Imagens das páginas

Christ. If fick, we must look to the great Phyfie cian; if our own heart condemn us, to the end of the law for righteousness; and, if weak, to the hope of his people, and to the strength of the children of Israel. Dost thou believe, my sister, that the whole body myftical, from the least to the greatest, is complete in the everlasting Father, Head, and Representative, of the church? Canst thou believe what the divine Bridegroom asserts, that those who are called to the fellowship of him are all fair, and that there is no spot in them? Dost thou believe that, when God laid our fins upon him, his righteousness became ours ? that when he was apprehended we were let go? that when he died we suffered the law in him, who is a part of ourselves ? that we were crucified with Christ, and with his dead body we arose ? that for our justification he left the tomb, and we were raised up, and made to fit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; accepted in the beloved, and blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, and in him without fault before the throne ? Hold fast then the head, to which the whole body is knit and joined, and from which the divine unction descends which every joint supplieth. All the bands of love and peace which hold us together, and all the joints of union, friendship, judgment, and affection, and all the confirmation and renewing of these, are of him and from him. This blessed head ministers nourishment to the whole body,

which body is bound up in the bundle of life, or in the bond of eternal love with the Lord our God.

The temptations and trials which have lately fallen to thy share are no other than such as are common to men. After I had been for a considerable time much indulged with the Lord's presence, and with such tender mercy and loving-kindness as is unspeakable, and with the fullest assurance of the reality of the work, and of my interest in his everlasting salvation, insomuch as not a fear, a scruple, or even the shadow of a doubt, remained about it, it pleased the Lord to try me forely; not only with the loss of these heavenly visits, blessings, and never-to-be-forgotten sensations, but all my corruptions appeared in all their infernal vigour. This funk me; and peevishness, rebellion, and fretfulness, followed: then I went to striving against fin in my own strength; and this betrayed me into the shackles of legal bondage, till an army of unexpected terrors surrounded me, and the apparent anger of God, as I then supposed, pursued me on every side; and Satan, with his evil insinuations, suggested to me that all was a . delusion; that God had done it to extort confessions of my own vileness and just deserts from my own mouth, that he might condemn me by them. And here I was almost ready to cast away all my confidence, despond, and get into madness. But the Lord fulfilled his promise again and again;


for he revived the work, and was as sure to shine upon it, and bring it forth to the light again, as ever Satan and unbelief were to call it in question. And so wilt thou find it, and so thou hast often found it already. The sentence of justification passes through the court of conscience at once, and senfibly filences every accuser that the poor condemned sinner has. Upon this both law and justice, fin, Satan, and conscience, let us go; and from that hour the tree of righteousness fiands complete in the Lord, having both righteousnets and strength. This work is perfect, and is not by any inquisition to be brought into court in order to be fifted up and canvafled over again. This would reflect dishonour upon the omniscient and impartial Judge. No: but when God hides his face it is for the trial of our faith, and that by his going and coming he may familiarize himself to us, and be the better known by us, and that we may be led to distinguish between ficth and spirit. The adversary takes advantage of these our desertions, and confuies us, and calis us into a hafty spirit, that he may confound and baffle our judgment; and wlien we are filled with confusion he spreads a disinal gloom over the mind, and obfcures our evidences; and in our burry the Spirit's witness is not attended to. But when the Lord comes het brings us forth to the light again, and we behold his righteousness. Then for our shame we receive double, and for confufion we rejoice in our


[ocr errors]

portion ; yea, in this world we poffefs double, and in the world to come everlasting joy shall be unto us (lfa. lxi. 7), A the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

I long to know the state of your corn, whether your lord and master hath waded through this unparalleled harvest. It hath fallen to our lot to be cast on the ftage of this world when perilous times are come. For many months before this war broke out I had little before my eyes but calamitous times, and nothing but wars and rumours of wars followed my fears; and now, for these five months back, famine is continually in my view, and little else upon my mind. Seed-time and harvest, promised to all, seems this year to be denied to us. And I have long prophesied that the awful rebellion discovered in this hour of temptation would be followed by fome external or internal judgment; by famine, pestilence, or something awful. But no judgment fo fatal as an internal one; I mean that of being given up to blindness of mind, hardness of heart, and being left under the awful curse of God. Many of our impostors and hypocrites in profession have been 10 engaged in political matters, and in the concerns of government, that they have neglected their lawful calling, and the concerns of their family, and have brought themselves to want bread. But it looks now as if they must fetch up their loft Q 2

time nisters,

time by working over-hours, even to keep themselves from starving.

I know, by the word of the Lord, that oppreffion will be the crying sin throughout this world when the Saviour comes to take to himself his great power to reign. And this sin will extort more lamentable cries from the poor and needy than even Pharaoh's cruelty did from the children of Israel; and a more conspicuous Deliverer will appear than ever Moses was. Read Psalm lxxii. And, what is more astonishing, I have fainted in praying God to remove what I see to be coming on. I have no heart to pray against it, my faith fails; and, if I attempt it, it is against wind and tide, for the Spirit helps me not; nor will he ever make intercession for us contrary to the will of God. Therefore I take it for granted that it is appointed for us. Not long ago our oppressors contrived an artificial famine; and it seems now as if God would send a real one, that the oppreffor may have an opportunity of filling up his measure; for sure I am that God will never forget that work.

At present I am but poorly, very weak inwardly; which makes me often look to the end of my race; for, look which way I may, I see nothing but causes of grief and sorrow; and yet the whole bulk of professors seem to sit still and be at rest. They see the whole country blessed with gospel mi

« AnteriorContinuar »