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LETTER OF REV. JOHN NEWTON. Liverpool, 1st March, 1757. | that “the Lord is good, a stronghold in Dear MADAM,—I know I should begin i the day of trouble, and he knoweth those with an apology, but whether it should who put their trust in him." But you be for having deferred writing so long, have had a much longer standing in the or for giving you this trouble at last, I Christian warfare; you can, experiment. have not determined. The truth is, I ally, I believe, say, with David, “Many have been desirous to write to you a full are the afflictions of the righteous," but twelvemonth, but, sometimes business, that you are this day living to say it, is sometimes my great indolence, have pre- an evident proof that “the Lord delivented me. I cannot charge it either to vereth them out of them all.” By this, forgetfulness or disrespect, for though I (if by nothing else,) we may know that have not wrote, I have often been mind- the Lord favours us, inasmuch as our ful of your house in my prayers. How- enemies have not yet prevailed against ever, if it please the Lord to bring this us; for when we think of their numbers, to your hand in a suitable time, I hope their strength, their policy, and their you will accept it in good part, and ex- vigilance; and reflect at the same time cuse both my past and present faults. on our own weakness, blindness, and pre
It is some time ago since I heard from sumption, we may well cry out, “ If the cousin Daniel, therefore am at a loss with Lord had not helped us, our souls had respect to your health, &c., but I have long ago slept in silence.” On the other seldom much uneasiness about such of my hand, when we consider through what friends as I have reason to believe are in dangers and difficulties we have been the sure keeping, and under the careful thus far brought, we may bid a bold deeye of our gracious Redeemer; such I fiance to whatever yet lies in our way to know shall want no real good, shall be the heavenly kingdom. The Lord who exercised with no needless trouble, shall has saved us from the paw of the lion, be forsaken in no kind of extremity. and the paw of the bear, will likewise Sickness and health, life and death, are save us from every evil. This is the equally theirs, and shall all, in their apostle's argument, 2 Cor. i. 10, He hath turns, work together for their good. We delivered in times past, he doth deliver may, and we ought to sympathize in the us daily, and therefore we trust he will troubles of our friends. But our concern yet deliver us. He will be our sun and is very apt to be extravagant, and out of our shield, he will give us grace here, he due bounds. As Eliphaz says, “Shall will make our beds in sickness, he will mortal man be more just than God?" walk with us even in the valley of the so it may well be asked, "Shall mortal shadow of death, and he will give us man be more compassionate and tender glory, even a crown of glory, honour, than the God of all mercy?" Indeed immortality, and eternal life hereafter. my life and my experience are both o, we may well say, Blessed are the very short, and it is but a weak testimony people that are in such a case ; happy I can bear to the Lord's faithfulness, but are the people who have the Lord their something I can say—I have found the God so nigh unto them, in all they call word on which he has caused me to hope upon him for. Let the world despise, has been always fulfilled in its season, let Satan rage, let trials come, blessed be that he has at no time laid more upon me God, we are not left alone, nor sent to than he has enabled me to bear, and the warfare at our own charges; we have when I have in expectation been almost complete armour for our defence, and the swallowed up, he has, beyond my hope, Captain of Salvation to lead us on to battle, provided me a way to escape ; so that, who has already conquered for us, and should this be the last letter I should has promised to conquer in us; yea, to write, I would here leave my record, make us more than conquerors through his lore: let us, therefore, cheerfully en-, much trouble with her, and upon her dure bardness, as good soldiers of Jesus account, but I hope, I trust the Lord will Christ; let us look unto him who endured recompense your labour of love. I can the cross, and despised the shame; who, give her no new advice; let her put in that he hath himself suffered, and been her trust in God, or rather let her pray tempted, has therefore a fellow-feeling for power to do so. Let her reflect on for our infirmities, and is both able and the mercy and compassion of the Lord willing to succour us in all our tempta- Jesus in the days of his flesh, and let her tions. Let us comfort one another with assure herself that his high exaltation in these words. The time is short, yet a heaven has not changed him. I pray for little while and he that shall come will her daily, and trust, that a time will come come, and will not tarry; yet a little when she shall say, It was good for her while, and the Lord the righteous Judge, that she was afflicted. But at present I who now beholds all our struggles, shall would wish her to remember, that though crown us with victory: a few sighs, a few the Lord is merciful, he is sovereign too, more conflicts, and all things shall be and though he will surely give delivermade new: joy and gladness shall fill ance in his own time, we must not limit our souls, and sin, and pain, and sorrow,
bim to ours. shall flee away for ever.
