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course safely, and, perhaps, honourably too, before the world : though this is not always the case. My dear friend, let us ever keep sight of our Keeper and Leader, and fear nothing. I will tell you something for your comfort, and for your encouragement; it may also serve for your confirmation ; I tell it you in confidence. It is now, I think, thirty-five years since I simply, but solemnly, accepted of the Lord's Christ, as God's gift to a lost world." I rolled my condemned, perishing, corrupted soul upon this Jesus, exhibited in the Gospel as a Saviour from sin. My views then were dark, compared with what they now are : but this I remember, that, at the time, I felt heart-satisfying trust in the mercy of God, as the purchase of Christ : and for a time rejoiced with joy scarce supportable, singing almost continually, the ciii. Psalm. I took a view of the promises of God, and wrote out many of them, and called them mine ; and among the foremost, was that in the lxxxix. Psalm and 30th verse : and well has the Lord kept me to it, and made it good : for, my dear friend, never was there a more unsteady, unwatchful Christian ; never did the children of Israel's conduct in the wilderness depict any Christian's heart and conduct, in Gospel times, better than mine : and just so has the Lord dealt with me. When he slew me, then I trusted in him ; when he gave me carnal ease and comfort, I forgot my Rock and rebelled. Often did I stumble too from legality, instead of looking at my own weakness and impotence ; and taking, believing, trusting views of my Redeemer's strength, I was wroth with myself, wondered at myself, and thought it impossible I could be as I had been. i made strong resolutions, yea, vows, and became a slave, în means to hedge in this wandering, worldly, vain, flighty heart; but, alas ! a few months found me where I was, with scarce a thought of God from morning to night, prayer huddled over in words that had no effect on my heart; and the fear of hell, the chief restraint from sin, or spur to duty. Then, in general, the Lord had some affliction for me, which laid
me afresh at his feet, and made me take a fresh grasp of Christ, and a fresh view of his Covenant; then, again, I felt safety, joy, peace
and happiness ; thus, by line upon line, by precept upoo precept, ay, and by stripe upon stripe, he taught me, that I could not walk a moment alone. This is now my fixed faith ; and in proportion as I keep it in sight, I walk safely; but I still forget, and still stumble, and still fall, and be still lifted up; but I am lifted up and taught lesson after lesson ; and I will stumble, and will fall, while sin is in me; but I am as sure that I will be lifted up, and will be restored, as I am sure I now breathe, and write these things ; and the last stumble shall come, and the last stripe shall be laid on, and the last lesson' taught, and that which concerns me shall be perfected. Oh! then shall I look back, and see all the way by which he has led me, to prove me, and try me, and show me what was in my heart, that he might do me. good in my latter end.' I am often, even, in this valley of darkness and ignorance, allowed this retrospective view; and am led to say, not one word of all that he promised, has failed. • Hitherto the Lord hath helped, he hath been the Guide of my youth, and even unto hoar hairs will he lead me;' and when he calls me to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall even then fear no evil, for his rod and staff shall support me ; and I shall enter into the presence
my Redeemer, white and clean, drest in his most perfect righteousness ; Angels and Saints shall know me in this glorious robe; my Redeemer will acknowledge me as his ransomed, and I shall finally be for ever with the Lord.
To Miss M
September 11, 1800. THERE was, my dear Miss Msomething in your countenance and manner, at our last interview, which has dwelt on my mind ever since. Your former attentions, which I also marked, I attributed to the natural benevolence of your heart; but your following a stranger, an old woman, of whom you knew so little, and you were likely never to see again—to solicit her whom friendship, and an interest in her prayers, spoke a language beyond nature. Either, my sweet friend has already chosen a God in Christ to be her portion, and his love in her heart powerfully draws her to every one in whom she thinks she discerns his image ; or conceives that this world cannot give her happiness, even in this life ; and impressed with the importance of that which is to come, she wishes to cast in her lot, among God's people, that she may “know the good of his chosen, and rejoice in their joy,” become a partaker of that peace which the Saviour bequeathed to his disciples, when about to leave them : Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you ; let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Let me congratulate my friend, which ever of these be the case. If the first, you have, (or will soon have,) a peace which the world can neither give, nor take away ; if the last, the Saviour stands at the door of your heart and knocks, soliciting that heart, which has too long been hunting shadows and vanity. If your soul be dissatisfied with the things of the world, and tired with disappointment, cast a longing eye to the fountain of happiness. This is the claim of that God, whose name is love, My son, give me thy heart.'
