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are left to sink without hope, or are in the least danger of the great transgression, or are permitted in the least degree to exceed the bounds that God has prescribed in his word to such cases, we are sure to wax bold, to reason, argue, plead, and dispute the point; and the good, the holy, the adored, and the ever-blessed Comforter, makes us so wise, so cunning, so subtle, as to improve every slight, neglect, or disregard that God shews to us in our own behalf and defence, and the Spirit fills our mouths with arguments to plead these things. He is our advocate on earth, our intercessor; he comes for that purpose, to make intercession for us according to the will of God: and he does it effectually, and to purpose; and, bless his dear and precious name, we know him, love him, admire him, and adore him, as the sweetest of all teachers, and the surest of all guides. And what is to be the result of this fiery trial? why our dross and tin, by which I understand fleshly affections, legal influences, natural faith and hope, universal charity, and the savour of nature: these are to be purged off, and we are to come forth more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. Faith in this fire is to shew herself, and do her office; she is to claim her parentage, and God is to acknowledge the fraternity. “I will say it is my people, and they shall say the Lord is my God.” This is the end God aims at, and the end that shall be accomplished; this is impressed on the soul by the Holy Ghost, and of this faith prophesies; and this end hope expects; “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” And so it must be if it be true that all things do work for good to them that love God, as every soul does who craves his favour and his presence above all things else; for all that hate him say, Depart from us, and cause the Holy One to cease from before us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways; as the Jews, who saw and hated both Christ and his Father, and therefore said to Pilate, “Away with him, crucify him, crucify him.” I believe in my heart that I have had the aid, assistance, presence, and instruction of the Holy Comforter, in writing this: the devil is almost at the end of his chain, his darts do not stick, their fire is much cooled, and they fly only through the head; they do not pierce the heart as heretofore. It is almost over with him, he loses ground, and will gain it no more. He must quit the strong-hold shortly. The stronger than he pursues him; half his armour is gone, wherein he trusted. And you may expect him to beat a parley, hang out his white flag transformed, treat of terms about a surrender, or wish to capitulate. Listen to no offers, or terms: believe nothing that he says, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come; then thou shalt most assuredly see that Just One, and hear the voice of his mouth; the Holy Spirit will put the best robe in the hand of faith, and faith will put it on: the sentence of justification will then be
passed in the court of conscience, and the Spirit will bear his witness to it, and set the fair mitre on thy head, an ornament of grace, proclaimed by the light of God's countenance, shining on thy face, as the health of thy countenance, and thy God. And although thou hast often said, I shall not see him, yet this judgment is before him, therefore trust thou in him. I am still in labour, and under no common influence even at this
time. God bless thee! my kind love to all that love him.
Beloved in the Lord, I have not written to you for some time, because it was hinted in a letter to my dame, that my last was too much for you, by which I conceived that it had caused grief; but since, I understand that it only meant that the matter was too profound for my friend's confused judgment, and too great for one so unworthy: misunderstanding, therefore, has been the cause of my long silence. I still continue lame, but my blessed one is kind, and very indulgent to me. Nothing can move our Rock, and there is no shaking or unsettling the building till the foundation be destroyed. The living stone is a risen Saviour, and the lively stones are quickened sinners; the two coming together, and being united in the bond of peace, constitute that wonderful fabric called Mount Zion, in which God will for ever dwell. A broken heart is the door by which the Saviour enters, and the sore, tender, or contrite spirit, is his residence in which he dwells. Here he first displays his powerful work: first in cleansing; secondly, in healing, curing, and binding up; then he goes on in reviving, in raising up a new crop, such as faith, hope, love, joy, peace, quietness, meekness, humility, self-abasement, godly sorrow, repentance, glorious liberty, and rest; and making us to rest contented, satisfied, and fully assured that death is abolished, and that life and immortality are brought to light in us. This is the wonderful work that God performs on Mount Zion when he enters, and when he comes to take up his eternal, abode. You may, Nancy, tell your uncle of what has befallen my chapel; it has not caused me one moment's concern, nor deprived me of one minute's sleep; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord, and this shall work for my good. Bless the Lord, O my soul! and God bless you all!
- LETTER XCV.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
I hope you will excuse my troubling you again, but the very great satisfaction and lively hope I experienced under your discourse on these words, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant,” constrains me. The fear you so beautifully and powerfully described, I have a firm persuasion that God in mercy has put into my soul, and that not for any worth or worthiness in me, but through his own sovereign grace. And again on Sunday last from these words, “For the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels;” and indeed it is with the greatest gratitude to Almighty God, that I confess I am at a point in this, that my spirit was in the wheels as you described it, for I feel such a change wrought in my whole soul, and inclinations, and such a hatred to sin, and a desire continually running after God, that I believe nothing short of an Almighty power could have accomplished this. It is now more than three years since I was directed to your chapel in Titchfield Street in a most wonderful manner, and no creature could be more ignorant of the Lord, and of his people, and of his