Page images
PDF
EPUB

die also; he was nailed to the cross, and our old man must be crucified with him. The sword of justice was drawn against him, and the sword of the Spirit must pierce us; an horrible dread overwhelms him, and we must meditate terror; he drinks the bitter cup of divine wrath, and we must taste the cup of fatherly anger, for in a little wrath he smites us; he is deserted of his Father, and for a small moment have I forsaken thee, faith the Lord; he was bruised for our iniquities, and he will set at liberty them that are bruised; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and all the Lord loves he chaltens. They that are planted together in the likeness of his death, shall be planted together in the likeness of his resurrection; they that partake of the sufferings of Christ, shall partake also of the consolations; for as he was, fo are we in this world; the world knows us not, because it knew him not.

Those sweet frames and comfortable prospects, my son, are all earnest pennies of the rich grace thac fhall follow; every cordial is a forerunner of a fainting fit, and every fit a prelude to the cup of confolation. This is the day of adversity, in which thou must consider; the day of prosperity will succeed it, in which thou shalt be joyful. They that low in tears shall reap in joy; they that mourn shall be comforted; they that weep shall laugh; and they that hunger shall be filled.

If you felt power under my ministry; if it was fuitable, fweet, and comfortable, the Spirit must ap.

ply

[ocr errors]

ply it, the excellency of the power is of God; if · suitable, it was as nails faftened by the Master of assemblies; if sweet, it came from him whose mouth is moft sweet; if comfortable, it was from the con, folation of Israel. " But now all is gone, and you « are in a worse state than ever." No, my son, this is the best change that ever rolled over thee yet; the next visit sets thee upon the second round of Jacob's ladder; every future embrace will be attended with a sweet flow of godiy sorrow, which will lead on to a cordial reception into the divine favour, and into the happy enjoyment of pardon, peace, and love, and then comes repentance that needs never to be repented of.

“ But thou art too bold.” Not at all, my son; the self-loft, self-despairing sinner, who sues for hope in Christ, and puts his mouth in the dust to get it, may come boldly to the throne of grace; the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence to such, and the violent take it by force.

“ For thee to be the drudge to hunt them out « of their refuges, and then for them to come forth “ before thee," is, doubtless, enough to provoke thee to jealousy, considering that thou art the shep. herd, pastor, and leader of the flock. However, there must certainly be some discoveries of the beauty, comeliness, and excellency of Christ, or there never would be these debates, contentions, and scuffles, to know who shall step in first at the moving of the waters. Go on, my son, strive, run, wrestle, any

how,

how, so as thou canst but win Christ, and be found in him; and if thou canst not get first out, act Jacob's part, catch hold of the heel of every one that aims at the blessing, and tell them, that if they strive for mastery, they shall not be crowned except they ftrive lawfully.

« But thou want angry with me for comforting them.” Pray forgive me this wrong, for I was only the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Jehovah is the God of all comfort, as well as the Father of all mercies. There are many more grievous things in thine epistle, but they are all briefly comprehended in this faying, Jealousy is the rage of a man. My hope of thee, my son, is steadfast; none of thefe things move me; I have thee in my heart, to live and die with. I shall counsel thee to shew a little lenity; that is, after thou hast pulled their hair, fmitten, wounded, and stript them, that thou wilt endeavour to make reftitution to them as soon as the Lord Ihall comfort thee again, that they may receive damage by thee in nothing; and you can take this text, “ If « we are comforted, it is for your edification," &c.

God bless thee, my son; ever thine,

W. H. SS.

LETTER

LETTER LXIII.

To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.

Wa

MY VERY DEAR AND REVEREND SIR, w ifa,

It is an unspeakable blefling that ever your works fell into my hand, and more particularly that I have had the opportunity of hearing you preach; for I have been in bondage more than six years through the fear of death, and not knowing whether I should be saved or lost; but, blessed be God, when you was at G

i t pleased the Searcher of hearts to give you a text to suit my case, both in the first and second sermon, on the prodigal son. I heard a difcourse from the same text a little more than seven years since, but as the preacher did not appear to know either the prodigal or his Father, he could only preach to please men. I heard him again, but did not like him, for he was an Arminian; but my wife used to attend such men, and I used to go with her now and then, till at length we entered into some contention about religion, and I told her that my father knew the scriptures; but the said she hated to hear him talk about them, which staggered me greatly. Upon this I found that I was ignorant of

the the right way, and secretly prayed to God to teach me what was right, and I diligently read my Bible; but at length I got hold of an old book, written by a tinker, the title of it is “ The Sighs and Groans of the Damned.” In reading that book and my Bible, and praying to God, I got into a desperate ftate ;' and the author, speaking in the person of Dives, came so home to me, that I thought I was the very man; and is stirred up my conscience, and set me to work, to do something for Chrilt; and I used to say to myself, O, if I did but know what I might do for Christ! And, in this fruitless toil, I got worse and worse; for the wickedness of my own heart, the blasphemies of the devil, and vile representations of the Saviour, that were presented to my view, made me hang down my head like one melancholy,: not knowing from whence these evils came; and in this labour I got farther and farther from God, for whatsoever is not of faith is fin. Some time after this, I was at work in the capacity of a mason's clerk, and suffered many hardships on that account, for I fed from my own business for conscience fake, because I could not work on the Lord's day; and one day, as I was ruminating on my states, and pondering over these things, it appeared as if a dim cloud dropt from off my face, or, as Paul says, scales fell from my eyes, and then I faw where I was, and on what ground I stood, for God was come near to me to judgment; and an awful figure I cut before him, for all my fins stood

« PreviousContinue »