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little, sound experience is to be met with, either in books or sermons from the pulpit. Hence the want of power; for, though a man may be tolerably sound in the doctrinal truths of God's word, yet, if there is no unction of the Holy One in his heart, there will be no soul-humbling visits attend his ministry; and without this, a man's ministry will prove a dry breast to a heaven-born soul: head-notions, delivered ever so pathetically, badly supply the place of that spiritual fervor produced by the immediate impulse of the t Holy Spirit.
I am well aware that such positive and decided language will expose the writer to the sneer of many who, it is to be feared, have the lamp, but not the oil; the name of faith, but not the thing itself; great confidence! but without a warrant, either from God or conscience; I shall not, therefore, be surprised if such should style experience, enthusiasm, weakness, or mere legal strivings.
To you, my beloved, I feel myself bound by spiritual ties to address myself: you are my fellow-pilgrims-my fellow-soldiers-my fellow.
sufferers-and shall be my fellow-conquerors; yes! if there is any truth in God's free election of you to life immortal; if any truth in his precious promises; if any stability in his sacred oath, it shall be so.
You have in the following pages a faint portrait, not of the body, but of the mind, of one who is plagued every day, and chastened every morning certain of victory; and yet that certainty daily opposed by carnal reason, unbelief, a body of sin, and the united powers of hell. I once dreamed of a smoother path to my Father's house, as, perhaps, have many of you: who can imagine, when in the banqueting-house-when sitting under the Redeemer's shadow with delight —when sucking the breasts of divine consolation -when favored with heavenly smiles, and the kisses of his mouth--that this is the preface to the book of lamentation, mourning, and woe?
Every sight of the heart in its true colours produces a painful sensation, and a heavy sigh, on account of its deplorable vileness. This lesson, however, is taught by the Holy Spirit."He shall reprove the world of sin.". A person
may be sensible that he has committed sin, without any special light from the Holy Spirit; but a person cannot know the root of the evil, nor the nature of the evil, nor truly abhor the evil of his nature, without the light and might of the Holy Spirit. And where he thus works effectually, self-abhorrence will be the natural consequence. Behold, I am vile. Unclean! Unclean! Carnal, sold under sin. Nor does the most enlarged acquaintance with Christ in this life, destroy an abiding sense of his utter depravity before God, considered in himself. sacred teachings of the Spirit are designed to throw down, and keep low, the haughtiness and pride of the human heart; and the most severe discipline taught by him, answers the best of purposes: fiery as the trial is, and strange as it may appear, out of this eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong sweetness. Poor tried soul, remember this, he that sits as a refiner's fire, designs to take away thy dross and tin; but nothing more than dross and tin shall the ordained furnace ever consume. Thy husband has chosen thee in the furnace of affliction; and he possesses the greatest love, and exercises the sweetest sympathy towards thee amidst the whole. We
have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. IV. 15.) And, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Heb. 11. 18.)
It may be proper to inform the reader, that, a few of the following Hymns have appeared in theGOSPEL MAGAZINE;" but are now, in general, somewhat altered. Also, I have thought a few reflections at the close of each Hymn might prove acceptable to the Church of God, and serve to assist that sweet conversation, which I have often observed, and have had the pleasure of joining in, after reading or singing a Hymn which breathes the name of Jesus, and describes. the real experience of his redeemed.-Doubtless there are many excellent Hymn Books before the public; but were there double the number it would be no argument against the publishing of more God's servants are, in the Scriptures, called stars; and, as such, their province is to shine, though it is but with a faint light at most. In every mode of instruction, the chief object to be kept in view by the minister of Christ, should be the exaltation of Jesu's name, and the spiritual
edification of his elect. And if any thing in the following pages should be so honored with the Lord's blessing, my design in writing them will be answered. When first I thought of putting out a Hymn Book, I intended to have published one upon a larger scale; but considering the circumstances of God's people, in general, the poor of this world, I concluded upon the present size. Should a second volume be requested, on some future occasion, the Author may probably attend to it; but of this he has no expectation.
And now, brethren, seeing that you, and all, who earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the Saints, are, by your persecutors,' said to be loose livers, without law, Antinomians; let me beseech you by the mercies of God, by the love of Jesus, and by the gracious teaching of the Holy Spirit, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Never think yourselves unknown, in any company, in any place, even by your fellow-mortals. Remember, though sin cannot destroy you, it will sorely distress you, and bring a gloom over your minds, perhaps for a long season. Learn wisdom from the things you have already suffered, and ponder