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Isa. xxv.

chosen us in the furnace of affliction, and it is the furnace which makes us long to choose and embrace him ; and this furnace is sometimes attended with all sorts of fire except the fire of love in us to God; such as fiery wrath from a fiery law, the fiery darts of Satan, the fire of evil; and, as Paul saith, “all manner of concupiscence;” the fire of anger, malice, and rage, and the scorching sun of persecution.

Again, this furnace sometimes rages, and then again abates of its force; sometimes it makes the filth and scum, dross and tin, work up, and run over; Ezek. xxiv. 6; and

The fire discovers this; and God will parge it out of us by the love and enjoyment of Christ, when we are made heartily sick of the sight and sense of it. But still the dear Redeemer attends this furnace: “ He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” And he promises that, when we pass through the fire, he will be with us, and through the water, it shall not overflow us; which has been true both of you and me; notwithstanding all that Satan, and an unbelieving and misgiving heart, could devise and suggest. Nay, this fire shall burn till all our dross and tin are discovered and consumed; which dross is not our natural this will continue till death in every saint. . But by dross and tin are principally meant our self-righteousness, high and vain thoughts of ourselves, carnal reasonings, self-conceit, supposed wisdom, natural and acquired abilities, rank in life, self-admiration, false notions of God, of his law, and of our own hearts. God will stain the pride of all this glory. The wise shall not glory in their wisdom, the strong in their strength, nor the rich in their riches; for God will exclude all boasting. This dross and tin are effectually consumed in this furnace; and so it follows, “ I will bring the third part through the fire, and will purify them as silver is purified, and try them as gold is tried ; and they shall call upon my name, and I will hear them; I will say, It is my people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” This, my dear sister, is God's promise, and he will make it good in his own time.

I long and hope to see you enlarged before I go hence, having remembrance of thee continually in my poor petitions. Tender my kind love to your spouse, your mother and brother; and likewise to your patient, suckling, charge, or whatever name she may bear. That God may bless you all is the constant and unfeigned prayer of

DCXXXVI.

May 13, 1801.

DEAR MOTHER,

I

LONG to know how you got home, for I am afraid the long journey was too much for you in your old age. But it is never too late to seek the Saviour of mankind, who promises to be found of all that seek him when they seek him with all their heart. I think the Lord has stirred thee up from thy false security, and will not let thee settle upon thy lees; for by his giving thee a love to the truth, and to those that preach and profess it, it is a good token in thy behalf; for “ by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is a pleasure to my soul to see the work of God going on at that little place called Downham; where you are in number sufficient to stir each other up, and to keep each other from getting dead and lifeless. In this way the Lord often carried on his work in the hearts of poor sinners in the days of old.

this will continue till death in every saint. But by dross and tin are principally meant our self-righteousness, high and vain thoughts of ourselves, carnal reasonings, self-conceit, supposed wisdom, natural and acquired abilities, rank in life, self-admiration, false notions of God, of bis law, and of our own hearts. God will stain the pride of all this glory. The wise shall not glory in their wisdom, the strong in their strength, nor the rich in their riches ; for God will exclude all boasting. This dross and tin are effectually consumed in this furnace; and so it follows, • I will bring the third part through the fire, and will purify them as silver is purified, and try them as gold is tried; and they shall call upon my name, and I will hear them; I will

I will say, It is my people, and they shall say,

The Lord is my God.” This, my dear sister, is God's promise, and he will make it good in his own time.

I long and hope to see you enlarged before I go hence, having remembrance of thee continually in my poor petitions. Tender my kind love to your spouse, your mother and brother; and likewise to your patient, suckling, charge, or whatever name she may bear. That God may bless you all is the constant and unfeigned prayer of

DCXXXVI.

May 13, 1801.

DEAR MOTHER,

I

LONG to know how you got home, for I am afraid the long journey was too much for you in your old age. But it is never too late to seek the Saviour of mankind, who promises to be found of all that seek him when they seek him with all their heart. I think the Lord has stirred thee up from thy false security, and will not let thee settle upon thy lees; for by his giving thee a love to the truth, and to those that preach and profess it, it is a good token in thy behalf; for “ by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is a pleasure to my soul to see the work of God going on at that little place called Downham; where you are in number sufficient to stir each other up, and to keep each other from getting dead and lifeless. In this way the Lord often carried on his work in the hearts of poor sinners in the days of old.

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