Графични страници
PDF файл

glory of the Lord in his happy deliverance, and see the leadings of his providence, and the light of his countenance directing his ways. The way of every coming sinner is hid, for he is led in a way that he knoweth not, and in paths that he hath not known; and if his way is hedged up with thorns, these thorns are intended to prick his conscience, that he may not pursue the old paths of the destroyer. The long-suffering of God toward us, when reflected upon with the buddings of hope, and the expectations of pardon, lead us to repentance; we begin to loathe ourselves, and to feel for, and mourn over, a much-abused Saviour. This influence is pure and truly evangelical, and not legal; for legal operations lead us wholly to pity self, and to rebel against God. The former is drawn forth by believing views of a reconciled father, the latter springs up from the conceptions of an inexorable judge. Whatever discoveries thou hast had of the sinfulness of thy nature, thy past life, and of thy assumption of the ministerial office, without either call to it, or qualifications for it, it is light that hath made it manifest, for, "Whatsoever doth make manifest is light;" wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and come to Christ, and he shall give thee light. God hath done great things for thee; how many poor, blinded, presumptuous, young coxcombs, have run into the sacred office, blinded and puffed up by Satan, with no other sanction than that of old women. They may well be called, My Lady's

men, for they know nothing of, My Lord; but God hath arrested thee, and undeceived thee, and convinced thee of the need of a better patron, while numbers of them are left to run on, deceiving and being deceived, and darkening counsel by words without knowledge. All fruitfulness, my son, depends upon union with the living Vine; God doth not expect grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles, any more than we do. All that are in Christ by the Father's choice, and that are preserved in Christ and called, must be purged before they can bring forth fruit; every branch in that covenant Head the Father takes in hand, and thou must be purged, not only from thy old sins, but from the whole of thy former profession, from thy former ministry, and from all thy false confidence in it: and these purging draughts are not palatable, though they are profitable; bitter herbs must be eaten with the passover-offering, and we must drink of the wine that Wisdom hath mingled, as well as of the new wine of the kingdom. The work goes sweetly on; God works, and thou canst not let it. He hath long worked in thee to will, and he is beginning to work in thee to do also; faith is struggling, hope is abounding, and the captive exile is hastening that he may be loosed, that he may not die in the pit, and that his bread may not fail. God bless him.

W. H. S. S.


To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.

I CANNOT but return many and sincere thanks to my best of friends for the savoury and sweet morsel he sent me in his last. There I found it, and I eat it, and it was the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Some hints dropped in it led me into a large field; and the matter was so suitable and applicable to my own case, that I am persuaded none but he who knows our thoughts, and wants too, could direct you to send it. O! how sweet is the light! and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. But I am unworthy of the least of his mercies. Q! what a heaven it is to enjoy his presence, though it is but a little! I cannot describe unto you what a comfortable, sweet, and glorious season I had last Sunday night, in delivering a discourse from that portion; "In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack." I could not but be astonished at my light, the power I felt, my readiness to speak, and the home-strokes I could give the conscience of the sinner, and then go away without stopping to belabour him for half an hour together with the terrors of God, which, I believe, only confounds,

darkens, and hardens him. Nor was I elated of carried away with glee; but a sweet, humbling, melting frame, followed, such as I feel at certain seasons, particularly of late, in private with the Lord. O! how I do like such seasons of weeping and mourning at his feet! But oh! such as these come but seldom! I wish they were oftener. I delight much in them; nor do I wish, at present, to be raised higher, nor aspire to high things. It is my wish that the Almighty would humble me as much as he pleases; and that his blessed Spirit would give me much of this godly sorrow: godly sorrow I hope it is, for I find my spirit much meekened under it, more resigned to the Lord's will and way; and it is my desire that he would not suffer me any more to contend with him for my own way, for he has never come in that yet. When I have prayed him to remove my pain, my troubles, distresses, and darkness, and to make me easy and comfortable, I have not succeeded; but when I have asked for patience to bear, and resignation to his will, he has hearkened to me, and I find he gives it me. Why should he take the yoke from the neck of such an untoward, restless, stubborn bullock, that was never accustomed to it before, and was so loth to bow his neck under it? and why should he let a proud aspiring rebel into the highest room, before he has sat in the lowest place? He never will do so. We must first sit alone and keep silence. Indeed I find the lowest place a sweet situation; I never

thought it was so. I had formed an idea of a dreadful hole; I looked for and expected greater punishment; I lived in expectation of more wrath revealed, and my chains to be yet made heavier, and can hardly believe somehow that the Lord will let me escape so light. I have long feared and dreaded greater torments; but, instead of that, quietness and peace I feel, and hope and joy springing up within. I cannot tell you now that I can see my life secured; but I can tell you that I am at present quiet, happy, and comfortable, come what will of me. O! my friend, and dearly beloved, go on! no enemy shall ever prevail against you; every one that contradicts shall be found a liar: what they shall say or do stands for nothing; but what God hath said will stand for ever. My cold is something better. God bless




To the Rev. Mr. JENKINS.

I AM thankful to my God, my son, that any morsel of savoury meat should be communicated to thee through the instrumentality of so unworthy a servant. There are very few whom

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »