Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

the Saviour, is verily a God that hideth himself; and when he does so, who then can behold him? At these times his wonders in the land are obscured, and his commandment is hid. The hills of Judah flow neither with wine, nor with milk. Wisdom refuses to sleep with us, and even to talk with us; we seek him, but he is not to be found; we call him, but he gives us no answer. Looking up, recoils with grief; and looking to months past, is attended with aggravation. We have been driven, yea, wooed and won from all earthly enjoyments and wholly absorbed in divine and heavenly realities; and now dead to the one, and bereft of the other. But faith must be tried. The adversary salutes us with the old taunt, “Where is now thy God?” The old man, which we thought to be crucified, dead, buried, and for ever gone, rises again in a worse appearance than in Samuel's mantle; for he appears with seven heads and ten horns, and all his members more clearly and more distinctly seen than ever they were before, and if possible more desperate, and all against the empire of grace, with Satan at the head of them; a true emblem of the Gog and Magog army encompassing the camp of the saints; and the worst of all is, Jesus is not to be found. But we must have an engagement in the wilderness, before we return in the power of the Spirit, in order that our sonship may be confirmed in us, and that we may know, by blessed experience, that his grace is sufficient for us. In these trying times every bait that can possibly

gratify flesh and blood will be hung upon Satan's hook, and all our former pleasurable sins will be presented to view, and the natural enmity and rebellion of the heart not a little stirred up; which, to a soul reconciled to God, appears a strange thing. But this is the time for the believer to quit himself like a man; to be constant in prayer, though no answer is given; to be diligent in the means, though nothing appears to be gained by trading; to be much in private, though followed up by the worst of company; still to seek him, though it appears to be labour in vain; to read, although every thing runs against us; and to watch his hand, though we see not our signs, nor one token for good. When we have laboured through this fiery trial, faith appears more precious than gold, the way more clearly cast up, and our feet to stand in a more even place. I now commit thee to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build thee up, and to give thee an inheritance among all them that are sanctified, by faith that is in Christ Jesus; and remain, in the best of bonds, your friend and servant for his sake,

Church Street, Paddington.

W. H. S. S.

LETTER III.

To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.

My dear friend, where shall I find you; and where am I to look for you? I have been now a whole month or more seeking you, and my thoughts roving from shore to shore in pursuit of you; often saying, O! that I had the wings of a dove, I would find him out wherever he is, even if he is gone over the Atlantic ocean! I do believe I must soon go out in search of you; not lest peradventure you have been cast upon some mountain, or into some valley, for I am persuaded the everlasting arm will never let you drop down, nor will the good Shepherd ever let you slip out of his hand; but what I fear is, lest you

should

get into the fiery chariot before I see you. The Lord knows how much I have longed for you, my heart has been with you wherever you have been; and seldom or ever do I go on my knees but you come in my mind: I know not why; for I cannot think you want my poor prayers, though I so much

I am at present poor enough, and seem contented in my poverty; this I do not like; I dread carnal ease, which I often find is ready to creep in. Since I saw you last I have at times been more comfortable in my soul than ever I

need yours.

have been in my life. The scriptures seem to open to me with more ease than usual, not only those you hinted at, but others besides; and my spirit is more sweet, less wrath and bitterness in delivering my discourses; I cannot fetch that on my soul again if I try at it, nor can I bring it into my discourses if I was to attempt it. But this is only growing in knowledge; I am afraid of it at times, it does not please nor satisfy me; I contend with the Lord about the way, and am still for having my own, and sometimes choose strangling rather than life, because I cannot get it. This is the way I go on.

If there is a little enlargement, and an appearance of coming out, then I fear I have not been long enough nor deep enough in; and when the dark day comes again, then I conclude that I have now been so long in, that I never shall come out to see light. What would I give if I could continue in the same frame as I delivered a few discourses in soon after I saw you last; the savour of them seems to abide still, but have not been able since to enter so largely into the field. No, no, my barrenness has again returned, and I cannot see that I am yet successful; the inhabitants of the world have not yet fallen, nor have I wrought any deliverance on the earth. I do not know that I am good for any thing, except it is to murder, and that I do not like at all; I wish to communicate life to dead sinners, this I would like. There is now a person at T. on the borders of Kent, who, I am told, used to rave most desperately against God's sovereignty, and having heard much about me, came to hear me, whom God struck with an arrow. He went home and got to bed, but has never been out of it to this day; he is in black despair, and his flesh wasted from his bones; he cannot endure to be alone one moment, and talks of nothing but the sermon he heard, and of strange things going on at Lewes. There is a talk of more forces being raised to root out all the errors from this place; but I know what the sword of all those can do. What I want is to see the dead raised, and made to stand on their feet. God Almighty bless you. .

J. J.

LETTER IV.

To the Rev. J. JENKINS.

KEV, SIR,

I am now in my old hut, but not in a peaceable dwelling, nor in a quiet resting-place; for it begins to hail, coming down on the forest, and the city (at present) is low, in a low place; and blessed are they that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

A kind and pressing invitation hath caused

« ПредишнаНапред »