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tell thee what an ancient and experienced servant of Christ said, a little before his departure from this scene of probation ; speaking of the holy spirit which he felt, he says, “It never rejoices but through suffering; for with the world's joy it is murdered." Have a care, my dearly beloved, of " the world's joys,” the world's friendships. Enmity with God is written upon them, and thou canst not erase it. The worldly part, the changeable part, must die. Thou must be buried with Christ, by baptism into death, or have no part in the first resurrection. Be not ashamed of the heart-tendering work of him who is, at times, drawing near thee for thy refinement. Bear his reproach. Go with him to the cross, to Pilate, and the world. Die with him to every other satisfaction, than what arises from union and communion with him who was made perfect through sufferings. This is close doctrine; but I can testify, it leads to joys unspeakable that the world knows not of; to a foretaste in this life of those rivers of pleasures which are at God's right hand. Lose not sight, my friend, of the light, thy leader; nor of the necessity of a life of self-denial, and the daily cross. This I earnestly press, as the way to eternal glory: 'tis the path the ancients ever trod to blessedness; by Jesus recommended, as well as walked in. Follow thou him in it, and thy feet shall not slide, nor thy recompense fail.
And now, with a heart full of good-will, and not void of tenderness, and sympathetic compassion, wishing thee the enjoy. ment of that presence which is life to the soul; wishing thou mayst lead a life of pilgrimage, and be a standard-bearer through this scene of sorrows, this vale of tears; and at last witness a happy admittance among the sons of consolation, around the throne of God, 1 bid thee farewell. Forget not, by no means forget, that it must be through tribulation, if at all, that thy garments must be washed white, and thou admitted to the joys I have mentioned.
I am thy unfeigned, affectionate, unshaken friend, in the travail of my soul, that Christ may be completely formed in thee.
TO J. C.
Providence, 7th of 9th month, 1781. Respected cousin,
I have often had thee in remembrance, since last I saw thee, and now believe it best to write the feelings of my mind; and I desire to speak to that in thee, which can savour words, and which has long been visited, and yet continues long in bondage. May I query, why is it so ? Dear cousin, why is it so ? Answer, because Pharoah's heart is hardened, so that he will not let the true Israelitish seed go forth to do sacrifice to the Lord, the everlasting God. Know thou, that plagues and tribulations will attend that hardened heart, unless it submits. And unless there is a giving up to the holy influence of that fire, which burns as an oven, (inwardly,) thy lot, I think, will be to drag out a miserable life of emptiness and desolation of soul; when, at the same time, I am as fully satisfied, that by a full surrender, thou might come to feed upon the bread of life, and drink of the new wine, with Christ in his Father's kingdom.
I have been discouraged about writing; for, if thou wilt not hearken to the voice within, in vain might one rise even from the dead, to invite thee. Take this not as rough language. It is in the breathings of my soul for thy welfare, that I am engaged thus to call upon thee to make no longer delay, lest the night overtake thee; but improve the present time. Now is the accepted time. Now is the visitation continued. How long ere it may be too late, we know not. Great is the consequence to thy immortal soul. Oh! I entreat thee stand out no longer. Resist no longer the offers of God's loving-kindness to thee! What satisfaction canst thou have in the thoughts of spending all thy days in thraldom, in Egyptian bondage? Or what reason bast thou to think it will ever be easier than now, to make a full revolt from under the government of the king of tyrants ? Let thy comrades laugh: and let deists argue as they please. He who knows not the peace of God that passeth mere human understanding, notwithstanding all his wit, and all his cunning, is, as to the inward state of his soul, in a land of emptiness,
famishing and starving for want of that food which only nourisheth to eternal life. Farewell, says thy true friend and cousin,
TO A. S.
Providence, 7th of 11th month, 1781. My young friend,
My view in writing, is to inform thee, that in the conversation I had with thee on the subject of thy going to dancing school, I aimed at nothing but thy good, and to discharge my duty to thee in the sight of God, as to one whose welfare I desired, and thought I ought to endeavour to promote.
