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Sabbath next brings round your-I will add my Gospel feast. I will endeavour to meet you to-morrow evening, and to have you all on my heart, then and on the Sabbath, in that one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Spirit, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in all the redeemed to himself by Jesus Christ; and his sanctified by that one Spirit uniting all. What subjects! I cannot attain to the comprehension, but I experience their truth, and enjoy the comfort of them.
Belleville, September 2, 1808.
MY DEAR J—,
You have indeed had a trying time, what with pain, what with circumstances. If ever you needed a friend, it was at such a time. I trust the time is not very distant, when you shall be blessed with your own dear husband, who will soothe your pains, and sweeten your cares, and lead you to cast them on the Lord, and lean where he himself leans.
There is a rest prepared for the people of God even here, could we only enter in. No affliction for the present is joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, they yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who are daily exercised by them. Every affliction has a language, and ought to be a searching, trying time, that it may not pass pass without profit. This has a particular language to me, as well as to you. Your husband's long absence drawing to a hopeful end; the days of anxious expectation arrived, when every hour will seem a day, and hope deferred maketh the heart sick. No nurse whilst sick. If ever a mother could be of use, it must be at such a time; yet is she absent from you in provi
dence. You have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother; though father and mother might forsake you, the Lord will take you up. That Friend is ever near, no circumstances embarrass him, or prevent his attentions; his eye is on you every moment-he knows and feels your every pang. There is a need-be at times, that we be in heaviness, through manifold temptations; but the Lord knows how to work with us and them. O for the steady, abiding belief of this in my own soul! much I need the consolation which I offer. I do believe that he will work, and none shall let. I do believe that the very hairs of our head are numbered, and a sparrow cannot fall without him; that he will work according to the counsel of his will, and none can turn aside his purpose, and that very fruitless is my anxiety. O to be able to say, in the full sense of the words, as given by our divine Teacher, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. This is entering into rest; rest in the will of God. While I groan, I ought to sing: for my own particular soul, I have all and abound; a throne of grace; an Advocate with the Father; no inconsiderable share of the spirit of prayer: The Spirit helping my infirmities with groanings which cannot be uttered. A sense of pardoning love, some evidences of success in my spiritual warfare, assurance of final victory, my mansions in view often very near; my blessed High Priest waiting me in Jordan, who will divide the waters, support my head and heart, and carry me safely through.
O world, world! much have I suffered for the court I have paid to thee! Let my children take warning; let them keep a jealous eye over their hearts. All without may be fair, may bring praise from men, yea, even from Christians; yet may the spouse of Jesus be
living in adultery. O let them watch the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Let them watch in respect to lawful things-idols were made of the very trees of Lebanon. If our purest blessings occupy that place in our affections, or that portion of our time which should be devoted to spiritual exercises: Oh, the loss! Our Husband expects our company, (Oh! has he not wooed us with his very heart's blood?) private, secret, confidential communion, with bolted doors, all other objects excluded; his own gifts not excepted. He expects spiritual love, a whole heart. At such times he brings his spouse into the banqueting house, and his banner over her is love; he stays her with flaggons, and comforts her with apples while she is sick of love.
I suffer my pen to run, because I know I write not mystery to you. You have tasted, you have felt, you have enjoyed all, and more than I can put in words. 0 my dear J-, I think the fault is ours, that we enjoy not oftener such seasons; we leave neither room nor time, nor do we use the means; neither do we follow out melting seasons. Read in this view the 5th of the Song; see also the invitation in the ii. and ix. to the end. O my J-! shall youthful prime, sensibility and ardour, be all expended on the very best of his creatures; or is it only in the time of espousals, that such seasons are experienced?
TO MR. A. D-, Edinburgh.
I HAVE just been reading over my dear friend's precious letters, and am refreshed anew by the same truths, and uniform experience of every Christian ; which all amounts to this, that the Lord is the portion of his people, and that whom he loves, he loves to the end. My soul melts with tenderness, when I recollect my fellow-travellers in the wilderness; those dear associates with whom I have so often taken sweet counsel; who so often comforted me with the same comforts which they themselves were comforted with. I am also led to recollect some who have finished their warfare; some whose trials were sharp and long; but who, through the same Grace in which we trust, were steadfast to the end; and now inherit a crown of life-the reward of Grace, not of debt. I feel strengthened and comforted. My dear G-, I should have thought it an honour to have dressed that clay out of what the Lord gave me, and with my own hands. O how bright does the soul now shine in that fine linen, clean and white! Many, many, were the tears she shed in the wilderness. She had a deep draught of the Redeemer's cup, because she was to be made very like him; and she is now like him, for she sees him as he is, and shares in his glory. Her lot here was humble, but her place now is not so; the Lord will honour her humble sufferings, patience and love, as highly as those who moved in a higher sphere. I have often wished to be near her at her departure, but that honour was reserved for you. I rejoice to hear your children are promising; I think it
is the greatest comfort a parent can enjoy in this world. I have a large share of it, in my three daughters; but my prodigal is not come to himself; he still feeds on husks, nor thinks of the plenty in his Father's house. I had great hopes last winter; I heard he had been very ill, in consequence of very severe treatment from his captain. The Lord has been emptying him from vessel to vessel, and I have been waiting the issue; but mine eyes almost fail, and my spirit frets, because I know the Lord can, and no other can. I have great hopes too, that God's time will come. I am also satisfied that it will be the best time; but still cry, O how long! My dear friends, I think I would recommend it to you to keep your children about you. No other had ever the influence over him that I had ; and I regret that I did not bring him with me. Mrs. Stevenson, Jessy, who was so very delicate, is much under the rod; but she kisses it, and turns to him who appoints it. My two young ones, are sweet, obedient, diligent girls: my word is as much a law, as when they were seven years of age. This also is of God; and to him I look for their continuing, and for my prodigal's return. Our young Timothy, J. M— is a perfect champion for the Gospel of Jesus: the Lord has well girded him, and largely endowed him; he walks closely with God, and speaks and preaches like a Christian of long experience: he was ordained about two months ago in his Father's Church, and a few weeks after married a lady of eminent piety, and preached all the day, both the Sabbath before and after: no levity, no novelty, made the smallest appearance in word or gesture, which is not always the case with the best at such times. There is not a Church in New-York whose discipline is as strict, nor