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me to stray from my Father's house, in order to scatter a little of the good seed of the kingdom in a soil where I had not been before; and in my absence the enemy hath sowed tares among the wheat, and is gone his way. I listened to the good report and popular applause that was given to me, by my kind solicitors, of a preacher whom I had never known; and being much put to it for a supply in my absence, I readily exchanged with an incarnate devil, in the counterfeited rays of an angel of light, and so left my charge with one of the lewd hirelings, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. He is one of the children of base men, he is viler than the earth; I have brayed after him as after a thief, for he hath attempted to exclude them all from Christ, that they mightaffect him. To some he hath been a very lovely song, to others a builder up without a foundation, and the itching ears of others have been scratched; another, (who, like Doeg, hath been long detained as a prisoner before the Lord; or, like Peter, his soul has been in chains between two soldiers, I mean the flesh and the devil,) was set at liberty by a wonderful definition of the two stone figures at the front of Bethlehern Hospital; which definition was applied to Jonah and Hezekiah, the former, the preacher said, was raving mad; and the latter, melancholy mad. But this is no wonder, the scribes called the Master of the house Beelzebub, and this gentleman says the same of his household; but the preacher must go this strange way through Jericho, in order to bring the aforesaid gentleman into what he calls liberty, though to this day he is bound, and among the tombs, and seeking the living among the dead. Those that have longed for prophecies upon smooth things and upon deceits, have been greatly blessed; the painted sepulchres have all been touched over twice; the whited walls have had the brush upon them, and the tower of Babel hath been raised two stories; the chambers of imagery have been cleaned and fresh painted, but none of the high places have been taken away, the people still sacrifice upon them. Some who were never so low as the pots, have been like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and their feathers with yellow gold. Others are in the highest seats, who, so far from being delivered, like the Hebrew women, were never so much as upon the stools. However, I am determined to make no leagues with these Gibeonites; nor will I treat with such ambassadors; their clouted shoes, mouldy bread, and old leather bottles, are none of the things which bring glory to God in the highest, nor peace upon earth, much less good will toward men. Such wretches pretend to come to us because of the name of the Lord our God, but they bring none of those things with them that accompany salvation. I have shewed my determination to make no leagues with these hewers of wood and drawers of water; and in this matter I am brought into the sad pre
dicament of Nehemiah. Some praise the good deeds of this Sanballat, and repeat them to me, who are in alliance with him; but I am for no confederacy, nor do I dare to walk in the way of them that are confederate. This I have resolved in my mind, and I have no doubt but the God of Israel will be with me in this determination; for I know that by this man the devil is come down among us, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time; and I know that Satan hates me with perfect hatred, for my dear Master's sake. The old serpent seems to be very fiery, and some of his crooked generation begin to hiss not a little; but I have not broke through the hedge, therefore I do not think that he or“ they can bite me. The sun at noon day doth not appear more conspicuous to me, than the spirit of the devil communicated by this man; and as God hath discovered this to me, and brought me to be a man of strife and contention, I shall be emboldened as I go on.
I shall be a hind let loose. Many who have long fawned in feigned humility, begin to grin like dogs, and go round about the city; and some who have, in the general, been dumb, begin to open now.
I know God hath set me as a tower and a fortress, to try and know their ways, and I am sure that they will have neither dew nor rain but according to my word, for the Lord Jesus Christ hath spoken by me. But at this time I had need be an iron pillar and a brazen wall; for
I am sure that they will fight against me with a high hand and stretched out arm, and in great wrath; for they are zealously affected, but not well. But nothing but their cruel treatment to me will ever drive or wean my affections from them. When once the sounding of my
bowels is stopped, he will order me to take the sword, and teach me the use of the bow. Farewell; be of good cheer, and pray for him who hath so often and so long prayed for thee. God bless thee.
of God rule and reign in your heart so long as you are in your earthly tabernacle, and enable you to speak to others as an instrument in the Lord's hand, as you have done to
O! bless his holy name for bringing me under your ministry! Not but he could have blessed me equally the same one hundred and seventy miles off, had it been his good pleasure; but, Sir, you must have the honour of speaking his word to me as his mouth, and praised be his holy name for it.
To give you a particular account of the Lord's dealings with me is more than I can do, for I am what I always was, that is, a poor hand at writing; but, for about a year and three quarters, I was in dreadful bondage, and I thought that, instead of the Lord's blessing me, he was going to destroy me; and you, whom I formerly took to be my friend, became my enemy, but it was for telling me the truth. O! the enmity and rebellion that worked in my wicked heart! none can tell but them that feel it; and all against so good and gracious a God, whose thoughts are as far above my thoughts as the heavens are above the earth; bless his precious name, for his name is an ointment poured forth.
It was in the month of April last the Lord, by his Spirit, was pleased to visit me in so wonderful a manner, that I think I never shall forget it, at least I hope I shall not. I was about my work, and suddenly I felt such an inward change, that I never shall be able to describe. I said, What is it? What can it be? I went upon my knees to pray, but prayer was turned into rejoicing and thanksgiving; for the blessed Spirit operated so powerfully upon my soul, that he made me call God my Father, which I felt a reluctance to do, and withstood it as long as I could; being conscious of my guilt, like the poor publican, durst not look up; but these words