In the mean
Mrs. Newton is, through mercy, wholly time may we be made faithful and dili- recovered from the illness which threatgent, may we watch unto prayer, may ened her speedy dissolution when I left our loins be always girded, and our lamps her in London. We have been houseburning; always considering that seeing keepers about a year, and hitherto our these things shall be so, what manner of path has been very smooth. May God persons ought we to be in all holy con- help us to walk suitably ! versation and godliness. Remember me We greatly value your friendship; I to dear S-, I cease not to make mention shall always rejoice in every opportunity of her before the Lord; it is a great com- of showing how sincerely fort to me, and a great instance of the I am, dear Madam, Lord's goodness to her under hier great Your affectionate and obliged trials, that she is in such good hands. I
Friend and Servant, doubt not but you and Mrs. P— have To Mrs. Corpse.
HOWELL HARRIS AND THE REV. JOHN WESLEY.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. MY DEAR Sır,— It is now several years cient for my purpose. I was not, howsince I published Memoirs of Howell ever, so fortunate as to find a publisher Harris, Esq., of Trevecca, a work that in London who would free me from was so well received, as to encourage the pecuniary responsibilities, such as I design of a new and much enlarged edi- hesitated to incur; and being otherwise tion. With a view to that undertaking, I deterred from the prosecution of my visited Trevecca, examined Mr. Harris's labours, 1 afterwards obtained leave to library, and every object of interest on send the Trevecca papers to the Rev. the spot. From one of his trustees I re- Edward Morgan, vicar of Syston, who ceived a number of letters, journals, and was then desirous of including a Life of other papers, of the existence of which I Harris in his “ Ministerial Records." was not aware when I began to write. But having directed his attention, in that From various sources I also obtained, in work, to lives of a subsequent date, I the course of a few months, such other question whether my esteemed friend materials as appeared abundantly suffi- will favour us with a memoir of one who was the harbinger of Whitefield and other still in the spirit of love. His letter is successful preachers of the gospel, in the dated Trevecca, July 16, 1740, and is to principality of Wales. From the docu- the following effect : ments still in my possession, I therefore “ When I returned from Bristol, there transcribe the following extracts from were such reports of your holding no unpublished letters of Howell Harris, faith without a full and constant aswhich you will probably consider as surance, and no state of salvation without neither unfit for your pages, nor uninter being wholly set at liberty, in the fullest esting to your readers.
