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returning emblem, of that rest into which the baliever entereth, sweet communion respecting the rest that remaineth.
I have often wondered at observing the worshippers of anti-christ so much more zealous, than the worshippers of the Saviour of the world; yet, our opponents frequently affirm, that were they assured of final happiness, they would commit all manner of iniquity with greediness! What is this, but avowing that the kindness of a parent would embitter their souls, would render them disobedient and solicitous to break his commandments? What is this, but confessing that the blackest ingratitude is umpire in their bosoms? What is this, but denying that virtue is its own reward? Thus, the very same principle, that renders these cavillers diligent through the week, renders them equally so on the sabbath: and thus, according to their own confession, a mercantile principle carries them to the house of God, and originates their boasted religion. But, let them pass, while I assure you, that I am in the only religion worth a thought, the religion of Jesus Christ,
Your friend and brother.
To the Same.
I HAVE, my very dear friend, considered, and will freely tell you my opinion of the proposals you have enclosed; I think the prospectus good, and worthy of all acceptation; and glad at my heart I should be, if you might obtain suitable encouragement; but it is not in my power to help such a work forward, and knowing something of human nature, and of the circumstances of my friends, I am really apprehensive you will not be crowned with success. I know you delight in doing good by gladly distributing, and that you proceed on as good a principle, as can actuate humanity: and although, perhaps, no action performed by fallen men, can be wholly free from a desire of self-promotion, yet, notwithstanding, I consider this same desire under the regulation of rectitude, not
only admissible but laudable, and perhaps, men would still more effectually elevate themselves, were they to disclaim all title to merit, and say, with every faculty of their souls, "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name, O Lord! be all the glory." Many are the methods taken by the pride of man to obtain superiority; how happy would it be for our species in general, if pride were manifested only in an ambitious desire, to surpass our brethren in acts of beneficence. Well, in God's good time all will be right.
You observe, it is necessary pride should be humbled. Assuredly then it will be humbled; but it is the power of the Almighty which must do this, for it is not in us to will, or to do in this respect; he that breathed into us the breath of life, can alone regulate the mind. Ought it to be viewed as a humiliating consideration, that on comparing our actions with those performed by the only wise God our Saviour, we come to learn that his actions, and their source, is as much superior to ours, as the divine nature is to the human nature? Man, you say, was made to have dominion over all things. What man? The figure or the substance? "One in a certain place saith thou hast made man a little lower than the angels, thou hast put all things in subjection under him, now we see not all things put in subjection, but we see Jesus, &c. &c."
Yes, blessed be this man, the right of redemption was in him, yea, and the right of the redeemed too, and indeed the right of all things, for all things were made not only by him, but for him, even the wicked were made, like briars and thorns, for destruction. The head of every man was crowned with thorns; thus when all we like sheep had gone astray, the iniquities of every man was visited on the head of every man, for the Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all; nor is it wonderful, that on this head of every man, was found the emblem of the curse; on his head who was made a curse for us, on the day that burnt as an oven, when the proud, and all who did wickedly, were as the stubble. Thanks be to God our Saviour, who so effectually put away our transgressions, by the sacrifice of himself, that neither root nor branch remaineth before God, to condemn us. So that we can say we are black, but comely; black in ourselves, but comely in him, in whom our once offended, but now reconciled God hath accepted us; saying I have not seen iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel. Ye are complete in him, says the Apostle. o live contented in the belief of this VOL. II.
glorious truth, is to live by faith. To seek for this bliss any where else, is to seek for the living amongst the dead.
My health, my dear friend, is far from being established, and I am far from expecting it ever will be; I am, you know, verging on the winter of life, and cannot expect much fair weather, yet there are in the wintry season some fair days; and the wintry season of life produces some fair days, it would be unreasonable to expect
By one consideration I am consoled. If winter be gloomy, it is short. I shall not live always. Life itself is generally to me a most intolerable burden; "but every moment takes away a grain at least, of the dead weight that hangs upon me, and gives a nearer prospect of the grave.
No indeed, I am so far from wondering that mankind in general are so blinded respecting the truth, that I wonder they are not more so. Nothing short of omnipotence can remove the veil from the heart; and thanks to almighty God, Omnipotent power will in due time take away the face of the covering from all people; and all shall know him, from the least to the greatest.
My host is anxiously employed in collecting seeds for his garden; he wishes you to assist in procuring him some, which are choice and rare. How solicitous are we to sow the seed, the growth of which is perishable, and which can only support our dying frames; and how little concerned to sow the seed of everlasting life. But such was not the procedure of the Son of God-the son of man-Glory be to his almighty name, to, whom alone it is due.
