November 3, 1766.

YOUR letter, my dear friend, of the 13th of October, gave me very great pleasure; accept of my sincerest thanks for this, as well as for every other mark of your regard; and be assured you are always on my heart, and mentioned with much earnestness in my petitions at the throne of mercy, that you may be partaker of every gospel blessing, interested in the unchangeable covenant, and enjoy all those precious privileges which were purchased for us by a bleeding Saviour. That same Saviour, my dearest friend, con tinually intercedes for you, he is the Keeper of Israel who neither slumbereth nor sleepeth. Your name is written on the palms of his hands. A mother may forget her sucking child, but he cannot discontinue his affectionate concern for the weakest believer. What a sweet comprehensive prayer does this glorious Immanuel offer up for the little flock, to whom it is the Father's

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good pleasure to give the kingdom, in the 17th chapter of John, where he pleads that we may be preserved from the evil that is in the world; that we may be sanctified through the truth, that is, through the word of Scripture; that we may be united to himself, have fellowship with the Father by faith, and fellowship with one another by brotherly love; that we may be made perfect in his righteousness, presented without spot through his blood, and finally be with him where he is, to behold his glory, and partake of his joy. Should you be desirous (says one) of knowing whe


you are of the number of those for whom Christ intercedes, you may determine this important point by the following questions: Do you value above all things the blessings for which Christ intercedes? Do you join your own repeated and earnest supplications to his intercession? and, Do you rely wholly on Christ's unspeakable merits, for the acceptance of your prayers? If so, be not discouraged: Christ is your advocate with the Father; he died for you on the cross, and pleads his meritorious oblation for you on his throne. Is not this an inestimable blessing? If Hezekiah desired the prayers of Isaiah-if Darius desired the prayers of the godly Jews, for himself and his sons; how should we rejoice in having an interest in the prayers of the exalted Jesus? If we are tempted, let this be our security, Luke xxii. 32. "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." If we fall into sin through the infirmity of the flesh, let this be our refuge, 1 John ii. 1, 2. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins." If we are under apprehensions of death or eternal judgment, let this be our consolation, Rom. viii. 33, 34. "It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth ?" The above cited com

Lord, the more you

fortable scriptures, I found blessed to me when I last lay on a bed of sickness, and which are at all times necessary to be imprinted on our minds; may the blessed Spirit apply them to yours! My heart is filled with thankfulness on the recovery of your health, and to see the work of grace so visibly carried on in your soul; for I think I can perceive a progress in selfknowledge throughout your last letter, and consequently Jesus is become more precious to you, for till we are made deeply sensible of that mystery of iniquity which dwells within us, we know not how to value him who has wrought out redemption for us, and who proclaims the glad tidings of salvation to us. The more you are acquainted with the secrets of the will see and know of the glories which compose his name; and the more your heart is drawn out to him in holy reverential love and fear, the more detached will you be from all earthly things, and the less liable to fall into those snares and temptations of which you complain. The seeing them in the light you now do, is a sure sign of spiritual life, and of your having your spiritual senses exercised, and I am persuaded, you will shun them as your greatest enemies, if they in the smallest degree draw away your soul from God, or grieve his holy Spirit, thereby provoking him to withdraw the light of his countenance, and leave your soul in a state of darkness and desertion; what a blessing is it to hunger and thirst after righteousness, there is a gracious promise annexed to it, "You shall be filled," filled with all the fulness of God, filled with every spiritual blessing, filled with joy and peace in believing : The hungering, thirsting soul, shall not remain unsatisfied; God's grace and favour are adequate to its most enlarged desires: "He filleth the hungry soul with good things; he satiates the weary soul; and he re

plenishes every sorrowful soul." You know the Lord Jesus to be a tried and a sure foundation; I wish you then, my dear friend, to rely on him as such, to rejoice in him; he cannot possibly disappoint you. Cleave to him for every thing, for pardon and righteousness, for acceptance and strength. This cleaving to him evidently supposes, that we are sensible of want, and that we regard him as one that is able to supply us liberally; it is, indeed, the grand source of Christian joy, and for which we shall be thankful to all eternity. God hath looked upon and loved us in Christ; he is every way sufficient to help and deliver us; yea, God is greatly glorified in the salvation of sinners through him. Faith in Christ is productive of confidence and liveliness, provided our views of him are strong and lively; but if they are weak and dull, no wonder that we are cold in our love and obedience. Do not, however, my dear friend, mistake me; I would not be understood to say, that all coldness is a proof of insincerity, if we are not making excuses for it, and indulging in it ourselves. The experience of the saints of old is a sufficient proof of this. The word of God says, "Sin shall not have dominion over you ;" it may fight with, perplex, and even cast you down, but dominion and sovereignty it shall not have, for "ye are not under the law, but under grace." Your soul, you say, is weighed down under numberless corruptions: all whom the Lord has in any measure brought out of darkness into his marvellous light, make the same complaints. Not to see the plague of our own hearts, argues the greatest blindness, and most destructive insensibility; and I am sure, the longer we live in the world, the more shall we be made sensible of our own depravity, and our utter helplessness without Christ. We cannot be too deeply impressed with the sight of

our own vileness by nature and practice, and what guilty, perverse, perishing creatures we are; but should we therefore sit down in despair? No; God forbid ; rather let us say with the apostle, “where sin hath abounded, there does grace much more abound." God is glorified more in showing mercy to our souls, than he would be in punishing us as our iniquity deserves. The everlasting covenant is well ordered in all things and sure; our debt was paid when Jesus bled upon the cross, our foes vanquished, and grace purchased. What then is now wanting? Nothing; all things are ready for our final and eternal salvation. My dear friend, I wish you to experience more of the comfort of these delightful truths; for I really believe, the Lord has been pleased to give you an actual interest in them. Whosoever will, is invited to take of the waters of life freely. You may therefore come freely, and freely receive. And O, that we may both go from strength to strength, growing in grace, till we appear before God in glory! Lord help our unbelief and increase our faith, so that we may be enabled to receive Jesus as our Saviour, as our Prophet, Priest, and King; our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption !

You are very kind in wishing to be with one so unworthy as I am, and in allowing me to write to you with such freedom. Though absent in body, I trust we are present to each other in spirit, and knit together in one communion and fellowship. This I esteem a mercy; but what an infinitely greater mercy must it be to be admitted into heaven, never to part again. The hope of this may reconcile us to all interruptions of intercourse here below. I rejoice to find you are likely to meet with two such comfortable companions at and I earnestly hope they may be indeed followers of


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