sense of perfection, that many were In February, 1739, soon after a spirit afraid to come near me, hearing that I of controversy had arisen among the fol- had been carried away with the same lowers of Whitefield and Wesley, Mr. stream. Notwithstanding my endeavours Harris thus wrote to the latter, in a man- to remove them, there are also prejudices ner both creditable to himself, and worthy against you for descrying the doctrine of of the gospel of Christ :
election, which seem almost invincible. “In reading your sermon on Free I have indeed been staggered myself on Grace, I was grieved to find that, while seeing some letters, from which I learn maintaining general redemption, and that, on the night I left London, you avoiding the decree of reprobation, you turned a brother out of the society, deny particular election. I know that charging all to beware of him, and of this doctrine is of no use to the souls of such as conversed with him, purely beany but those who are called; and only cause he held election. My dear brother, so far of use to them, as to enable them cannot you see, in a cooler spirit, what to see farther into God's love to them; in was at the bottom of this ? Do you not that, when there was nothing in them to act with the same stiff, unbroken, unchamove him to it, they were called, while ritable spirit which you condemn in others were left to themselves. Such a others? I assure you, from the converview of his love increases our love to sation I had with that person, that I him; renders us more in love with holi. found all the tokens of the love of God ness, as the image of so good a God; and in him, and had every reason to hope makes all duties agreeable to us. View- that he has the Spirit of Christ. As to ing ourselves as enemies by nature, and some things which have been laid to his actual transgressors of his law, God's charge, I have spoken to one who was in election of a certain number, known to London not six weeks ago, and had the himself, to be called by his ministers, and best opportunity of being informed, who to have this call particularly applied by wholly acquits him. My dear brother, his Spirit, excludes boasting, but does if the ministers of our dear Lord thus act not imply a decree of reprobation with towards one another, will not the enemy respect to others; for he lays them under take advantage? If you exclude him no necessity to sin, but condemns them from the society, and from the fraternity for sinning. Pray come and help us in of the Methodists, you must exclude broWales, for we are much under the spirit ther Whitefield, brother Seward, and of bondage ; but I hope God is among us, myself; and if you continue to act thus, though he is longer in bringing some to suffering those who are without to rejoice the freedom of the gospel than others. in our divisions, will you not grieve the O pray that Christ may ever abide in me. Spirit of God in all the brethren? You If Christ be mine, then all is mine. I wish to establish the confidence of poor long for more assurance and greater de- sinners in the promises and assurances of grees of holiness.”
the gospel. I never denied, but bave Again I find Mr. Harris writing to his always asserted, in the most explicit friend, Mr. Wesley, in the way of re- terms, that whoever will come to Christ, monstrance, and faithful admonition, but shall obtain mercy. But I hope I shall
ever contend, that it is owing to the spe- | from prejudice, carnal reason, and the cial, distinguishing, irresistible grace, darkness of past ages. Pray for me, that that we are saved. Can you say, in the my confidence may grow strong. Salute presence of God, that it was your good the brethren and sisters in my name. improvement of preventing grace that The more I write, the more I love you, brought you to believe? How did you Indeed, Sir, I am sure you are one of strive, but could not, of yourself? And God's elect, and that you act honestly, yet, while you show that man quenches according to the light you have. I love the Spirit, and destroys his own soul, you you, dear brother in Christ, with all the attribute to man what you always found love I have." wanting in yourself! A power to be Notwithstanding the difference of opipassive, to receive and confide in Christ, nion now subsisting between these two you found in the good pleasure of an- servants of Christ, it appears that they other : and so it is, and ever will be. were neither of them unmindful of the You are faithful and watchful, just so exhortation, “Let brotherly love conlong as you are kept so. Look, then, tinue.” Of this one of Mr. Wesley's to the teaching of God's Spirit, rather journals affords indubitable evidence, in than to your reason and learning; and which, under date of October, 1741, you will soon see that God chose you, (being at Kingswood, and hearing that and not you him. See what a totter- Mr. Harris desired to see him in Bristol,) ing foundation you build on, even your he says: “I went, and found him with own faithfulness, instead of God's un- Mr. Humphreys and Mr. S—. They changeableness! It is, indeed, God's immediately entered upon their favourite willingness to receive poor sinners, and subject; on which, when we had disputed his covenant love, that should be set be- two hours, and were just where we were fore those who are not made willing ; at first, I begged we might exchange and they should be exhorted to seek him controversy for prayer. We did so, and with their whole heart; and yet the chil- then parted in much love.” On the foldren of the covenant should know that lowing day Mr. Wesley writes : their salvation does not depend upon “ Howell Harris came to me at the themselves, but upon Christ. Cannot New Room. He said that, as to the you see that your way is still the old decree of reprobation, he denounced, and covenant? It is not strengthening your- utterly abhorred it. As to the not falling selves in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, from grace, he believed that it ought not but in that which is in ourselves. We to be mentioned to the unjustified, or to would still have the power to save in our any that were slack and careless, much own hands, and cannot bear to be told that less that lived in sin ; but only to the it is in the hands of another. My dear earnest, and disconsolate mourners. He brother, was not the grace of God irre- did himself believe it was possible for one sistible in you when you were brought to to fall away, who had been enlightened rely on the covenant of grace? Could with some knowledge of God, who had you make yourself what you then were ? tasted of the heavenly gift, and been And if all the world had what you then made a partaker of the Holy Ghost; and had, would not all be in the same state as wished we could all agree to keep close, yourself? Does not your reasoning make in the controverted points, to the very them that are saved to be under no words of Holy Writ. He said that he greater obligation to God than those who accounted no man so justified as not to are lost? O that you would not touch on fall, till he had a thorough, abiding hatred this subject till God enlightens you! My to all sin, and a continual hunger and dear brother, you grieve, by your reason- thirst after all righteousness. Blessed be ings and objections, the people of God, thou of the Lord, thou man of peace ! who feel his electing love. This arises Still follow after peace and holiness.”
