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the nation of the Jews, it had that appearance. But even then, all were not Israel, who were of Israel. The children of the promise, and not the children of the flesh, were counted for the seed. The Gospel, however, to the stumbling of the greatest part of that people, put an end to that appearance. The national covenant answered the design of Him who gave it. It foretold, typified, and prepared the way, of the only begotten Son of God. But who could abide the day of his coming ? Who could stand when he appeared ? It is true He was meek and lowly in heart, and his every word and action towards even the greatest transgressors, demonstrated that He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. But he exposed and resisted all those who walked in the deceivableness of unrighteousness, and who boasted, like their fathers, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we! He looked for personal religion ; and all who attached it to names, ordinances, or communities, he answered with—Ye worship ye know not what. He enforced poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, mercifulness, and purity of heart; showing thus the beginning and progress of religion, as given to guilty, sinful, helpless creatures, in whom dwells no good thing ; and who are thus to be made rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven: and who thus alone can be made new creatures, and meet for the inheritance among the saints in light, whose robes are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. *

These pure and high principles of Holy Writ, so agreeable to the exalted character of Jehovah, and to the fallen and wretched condition of man, were sought out and adopted by the band of brothers in the University of Oxford, nearly ninety years ago. One great truth involved the whole, as necessary to salvationWithout holiness no man shall see the Lord. They immediately followed after this, making every sacrifice, and ordering their whole life that they might attain it. Some time after the Lord showed them, that His way of conferring holiness was by faith? and that he justifies men, as being ungodly, through the redemption that is in Jesus, before he sanctifies them. They now knew the whole truth, and the Lord thrust them forth from their beloved retirement, to raise a holy people. This was the one design of these chosen instruments, and every thing short of it they counted, to use the language of St. Paul, wood, hay, or stubble.


But did they spend their strength for nought? Were they disappointed of their hope? Were not a holy people raised up? Let the Life of Mrs. Fletcher speak. Let the pious reader say, if he be not introduced, in these memoirs, among the excellent of the earth ;-All of whom with one voice would testify,

6 Blind we were, but now we see,

Deaf, we hearken, Lord! to Thee:
Dumb, for Thee our tongues employ,
Lame, and lo! we leap for joy."

* Some who have separated from other communities,” says Mr. Wesley, “laid the foundation of that work, in judging and condemning others : we, on the contrary, in judging and condemning ourselves.”

I cannot therefore but greatly rejoice that these memoirs are given to the public, and especially to that community of which the writer was so long a highly honoured and useful member. I cannot but think they will be a great blessing to the people of God of every denomination; and especially to all who desire to walk

even as Christ also walked, and who are conscious of an evil nature, opposing that will of God which is their sanctification. In this point of view especially, these memoirs will be considered, I think, as very precious to all who fight this good fight of faith. The reader will find in them no paint, nothing to set the writer off ; no extravagance, but plain life raised and sanctified by constant attention to the duties and sacrifices of the Gospel; and issuing in a constant pleading of the great and precious promises, by which we are made partakers of the Divine Nature : with unremitting efforts to walk by that rule, whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Luther observed, that there never was a work of God in the earth that lasted longer, in any community, than the common life of man ; that is, upon an average, about thirty years. Generally about that period, the vineyard which the Lord planted with his own righthand, has been let out to husbandmen, who, yielding to their natural propensities, and accommodating the work of the Lord to the course of this world, have not been careful to render to Him the required fruit. Hence the visible state of decay, or of death, in those communities which once manifested the Divine hand of Him who formed them. But this work has lasted nearly thrice that time! There are none alive who witnessed its beginning, and but very few who knew its early days. If any such meet with this work, they will call to mind the very glorious time when it was altogether the work of God; when it was unsupported by any worldly power or wisdom, and had all that is earthly, sensual, and devilish, combined against it. They will see also a consistency in the design, and in the mode of execution, which is

truly edifying, and not of this world. The instruments employed in this work, and especially that one so eminently called thereto, were not careful for such prosperity as worldly men desire.' They knew, like their blessed Master, that all whom their Father gave them would come unto them, and they did not desire to bring the world into his fold. The world is called, and redeemed; but to add to the family of God all who obeyed that call, was their only ambition, and the object of their incessant labours.

. . The great superintendent of this work, under God, looked not for what the world calls great talents in his helpers. In this respect also he gladly used those whom the Father gave him ; who were witnesses of the truths which they were called to teach. Men who knew God (in the only way in which he can be truly and powerfully known) as being merciful to their unrighteousness, and remembering their sins no more. He was careful also to see that the true fruit accompanied their ministry, The justification of the ungodly, and the sanctification of the unholy. He used to say, “ The best physician is not he who writes the best recipes, but he who makes the most cures.” When men of learning united with him in this divine work, he greatly rejoiced, and gladly received them. The late Mr. Fletcher was an eminent instance of that kind. His learning was deep, extensive, clear, and various ; but like his venerable friend, whom he always called Father, he counted even all these estimable advantages as dung and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. So abased was this great man in his own eyes, and so entirely did he take the divine mould of the Gospel, that there was not one of those helpers in the work whom he did not rejoice to call his brother in Christ, and whom he did not in honour prefer to himself, even in his own párigh.

The private members also were men and women of God; and among these Miss Bosanquet always held in general estimation the chief place. Her superiority in natural and providential gifts-her well-known entire devotedness,her constancy and perseverance in the divine life,-her doing and suffering the whole will of her Master, all fitted her, as by a general consent, to be the consort of that great man whose praise is in all the churches ; whose admirable writings will live while piety and learning are honoured in the earth ; and which have forced even those who did not know his piety, or affected to lament that such talents should be so connected, to acknowledge his great superiority.

That the highest principles of the Christian religion should be brought into common life, is the greatest display of the power of divine truth that is possible, and the most glorious victory over the world. It is thus that righteousness shall cover the earth, and bring glory to Him that sitteth upon the throne. How poor, how questionable, are all the refinements of the closet, the study, or the cloister, when compared with the love of God and our neighbour, brought into act, and exhibited on right principles, amidst the common concerns and labours of life, and attended with its usual trials, afflictions, and mortifications ! To persevere thus, is indeed the perseverance of the saints, and realizes that old saying, too often quoted by pride and apathy,"It is a sight worthy of God, when he looks down from heaven, to see a virtuous mind unswervingly struggling with adversity.Such a sight, I trust, the pious reader will behold in the

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