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of his church. Great things are on the wheel! Soon shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the firmament. There appears also to be a shaking in the church. I hear strange things from Edinburgh, of which I can form no judgment-men going to reverse the Scripture order of the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery; yet preaching with purity, with zeal," the faith once delivered unto the saints," and the Lord working by them in turning many to himself the regular bred, licensed, and ordained ministers, leaving their flocks, and going with these others. What can this be? Where can it end? Can the Redeemer's kingdom be divided against itself? It may seem so for a time, through in-dwelling corruption, and outward temptation suited to the times; still the kingdom of Christ is oneone body; the Lord shall chasten, purge, heal, and unite, till all shall be one stick in his hand. Amen. Lord, do as thou hast promised.
I wrote you a sketch of our Widows' Society. I send you a Constitution. We are all on foot; the mothers healthy, the children thriving. I hope you can give the same account of yours. Love to all your dear friends. Yours ever,
TO DR. MARSHALL.
New-York, April 24, 1802.
AFTER a year's silence I have a letter from my dear brother. What I have suffered, He only knows, who knoweth all things. I am too happy to know that you
live, and that your dear family are in a measure of health. The sweet Isabella has disappointed your fears, and lives. My dear brother seems the most afflicted for the present, and adds to present suffering, cares for futurity, to which he is not entitled. O, my brother, has God given his Son to be a suffering Substitute in the room of sinners, and shall he not with him give all things necessary for life and godliness? O, my dear brother, you have, I think, taken hold of God's covenant: the style of your last, and of several of your former letters, seems to intimate this to be your desire. God is by Christ reconciling the world to himself. By the constitution of that covenant, transacted in heaven, and executed in our world, the purchase-price is paid, a finished salvation provided, and ready to be bestowed, upon no harder terms than the sinner's acceptance- —its blessings are free. This is the record, that God giveth to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. God so loved a lost world, "that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Now, my brother, if God has inclined your heart to seek an interest in that salvation which he himself has provided for sinners, you have received in part; for the subduing of the heart is God's work. God has appointed means by which we are called to be engaged: but the success of these depends on his blessing. That we can do nothing of ourselves is no discouragement, while he has not only promised, but commanded and promised; "Ask, that ye may receive-seek, that ye may find-and knock, that it may be opened unto you; for every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." This salvation is all of God's providing. The subjects of it are ruined, lost, rebellious, ungodly sinners, under the
sentence of condemnation. The substance of it is a perfect, complete surety-righteousness, wrought out in the person of Christ, and transferred to, imputed to, made over to, the sinner as his own, as fully, as completely, as if he had wrought it out in his own person. When the sinner accepts of this as the gift of God to him-rests his soul upon God's promise that he shall have eternal life, he becomes, according to the order of God's covenant, an adopted son. It is no presumption to call God his reconciled Father, and to lay claim to all the promises in the Old and New Testament as his own. It is his duty to cultivate confidence in God, to call him his Father, his own reconciled Father in Christ Jesus; who is, according to his own appointment, Mediator, Peace-Maker, Redeemer; and the Holy Ghost, by the same appointment and orderthe Lord, the Sanctifier. Whenever the sinner considers himself as reconciled, by dwelling upon his happy deliverance, his escape, his blessed situation, and prospects; by viewing the grace by which he is delivered, and his obligations to his Deliverer, he becomes grateful: according to the order of this same well-ordered covenant, he receives favour to become the child of God. John, 1st chapter, "To as many as received him, gave he power to become the sons of God; even to them who believe on his name." It is the finished righteousness of our blessed Surety that redeems us from hell and death, and gives us a title to eternal life; but our comfortable views of this, our steadfast hopes, our higher or lower attainments in the divine life, our God has made, in some measure, conditional. If we make a bold, full profession-if we are diligent in the use of means— —if we cultivate communion with God, by reading, meditation, and prayer, we are likely to become rich in faith, and holy in heart, life, and conversation. But
if we, through shame, and the fear of contempt, conform too much to the world-be timid, sneaking Christians, ashamed of God's method of salvation, and covering our Christian motives under the cloak of philosophy, and benevolence, &c., we need not be surprised, if the Lord deny us the testimony of his Spirit, witnessing with our own heart that we are born of God: or if, through indolence, or love of the world, we neglect prayer, reading, meditation-the means of conversing with God, we need not be surprised, if we are cold and languid, afraid of death, afraid of a thousand evils which the Lord may permit to haunt us: if we have little enjoyment in religion, and much chastisement and affliction. Some Christians are saved, so as by fire; some reach the haven through mists, storms, tempests, without the cheerful sun, and arrive safe, through the merits of that Redeemer, who never failed one that hung upon him; but they arrive like a poor shattered bark, that has hardly escaped shipwreck : others go through this world doing the will of God, and suffering the will of God-fighting against corruption within, and temptation without, on faith and full confidence that they have grace to help in every time of need. They ask, and they receive: they fall often when unwatchful, but they rise again, and renew the fight, having an Advocate with the Father, and a merciful High Priest, who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities. They confess, ask forgiveness, believe that they are forgiven, still hold fast their confidence; the Lord, whose prerogative it is to bring good out of evil, making their very failures the means of more steadfast walking, by making them more humble, more dependant, more watchful, more prayerful. At length they overcome, and have an abundant entrance into
the kingdom of their Lord and Saviour. Like a stately ship in full sail, with wind and tide, they enter the haven of eternal rest.
O, my brother, be not a Christian by halves-believe confidently, join the Lord's people fully and openly-watch, pray, fight against corruption within, and temptation without; ask, and believe, and you shall receive needful grace -go up through the wilderness, leaning on your Beloved; casting all your care on him who hath promised to care for you, and to make all things work together for your good. He has said, "Leave your fatherless children; I will preserve them alive, and let your widows trust in me." He is the Father of the fatherless, the Husband of the widow, the stranger's Shield, and the orphan's Stay; take hold of this promise, ensure it by trusting in it; for whereever there is a promise held up to our faith, according to our faith shall it be. I think I mentioned, in a former letter, that it had pleased the Lord to take to himself dear little Isabella Smith, one of the loveliest, sweetest babes I ever beheld. The stroke was severely felt, but resignation was given. She is not lost, but gone before, with many others dear to us. It will be but a little while, my brother, till we shall all have done with every thing here. O, let us dwell upon the purchased inheritance, and get above this vain, empty, insnaring world. Let us try to lay aside every weight; and as every one has some besetting sin, and that often the least known to himself, let us search it out, and pray that it may be realized, that we may put a mark upon our besetting sin, and a double watch, that we may be able to lay it aside, and to run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame,