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per place; and you make room for the heavenly Being, whose holy and happy existence you are to shadow out.
If you have left off aitending on the Princess, attend on the Prince of Peace with double diligence. If you have been want. ing in that sweet and honourable duty, it is because the enemy has told you lies of your Saviour, and has cait a veil over the love of his heart, and the beauty of his face. See the snare, and avoid it.
Shall we ever have the honour of seeing you, my Lady? My wife, who joins in respectful love and thanks to your Ladyship for your remembrance of her, says, she will do her best to render our cold house safe for you, if not convenient. You would have had a repeated invitation from us, if fear, and a concern for your health, heightened by the bad weather, had not checked our defires to have an opportunity of assuring you here, how much we are devoted to your service. But the roads and the weather bė. ginning to mend, we venture to offer you the best apartment in our hermitage. . I wish it were large enough to take in dear Mrs. G. and our dear friends in St. James's Place; but we have only two small rooms; to which, however, you would be received with two enlarged hearts; I mean those of, your Ladyship's obedient, devoted servants,
J. and M. F. To the Rev. Mr. CHARLES WESLEY.
Rev. and dear Sir, .
. Madeley, Dec. 19, 1782. Thank you for your hint about exemplifying the love of Christ
and his Church. I hope we do. I was afraid, at first, to say much of the matter; for new married people do not at first know each other : but having now lived fourteen moni hs in my new ftate, I can tell you, Providence has reserved a prize for me, and that my wife is far better to me, than the Church to Christ; so that if the parallel fails, it will be on my side.
Be so good as to peruse the enclosed sheets. Mr. De Luc, 10 whom they are addressed, is Reader to the Queen, and the Author of some volumes of Letters to her : 'he is a true philofopher. I flatter myself, be will present my letter to the Queen. Do you find any thing improper in the addition I have made to my Poem? I wish I were near you for your criticisins : you would direct me, both as a Poet and a Frenchman." ;
I have yet strength enough to do my parish duty without the help of a Curate. O that the Lord would help me to do it ac. ceptably and profitably! The Colliers b«gun to rise in this neighbourhood: happily the cockatrice's egg was crulhed, before the serpent came out. However, I got many a hearty curse from the Colliers, for the plain words I spoke on that occasion. I want to see they of power both within and without; but in the mean time I would follow closely my light in the narrow path. " My wife juins me in respectiul luve to Mrs. Wesley and yourself, and
help ofy and profitable cockatrices many a heariyon. I want
by your h in the afternool for the late merciali
hilfe anksgivifaktor. humble nwood
requesting an interest in your prayers for us, I remain, my dear
Madeley, March 3, 1783.
came from the facrament, where the grace of God had armed me to meet the awful news. And is my merciful Hoft gone to reap the fruit of his mercy to me? I thought I should have been permitted to go first and welcome him into everlasting habitations; but Providence has ordered it otherwise, and I am left behind to. say, with you and dear Mrs. Greenwood, “The Lord gave, and has taken away, and blessed be his holy name!”
The glory with which his setting fun was gilded, is the greatest comfort by which heaven could alleviate his loss. Let me die as he did, and let my last end be like his! I was so sensibly affected by your account, that I could not help reading part of your letter at church in the afternoon, and desiring all the congregation to join me in thanksgiving for the late mercies he had vouchsafed to my generous to my generous benefactor. On such occasions, let sighs be lost in praise; and repining in humble fubmission and thankful acquiescence. I hope dear Mrs. Greenwood mixes a tear of joy with a tear of sorrow. Who would not be landed on the other side the stream of time, if he were sure of such a passage ? Who would wish his best friend back on the shores of sorrow so triumphantly left by Mr. Greenwood ?
I hope Mr. Thomas Greenwood, and his brother Josiah, have been rooted and grounded in their good purposes by their dying father's exhortations and charges. Pray give my kindeít love to them boih, and tell them, I join my entreaties to his, that they would take to and keep in the way, that brought their parent peace and joy at the last.