Think not hard of me, my friend, for the Lord knows I had no hardness in my heart toward thee, but sought thy good. I would not have thee shut thy heart against the gentle movings of that holy 'principle, in thy own mind, which manifests what is right, and what is wrong, and which justifies for doing the one, and reproves for the other ; but stand open to its teachings and influence. And as thou findest this light to produce uneasiness in thee for dancing, and such like diversions, and mispent time, Oh! yield to its operation ; that so, by believing in the light, thou may become a child of the light, and of the everlasting day of God's salvation.
I can tell thee, it was no small cross to me to deny myself the gratification of dancing, and some other vain amusements of like nature. But when I did give them up, Oh! the peace which flowed in my soul, as I travelled on in the way of self-denial ! It was like the flowings of a gentle stream of joy unspeakable and full of glory. And the wish I have for thee, dear child, is that thou may witness in the secret of thy own soul, the flowings of the same celestial joy and consolation ; which, if ever thou dost witness, thou wilt find it is in the way of the cross to thy natural inclinations ; for the cross of Christ is the alone way to the crown of glory.
I know what I write, and therein bave the sanction of the
word of truth in my own experience, and also in the scriptures. I am not speaking against dancing only. I wish thy redemption from all things that are contrary to the law of God, and his unerring witness in thy own soul. And I am the more encouraged to this communication of counsel, from a belief I had, whilst thou wast with me, that thy heart was far from that state of hardness and insensibility, which I have discovered in some of thy age. I thought I perceived something tender in thee, that gave me to hope tbou might come to know the Lord for thyself, and to thy own comfort, if nothing was suffered to divert thy mind from a due attention to that grace of God which brings salvation, and which has appeared to thee, and will if thou hearkens to it, teach thee to deny all ungodliness, and to live soberly and godly in thy day and generation. With desires that this may be thy happy experience, and that thou mayst receive these few lines as a token of unfeigned good-will, I bid thee farewell, and am thy friend,
To his Wife, Eunice Scott,
Smithfield, 11th month 10th, 1782. Dearly beloved wife,
I am now at Elisha Thornton's. It would seem pleasant to return to thee, and the lambs I left with thee; but, as my mind is disposed at present, I must desire thee patiently to endure my absence, and the toil of taking care of the babes, a little longer. Think it not bard to render so small a sacrifice, as to give me up to visit and sympathise with the many children from house to house, who are at times, as it were, crying for bread, and have none to break it to them. Farewell, says thy truly loving husband,
To Eunice Scott.
Providence, 19th of 6th month, 1783.' My dear wife,
Let it not grieve thee, that a tender concern for the good of society, and a due regard to the appointment of my brethren, prevent my seeing thee so soon as my inclination would dictate. I expect to go to Ackoacset, Dartmouth, Nantucket, and Sandwich, should nothing occur to prevent. It is my earnest wish that thou may be preserved in patience, with the children. I hope I shall be enabled to give you all up rightly, though warm affection rushes in upon me at the thoughts of so long absence; and the prospect of an exercising, laborious time in this visit, weighs heavy on my mind: yet something overbalances it all, and inspires a firm dependance on the Lord that reigneth. If we are faithful, he will provide for us, as we feel a disposition to be willing to live upon a little. May bis holy hand hold you, and preserve you, till I come again, to enjoy your company. Farewell, dear heart, says thy affectionate husband,
To the Youth among Friends, at Richmond, New Hampshire.
Dear young friends,
It is nothing but a desire for your immortal souls' eternal welfare, that induces us to acquaint you with the deep anxiety -of mind that we felt, when closed up in silence, we went from house to house, among you.* Perhaps you may think lightly of the deep travail and distress of soul, that the mourners in Sion pass through, on account of the careless, libertine, and unsubjected disposition of too many of the youth and others; but be assured, dear young people, that some have known and felt the day of the Lord to burn as an oven, against such a disposition;
* See Journal, page 134.