ページの画像
PDF
ePub

5. You have nothing to do with sin and felf, al. though they will have much to do with you. Your bu. siness is with Jesus, with his free, unmerited love, with his glorious promises, &c. &c.

6. Strongly expect no good from your own heart : expect nothing but unbelief, hardness, unfaithfulness, and backsliding, and wlien you find them there, be not shaken nor difcompoled ; rather rejoice that you are to live, by faith, on the faithful heart of Chrift, and cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

7. When you are dull and heavy, as will often be, remember to live on Christ, and claim him the more by naked faith. I have not time to say more, but Jesus whom you hold by the hem of his promise, will teach you all the day long. Look' unto him, and be saved, and remeinber he forgives seventy times seven in one day. May his dawning love attend you tillit is noon day in your soul ; and pray for him, who earnestly prays for you, I mean for your unworthy fervant, 1. F.

Madeley, Sep. 2d, 1763.

Mrs. Glynne.

Dear Madam,

I THANK you for your kind remembrance, and good wishes that I might eat the everlasting bread of our Father's house, expressed by a present of the most incorruptible bread our earth affords. I fhould be glad to take the opportunity of Mr. Wesley's stay at Salop, to thank you in person, and eat with you the bread-thé unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, handed out by him ; but I am obliged to set out today for Lady Huntingdon's college, and shall not, I fear, be in Shropshire, when Mr. Wesley comes.

If the Father of lights hath drawn your soul in any warmer desires after the glorious sense of his love, and enabled you to sit down, and count the cost, and give up fully, whatever may have a tendency to keep you

out of the delightful enjoyment of the pearl of great price, I shall rejoice greatly ; for it is my hearty defire, that all my Christian friends, and I, might grow up daily towards the measure of the full llature of Christ.

I return you my most affectionate thanks, Madain, for your book, and for the franks you added to it. May you use all the promises of the gospel a3 franks from Jesus, to send momentary petitions to heaven, and may an unwearied faith be the diligent messenger!

What proved a disappointment to you, was none to me, having been forced, by many such disappointments, to look for comfort in nothing but thefe coinprehensive words-Thy will be done! a few more trials will convince you, experimentally, of the hea. venly balın they contain, to tweeten the pains and heal the wounds that crofles and afflictions may cause. We often improve inore, by one hour's resignation, than by a month's reading ; and when we can exercise neither gifts nor graces, one of the last is always excepted-Patience ; which is then worth all the rest. Olet us make the best of our day, Madam : a day of grace-a gospel day—a day of health-a precarious day of life! Let us believe, hope, love, obey, repent, spend and be spent for him, who hath loved us unto death.

Mr. M. said your portmanteau would go to day; but whether it goes or stays, let neither wind nor tide keep us back from Jesus Christ. That his love may fill our hearts, is the repeated wish of, Dear Madani, your unworthy friend and servant in Christ, I. F.

Madeley, Sept. 9th, 1763. The Rev. Mr. Charles Weslev.

My dear Sir,

• ISEE that we ought to learn continually to cart our burdens on the Lord, who alone can bear them without fatigue and pain. If

M

r eturns, the Lord may correct his errors, and give him fo to infift on the fruits of faith as to prevent antinomianifm. I believe hiin sincere; and though obstinate and suspio cious, I am perfuaded lie has a true desire to know the will and live the life of God. I reply in the faine words you quoted to me in one of your letters, “ Don't be afraid of a wreck, for Jesus is in the ship.” After the most violent storm, the Lord will, perhaps, all at once, bring our ship into the desired haven.

