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his blood.” This is the plain meaning of the text : and it may be ful filled in you, before you sleep. God is sovereign, in sanctifying as well as justifying. He will act when as well as how he pleases; and none can say unto him, What doest thou?

When the lungs are ulcerated, cold bathing not only does no hurt, but is the most probable cure. Sammy is a letter in my debt. I do not know but he is providentially called to this kingdom. I have now finished more than half my progress, having gone through two of the four provinces. Who knows whether I shall live to go through the other two? It matters not how long we live, but how well. I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother CLVIII.-To the Same.

NORWICH, January 18, 1761. My Dear SISTER,—I have sometimes wondered that not one of all the clergymen we have known should ever cleave to me, for God's sake; nor one man of learning, which would ease me exceedingly. Tommy Walsh designed it;

But death had quicker wings than love. Perhaps it was not best; because I am so immeasurably apt to pour out all my soul into any that love me.

It is well for sister Clarke, that she is landed safe. And it is well for us, who are still amidst the waves, that lle is with us, whom the winds and the seas obey, He is steering you to the haven, where you would be. You may well trust your soul with him, and let him do with you as seemeth him good.

Certainly nothing can be of greater importance than the behaviour both of those who are renewed, and of those who are known to be pressing after it. You have need to weigh every step you take. When and where do you meet now? And who are they that meet? Pray send the inclosed to your neighbour; and let all of you love and pray for

Your affectionate brother.

CLIX.-To the Same.

St. Ives, September 15, 1762. My Dear Sister,—Whereunto you have attained, hold fast.' But expect that greater things are at hand; although our friend talks as if you were not to expect them till the article of death.

Certainly sanctification (in the proper sense) is "an instantaneous deliverance from all sin;" and includes "an instantaneous power then given, always to cleave to God.” Yet this sanctification (at least, in the lower degrees) does not include a power never to think a useless thought, nor ever speak a useless word. I myself believe that such a perfection is inconsistent with living in a corruptible body': for this makes it impossible " always to think right." While we breathe, we shall

, more or less, mistake. If, therefore, Christian perfection implies this, we must not expect it till after death.

I want you to be all love. This is the perfection I believe and teach. And this perfection is consistent with a thousand nervous disorders, which that high strained perfection is not. Indeed, my judgment is, that in this case particularly to overdo, is to undo; and that to set perfection too high, (so high as no man that we ever heard or read of attained,) is the most effectual (because unsuspected) way of driving it out of the world.

Take care you are not hurt by any thing in the “Short Hymns," con trary to the doctrines you have long received. Peace be with your spirit! I am

Your affectionate brother.

CLX.-To the Same.

LONDON, July 16, 1763. My Dear SISTER,–1. So far as I know what will make me most holy and most useful, I know what is the will of God.

2. Certainly it is possibe for persons to be as devoted to God in a married as in a single state.

3. I believe John Downes is thoroughly desirous of being wholly devoted to God; and that, if you alter your condition at all, you cannot choose a more proper person. I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

CLXI.-To the Same.

LEWISHAM, December 15, 1763. My Dear Sister,—It has seemed to me, for some time, that God will not suffer Cornelius Bastable to live at Cork. He may starve there, but he cannot live. The people are not worthy of him.

Salvation from sin is a deeper and higher work than either you or S. Ryan can conceive. But do not imagine (as we are continually prone to do) that it lies in an indivisible point. You experienced a taste of it when you were justified: you since experienced the thing itself, only in a low degree ; and God gave you his Spirit, that you might know the things which he had freely given you. Hold fast the beginning of your confidence steadfast unto the end. You are continually apt to throw away

what you have, for what you want. However, you are right in looking for a farther instantaneous change, as well as a constant gradual

But it is not good for you to be quite alone ; you should converse frequently, as well as freely, with Miss Johnson, and any other that is much alive. You have great need of this. I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.


CLXII.-To the Same.

