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CORRESPONDENCE OF THE LATE YOUTHFUL H. A. HARRIS.
LETTER IY. TO MR. J- SMY DEAR Joseph,
I have at length received a letter from you, but not until a vast variety of surmisings had taken good hold of me. I do not approve of your excuse, because, although I feel much for you under your depression on account of your not having the government on your own shoulders ; still you have been as uncomfortable, and yet have written to me. However, when I began writing, I intended to scold you well, but I cannot do so; supposing I never met you again, the reflection would be more bitter than Mara's waters. For your sake, for my other dear friend's sake, and for my own sake, I cannot be unkind to you now. May the Prince of Peace bless you with his light, love, and presence; so will we bow down in sweetest unity at the brow of that hill where Christ our passover was crucified for us. I have nothing to write to you about, unless you are content to have the “New Song_Worthy is the Lamb." Oh! for a glimpse of His radiant beauty. Oh! for a single smile from His affectionate countenance. Oh! for a Holy-Ghost-revealed vision of His matchless perfections; then we would indeed say, “ I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is. mine; he feedeth among the lilies.” Is it so ? can it be ? things so vile, wretches so base, to be blest with such a condescending Lord. Oh! look not upon me because I am so black. “Nay,” saith the Prince of Peace," "thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee."
“ Jesus, thy righteousness divine
Is all my glory, all my trust;
While Jesus lives, and God is just.
Angels might envy such a dress;
A robe like Jesu's righteousness." I am rambling a little, but not in matter, only in manner. I am willing that my letters should be deficient in style, so they are not deficient of Christ; if you do not agree with me, say so. But I am unkind to you, my friend. I know you have not so learned Christ as to prefer the shadow to the substance, the binding to the book, or a worm to Jesus. I am very sorry at the sorrowful tone of your letters. Is it not a spiritual mercy that “ But for feeling, you are lifeless” &c. ? Are not your rich desires evidences that your heart is right with God? And I write with reverence when I say that our antitypical David would rather His redeeming right hand, which vanquished principalities and powers, should cleave to his side, and that his mediatorial tongue should cleave to the roof of His mouth, than that His honour should be lost by your damnation. And yet, my friend, you can do nothing. May the Testifier of Jesus in covenant power bring your hand, strewed with the blood of sprinkling, to the head of the scapegoat; there may you read your title clear to the inheritance of the saints in light, and may I be with you. Am I selfish? do I not long to see the sinner's friend? Forget me not when you have an interview with Jesus; tell him I long to cast anchor within the veil, and call him mine for ever.
Give my love to your inestimable wife, and tell her there is not a blessing I ask at the throne of grace, either for you or me, but I pray that she may partake thereof
I remain, iny dear Friend,
H. A. HARRIS.
6, Castle Street, Reading,
August 14, 1836.
MERIT.-Upon the ground of merit, I believe the world to be more worthy of heaven, than the real church of the living God. Why? Because it has never sinned against covenant love, rich grace, and the sweet manifestation of divine favour. To rebél against a Master is bad, but how much worse is rebellion against a kind and loving Father !
To-MORROW.--You will not have to-morrow's strength till to-morrow comes to need it.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
TO “HANNAH,” OF LEWES. The blessing of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, is in store for thee, Hannah; nay, even now it is descending upon thee; it comes in the way of ardent desires-fervent breathings—and hungerings and thirstings after the bread and water of life. These are the sure earnest, pledge, and forerunner of the blessing; the cry for faith springs from faith; the desire after Jesus shows that he has passed by, and wooed and won the heart; the earnest longing for divine teaching is a demonstrative proof that the eternal Spirit has illumined the benighted understanding. Thou mayst feel“ forsaken and alone;" but what does it prove ? that thou art a mourner after him thy best friend; and he says, “ Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” He is no fickle friend; he never gives himself, finally to withdraw again. Oh, no!
“Did Jesus once upon thee shine ?
Then Jesus is for ever thir.e." He will come again, Hannah! again will he appear, and comfort thy sorrowing heart, as he did thy namesake, in the first chapter of 1st of Sam. She was a woman of a sorrowful spirit,” as art thou; but the Lord in his own time, having given her the desire of her heart, again brings her forth singing, "My heart rejoiceth in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord ; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies ;' and thus shalt thou sing, Hannah, when the time~"the set time to favour Zion is come.” The Lord hasten it for his great name's sake.
TO "A. B.," OF CASTLE CARY, SOMERSET. THAT “human nature and mere intellectual gratification will carry men to great lengths,” is very true ; but, beloved, where these, and these alone, are the operators, there is not the restlessness the disquietude—the fear of being deceived, of which you are the subject. Why can't you settle down satisfied with self and self's attainments ? Why not listen to the cry of “ Peace, peace,”—to the “prophesying of smooth things ?”
