Abbildungen der Seite

fell by the way side. But neither the malice of hypocrites, nor all their opposition; no heresy nor hypocrisy; no leaven of malice or wickedness; shall ever work effectually, except in them that perish: a full persuasion of this keeps no small part of the burden of government off from my mind; for faith knows that it rests unmolested, undisturbed, and proceeds in an unerring course, on the shoulders of the child born, and the son given. And is it not a wonder of wonders, that every Benjamite, every one beloved of the Lord, finds rest and support in the same place: we dwell between his shoulders.

The poor and needy closely pursue me in these parts; wait upon me all the day long; and would keep me up all night too; but I behave among them according to custom-take French leave, slip off, and leave them to wait


return in vain. Tell poor brother B. the rector, that I hope to be at home on Monday night, though

be late, and will, if God permit, relieve him; that is, I intend to mount guard myself on Tuesday evening at Monkwell street, before I set off for York. This I suppose will cheer him; for I doubt not but he is sick of dwelling where Satan's seat is. My love to him, dame, and all friends.

it may

Ever yours,

The Coal FAVER,


Feb. 14, 1799.

My dearly beloved Brother and Sister in Christ


Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the great and only Mediator, my Lord and yours. Being poorly in body, through a violent cold and cough, which, like an affectionate wife, sticks close to me; having been kept at home this week, for fear of being dumb, by forcing myself to speak too much; and remembering the last time brother B. spake to me he complained of being deserted by the sinner's only friend; I thought it might be neither unseasonable nor unwelcome, were I to drop him a line.

The church of God, my dear brother, is Mahanaim-a company of two armies. There is a law in the members that calls for obedience to every evil desire of the flesh, in order to gratify that desire; there is also a law in the mind, which is faith that worketh by love, that calls for evangelical obedience to the word. These two laws war against each other. Satan stirs up and heads the former; Christ revives and heads the latter; and both these are separately and distinctly felt at certain seasons. It

pleases God that it should be so, that we may not forget our base original; that we may be on our guard, and be kept diligent, watchful, and humble; knowing we have an army of enemies within, and a furious king without, who stirs up and heads these troops that war against the soul. We cannot say, when the prince of this world cometh to us, as Christ did; namely, that “he hath nothing in me;" but, contrari. wise, when the prince of this world cometh unto us he hath always an army on his side against the daily sacrifice, the devil hating prayer. But what shall harm us who deny self in her sinful requests, and take up this crossthese two laws, so contrary the one to the other, and follow Christ in the regeneration, which is following him in love to him, or because we love him? Now when this law in the members works Christ is hidden, which is our grief; for if he was not withdrawn it could be no cross; for what can trouble us if his presence be with us? This always makes us hunger and thirst after him, and quickens us to seek him; it damps and deadens us to the world, and makes us sick of all; for when he is absent nothing can fill the vacancy; nothing can compensate or repair the loss. This shews the sincerity of the heart, and the genuineness of grace: and, as soon as this fit of unbelief subsides, how sweet is the least glimpse, how precious every soft word, how welcome the least encouragement, and how delightfully is the soul melted into gratitude when once more favoured with nearness of access to him?

This, my dear brother, is going in and out, and finding pasture. The former conflict gives us an appetite, the latter indulgence is a'sweet repast. This is the way that I have ever gone, and this is the way that I go now. Thus the Father, who is called the husbandman, purges every branch that is in the living vine; and this is done that it may bring forth more fruit; and every time the branch is purged the union with Christ is discovered again, and godly sor. row and humbling grace are received from his fulness, which alone makes us fruitful. Purging is to try us, to discover sin, to empty us of self, and to humble us; and renewings of love, revivals of the work wrought, and of the hope given, always cause a flourishing again. Be of good cheer, nothing above or below shall ever separate us from him. God bless you both; you are in my heart to live and die with you.

Your affectionate pastor, brother, and friend, in tribulation,


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »