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made to a beloved relative under affliction. It cannot fail of To another friend she wrote from her sick bed, nearly in the interesting the reader, as a specimen of that natural affection, same strain. which we have before noticed under the constraining influence • I lie here sometimes, and think what a poor useless creaof the principles of the gospel.
ture I am. But if I might be made the happy means of in
ducing my dear and kind friend to cast himself, and all his
Nov. 26; 1829. sorrows, and sins, and uneasiness, at the feet of the Saviour • How very sorry your letter has made us! I can conceive of sinners, then I should think I had indeed lived to some nothing more heart-breaking than the situation you are now purpose. I have often wanted to write to you; but the fear all in. I intreat you most earnestly, my dearest to that you would think me unkind or assuming in intruding my seek comfort in earnest prayer, for your dear afflicted - and thoughts upon you, has prevented me. But what a foolish to try by every means in your power to lead him to the same and wicked' fear this was, when the salvation of your presource of comfort. I know he cannot now bear to have much cious soul was in question! Yes, my dear – I will said to him ;, but a verse occasionally read to him, or a short frankly own to you, that the sickness of your body, distressand affectionate prayer offered up with him, might be blessed ing as it is to me, afflicts me not half so much as the sickness by our merciful God to his eternal good. I will endeavour of your soul. I greatly fear that you have not yet found to join my prayers with yours; if it should please God to lead peace in the pardon of your sins through Jesus Christ. I him to the source of all peace, you may one day look back write to you as a sinner, saved by God's grace, to a sinner, with joy upon this affliction. May it lead you all to flee more whom the grace of God, and that alone, can save. I would earnestly for refuge to the hope that is set before you! Tell not be so cruelly heartless as to flatter you, and to say, my dear with my most affectionate love, that I beseech" peace, peace, while there is no peace.'
But I do know him to think of, and to pray over these words—" Come unto that there is pardon and peace too, for every one, who feeling me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you his sins to be many and grievous, flies to Jesus Christ for rest." Surely he may look upon this invitation as peculiarly refuge; and it is thus that I conjure you to fly to him. addressed to himself. If ever there was one weary and heavy • O my dear -, how long has this gracious Saviour been laden in mind and body, it is —: 0 let me implore him to knocking at the door of your heart! By his Scriptures, accept the offer, which infinite mercy holds out to him: let which you have read; by the sermons and religious books him cast his weary soul upon the love of Jesus; let him take that have come into your hands; by the secret strivings of his all his sins and sorrows, and spread them at the feet of one Spirit with your heart and conscience; by the afflictions who is willing to forgive, mighty to save, a present help in wherewith he was afflicted, and still afflicts you; by all these every time of trouble, to every one, without exception, who is things he knocks, he sues for admission. He will not let willing to be forgiven, helped, saved, and abundantly com- you rest till you open the door; and why? because he loves forted with the comfort which springs from his love, and which you; he would make you happy in this world, and happy for is, like himself, infinite and eternal.
He would be to you a friend, on whom you might "O my dear with whom I have enjoyed so many safely lean; on whose constant love you might safely conhappy hours, which will never fade from my memory ; from fide; one who would never leave nor forsake you; never be whom I have received such repeated acts of kindness; and weary of nor slight you; never for one moment be unable or whom I love more as a parent than any other relation, suffer unwilling to listen to you, bless you, and relieve you. me to speak very earnestly to you; and take my words, I en- •Such a friend as Jesus Christ to all those who fly to him treat you, as kindly and affectionately as they are meant. I for salvation. May he be your friend and Saviour for ever! cannot but long and pray, that you may be comforted with This is the sincere prayer of, the consolation wherewith I myself have been comforted of
M. J. G.' God." I have tried it, dearest ; and I have tried the comfort which the world has to give; and I have found the The tenderness and consideration with which she enforced one deep, and satisfactory, and lasting; and the other vain, these supremely important subjects upon her young friends, is and empty, and transitory. You are, as I am, a sinner, a noticed by those who were experimentally acquainted with miserable sinner; and, unless you flee to Jesus for refuge, you it
. Her gentleness and self-command were often put to the cannot escape the wrath of God, which is revealed against test by the coldness, petulance, or dislike with which her all sin. You have lived in the neglect of these things, and exhortations were received. But there was no reproach or have cared too little what would become of your soul. But upbraiding on her part—no anger or contempt on account of is this any reason for despair, or even for discouragement? the foolish things that were said; nor did she ever show the Oh! no. Christ still invites-nay, even beseeches you to less interest in promoting amusements more after the heart come to him; and tells you in his word, that he is perfectly of her companions. She was known sometimes to weep in willing, and perfectly “able to save all that come unto God tenderness, when a fault was confessed to her—but never at by him.” The greatness of our sins need not prevent us; for that time to reprove. Sometimes her humility and affectionhis "blood cleanseth from all sin :" he died for sinners, even ate delicacy would rebuke the carelessness of her friend, by the chief of sinners. Our ignorance need not dishearten us; the acknowledgment of her own coldness and neglect. Thus for " he teacheth sinners in the
O come unto this “meek she would lead her more thoughtless companion to unite with and lowly," this strong and mighty, Saviour! He is too herself in supplication for pardon and grace. So truly was meek and gentle to reject, and too strong and faithful to dis- she a “fellow-worker with her God,” in “ drawing with the appoint, any that come.
bands of love." • Dear heart is full. What can I say to induce you Connected with this was her tender and Christian faithful. to seek peace and happiness in the pardon of your sins ness in giving reproof, where she considered it to be needed. through Jesus Christ ? It is but asking you to be full of hap- The following is an instructive specimen of the mode and piness and joy; for thus I know it will be with you, if you spirit
, in which this high obligation will be most effectually take the God of all comfort for your God. And do but think, discharged. After giving a slight sketch of some of the how wonderful and unspeakable his condescension in offering leading doctrines of the gospel, she brings them home in a to be our God, and friend, and father, “ for ever and ever, our direct and close application to the conscience of her friend. guide even until death,” our "everlasting portion and reward.” "And now, beloved let me tnrn from every other conOnly think, how dreadful, that he should be willing to save sideration to yourself, and the state of your own mind. For us, and we unwilling to give ourselves up to be saved and you have rightly judged that I cannot think that the state of blessed by him! Can this be your case? It must not-it your, or any other person ought to have the least influmust not be so with you. You cannot reject the invitations ence in preventing you from seeking the salvation of your of the gospel, and say to God, who beseeches you to be recon- own soul. The question is not, what do others do to be ciled to him—No, I will not be reconciled; I will not pray saved? But " what must I do to be saved ?" You tell me to the God of my salvation. I am sure the thought strikes that I am severe. Indeed I would not willingly be so. А Fou with horror. You cannot rightly seek God without the miserable sinner myself, saved only by the free mercy of aid of the Holy Spirit; but you will receive this aid upon God, what right have I to be severe upon others ? But I am asking; for “God will give his Holy Spirit to them that usk" affectionately desirous of you" in the Lord Jesus; and therehim.' May he both teach you to pray, and hear and answer fore, as my beloved friend, I warn you. I fail in my duty to your prayer! May he relieve your suffering body, if it be you, unless I tell you the truth. It may seem harsh to aphis will, and comfort your distressed soul. Amen and amen. pear to have any doubt of your state; but it is kinder to lead If my dear — can bear thus much read to him, you will you to examine now, than to leave you to the bare possibility show it, or read it to him; and let us both pray, that he may of finding yourself deceived when it is too late. If then what know and feel the joy of being united to Christ.'
I am now going to say, should seem to you more severe than
ever, I entreat you, dearest to forgive me for the sake sal of it moreover must be admitted to require a peculia of the motive which impels me to do so. Consider that I am abstraction from earthly things. But the Christian's heart not now speaking of any trifling thing. The more I love you, under divine teaching, will be a spiritual interpreter of it; the more impossible I find it to stand upon ceremony, while and whenever it is approached with reverence, simplicity, and I am trembling for your soul. My fears then about your state sanctity, it will tend much to the enkindling of holy affecare not excited by what I have heard. Had you become a tions in the endearing contemplation of condescending love; very decided and devoted Christian, I think I should have in a self-abasing sense of backslidings; in a heavenly enjoy. heard of it from many quarters. In some it would have been ment of the presence of the Lord; in commending his person noticed with delight; in others, with wonder; in others, to all around us; in a panting desire for a closer communion with dislike and disapprobation. But my fears are drawn with him; and in a joyous anticipation of his coming. chiefly from the querulous and worldly strain, in which most But Miss Graham's love to her Saviour was not confined to of your letters to me are written. I know that " if you have spiritual contemplation. It was a principle of incessant acnot the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his.” This spirit tivity, directing her daily Christian habit (to use her own must be known by its fruits. “ And the fruits of the Spirit beautiful language to one of her correspondents), to 'watch are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, with the eye of love every intimation of his will, every leadmeekness, temperance.” Now I look earnestly, anxiously, ing of his Spirit.? Such is the difference between specufor some of these fruits. I look for some sign that “ the love lating upon religion, and feeling it—when the heart has of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost tasted that the Lord is gracious” –when the man is made which is given to you." This love would show itself in love" a new creature”—when his eyes have been opened to behold to others; in love even to your enemies, if you had any, the beauty of his Saviour—and he is anxiously cultivating But I fear you are indulging in feelings little short of hatred every temper of the gospel, in which he may live above the to more than one of your fellow-creatures. I fear that wrath, world, and walk with Christ. strife, disputations, envyings, jealousies, are too often more Miss Graham's happy anticipations of eternity were conpredominant in your heart than love.–Again, I look for some nected with this love to her Saviour. That which gave, in evidence of that « joy and peace in believing,” that “peace her eyes, emphasis and perfection to eternal bliss was that and joy in the Holy Ghost,” which form so great a part of it is all Christ—that the “ Lamb is the light of the heavenly the “ kingdom of God” within us. Even mourning Chris- city. Thus we find her writing a new year's congratulation tians must sometimes feel a little of this in their hearts. But to a dear friend in the heart-stirring remembrance-that “DOW sure I am, that if the peace of God which passeth all un- is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” derstanding, did keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus," you could not be so much fretted and discomposed by the
Stoke, Jan. 1, 1827. petty discontents, and trials, and offences of a world, whose This time last year we were together. Does it seem as if frowns and whose smiles you would feel to be equally be- a year had passed since then ? Another year of sin on our neath your regard.
part, and of mercy free and uninterrupted on the part of our • You would remember that your lot has been chosen for Jesus! There is something very sweet in the thought that you by a wise and loving Father, and that the most vexatious we are a year nearer to his bosom; that every year will pass events in it happen by his permission, and for your good. as swiftly as the last, till he calls us to himself; and that Whenever we feel inclined to murmur, dear, at * our nothing can happen next year, or any following year, which light afflictions,” let us think of those faithful servants of can possibly separate us one single moment from his love. God, who “ had trial of cruel mockings, and scourgings, yea, Perhaps this time next year we may be like him, “ seeing moreover of bonds and imprisonments; who were stoned, him as he is,” joining in a song new indeed to our tongues, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, because it will be a triumphant song, and a holy and an everwho wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being lasting song.' destitute, afflicted, tormented." Yet these "destitute, af- Her love of prayer formed one of the main features of her flicted, tormented," ones, " in patience possessed their souls.” character. Every habit of her mind appeared to flow in the “ The peace of God kept their hearts and minds ;" and shall spirit and atmosphere of prayer. The playful exercise of her it not keep ours, in our comparatively no-sufferings? Now youth were in this sanctified temperament. When her cousin if these “fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace,” flourish in visited her, the day was usually commenced with a chapter the heart, they must show themselves to be there : and if the from her favourite Bible, accompanied with prayer, that they contrary dispositions-anger, dissatisfaction, restlessness, might both love and serve him, of whom that book testified. appear in their stead, it proves either that “ we have not the This service performed, she instantly turned all the warmth Spirit of Christ, and therefore are none of his;" or else that and animation of her affectionate temper, and all the powers we have “grieved that Holy Spirit," and caused him for asof her highly-gifted mind to the amusement of her compantime to withdraw his sacred influences. In either case we ion. We have already noticed the connexion of this habit ought not to rest, till we have sought and obtained that with her intellectual employments, whether indulging her own “godly sorrow,” for sin, “which worketh repentance unto gratifications, or superintending the instruction of her cousin. salvation not to be repented of.” Where we may apply for Hers was not the unsanctified study, which is glitter, not this repentance, we are told in Acts v. 31. I will go on no gold. All was consecrated to the supreme object of life, and longer in enumerating these fruits of the Spirit; for my directed to this object by the constant influence of that prinbusiness is not to judge you, but to lead you to judge and ex- ciple, which ennobles earthly occupations, and stamps them amine yourself. This I earnestly, entreat you to do, “that with a heavenly glory. The occasional visits of her young you may not be judged of the Lord." And should you now, friends found her in the same spiritual habit. Seldom,' as dearest feel offended with me, it will give me the less one of her schoolfellows has recorded, did I enter her little uneasiness--both because I know that you will not in the room, but she proposed the reading of the Bible, and would end love me the less for having faithfully discharged my pour out her soul before her God with holy fervour and simconscience towards you before I die; and because I know plicity.' Her public exercises of Christian devotedness were that you will view it in a very different light at our next conducted in the same spirit. When engaged in the work of meeting, which will, I hope and trust, be around the throne Sunday School tuition, she had her set times of prayer with of God and the Lamb.'
her young cousin (who was at that time associated with her) Her love to her Saviour must have been already prominently for themselves, their fellow-labourers, and their responsible remarked by every intelligent reader. She lived much in charge; and frequently she would offer distinct and separate distinct, deep, and fixed contemplation of him. Those parts supplication for each child in their classes. Her reponsibility of Scriptures were especially valuable, that brought her into as a member of the ransomed family of God, led her (as we closer contact with the subject nearest her heart--the love of find from a letter shortly to be adduced) in the true spirit of Christ. The book of Canticles was therefore to her “a gar- sympathy to devote an hour every evening mainly to the subden of delights." Her pure and spiritual mind enabled her to ject of intercessory prayer. Besides these constant occasions, study this holy book with the liveliest and most profitable in- she set apart special times for secret dedication and communion terest. Many Christians, in an over-scrupulous delicacy and with God. New-year's-day and birthdays were among these unscriptural taste, seem almost to have proscribed this portion privileged seasons. It was one of her favourite plans to set of the sacred canon from their private meditation. The book apart occasionally a certain time exclusively for prayer and indeed is an exposition of the heavenly privilege of commu- Scripture reading; and for this purpose all her other employ. nion with our Divine Saviour. It can only therefore be un-ments were removed from her sight. This was her preparaderstood by those who can say—“Truly our fellowship is tion for any special engagement that was prospectively before with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” The peru- her; and this course she recommended to her friends with
beneficial effect. Another custom of somewhat similar charac-l. Her childlike simplicity was the spirit of the most proter (and one that is happily making advance throughout the found reverence. It is most edifying to remark her humble church in our day) was to prevail upon her confidential adoring search into "the deep things of God," as contrasted friends to set apart definite hours, when distant friends could with the uphallowed boldness with which these unfathommeet together in one heart and one soul at the throne of their able depths are too often explored. After noticing objections common Lord. Thus in the most extensive meaning of the to her views of the doctrine of election, she checks herself, Scriptural precept, she might be said to “pray without ceas- • But I stop; " he that reproveth God, let him answer it." ing;” and, like the man after God's heart, “ to give herself All these mysteries can be accounted for only by referring unto prayer.”
them to the inscrutable mystery of God's predestination. To Love to the whole word of God was also a prominent fea- the eye of carnal reason they lie involved in the thickest obture in her character. Indication of this holy pleasurable scurity ; but the eye of faith sees in them no darkness at all. taste were visible in her childhood, in the large portions which For faith, instead of vainly striving to pull these things down she committed to memory. In an early excursion with one to the level of reason, soars far above reason ; resolves every of her young friends, we find her reproaching herself for the difficulty into the gracious will or wise permission of God, and small proportion of time which she had consecrated to the seeks to know no further. How many things are there which study of this precious volume. Whatever might be the I know not, nor can by” any “searching find out to perfecground for this self-accusation, it was however intended as a fection !" But Jesus knows them all. With this assurance I hint to her less thoughtful companion, and to introduce before sit down fully satisfied. He will teach them to me hereafter, her a plan that might be useful to them both-that of repeat- as I am able to bear it. In the meantime “I will trust, and ing portions of Scripture to each other when they met. Thus not be afraid." All that my God says to me I will implicitly she made her own self-condemnation the vehicle of instruc- believe, for I know that “every word of God is pure.' tion to her friend. Generally speaking, she read the Sacred the words of his mouth are in righteousness: there is nothing Book as a pleasure, not as a task. It seemed to be her constant froward or perverse in them: they are all plain to him that food and study. She did indeed “esteem the words of God's understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.” mouth more than her necessary food.” They “were found, When I come to see God as he is, and to “know even as and she did eat them; and they were to her as the joy and also I am known," I shall find that all these mysteries of rejoicing of her heart.” They were to her what Melanch- his word and will were only dark with excessive light.' In ton calls that sacred manna of the soul, to which St. Paul the meantime, till I have the eagle eye that can gaze undazalludes, when he speaks of spiritually discerning the sacred zled at his glories, I will view them at humble distance pages. Often under protracted bodily and spiritual trials, the through the glass of faith which he has given me for this promises were to her “as cold waters to a thirsty soul;" yea, purpose ; nor will I dare to repine, because I can only see
“life from the dead.” So eager was her appetite for this them in a glass darkly. Thus faith removes every objection, heavenly manna, that, not satisfied with her own gathering, stills every murmur, and silences every doubtful thought.' she was always longing to feed upon the fruits of the industry This “trembling at God's word,” is the spirit which our of her friends. Thus we have found her intreating her con- Lord “delighteth to honour" with special manifestations of fidential correspondent to communicate to her any additional his favour. « The secret of the Lord is with them that fear and interesting light which had been found in the course of him; and he will show them his covenant.
