ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

of sinners. When, therefore, you are bowed down an afternoon I meet his boys (there are only nine) under a sense of sin, look unto Jesus, there only at his vestry, to say a lesson or two with ibem. salvation is to be found for those who, like you, are learn Latin, Geography, and have got a considerable sensible of sin. But I verily believe my friend has way in Doddridge's Lectures on Pneumatology, in already been washed in the fountain of his blood. which I meet now and then with a philosophical subYes, I doubt not but you have passed from death ject; indeed, my dear friend, I really am very comunto life, and are called according to God's eternal fortable. o! that my improvement may keep pace purpose; therefore, instead of writing bitter against with the advantages I enjoy. yourself, rejoice in Christ Jesus whilst you

have no

But, my dearest friend, what a separation beconfidence in the flesh. Ah! my friend, you know tween us. I often think of you when in this study not fully how I have listed up my puny arm in re- pursuing my learning; think! did I say? I cannot bellion against God; so that I cannot think myself a help thinking of you, and I will cherish every tenwhit behind the chief of sinners. Young as I am, I der thought of a friend I so much love. Osttimes I am a great sinner; but blessed be God who has, I think that of an evening, when we are surrounding hope, given us both a good hope through grace: to the family altar, you are engaged in the busy conhim be all the glory.

cerns of life--whilst I am enjoying the advantages “I shall, I expect, be in town a day sooner than of a kind teacher, a good library, and various other was intended, viz. Wednesday the sih; my father blessings, you are behind the counter of a glove will not come till the next day. Mr. F in shop. Yet do not despair. I hope we shall some his letter, mentions a desire that I would give them future day enjoy one another's company, and these a lecture (in the old way) at his house in the even- advantages connected with it. When I walk out, ing. I am very willing to do it, and I hope we shall as I in general do every day for exercise, I imagine have your company."

you to be here-I converse with you-I see youVII.

and fancy many other enjoyments, which perhaps

will not come so soon. When I last saw you I was Hertford, January 3, 1806.

exceedingly vexed that we could not have half an "MY DEAREST FRIEND With the greatest plea- hour together in private; but, however, I know you sure I received and read your kind but short regard me still--and am sure I love you much; and letter; but I must not speak about its shortness, it is some pleasure to think that we can yet pray for as mine must be as short, if not shorter, as I one another. O do not forget me, unworthy as I expects to come for it directly. Mr. am, in your approaches to the throne of grace. Davies's sermon entitled, 'The Midnighi Hour,' Pray that I may not abuse my privileges; but that I understand, is printed. How glad I should have whilst I am here it may be manifest that I am posbeen to have heard it. I hope when I am in town sessed of a principle of divine grace in my heart. you will remember your promise, and not forget But I hope I need not mention this to you, for you the greatest part of the sermon, as you know how do, I trust, still remember me in your best moments. I respect (and like the preaching of) that worthy I have not forgot the pleasure I experienced the last man. I hope you will have a pleasant and pro- time I saw you in London, nor the affectionate manfitable day next Sabbath at Finchley: I am afraid ner in which you conversed with me from Mr. F.'s you cannot get out next Thursday, the day Nelson to my cousin's the last evening. is buried; for I do assure you that your presence at

" I had a very tedious journey here, as I could any place in town would afford me more pleasure not sleep all night in the coach.' But think I am than the sight of his funeral, to which I do not in- well repaid. I did not imagine that I should be tend to go. I have been with Samuel a little about treated with such care; I have a 'nice little bed to Hertford. I have read what I wanted in Washing- myself; and, in short, am surrounded with blessings. ton's Life, or rather his History of American Wars, I take some pleasure in contrasting my present situaas I do not see so much of Washington in it as I tion with what it was when at Mr. Thodey's; but expected. I cannot add more; but remain your very this to that, I find that there was one pleasure I en

after I have considered the peculiar advantages of affectionate friend,

“ THOMAS SPENCER." joyed there, which I do not here—that of your com. His next letter is from Harwich, and contains a pany and conversation ; and thus is life made up of pleasing disclosure of the state of his mind on the hopes and fears, pleasures and pains. May we be accomplishment, so far, of his ardent wishes.

among those who are strangers and sojourners here,

who seek a better country. VIII.

