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I must own that at the first reading I felt wounded at the great CONTEMPT you exprefs towards me and my book; and as it was evident to me, from the circumftance above alluded to, that you had not read it, I thought it hard. My fenfations were much the fame when I perceived that the English Ifraelite spoke of me in his tract, which hath excited your indignation, as a "fincere, learned, and pious Chriftian.” If any one will call a man learned who calls himself an unlearned man, can he help it? He cannot. ftrongly difapprove of giving flattering titles to man, though I may have too frequently fallen into the error myself; as to SINCERITY and PIETY, they can only be seen by him who fearcheth the reins and hearts, Rev. ii. 23, and therefore are more objectionable. I have felt the like pain when I have read the reviews of my book in the periodical publications, most of which give these or similar flattering titles to me, when they speak of my intention in the publication; one, and but one, of the reviewers difcovers any ill will or hoftility towards me: though I forbear to refer to those reviews which are favourable to me, I will refer you to that review which is on the fame fide as you have by ANTICIPATION adopted; it is the Critical Review for Dec. 1804; you will there perceive that he wishes to confider me inimical to the Chriftian cause, because I believe that the prophecy contained in the clofe of the book of Zechariah, the prophet, will actually be accomplished! If faith in the word of God is objected to me
as a crime, I will glory in it! He alfo mifreprefents me, and endeavours to confider me as denying the accomplishment of our Lord's prophecy, as to the deftruction of Jerufalem. Why? because I merely believe that the deftruction of Jerufalem was the accomplishment of those words of our Lord, which fo clearly predicted it, but not the accomplishment of an event which our bleffed Saviour declared was to SUCCEED the deftruction of Jerufalem!
I affure you I want no foothing words to heal the wound inflicted by you, for it is healed already; I would only entreat you to lay your hand on your heart, and ask your confcience this question: How much of Witherby's book had I read when I used the unkind words concerning it and its author? I ask
I must acknowledge that it was a most remarkable circumftance that you should, as you express it in page 31, UNFORTUNATELY be led by curiosity, and through the QUOTATION of the English Ifraelite, to purchase my book! and that you should (after they had lain there rather quiet for five years) have arrived at the bookfeller's juft at the time he was packing them up to return them to the author, as you mistakenly allege, for want of buyers. I am not furprised that, in the frame of mind in which you wrote your letter, you should exult at this. If the term "unfortunate," were, as I prefume it was, intended by you to apply to the book and its author; I must inform you that I will not apply the term "unfortunate" to it; it is of more confequence than
the falling of one of the hairs of your or my head to the ground, Matt. x. 30. I fhall say no more.
But, my dear fir, whatever right you might think fit to affume, I muft inform you, that if you imagine that because but few have been fold, that therefore, my book has had very few readers, you are mistaken. I was anxious that the QUESTIONS fubmitted to the confideration of the public therein, fhould be confidered. In advertising the book, I therefore added a note, that any perfon not inclined to purchafe, might read the book, by applying at certain circulating libraries, to each of which I had prefented fix copies for that purpose.
I thank you for your notice of the tract "DEBO"RAH," which I have not read, but will read it with pleasure; immediately on reading this part of your letter, from your defcription of her, I am confident that I am not out in my conjecture concerning the person to whom you refer. My dear fir, do not be offended at what I am about to fay; do bear with me. That truly amiable lady is an ardent lover of the houfe of Ifrael, however different her opinions may be from fome of mine, as to the MEANS whereby we are to fhew our love to the Jewish nation; yet is fhe an ardent lover of God's dear people Ifrael.
As evidence that your exultation against my book is not fo well founded as you might at firft imagine, I beg permiffion to inform you that I firmly believe it has been read by DEBORAH herself; and as her name has not been mentioned, I feel no hesitation in laying before you her words concerning it. In referring to
her letters, however, I cannot prefume to quote them without again reverting to what I have already noticed it ill becomes fuch poor worms, fuch WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED finners as we are, to give and receive flattering titles. It tends to fpiritual pride, than which there is no difpofition which renders us more unlike our blessed Master, even our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, for he was meek and lowly in heart; and it is only in following the bright example that he has fet us, that we can find REST unto our fouls, Matt. xi. 28, 29. It is, however, a fault that we eafily fall into, with refpect to others, though it is certainly not one of the errors that you have fallen into in your letter to the English Ifraelite; but however prone we are to fall into it with refpe&t to others, when the compliment is returned to ourselves, it is like the fting of a ferpent, or like the blade of a razor, it cuts deep, it wounds the spirit within us. Even the apoftle Paul, the great apoftle of the Gentiles, thus expreffes himfelf: "I know that in me (that is in my flefh) dwel"leth no good thing: for to will is prefent with me; "but how to perform that which is good I find not." "For I delight in the law of God after the inward
man: but I fee another law in my members, war"ring against the law of my mind, and bringing me "into captivity to the law of fin which is in my "members. O wretched man that I am! who fhall ❝ deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom. vii. 18. 22-24. In our church, therefore, we HUMBLE OURSELVES, like "miferable finners" as we are, yea
in ourselves as "wretched, and miferable, and poor, "and blind, and naked," Rev. iii. 17. All flattering titles are, I conceive, inconfiftent with this difpofition which fhould be in us; and I could refer to one of my letters to her, whom I believe to be Deborah, to prove that I have thus expreffed myself to her. This being premised, I fhall quote fome of her words.
In her letter to me of the 20th of Auguft 1806, fhe thus expreffes herself: "The ardent wish of being in "any degree useful to that facred nation, from whom my Saviour, according to the flesh, was defcended, "has been for many years very near my heart; and "I fhould efteem it the highest of all poffible honours "to be in any way inftrumental to their good, by "bringing them into notice, which the late very ex"traordinary changes in the world seemed to me to "warrant; I pray for them daily, both for their "converfion and national prosperity, with an ardour "which I feel for no other earthly thing; and if I "might in any fmall degree be conducive to these ' great effects, I would ufe every lawful means in 66 my power, or even lay down my life itself gladly."
I fhould not feel liberty to quote the following words from her letter to me of the 30th of Aug. 1806, if I had not already expreffed myself as I have done. He who fearcheth the heart, alone can know whether I am influenced by felf-love, or a defire to remove prejudice, and to induce the reader to confider the important questions which are contained in my book. "I implore the Almighty to give me an unfeigned "fpirit of humility; it has pleased him to direct my