This temper her Scriptural research. Even in those seasons of special will stimulate to an earnest and diligent search; while it consecration just alluded to, when she found her mind indis- will repress a presumptuous intrusion. It will lead to the reposed for spiritual reading, she would still cleave exclusively ception of every truth upon this formal reason—that it is the to the Scriptures, and give up her time and mind to learning word of God. Every truth, though it should not be considered Jarge portions of this holy book. It was her practice to read of equal importance, must be regarded with equal reverence; throngh different books of Scripture with a close and perse-never fogetting that God is the author of every particle of revevering habit of meditation and prayer, always keeping in mind lation. Therefore to reject any one ‘jot or tittle of it'-as her Master's stimulating motive to the search For they Dr. Owen has excellently observed— is a sufficient demonare they which testify of me.” Hence she was delighted in stration, that no one jot or tittle of it is received as it ought. the course of her study of the Book of Proverbs to have Upon whatever this title and inscription is— The word of Christ so much and so frequently brought before her mind; a Jehovah'—there must we stoop and bow down our souls recollection of great moment for the spiritual discernment of before it, and captivate our understandings to the obedience the Divine wisdom treasured up in this store-house of practi- of faith." cal instruction. The encouraging promise held out to diligent Her love for the ordinances of God—is worthy of special investigators of the Sacred Volume on one occasion fixed her remark. And this indeed is the pulse of the soul--not atin intense meditation for upwards of two hours. She appear-tendance on them, but delight in them—fellowship with the ed to be lost in astonishment and gratitude at the condescen- panting desires of the holy Psalmist—when he envied even sion and kindness of God, in giving a promise so rich, so free, the birds who inhabited the pinnacles of the temple, and so encouraging. She grasped it, as if determined not to let the priests who were always employed in its service; and it go. She frequently employed herself in the profitable ex- for himself counted “ a day spent in God's courts better than ercise of " comparing spiritual things with spiritual"-Scrip- a thousand" spent elsewhere. The house of God had been ture with itself; thus making God his own interpreter. to her in the time of health “ the gate of heaven.” In her Much light and heavenly unction she conceived herself to time of affliction, ministers and ordinances were to her " well's have obtained by this means, which were manifested to others, of_salvation," from whence she “ drew water with joy." unconsciously to herself, in her striking remarks and apt il-" Beautiful" in her eyes “ were the feet of him that bringeth lustrations of passages presented to her. The wholeness of her good tidings, that publisheth peace.”. She loved the messtudy already noticed is worthy of careful consideration. sengers of the gospel " for their work's sake," and for their There was no exclusive regard or undue prominence given to Master's sake. She always expressed the deepest anxiety to portions of the sacred book. “All” was regarded as "given receive through them “a message from God” to her soul. by inspiration of God," and therefore profitable for the speci- • Pray before, as well as after your visit—was her solemn fic purposes for which it was written, and which it is the ex- entreaty to her beloved minister. ercise of prayer and diligence to investigate.
We must not forget to mention her “ love to the bretlıren" But we will state her admirable views of the temper re- that conscious and unequivocal mark of a transition “from quisite for the study of the Sacred Book in her own words. death unto life.” She longed to see, converse, and enjoy
• We shall never—she remarks— become perfectly recon- fellowship with all, who bore the image of her Lord; and ciled to all parts of the word of God, until He himself be- whether absent or present, she seemed to hold communion stows on us the spirit and temper of a little child, to receive, with them. Speaking of an absent friend, who appeared to without murmuring or disputings or carnal reasonings, what- enjoy a deep sense of the love of God upon her heart-she soever Jehovah the Spirit is pleased to say to us. That Spi- said I long to see her, that she may impart to me some rit alone can take away the evil heart of unbelief, which pre- spiritual gift. On this subject she appears to have been vents us from embracing the whole counsel of God, as re-drawn out with remarkable warmth and liveliness of Chrisvealed in his word. It is he that must open pur hearts to tian feeling in her correspondence with her friends. To one attend to all the things written in his law. Then we shall of them she wrote thus— It is a great honour for us, who perceive a connection and a harmony between every part and have been made partakers of the tempter's work, to be made every doctrine of the Scriptures, which will fill us with ever- partakers of the Saviour—for us who have been made a curse, increasing wonder and delight.'
to be made a blessing. But when I write to you in this VOL. II.-2 F
way, it is not so much because I feel it, as because I want body. “It is given us in behalf of Christ to suffer” and reto feel it, and desire to be made the instrument of “ stirring joice with one another. When I was trying to pray, I enup this gift of God in you."
deavoured to think of a verse, which Ì might plead with What reader but must long to imbibe the blessed spirit of God, and which might encourage myself. The Lord put the two following letters ?