“The evening I generally employ in promiscuHarwich, Feb. 6, 1806.

ous reading, as the time is then as it were my own.

As I come home from the vestry about an hour beMY DEAREST FRIEND-I with pleasure embrace fore the other boys, from that time till tea I am en. ine opportunity which now offers itself, of writing gaged in secret meditation, reading God's word, and you a few lines for the first time since I have been prayer to him. Ah! Thomas, you are then more here. While I hope you enjoy your health, I can on my mind than during the other parts of the day, say I never was better in my life than I have been for I cannot but remember how often you have since I have been at Harwich. The air is very cold pressed on me the duty of private prayer; and inand healthy: I am sure I have felt the difference. (deed, my friend, you are then most remembered by In the town there are many inhabitants, and a Me- me in the best sense. I do continue to pray for you; thodist place besides Mr. Hordle's: by Methodists, and I hope God will hear our petitions for one ano I mean Wesley's people. Mr. Hordle preaches ther, and send us answers of peace. I beg of you, I three times on a Sabbath day, and is very well at- entreat you to be earnest in supplication for me, that tended, and on Wednesday evenings; prayer meet- if God has appointed me for the work of the minis ing on Monday night. I doubt not but you will join try, I may be fitted for it, and have a divine blesswith me in returning thanks to the all-wise disposer ing attending me in all I undertake. of events for placing me in that comfortable situa Mr. H. bids me write now and then the heads tion which I now fill. I live with Mr. H. entirely; of a sermon of my own, and show it him. I have his study is where I pursue my learning, and in yet only done one: it met his approbation.

“Be so kind as to remember me to Mr. F. &c. * The Rev. Mr. Davies, of Queen-street, Cheap- &c. I suppose you like your business as little as side, London.

but I hope you will soon be put in a situation

ever ;

where you will yourself enjoy more-I mean in the father to me; I am indeed very well treated. I hope Dest enjoyments. I still hope that we, formed for you are earnest in prayer, that God would let you each other's comfort, shall yet be made blessings to know his will concerning you. O, my friend, I each other, and that in a particular way. Then should think myself very happy if I could do any let the conceited, covetous worldling say, Friend- thing for you. Although I do not speak to you now, ship is but a name'-we know it is something more nor see you, nor hear from you, yet I do feel plea-it is a great blessing; and where the friends have sure in praying for you. I never was better in my grace in their hearts, it is so eminently and espe- life than since I have been at Harwich. A day or cially. David and Jonathan found it so. I often two ago I began to learn Hebrew. I often think think of your noticing particularly that expression, you would be in your element in this study, with their souls were knit together. Dr. Young thought the advantages of learning, &c. I begin now to so when he said, 'poor is the friendless master of a have a little idea of Geography; know more Latin world.' I am thankful that I have had such a friend than before, and study every day Locke's Conduct cast in my way that will be, I trust, a blessing to me of the Understanding, and Doddridge's Lectures; all through life, and that will dwell with me in a besides a' deal of cursory reading, &c. for here is a better world. May the hope of that happiness stimu- very nice library, to which I have free access. I 'ate us to more resignation to the divine will, and told you in my last to let me have Mr. E-'s adholy disdain of the vanities of time and sense. dress. Hope you will remember me to all our

And now, my dear friend, my letter draws to a friends. Give my respects to Mr. J. FM, and close; I can scarcely forbear tears while I write it. T. E As I do not remember any thing else I hope you will overlook its very visible imperfec- that I have to say, I conclude with subscribing mycions, and remember that it comes from one that self, yours, by all the tender ties of friendship, loves you. Need I again beseech you to pray for

THOMAS SPENCER." me, that I may find mercy of the Lord, be blessed

X. with every blessing here below, and crowned with glory hereafter.

Harwich, April 4, 1806. “Write to me what religious intelligence you

"MY DEAREST FRIEND I received, with the know I am ignorant of: I see the Magazine here, greatest pleasure, your letter of the 29th of Feand other periodical works.-And now I desire to bruary, together with my father's; and, as I was commit myself, my dear friend, and all our con- sorry you did not write to me before, so was I cerns, into the hands of a covenant God; and wish equally grieved at the cause: I sympathize with ing you every blessing, I rest your ever faithful and you in your afflictions, and hope that you are affectionate friend,

now quite recovered and the rest of the fami“ THOMAS SPENCER." ly. I believe you when you say it affords you so IX.