EDINBURGH, May 28, 1764. MY DEAR SISTER,—Certainly it would be right to spend some time in setting down both the outward providences of God, and the inward leadings and workings of his Spirit, as far as you can remember them. But observe withal, you are called to be a good steward of the mammon of unrighteousness. You must therefore think of this too in its place; only without anxiety. Otherwise, that neglect of your calling will hinder the work of God in your heart. You are not serving mammon by this, but serving Christ; it is part of the task which he has assigned you. Yot it is true your heart is to be free all the time; and see that you stand fast in the liberty where with Christ hath made you free.

I thought your name had been altered before now. In a new station

you will have need of new watchfulness. Still redeem the time ; be steadily serious; and follow your own conscience in all things. I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother. In my return from the Highlands, I expect to spend a day at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the 18th or 19th of June.

CLXIII.-To the Same.

London, August 2, 1776. My Dear SISTER, I know not that you differ from me at all. You are certainly in your place at present; and it seems one providential reason of your ill health was, to drive you thither. Now, use all the ability which God giveth, and he will give more : Unto him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly; it is the hand of the diligent that maketh rich. If you can persuade honest Alice Brammah to be cleanly as well as gentle, she will be tenfold more useful; and so will Billy Brammah, if he will be teachable and advisable; otherwise there is a fly in the pot of ointment. You are sent to Leeds chiefly for the sake of those that enjoy, or thirst after perfect love. Redeem the time! Go on in His name! And let the world and the devil fall under your feet! I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

CLXIV.-To the Same.

OCTOBER, 1776. My Dear Sister,—You have abundant reason to praise God, who has dealt so mercifully with you, and to encourage all about you never to rest till they attain full salvation.

As to the question you propose, if the leader himself desires it, and the class be not unwilling, in that case there can be no objection to your meeting a class even of men. This is not properly assuming or exercising any authority over them. You do not act as a superior, but an equal ; and it is an act of friendship and brotherly love.

I am glad you had a little conversation with Miss Ritchie. She is a precious soul. Do her all the good you can, and incite her to exert all the talents which God has given her. I am

Your affectionate brother.

CLXV.-To the Same.

London, December 1, 1781. My Dear Sister,—Never be afraid that I should think


letters troublesome: I am never so busy as to forget my friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher made an excellent beginning, and I trust they will increase with all the increase of God. Now, let all of


that remain in the neighbourhood arise up and supply her lack of service. Be instant in season, out of season; that all know


have caught her mantle !

But pray do not suffer my poor Miss Ritchie to work herself to death. Let her do all she can, and not more than she can.

Your affectionate brother.


I am

CLXVI.-To the Same.

NEAR LONDON, November 21, 1783. MY DEAR SISTER --Through the blessing of God, I find no difference at all between the health and strength which are now given me, and that which I had forty years ago. Only I had then many pains which I have not now.

You are enabled to give a very clear and standing proof that weakness of nerves cannot prevent joy in the Lord. Your nerves have been remarkably weak, and that for many years : but still your soul can magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God your Saviour !

Your affectionate brother.

CLXVII.-To Dr. Robertson.

Bristol, September 24, 1753. DEAR SIR, I have lately had the pleasure of reading Mr. Ramsay 9 “ Principles of Religion," with the notes you have annexed to them. Doubtless he was a person of a bright and strong understanding, but I think not of a very clear apprehension. Perhaps it might be owing to this, that, not distinctly perceiving the strength of some of the objections to his hypothesis, he is very peremptory in his assertions, and apt to treat his opponent with an air of contempt and disdain. This seems to have been a blemish even in his moral character. I am afraid the using guile is another; for surely it is a mere artifice to impute to the School men the rise of almost every opinion which he censures ; seeing he must have known that most, if not all, of those opinions, preceded the Schoolmen several hundred years.

