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0! what condescension, what humiliation, is this in God, to behold the things that are done on earth L And will God, in very deed, dwell with men? Yes: though he be high, yet hath he respect to the lowly; for a sinner created anew in Christ Jesus is the masterpiece of divine workmanship, and from such the King of kings receives his greatest revenue; this people have J formed for myself, they shall shenf forth my praise. They shall celebrate the illustrious persections of his nature, his counsels of old, which are faithfulness and truth, the wonderous works of his hands, the innumerable folds of his wisdom, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
1 bless my God for thee, my son, and on thine account, because the glorious work profpers in the hand of Zion's King; he shares a portion with the great, and divides the spoil with the strong; the travail of his soul, and the fruits of his labour, creep forth from the lions den, and from the mountains of the leopards. By the blood of the covenant the prisoners still go forth from their cells, and thofe that sit in darkness shew themselves, and shine under the soring of eternal day; and ere long the remains of the vail which now too often intervenes shall be done away, and we shall know as we are known; and all these fad and dangerous allurements, with the wliole of this grofs matter which is now in view, shall dissolve and vanish, and we shall awake in his likeness, and be fatisfied therewith; for be that hath shewed us great and fore troubles shall quicken us again, and bring us tip again from the depths of the earth; he shall increase our greatness, and comfort us on every side. Then shall we see him as he is, and be silled with all his fulness.
But I must counsel thee a little, and tell thee what will befall thee, more or less, in the course of thy pilgrimage. Thou art now in the banqueting house, in persect friendship, and in sweet union with the best beloved, and his voice to us at such times is, Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. This is the language of the heavenly wooer in the day of espoufals, arid in the day of the gladness of his heart. But look up, and see; what is that which hangs over thy head? His banner over me is love. True; bu1- a banner is a sign of war, and the Sbulamite is a company of two armies ., time will tell thee what that means. The new wine, of which thou fpeakest, is in general poured forth plentifully on the day of espoufals; but the time will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and theii ihall they fast in thofe days. Yea, the time will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and ye shall not see it. Weaning days are terrible days to the little heirs of promise, and days of absence and spiritual desertion are no less dismal to a wise of youth; but the God of Israel, the Saviour, is verily a God that hideth himself; and when he does so, who then can behold him? At these times his wonders in the land are obscured, and his commandment is hid. The hills of 8 Judah
Judah flow neither with wine, nor with milk. Wisdom refuses to sleep with us, and even to talk with us i we seek him, but he is not to be found; we call him, but he gives us no answer. Looking up, recoils with grief; and looking to months past, is attended with aggravation. We have been driven, yea, wooed and won from all earthly enjoyments, and wholly absorbed in divine and heavenly realitiesi and now dead to the one, and bereft of the other. Put faith must be tried. The adverfary salutes us with the old taunt, where is now thy God? The old man, which we thought to be crucified, dead, buryed, and for ever gone, rises again in a worse appearance than in Samuel's mantle; for he appears with seven heads and ten horns, and all his members more clearly and more distinctly seen than ever they were before, and if possible more desperate, and all against the empire of grace, with Satan at the head os them—a true emblem of the Gog and Magog army encompassing the camp of the faints; and the worst of all is, Jesus is not to be found. But we must have an engagement in the wilderness, before we return in the power of the Spirit, in order that our sonship may be confirmed in us, and that we may know, by blessed experience, that his grace is sufficient for us. In these trying times every bait that can possibly eratify flesh and blood will be hung upon Satan's hook, and all our former pleasurable sins will be presented to view, and the natural enmity and rebellion of the heart not a little stirred up; which, to
a soul a soul reconciled to God, appears a strange thing. But this is the time for the believer to quit himself like a man; to be constant in prayer, though no answer be given; to be diligent in the mta; s, though nothing appears to be gained by trading; to be much in private, though followed up by the worst of company; still to seek him, though it appears to be labour in vain; to read, although every thing runs against us; and to watch his hand, though we fee not our signs, nor one token for good. When we have laboured through this fiery trial, faith appears more precious than gold, the way more clearly cast up, and our sect to stand in a more even place. I now commit thee to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build thee up, and to give thee an inheritance among all them that are fanctified, by faith that is in Christ Jesus; and remain, in the best of bonds, your friend and servant for his fake,
DEARLY BELOVED AND HONOURED FATHER IN
As such I shall ever esteem you; for through your instrumentality alone it is that the Lord has been pleased to beget me to a lively hope that I shall never perish, but have everlasting lise, and be found to be a member of Christ's mystical body when time shall be no more.
You have long been made manisest in my heart and conscience as a servant of the Lord; and the doctrines that you preach as the only true doctrines of the gofpel, being the very fame that the apostles and prophets taught in the days of old: laying Christ Jesus, and him crucified, as the only foundation for poor sinners to build all their hopes and expectations of complete falvation and everlasting glory upon, I have no more doubt of the word pf the Lord in your mouth being truth, than I have of my personal existence; no more. Because it hath come with power to my heart, and by it tine $*prd hath effected a most wonderful change.