this into my heart—" Neither pray I for these alone, but for
them also, which shall believe on me through their word,
April 9, 1827. |(for us ;) that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in • I intreat you to think more of the privilege of intercession, me, and 1 in thee, that they also may be one in us." But oh! and to make more use of it than ever. 1 find an indescrib-the comfort that filled my soul, when I thought Jesus had able delight in using these words—“Our Father”—and in lifted up this prayer for you long before you were born! that praising, confessing, and praying for myself as one of this he has had it in his heart for you (and for me too, and all large family-in praying for myself as one with them, and God's people, who all need it as much) ever since that he in feeling their joys and sorrows as my own. And indeed if is praying the same thing for us now! and finally, that "the we wish above all things that the name of Jesus be glorified, Father heareth him always !” Therefore, the Father has is it not glorified in the spirituality of others as much as in heard, does hear, and will hear, this most gracious petition, our own ? And if we wish to be one with Jesus, should we which the Lord Jesus offered in the midst of his disciples, not be also one with his elect? Tell me your difficulties and and which God the Spirit brought to their remembrance for necessities, that I may present them to Jesus with my own. our encouragement—" that we all may be one, as he is one I do not say this, because I think that I have the strength to with the Father." Yes—and we all shall be one, though do it. But Jesus, our God and our Lord (who is with me Satan and all his angels conspire to divide us. He can no whilst I write, and who will be with you whilst you read this more separate us from the love of one another, than he “can letter) has said to you and to me—“My grace is sufficient separate us from the love of Christ.” Truly, we have fel. for you.” “Oh Lord Jesus! see what I have written, and lowship one with another; and “we know that we have show that I do not expect too much from thee. Cause every passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." affection of ours to be absorbed in thee; and may all thy May you be enabled to use more boldness at the throne of sheep love thee above all, and love one another as thou hast grace, to "draw near in full assurance of faith,” and claim loved them!' Say-Amen to this prayer. And if you wish what Jesus, who cannot ask in vain, has asked of the Father to know what to ask for me, ask that a spirit of perfect love, for you—a full and abiding enjoyment of that love to the s which seeketh not her own," may be given me.' brethren—that fellowship—that oneness with the saints, Again, about a month after, to the same
which is just as much yours as Christ is yours! It is a part
of your purchased possession; and nothing can keep you out May 5, 1827.
of your right, but your own want of faith to plead that right "I beseech you to seek earnestly “the communion of with a God, who is more ready to give than we to ask.' saints.” This is the only progress I have made in the Di- Would that these enlivening sentiments of Christian love vine life. I have received as a most precious and unmerited were universally diffused! Our Lord's wonderful prayer on gift the power of feeling the things of the flock of Christ this subject is indeed, as Miss Graham observes, an answeras if they were my own. You cannot imagine the happinessed prayer—that is, in its incipient and progressive results. of this feeling. The means through which the Father has Yet, it is only a specimen of that intercession, with which he given it to me, has been the Lord's prayer. I dedicate (not has pledged himself
, that " for Zion's sake he will not hold always, because I am so light and unstable, but generally) his peace, and for Jerusalem's sake he will not rest," until an hour every evening to prayer, and principally to interces- his Father shall make his “ Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” sion. I generally begin with the thanks due to God, for hav- The plenary blessing is yet in store for us. We want ining made himself known to us as our Father, for all that he creased exertion and expectancy as a means of preparation has done for every one of his sheep on that day. It is im- for it. We want to change our indolent anticipation of this possible for me to tell you the great delight of thus mixing union perfected in heaven for the immediate personal exermyself up with the people of Christ, and of considering their cises of faith, patience, forbearance, and humility, by which benefits as my own. The thought which transports me the "our hearts may be knit together in love,” even in the midst most, is that of how many souls have been perhaps this day of the incessant conflicts of the church; and we shall then joined to the church! how many succoured under temptation ! be ready to help each other's labours, and hail each other's how many recovered from their backslidings! how many success. filled with consolation ! how many transported by death into The present aspect of the church is indeed most afflicting. the bosom of Christ! It delights me much also to consider We would not narrow the necessary breach between the that all the elect, who are not yet converted, have been and church and the world by any compromise of principle or of will be preserved, till they are called by the Divine Spirit I conscience. But how painful is it to "see the breaches of then try to pray for that sweet "we,” and to think of the ne- the city of David, that they are many!”. When will our cessities of my Christian friends. Besides, I have a list of Zion appear in the perfection of beauty ?”—as “a city comunconverted persons for whom I wish to pray. I do intreat pact together?" "For the divisions of” one tribe in Israel you to study with prayer the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinth- there were great searchings of heart." How careful, thereians. I am most anxious that you should enjoy this happi- fore, ought the scrutiny to be, when the evil spirit appears to ness; and if you ask, you will do so.'
