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soul. Oh! that I could always lift up the shield of faith, and wield manfully the sword of the Spirit, as our Lord did; who, when he was tempted, could always say "It is written." I can fancy, my dearest friend, that you experience very little, if any thing, of these spiritual storms and tempests in the soul; when with Peter, you are made through fear to cry out"Lord save or I perish." No! I feel, as if your soul was mostly placid and serene, like the unruffled lake reflecting the bright beams of the meridian sun: like John, you can lean upon your Saviour's bosom and enjoy a peace which passeth understanding a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Mistake me not, as if I were penning the unfriendly language of flattery or fulsome adulation; far be such language from our mutual correspondence. But when I search into my heart, and view the caverns of depravity within, I stand amazed, and conclude that my dearest friends are different, far different from myself. long for more inward purity—that the love of God may be more shed abroad in my heart-and the sweet image of Jesus more visibly impressed on my soul. I want to have heaven always in my eye, Christ in my heart, and the world beneath my feet. I want, in short, to glorify God by every thought, word, and deed; and whatever comes short of this, gives me the greatest pain. Heaven is the state of absolute perfection, but our duty is to labour after it, although on this side heaven it cannot be attained. Of this I am certain-that sin is misery—that holiness is happiness -that faith without works is dead; that religion is a practical thing, and that if God has not our heart, yea, our whole heart, every thing else is vile and reprobate in his sight. Mrs. More, in her late
O how I
beautiful publication, shows this in many striking points of view. She calls Christianity, "the religion of the heart;" and what is outward adoration, whilst love is wanting? My letters to you, as well as yours to me, would be very lifeless and insipid, however ardent the expressions therein contained, if we knew that we neither loved nor respected each other. It is love, Christian love, that sweetens true friendship, and gives a zest to Christian communications, be they by word or letter: and so in like manner, it is holy love, flowing from faith in Jesus, which renders our duties and services pleasing to God. This is the sacred alchymy which turns all our works to gold -this is the sweet evidence of our faith, and the proof of our election in Christ-yea, this grace fits us for the enjoyment and worship of heaven, where every heart is full of love, and eternally warmed by the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, whose name is emphatically styled -"Love." (1 John iv. 8.) Your affectionate Friend, T. S. B. READE.
Leeds, 16th July, 1811.
MY DEAR FRIEND,***O! that we may look more simply to the Lord! Have we not found ourselves the strongest, when our dependance on Christ has been the simplest?—I mean, when there has been the least mixture of self ?— Yes! I'm sure we have. Those ordinances are the most profitable which are the least rested in, and to which we go, not as an end, but as a mean, to bring us nearer to Christ, and Christ nearer to our souls. Like Joseph and Mary we should go sorrowing, till we find
him; and where did they find him? -in the temple.
I delivered your little interesting account of dear Agnes to
Her little vessel was soon wafted into the haven of rest. We are still on the ocean. Let us not be high-minded, but fear. If, however, we have believed through grace, Christ has promised to be our pilot, and we may say, in the triumphant language of faith-"I will trust, and not be afraid." This exhortation" to fear," and yet this determination "not to be afraid," is well understood by a spiritual mind, though an apparent contradiction to the natural man.
I have had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend He has been staying with me a week. His heart is panting after Christ-nothing else will satisfy him. He has deep views of internal corruption, and his absolute wretchedness and helplessness, without the continual aid of the Divine Spirit. This is not derived from human books, but from the word of God and the teaching of his Spirit, in conjunction with his own daily experience. He scarcely considers himself a Christian; but says he is waiting for that manifestation of God's favour, that inward peace, and sweet assurance of his pardoning love, which he is sure, all who close heartily with Christ, do enjoy and experience in their souls. The Lord is leading him by the right way; and I doubt not but he will finally be able to exclaim" O taste, and see, that the Lord is gracious."
I hope you continue to gain bodily strength. He who has called you to the work, can fit you for it. May he enable you to enter on your ministry with strength equal to your day.