You ask me a very singular question with respect to women; I Mall however answer it with a smile, as I fuppose you asked it. You might have remarked that for fome days before I set off for Madeley, I confi. dered matrimony with a different eye to what I had done ; and the person, who then presented herself to my imagination was Miss Bosaiquet. Her image pursued me for fome hours the last day, and that fo warmly, that I should, perhaps, have lost my peace, if a fufpicion of the truth of Juvenal's proverb, Veniunt a dote fagittæ, had not made me blush, fight, and fly to Jesus, who delivered ine at the same moinent, from her image and the idea of marriage. Since that time, I have been more than ever on my guard against admitting the idea of matrimony, fometimes by the consideration of the love of Tesus, which ought to be my whole felicity, and at others by the following re

Aections.

It is true the fcripture says, that a good wife is a gift of the Lord, and it is also true, that there may be one in a thousand ; but who would put in a lottery where are 999 blanks to one prize ; and suppose I could discover this Phoenix, this woman of a thoufand, what should I gain by it? A distresling refusal. How could the chuse such a man as me? If, notwithstanding all my felf-love, I ain compelled cordially to despise myself, could I be so wanting in generosity, as to expect another to do that for me, which I cannot do for myself to engage to love, to esteem, and to honour me?

I will throw on my paper fome' reflections, which the last paragraphs of your letter gave rise to, and I beg you will weigh them with me, in the balances of the fauctuary.

Reasons for, and against Matrimony.

1. A tender friendship is 1. Death will shortly end after the love of Christ, all particular friend thips. the greatest felicity of The happier the state of life ; and a happy mar marriage, the more af. riage is nothing but ficting is widow-hood ; such a friendship be. besides, we may try a tween two persons of friend and reject him after different sexes.

trial; but we can't know
a wife, till it is too late

to part with her. 2. A wife might deliver 2. Marriage brings after

me from the difficulties it an hundred cares and of house-keeping, &c. expences; children, a fa.

mily, &c. 3. Some objections and 3. If matrimony is not

scandals may be avoid. happy, it is the most ed by inarriage.

fertile source of fcan

dals. 4. A pious and zealous 4. I have 1000 to one to

wife might be as useful fear that a wife instead as myself; nay, she of being a help, may might be much more

be indolent, and confe. so among my female, quently useless; or buparishioners, who great moursome, hauglity, caTy want an inspectress. pricious, and consequente

ly a heavy curse. Farewell. Yours, I. F.

Mr. Vaughan.

Dear Sir,

AS you desire me to tell you simply what I think of the state of your soul, as described in your letter, I will do it as the Lord Mall enable me.

I praise him that he has begun a good work in you, which, I make no doubt, he will finish, if you do not counteract the operations of his grace. Your having sometimes free aceefs to the throne of grace, but foon falling back into deadness and darkness, is the common experience of many who walk sincerely, though Nowly towards Sion. It argues, on one fide, the drawings of faith; and, on the other, the power of un. belief. I would compare such fouls to the child of the patriarch, who came to the birth, nay, saw the light of this world, and yet returned again into his mother's womb, until, after a greater struggle, he broke through all that was in his way, and left the place where he had been so long in prison.

If you fall fort, yet be not cast down; on the contrary, rejoice that God has begun, and will finish his work in you; and strive more earnestly to enter in at the strait gate. Watch more unto prayer, and pray for that faith, which enables the believer now to lay hold on eternal life. Remember, however, that your prayers will not avail much unless you deny yourself,. and take up every cross, which the Lord suffers men, devils, or your own heart to lay upon you. In the name of Jesus, and in the power of his might, break through all; and you will find daily more and more, that Jesus is the light of the world, and that he, who follows him, Ihall not walk in darkness. The peace of Jesus be with you! Farewell, Yours, &c. I. F.

Madeley, March 5th, 1764.

Miss Hatton,

YOU seem, Madam, not to have a clear idea of the happiness of the love of Jesus, or, at least, of your privilege of loving him again. Your dulness in pri. vate prayer arises from the want of familiar friendship with Jesus. To obviate it, go to your closet, as if you were going to meet the dearest friend you ever had; cast yourself immediately at his feet, bemoan your cold. ness before him, extol his love to you, and let your

« 前へ次へ »