Page images
PDF
EPUB

can

heaven,

soul. Oh! that I could always beautiful publication, shows this lift up the shield of faith, and in many striking points of view. wield manfully the sword of the She calls Christianity," the reliSpirit, as our Lord did; who, when gion of the heart;” and what is outhe was tempted, could always say ward adoration, whilst love is want^It is written.” I can fancy, ing? My letters to you, as well as my dearest friend, that you expe- yours to me, would be very

lifeless rience very little, if any thing, of

and insipid, however ardent the these spiritual storms and tempests expressions therein contained, if we in the soul; when with Peter, you knew that we neither loved nor reäre made through fear to cry out- spected each other. It is love, “Lord save or I perish." No! I Christian love, that sweetens true feel, as if your soul was mostly friendship, and gives a zest to placid and serene, like the unruffled Christian communications, be they Iake reflecting the bright beams of by word or letter : and so in like the meridian sun: like John, you manner, it is holy love, flowing lean upon your Saviour's bosom

from faith in Jesus, which renders and enjoy a peace which passeth our duties and services pleasing to understanding—a joy unspeakable God. This is the sacred alchymy and full of glory. Mistake me not, which turns all our works to gold as if I were penning the unfriendly -this is the sweet evidence of our language of flattery or fulsome adu- faith, and the proof of our election lation ; far be such language from in Christ-yea, this grace fits us our mutual correspondence. But for the enjoyment and worship of when I search into my heart, and

where every

heart is full of view the cavernsof depravity within, love, and eternally warmed by the I stand amazed, and conclude that beams of the Sun of Righteousness, my dearest friends are different, far whose name is emphatically styled different from myself. O how I -“ Love.” (1 John iv. 8.) long for more inward purity—that Your affectionate Friend, the love of God may be more shed

T. S. B. READE. abroad in my heart—and the sweet Leeds, 16th July, 1811. 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, My Dear Friend,—***0! that and deed; and whatever comes we may look more simply to the short of this, gives me the greatest Lord ! Have we not found ourpain. Heaven is the state of abso- selves the strongest, when our lute perfection, but our duty is to dependance on Christ has been the labour after it, although on this simplest ?-I mean, when there has side heaven it cannot be attained. been the least mixture of self ? Of this I am certain—that sin is Yes! I'm sure we have. Those misery—that holiness is happiness ordinances are the most profitable

-that faith without works is dead; which are the least rested in, and that religion is a practical thing, to which we go, not as an end, but and that if God has not our heart, as a mean, to bring us nearer to yea, our whole heart, every thing Christ, and Christ nearer to our else is vile and reprobate in his souls. Like Joseph and Mary we sight. Mrs. More, in her late should go sorrowing, till we find

NO. XII.

that weep:

him; and where did they find him?

NO. XIII. in the temple.

I delivered your little interesting MY VERY DEAR FRIEND, -As my account of dear Agnes to

last letter was in such haste, I do Her little vessel was soon wafted not feel comfortable to let it suffice into the of rest. We are

as an answer to your truly interstill on the ocean. Let us not be esting and most affectionate letter high-minded, but fear. If, however,

to me. How sweet and endearing we have believed through grace, is Christian friendship; it awakens Christ has promised to be our pilot, the mind to that tender sympathy and we may say, in the triumphant which the great apostle so admiralanguage of faith—"I will trust, bly expresses in the 12th chapter and not be afraid.” This exhor- to the Romans : " Be kindly affectation “ to fear,” and yet this tioned one to another with brodetermination « not to be afraid," therly love;" “ rejoice with them is well understood by a spiritual that do rejoice, and weep with them mind, though an apparent contra

And St. Peter exdiction to the natural man.

horts Christians, “to love one anI have had the pleasure of seeing other with a pure heart fervently,' my dear friend

He has been after the example of his beloved staying with me a week. His heart Master, who said, in his presence : is panting after Christ-nothing “ Love one another, as I have else will satisfy him. He has deep loved you.” How full is St. John, views of internal corruption, and his in his Epistles, on this celestial absolute wretchedness and help- grace,

“ love.” With what divine lessness, without the continual aid force does he reason on the duty of of the Divine Spirit. This is not Christian affection; drawing the derived from human books, but from precept from the sublimest motives, the word of God and the teaching of and setting before us the great his Spirit, in conjunction with his mystery of godliness, and the unown daily experience. He scarcely speakable love of God in the gift considers himself a Christian ; but of his only begotten Son. The says he is waiting for that mani. passage I particularly allude to, is festation of God's favour, that in- contained in the 7, 8, 9, 10 and ward peace, and sweet assurance of 11th verses of the 4th chapter, his pardoning love, which he is and is full of the marrow of the sure, all who close heartily with Gospel. Oh that this holy fire of Christ, do enjoy and experience in love may ever burn upon the altar their souls. The Lord is leading of our hearts, and the rays of it him by the right way; and I doubt illume all our conduct, and warm not but he will finally be able to and enlighten the little circle in exclaim—“O taste, and see, that which we move! That is a sweet the Lord is gracious."

