Page images

vidual I ever knew. But, alas! his congregation is now left quite destitute. God is able to raise up such another, but at preser there is no prospect of such an event. We know no one whe preaches the truth who would take his place, and if any were disposed, they would expect to live by the gospel.

I do not now know a single preacher in this country, if I except Mr. T. of Connecticut, who is with me in sentiment respecting gospel truth, although there are many private Christians who are happy in the belief of those glad tidings, which the angels delighted to proclaim. There are, as I informed you in my last, who preach another gospel, who assure us that all mankind will finally, through their own doings and sufferings, enter into life, forasmuch as God willeth that all men should be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Of this number is Mr. W. of whom I have spoken in former letters, and who is now in England. He is a zealous man, and an animated preacher. We can rarely discover any difference between him and the Methodists, except where they speak of the never-ending torments of the wicked-Here he differs from them, for he supposes the wicked will be tormented only a few thousand years, or ages, or millions of years, according to the magnitude of their transgressions, until being brought to love and serve God acceptably, they will be forever happy with the Lord.

I am, I do assure you, beyond expression distressed! What are we to do? I know what you think, and what you may say; you may tell me, I have no business to concern myself about the matter; that God will take care of his inheritance, and do as seemeth good in his own eyes; and that all his wise and gracious purposes will finally be accomplished; that the things which appear against us may be for us; that he who believeth should not make haste; that I ought to stand still, and behold the salvation of God; and that it is becoming a Christian man to cherish a persuasion that all things, that every event wtll ultimately promote the general good. All this is most true; but I am of the earth, earthy; I mourn for myself, and for my friends; for no trouble at the present is joyous, but grievous. Relly is gone; N. is gone; and frequently do I feel myself tottering on the verge of eternity-But no more-The time is short. Perhaps, ere we are aware, the angel may be sent through the midst of heaven to preach the everlasting gospel to all them who dwell upon the earth; when we shall not need any

more to say, each man to his neighbour, know the Lord; when all being, as it is written, taught of God, they shall all know him from the least to the greatest. This is my hope, and this is my expectation; and in this hope and expectation, I will endeavour in patience to possess my soul.

I have sent by the bearer a parcel which I request you would forward to my mother. The other letters you will be so obliging as to send as directed.

I am exceeding anxious to hear from you. God grant I may soon be indulged with pleasing intelligence from my very dear, my greatly valued, and truly venerable friend. That God, our Saviour, may bless you with every kind support, and long preserve you in the very useful character you so well sustain, is the fervent prayer of your oft obliged, and truly grateful friend, &c. &c. &c.


To Mr. G. S. London, Great Britain.



AM beyond expression pleased with your last favour, nor I alone; our christian friends, as many as have had an oppor. tunity of hearing your letter, participate with me in the sensible delight it afforded. I flatter myself you will continue my correspondent, and that you will indulge me with a frequent repetition of such consolatory favours. You also encourage me to hope that I shall be indulged with similar favours from others of my Christian, and therefore my best friends.

When the earth helps the woman, she feels, or ought to feel, the obligation she is under to her Lord and Husband, who has the hearts of all in his hand. But woe to that Christian that forms any expectations from the saints of this world. I can venture to expect candour and generosity from some kind dispositions who were never bigoted to the religion professed by the partialist; and among such I have been received with great hospitality: but when once an in

dividual is leavened with the leaven of the Pharisee,or with the leaven of Herod, a Christian has nothing good to expect from him.

Leaders of religious sects are generally leavened with the leaven of Herod, and their adherents with that of the Pharisees. The Redeemer ascribes to Herod the nature of the fox. He was informed Herod sought his life: Go, said he, tell that fox, Herod, I work to-day and to-morrow, &c. &c. but Jesus describes the latter as serpents and vipers.

Our Saviour spake not unto the people without a parable; and infinite wisdom, no doubt, made use of the most pertinent. Hence the figure leaven, when speaking of the proud in church or state, it swells and sours the mind in which it takes place.

Many instances have come under my observation in this country, where it has worked with great violence in many religious charac ters. Yet, blessed be God, we are distinguished by so great a share of civil and religious liberty, that the most zealous worshippers of antichrist can go no farther than to say all manner of evil of the message and the messenger of peace; pronouncing the former a doctrine of licentiousness, and the latter the vilest of men. Yet the truth will prevail; and in this great, this new world, it doth greatly prevail. A fire is kindled which I am persuaded will never be extinguished, until the heavens are no more.

