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long you have preached the joyful sound of sal. vation by Jesus, and what is the state of things in your parts.

We are called to an honourable service, but it is arduous. What wisdom does it require to keep the middle path in doctrines, avoiding the equally dangerous errors on the right hand and the left! Whatsteadiness, to speak the truth boldly and faithfully in the midst of a gainsaying world! What humility, to stand against the tide of popularity! What meakness, to endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may be saved ! “Who is sufficient for these things?” We are not in ourselves, but there is an all-sufficiency in Jesus. Our enemy watches us close; he challenges and desires to have us, that he may sift us as wheat; he knows he can easily shake us if we are left to ourselves; but we have a Shepherd, a Keeper, who never sluinbers nor sleeps. If he permits us to be exercised, it is for our good; he is at hand to direct, moderate, and sanctify every dispensation

; he has prayed for us that our faith may not fail, and he has promised to maintain his fear in our hearts, that we may not depart from him. When we are prone to wander, he calls us back; when we say, “My feet slip,” his mercy holds us up; when we are wounded, he heals; when we are ready to faint, he revives. The people of God are sure to meet with enemies, but especially the ministers : Satan bears them a double grudge: the world watches for their halting and the Lord will suffer them to be afflicted, that they may be kept humble, that they may acquire a sympathy with the sufferings of others, that they may be experimentaily qualified to advise and help them, and to comfort them with the comforts with which they themselves have been comforted of God. But the Captain of our salvation is with us;

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his eye

is upon us, his everlasting arm beneath us, in his name, therefore, may we go on, lift up our banners, and say, “If God be for us, who can be against us? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that has loved us.” The time is short: yet a little while, and he will wipe all tears from our eyes, and put a crown of life upon our heads with his own gracious hand. In this sense, how beautiful are those lines :


Temporis illius
Me consolor imagine
Festis quum populus me reducem choris,
Faustisque excipiet vocibus, et Dei
Pompa cum celebri, mc comitabitur,
Augusta ad penetralia.

Buch. in Ps. 32.

If any occasions should call you into these parts, my house and pulpit will be glad to receive you. Pray for us, dear Sir, and believe me to be

Yours, &c.

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Nov. 2, 1765. Your letter of the 4th ult. gave me great pleasure. I thank you for the particular account you have favoured me with. I rejoice with you, sympathize with you, and find my heart opened to correspond with unreserved freedom. May the Lord direct our pens, and help us to help each other! The work you are engaged in is great, and your difficulties many; but faithful is he that hath called you, who also will do it. The weapons

which he has now put into your hands are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Men may fight, but they shall not prevail against us, if we are but enabled to put our cause simply into the Lord's hands, and keep steadily on in the path of duty. He will plead our cause and fight our battles; he will pardon our mistakes, and teach us to do better. My experience as a minister is but small, having been but about eighteen months in the vineyard ; but for about twelve years I have been favoured with an increasing acquaintance among the people of God, of various ranks and denominations, which, together with the painful exercises of my own heart, gave me opportunity of making observations which were of great use to me when I entered upon the work myself: and ever since, I have found the Lord graciously supplying new lights and new strength as new occurrences arise. So I trust it will be with you. I endeavour to avail myself of the examples, advice, and sentiments of my brethren; yet at the same time to guard against calling any man master. This is the prerogative of Christ. The best are but men: the wisest may be mistaken; and that which may be right in another might be wrong in me, through a difference of circumstances. The Spirit of God distributes variously, both in gifts and dispensations; and I would no more be tied to act strictly by others' rules, than to walk in shoes of the same size. My shoes must fit my own feet.

I endeavour to guard against extremes : our nature is prone to them: and we are liable likewise, when we have found the inconvenience of one extreme, to revert insensibly (sometimes to fly suddenly) to the other. I pray to be led in the midst of the path. I am what they call a Calvinist; yet there are flights, niceties, and hard sayings, to be found among some of that system, which I do not chuse to imitate. I dislike those sentiments against which you have borne your testimony in the note at the end of your preface; but having known many precious souls in that party, I have been taught, that the kingdom of God is not in names and sentiments, but in righteousness, faith, love, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. I should, however, upon some occasions, oppose those tepets, if they had any prevalence in my neighbourhood; but they have not; and in general, I believe, the surest way to refute or prevent error, is to preach the truth. I am glad to find you are aware of that spirit of enthusiasm which has so often broken loose and blemished hopeful beginnings, and that the foundation you build upon is solid and scriptural: this will, I hope, save you much trouble, and prevent many offences. Let us endeavour to make our people acquainted with the scripture, and to impress them with a high sense of its authority, excellence, and sufficiency. Satan seldom remarkably imposes on ministers or people, except where the word of God is too little consulted or regarded. Another point in which I aim at a medium, is in what is called prudence. There is certainly such a thing as christian prudence, and a remarkable deficiency of it is highly inconvenient. But caution too often degenerates into cowardice; and if the fear of man, under the name of prudence, gets within our guard, like a chilling frost it nips every thing in the bud. Those who trust the Lord, and act openly with an honest freedom and consistence, I observe he generally bears them out, smooths their way, and makes their enemies their friends, or at least restrains their rage; while such as halve things, temporize, and aim to please God and men together, meet with double disappointment, and are neither useful nor respected. If we trust to

him, he will stand by us; if we regard men, he will leave us to make the best we can of them.

I have set down hastily what occurred to my pen, not to dictate to you, but to tell you how I have been led, and because some expressions in your letter seemed to imply that you would not be displeased with me for so doing. As to books, I think there is a medium here likewise. I have read too much in time past; yet I do not wholly join with some of our brethren, who would restrain us entirely to the word of God. Undoubtedly this is the fountain ; here we should dwell; but a moderate and judicious perusal of other authors may have its use; and I am glad to be holden to such helps, either to explain what I do not understand, or to confirm me in what I do. Of these, the writings of the last age afford an immense variety.

But, above all, may we, dear Sir, live and feed upon the precious promises, John xiv. 16, 17, 26. and xvi. 13–15. There is no teacher like Jesus, who, by his Holy Spirit, reveals himself in his word to the understanding andaffections of his children. When we thus behold his glory in the gospelglass, we are changed into the same image. Then our hearts melt, our eyes flow, our stammering tongues are unloosed.' That this may be your increasing experience, is the prayer of, dear Sir,

Yours, &c.

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