Your truly affectionate friend, T. S. B. READE. Leeds, 30th August, 1811.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,-As my last letter was in such haste, I do not feel comfortable to let it suffice as an answer to your truly interesting and most affectionate letter to me. How sweet and endearing is Christian friendship; it awakens the mind to that tender sympathy which the great apostle so admirably expresses in the 12th chapter to the Romans : Be kindly affectioned one to another with bro
therly love;" rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." And St. Peter exhorts Christians, "to love one another with a pure heart fervently," after the example of his beloved Master, who said, in his presence: "Love one another, as I have loved you." How full is St. John, in his Epistles, on this celestial grace, love." With what divine force does he reason on the duty of Christian affection; drawing the precept from the sublimest motives, and setting before us the great mystery of godliness, and the unspeakable love of God in the gift of his only-begotten Son. The passage I particularly allude to, is contained in the 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11th verses of the 4th chapter, and is full of the marrow of the Gospel. Gospel. Oh that this holy fire of love may ever burn upon the altar of our hearts, and the rays of it illume all our conduct, and warm and enlighten the little circle in which we move! That is a sweet prayer of the apostle for the Thessalonians-"The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another and toward all men."Indeed, without love, faith is dead, and religion but an empty name. Ah then, how careful should we
be, my dear friend, to cultivate this heavenly grace. It comes from above-it is the fruit of the Spirit -it is the best evidence of our adoption—and the best preparation for glory. If the love of Jesus be shed abroad in our heart, it will soon dispel the sinful love of the world, as the powerful beams of the rising sun dispel the fogs of the night. If we love Jesus, we shall delight to suffer for him, if called upon to bear our testimony to his name. Thus did the apostles, when the "fire of love" descended on the Day of Pentecost: —thus did the primitive Christians, during the first grand Effusion of the Spirit, (see Milner's History of the Church of Christ,) and thus in every age have all true believers counted it their glory to suffer shame for his name. If we glide down the stream of time smooth and easy-on good terms with all around us, and well spoken of by all-have we not reason to fear that all is not right? Has the offence of the Cross ceased? Is the enmity of the natural heart less violent against the holy, humbling, self-denying doctrines and precepts of the Gospel than in former ages? By no means; the truth of the apostle's assertion is still felt by every FAITHFUL follower of the Lamb: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution;"-not all who may be said to live in Christ Jesus, that is in a mere profession of his religion, shall suffer persecution; but all that will live godly in Christ Jesus -who declare themselves on the Lord's side-and who denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. But it may be asked, what do Christians now suffer? What, indeed! Surely there never was a time when religion walked more at liberty.
Hence we should look well to our principles, and particularly to the state of our hearts towards God. I find, my dear friend, that true religion is altogether heart-work. I have daily and hourly to lament and mourn over inward corruptions, want of fervour, and holy delight in Him, who is infinite Excellence and everlasting Love! I know that the offers of salvation are free; and, in some humble degree I trust, through grace, I feel my need of a precious Saviour, and long for a deliverance from the guilt, the power, the pollution, and the love of sin. I am persuaded that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth, and to no one else. It translates the penitent, believing sinner from condemnation to peace-from sin to holiness—from fear to hope-from grief to joy-from hell to heaven! But as the privileges are great, so is the character of those who possess them. Oh, what an honour, to be made partakers of the divine nature,' ""to have that mind that was in Christ," "to become the sons of God," yea, 66 heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,” "to have Christ dwelling in the heart by faith,” "to be the temples of the Holy Ghost," "to be trees of righteousness of the Lord's planting,' "to be delivered from the wrath to come," "from this present world," "from the dominion of sin and Satan," "from the second death," to have "a mansion" in the sky- a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,"to have Christ with us here, and to be with Christ for ever! When I survey these and many other glorious privileges, how natural the question to whom do they belong? Oh, how plain are the Scriptures on this head. Happy, thrice happy, they who can trace the lineaments in their own heart
and experience, and who can say, "" my beloved is mine and I am his." They are made to every penitent believer in Jesus, who, being made deeply sensible of his guilt and misery, is enabled through the Spirit of all Grace, to cast himself at the foot of the cross, looking for pardon and peace through the alone merits of a dying Saviour, and pleading nothing but His blood and righteousness before the throne of God. Jesus, blessed be his name, purchased all these glories for us, and freely bestows them on the most unworthy. Here lies my comfort—hence arises my hope:
'for the foulest of the foul he died!!"-then why should I despair? "I will arise, and go to my Father, and say unto him, Father, I have sinned in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son;" but look on the face of thine Anointed, on Him in whom thou art well pleased, and for His sake accept me graciously and love me freely, that angels may still rejoice over one more ransomed soul! You, my dear friend, are living in the sunshine of the divine presence; my sky is often clouded through a mist of indwelling sins, which I hate and resist, but which often, very often, cause me to say with David, "they are a heavy burden, too heavy for me to bear." Still I find that God is often present when I cry unto him. Often have I fallen upon my knees sorrowful, and have risen up rejoicing.
