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no desire or wish that things should be otherwise ? In one sense, you do desire it; because you desire that God should be glorified in all things. But did not the falling short of that desire lessen your happiness? Had you still the same degree of communion with God, the same joy in the Holy Ghost? I never saw you so much moved as you appeared to be that evening. Your soul was then greatly troubled ; and a variety of conflicting passions, love, sorrow, desire, with a kind of despair, were easy to be read in your countenance. And was not your heart unhinged at all? Was it not ruffled or discomposed ? Was your soul all the tinie calmly stayed on God ? waiting upon him without distraction ? Perhaps one end of this close trial was to give you a deeper knowledge of yourself and of God; of his power to save, and of the salvation he hath wrought in you.
Most of the trials you have lately met with have been of another kind; but it is expedient for you to go through both evil and good report. The conversing with you, either by speaking or writing, is an unspeakable blessing to me. I cannot think of you without thinking of God. Others often lead me to him; but it is, as it were, going round about; you bring me straight into his presence. Therefore, whoever warns me against trusting you, I cannot refrain; as I am clearly convinced he calls me to it. I am
Your affectionate brother.
CLXXIII.-To the Same.
JANUARY 27, 1758. My Dear Sister,—Last Friday, after many severe words, my left me, vowing she would see me no more. As I had wrote to you
the same morning, I began to reason with myself, till I almost doubted whether I had done well in writing, or whether I ought to write to you at all. After prayer that doubt was taken away. Yet I was almost sorry that I had written that morning. In the evening, while I was preaching at the chapel, she came into the chamber where I had left my clothes, searched my pockets, and found the letter there, which I had finished, but had noi sealed. While she read it, God broke her heart; and I afterward found her in such a temper as I have not seen her in for several years.
She has continued in the same ever since. So I think God has given a sufficient answer with regard to our writing to each other. I still feel some fear concerning you. How have you
found yourself since we parted ? Have you suffered no loss by any thing? Has nothing damped the vigour of your spirit? Is honour a blessing and dishonour too? the frowns and smiles of men? Are you one and the same in ease or pain ; always attentive to the voice of God? What kind of humility do you feel? What have you to humble you, if you have no sin ? Are you wise in the manner of spending your time? Do you employ it all, not only well, but as well as it is possible? What time have you for reading? I want you to live like an angel here below; or rather like the Son of God. Woman, walk thou as Christ walked; then you cannot but love and pray for
Your affectionate brother
CLXXIV. To the Same.
FEBRUARY 10, 1756. My Dear SISTER-Your last letter was seasonable indeed. I was growing faint in my mind. The being continually watched over for evil, the having every word I spoke, every action I did, small and great, watched over with no friendly eye; the hearing a thousand little, tart, unkind reflections, in return for the kindest words I could devise,
Like drops of eating water on the marble,
At length have worn my sinking spirits down. Yet I could not say, "Take thy plague away from me;" but only “Let me be purified, not consumed."
What kind of humility do you feel? Is it a sense of sinfulness? Is it not a sense of helplessness, of dependence, of emptiness, and, as it were, nothingness? How do you look back on your past sins, either of heart or life? What tempers or passions do you feel, while you are employed in these reflections? Do you feel nothing like pride while you are comparing your present with your past state; or while persons are showing their approbation of, or esteem for, you? How is it that you are so frequently charged with pride? Are you careful to abstain from the appearance of it? O how important are all your steps ! The Lord God guide and support you every momen!!
I am yours, &c. CLXXV.To the Same.
Maldon, February 20, 1758. My Dear Sister,—Is your eye altogether single? Is your heart entirely pure ? I know you gave up the whole to God once; but do you stand to the gift? Once your will was swallowed up in God's. But is it now, and will it be so always ? The whole Spirit and power of God be upon you; stablish, strengthen, settle you; and preserve your spirit, soul, and body, spotless and unblamable, unto the coming of Jesus Christ!
I am yours, &c.
CLXXVI.-To the Same.
