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filment of a promise; and the words of the sweet singer of Israel, Psalms cxvi, cxviii, I find exactly suitable and applicable to me.
Adieu, dear Sir! The Lord be with you, and prosper you in your own soul, and in the work he has given you to do. And may it please the great Shepherd long to continue you here for his church's sake! Such is the fincere desire and and hearty prayer of, Reverend Sir,
TO MR. JOHN. EEDES,
Dearly beloved in the one Mediator, grace and truth be'with thee through our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of the Father in truth and love.
Your epistle is very acceptable to me, as the contents serve to wcaken a temptation which has often beset me; namely, that old age would be attended with a barrenness in the ministry; that, as youthful vigour decayed, and the faculties of the soul got impaired, so the life and power of godliness would abate also. And this temptation came upon me by observing so many great and learned men, who had come forth with brilliant : gifts and abilities, light and knowledge, and who seemed to soar very high, and to flourish like a cedar, afterwards link and wither like the green herb. This I concluded must be my case at some future period. But it is in Christ Jesus that God our father accepts us, in his atonement he receives us as clean, and in his righteousness we are received as just; and, being fanctificd by
the Holy Ghoft, we are complete in him. And it is in Christ Jesus that we enjoy and share, as joint heirs with him, in God the Father's love; and this love is the fruit and effect of pardon; it is the bond of the covenant, the root of the righteous, the marriage ring, and the indissoluble bond of union between the bridegroom and the bride. Could this divine love, which is fixed upon us in Christ Jesus, be taken from him, the bond of the covenant would be broken, the thing that is gone out of God's lips would be altered, the promise would pass away unfulfilled the covenant of peace would be removed, and the faithfulness of God would be suffered to fails for, if the root be removed, both leaf and fruit must fail from the heirs of pronrise.
But we are safe and well secured upon this . ground; and every revival, renewing, and refreshing, is a confirmation of it; for these are the fresh declarations of God's covenant name and characters; I mean, that of his being gracious » and merciful, abundant in goodness and truth. forgiving iniquity, transgression, and fin (read Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7), which is what our Lord alludes to when he says, “ And I have declared unto them thiy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them,” John xvii. 26. Compare these two passages together, and you will see what is meant by Christ being in ls; and it
is by God's faithfulness to his covenant name; which name, in all its fulness, and in all its meaning, is now (as it always was) in Chrift Jesus; and it is declared again and again by a discovery of fresh truth, by receiving fresh grace, and by new enjoyments of pardoning love. This name is declared, and shall be declared, that the love wherewith the Father hath loved Christ may be in us, and he in us. Where a sin-pardoning God is not proclaimed to the finner, that sinner has no love to God. God's circumcising our heart to love him is putting off the body of the fins of the flesh by the circumcifion of Christ; and where much is forgiven, the fame loveth much.
These things, my dear friend, standing fast, and our fruitfulness depending upon ihe righteousness, truth, and faithfulness of God in Christ Jesus, the root muft abide, its waterings cannot fail, the leaf must be green; and we shall bring forth fruit in old age, to shew that the Lord is upright, Psalm xcii, 14, 15.
My fears, thcrefore, from the above temptation, have for some years abated, about barrenness in my old age; for I verily believe that I have had more success these ten years past than I ever had in any ten years that have gone before since I have been in the ministry. Nor do I find God's workmanship by me inferior to others, but contrariwise; for, go where I will, or get into company with what professors I may, I find. them in penetration superficial, in experience. shallow, in judgment confused, in conversation muddy, fleshly, and unsavoury; they have a little momentary glee under the word, and this is left behind when the sermon is over, and all the rest of the week is spent in bondage, doubting and fearing, murmuring and complaining; and these are dead works, the fruits of a legal and self-righteous spirit kept under the power of unbelief. The wayside, the thorny, and the ftony-ground hearers, are too common and too apparent every where: it is as our Lord says, “ They have no root,” no deepness of earth nor moisture, and therefore are soon scorched, and then wither away. A broken and contrite heart is the deep earth; with such God dwells; and this is the good ground also. Pardoning love shed abroad in the heart is the root, and the holy Spirit of life and his grace is the moisiure: and what is the most splendid profession without these things?
The highest stage, my dear son, and the surest standing in a militant state, is that of holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. The mystery, which is the most sublime, and which is the object of spiritual faith, is the mystery of the three persons in the one God of Israel, or a trinity of persons in the gadhead. And, as there