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like new bottles. "I am full of matter," says he; "the spirit within me constraineth me." This matter, therefore, is inspiration, or the Olivine influences of the Holy Spirit in the souls of the regenerate.
£. I considered what is called by Job, "The root of the matter;" which is love, the most excellent fruit of the whole work of grace in the soul, which is shed abroad or infused, at the time of our regeneration. I considered, also, that life is the active principle in every grace, which gives us all our sensations, impressions, affections, and motions. Hence the charge, "Strengthen the things which remaiu, that are ready to die, for I have not found thy work perfect," &c. And again, "Strengthen the weak hands/' &c. I considered, also, that grace, as a principle, ever remains, though not always in motion; we have the root, though the fruit doth not always appear. I considered the different influences that are felt when grace is in exercise, and when it lies dormant.
3. I then pondered over what I felt of the fruits under the life of grace, or under our most lively frames; and how 1 felt myself when the Spirit suspended his quickening, attracting, and invigorating operations.
4. Then I considered the difference between faith when acting, and faith inactive: "Where is your faith,"' saith the Lord? And what were the fruits of faith when in exercise; and I found them to be joy and peace: "God fill you with joy and peace in believing;" hence called the joy of faith. But fhis joy attends believing, and believing is faith in exercise. But when self, which is daily to be denied, comes on with her cursed requests; which is nothing else but the workings of the old man, with his deceitful lusts, and which is daily to be denied; daily denial shews that he will daily war against the soul; then faith stays at home to counteract unbelief, to prop up the heart, and to keep the soul standing, and upon its watch tower; here is no joy, but some strength; "Your strength is to stand still." But when this conflict is over, faith goes out again to meet the Lord, and joy comes in.
So hope, when in exercise, has got what is called the aboundings of hope through the power of the Holy Ghost; and these aboundings are enough, and to spare, and are attended with much assurance, called the full assurance of hope. But in the worst conflicts with the devil and sin hope abides at home to counteract despair; hence the cry, " Why art thou cast down, oh, my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him:" he will return again, and grace will go forth to meet him, and then praise will fill my mouth. So also, peace: "In mc you shall have peace;" and every time the Lord visits us we have peace; but tribulation in the world disturbs it, but never destroys it. So you read of the comfort of love; but in war, and when corruptions abound, it waxes cold, enmity damps it; but who can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus?
Beloved of God, where art thou? Art thou lifting up thy axe among the thick trees? He that could do this used to be famous, and so is he now who can lay the axe to the root. But if the iron be blunt, and he does not whet the edge, then must he put forth more strength; but wisdom is profitable to direct. Methinks he is busy at it; he is sent to root up, to throw down, to build, and to plant; and I hope he will do it with his might; for, whether the tree falleth toward the north, or toward the south, where the tree falleth there it shall be. A brazen wall and an iron pillar must the Lord's servants be, in this day of apostacy, hypocrisy, heresy, rebuke, blasphemy, and open profanity. I bless my God, who hath given me a son after my own heart, my own son in the faith, and a dearly beloved son in Christ Jesus; who will naturally care for the state of perishing sinners, and dare to be singular and faithful, when time-serving, men-pleasing, crafty
walking, and deceitful dealing, with precious souls, is become so fashionable and so universal. Go on, the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour: you begin now to make full proof of youf ministry; the blessed effects and fruits appear in the world; "The rain is over and gone, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land." The wilderness and solitary places will be glad for thee, and the desert will blossom like the rose; the desert and barren soul shall be like Eden, like the very garden of the Lord: "Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." God will not contend for ever, he will not be always wroth; but will have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies; and thou shalt see of the travail of thy Redeemer's soul, and shalt rejoice at the enlargement and increase of his kingdom. This will be thy meat and drink, to do his sovereign will; every one that falls before thee will be a banquet; "Arise, Peter, kill and eat;" and those who find the breast of consolation will retail it out to you again: this will help to fill the cruse; it will inflame thy zeal, excite gratitude, and serve as a spur to thy diligence; insomuch, that thou wilt think by night, and speak by day, and never have worse success than when you expect to do the greatest exploits: thou wilt see them melting, weeping, and rejoicing, when thou art standing in the pillory; and hanging down their heads like a bulrush, when Naphtali
is a hind let loose: and this will bring thee into a strait betwixt two; whether as a father thou wouldest have thy children ^ied, while every morsel goes by thy mouth; or eat thy morsel alone, when they are sent empty away.- To see them enlarged when thou art bound, will have some appearance of cruelty; and to see them grieve when thou art shouting, will be considered as perverseness; but so it will be where the work of an evangelist is done, and where the Spirit operates, and the word of God grows and prevails, and no where else. And I must tell thee, that I have got another little man of war in tow: he proceeds with great caution, but now and then opens his mouth in private, and great execution is done; he goes from house to house, but in the synagogue says nothing. There is a great shaking among the dry bones; many have conceived, and not a few are near their time of labour: but if the doctor offers any assistance, the devil belabours him in such a manner going home, that he is afraid to exercise his skill. Not less than twenty have got their hands upon their loins, but there is not strength to bring forth: and there is a whole drove of the king of Spain's trumpeters round the neighbourhood, which continually repeat the sound—gospel; but not a breath of that power which is so essential to salvation. However, the poor and distressed in soul, those that are discontented and in debt, have got that fellow, that Huntington's books among them; against these