be spreading throughout the whole camp! It is not an ideal In the next letter we find her mind exercised upon this in- prospect that we picture to our imagination—but that “good teresting subject.
and pleasant sight" to behold of "brethren dwelling together It seemed to me when I last wrote to you, that the law in unity." Such was the church in her primitive glory, of love to the brethren was engraven on my heart. But when the whole multitude of them that believed were of I feel little of it now. It was like writing on sand. Oh! one heart and of one soul”—when the church'—as Chrysosthat all the flock of Christ had more, very much more, of this tom observes—was a little heaven.' law. Othat thirteenth of Corinthians ! Do read and pray The motives to attempt, as far as in us lies, the restoration of over it. There is love—such love as we want—the whole this glory to the church are most constraining—such as fellowlaw written in our hearts. I wish the Lord would give me ship with the spirit and prayer of our glorious Head-his to say something to stir you up to pray more for love; and honour in the world exalted by this heavenly spectacle—the then, when you are quite full of love, that he would make Church in every part " edifying itself in love"—the Chrisyou the means of conveying it to me. I would have you tian profession established and the consoling privileges of pray over 1 John iv. 16–21. as well as 1 Cor. xiii. We the gospel manifested and enjoyed. must first “know and believe the love which God hath to- The strength to promote this union in the Church will be wards us." That will make us love.'
found in deep self-abasement and wrestling intercession with To another beloved friend she expresses herself with simi- our God. Let us enter in the spirit of the earnest pleadings lar warmth and intensity.
of the “ man after God's heart” for his people. "O God, • How shall I, who am so full of sin, think to say any thou hast cast us off; thou hast scattered us; thou hast been thing that may be useful to you, my dear friend? Yet per- displeased; O turn thyself to us again. Thou hast made the haps, "the comfort, wherewith I have been comforted of earth. to tremble; thou hast broken it; heal the breaches God,” in trying to spread your sorrows before him, may be thereof, for it shaketh.” Impossible that “the Lord should” communicated to your soul, while I am telling you of it ; for long " be angry against the prayer of his people!" -blessed be Jesus—we are all one-members of the same The Scriptural rules for maintaining this union are most
simple and explicit.—“Whereunto we have already attained, casioned her leaving school, left a debility in her constitution, let us walk by the same rule; let us mind the same thing." from which she suffered more or less to the end of life. “ Him that is weak in the faith, receive”-not cast off
. Violent pains in her head, chest, and side, appeared however "We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, to be the commencement of that disease, which gradually deand not to please ourselves." These rules are enforced by veloped a fatal character. For some years she was indeed the example, no less than by the authority of our gracious able to exert herself, too often much beyond her strength, Head, and directed to the highest end— Receive ye one both in bodily and mental activity. She continued her intelanother, as Christ also receiveth us, to the glory of God." lectual studies with her usual vigour, till about a year after Great indeed is the difficulty of holding conscientious differ- her settlement in Devon, when increasing illness constrained ences in brotherly love. We are too apt to magnify the points her to send her young pupil to school, and she was never afof difference, while the due proportion of the points of agree-terwards enabled, though she much wished it, to resume the ment is somewhat obscured. We are more ready to dispute care of her education. From that time she became a decided upon the points of controversy, than to strengthen each other invalid, and, except in the year 1827, when she changed the in brotherly communion upon the principles of Christian love scene for the benefit of her health, she never moved beyond and unity. Thus our inordinate love of our own opinions the garden, and only two or three times ventured into the leads us to press them beyond their legitimate bounds, and outward air. For the last two years she was entirely coneven beyond our sober intentions; and from this defect of fined to her room, and unable to be dressed. During the connecting humility and forbearance with faith, many schisms whole of this period, her anxious mother slept in her chamber, arise in the body.
