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Dear brother in the faith, and companion in tra
vail: meekness, fubmision, and resignation to 'the will of God, be ever with thee, through
Jesus Christ our Lord.
A chosen vessel, an elected brother, is born for adversity; chosen in the furnace, and ordained to afiliations. It is given in our behalf, not only to bec lieve in Christ, but also to Fruffer for his name : hence we are commanded to look to him that maketb the Seven slars and Orion, and turnleth the madow of death . into the morning. This shadow of death very much resembles the substance--the sting of death is feverely felt, the ministration of death is fet home upon the heart, the awful sentence passes, and the soul finks under it, the execution of it is both felt and feared, and the worst part, the pains of hell and eternal death, are imagined—which are attended with as much terror and torment as if real.
But it is but the shadow, not the substance ; it is the dark valley, not the bottomless pit. The
Spirit of life quickens the soul, creates a thirst for Jesus, dictates prayer, opens the word of truth to the soul, and allures it to hope and expectation; all which counteract the terrible artillery of Sinai, and maintain a door of hope, and hope expects a refuge, even under the heaviest discharges of that awful storm. Dreadful are the threatenings of God's profound judgments, and the verdict of the finner's own conscience; but our own heart, when we are even in the horrible pit, will commend the righteousness of God; thus deep calls unto deep-and why is not the just sentence executed ? Because a voice before the throne forbids it: it calls upon God for justice in the forgivenefs of sins, and in cleansing us from all unrighteousness; and, in the finner's conscience, there is an expectation of a voice that speaks better things than that of Abel, and the poor trembling: finner eagerly and impatiently waits for it. Yea, though heaven, earth, and hell, appear to combine against the sinner, though all refuge fail, and both heart and Aesh fail, yet this hope in atoning blood banters the devil, weathers the storm, furmounts the gloomy regions, resists despair, and expects no less than the manifestation of the sons of God, and the inheritance with the saints in light.
This is the path that God leads his blind ones in, this is the path that they know not; though they know they are in his powerful hand, and he compels them to follow him ; though in chains, and with supplication and bitter weeping he leads them, look.
ing through the dark cloud at Him whom they have pierced, and mourning for him ; though ashamed and confounded at the thought-even of expecting such an undeserved mercy at the hands of a longslighted, much neglected, and justly incensed God and Saviour. This is something of the appearance, and some of the effects of the Saviour's first visit to the heart of a rebel. He comes as the most mighty, with his sword upon his thigh, and rides in his glory and in his majesty, while the heart of the enemy feels his arrows, and falls under him. Trembling attends his first approach, life works with his arrow, bealtb attends his sword, and conquest waits on his bow; while truth, meekness, and righteousness, are the lalting, or eternal, effects of his victory- I will bend Judah for me, and fill my bow with Ephraim.
The vessel of mercy that makes the desired haven, must know God's path in the mighty waters; he that wins the field in the fight of faith, must watch the found of his goings in the tops of the mulberrytrees; and those who enter the Holy of Holies shall first learn to know the goings of their God and their King in the sanctuary. None, my dear brother, teaches like him; his lesions base carnal rea. fon, and expose the folly of our wisest schemes; but when he hath taught us to know our wants, he will teach us to know the banquet chat he has provided, and to distinguish between the bread of faints and the husks of hypocrites. Christ is anointed and appointed, not to break the
bruised reed, nor to quench the smoaking filax; not to throw the lambs to the wolf, nor to leave them that are great with young; he is the chief, the faithful, and the good Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep, and who received the sheep as the Father's gift to him, nor shall one sheep of his fold be lost, or one hoof of his flock be left behind. I have of late, according to custom, had a little furnace-work, to which I have been long in seasoning, and to which I am in some degree inured. And since that time of trial no small share of Satan's prefence, aid, and assistance, which he lends to the old man, has fell to my share ; and now I am keeping this fabbath, or day of rest, at home, laid aside through a long cold and hoarseness; as a dumb dog that cannot bark, or a dumb man in whose mouth are no reproofs; but whether at home or abroad, noisy or silent, I have you in remembrance, and subscribe myself ever yours in Christ Jesus,
To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
I received your kind letter, and it gave me some comfort. You call me your brother in Christ. O! how happy should I be, could I with confidence write to you as such. Yet, Sir, was I to say I thought I had no part in him, I should do violence to my own conscience. The Comforter is far from me, for I ain in prison and cannot come forth; although in this prison sometimes light and truth in the word is with me, which encourages hope, I do not feel so much terror as formerly, yet Satan does not like to give me up. O, Sir, he is a terrible deceiver! he often insinuates I am given into his hands to be deceived, which causes heavy work within; but I trust Jesus will appear, and say to the prisoner, Go forth. The Lord works in a myste- . rious way to our comprehension, yet it is all right: who, by searching, can find him out? How sure am I of what you say, “ His lessons bafle carnal “ reason, and expose the folly of our wiselt schemes.”