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December 26, 1801.

I REJOICE Over my dear children, and bless our gracious God that he has led them a sweet and most delightful sojourning among his churches, animating their spirits by their mutual communion; blessing them, and I hope making them blessings. I pray the Lord may make our dear D. an instrument among others of spreading his Gospel, building up his Church, and pulling down the strong holds of Satan and that you may be in your place a help meet for him, in this as in every thing else. May the Lord choose his path, and direct his steps, and yours with him. Women were helpers of the apostles and others in Paul's days at the same time care must ever be taken not to obtrude in any respect. I pray that you may be kept spiritual and humble: eminence in God's service is truly desirable, if the heart be kept humble. If the Lord open the eyes to behold more of the extent and spirituality of his law, the holiness and purity of his nature, the evil of sin, and its contrariety to all that is in God; and if he turn the eyes inward to the hidden corruptions of the heart, when it is evident to the soul that all is of Grace, then may eminent services be safe.


'I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,' was the exercise of Job, and justly so. Job, who was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, a father to the poor, and the cause which he knew not, he searched it out; when the ear heard him, it blessed him; when the eye saw him it gave witness to him; who withheld not the poor from his desire, nor caused the eye of the widow to fail; the stranger did not lodge in the street, but he opened his door unto the traveller; all this was true as far as the external act, and as he then thought, with a proper temper of heart, (benevolence.) Job could justify himself before his fellow-sinners, blind like himself: but when God comes to deal with him, how dif ferent his views! then it was, 'Behold I am vile, what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust.' Even, with the very best, there is cause for this exercise, could we see in the same light. How deceitful is the human heart! how unfaith


ful the conscience! how little do we know of the sins of our daily walk! We are called to watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation; to walk with God in close intimate communion: whether we eat or drink, to do all to his glory.' To consult him in all the affairs of life, narrowly observing his providence in connexion with our circumstances; weighing all in his presence, requesting him to determine our wills, and direct our steps. We ought not to say we will go into such a city,' and do this or that; but if the Lord will.' How inconsistent our conduct with these rules! How often do haste, rashness, precipitation, and self-will, accompany our determinations and movements! and how often does his goodness and wisdom overrule our folly; save us from our own pits, and prevent the evil that might be expected! At no time does he deal with us as we sin, though so imes he stands by and allows us a taste of our folly then we are in trouble, we dig our pits and fall into them, but we cannot deliver ourselves. O what a God! who, even at such a time, calls by his sure word. 'Call on me in the time of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify my name; thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help.' Blessed help! mercy to pardon, goodness to restore, wisdom to guide, faithfulness to carry through and perfect what concerns us; overruling our very follies, and causing them to teach us to profit. This is God's way, according to many declarations of himself in his word, and experience of all his redeemed.


Blessed then is the man that trusteth in the Lord; they, truly, are a blessed people whose God Jehovah is.

February, 1802.


I TRUST the Lord is your support; I know you are in trouble; it cannot be, that opportunities have been wanting all this time; nor can it be that my children have been negligent no, no; it would be a sad enough hope; but I cannot suppose it. My children are in trouble, they could not write that they were otherwise, and therefore remain silent, until they can write the issue.

It is proper, and sure the Lord feeds me with comfort. O the comfort of knowing that the Almighty God is their own reconciled Father by an everlasting Covenant! Christ the Mediator and Surety; Christ their Advocate, Brother and Friend; the Holy Ghost, their Teacher, Guide and Comforter. It cannot be ill with my dear children, who are also God's dear children. My Father, I know it. Thou chastenest for their profit. I know not where they are, nor how they fare. I know not what to ask for them; but thou art every where present, thine eye is upon them, and thou knowest all their wants, and all their burdens, all their bereavements, or whatever tries them. O let thy sensible presence be with them! open wide the leaves of that New Testament in Christ's blood, and let them read their rich legacy, their * unsearchable riches in Christ! give them confidence in thy wisdom and goodness, and sweet acquiescence in all thy dealings with them. Thou hast spared in mercy, perhaps now thou hast taken in mercy: yes, thy tender mercies are over all thy works, and a large ingredient in every cup thou puttest into the hand of thy children. O it is well, it is well!