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” . In the world
shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have peace.' Be assured, my dear friend, if you could obtain all of this world that your heart could wish for, you would find vanity written on the possession. Nothing short of God himself can give happiness to the soul of man; and exactly in proportion as man becomes weaned from the world, and his affections centre in God, is he in possession of happiness. But how is this to be attained ? By God's own plan, and no other. As many weary themselves in vain, hunting the shadows of time; so many great philosophers, sensible of this great truth, that God alone can satisfy the rational soul, also weary themselves in vain, because they will not seek the blessing in God's own way. • When the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased him by the foolishness of preaching, (what was esteemed so,) to save them that believe.' I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.' The Saviour said, “ Ye will not come to ine, that ye might have life. No man can come to the Father, but by me, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' • Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.' The Scripture tes- . tifies what our own hearts must assent to, that human na ture is depraved, and corrupt; broken off from God, distanced from him by sin; enmity against him in his true character ; opposed to his holy law, in its extent and spirituality: we are also helpless, dead in trespasses and sins. Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself,' (blessed be God for what follows,) . but in me is thy help. The samé Scripture which testifies the misery of man, reveals also his remedy; a remedy of God's own providing, by which man may be restored to the image and favour of God, and to that communion with him, which is life and bliss. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believ. eth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life : for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through him, might be saved. And this is life eternal, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.' When man becomes convinced that he is lost, helpless, wretched, lying at mercy, and submits to the method of God's own providing i casts himself on the mercy of God in Christ, and coming to him, rests on his free promise, • Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out ;' disclaiming all confidence in himself, or in his own works, he accepts of God's offered Grace, in God's own way, a FREE and FINISHED salvation. • This is the record of God, that he giveth unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son who, of God, is made unto us, Wisdom, and Righteous. ness, and Sanctification, and complete redemption. Be lieving this, according to his faith it shall be. Christ shall be in him, a well of water springing up to eterna life.' He will shed abroad his love in his heart, and according to his promise give him 'power to become a child of God.' The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, shall be given unto him, to teach him the knowledge of the Scriptures, and to become a principle of holiness in his heart. Then shall he experience that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths peace; then shall he experience the blessedness of that man whose God is the Lord;' then is the way open for communion, and converse with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
If, my dear Miss Mw, I have made myself understood, you have my view of God's method of making his creatures happy; and I believe he will make us to know that he is a sovereign God, and that there is no other name, or method by which men can he saved, but the name of Christ Jesus. But, take nothing on my word, nor the word of any creature ; search the Scriptures; read the first eight chapters of the Romans, the whole of the Ephesians; stumble not at mysteries—pass them over, and take the milk for babes ; pray for the teaching of the Spirit; and let me recommend to you the advice of Mr. Newton, in his Omicron's Letters, a book well worth your reading, Lay not. too much stress on detached texts, but seek for the sense which is most agreeable to the general strain of Scripture.”
My dear Miss M-, I am now old, and I hope have done with the world ; but have been young, and drank deeply of youth's choicest pleasures. I was blest with the best and most indulgent of parents ; I was the wife of a man of sense, sentiment, and sensibility, who was my very first love and lover : and that love ripened and improved with years. My children were good and healthy ; love, health, peace, and competency blessed our dwelling. I had also, in early life, taken hold of God's Covenant, and tasted his Covenant love; and devoted myself to his service, which was in my mind a principle of moderation, compared with mere worldlings : but very far was I from that nonconformity which the precept of the Gospel requires ; had I kept close to my Covenant God, enjoyed his bounty with thankfulness, occupied my talents, devoted my time to usefulness and communion with him ; had I prayed against corruption within, and temptation without, the Lord would have directed my steps, and held up my goings, and I should have continued to inherit the earth, and should not have been di.