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with that noble saying of our reigning Redeemer, "My grace is suflicient for thee." I saw I was only warranted to mind the things of today, leaving the concerns of to. morrow to his wise disposal. I felt it easy to introduce spiritual conversation wherever I was, and to recommend Christ wherever I went. I saw that every thing, accepta. ble to God, or comfortable to ourselves, was the product of divine power. I saw the folly and criminality of being too much in company, though composed of the best people in the world. I feel nothing more conducive to eternal peace and prosperity, than a regular, meek, even walk.
I cannot close this detail without adding, that in the time of my affliction, the doctrine of election appeared irritating and confounding; now it appears marvellously glorious, and truly humbling. I pity Arminians, and every person who is offended, however secretly, with this doctrine. It is a convincing proof to me, that there is a great defect in their faith and love, and a want of submission to plain scripture. In my worst time, I saw it to be a truth; only I wished it had not been true; and often it seemed a check to every exertion. But, to deny that it is contained in the Bible, appears to be the door to downright deism.
I now stand upon a shore of comparative rest. Believ. ing, I rejoice. When in scarch of comfort, I resort to the testimony of God; this is that field which contains the pearl of great price. Frames and feeling are, like other created comforts, passing away; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. What unutterable source of consola. tion is it, that the foundation of our faith and hope is (ter, immutably, the same! The sacrifice of Jesus as acceptable and pleasing to the Father as it ever was! To this sacri.
fice I desire ever to direct my eye, especially at the first approach of any gloom or mental change.
After my deliverance, my ideas of many things were much altered, especially about faith. I perceive that this principle in the mind arises from no exertion in man. The Spirit takes the things of Christ, and discovers theit reality and glory in such a manner to the mind of man, that it is not in his power to refuse his belief. It is no mighty matter, nor is it any way meritorious, to believe the sun is shining, when your eyes are dazzled with the beams.
The internal evidence of the truth of revelation had ten thousand times more effect upon my mind, than all its external evidence. There is a divineness, a glory, and ex. cellence in the scriptures, perceived by enlightened minds, which they cannot so describe as to make it intelligible to an ubregenerate person.
Formerly, the major part of my thoughts centered either upon the darkness I felt, or the light I enjoyed; now they are mainly directed to Jesus, what he hath done, suffered, and promised; and I do find, when the eye is thus sin. gle, my whole frame is full of light.
Formerly I felt a constant propensity to talk of my doubts, fears, darkness, &c. now I feel a similar incli. nation to hint my enjoyments, faith, love, triumph, &c. Formerly I had a certain kind of pleasure in hearing peo. ple complaining, talking of their bondage, &c, now it tries my patience; the foundation of faith and hope appears so immoveably firm; at the same time, I hope, I possess tender sympathy for all such, and my prayer is, that Jesus may loose their bonds, and set them free.
I plainly perceive the truth of what you have more than once told me, that a name among men is a poor thing! It can give no relief in temptation, nor in a dying hour.
I never, till now,saw occasion for that divine exhortation, “In your patience possess ye your souls!” Luke xxi. 19. But, after taking a survey of eternal felicity, I see much need of patience to wait till my appointed moment arrive.
Formerly, when a friend, or a minister, especially the latter, said a certain feeling was an evidence of grace, I snatched at it, and took comfort; now, nothing of this kind affects me, unless I perceive that it is evidently founded upon scripture.
While remarkable visitations continue, I believe the sub. ject of them will be remarkably humbled; but, after they are past, such is human depravity, that he is apt to be proud, and boast of these very things which ought to ope. rale in an opposite manner. Witness the case of Paul, who got a counterpoise to his rapturous discoveries, Cor. xii. 1. &c. Of this you kindly cautioned me some months ago, when I did not so well understand it.
My mind is wonderfully led out to gaze at the admirable skill of the divine Operator, in his works of creation. I perceive a fund of wisdom displayed in the formation of a pile of grass, or a solitary weed on the road side.
As for his works of Providence, they appear a second revelation, only not written.
Now, my dear sir, to finish this long letter, I solemnly declare, I had no more hand in my deliverance from my dismal situation, than the child unborn; my attention was invisibly, instantaneously, and powerfullydrawn tothe truth. I saw it to be truth, God's truth, and truth to me!
I now hold communion with God as my Father, Jesus my Savior, the Holy Spirit as my contidual helper and sanctifier, with confirmed angels and men as my brethren. I value the communion of saints below. All is the doing of the Lord, and shall eternally be wondrous in my eyes.
I am, reverend aud dear sir,
our affectionate friend and servant, Closet, July 1, 1795.
AN AFFECTIONATE ADDRESS TO A YOUNG CHRISTIAN.
[Every sincere lover of Christ must feel a peculiar pleasure in observing serious appearances among young persons Mindful, how. erer of the difficulties under which the lambs of Christ's Alock, usually labor, he wishes to give them every assistance of which he is capable. Such is the design of the following address, which is dietated, not in the spirit of pride and self importance, but from the warmest sentiments of love and affection.] Your present profession of adherence to Cbrist, my dear young friend, arises not, I trust, from transient emotions of religion only; you are, in some degree, convinced of its truth and excellence, and are determined, by grace, to fol. low Jesus through every opposition. Your eyes have been opened to discern your natural, guilty, and depraved state. Sensible that you can do nothing to recover yourself, you place all your confidence in the atonement, righteousness, and grace of Christ, for complete redemption; and, are desirous of living as an eternal debtor to his free grace, glorifying himn in your soul and in your body, which are his. If this be your character, I hope you will listed with attention to the advice of a stranger, who is unfeignedly solicitons of your spiritual cumfort and improvement.
As it is by the word of God that we at first are made spiritually alive, so our progress in the divine life is pro
moted by the same means. Searching the scriptures, therefore, is a duty of great importance; nor is it possible to
express the benefits derived from a judicious and com. prehensive knowledge of them. The assertions of the in. spired apostle are highly interesting: The holy scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ. All scripture is given by in. spiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for re. proof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnish. ed unto all good works, 2 Tim. iii. 13....17. Ponder seriously these words; and let your practice bear evidence that you firmly believe them. The real value of the word of God can only be known by a practical acquaintance with it. You cannot, therefore study your own happi. ness to better purpose, than by daily searching for wis• dom in that inestimable treasure.
If you come, in the humble spirit of a child, to God as your teacher, and, sensible of
your natural inability to discern divine truth spiritually, look to him to guide you by his Spirit into all truth, you shall soon attain higher degrees of solid knowledge. Your difficulties and misconceptions shall gradually be cleared up. Nor will your understanding of the truth enable you merely to contend for it against adversa. ! ries; you shall possess that in ward and invigorating power of it, which God only can give, and by which the soul is transformed into his image. From being a babe in Christ, feeding upon the sincere milk of the word, you shall attain the character of a strong man, able to digest the most mysterious parts of divine truth, and shall even ac. quire the full assurance of understanding to the acknowl