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that God would for a moinent give me the exercise of his iron fceptre, to break myself to pieces as a vessel to dishonour. A bitter and cruel zeal against myself, and all the sinners who were with me, filled all my thoughts and all my desires. The devil, who well knew how to improve the opportunity, blew without ceasing, the sparks of some corruptions, which I thought extinguished, or at the point of being so, till at last the fire began to appear without. This opened my eyes, and I felt it was time to implore fuccour. It is now eight days since I endeavoured to pray, but almost without success : yesterday, however, as I sang ore of your hymns, the Lord lifted up my head, and commanded me to face my enemies. By his grace I am already conqueror, and doubt not, that I shall fooni be more than conqueror. Although I deserve it not, nevertheless, hold up my hands till all these Amalakites be put to flight. I am, &c, 1. F.
London, Sept. 14th, 1759.
My dear Sir,
I THANK you for your speedy answer, and nothing, but the assurance of your speedy arrival, is wanting to make my happiness complete. Your last lines drew tears from my eyes : I cannot wait till your death, to befeech you to give me that benedic. tion of which you speak. I conjure you, in the name of Christ, to give it me, when you read these lines, and to repeat it, as frequently as you think of a poor brother, who needs the prayers of every one, and who cannot part with yours.
I accept, with pleasure, the obliging proposal you make me for the approaching winter ; and I entreat you to consider it less as a proposal, than as an engagement into which you have entered, and of which I have a right to folicit a fulfilment. Permit me only to add to it one condition, which is, to make our read
ing, &c. tend, as much as possible, to that poverty of fpirit, which I so greatly need.
A few days ago, the Lord gave me two or three lessons on that subject ; but alas ! how have I forgotten thein ! I saw, I felt, that I was entirely void of wisdom and virtue. I was ashamed of myself, and I could say with a degree of feeling, which I cannot defcribe, Nil ago, nil habeo, sum nil; in pulvere ferpo.* I could then say, what Gregory Lopez was enabled to say at all times, “ There is no man of whom I have not a better opinion, than of myself.” I could have placed myself under the feet of the most atrocious fin. ner, and have acknowledged him for a saint, in comparison of myself. If ever I ain humble and patient, if ever I enjoy folid peace of mind, it inust be in this very fpirit ; Ah! why do I not actually find these virtues ? Because I am filled with self-sufficiency, and am possessed by that self-esteem, which blinds me, and hinders me from doing justice to my own demerits. Ó! pray that the Spirit of Jesus inay remove these scales from my eyes for ever, and compel me to retire into my own nothingness.
To what a monstrous idea had you well nigh given birth! What! the labours of my ministry under you deserve a falary! I, who have done nothing but disho. nour God hitherto, and am not in a condition to do any thing else for the future! If, then, I am permit. ted to stand in the courts of the Lord's house, is it not for me to make an acknowledgement rather than receive one. If I ever receive any thing of the Methodist Church, it shall be only as an indigent mendicant receives an alms, without which he would perish. Such were some of the thoughts which passed through my mind, with regard to the proposal you made to me in London; and I doubt, whether my own vanity, or your goodness, will be able to efface the impressions they have left.
I have great need of your advice, relative to the letters which I receive one after another froin my - * I do nothing, have nothing, am nothing: I crawl in the dust.
