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You ask me relative to the narrow way, and the strait gate : Mr. T. asked me the same question: Take my ideas in a few words. There is but one way to life, viz. by keeping the commandments. Into this way no mere man ever entered; but Jesus Christ entered into this way. Why then does Jesus himself say, strive to enter? Was not Jesus made under the law? Must he not teach according to the dispensation he was then under? Is not this exhortation, strive to enter in, tantamount to another passage, if ye would enter into life; keep the commandments? And again, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Thus are we directed to make trial of our strength, and it is by this mean we obtain a knowledge of our own insufficiency. I had not known, said the apostle, that lust was sin, except the commandment had said, thou shalt not covet. But Jesus has now become the way, as being the Lord our righteousness; and by this way if any man enter in he shall be saved from the destruction to which the broad way inevitably leads; he shall go in, and out, and find rest and perfect security. Thus entering into the narrow way, is synonymous to believing; and every one who has any acquaintance with his own unbelieving heart-with the world which layeth in the wicked one, and with the adversary of our peace, will easily perceive the propriety of our Lord's exhortation, strive to enter in at the strait gate. Yes indeed, there is great exercise of mind in entering in at this door.
Your ideas of yourself are immaterial; you never will appear so elevated to others, as when you are inferior in your own eyes. But what have we to do with instruments? We are the instruments of which the great Master will make his own usc.
Before I close my letter, I have an instance of mortality to record. Mrs. P. is no more. I never saw death appear more beautiful. When such spirits take their departure 'tis the survivor dies. We suspected no danger until Sunday evening, and then the danger was considered as small; but the pang at her bosom was the messenger of death. She herself soon recognized him; yet we were flattered by some favourable circumstances, the deception of which barbed the arrows of affliction. But this night of adversity was gilded by the radiant light of life: she met her dissolution with such strong faith, as gave ory to the Redeemer, and great consolation to his disciples. No cloud gathered round her through the whole of her illness; she saw her salvation complete; she saw
that her redemption was sure, and she looked to the separating moment with pleasure. Yes, the affectionate wife, the fond mother, could quit with peace her darling family, for she trusted in the Redeemer, and she knew in whom she had trusted.
Thus has this lady witnessed, in the presence of many, a good confession. So gentle was her descent, that we could not perceive the instant of her exit, and she passed quietly without pain of body or mind, through the valley of the shadow of death. Indeed it appeared to us that she was literally sleeping. Happy soul, how
highly favoured of thy God!
This unexpected demise will detain me here until next Monday. May God preserve unto you, your dear companion. My love to all friends. I ever remain your friend and brother.
To the Same.
My friends are involved in calamity. Well, this is the time for the exercise of faith; this is the time to trust in the Lord, and stay upon the God of our salvation, of our salvation; yes, it is our salvation; nor is it possible we can ever be robbed of our gloriqus inheritance; because the God of this salvation is our God. God is love, our love; God is light, our light; God is a refuge, our refuge; God is a shield, our shield; but time would fail to enumerate the many glorious characters our God sustains; all of which are ours; and is not this enough? yea verily. Did we believe the omnipotent God engaged for our protection, we should at all times triumph in the thought, let our station in life be ever so replete with thorns, we should quietly hope and patiently wait for the manifestation of this our God, in every of his characters, well persuaded they were all full of grace and truth.
I need not tell you I wished for you last Sunday. I shall always wish for you when we assemble in our little sanctuary. I wish you would throw your eye over the seven first verses of the ninth chap
ter of Deuteronomy: our system is very clearly taught in those verses; but in what chapter of the book of God is it not taught? Here we are very happy; here we have the advantage of all others, without any cause for boasting. But we want no cause for boasting; Jesus is enough for us, since we know him; we want no more. It is enough for us that he is wise and good, for he is ours.
I wish to hear regularly how you proceed in the new and living way? Do your hearers increase, is your strength proportioned to your day? Do your friends appear serious, and are they so? Do they believe with their heart, or with their head? O, may God prepare you, for whatever is prepared for you! I sincerely pray you may be fitted for disappointment; let your expectations be ever so moderate, they will not be fully answered. Trust ye not in man, in any man; trust ye in the Lord alone, in him you may at all times trust, not being afraid, but in him you will not always trust, you will sometimes lean upon an arm of flesh, and you will find it "a broken reed at best, but oft a spear, on whose sharp point your peace will bleed, and your hope expire," and then you will resolve, and then you will re-resolve never again to rest your hopes of happiness on the creature, but you will confide again, and again be disappointed, until the emancipating moment when you shall leave the dull body behind.
