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No fmall portion of furnace-work has fallen to my share. And, when I saw the anguish of thy foni, I never found myself more fenfibly touched with the grief of any person: nor did I ever feel a fuller persuasion in my mind of any person's deliverance, nor more freedom and confidence to predict it, and in the strongest terms ; and I plainly faw (at your departure) that neither Satan, infidelity, no, nor your carnal reaton, could stand before it; so mightily grows the word of the Lord and prevails. I must confess that, when I heard of thy happy delivery under the ministry of my dearly beloved and most faithful brother in the Lord, I stood astonished at the goodness of God, and at the concurring providences which went before on thiy behalf. One friend in our company could not settle his business to return to London with me till Saturday morning. Saturday is a day that I am never from my study, if I can possibly help it. One or two in company pressed me not a little to stay; and those at G- most kindly invited me to come and visit them, where it pleased God that we were to meet with you, whom I never faw before to my knowledge. And furely Gou set before us an open door. Our months were wonderfully opened to you; and I think your heart was, in some measure, opened to us. And this greatly convinced me that my Itay was of God; nor could conscience contradict it; nor was my cruse empty on the Lord's day
following on account of it. The favour that I have to crave is, how the troubles came upon thee, and how long thou wast left to occupy business in those deep waters; and whether thou wast in a profession previous to those trials or not. Now, as I am engaged in the work of the Lord, and desirous of knowing the wonders that God does in the land, that I may bless him with thee, I hope thou wilt not take this liberty amiss, seeing thou art no more a franger nor a foreigner, but a fellow-citizen of the saints, and of the household of God; and that thou mayest long enjoy the pleasures, privileges, and immunities, of that city, is the earnest prayer of,
Thine affectionate brother in Christ Jesus,
TO NOCTUA AURITA, in the Desert.
I HAVE attempted, as the Lord has enabled me, to comply with your request, in giving you some particulars respecting the good work the Lord has been pleased to work in my soul under the ministry of his Majesty's herald now with us. I think it is more than three years ago that I first heard him preach a sermon from these words: “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up fome other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” He gave such a description of the way that most professors entered into the fold, as quite astonished me. I could hardly credit it; but was not then left to contradict it; but I believed it could not touch me. I thought it did me some good, as it led my heart out in gratitude to God that he had not left me to make such an entrance, for I was just in the state of the Laodicean church, thought myself rich and increased with goods, and to have need of nothing; but knew not that I was poor and wretched, mi. serable, blind, and naked. Had he asked me, at that time, of my experience, I should have told
him that I had been on the mount of transfiguration with Peter, and in the third heaven with Paul.
I heard him for some time occasionally on fabbath-day evenings. But he asserted such strange things respecting the first work of the Spirit's operation on a sinner's heart, when he came to convince him of fin, as was point blank against my experience; therefore I thought I was a witness against him that he was wrong. His once asserting, that when the Spirit came to convict a sinner, and to convince him of unbelief, that such a soul could apply none of the promises of the gospel, this quite enraged me, and I declared I would never hear him preach another fermon. I therefore left his ministry for, I believe, two or three months; during which time I found a great deal of enmity work against him, and his ministry too. However, confcience was not altogether filent at this time; and I should at times have such thoughts as these, viz. Where does all this enmity spring from? It cannot be a fruit of the Spirit of God. However, these words of Paul used to fet matters right at times : “ To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justificth the ugodly, his faith is counted for righteouinels.” That I had the faith which is of the operation of God's Spirit, I believed no one that knew me doubted; but feeling this enmity rite high at times made me a little uncaly, and I thought I would hear him
again, as he might be got more moderate. I had heard him but a few times before the Lord was pleased to strip me of all my supposed excellency. How true is that saying of the Pfalmist, “ When thou with thy rebukes correcteft man for iniqui'y, thou makes his beauty to consume like the moth." And so I found it. And I foon found the faith that I had so much boasted of to be nothing but bold presumption. God fent thc killing commandment home to my conscience, which stirred up all the nest of uncleanness that Jay hid in my heart before, and I could only view an angry God in a fiery law; and a dreadful sight it was to me; it made me, like Mofes, to fear and quake. Here was no acceís to God. The flaming fword seemed to turn every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Instead of faith, hope, joy, and peace, I felt my carnal mind was nothing but enmity against God. My heart was as hard as an adamant; my will was pregnant with nothing but flubbornness, perverleness, and rebellion ; and, as to my affections, I knew not where they were ; but I knew they were not fixed on God, where they ought to be. Pray I could not. I had no faith; and God's word declares that whatever is not of faith is fin; and that the prayer of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. This made me almost difiracted. Every strmon I heard from him cut and condemned me; and the more it did so, the more I was rivetted both to him and his