Dublin, April 4, 1758. My Dear SISTER, 0 that I could be of some use to you! I long to help you forward in your way. I want to have your understanding a mere lamp of light, always shining with light from above! I want you to be full of divine knowledge and wisdom, as Jordan in the time of harvest. I want your words to be full of grace, poured out as precious ointment. I want your every work to bear the stamp of God, to be a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour : without any part weak, earthly, or human; all holy, all divine. The great God, your Father and your Love, bring you to this self-same thing! Begin, soldier of Christ, child of God! Walk worthy of the vocation where with thou art called! Remember the faith! Remember the Captain of thy salvation! Fight! Conquer ! Die, and live for ever!
I am yours, &c.
CLXXVII.-To Mr. Joseph Cownley.
Bristol, September 20, 1746. MY DEAR BRETHREN,*-As many of you as have set your hands to the plough, see that you go on and look not back. The prize and the crown are before you; and in due time you shall reap, if you faint not. Meantime, fight the good fight of faith, enduring the cross, and despising the shame. Beware that none of you return evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing. Show forth out of a loving heart, your good conversation with meekness and wisdom. Avoid all disputes as you would avoid fire: so shall ye continue kindly affectionate one toward another. The God of peace be with you. I am
Your affectionate brother.
CLXXVIII.-To the Same.
DURLIN, April 12, 1750. My Dear BROTHER,—I doubt you are in a great deal more danger from honour, than from dishonour. So it is with me. I always find there is most hazard in sailing upon smooth water. When the winds blow, and the seas rage, even the sleepers will rise and call upon God.
From Newcastle to London, and from London to Bristol, God is every where reviving his work. I find it is so now in Dublin ; although there has been great imprudence in some, whereby grievous wolves have lately crept in amongst us, not sparing the flock; by whom some souls have been utterly destroyed, and others wounded, who are not yet recovered. Those who ought to have stood in the gap did not; but I trust they will be wiser for the time to come. After a season, I think it will be highly expedient for you to labour in Ireland again. Mr. Lunell has been on the brink of the grave by a fever. Yesterday we had hopes of his recovery. I see a danger you are in, which perhaps you do not see yourself. Is it not most pleasing to me, as well as you, to be always preaching of the love of God? And is there not a time when we are peculiarly led thereto, and find a peculiar blessing therein ? Without doubt, so it is. But yet it would be utterly wrong and unscriptural to preach of nothing else. Let the law always prepare for the Gospel. I scarce ever spoke more earnestly here of the love of God in Christ than last night: but it was after I had been tearing the unawakened in pieces. Go thou and do likewise. It is true, the love of God in Christ alone feeds his children ; but even they are to be guided as well as fed; yea, and often physicked too: and the bulk of our hearers must be purged before they are fed ; else we only feed the disease. Beware of all honey. It is the best extreme ; but it is an extreme. I am
Your affectionate brother.
CLXXIX.-To the Same.
London, January 10, 1756. My Dear BROTHER, I have no objection to any thing but the blister. If it does good, well. But if I had been at Cork, all the
* This letter, though directed to Mr. Cownley, was addressed to the Society as Leominster.-Edit.
physicians in Ireland should not have put it upon your head. Remember poor Bishop Pearson. An apothecary, to cure a pain in his head, covered it with a large blister. In an hour, he cried out, “O my head, my head !” and was a fool ever after, to the day of his death. I believe cooling things (if any thing under heaven) would remove that violent irritation of your nerves, which probably occasions the pain. Moderate riding may be of use; I believe of more than the blister: only do not take more labour upon you than you can bear. Do as much as you can, and no more. Let us make use of the present time. Every day is of importance. We know not how few days of peace remain. We join in love to you and yours. I am, dear Joseph,
Your affectionate friend and brother.
