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righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. They believe it to be life eternal to know God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. They listen to the voice of the Lord, who saith, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, nor the rich man in his riches. But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me; that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
The believers of Paul's gospel, uniformly consider themselves as complete in Christ Jesus; they know that the Redeemer alone hath collected the materials; that he alone ill build the temple ; bringing forth the head stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
To this purpose I went on, but adding much more than I have leisure or patience to write, leaving it to the consideration of preacher and hearers, to make their own election. The latter seemed highly pleased, and the former not displeased.
And here I will restore you to your very useful avocations, by putting a period to this long, long letter, after requesting you to inform me if you contemplate any new regulations in your congregation, to give my love to my friends, especially to S. and to accept the best wishes of your friend and brother.
To the same.
BEFORE I got out of bed this morning, your two letters were put into my hand. You are a good man, and I trust I shall profit by the favours before me, They contain many useful hints, which come with a good grace from you; and they shall be, indeed they are received with a good grace by me. Yes, I will stand still and behold the salvation of God. Yes, I will leave it to him to
work in the hearts of his people, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. The sheep are his, not mine. He is the shepherd, not I, and he will do as in his sight seemeth good. It may seem good in the sight of my God, to mortify a heart too much elated; and when this proud heart shall reap the advantages which must of necessity result from a mortification coming from such a hand, it will seem good unto me also.
Paul speaks of very bad people, when he says, they shall be lovers of their own selves. I know to whom this character belongs; but blessed be the friend of sinners. I also know to whom belongeth mercy, and forgiveness of sins. I know who loved me so as to give himself for me. Is it not amazing that a person knowing this, could wish for more? and yet I am still unsatisfied! Who is it says, When I awake in thy likeness I shall be satisfied? Is there not much included in this precious idea; does it not from hence appear, that we are sleeping in the present state, Sleeping in the likeness of the earthy man; and that all our uneasy sensations are nothing but distempered dreams? Aye, and all those pleasing sensations too, which arise from present good, or more properly from sensual enjoyments, are also dreams; which like the baseless fabric of a vision, often leave not a wreck behind. Well hath Dr. Watts observed,
"This life's a dream, an empty show,
Hath joys substantial and sincere,
How often have I dreamed of things impossible! Could sleep do more? But although my life has been a continual sleep, and the greater part of my pains and pleasures dreams, yet while this deep sleep has been upon me, has not the Almighty instructed me? Yes, blessed be his name-and the roof of his mouth is as the best wine, which goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. O, for more of this best wine, that my lips may show forth his praise, that I may drink and forget all sorrow!
Judah, we are told, washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes and Jesus said, this is my blood of the new testament, speaking of the blood of the grapes in a figurative point of view. Who is this that cometh up from Edom with dyed garments, from Bozrah? As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, And in the midst
of the seven golden candlesticks, one like unto the Son of man, ed with a garment down to the foot. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in me. The blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, cleaneth from all sin.
But let us return to Judah. Judah, thou whom thy brethren shalt praise; thy hand is in the neck of thine enemies! Thy Father's children shall bow down before thee, Judah, a lion's whelp! from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stooped; he couched as a lion, and as an old lion, who shall rouse him up?
The hand of Judah being in the neck of his enemies, his Father's children should bow down before him: yes, and all nations shall call him blessed and therefore it is Judah whom his brethren shall praise they shall praise him for his MIGHTY acts; praise him according to his excellent greatness. His brethren will praise from the heavens; they will praise from the earth; and let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.
But, 1st, Judah is a lion's whelp; 2dly, a lion; 3dly, an old lion. 1st. As human, as born an infant, and as increasing in stature and in favour both with God and man-a lion's whelp. 2dly. As Emmanuel; as full of grace and truth; as mighty to save, and strong to deliver—a lion; yet in this character he stooped down; he stooped so low as to be made of no reputation; he stooped to the death, the ignominious death of the cross. But he couched as a lion watching for his prey-And from the prey, my son, thou art gone up! Where John saw him as an old lion; as the lion of the tribe of Judah, prevailing to open the book and to loose the seals. No more weeping then.