prayer of the apostle for the ThesI hope you continue to gain salonians— " The Lord direct your bodily strength. He who has call- hearts into the love of God, and ed

you to the work, can fit you for into the patient waiting for Christ.” it. May he enable you to enter on The Lord make you to increase your ministry with strength equal and abound in love one toward to your day.

another and toward all men.”Your truly affectionate friend, Indeed, without love, faith is dead,

T. S. B. READE. and religion but an empty name. Iseeds, 30th August, 1811. Ah then, how careful should we be, my dear friend, to cultivate this Hence we should look well to our heavenly grace.

It comes from principles, and particularly to the above--it is the fruit of the Spirit state of our hearts towards God. -it is the best evidence of our I find, my dear friend, that true adoption—and the best preparation religion is altogether heart-work. for glory

If the love of Jesus be I have daily and hourly to lament shed abroad in our heart, it will and mourn over inward corruptions, soon dispel the sinful love of the want of fervour, and holy delight in world, as the powerful beams of Him, who is infinite Excellence and the rising sun dispel the fogs of everlasting Love! I know that the the night. If we love Jesus, we offers of salvation are free; and, in shall delight to suffer for him, if some humble degree I trust, through called upon to bear our testimony grace, I feel my need of a precious to his name. Thus did the apos

Saviour, and long for a deliverance tles, when the “ fire of love" from the guilt, the power, the poldescended on the Day of Pentecost: lution, and the love of sin. I am

-thus did the primitive Christians, persuaded that the Gospel of Christ during the first grand Effusion of is the power of God unto salvation, the Spirit, (see Milner's History of to every one that believeth, and to the Church of Christ,) and thus in no one else. It translates the

peevery age have all true believers nitent, believing sinner from concounted it their glory to suffer demnation to peace—from sin to shame for his name. If we glide holiness—from fear to hope-from down the stream of time smooth grief to joy—from hell to heaven! and easy-on good terms with all But as the privileges are great, so around us, and well spoken of by is the character of those who posallhave we not reason to fear sess them. Oh, what an honour, that all is not right? Has the to be made “partakers of the offence of the Cross ceased ? Is divine nature,”

." "to have that mind the enmity of the natural heart less that was in Christ,' “ to become violent against the holy, humbling, the sons of God,” yea, heirs of self-denying doctrines and precepts God and joint heirs with Christ,” of the Gospel than in former ages ? " to have Christ dwelling in the By no means; the truth of the heart by faith,” " to be the temapostle's assertion is still felt by ples of the Holy Ghost,"

“ to be every FAITHFUL follower of the

trees of righteousness of the Lord's Lamb: “All that will live godly in planting,' “ to be delivered from Christ Jesus shall suffer persecu. the wrath to come,” “ from this tion;"--not all who may be said present world,” “from the dominion to live in Christ Jesus, that is in a of sin and Satan,” “from the second mere profession of his religion, death,” to have “a mansion” in the shall suffer persecution ; but all sky – house not made with that will live godly in Christ Jesus hands, eternal in the heavens,”. -who declare themselves on the to have Christ with us here, and to Lord's side—and who denying un- be with Christ for ever! When I godliness and worldly lusts, live survey these and many other glosoberly, righteously, and godly in rious privileges, how natural the this present world. But it may be question—to whom do they beasked, what do Christians now long? Oh, how plain are the suffer? What, indeed! Surely Scriptures on this head. Happy, there never was a time when reli- thrice happy, they who can trace gion walked more at liberty. the lineaments in their own heart

а

and experience, and who can say, Surely from this, I ought to take

my beloved is mine and I am his.” encouragement and say, with DaThey are made to every penitent vid, “Why art thou cast down, believer in Jesus, who, being made O my soul ? hope thou in God, deeply sensible of his guilt and for thou shalt yet praise Him who misery, is enabled through the is the health of thy countenance Spirit of all Grace, to cast himself and thy God.” This is not our rest. at the foot of the cross, looking Oh! that we may be daily more for pardon and peace through the and more prepared for that rest alone merits of a dying Saviour, which remaineth for the people of and pleading nothing but His God. I want to have my will blood and righteousness before the more subdued to the will of God throne of God. Jesus, blessed be -to trust Christ with more simhis name, purchased all these glories plicity of faith—to hate sin with for us, and freely bestows them on more perfect hatred, and to love the most unworthy. Here lies my Jesus with more ardent love. I comfort-hence arises my hope : want to make a greater progress in “ for the foulest of the foul he

