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your weak state can bear it. This gift is held out to the sinner's acceptance in many places of the word of God, and becomes the sinner's in the moment of believing. Provision is made by the same covenant for his sanctification ; but that makes no part of justifying righteousness. Christ is made of God unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and complete redemption. Try, my precious young friend, to lay hold on this hope, and enter into the rest provided for the believer here. Stretch forth the withered hand, the Lord himself will give you strength. Commit your precious soul into his hands, and rest assured that he will perfect all that concerns you—work all his work in you-carry you safely through the Jordan of death, and put you in possession of the inheritance he has purchased for you. That all this shall be, is the prayer and firm hope of Your affectionate friend,
To Mrs. J. W
J-, Did not the dove, my dear, get into the Ark?. Yes, Noah put out his hand and pulled her in: both are types of Christ. He is the Ark of safety from the flood of wrath that must overwhelm unbelievers.
I know not, my dear, the amount of that, over which you mourn with so much agony; I know not even if it be sinful, except in the circumstances; you are conscious of sincerity, and you do not now wish to draw back. We can, my dear, do nothing in our own strength; no, not so much as think a good thought.
To make any resolution without dependence on God for strength to perform, is sinful; to make any vow without a consciousness of our weakness and dependence on God for strength to perform, is an aggravation of the resolution. I suppose my J. has sinned: what then? If any man say he has no sin, he deceives himself, and the truth is not in him. And if you suppose that your sin in this, is greater than many other sins, with their aggravations, you judge wrong. I think that any one deliberate sin, wilfully committed, with the knowledge that it is sin, is greater than yours in such circumstances. You are bound by your vow, and God will enable you to perform it. Turn, my dear, to the 2d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter preaches to the very murderers of our blessed Saviour, and charges the guilt upon them; verse 22d, and again in verse 26th, Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that this same Jesus whom ye crucified, God hath made both Lord and Christ: and when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts. Read on, my dear; Peter exhorts even them, to repent and be baptized in the name of Christ, for the remission of sins. I make no doubt, but many have made vows in a rash manner; but, so far as I know, you have vowed only to serve the Lord: this you are bound to do with or without a vow; and if the Lord makes this vow the means of keeping you watchful, and humble, and firm, in avoiding what you have vowed against, it will, by his overruling Spirit, prove a blessing. “ You do not know where to look for comfort!" To Jesus, my dear; not to yourself, not to any creature. Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah xlv. 22. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help.
Hosea xiii. 9. and chapter xiv. Take a view, my dear, of the character of God in his dealings with his peryerse Israel, after they had made the molten calf, and sinned otherwise grievously against God. He, at the intercession of Moses, forgave their sin, and proclaimed that wonderful name, which to this day is the encouragement of convinced sinners, and mine in particular. Exodus xxxiv. 5. And the Lord passed by him, (Moses,) and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. And how can God do this, whose law is, as himself, immutable? and he adds, that he will by no means clear the guilty. Look now to the liii. chapter of Isaiah, where you will find your Redeemer standing in your room and stead. In the xxx, chapter is another amazing display of God's forgiveness. The prophet begins the chapter with, Woe to the rebellious children ; and lays grievous things to their charge, till you come to the 18th verse, where he says, Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious to you: therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you ; for the Lord is a God of judgment, blessed are all they that wait for him. Once more, look at the proclamation, Jeremiah iii. 12. God has provided a sacrifice of sufficient value to atone for our most aggravated transgressions. And a righteousness answerable to the utmost extent of his holy law. Both are made over to the sinner by free gift. 2 Cor. v. 21, He huth made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. In him-He, our Surety, having fulfilled all righteousness for us, as our Surety and Representative.
You fear that it is not the hand of the Lord that
is upon you. I do think that it is, my J . It is the peculiar office of the Spirit to convince of sin : and I do think he is at this time dealing with your soul. But why look so much at your vow? you have sinned, my J, in heart, lip, and life. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heurt. O my J, what prostituted affections! what mispent time! While God says, Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. What sell-indulgence, and self-will, instead of self-denial! Listen to the voice of convictions: listen to it as the voice of mercy, leading you to Christ, the great propitiatory Sacrifice,
The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. Go to Christ, my dear, as a sinner: tell him, you commit your sinful, depraved soul into his hands. Say, thou hast bid me look unto thee, and be saved ? Saviour, I do look unto thee for salvation. Wash me in thy blood, clothe me in thy righteousness; sanctify me by thy Grace; accept of me as thy pardoned, saved child; and be Surety for me for good: that, having vowed to thee that I would be thy servant, I may perform my vow; furnish me with both will and power to devote myself to thee every day of my life. Try, my dear, to rest on Christ; put your trust in him: if you do, he will not disappoint you: as your faith, so shall it be unto you. Now, faith is a saving grace; thereby we receive, and rest upon Christ for salvation, as he is offered to us in the Gospel. Do as you have said ; wait his appointed time, in the use of means, till he manifest himself to you. I am hurried for time to get this to town. Farewell. I will pray for you.
To Dr. H. M-, Rothsay, Bute.
November 11, 1799. MY DEAR BROTHER,
BEFORE this reaches you, the public papers will have informed you of the desolation of New York, by the yellow-fever. We are among the escaped; and there are no breaches in the family. My health, and that of the family, made the country necessary to us at any rate, and we had left town previous to its becoming general: but Mr. B~ kept in the city, only sleeping in the country, till 45 were carried off in a night. The inhabitants abandoned the city in crowds, spreading over the adjacent countries; in Long-Island, Jerses, and New-York, for sixty miles round. In the most busy trading streets, a person might have walked half a mile without meeting an individual, or seeing an open house, or shop. Eleven physicians and surgeons fell sacrifices to it: five of them men of eminence; several were confined by mere fatigue, and had to retire to rest, relieving others when recruited. Dr. B-, one of our oldest, and most eminent physicians, who had retired from business two years ago, and lived on his estate in the country, hearing of the distress of his brethren, and the impossibility of their answering all the calls of the sick and dying, left his retreat, returned to town, and slaved to the last. His affectionate wise would not be left behind, but determined to share or witness his fate. It has pleased God to preserve them both. Notwithstanding the general flight, the mortality amongst those that remained was so great, that for three weeks from 48 to 54 died every 24 hours; this was no vague report, but that of the physicians, and published in the daily