relations, who unite in their invitations to me, to retare to my own country; one says, to fettle my affairs there, another, to preach there, a third, to amint him to die, &c. They press me to declare, whether Ire. nounce my family, and the demands I have upon it; and my mother desires, that I will, at least, go and fee her; and commands me to do fo in the strongest terms. What anfwer shall I make ? If she thought, as you do, I should write to her, “ Ubi Christiani, ibi patria ;'* my mother, my brethren, my filters, are those who do the will of my heavenly Father; but she is not in a state of mind to digelt such an answer : A mnother, is a mother long. On the other hand, I have no inclination to yield to their de. fires, which appear to me merely natural; for I shall lose precious time, and incur expence : My presence is not absolutely necessary to my concerns ; and it is more probable that my relations will pervert me to vanity and interest, than that I shall cunvert them to genuine christianity. Lastly, I shall have no opportunity to exercise my ministry. Our Swiss ministers, who preach only once a week, will not look upon me with a more favourable eye than the ministers here ; and irregular preaching is impractible, and would only cause me, eitlier to be laid in prison, or iininedi. ately banished from the country. · How does your family do? Is the small-pox as far off as the French ? And does your wife disquiet her. felf, while all the nation resumes courage ? Salute her from me, and tell her that her brother, the captain, who is very well, trains his men as well as he can for her defence. May the Almighty be your defence day and night! What he protects is well protected. Permit me to thank you for the sentence from Kempis, with which you close your letter, by returning to you another You run no risk in considering yourself as 66 the wickedest of men; but you are in danger, if you 6 prefer yourself to any one.” I ain, &c. I. F. ; •
Where tkere are Christians, there is my country
Tern, Oct. 24th, 1759. Rev. Mr. Charles Wesley.
My dear Sir.
FOR fome days past, the hope of hearing from you has been balanced by the fear that you were not in a condition to write. This last idea prevails to much, that I take iny pen to entreat you, to deliver me from the inquietude which I suffer from your silence. If the gout prevents you from writing, employ the hand of a friend : if you are in the third heaven of contemplation and love, let brotherly love, for a moment, bring you down ; if you wander in the desert of temptation, let sympathy unite you to a miserable man who feels himself undone,
Since my last, I have taken some steps towards the knowledge of myself. If you enquire, what I have learned ? I answer, that I am naked of every thing, but pride and unbelief. Yesterday I was seized with the desire of making rhymes, and I versified my thoughts on the present state of my soul in a hymn, the first part of which I now send you. If the poetry does not deserve reading, the language will recall to mind your French.
How does Mrs. Wesley and your little family do ? The rumour here is, that the French are at Liverpool. I am glad they do not think of Bristol. Salute the trembling half of yourself from me, and tell her, how much I rejoice that your quarters have been in safety hitherto ; and that my hope is, they will continue so to the end of the war.
May the care you take of your health have the fuccess I wish ; and while I wait the event, may he, who enabled St. Paul to say, When I am weak, then am I strong, sustain you in all your infirmities, and fill your inward man with his mighty power! At the moment I was going to seal mine, I received your dear letter. : You will see by the hymn, in which I have attempted to paint my heart, that I have at present far other things to do, than to think of going on to perfection,
even laying the foundation of the spiritual loufe ; much less. then, can I help forward thof whoicekit. I am, &c. I. F.
Tern, Sept. 29th, 1759. The Rev. Mr. Charles Wesley.
My dear Sir,
. YOUR filence began to make me uneafy, and your letter had well nigh made me draw my pen over one I had written to ask the cause of it. The Lord afflicts you : that is éncugh to silence every complaint, and I will not open my mouth, 'except it be to pray the Lord, to enable you and yours to bring forth those fruits of righteousnefs, which attend the trials of his cbildren. Take care of yourself, for the fake of the Lord's little flock, and for me, who, with all the inpatience of brotherly love, reckon every day till I can have the pleasure of embracing you.
If I know any thing of true brotherly love, (of which I often doubt) it agrees perfectly well with the love of God, as the sounds in the different parts in music agree with each other. Their union arifes from their just difference; and they pleaft, sometimes, so much the more, as they appear the most oppofed. The opposition of sentiments between divine and bro. therly love, together with the subordination of the latter, forms that delightful combat im the foul of a believer, that being divided between two, of the apoftle, * which concludes with a facrifice of relignation, of which the natural man is not capable. Your express fion, 66 Spread the moral fenfe all o'er,” gives me an idea of that charity which I feek. Thel ove of Gregory Lopez appears to me too stoical: I do not find in it that vehement defire, thote tears of love, that ardour of seeing and possessing each other in the bowels of Jesus Christ, which I find so frequently in the epiftles of St. Paul. If this fenfibility be a failing,
• Phil, 1, 33.