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world to be satisfied with and in the perfect righteousness and atonement of Christ. We are always ready to look for a Christ in us, rather than a Christ in heaven, and to be easy, not so much because of what we find in him as for what we find ourselves. My dear William, are you sure there is perfect redemption in Christ? Doubtless, you say. If so, why are you not satisfied, inwardly satisfied, in whatever frame you are. Christ is able to keep you, but you are not enough persuaded of it. That persuasion should lie at the bottom of your heart, as your confidence and only confidence in your highest frames (else you rest on them rather than him) and then the same confidence would be your satisfying support when in the lowest frames. And I am sure, this way you are always and only fit for service and improvement."
He thus excited a convert to stedfastness and patience when attempts were made to shake him by reproach. "Stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. Your friend is too much concerned about his interests, yet I hope not a little concerned about his soul. Stand still, and you shall see the salvation of God. Leave
all your matters with him.
Indeed it is no wonder
world is railing at you.
he is moved when all the Nevertheless be assured he thinks you right, and values you the more for it at the bottom, though he be teazed by the impertinence of ill tongues, and the fears of his own heart, to be a little unguarded and hasty. A man awakened, and yet not master of the lusts of his heart, is the greatest object of pity and prayer.'
On the death of a friend of his correspondent, Mr.
Walker writes, "I cannot but look upon it as a rare act of a gracious Providence, that your friend should die here in your arms, and desire you not only to make the serious reflections which so awakening a circumstance demands, but to bring them as near as possible to the present state of your soul, and that it may not slip you to commit to writing the purposes you now find possessing you. These are excellent days of grace when properly improved; and may God give the due influence of such a warning to your own heart, and direct you in applying it to others. I am apt to hope it will be peculiarly useful to his brother, but perhaps am too mistrustful, when I suggest my fear that you will soon see the girls as usual. If you prevail with them not to seek for ease and comfort under their present circumstances, in trifling and unprofitable company, you may hope something. But press upon them the wickedness of a life of amusement, endeavour to shew them the danger of pleasure, and engage them to keep out of it for a season. They know not the sin or danger that lies in the abuse of innocent things. As you speak of their compliments to me, this is the most useful service I can offer them, with my kindest service and pity. You know that you are at all times at full liberty to make any thing of mine your own, as far as you may judge necessary: but as to what you say, I think your address should be general, while you speak of the excellencies and consolations of the Christian salvation, especially as exerting themselves in the dying hour O my friend, I was near the bor
ders of death but a week ago: suddenly seized, in danger of a hasty summons. God hath lengthened
my days but how unequal am I to fulfil his good purposes of various sorts herein! He that bade me live, says my grace is sufficient for thee.' Here will I hope."
When requested to see a person who desired advice upon apparently defective evidences of a state of genuine conviction, he thus expressed his kind acquiescence. "Mr. I shall be glad to see, and will deal freely with him, God helping me. I am really concerned for him: but you may learn from his ease the wide difference between awakenings and humiliations, between a fear of God's wrath and a deep true conviction, between a sight of sin, and a sense of its sinfulness. I wish there may be not very many, who are in a way of coming to nothing through this mistake. I think I have known abundance, and wish it may not be the fatal mistake of the poor Methodists. A clear and distinct sense of the evil of sin, not merely as we are, but as God is affected by it, is the main thing; which not obtained and maintained, there is no saving work done in the soul. The ruling principles of the heart are still selfish, notwithstanding the most vehement terrors or joys; and there is not a jot of that resolute calm abiding choice that God rules in the heart, and over the world."
We have an instance of his deep acquaintance with the devices of Satan to destroy our faith, in what he says upon a trying case submitted to him for advice. "I heartily pray God to bless your endeavours with the poor woman at Padstow; her case is truly lamentable, but not rare. The advice you have offered is such as I think right, and that upon this ground espe
Counterplot to a device of Satan.
cially, that she seems not quite void of faith, though it be very weak, and the evidences of it altogether hid from herself. The contrivance of the devil is evidently, in such cases, to drive from the means by terror, and thereby to lead into carelessness, debauch, &c. The counterplot of his device is this :—to select some two or three chosen promises, such as, 'the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin,' &c. wherein the word of promise is evidently without deduction, and seen as soon as attended to; then to press them home in a peremptory way, such as you dare not say, you will not have the boldness, the confidence to say God cannot, is not willing to forgive you; I rest it with your own conscience; speak, dare you say so?' I have seen such a peremptory way suddenly to shake and confound despair, i. e. to put Satan to some shame, and to gain an immediate acknowledgment that nothing was wanting but the sinner's return. But though this desired end do not evidence itself upon the spot, yet it will work afterwards, and frequently recur in the agitations of the troubled mind. [It is proper] to enjoin a strict observance of means, arguing from the mere possibility of salvation, and to warn in an especial manner, against idleness, vain company, and flying to any sinful course for relief, to which there is most cause to fear the party may have recourse according to circumstances. Suppose your next letter were an attempt in the peremptory way first proposed."
To a zealous but much opposed young Christian he wrote, "the various opposition you meet with ought not to discourage you; rather, knowing from what quarter it comes, to make you comfort yourself that it
is a proof of some shock given to the kingdom of darkness. Blessed are they who are instruments in this cause; yea God's blessing evidently attends their labours, insomuch that even opposition is made to further their undertakings. This I evidently collect from your representation; and what would we more than to be servants of Christ, though suffering ones? O, my friend, neither our labours nor sufferings deserve our Master's notice, yet they shall be gloriously owned one illustrious day. Opposition is apt to warm us, and that warmth to render us imprudent, and to make us grow, as it were, desperate. Be cool and patient; steadily, meekly, and silently pursue your project."
Mr. Walker's love of order has often been adverted to in this work: the following caution to an active layman is an additional proof of it. "There can be no objection made to your meeting, by persons of common sense; but you see what the world is waiting for, that they may be able to blame you that you should undertake to preach. God hath so remarkably blessed our regular scheme, that from thence, as well as from the unjustifiableness of any other, we can never keep too clear of the imputation lying upon the Methodists, that they set up lay preachers. I would beg you to use all imaginable caution, that no one may have the least ground of insinuating this, from any thing you may do; and to this end, when you are at your meeting, that you be confined to reading, prayer, and psalm-singing-psalms rather than hymns. While we go on regularly, we shall be able to vindicate ourselves, and what is more desirable, leave it still