So Mr. and Mrs. Perronet are no more ; and Lazarus is still alive! What scenes does this world afford ? But the most amazing is certainly that of Emmanuel crucified, and offering us pardons and crowns of glory. May we ever gaze at that wonderful ob. ject, until it has formed us into love, peace, and joy! We thank you for the sweet name you still call us by, and we heartily take ihe hint and subscribe ourselves, your affectionate, grateful friends, and ready servants in Christ,
J. and M. F.
Two LETTERS ON MARRIAGE.
specting one of the most important affairs of human life and therefore delerves a solid consideration, and an ingenuous answer . 2 La
ift, “ It :
ist. “ Is it lawful for a believer to marry with an unbelievas?
2d. “Is it expedient for a believer to marry with one of a dif. ferent opinion in religion, and who worships God in a different place and mode, though a Child of God ?”
With regard :o the first: let it be carefully observed, that nothing can be lawful which God has directly or indirectly forbidden: now I cannot conceive but he hath forbidden this: “ Be not un. “equally yoked together with unbelievers;" therefore it is unlaw. ful. The first proposition will be granted If it is said with respect to the second, that the apostle only forbids christians to marry with heathens, and his words affect not the prelent cise. It may be answered, they do affect the present case notwithstanding : for there can be no real and specific difference between an unconverted perfon, though baptized in the name of Christ, and an heathen, The difference can be only in the name and external things, which change not their nature and disposition, nor their real character with God, wbo judgeth not according to appearance, but according to the heart. Is an heathen an enemy to God by wicked works? So is an unconverted christian. Is an heathen an idolater? So is an unbelieving christian. He is either covetous, or a lover of pleasure, both which are idolatry. The heathen, and the merely nominal christian, act both from the same principles, and with the same intentions. Whereas there is a real and specific dif. ference between a child of God and a child of satan ; the former is a partaker of the divine nature, 2 Peter i. 4. Has the Holy Spirit abiding within him. John xiv. 17. i Cor. ii. 12, and Rom. viii. 16. His body is a temple of the Holy Ghoft, and God dwelleth and walketh in him, 2 Cor. vi. 16. But an un. converted person, with all the refinements of birth, education, and the form of godliness, is at enmity with God, being only born after the flesh; for the carnal mind is enmity against God, Rom. viii. 7. The devil worketh and reigneth in his heart, Luke xi. 24. Yea, he lieth in the wicked one, and is without God in the world, Eph. ii. 12. Now nothing can be more certain than that all are unlawfully married, whom God does not join together : and can we think that God will join a partaker of his nature, unto one possessed of the devil ? Or that Christ will unite one of the members of his mystical body, unto a limb of satan ? Can any thing be more unlikely, or more contrary to the nature and wisdom of God ?
Besides, let us consider the evils which have followed such un. equal inarriages, both in ancient and modern times, and we may easily read their unlawfulness in the punishmenis entailed upon them. In the old world: the son's of God, i. e. the posterity of righteous Seth, saw the daughters of men; i. e. the descendants of wicked Cain, that they were fair, not that they were pious, and they took themselves wives which they chose, not those which God chose for them: and what was the consequence? By and by, we tead of an universal defection from God, and godlinels. Gen. vi. 5.
of wicked themselves what was the God, and godli
• Then God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and all the imaginations of the thoughts of his heart were only evil,” and that continually. And what was the end and iffue of all ? An universal corruption, brought on universal defolation : God determines to destroy thole who would not mortity the lusts of the fl th, but joined themselves with the daughters of Belial, “ Therefore the Lord said, I will destroy from the carih the men which I have created."