much pleasure to hear of my welfare. 01 Tho

mas, pray for me that my very comforts do not beHarwich, Feb. 24, 1806. come snares. I should like to have had more of the “MY DEAREST FRIEND-More than a fortnight heads, texts, &c. of the sermons you have heard in ago, according to agreement, I wrote to you; as i London; and hope that you find the ministry of Mr. have not heard from you since that time, my mind — and those you hear at Hoxton beneficial to is full of anxiety on that account, as I know not your soul; for it is my earnest desire that, under what to assign as a reason for it. I hope you re- the influences of the sacred Spirit, your soul may ceived it, for I should never like our correspond be like a well-watered garden. ! (of course) hear ence to be investigated by any body but ourselves. Mr. H. three times on the Sabbath day, and I think I hardly know how to write this letter; whether I ! can say it has been to my profit: his sermons are should inform you of circumstances I mentioned in indeed very judicious, experimental and practical, my last, (being in doubt whether you received it) and I find it to be just the preaching I want. I keep or taking for granted that you have had it, shall 1 a book, in which I put down the heads of most of tenderly chide you for not answering it. I cannot his sermons, which, when it is full, I intend (if you think you have either forgotten me, or are grown would like) that you shall see. I suppose of an careless about me, and yet what can I say? I am evening we have not less than four hundred and full of conjectures. Have you been so busy as not fifty people; in the day time not quite so many. to have time to write; or have you written, put it in There is a band of singers in the table pew, genethe post, and the letter miscarried? I hope you will rally a bass yiol is played, and Mr. H. preaches in write to me, and inform me which of these is the a gown, and I think the people are more attentive real case.—Need I tell you again that I am peculiar- than any I ever saw. Once in a fortnight Mr. H. ly comfortable in my situation, having nothing to preaches at the work-house ; I have been twice, and render me otherwise but the absence of my friend, I like it very much. In the week day I go to the and my not having heard from him: nor from home Methodist chapel, and sometimes hear a good ser. either; for I wrote to my father, and have not yet mon there. I find by the Magazine that Mr. Sreceived an answer, which I expected immediately; is at Spa-fields chapel. I have spoken often about indeed I cannot at all account for these things. him to you, and have mentioned him in my letters

“As Mr. Hordle was a student at Hoxton, I have though by the bye I spelt his name wrong.) He is learnt a few things respecting the nature of the a Cheshunt student-has preached very frequently place, which perhaps you will like to know, for who at Hertford chapel. I would advise you, if convecan tell but some future day you may take the se- nient, to go and hear him, for he is a very bold and cond, third, and last step towards being connected very faithful preacher. If you do, give me a little with them. You told me you had taken the first account of the sermon, &c. If I were you, I would some time ago. But to drop this. The students, try to hear Mr. B -'s missionary sermon. then, find themselves candles for their own studies, "I am very glad that you informed me of Mr. F.'s soap, towels, tea, and they have one govon to study and Mr. W.'s conversation. I liked it all very well, in, &c. they have family prayer altogether morning except that about my preaching, and indeed I had and evening:

you know what they learn. I am very much rather that Mr. F. had not mentioned that for fond of Mr. H.'s preaching: we had three very fine various reasons. If you have heard any more, pray sermons yesterday, on Exod. xxxiii. 16; 1 Cor. iv. tell it me. 5; Eph. ii. 8. I have just begun to enter the heads

'He must not be put too forward.' of the sermons in a book, and I am sure he is like a “But you have raised my curiosity very much

about the certain minister, who has, unsolicitedly, more of my ignorance. May the Lord keep me offered

you his recommendation for Hoxton. But humble. I have theological questions to siudy, why this reservedness? I shall expect a friendly, such as, satisfactory reason for your not telling me his name, Wherein appears the possibility of a divine re&c. Do you think that I would abuse your confi- velation ? dence? I hope not-I think I should know better. 'Why is it desirable ?' &c. As the month is expired, you must tell me in your "I may consult books upon the subject, and here next more about it, as whether you have seen this is a very good library. You will not forget your certain minister ? what he said to you ? &c. &c. I promise to write in your next about grace thriving hope I have obeyed your request, and prayed for in your heart. As for me it is with tardy steps I you; may God grant us both more of a praying creep, sometimes joying, and sometimes sorrowing. spirit

