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charity of all who belong to it. For the eyes of many will be upon you; and and graceless, ill-judging, bystanders, will be ready to take occasion from the miscarriages or infirmities of a few, to involve all in one common censure." To this letter Mr. Walker replied, "the hint you gave me about the society I endeavoured to improve, by reading that part of your letter to them, and taking occasion from thence of enforcing the passage referred to. referred to. I have no doubt you will pardon that freedom, and will be glad to hear that it seemed to contribute to the thing you aimed at, love and unity. It hath been our singular blessing, that we have had no disputes amongst us, which, under God, we ascribe to the nature of our constitution, which is, that no one is to be talking there but myself. That private persons should be speaking in a large company, we had observed from the methodists, to be so great a temptation to conceit (and the next step to that is always envy, strife in the heart, and contention) that we dared not venture upon it. Our way is, to take advantage of one passage and another of scripture, to give and impress some piece of advice suited to a society; which office I ever take upon myself. Conversation they have enough elsewhere."

In order to secure to the members of his society the advantages, without the dangers of being permitted to speak in their meetings, their wise and careful minister instituted assemblies of them in small numbers, to converse freely upon their trials, consolations, and experience. These little parties were arranged to suit the convenience of those who de

sired mutual edification from unrestrained intercourse, were not limited to any particular hour, nor suffered to interfere with their usual temporal avocations. They sometimes therefore met early in the morning before service on the Sabbath, or between the services, and also on week-day evenings after their business had ended. There never were to be present less than five or more than eight, and these persons were called on to exercise an affectionate inspection of each others conduct, and to administer reciprocal encouragement or reproof as the case. required. These limited associations were suitably classified, and the members distributed according to age, station, circumstances, and sexes. The married

met with the married; the men with the men, and the women with the women; and the same rule was also extended to the single, in order that their cases, being as nearly similar as possible, their sympathies might be so also. Although Mr. Walker was not present on these occasions, he was careful to provide for their usefulness and comfort, and drew up for their direction a little treatise, called "Regulations, and Helps, for promoting religious conversation among Christians." Christians." The regulations consisted of directions for preparation, conversation, humble demeanour, self examination, subsequent reflection, and confidential secresy. They were to open their minds freely to one another, and to give their opinions in turn, taking care that no inquiry was actuated by mere prying curiosity, but with a single aim to correct faults, warn of dangers, relieve despondency, and stimulate to Christian progress. To guard against

improper questions, interruptions, or jealousy, each filled in turn the office of inquirer for the day, whose business it was, according to a plan drawn up by Mr. Walker, to elicit an account from his associates, of their Christian experience and conduct. If any one had observed signs of inconsistency in another, he was directed to mention it, without reserve, that explanation might be given, or the error corrected. The rest of the time was passed in Christian conversation, when the inquirer concluded the meeting with prayer, to which they occasionally added singing. Mr. Walker, with his usual wisdom, gave them the following admirable directions for prayer.


1. He who leads the rest need not be over solicitous about the manner of expression, but begging to be impressed with an awful and reverential sense of the presence of God, may in some measure endeavour to lose sight of his fellow-worshippers, that his desires may the more sincerely ascend unto God. Neither need he bind himself to the method of this, nor always to the whole matter, but after short recollection, take of it what God may be pleased to enable him.

2. We are to humble ourselves as a society of professing Christians, who have peculiarly distinguished ourselves by our profession, and yet by our unseemly behaviour, as well as unfruitfulness, have not brought honour to the gospel of Christ;


each one in his own particular [case] looking on his own sins as the cause of the Lord Jesus threatening to remove his gospel in its power, purity, and fulness. We are therefore to pray for the continuance of it; and in order to this, we are to plead his free, rich, and unchangeable mercy and love, in his everlasting covenant. We must plead the honour that redounds to Christ, by the preaching of the gospel, the danger also as well as the worth of precious and immortal souls, and of our own in particular, if the light of the gospel be withdrawn.

3. We must pray for our minister in particular, whose relation to us, though he be absent, still continues, and whose doctrines we are bound in conscience, when agreeable to the Scriptures, to follow-that God would direct and keep him in all his ways-that he would by grace keep him steady and resolute to all the holy purposes he has brought himself under, and has been enabled to be an example of among us -that he may eminently hold forth the light of the glorious gospel in doctrine and conduct, wherever he is, or wherever he goes-that he be no ways dismayed by the opposition he may meet with from the world and the devil-that he may drink largely of the comforts of the Spirit in the trials he may undergo, and may be richly supplied with the treasures of the gospel, and if it be the will of God, may return unto us with the fulness of it.

4. We must pray ardently that the grace of the Spirit may attend the ministration in the public congregation to which we belong, and bless the means to the profiting of our own souls, that we may still grow in grace,

and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For this end it will become us to pray, that we be kept from all undue prejudices [in favour of] him or them, who may minister the ordinances to us, because of their seeming eminency in gifts and graces [above] others; always remembering that the Spirit worketh as he will and by whom he will, and therefore that we must always look above all means for his blessing on them.

5. For our neighbours who are prejudiced against us; that God would be pleased to awaken their souls, and grant them repentance unto life; that he would turn their hearts to us, and ours effectually towards them. Here we shall find hard work; we must not be therefore content with our most passionate supplications for them, unless afterwards we find ourselves ready to do them good for evil. When we behave towards them with meekness, modesty, and humility, then we may indeed look upon ourselves as the children of our Father which is in heaven, and may, under the present dispensation of providence, be enabled to do them more good than ever, though we may be apt to think otherwise; for the Lord's ways are in the sea, and in the deep they are wisely hidden from us.

6. This may be a time of trial to separate the wheat from the chaff; we must therefore pray that we be kept from falling, but especially from totally falling away from the profession of the gospel; that we be not scandalized, if some should be suffered to apostatize, but cry for stronger faith to believe and live upon the promises of the covenant, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church of

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