On the subject of personal election and clearly implied, and the nature of the discriminating grace, my dear Sir, I have grace which makes the difference is as thought often and much, and have felt clear as the sun at noon-day. So it apthose difficulties which our Wesleyan pears to me. But that we may "know brethren know how to state in defence of the truth," and rejoice in it, let us pray their own principles. But when I consi- for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the fruit der that election hinders no man's salva- of which is “ love, joy, peace, longsuffertion, while it secures to the Saviour the ing, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekfruit of his obedience unto death ; and ness, temperance, against which there is that our view of it leaves the non-elect no law,” in the true church of God. “If where Mr. Wesley's doctrine leaves all we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the mankind; I am constrained to embrace Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainthe sentiments of Mr. Harris, for the glory, provoking one another, envying reasons which he has assigned, without one another.” Then shall we have an pledging myself to the approval of every “Evangelical Alliance," against which expression that
may have been current in the gates of hell cannot prevail, and his time. To the question, "What hast sincere Christians will be one" in every thou which thou hast not received ?" I sense in which they either can, or ought am persuaded that we must answer: to be so, on this side heaven. Hoping “Nothing." To the question, “Who that there will be such an alliance, and maketh thee to differ?" I apprehend that rejoicing in every hopeful sign of it, every serious Christian will be ready to
I remain, yours truly, say, “ By the grace of God, I am what I
John Bulmer. am." Wherever this difference is made, 6, Windsor Terrace, St. Paul's, then, the election of the individual is
THE MEMORY OF THE JUST.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. MY DEAR FRIEND-On reading Mr. gether into anything like a consistent Bulmer's communication to you, inserted narrative. But such as they are, they in your number for January, bearivg the will not be uninteresting to your readers. above title, it occurred to me as probable The Rev. Jonathan Evans, to whom that many names which the Christian several references are made in the Mechurch ought not "willingly to let die,” moirs of Thomas Wilson, Esq., recently will soon be forgotten unless his example published, was born at Coventry about be followed, and those who like him are the year 1748-9. His parents were in in possession of the requisite materials somewhat hunible circumstances; and it arrange them for publication. To ar- is believed made no profession of religion. rest one name which is yet fragrant in In his youth he was employed in the the sphere in which the providence of warehouse of a ribbon manufacturer. God has placed me, from the oblivion Here he grew up to man's estate utterly into which the stream of time is rapidly regardless of his best interests, associating bearing it away, is a task which I have with profligate and profane companions. therefore painfully imposed upon myself. I have heard circumstances related of It might have been performed many this period of his life which prove him years ago, and much more efficiently by to have been above his fellows-a zealous other hands which have long been moul- servant of Satan. His talents and energy dering in the grave. A few fragments only raised him to this bad eminence, and he remain, and living memories can supply appeared to be proud of the distinction. very little to enable me to link them to- | His conversion took place about the year