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You do not give enough to that kind of implicit con. fidence in Christ, which says, I will trust in thee, though thou slay me. Now this is a lesson which you must learn. Sink or swim, a believer must learn to cart himself headlong into the boundless fea of divine truth and love. 2. You have not learned to hold fast what you have, and to be thankful for it, till the Lord comes with more : till he baptizes you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 3. You do not make a proper use of the joy of hope, which, nevertheless, is to be your strength, till the Lord comes to his temple to make his abode there. Adieu. I. F.
Madeley, Sep. 6th, 1772.
Mr. Henry Brooke,
IF to do was as present with me, as to wish, you would have been half ruined in the postage of letters. I cannot tell you how often I have thought of thanking you for your kind letter. My controversy made me put it off some time, and when I was going one day to answer you, a clergyman called upon me, read your letter, faid you were a sensible author, and if I would let him have it, he would let me have your Fool of Quality, of which I had never heard. I forgot to take your direction, and my backwardness to wri. ting had a very good excuse to indulge itself. However, it ceases now : after some months, my friend has fent me back your unexpected, but welcome favour. I know in what street you live ; a thoufand thanks for it; and a thousand more for the amiable character of your Harry, my kind, my new correspondent. May this sheet convey them warm from my heart to yours; and thence may they return like a thousand drops into that immense ocean of goodness, truth, love and delight, whence come all the streams, which gladden the universe, and ravish the city of God,
I thankfully accept the pleasure, profit, and honour of your correspondence. But I must not deceive you: I have not yet learned the blessed precept of our Lord in respect of writing and receiving letters. I still find it more blessed to receive than to give ; and till I have got out of that selfishness, never depend on a letter from me till you see it, and be persuaded, nevertheless, that one from you will always be welcome.
I see, by your works, that you love truth, and that you will force your way through all the barriers of prejudice, to embrace it in its meareft dress. That makes me love you. I hope to improve by your exanple and your lessons. One thing I want truly to learn, that is, that creatures and visible things are but shadows, and that God is God, Jehovah, the true eternal fubstance. To live practically in this truth is to live in the suburbs of heaven. Really to believe, that in God we live, move, and have our being, is to find and enjoy the root of our existence; it is to slide from self into our original principle, from the carnal into the fpiritual, from the visible into the invisible, from time into eternity. Give me, at your leisure, some directions, how to cease from bufying myself about the hulk of things, and how I shall break through the shell till I come to the kernel of resurrection, life, and power, that lies hid from the unbelievers fight. You mention, “ A short sketch of your path already paf. sed, and of your present feelings :" I believe it will be profitable to me for instruction and reproof; therefore, I shall gladly accept it.
Pray, my dear Sir, about feelings ;-Are you po ffessed of all the feelings of your Clinton, Clement and Harry? Are they natural to you, I mean, previous to what we generally call conversion ? I have often thought, that some of the feelings you describe, depend a good deal upon the fiveness of the nerves and bodi. ly organs : and, as I am rather of a stoic turn, I have,
fonetimes, comforted myself in thinking, that my want of feelings inight, in a degree, proceed from the dulnef's of Swits nerves. If I am not mistaken, Providence directs me to you to have this important ques. tion folved. May not some persons have as much
true faith, love, humanity, and pity, as others, who are ten times impre affected, at least for a season ? And what directions would you give to a Christian stoic, if these two ideas are not absolutely incompatible. My stoicism helps me, I think, to weather out a storm of displeasure, which my little pamphlets have raised against me. You see I at once consult you as an old friend and spiritual casuist, nor know I how to testify better to you, how unreservedly I begin to be, my very dear friend, Yours in the Lord.* 1. F.
Madeley, Feb. 11th, 1773. Mr. Vaughan.
My very dear Friend,
YOUR kind letter I received in the beginning of the week, and your kind present at the end of it. For both I heartily thank you ; nevert heless, I could wish it were your last present, for I find it more blessed to give than to receive, and in point of the good things of this life, my body does not want much, and I can do with what is more common, and cheaper than the rarities you ply me with.
