Billeder på siden


To J A MÉS IRELAND, Efq; My very dear Friend,

Madeley, Sept. 7, 1776. T Thank you for your kind letter, and am glad you will continue 1 to oppose bigotry, though I would not have you bring a whole house about your ears, for the sake of fo insignificant a creature as I am. As many, who espouse the sentiments of my opponents, condemn me without having heard me out, and upon the dreadful charges which they have brought against me, they are not much to blame; for what good man can think well of a blasphemer, and an enemy to the gospel? I hope, for my part, to do what shall be in my power to remove prejudices, and trust to gain some resignation and patience, by what I shall not be able to re. move. God is my witness, that I honour and love them, though I will never part with my liberty of exposing error, wherever I shall detect it. Why might I not endeavour to take off a spot from a friend's sleeve, without running the risk of losing his friendship, and incuring his ill will ? :

My health is, I thank God, better than when I wrote last. I have not yet preached, rather from a sense of my duty to my friends, and high thoughts of Mr. Greave's labours, (who does the work of an evangelift to better purpose than I) than to spare myself; for, if I am not mistaken, I am as able to do my work now, as I was a year ago.

A fortnight ago I paid a visit to West Bromwich: I ran away From the kindness of my parishioners, who oppressed me with tokens of their love. To me there is nothing so extremely trying as excessive kindness. I am of the King's mind, when the people fhewed their love to him on his journey to Portsmouth, “I can bear," he said, " the hissings of a London mob, but these shouts of joy are too much for me." You, my dear friend, Mrs. Ireland, Mrs. Norman, and all your family, have put me to that severe trial, to which all trials caused by the hard words that have been spoken of me are nothing. I return you all my warmest thanks, and pray that, excess excepted, you may all meet, in the day of your weakness, as kind nurses and benefactors, as you have proved to me,

At our age, a recovery can be but a short reprieve : let us, then, give up ourselves daily to the Lord, as people who have no confidence in the flesh, and do not trust to To-morrow. I find my weakness, unprofitableness, and wretchedness, daily more and more; and the more I find them, the more need I have to sink

into felf-abhorrence. Nor do I despair to sink one day so in it, as :!o die ļo felf, and revive in my God. Farewell. J. F.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

To the Rev. Mr. CHARLES WESLEY. : My very dear Brother, ' . Madeley, Sept. 15, 1776. I Lately consulted a pious gentleman, near Litchfield, famous 1 for his skill in the disorders of the breast. He assured me, I am'in no immediate danger of a consumption of the lungs; and that my disorder is upon the nerves, in consequence of too'much clofe thinking. He permitted me to write and preach in modera. tion, and gave me medicines, which, I think, are of service 'in taking off my feverish heats. My spitting of blood is stopped, and I may yet be spared to travel with you as an invalid. • If God adds one inch to my span, I see my calling. I desire to know nothing but Chrift, and him crucified, revealed in the Spirit. I long to 'feel the utmost power of the Spirit's dispensation; and I will endeavour to bear my testimony to the glory of that dispensa. tion, both with my pen and tongue. Some of our injudicious, or inattentive friends, will probably charge me with novelty for it; but be that as it will, 'let us meekly stand for the truth as it is in Jesus, and trust the Lord for every thing. I thank God, I'feel so dead to popular applause, that, I trust, 'I hould not be afraid to maintain a 'truth against all the world; and yet I dread to diffent from’any child of God, and feel ready to condescend to every one. O'what depths of humble love, and what heights of gospel truih, do I sometimes fee! I want to sink into the former, and rise into the latter. Help me by your example, 'letters, and prayers; and let us, after our forty years abode in the wilderness with Moses and John, break forth after our Joshua into the Canaan of pure love. I'àm, &c.

