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fliction was very great; and if they spoke, it was to aggravate it: and when God himself spoke, he gave him no reason for his dealings, but charged him with folly and madness. • Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty, instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.' Then he calleth his attention to his own meanness, and imbecility, but it was still in a way of sovereignty; and after he laid his hand on his mouth, and his mouth in the dust, confessed himself vile, and became dumb before him; abhorring himself, and repenting in dust and ashes, instead of the splendid catalogue of virtues enumerated in chapter xxix. and complaints in chapter x. which I make not the least doubt were true, as far as human virtue can reach : but if God charge even his angels with folly,' shall man, corrupt, self-destroyed man, plead merit before God?
But, my dear friend, I do not find in all God's bible, any thing requiring us to look at, far less acquiesce in, the final destruction of any, for whom we have prayed, pleaded, and committed to him, least of all our offspring, whom he has commanded us to train up for him. Children are God's heritage.' I do not say he has given us any promise for the obstinately wicked; but when cut off, he only requires us to be still, to hold our peace. I do not think he takes hope from us. God has set limits to our faith for others; our faith must not rest in opposition to his threatenings. We must believe that the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all that forget God ;' but he hath set no bounds to his own mercy; in that glorious plan of redemption, by which he substitutes his own Son, in the room and stead of sinners, he has made provision for the chief of sinners: and can now be just and consistent, while he justifies the ungodly who believe in Jesus. Short was the time between the thief's petition and the promise of salvation; nay, the petition was the earnest of it. The same was the case with the jailor; though less positive the assertion; yet, I think the publican had the earnest in his petition also. Now, instead of labouring to bring my mind to acquiesce in the condemnation of my child, on the supposition of its being for God's glory, (which I no where find required, but from some of your New-England divines,) I try to be
still as he has commanded; not to follow my child, to the yet invisible world; but turning my eyes to that character which God has revealed of himself--to the plan of redemption-to the sovereignty of God in the execution of that plan, to his names of grace, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin;' while he adds, and that will by no means clear the guilty,' I meet it with his own declaration, 'he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' I read also that mercy is his darling attribute; that mercy rejoiceth against judgment,' and many other like Scriptures, which, although I dare not ground a belief of his salvation on them, one ray of hope follows another, that God may have made him a monument of mercy, to the glory of his grace. Thus God himself consoles his own praying people, while man ought to be very cautious, if not silent, where the Scriptures are silent, as it respects the final state of another, whose heart we cannot know, nor what God may have wrought in it. God hath set bounds to our faith, which can no where find solid ground to fix upon, but on his own written promise. Yet, as I said above, he has set no bounds to his own mercy, and he has made provision for its boundless flow, as far as he shall please to extend it, through the atonement and merits of his own Son, who is able to save to the uttermost, all who come unto God by him.' Now, my dear friend, you have my ideas of our situation; if they be correct, I
pray that our compassionate Father may comfort you by them; if otherwise, may he pardon what is amiss, and lead you, my dear friend P—, and myself, to such consolation as he himself will own as the work of his Spirit, and save us from the enemy, and our own spirit.
Since writing the foregoing, I feel afraid of what I have said it is dangerous seeking comfort where the Scriptures are silent; yet while we plead with God to be preserved from error, and try to be still before him, he will save us from the subtilty of the serpent, as well as from the rage of the lion.
I am, with love, your sympathizing friend,
MR. AND MRS. B,
While in Britain, for the benefit of Mrs. B.'s health, in 1801 and 1802.
March 23, 1801.
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
THIS is mortifying to both, to be anchored half a mile from us, and there to lie for hours but even this, trifling as it may appear, has its end to answer in His scheme, without whom, not a sparrow falls. I have retired with my Bible, to commit you, and all my cares, and concerns, afresh to that God, whose goodness and mercy have followed us through life; who is my God, your God, and the God of our seed; who answered my prayers in opposition to my inconsistent conduct; took you out of my idolatrous management, into his own more merciful guidance. Oh! He has done all things well, and He will perfect his own work.