FEBRUARY 21, 1759. PROBABLY, Miss
be the last trouble of the kind which you will receive from me. Therefore you may forgive me this ; and the rather, when you consider my motives to it. You know I can have no temporal view; I can have none but a faint, distant hope (because with God all things are possible) of doing some service to one whom I love. And this may answer the question which you might naturally ask, “What would you have? What do you want with me?” I want you, not to be a convert to my opinions, but to be a member of Christ, a child of God, and an heir of his kingdom. Be any thing, as to outward profession, so you are lowly in heart; so you resist and conquer every motion of pride, and have that mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Be what you please besides ; only be meek and gentle, and in patience possess your soul; so that one may truly say
“Calm thou ever art within,
All unruffled, all serene." Hear what preacher you will; but hear the voice of God, and beware of prejudice and every unkind temper: beware of foolish and hurtful desires, or they will pierce you through with many sorrows. word, be any thing but a trifler, a trifler with God and your own soul It was not for this, that God gave you
A mind superior to the vulgar herd. No, Miss no! but that you might employ all your talents to the glory of Him that gave them. O do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God! Ís he not still striving with you? striving to make you, not almost, but altogether, a Christian? Indeed you must be all or nothing; a saint or a devil; eminent in sin or holiness! The good Lord deliver you from every snare, and guide your feet in the way of peace! How great a pleasure would this give to all your real friends, and in particular to
Your affectionate servant for Christ's sake.
CLXXXI.-To the Same.
COLCHESTER, March 20, 1759. My wife, Miss — surprised me last night by informing me you are left mistress of a large fortune. Shall I say, agreeably surprised me? I cannot tell ; because I believe there is another world ; and I do not know what influence this change may have on your condition. Therefore I am in fear and in hope. You may be hereby far more happy, or far more miserable, in eternity! O make a stand! Consider the situation you are in ; perhaps never before were you in so great danger. You know a little of your natural tempers : now you have means of indulging, and thereby inflaming, them to the uttermost. And how many will incite you so to do! How few will dare to warn you against it! Now what food will you have for pride! what infinite temptations to think more highly than you ought to think! You do so already. But 0, where will you stop? The good Lord arrest the storm in mid career! How impetuously now, unless God interpose, must self-will whirl you along! How deeply, unless he help, will you shortly be immersed in practical Atheism! as ten thousand things will concur to drive God out of your thoughts, as much as if he were not in the world. But, above all, how will you escape from being swallowed up in idolatry ? love of the world, such as you never knew before?
Hitherto you have been greatly superior to every delicacy in food : but even this may assault you now; and perhaps raise in you other desires which you are now a stranger to. At present, you are above the follies of dress; but will you be so a twelve month hence? May you not easily slide into the pride of life, in this as well as other instances? especially considering how your vanity will be gratified thereby? For who will not admire and applaud your admirable taste? It will only remain for you to marry some agreeable person, that has much wit and sense, with little or no religion; then it is finished! Either you will be throughly miserable in this world, or miserable to eternity.
“ But what business is this of yours ? Cannot you let me alone ? What have I to do with you?" Believe me, I could very easily let you alone, if I had not a real and tender good will toward you ; ard if I did not know (what perhaps you do not) that you have need even of me. You want friends who understand you well, and who dare tell you the whole, plain truth; and yet not in a surly, imperious manner; for then you could not receive it. I have endeavoured to do this once more. Will not you forgive me? I cannot but think, if you do not thank, you will at least excuse,
Your affectionate servant.
CLXXXII.-To Miss H
DUBLIN, April 5, 1758. It is with great reluctance that I at length begin to write : First, because I abhor disputing, and never enter upon it but when I am, as it were, dragged into it by the hair of the head; and, next, because I have so little hope that any good will arise from the present dispute. I fear your passions are too deeply interested in the question to admit the force of the strongest reason. So that, were it not for the tender regard I have for you, which makes your desire a motive I cannot resist, I should not spend half an hour in so thankless a labour, and one wherein I have so little prospect of success.
“ The doctrine of perfection," vou say, “ has perplexed you much, since some of our preachers ! dit in so dreadful a light; one of them affirming, A bel
+, is under the curse of God,