhat filled with your company. The more I see my labours owned and blessed, the more my fingers itch to be at it; and should my God fill the hopes and expectations which I have long indulged

of thy usefulness, I think I shall have joy upon joy. · The old serpent loses ground; he has, for some years past, filled almost universally the pulpits of this country with a parcel of tools of his own trumping up, which he employs in his own interest, and uses them two ways : fome he sets to conterfeit the Spirit's work, and the grace that he produces in the souls of his people; and others are employed in ridiculing and crying down all the life and power of religion, and making it to stand in human wisdom, and in bodily exercise. But some few begin to have their eyes open, and to see the uselessness of these poor drones, and how they have been kept in bondage, starving in their souls, and wrecked with perpetual fufpenfe by them. Pray tender my kind respects to your spouse, and to all that love him at Gand believe me to be yours, in the strongest and best of ties,

W, H. S.S,


To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON,


I have been long expecting the favour of a few lines from you, and sometimes wondering what can be the cause of the delay. Satan cannot persuade me that you either neglect me or forget me, but that it is a multiplicity of concerns that occupy your time, head, and hands, and I doubt not but that they are all full enough; yet none upon earth would be more glad to hear of your welfare, success, and prosperity, than myself. It is true I have lost your burden for some time now, and perhaps before you Jost it, or at least about the same time. I bore a part of it for a while, and I had strength for the time to do it, and to plead the righteous cause of his servant with God; but this was given me for your fake, and a debtor I am to you, and that of more than I ever shall be able to pay. When I was with you last, I saw clear enough that God was on your fide, and that none of them that had risen up against you would prevail; that he had given you the necks of all your enemies; and that you would pinch


« PreviousContinue »