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Aladeley, July 17th, 1766, Miss Hatton.
My very dear Friend,
I WANT to hear of you, if I cannot hear frorn you by a line. The last account I had of your state of health was a very poor one. What hath the Lord done for your body since ?
My dear friend, we are all going the way of all flesh; and though you are more sensible of the journey in your body than I am at present, yet I follow you, or perliaps you follow me. I often feel a desire to bear your load for you, but the impossibility of this makes me rejoice, that Jesus, who does not faint as I might do, will and does carry both you and your bur. den. By a firin, unshaken faith, you know, we cast our fouls upon Jesus, and by that power, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself, he receives and bears that which we commit to him.
That this faith may be the firmer on our part, let it be rational as well as affectionate ; affectionate as well as rational. God is good : he does not want us to take his word without proof. What expectations of the dear Messias from the beginning of the world ! What amazing chains of miracles and wonders were wrought in favour of that people and family, from which he was to come! What prophecies fulfilled, that we might rationally believe ! What displays of the Godhead, in that heavenly Man Christ Jesus ! In him dwelt, of a truth, the fulness of the Godhead bodily You see the power of God in his miracles ; the goodness of God in his character ; the justice and mercy of God in his death; the truth, and faithfulness, and glory of God in his resurrection, in the coming of his Spirit, and the preaching of his everlasting gospel. O, my friend, we inay believe rationally, we may with calm, attention view the emptiness of all other religions, and the fulness of assurance that ours affords And shall we not believe affectionately also ? Let us ftir up ourselves to love this Jesus, who hath given him. self to us with all his blood, all his grace, and all his glory. Come, give him your whole foul, my dear friend, and take him with all his pardons, all his love, all his strength. If he wants you to embrace him in his faint, bloody sweat, or in his wracking tortures on the cross, draw not back-love him, love him, and let not the grave frighten you : it is good to drop our clay in his quiet sepulchre, and to follow him on the wings of faith and love, without a clog of sickly flesh, to heaven. He died for us, and rose again, that, whether we live or die, we might be together with him ; to us to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He hath blotted out
I am happily interrupted by your kind letter. Bleffed be God for the profpect of recovery you mention ! All is well that Jesus does ; fick or well, living or dying, we will be Jesus's.
With regard to your complaint of nothfulness, your body cannot bear the strong exertions of a wrestling faith; therefore, you are called, I apprehend, with a calm consent to accept of the gospel tidings, and, with the quietness of a child at the breast, to suck the milk of divine confolation. Inward, loving, be. lieving recollection and resignation is the path, into which our dear heavenly Friend wants now to lead you. Be faithful, be bold to follow where he leads : make no words10 unbelieving words, and all will be well. Farewell in body and soul, 1. F.
Madeley, July 28th, 1766. Miss Hatton,
My dear friend,
I HEAR fill a very indifferent account of your health. I stand in doubts as to your bodily life; but it is in the hand of Jefus, and Jesus is wife, Jesus is good, Jesus is alınighty : he will, therefore, difpofe of you for the best. While you see the scales hoyering and it inay be that of life slowly descending towards a quiet grave, calınly look at Jesus ; and when the feeblenefs of your spirits prevents you from crying out, in extatic love, My Lord and my God! let your devoted, resigned, patient heart still whisper, Thy will be done!
Your last letter raised my hopes of your recovery; Mr. Perry, who saw you fince, damps then again : but whether we live, we live to the Lord, or whether we die, we die to the Lord. Not for works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saveth us : Glory be to God for bis unspeakable gift! Jelus remembers you in his all-prevailing intercession and I might add, I do in my prayers, if the weight of a dancing mote deserved to be mentioned, after that of an immense inountain. I am, with Chriftian respects to our kind loving friends at Wem, your poor Madeley friend, . F..
Madeley, July 30th, 1766. Miss Hatton.