Surely from this, I ought to take encouragement and say, with David, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? hope thou in God, for thou shalt yet praise Him who is the health of thy countenance and thy God." This is not our rest. Oh! that we may be daily more and more prepared for that rest which remaineth for the people of God. I want to have my will more subdued to the will of God -to trust Christ with more simplicity of faith-to hate sin with more perfect hatred, and to love Jesus with more ardent love. I want to make a greater progress in grace and holiness, to make a better improvement of my privileges, and to walk more worthy of the holy vocation, wherewith we are called -yea, to adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour in all things. Of myself I can do nothing; but all grace and strength is treasured up in Jesus Christ. Out of his fulness may we, my dearest friend, daily receive grace for grace; in his blood may we daily wash by faith; in his righteousness may we be clothed; and through his Spirit may we go on from conquering to conquer, till we stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, with crowns on our heads, and palms of victory in our hands, shouting, Grace, grace unto it.
Yours in Christ,
T. S. B. READE. Leeds, 21st Dec. 1811.
WHEN We draw such comparison of the desolation of this place (Tyre), the prosperity of Britain, and the accumulation of those blessings from heaven it enjoys; also those
judgments on Nineveh, Babylon, and other mighty capitals-let us learn to be humble. And here would I address the haughty sons of commerce-not, however, those
engaged in the exercise of lawful pursuits, to acquire a proper competence for themselves and dependants; but the reproof is levelled against that man whose eyes are blinded by the god of this world, and whose heart swells with pride at his riches (Jer. ix.; Eccles. ii, and xxii.; James v.), "falling down and worshipping the golden image," and who may be denominated an ant of the ant-hill of the earth, and impiously calls it the one thing needful;" or, in the language of inspiration, boasts himself in the multitude of his wealth (Ps. xlix. and liii.), declaring, "I have made gold my hope, and fine gold my confidence" (Job xxxi.); in short, who is never satisfied with the insatiable love of aggrandizement (Isaiah v.), which chains him to the very earth, and absorbs the whole powers of his mind and soul, forgetting that the application of the talents committed to his trust will be weighed in the even scales of heaven, and that neither his silver nor gold will be able to deliver him in the day of wrath: and that the hour is coming, when "the fruits thy soul lusted after, and the dainty and goodly things, will depart from thee.' A dignitary of the church of England has well observed, that the " prevailing sins of our country are the covetousness and luxury of the rich, while the visitation of disease and other calamities had fallen chiefly on the children of poverty." How often, however, do we see misery in the midst of abundance, while substantial happiness is only to be found in the humbler state of life. These considerations lead me solemnly to exhort such persons to reflect on once mighty Tyre, whose opulence was compared to the very mire of her streets (Zech. ix.), and they will find how awfully-nay, to the very letter-the righteous ven
geance of Almighty God has been fulfilled. Here will be seen the vanity of riches, in place of true wisdom (Ezekiel xxxviii.), and the folly of those unbounded stratagems to pile up wealth to an enormous extent, and behold as an object of adoration. In the words of an Arabic writer, "The life of a man, whose heart is centred in worldly wealth, is that of an idiot -nay, the fool's is better." The wrecks I beheld in this city, and the fishermen spreading nets on the rocks where "pride had once budded," hold out also an additional lesson: namely, that one day must arrive, when, however unbounded in point of extent our worldly honours and wealth may have been, all recollection of these will be blotted out, and those great cities in which the proud and rich man fares sumptuously will be laid level with the dust, and neither himself or his treasures shall be recognised by future ages. "Vanity of vanity -all is vanity." On the whole, nothing appears more calculated to loosen the heart of a reflecting man from the perishing enjoyments of this life, guard him against its pleasures and allurements, and afford support under affliction in his pilgrimage, than the solid conviction of that fulness of joy which is at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Under this sure and steadfast hope, and the influence of the glorious Gospel, he will strive to seek exclusively those durable riches which neither moth nor rust can corrupt, and to gaze on the glories of the New Jerusalem, whose builder is God-which has immortality for its walls-eternity for its day-and where there is a happiness to be enjoyed during the boundless ages of eternity, such as at no period entered into the heart of any man to describe, far less to conceive.-W. Rae Wilson.