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armour proof again«t all the artillery of SatanFor this I will say, that I never have found a» yet an Atheist, Deist, Socinian, Sabellian, or Arian, that ever could describe regeneration, or a work of grace upon his own soul; nor do I believe that I ever shall. The Lord of all lords bless thee; pray for me, and my prayer shall be in thy calamity. . ,'
P. S. I long to see thee; pray come soon.
To the Rev J. Jenkins.
Beloved of God,
Yours I received, and the contents of it are nothing new; the whole amounts to what Paul calls.the body of the sins of the flesh; but all the time that hope and faith maintain their claim, their hold, and their pleas, nothing can follow but humbling dispensations, which always work together for good to them that love God, to that degree, that nothing short of him can satisfy. And as for praying for the destruction of that enemy to the Saeson, it is all in vain, he will live as long as thou wilt live in this world; and there
fore regard not lying words, for thy heart will appear worse seven years hence than it doth now; his Excellency and the ancient Briton will fight, according to the custom of his country, up and down, to the end of the chapter. Nor will the old man ever fight fair, but hit the hardest when his antagonist is at the lowest, and fly as soon as the new creature is up and ready to face him: and this will often gall thee, to think that he should fly and couch in his den, as soon as thou art ready for the onset, and always approach thee with banter when thou art sick, tired, feeble, or unarmed, the Lord not felt, nor faith in exercise; but Amalek did so, and therefore the Lord swore that he would have war with him for ever, and this war is not over yet. Saul spared Agag, and so do many others, but Samuel hewed him to pieces before the Lord. However, Haman, the Agagite, the Jews' enemy, and of the seed royal of Amalek, rose up again in the court of Babylon; but Mordecai would not bow to him, nor give place to him by subjection, no, not for an hour, for Mordecai was of the seed of the Jews, and Agag must fall before him. All the time thou art warring and toiling for that which is not attainable, thou wilt of course fret, and fume, and get into sad entanglements, while the devil, and the old Welchman together, will be sure to overdrive thee when this is the case; for he is fond of hurrying them that are with young. Several strangers at times attend: their curio
sity is raised, I suppose, by the innumerable quantity of hand-bills that are stuck up all over the town; and to be sure none but my old master could ever compile them; but it doth not answer their expectation, but father falls out to the furtherance of the gospel, and makes it the savour of life unto life, and of death unto death. I am still happy in the work, knowing in whom I have believed. God bless thee.
Ever thine in faith and love,
W. H. S. S.
I Am now at the feet of my dearly beloved, faithful, unchangeable friend and father, God and Lord, receiving of his words. I know and feel that he mingles his cause with my own, and that it is in his warfare that I engage, and that all my controversies are in defence of the great mystery of godliness, "God manifest in the flesh." God is highly provoked when idols are set up as rivals to him; and I know that his jealousy burns no less when impostors and infernal mimicks are received as his ambassadors, whom he never commissioned nor sent to personate him, and to be as his mouth. But wild fire or strange fire is often rejoiced in, before or instead of that holy, heavenly flame from the altar of burnt-offerings. The jealousy of my Lord influenced me, and the provocations that were given to him were mingled with my spirit, and I was jealous over them with godly jealousy. And why? because they suffered fools gladly, seeing they themselves were wise. But being crafty I caught them with guile, rejoicing in one who was worse than he that kept his father's wife, and they were puffed up, and had reigned as king* without us. I would to God they did reign, that we also might reign with them; but they were wise in Christ, while I am a fool; they are honourable, I am despised; they know their own wisdom, and I bless my God that I know my own folly. God is jealous over me, jealous of my heart and affections, and I bless him for ever for it. How strange, and how heavenly, and purely simple, is the Most High, to be pleased and ravished with the love and affections of a poor worm of the dust. We must be weaned, not only from self, sin, and the world, but from the church also: "Trust ye not in a friend, put no confidence in a guide; the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge." About ten days ago, at the eleventh hour, the raging fever left me, and I knew it was the same hour in which Jesus said, Thy soul liveth; and I believed it with all my heart. My warmest love hath met with so heavy a damp, that some have lost what they will never regain, and Christ hath reaped what they have lost. My heart is not divided now, he is all in all who is most deserving; who will never provoke to jealousy without a cause, nor send any love-sick sinner away, as an injured lover. "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me." My eye is now single; one object in view, and one lover in heart, whose constancy, at the time of others' inconstancy, and whose faithfulness to the faithless is transcendant, unparalleled, inconceivable, and unutterable. However, many lessons are to be learned by this unusual task, for by all means, and in all things, I must be instructed; I must see more of God's mysteries, more of Satan's depths, and more of hypocrite-attainments. Several doors of hope are set before me in this valley of vision, when God shall discover deep tilings out of darkness, and bring out to light the shadow of death. Many of them in Asia shall turn away from me. Those that count me an enemy for telling the truth shall conceive envy against me that shall slay the silly one. Furnace-workshall come on the hay, straw, and stubble, and consume it, instead of being revived and refreshed under me; but the other materials, their care shall flourish for me again, when it will be least regarded by me. The axe will be laid closer to the root, and then rooting up, cutting down, building and planting, will go on again, and fresh materials