My dear Friend,
So you are likely to be at rest first! Well, the I.ord's 'will be done! I should be glad to have you stay to help us to the kingdom of God; but if God wants to take you there, and house you before a storm, I Thail only cry " One of the chariots of Israel, and the horseman thereof and try to make the best of my way after you.
A calm receiving of the gospel tidings, upon. a conviction of your lost estate, with suitable ten pers, is a sign that you are in a safe state ; but I want you altogether in a comfortable one. Your business, I apprehend, is not to turn the dunghill of nature, but to suck the gospel milk : Dwell much, if not altogether, upon free justification, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. View the fufficiency, fulness, suitableness, freeness of his atonement and righteousness; and hide yourself without delay under both. Look at death, only as a door to let you out of manifold in. firmities and pains, into the arms of Jesus, your hea. venly Bridegroom. Stir up faith, hope, and love ;: that is trimming your lamp. Since last Monday, I fir;d the burden of your foul upon mine in a very particular manner, and I hope that I shall not cease to pray for you, that you may go not only calmly, but joyfully, the way of all flesh. I have got tome praying fouls to share with me in that profitable work, and I hope you will meet our spirits at the throne of grace, as we do yours.
Let me have the comfort of thinking, that you are with your Physician, Husband, and all; who will order all things for the best. Pray hard, believe hard. er, and love hardest. Let the cry of your foul be, “ None but Jefus living, none but Jesus dying." Let Christ be your life, and then death, whether it comes fooner or later, will be your gain.
Mr. Glazebrook waits for these lines, and I conclude by again entreating you to believe. Only believe, said Jesus to the ruler, -and faith will work by love, and love by a desire to depart and to be with Christ. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless, uphold, and comfort you! Farewell, and forget not to pray for your helpless friend, 1. F.
My very dear Friend,
- THE providence of our good God brought me fafe here last ThursJay, loaded with a sense of your excessive kindnels, and my exceflive unworthiness of it. Your Araunah-like spirit Thames and distreffes me : I am not quite satisfied about your evasions with respect to the bill; and though I grant it more blessed to give than to receive, I think you should not be fo felfilh as to engross all that blessedness to yourself. Nevertheless I drop my upbraidings, not to lose that time in them which I should fave to thank you, and to praise Jesus. I thank you, then, for all your fa
vours, but above all for your secret prayers for a poet, unworthy, unprofitable wretch, who deserves neither the name of a minister, nor of a Christian. If you are so kind as to continue thein, which I earnestly beg you will, I beseech you pray, that I may have power to tarry at the footstool of divine mercy for a day of Pentecoft, till I am endued with power from on high for the work of the ministry, and the blessings of christianity.
I know. not whether I am wrong in this respect, hut I expect a power from on high to make me what I am not an instrument to shew forth the praises of the Redeemer, and to do fome good to the souls of my fellow creatures. Until this power cones, it appears to me that spend my paltry strength in vain, and that I might as well sit still. But I know I must keep rowing though the wind be contrary, till Jesus comes walking upon the waters, though it were in the last watch of the night.
You see that while you praise on the top of the mountain, I hang my untuned harp on the mournful willow at the bottom. But Jesus was in Gethsemane as well as on Tabor, and while he blesses you, he sympathizes with me. But this is speaking too much about self; good and bad self must be equally denied, and he that is the fulness of hini who fills all in all, must fill my thoughts, iny desires, my letters, and my
all. Come then, Lord, come and drop into our souls · as the dew into Gideon's fleece ; drop thy blessing on thefe lines, and may thy sweet name, JESUS EMMANVEL, GOD WITH US, be as ointment and rich perfumes poured upon my dear sister's soul ! Spread thy wings of love over her ; reward her an hundred fold in temporal and spiritual blessings, for the temporal and spiritual mercies she hath bestowed upon me as thy servant, and vouchlafe to make and keep me such !
I want you to write to me what you think of the life of faith, and whether you breathe it without interruption ; whether you never leave that rich palace Christ, to return to that dungeon, self; what your