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This history, accompanied by the Spirit of God, has. consoled, strengthened, and raised up many bowed down since that day; many now around the throne, who sing of pardoning love.

I now wish to say, hold fast the beginning of your confidence. Your exercise is that of God's people. To rejoice in the Lord at all times is your privilege, but will not be always your attainment. The Lord has done great things for you, whereof I am glad: but, my dear friend, the warfare is not over you must endure trials as others; engage with 'principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places,' and, worst of all, at treacherous heart within; which, for all that it has seen and tasted, is yet corrupt and deceitful: the new life which Christ gives to the soul, evidences itself in the desires of the heart and affections. As certainly as the new-born babe desires the breast, as certainly, and as evidently, does the new-born soul desire union to God, communion with and conformity to him, in heart, life, and conversation. This principle is in its own nature perfectly pure, but the old nature, the law in the spiritual members, is as perfectly corrupt; ' in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.'

In the order of God's Covenant, it has not pleased him to deliver even believers, all at once, from sinful inclinations and passions; he hath provided for their final complete deliverance, and sin shall not have dominion over them even here; but it is still in them while in the body; and a dying body; and the remains of sin in the soul, make the believer's life a warfare, and this world a wilderness; soul and body are diseased; both are redeemed, and provision made for the entire deliverance of both; for the soul at death, for the body at the resurrection; but while in the body, 1 John i. 8, if any man say he has no sin, he deceiveth himself, and the truth is not in him.' Look at Paul's experience-what does he say of the believer's state? a warfare, a fight, a captivity for a time: see 1 Timothy vi. xii. 1 Corinthians ix. xxvi.


I write not thus to dishearten you, but as a friend I warn you, lest you fall again into unbelief. Look not within for comfort, for consolation, for confidence. Christ

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is the end of the law for righteousness; his blood the atonement, and you are complete in him, his grace is sufficient for you, his strength shall be perfected in your weakness, and you shall go on. Grieve for sin you will, grieve you ought; but keep ever in your remembrance 1 John ii. 1. v. 11.

Yours, &c.

December 22, 1801.

I DEDICATE the first of my temporal labours, on return. ing health, to my dear P-. Our Father's rod has been upon your friend and her family. I suppose by this time, through Miss P-, to whom I mentioned the circumstance, you have heard that it has pleased God to remove our dear I. S-; the stroke has been severely felt; she was one of those fascinating children who lay hold of every heart at first sight, and having been long sickly, was become a little old woman in sense; pity and compassion for her sufferings, alternate hopes and fears for the issue, all tended to endear the little Syren, and tighten the cord of affection. The stroke after all came unexpected. She had a gentle passage, and is now a member of that kingdom of little children whom Christ pronounced blessed.

I was reading this day some of the first chapters of Matthew John the Baptist made his appearance in the wilderness; he was clothed with skins, his meat was locusts and wild honey. When he had delivered his message for an appointed time, he was cast into prison and then beheaded. This led my mind to think of all God's favourites, how very few had any comfort on earth.

What a trying life Moses had, and Aaron little better; David, though a king, was a man of deep affliction. Jeremiah was cast into a dungeon, and for many days sunk deep in mire; his whole life, a life of contest. All Christ's Apostles were driven from city to city, often in want of the necessaries of life, and all but one were put to death for their testimony.

Jesus himself was a man of sorrows, his visage marred with grief. He, even He, was made perfect by suffering. We are apt to think we could have suffered any thing


but this. Of all crosses this is the heaviest for one of my temper, strength, and former habits of life. It may be so, and yet exactly that which is calculated to promote our best interest. O for faith in the wisdom of God, and in the love of God, and for patience to endure unto the end! To suffer the will of God, is yet more honourable, than to do the will of God in prosperous circumstances. When I was with my friend, she was wont to say, must just lie at the fountain, I make no progress.' My dear, I must ever, ever, back to that fountain. I desire to be found there at the moment when his word shall command my soul into his presence. Every review I take of my past life, I find more and more to repent of, and every day furnishes fresh matter for that exercise. I feel like Noah's dove, no rest for the sole of my foot out of that ark. I have been blessed with thousands and ten thousands of mercies, which have been marked with as many millions of marks of ingratitude. I have backslidden, and been restored times without number, and still my heart turns aside like a deceitful bow. Great and numerous have been my opportunities of serving my God in my day and generation; but O, woful, woful, has been my misimprovement! Many of my friends think I have done well; but they see not as God sees; they see not as God has made myself to see, and I see not the thousandth part of the heinousness and the aggravation of my transgressions, and yet after all I dare look up. I can be but the chief of sinners, and for such Christ died. He died for the ungodly. All without exception are invited to take refuge in his atoning sacrifice and meritorious life. In all my life, I have not done one single deed that will bear being weighed in the balance of the sanctuary. But in God's gift, Christ Jesus, I have a complete righteous. ness; here is my whole and my sole dependence; in this dependence I dare face my Judge, and no other.

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Here is the same dependence for you, my friend; and although your faith be but a trembling hope, if you have no other, it is a safe hope. I know it is your desire, as it is mine, to live to Him who died for us, to be delivered from indwelling sin and corruption, and to be conformed to the image of our dear Lord. This is done in part, it

will go on, and in due time shall be perfected; but it is God's way, that the more we advance in conformity to God's law, the more he enlightens in the nature, extent, and spirituality of it; and the more he opens to view the deceitfulness of the heart, so as to keep his children humble, and pressing forward.

I do desire never to be satisfied with myself, but ever to see so much of God's law and my own heart, as to reck. on myself the chief of sinners and the least of saints; but I desire to be full of confidence in Christ: here I cannot err, all the promises are free to every one trusting in Christ. Eternal life is a free gift-comfort, steadfastness, and high degrees of sanctification, it hath pleased God to make dependent on our faith and diligence in the use of means. When I say faith, I mean faith in exercise, watchfulness, prayer, reading, &c. but the gift of eternal life is free, the sole purchase of another; and when we take hold of God's Covenant, he will keep hold of us by discipline, if need be.

January 14, 1800

My dear friend says, "O that I could have the society of some aged, pious Clergyman or Christian, who had gone through his warfare." O that you could, in the Lord's hand! I hope it might do you good; yet, after all, the Lord himself must loose your bonds; aye, and he will, and also appoint the means.

There are two kinds of rest awaiting you, the one in this life, the other will not be attained till the mortal shall put on immortality. When was it that Paul, the great Apostle, could say he had fought the good fight? not till he could also say, he had finished his course, and was ready to be offered up; till then, he, like others, had to continue the warfare between grace and corruption; like others, found a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, so that the thing that he would, he did not, and that which he would not, that he did. Notwithstanding, there is a blessed rest attainable here, rest from the fear of wrath and hell; a rest in Christ as our atonement, our surety, our complete righteousness, our title to eternal life, and all the grace necessary to fit us for it.

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