, and may he answer our petitions, one for an- And yet without boasting, I think I can say I have other. I thank you for Mr. E.'s address. I have known more of heart religion since I have been not yet wrote to him-must-though, Thomas, I here than before; but it is very little altogether. I think now I should be completely unhappy, were I have experienced many happy moments in secret, again to have any thing to do with business, and I such times as remind me of our last Sabbath afterfeel for you, as you say your time is wholly' taken noon together. But O! what a deal of pride, rebelup in it every day from six in the morning to eleven lion, carelessness, and all kinds of wickedness is at night. I hope that while your aversion to the there in my heart; I tremble to think of what I cares of the world increases, your spiritual affec- deserve for my former levity, &c. But O pray for tions are more animated, and your whole soul, from me that I may find grace in the eyes of the Lord, day to day, transformed more into the likeness of and live to some purpose in the world. I am afraid our lovely Jesus.

that there are yet improper motives in my desiring The effectral fervent prayer of a righteous man the work of the ministry. Since I have been here availeth much. —You seem peculiarly pleased with I have seen juine little of its nature, &c. I am senthis passage, observe therefore,

sible that no learning, or human qualifications are Ist. That it is the righteous God regards;-those enough to fit me for that all-important work; and

who are redeemed by the Son's blood; - loved by I hope, that God will pour down showers of grace the Father's grace;-sanctified by the Spirit's on me, instead of what I deserve, ‘vials of wrath.' influence. Those who are weaned from the va- When you give me a little account of your 'growth nities of earth and time-whose affections are in grace,' and how the lamp of religion keeps alive, set on things above;-in a word, who are born I hope you will retrace some of the paths in which of God, and bound for heaven.

the Lord your God has led you, and tell me some2.-That they must pray. Prayer is the breath thing of your former experience, present enjoy

of the new-born soul, a believer cannot live ments, and future hope. If you wish to go on from without it, for

one degree of grace into another, which I do not Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw;

doubt, commune much with your own heart, read Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;

the Bible as much as possible, and above all things Gives exercise to faith and love,

pray fervently. I am perfectly well in health, as I

hope you are. My father told me in his letter tha: And brings down blessings from above.'

Mr. Mis still at
NEWTON.

and that the chapel was

still continued. I should like to have all the num3d.-They must pray fervently., . 'Cold prayers,' bers of the Youth's Magazine (but September and

saith one, do but beg a denial.' In vain we of October last, those I have) if I could have them sent fer up lifeless devotion to a heart-searching and conveniently; and it is not worth while to send by rein-trying God.

the coach, for you know the carriage will be more 4th.-These prayers are effectual, and avail much; than the books are worth. Wishing you every spi

they avail much in the sanctifying of our souls, ritual blessing, I remain your affectionate and faithand forming Christ there.

ful friend, “Pardon this digression, as these thoughts have

" THOMAS SPENCER." just sprung from my own mind.

XI. "I hope you continue to enjoy your Sabbaths more than ever? How delightful it is 'to dwell in

Harwich, May 9, 1806 the house of the Lord all the days of our life, to be “MY DEAR FRIEND– I received your two last leihold the beauty of the Lord, and' inquire in his tem- ters with great pleasure. It is highly gratify: ple.'— That was Mr. H.'s text last Sabbath day ing to me to discover a great, and I believe a morning and afternoon. In the morning he applied growing attachment in you towards your friend, it to the church here below; showed what was notwithstanding he is so far from you. meant by beholding the beauty of the Lord, and letter of the 7th April you say you rather exInquiring in his temple, and how desirable it was, pected a gentle reproof from me for your not &c. In the afternoon, he applied all (with the writing to me; if so, what ought I io expect greatest propriety) to heaven. Two very excellent from you? But knowing the kindness of your sermons.