Eh? You say, “Tell me, if you can from this brief outline, whether you think mine is a spiritual warfare, or the mere workings of natural conscience ? Go to the Lord, and ask the same question. Tell him what your apprehensions are, and beseech him to decide the doubtful case. Happily, you seem to be such a hesitating, restless sort of a being, that if we were to tell you it is the warfare of which the Apostle speaks in his epistle to the Romans, you would not be satisfied, but would soon begin to doubt again. You want the word of a King to be spoken home to your heart and conscience; for you know that where the word of a King is there is power. Well, that in the King's time you shall have. But remember in the meanwhile where your place is—a waiting posture, coupled with importunity. Do not be afraid of giving offence by earnest pleading. Strange as it may appear, the King of Zion is fond of importunate beggars, earnest pleaders, and those that have impudence enough not to take No for an answer. There was one Jacob of this sort that had the hardihood to say, " I will not let thee go, except thou bless me ;” and there was a woman who when told it was “ not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it unto dogs," presumed to say, “ Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their Master's table." And both these braxen-faced beggars prevailed. With reverence we state it, that even the King of kings was too tender, compassionate, and kind, to withstand such appeals.
Is there not then encouragement for you and us, poor soul? We say there is, and let your conclusion be what it may, ours is, whilst there is such a mercy-seat open, and such a King upon the throne, to come as poor, needy, tattered-and-torn beggars, sueing for aid; and if the King seems to tell us we are "too naked, too filthy, too loathsome, and bare,” in the importunity of his own Spirit, we will tell him that it was the fact of his coming to seek and save such, that emboldens us to plead.
A “HOPER IN MERCY," CHIPPENHAM. What! a “hoper in mercy" in that little place where we spent a miserable three or four hours a month or two since, by an accidental detention of the train ? How gladly should we have greeted such a one ! Well, the time is hastening, when every barrier shall be removed, and we shall know even as we are known; in the meantime we say unto our brother that is "hoping in mercy," in the language of the poet:
“He will not put your soul to shame,
Nor let your hope be lost.”
TO “W. W.," OF UPPER JOHN STREET. “ You have given it all up for lost," have you? Then what did you write to us for ? According to this testimony, the matter is done with-set at rest, such a rest as it is. And pray are you gone back into the world, and now taking your fill of sin-rolling in iniquity? Do the ball-room, the card-table, the theatre, suit you? Does the society of the vain, the worldly-minded, the profligate, afford you any pleasure? Or do you seem lonely, desolate, and sad ?. Is there a certain restlessness and dissatisfaction in all and about all for which you hardly know how to account? You have “ been told by a Christian friend, that he now believes you never knew anything experimentally;" and you " readily believed him;" well now tell us with what sort of feelings that belief was attended. If we may take your own comment upon the matter just as you have expressed it, you did not rise in a spirit of indignation, and inquire who made him a judge? how dared he presume to question your religion ? and so forth ; but you at once fell under the charge-you gave credence to it. And, with an admission of your apprehensions of the truth of his opinion, did a sigh imperceptibly burst from the heart-an unconscious tear trickle down the cheek-an involuntary inquiry emanate from the bosom,“ Lord, is it so ? Am I a hypocrite? Has all been a delusion? What! shall I prove a castaway after all ?” If you could reply to these inquiries, your answer would speedily give us a reply to your questions. But this we may tell you, poor soul, that, judging from the general tenour of your letter, we believe you could reply in the affirmative; and as surely as you, or any other of our readers, can do so, without a mere assumption, or doing violence to your conscience, so surely is the Lord your God, and so surely shall you again be brought forth to rejoice in him. It is Jesus—an ever-living, sympathising, tender-hearted Jesus—to whom we would direct you. One sweet word from him will clear up your way—dispel your darkness-chase away your fears—and make all straight and plain in a moment. Wait upon him-wrestle with him-go in season and out of season ; look up to him, breathe out your desires before him, in whatever you may be engaged. Behind the counter at the desk-in the street—as well as in your
closet let the secret cry, “Lord, help me; graciously appear for me ; vouchsafe deliverance; speak pardon and peace; grant comfort and hope ; afford joy and expectation," burst from the heart. And the Lord bless you, and make his face to shine upon you, and give you peace. And when he does, remember
Snatch ev'ry joy from me,
Which spurr'd me on to thee? This tenement of clay ?
When, Lord, my anxious soul would When shall the cares that now oppress,
know, That rack and tear my breast;
When this blest hour shall come? Be changed for ceaseless happiness, For here my cup is fill’d with woeGive place to heav'nly rest?
I pant, I pant, for home.
City Press, Long Lane: D. A. Doudney.
Portrait Rev. J. Irons
Rev. E. Andrews
Faith, few thoughts on
God will be gracious to his children,
Rev. J. Kershaw
Thoughts on the new year
mn for new year
Sin, forgiveness of all, except against
the Holy Ghost
two ministers of the Gospel 229
274, 308, 344
Reviews of Books :-
30, 32, 61, 92, 121, 179, 258, 328, 361