Since writing the above, I have received my dear D.'s letter, second copy, by the way of London. The Lord is your God, and the God of your seed. John the Baptist leaped in the womb, when the salutation of Mary sounded in his mother's ears; he was then a living soul, and an heir of salvation at that moment. If your babe was conceived in sin by the first Covenant, he is an heir of Grace by the second. Think it not hard; no, you do. not think it hard, that you have conceived him in sickness, carried him in sickness, and suffered the pangs of birth without the succeeding joy to make you forget your anguish. All this shall be for the glory of God, and that is what you seek; believe it now, you shall see it soon. I do sympathize; my. fond heart had embraced a sweet babe added to the family, for one taken. The Lord has taken this also; it is his due; I shall soon leave the mortal, and join the immortal; five have joined the head, six remain; and one I know nothing of, more than that I cast him on the Lord, and look for mercy. I thank my God

that he gave you the grace of resignation, and supported you in the solitary confinement. Alas! my child, did you listen for the voice of your babe? Oh, what a suspense! but let me stop-he had reached maturity ere that time; without the fight, obtained the victory; he is of the travail of the Redeemer's soul; children are God's heritage, the fruit of the womb his reward.' Rest then in the Lord; this is to his glory, both without and within your soul.

May 26, 1802.


HERE am I in my little room, surrounded with every comfort, and as the provision of my God, I value all; but there lies the chief, my Bible, the testament of my dying, risen, ascended, reigning Saviour, bequeathing to me eternal life, executed in full, and made as sure as the promise and oath of God can make it. The influences of the Holy Ghost on my mind, taking of the things of Christ, and showing them unto me; opening wide the leaves of that new Testament, in which I read unsearchable riches, and my title to them sure; yes, sure, even to me, a base idolatrous Gentile, a rebel against the eternal King; my Creator, Preserver, Provider; a backslider in heart and in life. What has such a one to do with a holy God? Oh! because he hath said, only return; and he himself hath turned me, chastened, convinced, re stored, comforted. 'His ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts; but as the heavens are above the earth, so are his ways above our ways, and his thoughts high above our thoughts,' and his plans above our conception. For although it is for ever true, that he is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity; that his law has announced a curse upon the transgressor who keepeth it not in every jot and tittle; it is for ever true, that this God is unchangeable in his nature and purposes. What he hath said, that will he do. It is for ever true, that I am all I have said, and worse, a sinner in heart, tongue, and practice. Yet am I a beloved child, a justified one, an heir of God. Here is the testament, here is my charter with the seal

of God upon it-JESUS! thou art the Secret of the Lord! thou art the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root and offspring of David! Thou hast prevailed to open this book of secrets, to loose the seven seals, and lay open its mysteries. Thou, Lamb of God, the appointed, and anointed, to the great work! In our room, and in our nature, thou hast sustained the curse. Thou hast obeyed the law; thou hast drunk the last drop of the last vial of that wrath, which would have sunk my soul in the endless depths of misery; and I never could have expended one drop, but sunk deeper and deeper under it. O not unto me, not unto ministers, not unto any creature be the praise. As for me, I am, in a word, all that is vile in myself; ministers, providences, afflic tions, are just what God makes them; without his bless. ing they will not only pass without profiting, but Satan and corruption will make them ministers to themselves. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, for he has redeemed me with his blood. Worthy is the Lamb to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing-to him, to him alone, be the praise; who, of an heir of hell, hath made an heir of heaven, by a substitutional righteousness wrought out in his own person: mine by free gift, unshackled with the shadow of a condition, in which I am completely justified. To this work let nothing be added, with this work let nothing be mixed.

There is another work going on by the same Spirit of truth; also his purchase and gift-Sanctification. In this, I am called to occupy, watch, strive, fight. Life is given; means of support and growth provided; weapons of warfare-all things necessary to life and godliness these are promised to the diligent use of means; and poverty, stagnation, discomfort, threatened to the indolent. O how sovereign and gracious has my God been in his dealings with me in this respect also. For a sluggard have I been in the days of youth, and the prime of life; yet to me hath he given the comforts promised only to the diligent. Here I sit on the verge of threescore, my heart in some good measure loosened from the world, although in full possession of it. Health,

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