heart, I forbear any more upon that subject. I was “I cannot yet give up the thought that we shall glad to hear of your comfortable interview with soon live together again; if we are to be so favor your friends at Coggeshall, and like your method ed, how thankful should I be; if not, we must learn well of consulting with your father on these occa to know no will but God's, and acknowledge that sions. Let us always manifest an obedient and the Judge of all the earth will do right. As yet let dutiful regard to the advice of our parents; they, us not despair, but commit all our concerns into the you know, are older than we, and more experienced; hands of our covenant God and heavenly Father. and the light of nature, as well as that of divine We know he will do all things well. My situation revelation,

enjoins us to love, reverence, and obey is as comfortable, or more

so than ever,

and I am them. I should not have expected that - would considered like one of the family. We have a nice have acted so generously and friendly, as it appears house, and here are only Mr. H., Mrs. H., the little he has done. I think from these circumstances child about eight months old-a sweet babe he is there appears (something like) the kind hand of the servant and myself. I read Virgil in Latin now, Providence, and I hope it will appear so to your and what I do learn of any thing serves to show me satisfaction by and bye. I wait with anxiety the

In your

result of your intended interview with the Rev. few lessons I was ignorant of, and was introduced

of Chelmsford, and I need not tell you to (in some measure by being there) to Mr. Wilson. make it a matter of prayer--you know full well the Now it is true we are far from each other, but what importance, necessity, and power, of the prayer of then? You are pleased, I know, at my little imfaith. Your cousin Ford should rememher that if provement in knowledge; and you, I hope, are the turnpike road is got too bad for people to walk about entering upon the ministerial office; and when comfortably in, the fields are more pleasant, as well I think of that, I also am highly pleased. A few as much nearer. How different are the views of weeks more, and something will be done for you. good people, even in the most trifling things. When I have often told you, both in conversation and corwe get to heaven, there will be an end of all differ- respondence, not to be discouraged at a view of ences in sentiment and disposition. But I would your own insufficiency, and you know God has not have you imagine that I (now) prefer Hoxton chosen the foolish things to confound the wise, and only on the account of its pleasantness, and the or- he works by means that prove his sovereign hand. thodox views of its supporters; but I would wish But I must hint that your low views of yourself myself, and would have you follow, the leadings of will do you no harm. Go on to despise the world Providence in this as well as every other respect: and all the enchanting allurements it holds out, and if it appears the Divine will for you to go to Ho be vigilant, for the adversary of whom you speak merton, by all means go; but if not, you of course is never idle. How does he tempt us to think lightly will noi. However, you may be sure of one thing, of religion-to foolish and unedifying conversation and that is, that your friend will love you none the -to offer up short, cold, and careless prayers, and I less for your preference of Homerton. But I do know not what beside. Pray, then, that while Sathink that Hoxton will be the place for you. In tan is attempting to damp, nay quench the rising your letter you have the remarkable words, 'respect-flame, the Holy Spirit may pour in plentifully the ing my intended subject, I do not remember that I oil of grace, and cause it to rise to all eternity. You, promised an account of my own experience as to I hope, do not intend to flatter me (for friends should growth in grace.' Now perhaps you did not mean never flatter, and I hate it) when you say, you think so in the letter referred to, but I understood it so. I am fitting for some active elevated sphere in the Your words were, 'I had a great deal to write of, I cause of Christ. Ah! Thomas, you do not see how mean the best things, as, how grace thrives in the unworthy I am to be a door-keeper in the house of heart, &c. which I hope to question and write of in my God, as I do, much less fill some elevated station. my next.' Now here by the word question I of And indeed did I possess the wisdom of Solomon, course thought you meant me, by writing of it, some the learning of Paul, and the eloquence of Apollos, account of yourself. But it appears it was not so; without their piety what am I?— Like sounding and now I confess if it was not so designed, I do brass, or a tinkling cymbal.'. I feel my need of dinot know your meaning. I have been particular in vine grace, without which I am less than nothing, stating this, in order to prevent mistakes. I hope and can do nothing. What a dreadful thing must with you that in your present situation you are it be to have our parents, teachers, seminaries, gifts, learning lessons that will be beneficial to you all examples, our Bibles, books, instructions, vows and through life. I hope you will see more and more resolutions, prayers and sermons, all rise up in of the vanity of the pursuits of time and sense, and judgment against us! The thoughts of it are enough he more and more separated from a world lying in to make our blood run cold. May the glorious and wickedness, as that is a good evidence of having gracious God forbid such a doom for Jesus Christ's found grace in the sight of the Lord. I perceive by sake. To this I know you will say 'Amen. On the your expressions that you are fired with zeal. I other hand, how glorious must be the lot of the faithhope it is according to Imowledge, and that you are ful sent minister of the gospel: methinks I see him not venturing upon what you may repent of in some rising (at the judgment day) from the long sleep of future day. To say my own thoughts, I do not think death, with a smile of holy pleasure on his sacred you are influenced by any wrong motives. I am countenance, and heavenly glory in his soul. I see pleased with your self-dedication to God; and 1 him approach the tribunal of his reconciled Judge, heartily wish that he may hear all your prayers, and having the pardon of all his sins made manibless you with an increase of grace and gifts, if he fest before an assembled world, with a goodly numthink fit; but he that has the most grace makes the ber of seals to his ministry, he exclaims in the lanbest minister, and will rise to glory, honor and im- guage of holy gratitude, peace, and triumph, 'Here mortality, at last, and shall shine as the stars in the am 1, Father, and the children thou hast given me!' firmament, and be for ever blest; whilst the ungodly O may such blessedness be yours and mine; this minister (0 awful thought!) shall have his portion will ten thousand times more than compensate for with hypocrites and unbelievers, shall be banished the troubles and trials met with in the ministry. from the presence of the Lord, and be cast into Amen, saith your longing soul. outer darkness, the smoke of his torments ascend “Saturday, May 10.-With respect to the work ing up for ever and ever. I wish you could see of grace on my own heart, I feel shy to say much Brown's Address to his Students in Divinity, which about it, fearing that after all my profession I should is prefixed to his View of Religion (an excellent become a cast-away, and the root of the matter not body of divinity.) You would there see something be in me. I feel such a lifeless frame of mind, such of the import of being a minister of the gospel. 01 coldness in prayer, in short, I indeed think that I my friend, it made me exclaim, 'who is sufficient have more evidences of reigning sin than of the for these thing's!".

