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May I not flatter myself with the pleasing assurance that I have some friends in London on this same principle. Yes, I indulge this hope, and the worthy friend to whom I am writing, bids me conclude him my sincere friend and brother in our adorable and beloved Saviour. Thank you Sir, most cordially I thank you, I do assure you my heart feels very grateful.
Certainly, I am fond of turning from this busy, bustling state of things, from these perplexing uncertainties, to the rest that remaineth. In the name of my Redeemer, and in his name only do I obtain sweet, refreshing, undisturbed repose. When Jesus tells us In the world we shall have tribulation, he benignly adds, but, what a blessed but, but in me you shall have peace. We have no right to expect permanent peace in this world. We enjoy by faith expected good. O, for an increase of this soul-reviving, soul-satisfying good! Look unto me, and be ye saved, said the just God, and the Saviour. They looked unto him and were lightened, said the teaching spirit. Let thine eye be single, said the Saviour, and the whole body shall be full of light. "I am," said the same divine character," the light of the world." "As ye have received the Lord Jesus," saith the spirit, "so walk in him." If we thus walk in the light, our fellowship even while here, is with the Father, and with the Son. It is a divinely consoling consideration, that the Redeemer hath promised, he will be with us even to the end of our journey.
I sincerely thank you for the concluding petition in your truly evangelical epistle. I repeat that I contemplate attending particularly to every paragraph, and in the mean time permit me to assure you, that I am with grateful affection in our ever-blessed, ever-biessing Lord and Lover, Head and Husband, your friend and brother, and very faithful servant.
To Mr. W. P. of Plymouth, Great Britain.
CAN it be that the friends to whom I set me down to write, have received, and never replied to the letters sent by me and mine? Has Mr. P. has Anna Maria, has Louisa forgotten me? Or am I only remembered at times, and that with indifference?
Or have they written, and in writing exerted all their powers to convince me I am still dear to them; and have I been so unfortunate as to lose these refreshing testimonies of their affection? How is it? I will make one more experiment, and I beseech you to inform me if you live in the character in which I left you? in the character in which you followed me in the last stage of my journey through our beloved country? You will, let your present character be what it may, I am sure you will excuse these queries. You know, and you know that I know, man is mutable; that we are given to change; and that it is our Saviour only, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. But our Saviour sometimes opens hearts that no one can shut ; and let me add that if we are found looking more to the open hearts, than to him who hath mercifully opened those hearts, he may shut them again, so that no man can open them.
For me, as I never was able to paint a passion which I did not feel, my heart, through life, has ever been upon my lips. I never professed an affection for any one who had not taken possession of my heart; nor has it ever been in the power of any one beside the possessors themselves, and this of their own choice, to drive them thence. When some individuals have thought proper, either for the gratification of themselves, or others, to abandon their residence, I have in many instances wept at their departure until I have generally been constrained to say with the Poet,
"Good when he gives, supremely good,
Nor less when he denies,
E'en crosses from his sovereign hand,
Are blessings in disguise.”
Yet, after all, I echo another poet. Friends are our chief treas They are not, however, our entailed inheritance. No, they' are no more than travelling charges; but they are the sweeteners of life. Without friends, this world would become one vast desert.
It is not probable I shall ever again see in the flesh my Plymouth friends; I had hoped to have seen them often on paper; but if they be otherwise determined, I will say, "The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; and blessed be the name of the Lord." Still I shall remember you as friends, with whom I was most blest; who for a time were instruments of much good to me; and I will look forward to a better country where affection will never cool, and where no whisperer will ever be suffered to make a separation between choice friends.
I flattered myself, I flattered my better self, that in our Anna Maria she would have been favoured with a constant correspondent; that mutual pleasure and profit would have been given and received. But-but-I know not what to think; I will, however, suspend my judgment; I will yet indulge the pleasure of expectation; I will wait for letters from my ever-dear Plymouth friends. For, O, I cannot patiently give them up! nor is this strange, when I reflect upon the many precious opportunities I enjoyed among them! Pleasures and pleasures of the most refined kind I reaped in your family. How often has retrospection given me back those pleasures! Sweet are the pleasures which will bear reflection. How miserable are those unhappy beings who are continually toiling in pursuit of enjoyments that will not bear reflection. How poor are the rich, who answer to this description; how miserable the happy. O, my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly; mine honour, be not thou united. Yet we must have our residence in the midst of such; and we are therefore sometimes constrained to say, "Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar." But we are strangers here, and so may we ever be; we shall be at home by and by, where we shall no more be strangers, but fellow-citizens with the saints of the household of God; there the wicked from within and from without will forever cease from troubling, and there the wearied soul will find undisturb ́ed repose. Here then I will rest, and for the time which separates me from this my rest-Why it is not worth a thought.