watching over her with the most unremitting tenderness. Would that there were among us one heart and one pur- She generally kept her bed, till within the last seven or eight pose, to exalt our Divine Master-to let every name be lost months, when a violent cough, and spasms in the heart, prein his—to desire no name to be great but his ! But the vented a reclining position, except when she was compelled canker of the church is that party spirit—more or less com- to return to it by fainting and exhaustion. The only resource mon to all—which unites the several communities upon their was a chair well supported with pillows, in which she sat up own private grounds, instead of forming a rallying point for day and night, and from which the assistance of three perthe whole body. A tame compromise of conscience is indeed sons was required to remove her during the last few weeks greatly to be deprecated. Yet, unless private selfishness, of her life. She appeared however to suffer less from de(sometimes cloaking itself under the garb of conscience,) and bility than many invalids. For though she was wholly party Shibboleths be merged in Christian love, no holy unable to stand, yet a change of medical regimen appeared to brotherly communion can exist. We do not expect brother give her temporary relief from distressing helplessness. to yield to brother, but each to submit his conscience to his In this state of wearisome languor and pain, her mind great Head_each member to grow up into him, and to recol- however was always vigorous and full of energy. She never lect, that he has some individual sentiment to forbear, from a seemed to know an idle moment. During the whole period considerate regard to the unity of the body. It seems to be of confinement to her bed, she was always surrounded with forgotten, that Divine truth in all its parts and connections is books, or other objects that engaged her attention. It was fully revealed to none-that the degrees of attainment in her habit to have her table placed by her bed-side every night Scriptural knowledge are indefinitely varied—that every dif- with her books and writing materials, that she might comference in religion is not a different religion—that there is a mence her operations with the earliest dawn of light. Her want of perfection and singleness in the clearest eye, that is beloved Bible was always under her pillow, the first thing an inlet for the partial introduction of darkness—and that all in her hand in the morning, and the last at night. Subordiof us are, more or less, criminally warped by the school in nate to this object of supreme interest, her diligence and perwhich we have been trained, by the atmosphere in which we severance in study were most remarkable. When reminded live, or by the difference of our own tempers and habits of that such intense application must be injurious to her health, thinking. Hence it is evident, that a sincere reception of the she always replied, that she considered these diversified first principles of the gospel lays a solid basis; and that in sources of interest as among her greatest temporal blessings, lesser points “forbearing one another in love," is the only in diverting her mind and attention from her bodily ailments. satisfactory means of “ keeping the unity of the Spirit in the Her studies in the sick room were as varied as in the time of bond of peace.”. Indeed, substantial harmony, combined health. Sometimes the languages were taken up. At other with circumstantial variety,' (as Paley remarks of the evi- times the more engrossing study of mathematics fixed her dence of testimony) is the only practicable catholicity; and mind. This in its turn was exchanged for chemistry or to attempt a more entire agreement in detail would be a cer- botany. Occasionally, when her mind was less equal to tain breach in the concord of the universal church. Yet, exertion, she would amuse herself with lighter employments. though unity of opinion is impracticable, unity of faith is to In the spring of her last year, she attempted to dry flowers be constantly aimed at; and this may be consistent with a which her parents procured for her, with the intention of great diversity of individual character, and even with many forming an herbarium. Bnt increasing indisposition frusshades of doctrinal differences.
trated this plan. Cutting out paper was also a favourite But let us not be “ignorant of Satan's devices.". Too amusement, in which she early excelled. Her skilful use of successfully does he succeed by division among the friends the scissors had attracted in her young days the admiration of Christ, to prevent the united assault upon his own kingdom. and interest of her school-fellows. She was also a beautiful Let us descend from our lesser disputes to the field of the netter, and sent a number of purses to a bazaar, to be sold conflict between the great powers of light and darkness. Let for the benefit of her dear Spanish friends, which produced us "come to the help of the Lord-to the help of the Lord upwards of three pounds to their fund. Thus in these variagainst the mighty." The voice of God to his Church is ous employments did her mind maintain its ceaseless activity, “Love the truth and peace.” We love neither, if we love not both in intellectual indulgence, and in all the exercises both. If, in the professed cause of “ truth" we tear the con- of practical devotedness. No opportunity of usefulness sciences of our brethren, and wound the “ peace" of the appeared to be forgotten. When detained from the house Church, perhaps we may expect one common storm, one of God by her protracted indisposition, her time and inuniting bond of suffering—to be the Lord's appointed means terest were employed in explaining the Scriptures to the of humbling and chastising his Church, and accomplishing servant who was necessarily occupied in attendance upon his gracious purposes by the instruments of his loving cor-her; and in one instance it was hoped, as well as in a former rection.
case of much earlier date, that her simple and spiritual instructions in the household were applied with Divine unction and sovereign grace to the heart.
As, however, her illness evidently approached its termination, her employments assumed a character more exclusively
spiritual. She was occupied in girding up her loins, and CHAPTER VI.
Of one of these times the following memorandum occurs in a Her illness and death.
letter to her cousin. “To-day, I know not how, all my illness seems
to have disappeared, and I feel much better, so that I have been out The period of her illness embraces a large portion of what in the garden the second time since you left me. Ah! how delightin her case, as her father observes, "might be not untruly in seeing the trees which
begin to bud, the spring flowers which are called, “ that long disease—her life.”. From her childhood, appearing, and in hearing the song of the birds, who seem to rejoice her health was very delicate; and the long illness which oc- no less than myself in this new season.'