life of religion. I wish to 'read my title clear to "There is certainly a great pleasure in receiving mansions in the skies. I wish to be more Christletters, and writing to each other; you and I expe- like, more heavenly and spiritual; but I can only rience this, don't we?. Indeed you dwell much on say with David, 'My soul lies cleaving to the dust, my mind." I think if we were to see each other quicken thou me according to thy word. I would again, and have a little good conversation, it would fain believe, my God help and subdue my unbelief. be like .cold water to a thirsty soul;' it would refresh I dare not say any thing, but hope and trust at preus, call again into more lively exercise our warm sent, nay hardly that, for I often feel such a gloor. sensations of affection. What a blessing it is, I upon my mind that you cannot conceive of. I think often think, that we ever met together. I am very it is wrong to give way to it, and I fear if I die?! glad that I ever lived at Mr. Thodey's; I there met should become quite melancholy. One reason is, with a worthy friend when I had none, learned a that I want my friend, and feel his loss. If you

were here, how could we relax our minds from best respects to him. And now, commending you study by a pleasant walk and agreeable conversa-to our glorious Saviour, and hoping that one day, it tion. When I walk out (if Mr. Hordle is not with will appear more particularly, that we were deme) there is no person whose company I much va- signed for great blessings to each other, I remain, lue. Sometimes one of the boys that Mr. Hordle "Your affectionate and faithful friend, teaches is with me; but I believe he had rather be

“THOMAS SPENCER." . at play than conversing about any thing that would

XII. do him good; and really I have walked so much alone lately that it gets quite insipid. When I first

" Harwich, June 14, 1806. came, I enjoyed my solitary walks much better than "MY DEAREST FRIEND– I received your parcel the I do now-what is the reason ? I cannot tell: it is, morning after you sent it, and read your letter with however, one great comfort that I am so well pro- the greatest pleasure. You judge rightly when vided for. Mr. and Mrs. H. had an only child, but you say, you suppose that I was anxiously

waiting eight months old, I think the most beautiful and to hear from you. The providential dealings of lovely boy I ever saw: his smiles had often filled God with you have (I hope) filled me with wonder our hearts with joy, and the openings of his infant and praise. Surely both of us have great reason to mind were delightful as the blossoms in spring. say, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is with

