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the way of evil men. Avoid it; pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away.* For my own part, I have never found my peace of mind so unbroken, as since I have totally withdrawn
myself from all but the necessary and una.. voidable intercourse with men of the world.
By ceasing from their communion, we live out of the reach of the contagion of their principles ; and we live above the influence of their good or bad opinion. And it is a maxim of as much salutary consequence to the mind, as it is to the body, to breathe a pure atmosphere. You cannot come within the region of any thing filthy and corrupt, but its poisonous effluvia will attach themselves to you.
I have often thought what a peculiar providence it was, that, while my mind was under the impression of such accumulated trials, GOD should direct my steps towards the means of relief. But so it was, that in prosecuting the path of my pilgrimage, as I passed the road, there stood an house on my right hand with this inscription in the front of it;
THE HOUSE OF THE INTERPRETER.
I considered it then, as experience hath taught me to regard it many times since, as among the special appointments of a covenanting God, that my path was directed this way. He hath promised to bring the blind by a way that
: . * Prov. iv. 14.
they know not; and in this instance nothing could be more pointed...
I pity the man from my heart, who passeth through life and discovers nothing of Divine wisdom arranging and ordering all the events of it'; and particularly in those instances, where the LORD's enemies are promoting and forwarding by their unconscious conduct the very designs, which they are seemingly opposing. There is something very striking in proof of a Divine superintendance, when men unintentionally fulfil that will, which all their designs and actions are directed purposely to thwart. When the sons of Jacob sold their brother for a slave, little did they dream that Joseph's future dignity and Israel's salvation were to result from this cruelty. Nay, (what is infinitely more important, and an higher testimony than this) when the Jews had nailed the LORD of life and glory to the cross; who should have thought that from that very cross all the everlasting happiness of His people was to spring? And, (to compare small things with great) when the persecutions of my relations, the false reasonings of the author whose book I had read, and the conversation of the infidel brothers, which all conspired to give me such distress, became the very foundation under God of my establishment in grace; who will but conclude, that such a
peculiar coincidence of circumstances cannot. .. be the result of any thing fortuitous, but cometh
forth (as the prophet speaks) from the LORD of
Hosts, which is wonderful in counsel and ere cellent in working. * ,
It will be, no doubt, one portion of the felicity of heaven, to look back and trace the whole of our eventful history to the full. But it is now, in my esteem, walking in the highway of communion with God, when at any time we are enabled to trace it in part here below.
The house of the interpreter.--I had read of such an house and of such a character, as being in the pilgrim's path, when in my days of childhood. But I knew not at that time, that I should myself live to behold either of them , realized.— A thought, however, struck me as I read the inscription ; Perhaps I may find here some help to explain to me the difficulties, with which I am at present exercised! I recollected . what Job had said, that if there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness; then He is gracious unto him.ph Encouraged by these considerations, I drew near to the house. The door was wide open. Jesus hath said, Behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. I found that it opened into -a spacious vestibule ; in one of the compartments of which there was written, in large characters, as follows: . : * Isaiah xxviii. 29. † Job xxxiii. 23." Rev. üi. 8.!
THE RULES OF THIS FAMILY. 2 ->. First, It is expected that every one who
comes under this roof, fail not to be present
Secondly, It is hoped that beside these
Thirdly, The Apostle's maxim is to be ine)
Lastly, Whatsoever is done in word or
To every one who, looking up for grace to
render it effectual, sincerely desires to act in - conformity to these rules, the good man of
the house saith, “ Come in thou blessed of >
Thus invited, I entered the door, and found that it led into a large room like an hall. There were several persons seated round a table, at the head of which a venerable old man appeared to preside. Having taken my place at the bottom, to which the kind looks of the master at the top seemed to invite me, I soon discovered, by
what dropped from his lips in discourse, that the characters around me were Zion's Pilgrims like myself, and that the LORD of the way had directed them in his providence hither for refreshment and counsel,
It is a very precious thing, when little societies meet together on gracious errands. There is a restraint upon the mind in the assembly that is mingled. Two cannot walk together except they · be agreed. I venture to believe that, more or
less, every follower of the Redeemer knows somewhat of this in his own experience. And it should seem that the dear LORD Himself, at His last supper, restrained those sweet and incomparable discourses, which the apostle John hath recorded in the fourteenth and following chapters of his gospel, until Judas the traitor had withdrawn. For as soon as he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified; and immediately the LORD began his farewell sermon." ".
At this assembly of the Interpreter's, there was somewhat visible in every countenance, which indicated that they were all of one heart and of one soul. They were come together to lay down their several burthens, and to unbosom their minds to each other. And the good man of the house seemed to be deputed to speak a word of consolation to every case.
I found my mind much relieved under one part of my burthen, (I mean under the sorrows induced from the persecutions of my relations) by what the Interpreter said to a woman in the