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are, blessed be God, my best cordials. Yet I have found much opposition from the quarter of unbelief, and that to be strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, when every thing of my own is, and is evidently seen to be against me, when grace is so imperfect, when this life appears to be closing up, and all the false confidence derived from the esteem, and supports of most pious and endeared friends is stripped away, is an attainment indeed which I long after myself, and earnestly wish may be vouchsafed to you also in life, as well as in death. In these circumstances I find no relief, but in the blessed word of God, nor in that either, unless the gracious, delightful truths contained therein be made out to my mind by the Holy Ghost; for without his illumination, my most attentive reasonings on the Scriptures have always been found unsatisfactory and unedifying. Let me exhort you therefore to a more diligent use of the Scriptures, in much prayer for the light of the Spirit, that the glory of the Lord may shine more abundantly into your hearts, and produce in you a more lively desire of seeing him as he is, with an increasing transformation of your whole man into his likeness. Ah! my dear friends. we neither love nor use the Scriptures as we ought! Do we make them our only guide, having no dependence on the wisdom of man? Do we come to them only for instruction, and do we come to them in every case? Do we come to them without prejudice, desiring only to know what the will of the Lord is, and praying always for a will to perform it, however self may be denied by our so doing? Do we come to them daily, if possible, in all our retirements, making them
His letter to the Truro society.
the ground of our confidence that our prayers are heard, and the measure whereby we are guided in all the things we ask of God? Particularly, do we read them afterwards, for support and direction according to present exigencies? Do we make them, and not our own fancies, the foundation of our meditations, and the rule of our conduct, so as that on no pretence whatever (especially on that most dangerous delusion of being under the guidance of the Spirit without regard had to the word) we either undertake any thing as duty without their warrant, or hold ourselves excused in the neglect of what they enjoin upon us. I will ask one further queston of you-do you with awe, reverence, attention, and all carefulness, hear them read in the church, regarding that part of the public service as among the most material and important branches of it?
That I say so much to you concerning the Scriptures, is owing to the urgent necessity there is of doing it, from the state of religion every where. While professors have not the word of God before their eyes, they must follow the authority of man, or their own inventions, and unavoidably bring disgrace upon the name they profess.
I have your prayers—I value them highly-I request them earnestly. If the will of the Lord be so, I desire to be speedily with you. What his will is in this respect, is pretty much concealed as yet; for although I grow better, I have no strength to do any thing. That the Lord may instruct you more in his
250 He visits Mr. Talbot and returns to Bristol.
revealed mind, may make you perfect, strengthen, settle you, is the important desire and prayer My dear friends,
Your most sincerely affectionate
Servant in Christ Jesus,
It is impossible to read this delightful letter, without remarking the increasing humility of its writer as he approached his end, and how much more he mixed up himself with his people, when speaking of Christian imperfections, than he did in the earlier and less experienced days of his religious course. The fact is, the nearer we rise to heaven in true piety, the more we see of our hearts with the keen perception of angels; and the view of our own failings becomes so clear and forcible, that we are unable to refrain from casting ourselves in the same dust and ashes into which we would bring others. The altered tone of Mr. Walker, when compared with the denunciations of his first days of zeal, is an exemplary instance of the truly humbling effect of a high state of religious attainment. The larger our supply of grace, the less will be our opinion of any thing that is in us by
Mr. Walker passed about two months at Bristol, but deriving no satisfactory relief from the waters, he removed to Kington, in Warwickshire, with the view of spending sometime with the clergyman of the place, Mr. Talbot. The season, however, set in so unfavourably, that it was thought expedient for him to return to Bristol. During his second visit to the
Hotwells, it appears that the state of repose necessary for his health, became insufferable to his active mind, and he accordingly wrote the following letter for his papers.
TO MR. JONAH MILFORD.
While I was with you, the trouble of many little things which I had to do, lay on yourself and honest Andrew. You must still therefore bear the burden. I am not willing to be altogether idle while I am absent from you, and shall be glad to take this opportunity of finishing the corruptions of the heart, the illustrations of the familiar catechism, and the directions relating to marriage. What I desire of you is, to find in the leather desk in the study (for there I know it is) a scrap of paper whereon are written in a few lines, the general plan under which I intend to methodize the corruptions of the heart. The corruptions themselves I have here already.
You must absolutely find also my book of the illustrations. The copy I have is taken from one of the boys, and utterly unintelligible in many places. Desire Mr. Conon to inquire for it at the society. Perhaps Rawlings may have it, or Miss Tregenna. Pray transcribe the whole (of the illustrations only) and send me. Somewhere or other in the study you will meet with the hints concerning marriage. They are written on a sheet of paper; but I must have besides what was in your little book, and in a paper which dear Henry Trewolla transcribed. Send me these as you get them ready.
I can say
I find the thought of my dear people at Truro a trying one. I could wish to see you all. But God gives me herein a measure of submission. in some sort, his will be done. Remember me to them whosoever they are, and believe me, dear Jonah, with wonted affection,
at Devizes. He prays; but is dreadfully under worldly fear and shame.
The next letter, the last he ever wrote to his friend Mr. Rawlings, gives some hope of returning health, and shows how sanctified affliction had wrought upon
Bristol, November 11, 1760.
MY DEAR RAWLINGS,
When letter came in, I was taking up my pen to write to Counsellor Schutz, a promising man, and whom I suppose you know, for I find you have been traficking with greater folks than he. Immediately I laid aside that purpose, my heart being strongly inclined to a little conversation with my dear friend at St. Columbe.
You will be looking I know to find the state of my health in the first place; I bless God [it is] better. The complaint on my lungs is in a manner, I may say entirely gone, neither have I any cough that gives me trouble. I sleep I sleep well enough, the colour of my face is better, and within about ten days I have eaten with some appetite.