Do you not often find you gain more information by preaching, than you communicate? But you cannot precisely answer this question-yet you will find as you proceed, abundant remuneration. And you will pronounce it your interest as well as your duty to speak well of your Redeemer's name. By the way, are we not servants of Christ Jesus? And if servants, is it not our duty to do whatever we have to do? Are we not still under an obligatory law to Christ? Is it not one thing to have the answer of a good con science by the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead, and another to have a conscience void of offence respecting our duty as servants?
What does the apostle mean, when he says, I trust I have a good conscience, and when he says of others, their consciences were seared as with a hot iron?
I venerate all those who act conscientiously, supposing their consciences do not lead them to act contrary to the law of Christ. But what would you think of a professor of Calvanism, who could go to mass, and take the wafer from the hand of the priest, and
receive the sprinkling of the holy water? What sort of a conscience do you think such a Calvanist must have? Such Calvanists, such christians must have a very inoffensive, accommodating religion. These christians will commend in private, the narrow way, and walk in public, in the broad way. Will such servants, if their Lord cometh and findeth them so doing, be commended?
What does our Saviour mean, when he says, whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and my words, in this adulterous generation, of him will I be ashamed before my Father and his holy angels?
Yes, yes, the world is a witch, that is certain, and right sorry am I you are so much bewitched by this same world; take care my good friend, I am not much afraid of the deceitfulness of riches, but the cares of this world, which increase so fast upon you, may become very injurious to you-No, no, it is not in our day that the truth will prevail as we wish to see it, and indeed we have very little reason from scripture, or the nature of things, to expect the religion of the Redeemer will ever be popular, until the face of the covering be taken from all people, and the veil from all nations. No, my friend, truth will not suddenly become acceptable to the million, until it is sufficiently tempered by worldly wisdom, and in fact it then ceases to be truth. However, it may, indeed it does prevail, in a good degree, and if our Redeemer should grant us, and those who see the truth as it is in his blessed self, sufficient grace to conduct properly, and to act a faithful part, much may be done. For myself, my journeyings in this country have been laborious, but I have the felicity to believe I have not laboured in vain.
I am sorry A. did not answer your expectations, but you must remember his frame, and consider it is but dust; that he is of the earth, earthy; that to err is human, and to forgive, divine: You may, for ought I know, be again in the garden, and in the same company, and if so, I trust your feelings are the same. present, were our eyes open to see him, every where. I wish no God is greater bliss to any being whom I love, than a feeling sense of the presence of God.
The testimony of that description of Universalists, to whom you advert, really afflicts my soul; they are doing all in their power to throw the whole Bible into confusion. What think you of their asserting that Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, were lively types of Jesus Christ? They insist that no being who was ever once happy, can now be miserable; the experience of every hour contradicts
their absurd assertions.
In fact, the devil has so deluded those poor souls, as to induce them to deny his existence—hence every scripture, which points to the adversary, they apply to our Saviour; These blasphemies are beyond expression shocking, and I am beyond expression pained by these wild, extravagant ideas. I have sought opportunities of conversing with preachers of this descrip. tion, not for their sakes, nor my own, but for the sake of the people in general, among whom they labour. I really think they want, whether they know it or not, to be taught the way of the Lord more perfectly.
But I a little suspect, they are afflicted with that plague of the heart, spiritual pride, they will not submit to be taught, even by our Lord or his apostles; yet surely it cannot derogate from the importance of any individual, to receive instruction from any one, however humble, whom the divine master chooses to employ in his service, for whoever be the instrument, God is the source. Surely Apollos was not less taught of God, because his two christian friends took him to their houses and taught him the way of God more perfectly. My wish for a union of sentiment among those, especially teachers, who advocate the pure doctrines of God our Saviour, is a predominating wish. I have been accused of assuming the dictator, but the truth is, it would give me inexpressible satisfaction to find, in every town on the continent, a preacher infinitely superior to myself, both for matter and manner. I do not think I should be tortured by envy. God all-gracious, increase the number of faithful, well instructed labourers, who may administer the truth in righteousness.
I do assure you, I am extremely anxious to procure the requested article for Mrs. P. I am especially solicitous to gratify her; there is no service which I can render her, as a friend, to which she is not entitled. I assure you, I have a full conviction of obligation. If indeed she had taken pleasure in hearing me proclaim the truth as it is in Jesus, I should think we were at least upon even ground; and that if she had sowed unto me carnal things, I had sowed unto her spiritual things; but as the dear lady has not hitherto been able to receive the Lord's sayings, she can have no predilection for me, as the servant of the Redeemer, and I must continue in her debt for countless acts of kindness. May God in heaven bless her; but she is already blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; and what she does not yet VOL. II.