grace

and holiness, to make a better died !!”—then why should I de- improvement of my privileges, and spair ? “I will arise, and go to to walk more worthy of the holy my Father, and say unto him, vocation, wherewith we are called Father, I have sinned in thy sight, -yea, to adorn the doctrine of and am no more worthy to be called God

my Saviour in all things. Of thy son ;” but look on the face of myself I can do nothing; but all thine Anointed, on Him in whom grace and strength is treasured up thou art well pleased, and for His in Jesus Christ. Out of his fulness sake accept me graciously and love may we, my dearest friend, daily me freely, that angels may still receive grace for grace; in his rejoice over one more ransomed blood may we daily wash by faith; soul! You, my dear friend, are in his righteousness may we be living in the sunshine of the divine clothed ; and through his Spirit presence; my sky is often clouded

may we go on from conquering to through a mist of indwelling sins, conquer, till we stand with the which I hate and resist, but which Lamb on Mount Zion, with crowns often, very often, cause me to say on our heads, and palms of victory with David, “ they are a heavy in our hands, shouting, Grace, burden, too heavy for me to bear. Still I find that God is often pre

Yours in Christ, sent when I cry unto him. Often

T. S. B. READE. have I fallen upon my knees sorrowful, and have risen up rejoicing. Leeds, 21st Dec. 1811.

grace unto it.

RICHES.

When we draw such comparison of judgments on Nineveh, Babylon, the desolation of this place (Tyre), and other mighty capitals—let us the prosperity of Britain, and the learn to be humble. And here accumulation of those blessings would I address the haughty sons from heaven it enjoys; also those of commerce-not, however, those engaged in the exercise of lawful geance of Almighty God has been pursuits, to acquire a proper com,

fulfilled. Here will be seen the petence for themselves and depend vanity of riches, in place of true ants; but the reproof is levelled wisdom (Ezekiel xxxviii.), and the against that man whose eyes are folly of those unbounded stratablinded by the god of this world, gems to pile up wealth to an enorand whose heart swells with pride mous extent, and behold as an obat his riches (Jer. ix.; Eccles. ii. ject of adoration. In the words of and xxii.; James v.), "falling an Arabic writer, “ The life of a down and worshipping the golden man, whose heart is centred in image,” and who may be denomi, worldly wealth, is that of an idiot nated an ant of the ant-hill of the -nay, the fool's is better.” The earth, and impiously calls it “ the wrecks I beheld in this city, and one thing needful;” or, in the lan- the fishermen spreading nets on the guage of inspiration, boasts himself rocks where “pride had once budin the multitude of his wealth (Ps. ded,” hold out also an additional xlix. and liii.), declaring, “ I have lesson : namely, that one day must made gold my hope, and fine gold arrive, when, however unbounded my confidence" (Job xxxi.); in in point of extent our worldly hoshort, who is never satisfied with nours and wealth may have been, the insatiable love of aggrandize- all recollection of these will be ment (Isaiah v.), which chains him blotted out, and those great cities to the very earth, and absorbs the in which the proud and rich man whole powers of his mind and soul, fares sumptuously will be laid level forgetting that the application of with the dust, and neither himself the talents committed to his trust or his treasures shall be recognised will be weighed in the even scales

by future ages.

Vanity of vanity of heaven, and that neither his sil- -all is vanity.” On the whole, ver nor gold will be able to deliver nothing appears more calculated to him in the day of wrath: and that loosen the heart of a reflecting man the hour is coming, when “the fruits from the perishing enjoyments of thy soul lusted after, and the dainty this life, guard him against its and goodly things, will depart from pleasures and allurements, and af

A dignitary of the church ford support under affliction in his of England has well observed, that pilgrimage, than the solid convicthe “prevailing sins of our coun- tion of that fulness of joy which is try are the covetousness and luxury at the right hand of the Majesty on of the rich, while the visitation of high. Under this sure and steaddisease and other calamities had fast hope, and the influence of the fallen chiefly on the children of glorious Gospel, he will strive to poverty." How often, however, seek exclusively those durable do we see misery in the midst of riches which neither moth nor rust abundance, while substantial hap- can corrupt, and to gaze on the piness is only to be found in the glories of the New Jerusalem, humbler state of life.

These con

whose builder is God—which has siderations lead me solemnly to immortality for its walls—eternity exhort such persons to reflect on for its day—and where there is a once mighty Tyre, whose opulence happiness to be enjoyed during the was compared to the very mire of boundless ages of eternity, such as her streets (Zech. ix.), and they at no period entered into the heart will find how awfully-nay, to the of any man to describe, far less to very letter--the righteous ven- conceive.--W. Rae Wilson.

thee.

« PreviousContinue »