« ПредишнаНапред »
all which counteract the terrible artillery of Sinai, and maintain a door of hope, and hope expects a refuge, even under the heaviest discharges of that awful storm. Dreadful are the threatenings of God's profound judgments, and the verdict of the sinner's own conscience; but our own heart, when we are even in the horrible pit, will commend the righteousness of God; thus deep calls unto deep, and why is not the just sentence executed? Because a voice before the throne forbids it: it calls upon God for justice in the forgiveness of sins, and in cleansing us from all unrighteousness; and, in the sinner's conscience, there is an expectation of a voice that speaks better things than that of Abel, and the poor trembling sinner eagerly and impatiently waits for it. Yea, though heaven, earth, and hell, appear to combine against the sinner, though all refuge fail, and both heart and flesh fail, yet this hope in atoning blood banters the devil, weathers the storm, surmounts the gloomy regions, resists de-spair, and expects no less than the manifestation of the sons of God, and the inheritance with the saints in light.
This is the path that God leads his blind ones in, this is the path they know not; though they know they are in his powerful hand, and he compels them to follow him; though in chains, and with supplication and bitter weeping he leads them, looking through the dark cloud at him whom they have pierced, and mourning for him; though ashamed
and confounded at the thought, even of expecting such an undeserved mercy at the hands of a long slighted, much neglected, and justly incensed God and Saviour. This is something of the appearance, and some of the effects of the Saviour's first visit to the heart of a rebel. He comes as the most mighty, with his sword upon his thigh, and rides in his glory and in his majesty, while the heart of the enemy feels his arrows, and falls under him. Trembling attends his first approach, life works with his arrow, health attends his sword, and conquest waits on his bow; while truth, meekness, and righteousness, are the lasting, or eternal effects of his victory; “I will bend Judah for me, and fill my bow with Ephraim.”
The vessel of mercy that makes the desired haven, must know God's path in the mighty waters, he that wins the field in the fight of faith, must watch the sound of his goings in the tops of the mulberry trees; and those who enter the holy of holies shall first learn to know the goings of their God and their King in the sanctuary. None, my dear brother, teaches like him; his lessons bafile carnal reason, and expose the folly of our wisest schemes; but when he hath taught us to know our wants, he will teach us to know the banquet that he has provided, and to distinguish between the bread of saints and the husks of hypocrites. Christ is anointed and appointed, not to break the bruised reed, nor to quench the smoking flax; not to throw the lambs to the wolf,
nor to leave them that are great with young; he is the chief, the faithful, and the good Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep, and who received the sheep as the Father's gift to him, nor shall one sheep of his fold be lost, or one hoof of his flock be left behind. I have of late, according to custom, had a little furnace-work, to which I have been long in seasoning, and to which I am in some degree inured. And since that time of trial no small share of Satan's presence, aid, and assistance, which he lends to the old man, has fell to my share; and now I am keeping this sabbath, or day of rest, at home, laid aside through a long cold and hoarseness; as a dumb dog that cannot bark, or a dumb man in whose mouth are no reproofs; but whether at home or abroad, noisy or silent, I have you in remembrance, and subscribe myself ever yours in Christ Jesus,
Church Street, Paddington.
W. H. S. S.
To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
DEAR SIR, I RECEIVED RECEIVED your kind letter, and it gave me some
, comfort. You call me your brother in Christ. 0! how happy should I be, could I with confi.
dence write to you as such. Yet, Sir, was I to say I thought I had no part in him, I should do violence to my own conscience. The Comforter is far from me, for I am in prison and cannot come forth; although in this prison sometimes light and truth in the word is with me, which encourages hope; I do not feel so much terror as formerly, yet Satan does not like to give me up. O, Sir, he is a terrible deceiver! he often insinuates I am given into his hands to be deceived, which causes heavy work within; but I trust Jesus will appear, and say to the prisoner, Go forth. The Lord works in a mysterious way to our comprehension, yet it is all right: who, by searching, can find him out? How sure am I of what
you say, “His lessons baffle carnal reason, and expose the folly of our wisest schemes.' I am sure God's judgments are abroad in the earth; O! that he would be pleased to grant me an application of the atonement which causes a godly sorrow, and a repentance that needs never to be repented of, that I may be hid in the day of his fierce anger.
You, Sir, know more about me, I believe, than any man living, and I often think mine is a very singular case; but I know nothing is too hard for the Lord. I am very sure not one of Christ's sheep shall be lost; no, nor one hoof left behind: pot all the art of Satan, nor all his legions combined together, shall finally deceive one of his sheep. I feel myself a leper, a miserable sinner, in great need of being cleansed, very much hungering and thirsting after Jesus, knowing none but he can do me good. O! that he would see me again (for I think I have had a distant view of him), that my heart may rejoice! I go to no place of worship here, for I am in great doubt of all the ministers that I know; I am more and more convinced that they can beget only their own likeness: it was the false apostles that bewitched the Galatians, and I verily believe the false ministers bewitch all their hearers; little do they suppose that they receive Satan by the man. This I believe, which causes me to stay at home, though I am kept wrestling and pleading night and day, and searching the scriptures, for which I desire to thank God. I am in good hopes my wife will be a comfort to me; I think I can see something in her for good: my conversation leads to the awful end every one must make that dies out of Christ, and the need of knowing for ourselves pardon and peace; indeed she herself is sure of it. I am thankful to God you bear me on your mind; if it should be so that I can get from this Mount Sinai, I never desire to come here again. I am at times in very great distress and heavy affliction; when it is well with me you will soon hear of it. The Lord is good to me in providence, and has been pleased to take