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it goes off, yet at such times I am sure to get a little light in the word of God, and when that is the case I can preach boldly; and at such seasons I seem to be as happy, and as much satisfied, though up to my knees at the dung-gate, as you are when you have accomplished the most curious piece of workmanship within the walls of the house. But now you shall know the whole truth. I do not find these seasons humble me so much as I could wish, and lead me to admire God's goodness towards me; instead of that, I find such foolish thoughts as these filling my head, What a great *** I shall be some day, and what work I have to do, &c. &c. until again I am soultied and tongue-tied in the pulpit for four or five times running, and this, I think, is enough to make any man mad, and at times it has made me nearly so. How awfully has my heart rebelled against the Almighty, when I have seen carnal professors sitting to judge me, and to criticise my words. I used to be as expert as any of them at doctrines and phrases, but now I have neither understanding nor memory at command; and that they can find any thing to cavil at has made me ready to
curse my day. But still I know that I am never .
wrong in the main. I am sure that I do not mistake the state of the people. I may, at times, misapply a scripture, for want of some more applicable to my purpose; but then I am not out in the material point. And however curious they
may weave their -systems, I know that they arc destitute of the power; and you know the kingdom stands in power: and when I insist on this, they cry out that I slight and set aside the word ot God. Upon the wiiole, what a poor unstable creature you must needs judge me to be, and I much fear, through all, that 1 never shall excel. I often think tot), that if the Lord is pleased to continue to lay my case on your n ind, and make you pray for me, and write to me, and your patience hold out to bear with me, t! at I shall yet con e forth. I have not the least inclination to look to any other instrument but yourself, and this.makes me to conclude that it is the means which God hath appointed.
May (rod abundantly reward and bless you for what is past, and I shall live in expectation of more yet to come. As for Moses' club, I have enough of that daily; but I believe I must have more of it before I can be made to forsake him. I know in my judgment that Christ is better, but my secret attachment indeed is to him. This is truly my error, but I cannot mend it.
*.. . -'
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
How pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! But, as it is with the human, so it is, and must be,« with the mystical body of Christ; there must be joints and bands, or the members cannot move in concert, cannot have the same care one of another, cannot weep with them that weep, nor rejoice with them that rejoice.
Those who never felt the cords of their sins, nor what it is to be bound with them, are not included in our Lord's commission, which is to open the prison doors to them that are bound; for this work he was appointed, anointed, and sent.
Those who never were in bondage to the fear of death and wrath, are excluded also; for he came to deliver them, who, through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage; nor is it possible that such should be the genuine offspring of God; "For he that is our God is the God of salvation, and unto God the Lord belongs the issues from death;" and both the offspring and the issue hang, as vessels of mercy, on the nail fastened in a sure place. «
Where no pardon has been sealed, no saving
knowledge of salvation can be found. Such must be strangers to the covenant that God makes with his people, which is, to be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities he will remember no more. Where this experience is not found, their faith is vain; such are yet in their sin, and strangers to peace, which is the blessed effect of pardon; “Thy sins are forgiven thee, go in peace.” Such never had peace, and of course never could hold the unity of the Spirit in the bond of it. Where fear and torment never were felt, there perfect love never entered; and where love was never shed abroad in the heart, there never was any saving knowledge of God, nor any spiritual birth, in order to an admission into the kingdom; for it is only he that loveth that is born of God, and knoweth God; for he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love; such never could put on charity, the bond of all perfection. Once more, that faith which never purified the heart, which never apprehended an imputed righteousness, and which never put that robe on, which never led the sinner to Christ to cast his cares and burdens there, and by faith to enter into his rest; that faith never gave Christ an existence in the heart, nor the sinner an existence. in Christ. “Believe,” saith the Lord, “that I am in you, and you in me.” And where this union never took place, communion with him was never enjoyed, and of course such souls never could meet
together in the unity of faith; that is, they never did meet together in the covenant head, in the unity of the faith of God's elect: and such souls are destitute of every joint peculiar to the body of Christ, and of every hand that holds that body together; and to purge out such, is denying all concord between Christ and Belial; it is separating the children of light from those of darkness, believers from infidels, saints from sinners, the vile from the precious, the chaff from the wheat—My hand finds this to do, and we intend to do it with all our might; tor there is no work or device in the grave, whither all are hastening. I expect Jannes and Jambres, Korah and Dathan, to withstand me in this business; but I know he is cursed of God that doth his work deceitfully, and I know I am well armed, and well equipped, by the great Captain who stands by me in the field. You see I am in all things, and by all means instructed; every anonymous letter that comes, and every observation that I make abroad, are brought forth to me in my study, while every thing is opened up, expounded, and explained to me by the Lord, whilst I sit at his foot and receive of his word: and he sweetly leads me to judge all things; but tells me in his word, that, in these secret matters which he shews to me, I can be judged of none. What the good Lord shews me I shall communicate to you, as you have long known my manner of life, doctrine, purpose, faith, &c.
I am determined to have no fellowship with