« AnteriorContinuar »
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 nowhere 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 sympathising friend.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS
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.
March 29. 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 peace : conduct them in safety to their destined port, and restore them to us, enriched with the blessings of thy wellordered 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.
5 o'Clock. 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 congre
gation 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; O 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.
April 4. 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 bas 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. O! my children, what would be the situation of my heart, had I not confidence, of your being within the ark. I 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 nany, 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
* On the coast of Ayr, as stated in her Life.