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cretly in a crucible, that you may come forth as gold seven times tried in the fire. May his left hand be underneath you, and his right hand ever embrace you! May lie lay his hand upon you, and fill you with his strength ! He will not forget Mrs. Wefley; I have had some assurances that he will not, when I have been enabled to lay at the feet of Jesus the delightful burden you put upon me, by interesting me in her present critical circumstances. If I were more humble, I would beg you to present her my humble respects; and if I were strong in faith like Elizabeth, I could fay, like her, with that fulness of the Spirit which lliould go to her heart, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womó ! But it becomes not me to presume so far; I shall be happy if my good wishes may be found fincere before God.
Since your departure, I have lived more than ever like a hermit. It seems to me, that I am an unprofitable weight upon the earth. I want to hide myself from all. I tremble when the Lord favours me with a sight of myself; I tremble to think of preaching only to dishonour God. To-morrow [ preach at West Street with all the feelings of Jonah : 0 would to God I might be attended with his success: If the Lord shall, in any degree, sustain my weakness, I shall consider myself as indebted to your prayers. The adverfary avails himself mightily of the enthusiasm of Miss A- d, to prevent the fuccefs of my preaching in' French; but I believe that my own unworthiness does. more for the devil, than ten Miss A 's. Howe. ver, I have thought it my duty to endeavour to stem the torrent of discourage cient, praying the Lord to provide for this poor people a pastor after his own heart, whom the wandering theep may be willing to hear, and who may bring them to himself.
A proposal has lately been made to me, to accompany Mr. Nathaniel Gilbert to the West Indies. 1 have weighed the matter ; but on one hand, I feel that I have neither sufficient zeal, nor grace, nor talents, to expose myself to the temptations and labours
of a inission in the West Indies; and on the other, I believe that if God calls me thither, the time is not yet come. I wish to be certain, that I am converted inyself, before I leave my converted brethren to convert heathens. Pray let me know what you think of this business ; if you condemn me to put the sea be. tween us, the coinmand would be a hard one ; but I inight, possibly, prevail on myself to give you that proof of the deference I pay to your judicious advice.
Give me some account of Mrs. Wesley, and of the god-father the designs for your little Charles : and, that she may not labour under a deception, tell her how greatly I want wisdom, and add, that I have no more grace than wisdom. If after all she will not reject fo unworthy a sponsor, remember that I have taken you for a father and adviser, and that the charge will in the end devolve upon you. Adieu. May the plenitude of Christ fill you, and may fome drops of that precious oil run from you to me! 1. F.
P. S. I have taken possession of my little hired chamber. There I have outward peace, and wait for that which is within. I was this morning with Lady Huntingdon, who falutes you, and unites with me to fay, that we have need of you to make one in our threefold cord, and to beg you will hasten your return, when Providence permits. Our conversation was deep and full of the energy of faith on the part of the Countess ; as to me, I'fat like Saul at the feet of Ga. maliel.
My dear Sir,
WITH a heart bowed down with grief, and eyes bathed with tears, occasioned by our late heavy loss, I mean the death of Mr. Walsh, I take my pen to pray you, to intercede for me. What! that sincere, laborious, and zealous servant of God! Was he saved only as by fire, and was not his prayer heard till the twelfth hour was just expiring ! O where fhall I ap. pear, I, who am an unprofitable fervant! Would to God, my eyes were fountains of water to weep for my fins! Would to God I might pass the rest of my days, in crying, Lord, have mercy upon me! All is vanity grace, talents, labours, if we compare them with the mighty (tride we have to take froin time into eternity! Lord, remember nie now that thou art in thy kingdom!
I have preached and adıninistered the sacrament at Weft-street fonetimes in the holydays. May God water the poor feed I have fown, and give it fruitfulness, though it be only in one foul !
