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MY DEAR BROTHER,
You know not with what heartselt fatisfaction I beheld you last; thy meditations of terror are nearly exhausted, the horrible pit will soon be exchanged for the Rock, and thou wilt quit the dark cells and the dismal regions. Tell me, did not the good Shepherd give thee a token for good the last visit at
M , was it not a Bethel? did he not almost
break thy yoke, and burst thy bands? When these are gone, thy health shall spring up speedily; thy mind is reclining and resting on the discoveries and manisestations of dying love, hope abounds, and thy heart enlarges; budding hope terminates in open love—Israel stall bud and blossom as the rose, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
You see, my dear brother, the fruits and effects of your present ministry. Some of the Hebrews are crawling out of their holes, some have broken forth, and others are come to the birth, but want the strength of allfubduing love; but shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? No, faith the
Lord, Lord, as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth hef children. A spirit of jealousy will be spread at the report of Zion's delivery, which will provoke very many, and add servour to their prayers, so that thou wilt see the spirit of the living creature in the wheels, as well as in the cherub; for jealousy is one part of the coals of fire which go up and down among the wheels—the Lord shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; and, under these burning influences, every one that is truly affected will be catching at the skirt of the Jew.
I believe in my heart that there hath been more power displayed, and more execution done, in that part of the world within these two years, than hath been done for the space of thirty years before; and what seems very remarkable is, that thofe who are brought forth, and thofe who are still labouring, are, to an individual, thofe that have been daubed up with untempered mortar, and healed slightly by a cry of, Peace, Peace. O 1 the goodness of God in undeceiving them, and stripping them of the sheepskin; but no rival, no enemy to the bridegroom, shall ever sinally seduce the objects of his love— righteousness will he lay to the line, and judgment to the plummet -, and the bail shall sweep away the refuges of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding placesy and their covenant with death shall be difanulled, and their agreement with hell shall not stand. This line and plummet try the foundation, and the storm
drives us to seck for shelter: the bed of carnal security appears too short to stretch ourselves on it, and the scanty covering too narrow to hide our sin and shame. How visibly do you see the apostle's assertion—if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, bay, stubble: every mans work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. All the king of Israel's spoils must go through the fire, and nothing will stand the fire but gold, silver, and precious stones; the wood, hay, and stubble, arc all consumed. Pray, what is left of all the former work? Just nothing; the wall is down, and where is the daubing? All the wounds slightly healed have been laid open again; and the cry of Peace, Peace, has been no desence against the curses of a broken law. However, this shall work together for their good; for they will be the better able to discover the delusive heat of strange fire; they have been long encompassed about with the sparks of head notions, and with that light which stirs up the fleshly affections of nature, which has caused many, to their grief, to go to bed, and lie down in sorrow. Nothing can stand but the power of God; in this his kingdom stands, for his gofpel is the power of God unto falvation to every one that believeth; and he that is destitute of this power is an utter stranger to the gofpel of Christ. The devil is aware of this, and
therefore therefore to counterseit it is - the masterpiece of all his works: and the academies are the forges, where he fits his apes for his business, who are taught to play upon the passions of poor senseless sinners with empty oratory, affected speeches, great swelling words, counterseited joy, and dissembled love—such glory in appearance, but not in heart* God hath led thee to discover, detect, and spit upon this strange fire; and Under God thou hast put it * out; and thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of truth and of found doctrine. And thofe who have oppofed thee, and abused thee, will, by the bar of prejudice, and by that envy which rests in the bosom of fools, be kept at a distance; while thofe who have been grieved for the afflictions of Jofeph will now share in the goodness which God procures to Israel: but the others will burn with rage, and seel vexation in their souls, when they hear the report. He bringeth out those that are bound with chains; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Those that love the power, and make the Lord their trust, shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that scndcth forth its roots by the rivers; its leas shall be green, nor (hall they cease from yielding fruit. But those that despise the power, and make flesh their arm, shall be as the dreary desert and barren heath, and shall not know when good cometh: and thou wilt see these things made manisest before Vol. II. C c thine thine eyes. And d6 thou observe these things minutely, * and they will furnish thee with many a suitable subject; for daily, in the church, and among the enemies of it, as well as in thy own foul, wilt thou see the Lord in his goodness pass before thee, and his word opening and fulfilling, yea, all the day long.
God bless thee, and keep thee, is the earnest prayer of thy fellow-labourer and companion in the kingdom and patience of Christ.
W. H. S.S.
MY MOST BELOVED FRIEND,
This morning I received your epistle, and have read it over, and truly it has been a sweet repast to me; the matter of it, without contradiction, is truth; and the spirit of it exceeding sweet to my taste, sweeter than the honey, yea, than the honeyi comb.