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meaning, when he says, “Except ye receive the s kingdom of God as a little child, ye shall in “no wise enter therein.” For, though my proud heart is continually rebelling, and would fain build up again the former Babel of self-conceit; yet I trust I have. from this time, in my settled judgment, aimed, and prayed to be enabled, to consider myself as a little child, who ought simply to sit at the Master's feet, to hear his words with profound submission, and wait his teaching with earnest desire and patient attention. From this time I have been enabled to consider those persons, in whom knowledge has been ripened by years, experience and observation, as fathers and instructors; to take pleasure in their company, to value their counsels, and with pleasure to attend their ministry.
Thus I trust the old building, I had purposed to repair, was pulled down to the ground, and the foundation of the new building of God laid aright; “Old things passed away, behold all
things were become new.”—“What things “ were gain to me, those I have counted loss for “Christ.” My boasted reason I have discovered to be a blind guide, until humbled, enlightened, and sanctified, by the Spirit of God; my former wisdom foolishness; and that when I thought I knew much, I knew nothing as I ought to know, Since this period, every thing I have experienced, heard, or read; and every thing I observe around
me, confirms and establishes me in the assured belief of those truths which I have received; nor do I in general any more doubt whether they be from God, than I doubt whether the sun shines when I see its light, and am warmed with its refreshing beams. I see the powerful effects of them continually among
those to whom I preach; I experience the power of them daily in my own soul; and, while by meditating on, and “glorying in, " the cross of Christ, I find the world crucified
unto me, and I unto the world ;"-- by preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified, I see noto. riously immoral persons, taught by the saving
grace of God to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and
godly, in this present world;" being examples to such as before they were a scandal to.
And now by this change, the consequences of which I so much dreaded, what have I lost even in respect of this present world ?—Indeęd I have lost some degree of favour, and I escape not pity, censure, scorn, and opposition; but the Lord is introducing me to a new and far more desirable acquaintance; even to that of those whom the Holy Ghost hath denominated the excellent of the earth; nay, the Lord the Spirit condescends to be my Comforter. In general
In general I enjoy an established peace of conscience, through the blood of sprinkling, and continual application to the heavenly Advocate; with a sweet content, and,“ that
peace of God which passcth all understanding,” in “casting all my cares upon him who careth for “me:” and I am not left utterly without experience of that “joy which is unspeakable and full “of glory.” These the world could not give me, were I in favour with it; of these it cannot deprive me by its frowns. My desire henceforth, God knoweth, is to live to his glory, and by my whole conduct and conversation “to adorn the “ doctrine of God my Saviour,” and “ to shew “ forth his praises who hath called me out of “ darkness into his marvellous light;" to be in some way or other useful to his believing people; and to invite poor sinners, who “are walking in
a vain shadow, and disquieting themselves in vain,” to
to “ taste and see how gracious the “Lord is, and how blessed they are who put their " trust in him."
Now would I tell to sinners round,
Thus hath the Lord led me, a poor blind sinner, in a way that I knew not ;-he hath made darkness light before me, crooked things straight, and hard things easy, and hath brought me to a place of which I little thought when I set out: and having done these things for me, I believe, yea,
am undoubtedly sure, he will never leave me nor forsake me. To him be the glory of his undeserved and long-resisted grace: to me be the shame, not only of all my other sins, but also of my proud and perverse opposition to his
purposes of love towards me. But all this was permitted, that my high spirit and stout heart being at length humbled and subdued, “I might remember, and “ be confounded, and never open my mouth any
more, because of my shame, now that the Lord “ is pacified to me for all that I have done."
And now as in the presence of the heart-searching Judge, I have given, without one wilful misrepresentation, addition, or material omission, a history of the great things God hath done for my soul; or, if that suit not the reader's view of it, a history of that change which hath recently taken place in my religious sentiments and conduct, to the surprize of some, and perhaps the displeasure of others, among my former friends. The doctrines I have embraced are indeed charged with being destructive of moral practice, and tending to licentiousness: but though I know that my best “righteousnesses are as filthy rags ;" yet I trust I may return thanks to God, that by his grace he hath so upheld me, since this change took place, that I have not been permitted to disgrace the cause in which I have embarked by any immoral conduct: “My rejoicing,” in this respect, " is this, that in simplicity and godly
sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the
grace of God I have my conversation in the “ world.” I can confidently avow, that the belief of these doctrines hath a quite contrary effect up
I most earnestly desire, aim, endeavour, and pray to be enabled, to love God and keep his commandments “ without partiality, and without “hypocrisy;" and so to demean myself as “by well doing to put to silence the “ignorance of “ foolish men." That I fall so very far short in every thing, is not the effect of my new doctrines, but of my old depraved nature and deceitful heart.--"Create in me a clean heart, O God, “and renew a right spirit within me !"