J. F. To the Rev. Mr. VINCENT PERRONET. Dear Father in Christ,

Newington, Jan. 19, 1777. T Beg you would accept my multiplied thanks for your repeated I favours. You have twice entertained me a worthless stranger; and not yet tired of the blurden, you kindly invite me, weak and troublesome as I am, to share in the comforts of your house and 'family. Kind Providence leaves me no room, at present, to hang la third burden upon you. The good air and accommodations here, and the nearness to a variety of helps, joined to the kindness of my friends and the weakness of my body, forbid me to remove at present. God reward your labour of love and fatherly offers ! Should the Lord raise me, I shall be better able to reap the benefit of your instructions --a pleasure, which I promise' myself some time, if the Lord pleases... . I have of late thought múch upon a method of reconciling the Calvinists and Arminians. I have seen some Calvinian ministers, who seem inclined to a plan of pacification. I wish I had strength enough to draw the sketch of it for your improvement. I think the thing is by no means impracticable, if we would but look one another in the face, and fall together at the feet of Him, " who makes men'to be of one mind in a house," and made once all believers to be of one foul in the Church. Let us pray, hope, wait and be ready to cast one mite of endeavour towards the blessing of a reconciliation; in which none could be more glad to second you, than, Honoured and dear Sir, your affectionate, obliged son in the gospel,


J. F. · To Miss PERRON E T. - Dear Madam,

Newington, Jan. 19, 1777. I Thank you for your care and kind nursing of me when at 1 Shoreham ; and, especially, for the few lines you have' favoured me with. They are so much the more agreeable to me, as they treat of the one thing needful for the recovery of our souls,-the Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a found Mind; together with our need of it, and the grand promise that this need shall be abun. dantly 'supplied ;-{upplied by a baptismal outpouring of that " Spirit of Life in Christ Jefus, which makes us free from the law of fin and death.May we hunger and thirst after righteousness, in the Holy Ghost, and we hhall be filled. May we fo come to our first Paraclete, 'Advocatę, and Comforter, as to receive the Şecond, as an indwelling and overflowing fountain of light, life, and love. My view of this mystery is, I trust scriptural. The Father'so loved the world, as to give us the first Advocate, Paracletę, and Comforter, whom we love and receive as our Redeemer. The first Advocate has told us, it was expedient that he should leave us, because in that case, he would send another Advocate, Paracletę, or Comforter, to abide with us, and be in us for ever, as our Sanctifier, our Urim and Thummim, our Lights and Perfece tions, our Oracle and Guide. This is the grand promise to Chris. tians ;-called “ The promise of the Father," and bought by the Son. O may it be sealed on our hearts by the Spirit of promise! May we ever cry,

“.-Seal thou our breals, and let us wear

" That pledge of love for ever there !” Then we shall be filled with pure, perfect love ; for the love of the Spirit perfects that of the Father and Son, and accomplishes the mystery of God in the believing soul. Come then, let us look for it: This great' salvation draws nigh. Let us thank God more joyfully, more humbly, more penitently, for Christ our first Comforter; and hanging on his word, let us ardently pray for the fulness of his Spirit, for the indwelling of our second. Comforter, who will lead us into all' truth, all love, all power. Let us join the few, who befrege the Throne of Grace, and not give over putting the Lord in remembrance, till he has raised himself a Pentecostal Church again in the earth; I mean a Church of such believers as are all

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

of life, ar full of exeived your obove and

of one heart and one foul. Nor forget to ask, that, when you press into that "kingdom and church, you may be followed by, Dear Madam, yours, &c. ,

J. F.
To J A MÉS IR EL A N D, Esq;

Newington, Jan. 29, 1777. THANKS be to God, and to my dear Friend, for favours upon

1 favours, for undeserved love and the most endearing tokens of it. I have received your obliging letters full of kind offers and your jar full of excellent grapes. May God open to you the book of life, and seal upon your heart all the offers and promises it contains; and may the treasures of Christ's love, and all the fruits of the Spirit, be abundantly open to my dear friend and unwearied benefactor!