The acts of kindness shewn me by my friends, convince me I am dear to them. God himself has proved his love to sinners, by his given favours. God so loved the world, he gave them his Son; and in him all things. I can never imagine true love to God or man, ever took place in any heart, without rendering it studious to please the object, to whom it was attached. By their fruits shall ye know them.
I am happy in the prospect of seeing you; more so in the assurance that you are not likely ever to want a motive for visiting us ; and most of all, that you are strong in faith, giving glory to God.
Yes, my friend, we do indeed hear the lip of truth pronounce, my peace I give unto you—my peace I leave with you. In me you shall have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer-I have overcome the world. Yet, what is it to us,
that he has overcome the world? If indeed we could have overcome the world, then we should have been conquerors, and how dignified would have been our characters, and how peaceful would have been our future lives! What could we have to fear from a conquered enemy, you know? Then, most assuredly, we should have been of good cheer.
And why not now, poor sorrowing way-worn traveller? since all which the Redeemer did, he did for us men, and for our salvation; and let our hearts, our believing hearts, ever more cheerfully say, Thine, O Lord, be the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, amen. This is the glory of the christian religion, that it gives us to triumph as much in what our Saviour has done, as if we had performed his every action in our individual persons,; and we are assured we shall reap every advantage arising from the complete victory he hath obtained, as much as if it had been the result of our own particular exertions.
Blessed are the people who know this joyful sound. Happy are they who believe in their hearts, what the word and spirit saith, respecting the head and the members. But the election obtains this knowledge, and the rest are blinded; yet, as we have a thousand times repeated, we are assured that the time will come, when the face of the covering will be taken from all people, and the veil from all hearts; then all flesh shall see the salvation of God together. I will transcribe for you, the conclusion of an oration, delivered to our masonic brethren. I know it will please you.
"Worshipful brethren, and respectable friends. The maxims of truth and the principles of benevolence must finally prevail, and triumph over all opposition: for great is the truth, and stronger than all things. Sweet is benevolence, the source of felicity, the highest excellence of Deity, The works of the devil must be completely destroyed. Vanity and lies must come to an end. the seeming evils, and apparent blemishes, and imperfections in the universe, which is the building of God, our supreme master, and the sovereign, allwise and benevolent Architect, shall in process of time appear to be necessary parts, and real beauties of the stupendous and amazing structure. The mystery of GOD shall at length be finished, and righteousness alone shall be exalted. What transports of delight! what sublime raptures of bliss, must every heart experience, when vice and mortality shall be known no more-when calamity shall be banished the creation
when all tears shall be wiped from all eyes-when all enmity shall be erased from all hearts-when all the various communities, and combinations, the sexes and distinctions of people, and nations, and languages, and manners, after being conformed to the maxims of truth, and inspired with the affections of generosity and love, shall be united upon the immense theatre of simplicity, before mentioned, in one general assembly, through which innocence and joy shall reign in harmony for ever! What august and majestic scenes shall open to gratify our increasing curiosity, when every middle wall of partition shall be broken down and removed, and we no longer confined to distinct apartments in the great circle, shall be at liberty to make the grand tour of immensity, and meet with none but friends! What an employment for eternity! What enjoyment for the rational and longing mind, in all its boundless capacities of pleasure.
“A prospect this, which if any thing can, must irresistibly prevail upon us, to conduct with the wisdom, the fortitude, the concord, and the dignity becoming MEN of REASON and brethren of HUMANITY.”
Thus much for Mr. D.'s Oration; to you I leave the comment. As there is nothing for which I more ardently wish than the promulgation of the truth, as it is in Jesus, and as I know the "Union" well calculated to accomplish this purpose, I do most sincerely wish your subscription may be liberally encouraged. I trust you and your honourable friend will not be disappointed respecting the copies you expect from London.
You ask if I have any further addition to make to the hymns: if you pronounce those I have forwarded worth inserting, you are indebted for them to my apprehensions of standing upon the threshold of the new world. I expected before those hymns appeared amongst men, I should appear among angels: but I assure you I have so very indifferent an opinion of my attempts in this line, that I think I shall not again expose myself to ridicule or censure. When you first mentioned selecting from Watts, &c. &c. it appeared to me like sowing different seeds in the same field; but on recollection, I believe a judicious hand may collect various fragments, and some few whole hymns, that appear to be written in the spirit of the gospel; but as their adherents know they were not written in the same spirit which dictated Relly's hymns, when said hymns are found in his collection, will it not induce a supposition that he was with them in spirit? However, you are the best judge of these matters, and to you therefore I leave them.