Page images
PDF
EPUB

tended) understanding of the prudent. They are zealousy affecting one another, but not well; and, if God prevent not, so they will find it. Their outward pretence is against the man and his bad fpirit, as they suppose; but the ground of it is, because they cannot bear the light, neither will they come to it; and, in effect, it is saying you speak by the spirit of Satan: so that I find it is not so much the man they are fighting against, as the spirit that speaketh in the man; and all under a feigned pretence for the glory of God. Is Christ divided ? No; blessed be his holy name he is not. It appears to me to be no less than doing despite to the Spirit of grace, or sinning against the Holy Ghost. They are upon the verge of a precipice, which, if they get in, will drown them in destruction and perdition. ✓ Woe unto them, for they are going in the way of « Cain, and running greedily after the error of Ba- . “ laam for reward, and will perish in the gainsaying « of Korah! These are spots in our feasts of cha“ rity; bringing an evil report on the good land; " when they feast with us feeding themselves with« out fear; clouds without water carried about of 5 winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, « twice dead (dead fpiritually here, and in God's account dead eternally hereafter; and so they will

find it, when God shall pluck them up by the « roots); raging waves of the sea foaming out their 5 own fhame; wandering stars, to whom is refi ferved the blackness of darkness for ever.” I de

clare

clare I tremble, while I write, at a view of their awful state. · I lately saw a book that is published against you; but, blessed be God, he gave me eyes to see into the spirit of it. The author's drift seems to be inintended to spoil your usefulness as a preacher, under the pretended love of a friend. Satan may stalk about in his white robe and deceive many, but, blessed be God, he shall never finally deceive God's elect. We have had some spitfire work amongst us concerning you, but it has turned out for good, as we begin to know who is on the Lord's side. It has had a good effect upon me; it has stirred up such a zeal, which I hope is according to knowledge, that I have not lately felt, in standing up in defence of the truth; I can speak it without flattery, which I hate. I have found more love to you for the truth's sake, since these things have happened, than I ever felt before; and have read your books, as it were, with new eyes, though they have hacked, cut, and smote me, and sometimes comforted me. But comfort I seldom get any where, though others say they have been comforted by me. Your book entitled Living Epistles, and Light Shining in Darkness, haye been made a blessing amongst us. I heard fome say that your Living Testimonies were a golden store to them. Į shall finish this part with David's prayer; “ Keep back thy servant from presumptus ous fins, let them not have dominion over me; " then shall I be upright (in him), and I shall be

« innocent

innocent from the great transgression; and let the K words of my mouth, and the meditations of my « heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my “ strength and my Redeemer.”

I Mall now, my dear friend, attempt to give you some account how I have gone on since you was so kind as to send me your last letter, and may the Lord make me plain, simple, and honest in it; for I have a strong propensity in me to keep back fome things from you that I go through, and also to put in others that I ought not; I find any heart deceitful, and desperately wicked. I have been chiefly in darkness since I wrote to you last, except fome small intervals, when a blessed ray has darted into my soul, and I have felt as if it had diffused itself through my whole foul; it has been momentary, but very satisfactory for the time, and then all shut up again, and I, like Abraham, returned to my own place. Sometimes I have felt as if I had no changes, and have been, as it were, challenged to find a warfare in my soul, and, upon examination, I could not distinguish that I had; and from these sensations have drawn a conclusion that all was a blank, that I had been deceived into a profession, and had only mocked God, and hitherto deceived his people, and really I felt as if I never had known the ways of God at all: this in the end has been a fore travail. In this state I have even longed for former experience, the terrors of the law, &c. but could not come at them, and have begged of God

to

[ocr errors]

to begin his work in me. This seemingly indifferent ftate has been worse to me than all that I ever felt in all my life. I remember, as I sat at my work one day in this state, sadly troubled indeed respecting my soul (it was on the gth of last November), I was praying earnestly to the Lord to deliver me from every weight, and to reveal his Son in me; these words suddenly came into my mind, “ I will Jew thee great and mighty things that thou knoweli For not." I thought they were surprising words, but I would let them alone till night, and then I would have a search for them. Night came, but I could not find them at all; I searched betimes all next day, but I could not find them, and began to think it was from another quarter; however, at night, I thought I would once more search, but in vain. I did not know what to do; I thought to myself, will it be presumption to put up a petition to the Lord respecting it, to know if it came from him or Satan? The scriptures say, thought I, “ that all things are < possible to him that believeth.” However I put up a pepition to the Lord nearly in these words: Lord, thou knowest I cannot find it; be pleased, if consistent with thy divine will, if the passage came from thee, to direct me where to find it in thy word, I had some idea in my mind, and was going to look for the 33d chapter of Ezekiel and 33d verse; but some how or other I made a mistake, and turned to the 33d of Jeremiah, and fixed my eyes immediately upon it. I was astonished to think I

was

was answered directly. But what great and mighty things these are, I know not, though I have not a doubt but I shall know hereafter. I told my wife, if the passage was from the Lord (which I had no reason to disbelieve) I should soon have Satan at me. Not long after, as I sat by the fire musing on these wonderful words, this was secretly, but powerfully, whispered to my mind,“ This night thou shalt “ die.” I thought, can this be what the Lord means? I concluded it might, and to confirm it I began to feel as if death was making inroads upon me; I was all in a tremble, and began to feel very weak. I got up and began to walk about, but felt myself weaker and weaker, was ready to stagger in my walk, and was in a cold sweat; I took some ginger, and got some camomile tea made, but I could not get rid of my feelings. As I walked about I began to consider the words; I thought they said, “ This night I shall die ;” but if it comes from God it must be according to his word, and I do not remember that there are such words in the Bible. I suspected what quarter it came from, began to cheer up a little, and ventured to defy the devil to find such a pallage in all God's book. The tempter began to leer off, and I really imagined I felt him leaving me; but my feelings did not altogether go off till I fell alleep. Praised be God, I am now a living experimental witness that the devil is a liar. And althogh I thought I mould be rempted if it was from Got, so blind was I when

the

« PreviousContinue »