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Come, my friend, with whom my spirit sympathizeth, come, give up thyself to the will and service of him who made thee; and whose desire is to make thee happy forevermore. Only lose thy life, and thou shalt find it. But if thou wilt save thy life, thou must lose it; which I hope will not be thy lot. Think nothing too near, or too dear to part with, in order to prepare a habitation for the God of Jacob to dwell in. Why regardest thou what men, or the sons of men, may think or say of thee, if thou canst have a dwelling place in the love of God? “Fear not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings," said the holy prophet Isaiah. No doubt, he knew, by blessed experience, that the scorn and contempt of mortals, were not worth regarding, in comparison with the favour of God. And Moses learned to “ choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproaches of Christ, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” Do thou so, my friend, and give up thy whole heart to serve the Lord, and he will preserve thee. Remember that comfortable language, applicable to such who are as worms in their own eyes, “ Fear not thou worm Jacob, I will help thee," “ I will not leave thee nor forsake thee." 6 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, peither shall the flame kindle
To return to my own experience, I remember the language of my distressed soul, in the days of my great exercise. After I gave up to become a fool, and to put my mouth in the dust, and be as clay in the hand of the potter, my daily cry was, Lord, cleanse me thoroughly, in body, soul, and spirit, and if there be iniquity in me, do it away. Purify me, Lord, purify me; and let not thine hand spare, for my crying, until thou cause me to come forth as gold seven times tried in the fire. If thou lovest me, chastise me; for whomsoever thou lovest, thou also chastisest. Lord, chasten me, and purge away all my dross ; that no wrong thing may find even so much as a secret lurking place in my breast. But make me wholly thine. Make me a son, that I may cry, Abba, Father.
This, my friend, I well remember to have been my language day after day, in the bitterness of my soul, when mourning and lamentation were my almost constant companions; when my nights were spent in sorrow and crying, and my days in walking solitarily in the woods, and seeking after my beloved. Oh! the depth of my anxiety and distress was far beyond the ability of my tongue or pen to set forth to the full. But my heart is filled with gratitude when I remember it, and consider the wonderful goodness of my Heavenly Master, in thus humbling me, and making me in some degree, fit to receive the good things which he had in store for me ; and which, blessed be his name, he was not wanting to communicate, as I abode under his chastising hand; but, to my unspeakable consolation, he caused the light of his countenance to shine upon me, and support me; whereby I have been enabled to press forward toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And now, my beloved friend, let me invite thee, in the good will of him that dwelt in the bush, to give up every thing that stands in the way of thy peace, even though comparable to a right hand, or right eye.
To Lydia Tillinghast.
Providence, 20th of 4th month, 1777. Respected friend,
I have often had to think of thee for some time past, and under the consideration of circumstances, which have, and do attend thy pilgrimage here below, do I at this time, put pen to paper, in order to communicate to thee a little of what I have felt on thy account, and necessary for thee. I have believed, without doubting, (as I believe many more have,) that thy heart has been wrought upon by that divine finger, which, as it is suffered to operate, not only gives to taste of God's salvation, but enables the mind to bear up, under the most discouraging circumstances, and will, in the end, most certainly give admittance
into the New Jerusalem above, where the smiles of Zion's King will abundantly outweigh all the difficulties and hardships that are known in this vale of tears.
Now, my friend, as, through the mercy of God, I have had some little experience of the wiles and mysterious workings of the adversary of souls; and also have known a being preserved from being destroyed by his wicked designs; and as I have no doubt that he is at times busying himself in laying snares for thy immortal soul, to cause thee to fall short of the prize which is at the end of the race, and to be received by those only who hold out to the end, and faint not by the way; I earnestly desire that thou mayst be preserved in the innocent life of pure and undefiled truth and righteousness, wherein, as thou abidest, thou wilt be enabled to see, and avoid all the shares of the wick. ed one, however subtilely he may lay them to catch the unwary. Sometimes, perhaps, he may persuade thee, that there is no true religion among a people, who are so precise about outward things, as it may seem to thee, that some are. This is a kind of reasoning, whereby he hath stumbled many, and some wellminded persons. Oh! be thou on thy guard against it. Remember thou hast yet had but small experience of what may be required.' And although some things which others clearly see the necessity of, may not yet be made so clear to thee, yet the same power
which has shown thee some things, can show thee many more, if he pleases. Therefore, be careful, and not be too hasty in judging that things are unnecessary, because thou hast not yet seen them; or else, thou mayst condemn the living experience of many who have known far more of the love of God, and of his requirings, than thyself. And now in particular, respecting rising, or not rising, to join the prayers of those who can appoint a time to preach and pray, and go to the place, and begin immediately, without waiting for any help from above; if I may be allowed to have any knowledge of the will and ways of the great Teacher, I must say, I have as sensibly been constrained to bear testimony against such will-worship, as against almost any thing else, though I believe some have not fully seen into the spiritual idolatry of such preaching and praying. Will it sound harsh to thee, if I say, I am confirmed, it is offensive to
him who will be waited upon by all who truly worship him
and commanded to love enemie dare pretend to be a preacher of the gospel, and yet preach up these things which Christ forbid. Surely this is for want of knowing, and waiting to hear the Shepherd's voice. Another abominable doctrine is this : that God has ordained millions of immortal souls to everlasting misery; with many other false doctrines, under pretence of God's mind and will.
Oh ! lamentable ! lamentable! mine eyes have seen so much of the nature of such work, that I dare not in the least give it any countenance. My conscience would condemn me, if I should ; and yet I have charity to believe there are some among them, and some who join them, that are sincere, and act according to what they know; but that is no excuse for those who have seen the nature of these things. The prophets of old cried, "wo,” against such will-worshippers, and the "wo" still remains. And shall those who know it does, stifle the testimony which ought to be borne against such practices. He that joins, may be numbered among those who bid them God speed; which an apostle forbids. See the second Epistle of John, ver. 10,
Now, my friend, think it not strange, that I am thus severe against this sort of preaching. I believe many who once would have thought this hard judging, are now fully convinced that it
is strictly true; and thou may yet think so too, in time, though now it may be bid from thee. Keep near him who has the key of David ; who opens, and none can shut, and shuts, and none can open. Have a care of carnal reasoning about spiritual matters; they are not to be understood without the help of that key. Think not hard of those who are desirous that thou shouldst be rightly brought forward on thy way; lest thou think hard of thy best friends. For be assured, there are some who heartily wish thy present and everlasting happiness; of which number I am one, and one who is not a little concerned that thou mayst be kept in patience, humility, and tenderness, through all trials that may attend thee here, and dwell forever with the Lamb and bis followers, hereafter. Farewell.
To William Turpin.
Providence, 20th of 9th month, 1778. My dear friend, William Turpin,
As I may not see thy face so often as heretofore, I feel an engagement to communicate somewhat of the desires that have often attended my mind on thy account. I have desired that into whatever corner of the earth thy course may be steered, it may be thy constant and careful engagement to labour for the bread that perisheth not, and the waters that endure. Be it thy peculiar care to strive to enter in at the strait gate. Be it thy unremitted solicitude of mind to witness communion with the God who gives thee life, breath, and being. This cannot be fully known but through the wrestlings of the seed, in the silence of all flesh; every roving thought and idle imagination being subjected to the obedience of the cross of Christ. Then, when this is known,“ Spring up, 0 well; sing ye unto it,” will be understood by thy poor and otherwise miserable) soul. If thou wilt reign with Christ, thou must suffer with him. No cross, no crown, are words of truth and righteousness. And I'll