I have lately seen so much weakness in my heart, both as a minister and a Chriftian, that I know not which is most to be pitied, the man, the believer, or the preacher. Could I, at last, be truly humbled, and continue so always, I should esteem myself happy in making this discovery. I preach merely to keep the chapel open, until God shall send a workman after his own heart. Nos numeri fumus ;* this is almost all I can fay of myself. If I did not know myself a little better than I did formerly, I Mould tell you, that I had ceased altogether from placing any confidence in zny repentances, &c. &c. but I see my heart is so full of deceit, that I cannot depend on my knowledge of myself.
You are not well-Are you, then, going to leave us, like poor Walsh ? Ah say, and perinit me to go first, that when my soul shall leave the body, you may commend it to the mercy of my Saviour. .
The day Mr. Walsh died, the Lord gave our breth. sen the spirit of fupplication for him, and many unutterable groans were offered up for him at Spittlefields, where I was. Who shall render us the same kind offices ? Is not our hour near? O, my God,' when thou comest, prepare us, and we shall be ready! You owe your children an elegy upon his death, and you cannot employ your poetic talents on a better fubject.
I fill up an empty space.
Give ine fome account of yourself, of my god-daugh. ter, and of. Charles. Present my respects to Mrs. Wef. ley, whom the Lord will strengthen in body and soul, if my prayers ascend to his throne; and believe me your poor brother and servant foliciting your prayers, I. F.
London, June 1st, 1759.
SUFFER me to complain that you forget us. I with my letter may miss you, and that you may come in person and answer it before it reaches you. I know what detains you : I approve your prudence, but re. joice not at it. How is your health, that of Mrs. Wesley, and your little family? The Lord gives me health of body, and from time to time, I feel strength in my soul. O when shall the witness who is dead arise! When shall the Spirit enter into him, and fill hiin with wisdom, 'with power, and with love! Pray for me, and support my weakness, as much as you can. I am here Umbra pro corpore. * I preach as your substitute : come and fill worthily an office, of which I am unworthy. My pupils return to Cambridge on Monday, and the whole family sets out for Shropshire on the 11th. Shall I not see you before that time? I have rejected the offer of Dr. Taylor, and have no other temptations than those of a bad heart. That is enough you will say ; 1 grant it ; but we must fight before we conquer. Pray that my courage may not fail. Come, and the Lord come with you! I am, &c. I. F.
Tern, July 19th, 1759. The Rev. Mr. Charles Wesley.
My dear Sir,
INSTEAD of apologizing for my filence, I will tell you, that I have twenty times endeavoured to break
* A shadow rather than a lubstance.
it, but without effect. I will simply relate the capk of my silence, referring you to the remembrance of your own temptations, for that patience you mult txercise to a weak, tempted foul.
This is the fourth summer that I have been brought hither, in a peculiar manner, to be tempted of the Devil in a wilderness ; and I have improved so little by my past exercises, that I have not defended myself better than in the first year. Being arrived here, I began to spend iny time as I had determined, one part in prayer, and the other in meditation on the holy scriptures. The Lord blessed my devotions, and I advanced from conquering to conquer, leading every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ, when it pleased God to thew me some of the folds of my heart. As I looked for nothing less than such a discovery, I was extremely surprizęd, so much fo, as to forget Christ : You may judge already what was the consequence. A spiritual languor seized on all the powers of my soul ; and I suffered myself to be car. ried away quietly by a current, with the rapidity of which I was unacquainted.
Neither doubt, nor despair troubled me for a mo. ment: my temptation took another course. It appeared to me, that God would be much inore glorified by my damnation, than my salvation. It seemed altogether incompatible with the holiness, the justice, and the veracity of the Supreme Being, to admit so stub, bory an offender into his prefeáce. I could do nothing but be aftonished at the patience of God; and I would willingly have sung those verses of Desbaraux, if I had had strength. Tonne, frappe, il est temps, rend moi guerre
pour guerre, J'adore en perissant la raison qui t'aigrit. Do not imagine, however, that I was in a fate of evangelical repentance; no,ma man who repents, desires to be saved, but I desired it not: I was even impatient to go to my own place ; and secretly wished,