Providence sent me last Sunday Dr. Turner, who, under God, saved my life twenty-three years ago in a dangerous illness; and I am inclined to try what his method will do. He orders me asses milk, chicken, &c. forbids me riding, and recommends the greatest quietness. He prohibits the use of Bristol water; advises some waters of a purgative nature; and tries to promote expectoration by a method that so far answers, though I spit by it more blood than before. It will be in order to cure one way or other.

With respect to my soul, I find it good to be in the balance, awfully weighed every day for life or death. I thank God, the latter has lost its sting, and endears to me the Prince of Life. But O! I want Christ, my resurrection, to be a thousand times more dear to me; and doubt not he will be so when I am filled with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. Let us wait for that glory, praising God for all we have received, and do daily receive; and trusting him for all we have not yet received. Let our faith do justice to his veracity, our hope to his goodness, and our love to all his perfections. It is good to trust in the Lord, and his faints like well to hope in him. I am provided here with every necessary and convenient blessing for my state. The great have even done me the honour of calling :--Mr. Shirley, Mr. Rowland Hill, Mr. Peckwell, &c. I exhort them to promote peace in the Church, which they take kindly. I hope God will incline us all to peace, living and dying. Lady Hun. tingdon has written me a kind letter also. O for universal, lasting kindness! This world to me is now become a world of love. May it be so to my dear friend also. My kindest love and thanks wait on yourself, Mrs. Ireland, and all your dear family. J. F. To Mr. CREENWOOD..

London, , 1777. M Y dear Companion in tribulation, and in the patience of

IV Jesus. Peace be multiplied unto you, and resignation by the cross of Jesus. I bear vour foot on my heart, and cast my



heart on him, to whom all burdens are lighter than a feather. Paschal said, when the rod of tribulation was upon him, “ Now I begin to be a Christian," meaning a follower of the man of sorrows. By his pierced feet may yours be eased. Hold this fast, " Whom the Lord loveth, he chafteneth,Accept the rod as a token of your adoption; and be willing to be made perfect in patience by sufferings. In the mean time rejoice that Christ's sufferings are over,—that they are atoning, -and that they have purchased our comforts. If you can come safely to-morrow, you will bring a blessing to your poor pensioner, who remains in the bonds of grateful, brotherly love, yours,

J. F, To J AMES REL A N D, Esq; My dear Friend,

Newington, Feb. 24, 1777. T ET us abandon ourselves without reserve to God, who is alike

U the God of all grace when he chastises, as when he blesses us. Be a son of Abraham,-be an imitator of God. Abraham refused not to offer up his son Isaac, and God has delivered his only Son to death for us. Refuse nothing to this God of love and tender compassion. The sacrifice of those things which are most precious to us, are the least unworthy of him; and had we a thou, sand Isaacs, we ought to keep back none from him. Perhaps the Lord hath heard your prayer and ours. If your Isaac lives, may he hu devoted to the Lord as was Samuel ; and may the God of Elijah have all the glory of his recovery. If he be dead, prepare to follow him, and do not envy him the sweet repofę which he enjoys, and in which we shall soon share with him.

Adieu. They forbid my writing, but I will write to the last, Blessed be God who giveth ús the victory over death and its pains by Jesus Christ! In him I am, and shall always be altogether yours, I am your ten thousand times obliged friend,

J. F. P. S. Your second letter, which reached me when the above was written, informs me of your loss ;-but why should I call God's securing your son, and giving him eternal life, your loss? It is Christ's gain, who sees in that sweet child the travel of his childhood; and it is your son's gain, since his conflicts and dan. gers are now over, and nothing awaits him but an eternal increase of happiness. Who knows but what God, who foresees all the forms of corruption and rocks of an we are likely to meet with in the sea of life, has taken your dear child at the best, and by this premature death, secures him from eternal death? Come then, do not repine. God has made you the instrument of adding one more little cherub to the heavenly hoft; and in this light you may well say, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord!He is better than ten sons. Your ton is in his bosom, and this new cord should now draw you from earth to heaven with a fresh degree of power,---with an irresistible attraétion,

I thank

mo not repine. death, securesh your dear care likely to Clees all the

« ForrigeFortsæt »