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the abundant riches of his grace, which are in Christ Jesus.'
After withdrawing from the room, and taking leave of the friend who had conducted me thither, I retired to my closet to meditate upon what I had seen and heard. And the conclusion I formed upon the whole was this—I had discovered in the scriptures of truth, that in all ages of the Church, the Lord has had a seed which served him. I no less discovered also, that this seed were distinguished from the rest of mankind by certain marks and characters. I observed very clearly in the little circle to which I had now been introduced, that its members were widely distinguished from the unawakened world, in all their pursuits, complaints, and desires. I remarked yet further, that although their complaints and desires differed in their degree of earnestness; yet, like a family-feature, there was a sufficient similarity in all, to manifest their relationship to each other. But what became my highest gratification, was the discovery, that, however unconscious of it before, their situation was my own. And I felt that union of soul, which the mind feels in a state of nature on the discovery of affinity, so as to be drawn towards them in the warmth of a lasting love and affection. I resolved therefore to cast in my lot among them, and to have the same portion. The sweet language of Ruth to Naomi, exactly speaks the feelings of my heart: k Intreat me not to leave thee: or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. Where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'
My mind had been much exercised through the night, in reflections upon what I had seen and heard at the Prayer-meeting. And the morning had but just opened upon the earth, when I arose to prayer and meditation. There is somewhat peculiarly solemn in the first dawn of day, before the noisy world is risen. It very powerfully calls the soul to devotion.
'Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet With charms of earliest birds.'
I felt the influence, and having 'bowed the knee before the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,' I entered upon the meditation of the subject, which had engaged my attention so much the preceding evening. The more I considered it, the more I stood convinced, that there is a seed in the earth, which the Lord hath distinguished from the world. And I felt no less conviction also, that it is divine grace alone which makes all the difference between 'him that serveth the Lord, and him that serveth him not.' But that I should be the object of his grace, when I sought it not, nor was even conscious of the want of it: here appeared the greatest mystery!
I found my eyes overflowing in the contemplation of such unmerited goodness of my God towards me; and was lost in the thought, when a call at the door roused me from my meditation. It was the Traveller, whom I have before mentioned, who had kindly introduced me into the Prayer-meeting, and who was come to inquire what were my sentiments concerning it: and to offer me that assistance which I had requested of him at our first interview.
I very frankly opened my whole heart to him upon the subject, and hesitated not to tell him, how much I felt interested in what I had heard; and particularly in the case of one who had spoken, from the similarity of his experience to my own. 'How, or when, (I said,) or by what means the Lord hath begun the work of grace in my heart, I know not: but like the poor man we read of in the Gospel, I trust I can say, that 'whereas I was blind, now I see.' It is, indeed, but a confused and ill-formed view of things, which I have at present, in looking at the bright objects of divine truth. I see but indistinctly, men as trees walking. Yet, I cannot but hope, that He who hath graciously touched mine eyes, will touch them again, and make me see clearly.'
'Doubt not, (replied the traveller,) the divine faithfulness. The 'earnest of the spirit' becomes no less the earnest of the promised inheritance*.' And an Apostle says, 'we may be confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in us, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' As nothing, under divine grace, will tend to open your apprehensions more clearly to 'the truth as it is in Jesus,' than the possessing right notions of the Covenant of Grace, on which the whole system of the Gospel is founded; I have brought with me a sermon, written upon the subject, and which, according to my conception, places the doctrine in the plainest point of view possible. If it be agreeable, (he added,) I will read it to you.'
* Compare 2 Cor. v. 5, with Ephes. i. 13.14.
'Nothing,' (I answered,) ' can be more desirable to me.'—He accordingly took it from his pocket, and read as follows:
'THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID.'
It was a very sweet note, which God the Holy Ghost put into the mouth of his servant the prophet, when commanding him to proclaim salvation in the mountain of Israel; when He called it 'an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David.' In nothing did the Lord more consult the wants and happiness of His people, than in folding the Gospel up under such a cover, and marking it by such distinguishing characters.
Tell me, my brother, do you not feel a very high gratification in the consciousness, that salvation is not a work of yesterday, butfounded on that 'everlastinglove,' wherewith the Lord hath ' loved his people?'
Besides; an everlasting covenant naturally connects with itself all those properties which are necessary to its completion and design. There must be included in it everlasting wis