Your bounty upon bounty reminds me of the repeated mercies of our God. They follow one another as wave does wave at fea ; and all to waft us to the pleasing shore of confidence and gratitude, where we can not only cast anchor near, but calmly stand on the rock of ages, and defy the rage of tempests. But you complain, you are not there : billows of tempta tion drive you from the haven, where you would be, and you cry out still, O wretched man! who shall deliver me?
Here I would alk, Are you willing, really willing to be delivered ? Is your fin, is the prevalence of temptation, a burden too heavy for you to bear ? If it is, if your complaint is not a kind of religious compliment,
* Mr. Fletcher, when he wrote the above, mistook Mr. Henry Brooke jun. for Mr. Hepry Brooke senior, the author of the Fool of Quality.
be of good cheer, only believe. Lock up, for your redemption draws near. He is near that delivers, tla: justifies, that sanctifies you. Cast your soul upon him ; an act of faith will help you to a lift, but one act of faith wi.l not do ;-faith must be our life, I mean, in conjunction with its grand object. You cannot live by one breath ; you inust breathe on, and draw the elettric, vital fire into your lungs, together wiih the air. So must you believe, and draw the divine power, and the five of Tefus's love, together with the truth of the gospel, which is the blessed element in which believe ers live.
My kind Christian love to Mrs. Vaughan. Tell her, I am filled with joy in thinking, that though we no more serve the fame earthly master, yet we still ferve the same heavenly one ; who will, ere long, ad. init us to fit with Abraham himself, if we hold fait our confidence to the end.
Beware of the world. If you have losses, be not cal down, nor root in the earth with more might and main to repair them. If prosperity smiles upon you, you are in double danger. Think, my friend, that earthly prosperity is like a coloured cloud, which paffes away and is foon lost in the shades of night and death. Beware of hurry. Martha, Martha, one thing is needful. Chuse it, stand to your choice, and the good part shall not be taken from you by sickness or death. God bless you and yours with all that makes for his glory and your peace! I am, my dear Friend, yours, &c. I. F.
Madeley, Sep. 21st, 1773. James Ireland, Esg.
My very dear Friend,
I DO not hear from my brother : my views of a journey abroad continue the same. I have considered what you say about the translation of my Appeal ; and, I think, I might from it take the hint and do it some day : pay, I tried to turn a paragraph or two the day after I received your letter, but found it would be a difficult, if not an impossible work for me. I am sure I could not do it abroad. On a journey I am just like a cask of wine-I am good for nothing till I have some time to settle. .
What you say about Mr. Wesley adds weight to your kind arguments ; but fupposing he or the people did not alter his mind, this would not sufficiently turn the scale im point of conscience, though it is already turned in point of affection. My fpiritual circumstances are what I must look at. I am brought to a point : like a woman with child, I muļt have a deliverance in. to the liberty of a higher dispensation, and I tremble left outward things should hurt me. The multiplicity of objects, circumstances, and avocations, which attend travelling, is as little fuited to my case, as to that of a woman with child. I think, that all things confidered, I should sin against my conscience in going, unless I had a call from necessity, or from clearer providences. Should Mr. Wesley find a desire of accompanying you, I think you might set out with a single eye according to your light and faith ; and I trust the journey would be of service to both, and in that case my heart shall go along with you. If you go, pray find out, and converse with the Convulsionaries. My request is, that you may see your way plain, be fully persuaded in your own mind, and be led and covered by the cloud of divine protection.
I thank you for having dared to speak a word for me at Worcester, but the stream of prejudice ran too high for you to stop it: it was drowning yourself without saving your friend. It is good to know when to yield.
My last check will be as much in behalf of free grace as of holiness. So I hope upon that plan, all the candid and moderate will be able to shake hands. It will be of a reconciling nature ; and I call it an Equal Check to Pharifaism and Antinomianisin.
I see life fo short, and that time passes away with such rapidity, that I should be very glad to spend it