« 前へ次へ »
treat, free from the noise of London, and the hurry of business, where we should be glad to have an opportunity of requiting the kiridness shewed to ine both by the living and the dead.
O that the Lord would make both his cup and yours run over! Between the living and the dead, (being dying worms ourselves) what manner of people ought we to be in our generation? If we cannot be what we would, burning and shining lights, Shewing forth the glory, the mercy, the love of our Lord, as those, who flame with indefatigable zeal, and run a race of immense labours, let us at least lie meekly at Christ's feet, as Mary, or patiently hang on the cross, as our common Lord.
I want much to know, how you all do in soul and body : as for me, I make just shift to fill up my little centry box, by the help of my dear partner. Had we more strength we should have opportunity enough to exert it. O that we were but truly faithful in our little place! Your great stage of London is too high for people of little ability and little ftrength, and therefore we are afraid of venturing upon it, lest the consequence should be bringing new burdens on our generous friends. We should be glad to rise high in usefulness; but God, who needs us not, calls us to link in deep resignation and humility. His will be done! That God would bless you with all his choicest blessings, for time and eternity, is the lincere prayer of, my dear Friends, your obliged servants,
1. and M. F.
Madeley, Feb. Ilth, 1785. The Right Hon. Lady Mary Fitzgerald.
MERCY, righteousness, peace and joy be multiplied to dear Lady Mary, and to all, who are dear and near unto her, from the Father of mercies, through the Son of his boundless love, and through the Spirit of infinite love, which the Father breathes continually towards the Son, and the Son towards the Father! So prays John Fletcher. And who are we, my Lady, that we thould not be swallowed up by this holy, loving, living Spirit, which fills heaven and earth? If we could exclude him from our hearts, we might vilely set up felf in opposition to hiin, who is all in all. But whether we consider it or not, there he is, a true, holy, loving merciful God. Aflent to it, iny Lady ; believe it, rejoice in it. Let hiin be God, all in all; your God in Christ Jefus ; your brother, who is Aesh of your flesh, bone of your bone ; your Surety, who payeth all your debt, in whoin the Father was reconciling you and us unto himself, and in whom we are accepted. What an ocean of love to swim into dive into! Don't be afraid to venture, and to plunge with all yours ; especially our dear friends in St. James's Place, Mrs.
G a nd Mrs. L &c. I am, &c. 1. F.
Madeley, Feb. 28th, 1785. Mr. Henry Brooke.
My dear Brother,
WE are all shadows. Your mortal parent hath passed away ; and we pass away after him. Blessed be the Author of every good and perfect gift for the shadow of his eternal paternity displayed to us in our deceased parents. What was good, loving, and lovely in them is bid with Christ in God; where we may still enjoy it implicitly, and where we shall explicitly enjoy ii, when he fall appear. A lesson I learn daily, is to fee things and persons in their invisible root, and in their eternal principle; where they are not subject to change, decay, and death: but where they blossom and shine in the primeval excellence allotted them by their gracious Creator. By this means, I learn to walk by faith, and not by sight; but, like a child, inNead of walking straight and firm in this good spiritual way, I am slill apt to cling here or there ; which makes me cry," Lord let me see all things more clearly, that “ Į may never mistake a shadow for the substance, « nor put any creature, no not for å moment, in the “ place of the Creator ; who deserves to be loved, « admired, and fought after with all the powers of « our souls. ..
Tracing his image in all the footsteps of nature, or looking for the divine signature on every creature, as we should look for the king's image on an old rusty medal, is true Philosophy; and to find out that, which is of God in ourselves, is the true Wisdom, genuine godlinefs. I hope you will never be afraid, nor afham. ed of it. I see no danger in these studies and medi. tations, provided we still keep the end in view the all of God, and the shadowy nothingness of all that is visible.
With respect to the great pentecostal display of the Spirit's glory, I still look for it within and without ; and to look for it aright is the lesson I am learning. I am now led to be afraid of that in my nature, which would be for pomp, fhew, and visible glory. I am afraid of falling by such an expectation into what I call a spiritual judaizing; into a looking for Christ's coming in my own pompous conceit, which might make ine reje&t him, if his wisdom, to crucify mine, chose to come in a neaner way: and if, instead of coming in his Father's glory, he chose to come meek, riding, not on the cherubim, but on the foal of an afs. Our Saviour faid, with respect to his going to the feast, My time is not yet come: whether his time to come and turn the thieves and buyers out of the out. ward Church is yet come, I know not. I doubt Je. rusalem, and the holy place, are yet given to be trod. den under foot by the Gentiles. But my Jerusalem ! why it is not swallowed up of the glory of that which comes down from heaven is a question, which I wait to be solved by the teaching of the great Prophet, who is alone possessed of Urim and 'Thummim. The mighty power to wrestle with him is all divine : and I often pray,
« That mighty faith on me bestow,
In short, the Lord crucifies my wisdom and my will every way ; but I must be crucified as the thieves. All my bones must be broken; for there is still in me that impatience of wisdom, which would stir when the tempt, er says, Come down from the cross. It is not for us to know the times and seasons, the manner and mystical means of God's working ; but only to hunger and thirst, and lie passive before the Great Potter. In short, I begin to be content to be a vessel of clay or of wood, so I may be emptied of self, and filled with my God, my all. Don't give up your confident hope : it saves still fecretly, and hath a present, and by and by, will have a great recompence of reward.
I am glad, exceedingly glad, that your dear partner goes on fimply and believingly. Such a companion is a great blessing, if you know how to make use of it. For when two of you shall agree touching one thing in prayer, it shall be done. My wife and I en. deavour to fathom the meaning of that deep promise ; join your line to purs, and let us search what, after all, exceeds knowledge I mean the wisdom, and the power, the love and faithfulness of God.
My wife and I embrace you both; and pray you would help one another, and us, by your prayers. Be God's, as the French lay; and see God yours in Chrift, for you, and for all our dear brethren. We are, Your obliged friends, I. and M. F.
Madeley, May 10th, 1785.
Mr. Melvill Horne.
I AM forry you should have been uneasy about the books : I received them fafely, after they had lain for some time at Salop. I seldom look into any book, but my bible; not out of conteript, as if I thought they could not teach me what I do not know; but because “ Vita brevis, Ars longa :" I may never look into either of them again.
Go on improving yourself by reading, but above all by meditation and prayer : and allow our Lord to · refine you in the fire of temptation. Where you see
a want, at home or abroad, within or without, look "upon that want, as a warning to avoid the cause of the leanness you perceive, and a call to secure the bles. sings, which are ready to take their flight ; for sometimes true riches, like those of this world, make them. selves wings and fly away : the heavenly Dove may be grieved, and take its flight to humbler, and more peaceful roofs. I am glad you do not want hard or violent measures : I hope you never will countenance them, no' not against what you dislike. I believe things will turn out very well at the conference, and I shall be a witness of it, if the Lord of the harvest gives me a commillion to be a spectator of the order and quietness of those who shall be there : if not, I shall help you by prayer to draw from far the blessing of love upon our friends.
In being moderate, humble, and truly desirous to be a Christian, that is, to be the least, the last, and the servant of all, we avoid running ourselves into difficulties, we cscape many temptations, and many mortifying disappointments. For my part, as I expect nothing from men, they cannot disappoint me ; and as I expect all good things from God, in the time, way, measure, and manner it pleaseth him to bestow, here I cannot be disappointed, because he does, and will do all things well.