Now, may the Angel, that redeemed you, be with you, keep you in the hollow of his hand, and as the apple of his eye;' be with you on his own `ocean, and command the billows not to touch you; carry you to the bosom of your dear native country, where a large proportion of his body live in him and by him bless you, and make you a blessing, wherever his providence shall carry you, and restore you with blessings to us, in his own time. Amen.
Sabbath, after morning service.
THIS, my dear children, is a day of storm, wind and rain; O that the prayer of our dear Pastor, and I hope of many present, may be with you, and be answered to and for you-which was thus :
Lord, be with that family, who now, on the mighty ocean, desire an interest in our prayers. May he whom
winds and waves obey, preserve them in this tempestuous season; may they see, and improve his wonders in the great deep; may the blessings of the everlasting Gospel preserve their souls in peacé: conduct them in safety to their destined port, and restore them to us, enriched with the blessings of thy well-ordered Covenant.'
I sent two notes for the Dutch churches, enclosed to Mr. B. one for Wall-street, to Mr. A. and one for the Brick church, to Mr. M. I watered all with my tears.
Oh! how it blows and rains! O my children, how my poor heart aches for you; if not in danger, yet sick, sick, and in much discomfort. I gave a note in the old church, in the afternoon, supposing the congregation on this dreadful day, to be different. Mr. M. prayed: "The Angel of thy presence be with them, give them much of the consolations of thy Spirit. Conduct them in safety to the place of their destination, and restore them, enriched with thy blessing, to worship with us again, in this thy house of prayer.” I write on this day merely to table, for your perusal, the prayers of your Church. I think you ought, if the Lord conduct you safe, to propose public thanks to that God, who heard and answered, if agreeable to Mr. M. Write me how it was with you on this day. Now I will lay past this, to some other opportunity, and go to a throne of Grace for you and all of us. O keep close to the Lord; 0 that he may save you from a dissipated, trifling, carnal spirit; may he sanctify all your comforts, give you a just estimation of all you see and hear; may the Christian's portion rise more and more; and the world, and its vanities, sink in your view.
A VESSEL which sails for London to-morrow, will, I hope, convey this to you, if the Lord spare you to be there; I cannot help being very anxious since that storm; by the arrival of several vessels in twenty-four and twenty-three days, we find the winds have been all easterly, and strong; all contrary to you: but they
are God's winds, and I hope his presence will make all up, and cause you to profit by all his providences.
Mr. W. W-, lost this week three sons, which makes four in all, of the scarlet fever, and sore throat, all very suddenly; one in twenty-four hours; he has two of six left; what can we say to these things? The Lord does what pleases him in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Blessed are they to whom all things shall work together for good. It is my great consolation, that you are, through Grace, among that happy number, and in no possible way can be a loser at his hand; death itself will be your gain. The society met here last Monday, where you were again, in the prayer of faith, brought to a throne of Grace I am, with love, your mother.
April 10. WHAT the Lord is going to do with his, and my children, I know not; but the Samuel Elam has returned to port, with a leak, after being out nineteen days. On the day of storm, she had seven feet water in her hold. I hope the Lord, in mercy to you, to his Church, and to me, his unworthy servant, has guided you in safety, and that the prayers of his Church were answered in your behalf. 0! my children, what would be the situation of my heart had I not confidence of your being within the ark. desire to rejoice over all my fears, for this unspeakable consolation, nothing can hurt you. I experience for you, what I did in my own case, when darkness and tempest added to the horrors of many, while our vessel kept dashing on the rock*; I, too, expected her to go to pieces every moment; but the idea was ever with me, in the bosom of God's ocean, I shall find the bosom of my Saviour.' On the night of the 29th of March, I dreamt my dear J-y fell over-board, and I saw her floating on the billows, supporting herself by her little chair; this is the state of my mind; yet I am thankful, and enjoy much peace. The Lord has given me all my asking the salvation of your souls. In a little time we shall all be gathered around his throne. Well may I * On the coast of Ayr, as stated in her Life.