When I have leisure I will write you circumstantially, as I am persuaded a mind like yours will be refreshed and invigorated by the accounts which I am able to transmit to you. I am fully convinced it is impossible to taste of the grace of God in truth, and not feel the heart expand on hearing that the preachers thereof are multiplied, and that the pleasure of Jehovah is prospering in their hands.

At present, however, I only design to say that I have felt your kindness, that I bless God, who has indulged you with such lumin. ous views of his salvation, that I have communicated the intelligence you have transmitted to many of our American brethren; and I have promised to read both yours and Mr. V's. letter, next society night, to the whole body; they will be glad, and rejoice with me, to hear so much good news from a far country-that I have written to you, some time since, by a captain S. of this town, a friendly ⚫ man, although not one of our society-that I intended my next letter should be more circumstantial; but the gentleman who will band you this communication, takes his departure at a much earlier period than I expected, but that I shall embrace the next opportuVOL. II.


nity for this purpose-that I have delivered some of your shopbills that I intend to commence a journey to the city of Philadelphia, with the opening spring, when passing through many towns and cities; and having some friends of note in every principal place in those States through which I shall pass, I shall be able to distribute them among my mercantile friends, to the best advantage. These were the few particulars I sat down in haste to relate, but I find it difficult to surrender my pen.

I have to introduce to your notice the gentleman who will hand you this letter: I have known him many years; he was one of my first friends; and I have concluded from his conduct, for he is not a man of words, that he is warmly attached to the truth as it is in Jesus. He was a valuable assistant in building a place of worship in this town, and he has never failed to distinguish himself as a steady friend to the cause of truth. His character is well established for mercantile knowledge, industry, probity and honour: all who are acquainted with him will sincerely wish him God speed. I feel very sensibly for the unfortunate, worthy character; he is both, and I doubt not he will be received by you, as a christian brother, and as an honest man.

I have some reason to fear my last communication will not reach you. My pleasure in hearing from you, is proportioned to the pain I experienced on the return of the gentleman to whom you advert, who was the bearer of the letter in the direction of which I made so unfortunate a mistake. I regret the not having before received the account you have so frequently transmitted. The conclusion of the late wasting war is, in every view, matter of rejoicing.

Yes, indeed, Mr. Relly was, during his life, and his memory will continue while I have life, right precious to my soul. My reasons for attachment, for homage, were similar to those which actuated Timothy in his devotion to the Apostle Paul; and my loss is indeed irreparable. You observe he died greatly lamented, no doubt; it was impossible to know Mr. Relly and not regret his departure out of time, and the many who experienced a religious joy at this event knew no more of my honoured friend than their brethren of old did of our blessed Master. Yes, yes, he was truly a Christian, and it could not happen but that he should endure his sufferings with patience for the joy that was set before him.

His disposition of his little property is perfectly just. Mrs. P. was entitled to every thing. I trust the profits arising from the

sale of his excellent writings will be adequate to her support; or if not, I trust her friend has left behind him friends who will prove themselves worthy that character by acting the part of real friends to her. Poor lady, my heart feels very sensibly for her; how great is her loss! There are, in your congregation some, who, from the account I have had of them from the departed saint, will no doubt cherish his fame, and take proper measures to display the innate elevation of his dignified mind. The highly favoured instruments who may combine to perform this duty, will in no wise lose their reward.

The loss of the packet from Mrs. P. containing letters from each of her invaluable friends, originates in my bosom very painful sensations; strange that so long accustomed to disappointments I should still be so strongly affected thereby.

I am exceedingly pleased with, and obliged to you for the portraits of my reverend friend: next to my friends, there is nothing I value so much as their pictures. First their writings, which exhibit pictures of their minds; and next such happy representations of their countenances as is exhibited in the finished performance before me. I congratulate you, my dear Sir, that you have among your sons, one who holds so masterly a pencil, such an acquaintance with the finest of the fine arts, as puts it in our power to preserve so good a likeness of so great a man, is indeed a happy talent; I pray God your son may exhibit in his own individual character as perfect a copy of the mind of our excellent friend as he has traced of his person. But he will fill just such a place as the Saviour hath appointed for him. Please to present to the young gentleman my sincere thanks for the pleasurable sensations which his labours have afforded me.

Our divine Master has taught us to expect tribulation in this world, and none but God knows how much I have endured, yet blessed be his name; I am not able to say with many, there is nothing but tribulation in this world. I have had some sweets as well as bitters, and it is a sweet reflection, that although the bitters are not pleasant, they are wholesome. But friends are the medium through which my most refreshing consolations flow. Yea, I am "very rich in the friends kind Providence sends to help my infirm ities all." My friends are friends in the Redeemer; nothing else but an attachment to that cause, of which I am a promulgator, could render them such

« PreviousContinue »