Though so young, he knew very well I loved him, in me bless his holy name. Let us not forget any and I know he was very fond of' me-so pleased on of his benefits, but for these displays of his goodmy return after I had been out, and so very sensi- ness, dedicate our bodies and souls to his glory, ble for a child of his age. Wher. I wrote you last which is only our reasonable service. Let us both he lay very ill, and I believe died the day after. rejoice, that God has put this his treasure in earthen His death grieved me very much, and I could not vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of study for some time; but it is a comfort to reflect God, and not of man. Little did you expect a few that he is now present with the Lord, and for ever years ago, that you should be providentially called blest. But what a trial to lose him! I felt much into the work of the ministry; but now you can for his parents, who doated on him; and I confess I rejoice, that unto you, who, in your own view, are never loved a child as I did him. I think if we less than the least of all the saints, is this grace were to live together again, how happy we should given, that you might preach among poor sinners the be: I mean where we could pursue our studies to unsearchable riches of Christ. Observe now the gether. If you are at Hoxton when I am, I hope dealings of Providence in this circumstance. You we shall be in the same class. I should like you to are in a waiting frame, and when so God appears go in just before me, or when I do, thật so I might to grant you the desire of your heart. He has now not be quite a stranger in the house, and have no made your path clear before you, and as to its being one there that I know, for that would be very un- the call of God, I have not the least doubt; bus, comfortable. You and I used to interest ourselves however, I hope you will recollect, that though very much in the case of the highwayman that your way has been thus shown to you, it may not broke out of Hertford jail, and passed for a serious always be so: difficulties, great and many, may man. My father informs me, that he has been taken await us both in our journey through life; but God in his old courses, and hung a little while ago at has said, when thou passes through the waters, I Lancaster, an awful instance of hypocrisy and de- will be with thee, and will prevent the floods from ceit. I read in a newspaper, that he gave a paper overflowing thee. Having such promises as these, there to the church minister, in which he said, that my dear friend, let us press forward, and with holy he had broke open fifty houses, stole thirty horses, resignation say, 'Where he appoints I'll go and and committed more highway robberies than his dwell.' 'Tis true, we know not what a day may memory could recollect. With respect to joining bring forth; but this we know, that God will never a church, I think it is your duty, as you therein give forsake those who put their trust in him, but will be yourself up to God in solemn dedication-make a their sun to illuminate them, their shield to defend more open profession of his gospel, and declare them, and their God eternally to bless them. I do yourself on the Lord's side. Join that church, (be not at all wonder at your being perplexed in your which it will) where you enjoy much under the mi- mind about mentioning matters to Had I nistry, where you have often received spiritual been in your state, I should have dreaded it; but nourishment for your immortal soul. I think you you did well in making it a matter of prayer before will do wrong if you do not join God's people in God, and God was very gracious in ordering it as that manner, for it is an incumbent duty. Your he has done. You know that prayer to God is the going to Hoxton would not make any difference, best way of making things sure-so you, I trust, have for the students there sit down at the different places found it. I should like to know the other circumin London—some at Hoxton chapel-some at Mr. stances at which you hint, but I dare say they are Brooksbank's some at Mr. Clayton's, and in short too tedious to mention; perhaps we may see each wherever they have been members before, or where other soon, when conversation will settle it. I am the minister admits them as occasional communi- much pleased, nay delighted, with the conversation cants. For myself, I cannot yet think of doing it

. you had with Mr. W. He is, I doubt not, a warm I am glad you are reading Halyburton's life, and friend to the cause of Christ, and does all he possihope you will find it profitable. I hardly know bly can to forward it in the world. I am like him what to do about the Youth's Magazine carriage in regard to zealous and earnest preachers, and is too dear; however, I think you had better send like to see animation and life in a palpit, and where them with your next letter; all, you know, except the preacher's mind is fettered with notes there can September and October last, which I have. be ñone. You know I thought, when I lived with

Questions lately studied.—'What perfections you, that and were good sort of men; dwell in God, and how do you prove them to be in they would not do any harm, but wanted to see him without referring to the Scriptures ?'

something of their growing usefulness. I don't "How do you prove that the Scriptures are the doubt, but I shall soon have a letter from you, dated word of God?

Hoxton academy, &c., and I wish we may be there " " How do we know that the Scriptures have together, for it will be very awkward for you or me been faithfully conveyed to us and not corrupted ?' at first to go there when there is nobody we know.

“ I have not heard any thing of Samuel for I wish we might be in the same class, &c., so that these two letters; hope he is well. Make my we might be hclpers one to another, and show that

[ocr errors]
« 前へ次へ »