I have not much time to spare; my private and public labours engross my attention. If I did not feel a very strong affection for my friends, I should not wish for their correspondence, especially as I have so many corresponding friends on this side the water; but to you and yours I am warmly attached. How is your son, whom though I have not seen, I love; or rather whom I have seen in his letters to you, and therefore love? Let me hear if he be still fighting the good fight of faith? If he be still wielding with success the sword of the Spirit, and if he finds it mighty through God to the pulling down strong holds? In short, let me know every thing, of every one of your dear family.
I reverence, I do more, I love the Rev. Mr. G.; we have, I am persuaded, drank into the same spirit; and I feel myself rich in his brotherly affection. I am persuaded he is a Christian; but I have expected, and still expect, that I shall have evidence thereof from
under his own hand. Give my love to him, and tell him this. There are not many in Plymouth, on whom I have claims. There are many whom I feel for, and should rejoice to hear from; but my mind is not greatly discomposed at their silence. But upon you, your Anna Maria, and our mutual friend Mr. G. I think, I have a right to call. Need I repeat, that you are all dear to the heart, to the warm heart of your friend and brother?
To Mr. W. H. merchant in Falmouth, Great Britain.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
HAVING SO good an opportunity by Mr. S. who will either deliver my letter himself, or take care that it shall be delivered; I embrace it with pleasure, just to inform you that I have not heard from you since I have written to you. I do not, I never did wish to intrude either by letter or otherwise; I do not say, that I am, in the present instance, an intruder. Indeed I am not unhappy enough to believe I am. But if you cease to respond to my letters, unpleasant conclusions will be forced upon me.
I confess it is not generous to harbour doubts of friends; but an acquaintance with human nature, will generally originate doubts. Man is mutable; the longer we live in the world, the more we are convinced of the propriety of this sentiment. Hence, old men are commonly more suspicious than young men. It is not that age is more depraved than youth; but old men have had so many opportunities of obtaining a knowledge of mankind, and sometimes it may be, have purchased their knowledge at so dear a rate, that they are at last convinced of the propriety of the divine admonition, Put ye no trust in man; and thus taught of God, they listen to the poet who says, "Lean not on earth." But, blessed be God, the same divine Spirit which directs and even commands us not to put trust in man, not to put confidence in a guide, and even pronounces a curse on those who put their trust in an arm of flesh. I say the
same divine Spirit encourages us, indeed commands us to trust in the Lord at all times, not being afraid.
But, alas, alas! we are by nature prone to transgress both these commands; we are strongly affected by objects of sense, and sweet are the enjoyments derived from the social haunts of men. I will freely own to you, that my reception at Falmouth, and the kind offices rendered me there by you in particular, and by my friends in general, has left a durable impression upon my mind; and were you or they to think of me as an alien, or not to think of me at all, it would afford me exquisite pain. I think I should, in such circumstances, exclaim with Dr. Young, "Good lost, weighs more in grief than gained in joy." However, inform me how you feel, and I will endeavour to conform my wishes to yours.
You once mentioned sending by the New-York Packet as a convenient mode of conveyance. I have thought of it since; and if you have any interest with any captain of a packet or any other on board, it may answer; for letters put into the post-office are charged very high. Let my ever dear and much loved friend R. know when you write, and please to present him my sincere and most affectionate regards; you will inform him also, that I sent him on, last season, a long letter, by a captain D. to which I have had no answer. I pray you to present my respectful regards to Mrs. H. and inform my obliging friend G. that I have made much inquiry relative to the branch of his family, about which he has written; but hitherto without effect. I can learn nothing of his friends in this State. But I shall make one more experiment, by advertisements in the public prints.
That you, and yours, and each of our mutual friends, may live in the full enjoyment of every felicity, with which the Christian character can be blest, is the fervent prayer of, my valued friend, your ever faithful and devoted, &c. &c.