I am thankful to God our friend S. is recovering, and I trust the same kind God will go on to perfect his health, both of body and mind. In one of your letters I was pleased with the prospect of seeing him here once more, and of doing all in my power to sooth and please him. In the next I behold him seated at your table, where he will lack nothing which you can bestow.
I congratulate you on having so advantageous an opportunity of investigating divine truth. May you go on and prosper in this good old way; and may no discouraging difficulties ever damp the ardour of your soul. Conversation on our grand subject must be followed by conviction or confusion. Light and truth will prevail;
nor will opposition render these united luminaries less powerful. May your encouragement equal your most sanguine expectations.
The work of God goes on in this place; the house of Saul waxeth weaker, and the house of David stronger. Some who were very inveterate foes, are now very warm friends, and I believe will adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour. They have formed themselves into an independent church of Christians, worshipping God in the spirit; and having no confidence in the flesh, I trust they will grow in grace, and in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ.
Our friend T. goes on in the way of peace, and I have hope we shall see many Christian societies established upon this continent. I am persuaded the way of the just will be like the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
I wish you would open your Bible, and turn your eye upon the ninth chapter of Isaiah's prophecy; read, if you please, the third verse of this ninth chapter :
"Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil."
Attend, if you please, to the fifth verse of this chapter :
"For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire."
I wish to know if you and I correspond in judgment on these passages. How much is contained in the fourth verse:
"For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midian."
"The people shall rejoice before God according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil." Two striking figures these! What joy can equal that of celebrating harvest home, or dividing the spoil after victory! But how should this come to pass? Why the conqueror should break the yoke and staff, and the rod of the oppressor, as in the day of Midian. Turn now to the seventh chapter of Judges, and in the conclusion of that chapter you will observe, that the victory obtained by the Lord, (for assuredly it was not by Gideon) was completed by the destruction of two kings, Oreb and Zeeb, one at the rock and the other at the wine press. In the Hebrew tongue the name Oreb is literally raven, and Zeeb is in the same language, literally wolf! The raven
is first slain, and then the wolf. In the tenth of Isaiah's prophecy, twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, our attention is again drawn to this
"For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
"And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for HIM, according to the slaughter of Midian and the rock of Oreb."
What is the raven? Emblem of uncleanness. What is the wolf? Emblem of the adversary, that goes about seeking to devour. Were not our iniquities, the uncleanness which adheres to our nature? Was not the implacable enemy of the human family, our adversary the devil, destroyed in figure at the rock Oreb, and at the wine press of Zeeb? You know where this was accomplished in substance, in the head of every man; and you know, where it will, in the Lord's good time, be accomplished in every individual.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken from off thy shoulders, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”
O, my friend! what things are these? I assure you I am highly benefited by going regularly through this evangelical prophet. Why are we not more solicitous to discover these inestimable pearls? and when discovered, why do we not more generally exhibit them? Why do we seek to hide brilliants of such incalculable value? Are we discouraged because we sometimes find swine, where we had calculated upon serious hearers? Alas! if we are thus deterred, who will ever promulgate truth, who will ever hold forth the word of life?
You ask, "when will the enemy cease to persecute?" I answer, when that wicked is removed, of which you and I have our portion, and as I believe, not before. My heart feels every thing you say. Yes, I believe we are the happiest and most unhappy beings in the world. When our souls are enlarged and our tongues loosened, the audience numerous and very attentive, it is then we are in our glory, it is then we are the happiest of human beings; but, but— no matter; I hate to dwell on the gloomy side of such a subject. This, however, I can truly say, when I am really sensible of my own weakness, it is then I have the greatest strength in the Lord. True, most true, all will by and by be well. I know I must appear to you uncommonly variable, but whatever you obtain from me, you obtain warm from my heart, precisely according to the frame