The treatise itself gave me a stronger conviction than ever I had before, both of the fallaciousness and unsatisfactoriness of the mathematical method of reasoning on religious subjects. Extremely fallacious it is; for if we slip but in one line, a whole train of errors may follow : and utterly unsatisfactory, at least to me, because I can never be sufficiently assured that this is not the case.

The two first books, although doubtless they are a fine chain of reasoning, yet gave me the less satisfaction, because I am clearly of Mr. H's judgment, that all this is beginning at the wrong end; that we can have no idea of God, nor any sufficient proof of his very being, but from the creatures; and that the meanest plant is a far stronger proof hereof, than all Dr. Clarke's or the Chevalier's demonstrations.

Among the latter, I was surprised to find a demonstration of the manner how God is present to all beings; (page 57 ;) how he begat the Son from all eternity; (page 77 ;) and how the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. (Page 85.) Quanto satius est fateri nescire quæ nescias, quam ista effutientem nauseare, et ipsum tibi displicere?* How much better to keep to his own conclusion, (page 95,) * Reason proves that this mystery is possible !” Revelation assures us that it is true ; Heaven alone can show us how it is.

This quotation from Cicero on the Nature of the Gods is thus translated by Dr. Franklin : -"How much more laudable would it be, to acknowledge you do not know what you do not know, than to follow that blunderer, whom you must surely despise."-EDIT.

There are several propositions in his second book which I cannot assent to; particularly with regard to the Divine foreknowledge. I can by no means acquiesce in the twenty-second proposition, " That it is a matter of free choice in God, to think of finite ideas." I cannot recon cile this with the assertion of the Apostle, “Known unto God are all his works, am' aiwvos, from eternity." And if any one ask, " How is God's foreknowledge consistent with our freedom ?" I plainly answer, I cannot tell.

In the third book, (page 209,) I rcad, “ The desire of God, purely as beatifying, as the source of infinite pleasure, is a necessary consequence of the natural love we have for happiness.” I deny it absolutely. My natural love for happiness was as strong thirty years ago as at this instant. Yet I had then no more desire of God, as the source of any pleasure at all, than I had of the devil or of hell. So totally false is that, “ That the soul inevitably loves what it judges to be the best.”

Equally false is his next corollary; that if ever fallen spirits see and feel that moral evil is a source of eternal misery, they cannot continue to will it deliberately.” (Ibid.) I can now show living proofs of the contrary. But I take knowledge, both from this and many other of his assertions, that Mr. R. never rightly understood the height and depth of that corruption which is in man, as well as diabolical nature.

The doctrine of pure love, as it is stated in the fourth book and elsewhere, (the loving God chiefly is not solely for his inherent perfections,) I once firmly espoused. But I was at length unwillingly convinced that I must give it up, or give up the Bible. And for near twenty years I have thought, as I do now, that it is at least unscriptural, if not antiscriptural: for the Scripture gives not the least intimation, that I can find, of any higher, or indeed any other, love of God, than that mentioned by St. John : “We love him, because he first loved us." And I desire no higher love of God, till my spirit returns to him.

Page 313: “ There can be but two possible ways of curing moral evil ; the sensation of pleasure in the discovery of truth, or the sensation of pain in the love of error."

So here is one who has searched out the Almighty to perfection! who knows every way wherein he can exert his omnipotence!

I am not clear in this. I believe it is very possible for God to act in some third way. I believe he can make me as holy as an archangel, without any sensation at all preceding.

Page 324 : “ Hence it is that the chaos mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis cannot be understood of the primitive state of nature.”

Why not, if God created the world gradually, as we are assured he did ?

In the fifth book, (page 334,) I read a more extraordinary assertion than any

of the preceding : “ The infusion of such supernatural habits, by one instantaneous act, is impossible. We cannot be confirmed in immutable habits of good, but by a long continued repetition of free acts.” I dare not say so. I am persuaded God can this moment confirm me immutably good.

Page 335: “Such is the nature of finite spirits, that, after à certain degree of good habits contracted, they become unpervertible and immuVol. VI.


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