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It has been on my mind to write to you seve, ral times, but thinking your time was much taken up in the ministry has caused me to delay; and knowing that you are an instrument in God's hand, by the love, joy, power, and peace, that my soul has selt and enjoyed in reading your writings, and in sitting under your preaching, from the hand of the Lord, this causes me to send you these sew lines.
About fourteen years ago I was convinced, by a dream, that I had awfully sinned against God, and in my distress I promised never to sin any more; but soon broke my promise, and went on in sin, with my conscience accusing me daily for it. From this time forward I had the dread of suture punishment continually on my mind.
About twenty years of age, when under great sear and torment, I had a fresh discovery of my sins, I faw all the sins that I ever committed in a trance; this was attended with an intolerable burden,
but but I promised, if Cod spared me, never to sin more: but when my strength was recovered I took to a worse course than ever, for I got into wicked company, and took to drinking in order to drown the thoughts of hell torments ., I tried to harden my conscience against all sear, and went on in this course for three or four years. Soon aster this I was married, and, having a family coming on, I left my old companions and took to hard labour, with nothing but the thoughts of hell and damnation on my mind all the day long, and the devil tempting me to put an end to my lise; but hearing these words often whispered to my mind, flee from the wrath to come, I thought the minister of the church must know if there was any way for me to escape; and the reason that I did not know, was because I attended so carelessly. I went to church, resolved not to let any word flip of what the minister faid; but, alas! he faid nothing about my case. And as the people who attended seemed to know nothing about soul-trouble, I went there no more, but took to searching of books, and out of an old prayerbook I learnt many prayers, and faid them when I was under trouble, mourning over my hard fate with tears: this I called repentaqce; but God shewed me, in a dream, the cod of the world, and Christ coming in the clouds of heaven; I looked to my repentance for refuge, but that was of no avail, for the mouth of the bottomless pic broke open just where I stood; this made my bondage to increase, so that I thought the earth was not strong enough to bear me up under my burden. I went to hear
B H preach, and his confidence I took for
faith, which soon lifted me up till my head touched the clouds. Soon after this I sell into sin, and this brought distress on my mind again, and I tried to1 believe the promise according to what B— H—— preached; but I could'not believe, for all my supposed faith was swept away. I was under fore temptations, such as no tongue can express; there was no character to be compared with me in God's word, except that of Legions; the guilt of my sin was upon me; Satan close to my heels all day long, so that I was asraid to look behind me; the thoughts of my heart were such, that I was forced to hold my mouth with all my might, lest it should break out in such blasphemy that the people would have me consined in a madhouse: but sinding that God spared me, I cried earnestly to him for mercy, and that with tears; and Satan would tell me, " that Efau ** sold his birthright, and asterwards sought the "blessing with tears, but found no place of re"pentance," &c.; and I had taken hold of the gofpel, and looked back and sinned against the Holy Ghost, and there was no forgiveness for me. There is no tongue can express what I selt at this time. One night as I was alone reading the passage where the Lord is faying, / will be a wall offire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of them; this fire I took to be hell fire, and thought that it would devour me
before before morning: this drove me to cry to the Lord for mercy, and Christ appeared before my understanding with his pierced side, and I faw that he was bruised for my sins and look which way I would he was still before me, and all my sins were separated from me: this filled my soul with love, joy, and peace; this enabled me, and caused me to mourn over him whom I had pierced by my sins, abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes; at the fame time my affections were in heaven, and these words were put in my mind, "I never will leave you, nor "forfake youand in this love I walked many weeks, and soon began to sear that my old friend * * * * was not born again, for he described nothing of the plague of the human heart, nor of the chastisements of God, or the path of tribulation; and in answer to prayer the Lord discovered this more and more to me, which broke off all our acquaintance, and he cast out my name as evil, that others should not believe what I faid concerning his faith; but, as I could hear none but legal preachers, my soul was soon brought into bondage again, and this led me to backsliding, and every snare that Satan laid was a trap to my seet, and I was brought again under the law, and that worked wrath in me. I heard talk of you, Sir, and your books, but my old friend faid that he and you were exactly alike in experience, therefore I would not permit any of your writings to come into my house, till I heard a person read your Bank of Faith; this caused me to
C 4 think think that I had been fighting against a true faith, for this appeared to me very different from my old friend's faith.
Soon aster this I was coming to London, and was under fore temptations to disbelieve my fonship; this caused me to seek the Lprd by prayer, and he gave me fresh manisestations of his love. I asked the Lord to bring you into the pulpit wjth some text of scripture respecting the moral law, and he really an-, swered my prayer, for you spoke from these words, vhe law of the wife is a fountain of life to depart from the snares of dfath. Under this discourse I faw that my soul was in bondage, and that. I was left there, that Solomon's words might bje fulfilled in me, the kackflider in heart shall he filled with his own ways. And this I had to the full aster I returned home, and was forced to leave my old place where I used to hear, and try other ministers, but found no fatisfaction under them.
At another time, a little before I was qoming to London, I heard three different preachers handle this text of scripture, But his mouth is most sweet, yea he is altogether loyely; but I got no fatisfaction from what they faid. This drove me to prayer in the fields, and I asked the Lord to let me hear you preach frpm the fame text on the Tuesday evening following, at Monkwell-street; and the Lord answered me, for you preached from the fame words, and I found it a Bethel to my foul.
At another time, under fore distress, I was a( 8 prayer