Though Sairpion's wife, who was a daughter of the uncircumcised, pleased him hugely for a tine, yet his affections were foon alienated from ber, and what was the end thereof I need not inform you, Judg. xix. Moses himself, scarcely escaped being slain of the Lord, for hearkening unto his Zipporah, and deferring the ordinance of the circumcision, Exol. iv. 24. And you find Solomon, of a wife king, becomes an apish dotard, and of a pious worshipper, becomes a gross idolator, and all by means of trange wives, 1 Kings xi. 4, 5.
When the old serpent is in the heart of a wife who lyeth in your bosom, he has a fair opportunity of winding himself into yours alsoFaithful Abraham had such a sense of this matter, that he could not die, and go to paradife conientedly, until he made his steward take an oath in the name of the God of the whole earth, that he would not take a wife for his son Isaac, of the Canaanites where he dwelt, but from among his own kindred, Gen. xxiv. 3, 4. . .
How very few instances have we among ourselves in the present day, of the believing husband or wife, converting the contrary party ? But how many melancholy examples have we, of the unbelieving husband or wife, reconverting the other party to the world and the devil ? And no wonder, that the serpent and Eve twisted together, should be a'cord strong enough to draw any of Adam's posterity to eat of the forbidden fruit, as it did their father : Neither is it to be wondered at, that God lould withhold his blessings from matches of Satan's making.
I therefore conclude upon the whole, that it is far from being lawful for a believer to marry with an unbeliever; and therefore to be avoided by all who would escape the displeasure of God, and would have his blessing upon them in that sacred state.
The other question shall be considered, but not having leisure at present, I must exercise your patience till the next post. I rea main your affectionate brother,
my last; but I am at an uncertainty what your sentiments are concerning it, yet nevertheless according to my promise I will give you my thoughts on your second enquiry.
"Is it expedient for a believer to marry with one of another “ opinion ? &c.”
I think, my dear friend, not in any wise: It is granted that it is lawful; but it will be found to be highly inexpedient in these particulars.
ift. The greatest part of that spiritual strength and comfort, which Mould, and may be given and received between a christian man and his wife, will be lost, and a foundation laid for perpetual jars and disputes.
Although there may be difference of opinion in a nation with: out breach of charity, yet there scarcely can be difference of opinion between man and wife, without alienation of affection. And the more sincere either, or both parties are, the more earnest they will be to have their own seniimenis regarded. Though the work of God is for the substance of it, the fame in the minds of all men, yet it is not easy to say, what a difference, different opinions may make in many circumstances of it. They who are brought unto God by one system of doctrine, have a vein of enjoyinents, a turn of experience, and a method of speaking peculiar to themselves; which does not so exactly agree with any other. And what an inconceivable loss must it be, if but some part of that help, which they might give to each other, is want. ing. Nothing else can pobbly make up their loss. If they are Joving, good natured, and generous people, they may possibly live together without outrageous quarrels; yet alas, this is but a little matter toward thai good they should do to one another, in the great affair of their salvation !
If you was to form an idea of the happiest couple in the world, you would conceive them to be of one heart, and of one way in all things, if possible, but especially in matters of religion. A want of this, would give a notion of their want of happiness in each other; and you could not avoid thinking, but that as far as they were wanting in agreement in their opinion, they would be wanting in their felicity.
2d. Another thing which makes it inexpedient, is an hindrance in their private devotion. Mutual prayer is most prevalent. “If two, (says our Saviour) of you, shall agree on earth, as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven," Matt. xviii. 19.' But how much of the energy, and profit of prayer will be lost, when perhaps one thinks it right only to pray with a book, and the other judges it quite preferable to pray as the spirit shall aflift, and give him utterance. How uncomfortable is this disagreement: how many sweet and ex. cellent blessings are lost, for want of mutual prayer. It is a sorry condition for a woman, in a married ftate, to receive little, or no benefit from her husband's prayers in private : would not every woman who makes religion her' business and happiness, think it the greatest loss she could sustain? and the disadvantage would be cqually great on the man's part,
3d. Again ;