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one which has so many communicants. He is reckoned a lad of great talents, and an orator; and many, of even the idle and careless, go to hear him. A few Sabbaths ago, he preached from these words, I am determined to know nothing among you, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. After proving that all the Scriptures, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelations, pointed to Christ and his great work of redemption; and, asserting that that sermon could not be called the Gospel, of which He was not the subject, he spoke home to his audience, and told them that this, through the aid of Divine Grace, was his firm purpose, to dwell on redeeming love. He was sure no subject would be welcome to any Christian, where Christ was not to be found; nor would any such subject ever convert a sinner; and, therefore, if any were about to take their place there, expecting to hear any new or strange thing, let them not disappoint themselves. Oh! for a thankful heart! the Lord has indeed done wonders for me and mine; and blessed be his name for this mercy also, that in a remarkable manner, by a strange concurrence of circumstances, he hedged me in to become a member of this congregation, where I am led and fed with the same truths which nourished my soul in Zion's gates, at Edinburgh; and I am helped to sing the Lord's song in a foreign land. Often have I been tempted to hang my harp upon the willow, when Zion I thought on: but this was, and sometimes still is, my sin and ingratitude: for I ought to build houses, and plant vineyards, and seek the good of the land; for he has a small vineyard here, which he waters and cultivates, and I ought to labour therein, and do whatsoever hand findeth to do, with diligence; my and say, the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
heaven is his throne, the earth his footstool, and he fills all things, and all places-what aileth thee, Hagar? O what a God of mercy is our God! Often has he hailed me in some such language: what aileth thee? why is thy countenance sad? am not I better to thee than ten friends? Then has he turned my heart to him, made me feel myself close to him; he has suffered me to lean on his bosom, hang on his arm, and lisp out, Abba. At such blest moments, I have thought the whole earth but one point, and from that to heaven but one step, and the time between but as one moment; and my company here sufficient to satisfy me by the way. At such blest moments, I have felt perfect, full, entire satisfaction with all that God is, all that he does; and could trust him fully with all my concerns, spiritual, temporal, and eternal. But, alas!by and by, like a peevish child, I begin to fret, wish this, wish that; grieve for this; grieve for that; fear this; fear that; stagger, stumble, fall. O what a God of patience and long-suffering! and O how rich that well-ordered Covenant, that provides suitable grace for all these unsteady seasons! It is my greatest consolation that the Lord knows it all. There are times when I cannot see him, but every moment he sees me. I should fall off and leave him, but he holds me fast, and never leaves me. O blessed plan, where God secures us, in safety, even from ourselves! We have not only destroyed ourselves, and he has been our help; but we are ever destroying ourselves, and still, and still he renews this help.
Well, what shall we say? Father, glorify thy name, and let us lie in thy hand, as clay in the potter's, till thou finish thy workmanship, and fit us vessels of mercy, to be filled brim-full of happiness, when
thou shalt have done thy good pleasure in us, and by
In the bonds of the Gospel,
To MRS. O, Edinburgh.
I RECEIVED both my dear friend's letters, and I thank you for remembering me. You cannot miss to know, that any thing, however trifling, from a friend at a distance is pleasant; but it is no trifle to learn, not only that you are well, but that you are still of the same mind with regard to your heavenly course and prospects.
My dear friend, you and I have advanced a great way through the wilderness, since we parted; and I know, and am persuaded, that we are both in exact proportion, near the haven of our hopes. This persuasion is not founded upon any confidence I have in myself, or in my purposes of holding on. No, my friend, the longer I live, the more I am convinced that I stand by Grace; and could I believe that the Lord would ever let go his hold of me, and let loose my own corruptions, and the enemy to traffic with them, and deceive me by them, I could believe, that I could lie, steal, commit murder, and do all that human wickedness ever practised; but, blessed, ever blessed, be
our divine Shepherd! He is our keeper, who has promised that sin shall not have dominion over us and for this very reason, that we are not under the law, but under Grace. Here is the ground of our confidence, that we shall persevere and finish our course safely, and, perhaps, honourably too, before the world: though this is not always the case. My dear friend, let us ever keep sight of our Keeper and Leader, and fear nothing. I will tell you something for your comfort, and for your encouragement; it may also serve for your confirmation; I tell it you in confidence. It is now, I think, thirty-five years since I simply, but solemnly, accepted of the Lord's Christ, as God's gift to a lost world. I rolled my condemned, perishing, corrupted soul upon this Jesus, exhibited in the Gospel as a Saviour from sin. My views then were dark, compared with what they now are: but this I remember, that at the time, I felt heart-satisfying trust in the mercy of God, as the purchase of Christ; and for a time rejoiced with joy scarce supportable, singing almost continually, the ciii. Psalm. I took a view of the promises of God, and wrote out many of them, and called them mine; and among the foremost, was that in the lxxxix. Psalm and 30th verse: and well has the Lord kept me to it, and made it good: for, my dear friend, never was there a more unsteady, unwatchful Christian; never did the children of Israel's conduct in the wilderness depict any Christian's heart and conduct, in Gospel times, better than mine: and just so has the Lord dealt with me. When he slew me, then I trusted in him; when he gave me carnal ease and comfort, I forgot my Rock and rebelled. Often did I stumble too from legality, instead of looking at my own weakness and impotence; and taking, believing, trusting views of my Redeemer's strength, 1 was
wroth with myself, wondered at myself, and thought it impossible I could be as I had been. I made strong resolutions, yea, vows, and became a slave, in means to hedge in this wandering, worldly, vain, flighty heart; but, alas! a few months found me where I was, with scarce a thought of God from morning to night, prayer huddled over in words that had no effect on my heart; and the fear of hell, the chief restraint from sin, or spur to duty. Then, in general, the Lord had some affliction for me, which laid me afresh at his feet, and made me take a fresh grasp of Christ, and a fresh view of his Covenant: then, again, I felt safety, joy, peace, and happiness; thus, by line upon line, by precept upon precept, ay, and by stripe upon stripe, he taught me, that I could not walk a moment alone. This is now my fixed faith; and in proportion as I keep it in sight, I walk safely; but I still forget, and still stumble, and still fall, and be still lifted up; but I am lifted up, and taught lesson after lesson; and I will stumble, and will fall, while sin is in me; but I am as sure that I will be lifted up, and will be restored, as I am sure I now breathe, and write these things; and the last stumble shall come, and the last stripe shall be laid on, and the last lesson taught, and that which concerns me shall be perfected. Oh! then shall I look back, and see all the way by which he has led me, to prove me, and try me, and show me what was in my heart, that he might do me good in my latter end. I am often, even in this valley of darkness and ignorance, allowed this retrospective view; and am led to say, not one word of all that he promised, has failed. Hitherto the Lord hath helped, he hath been the Guide of my youth, and even unto hoar hairs will he lead me; and when he calls me to pass through the valley of the