Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

“Sir, I herewith send you the Bible, which I had been recommending to you—a book of inestimable value-containing the great charter of grace, by which the Lord God, Jehovah Alehim, has granted under his hand and seal, by his covenant and oath, a full discharge from sin and misery, and a perfect title to life and glory everlasting. These blessings he has given in his Son, and be applies them by bis Spirit: Therefore the record of God concerning his Son is the subject of the whole book What he was to be in his person, Immanuel, and what he actually was, God manifest in the flesh.What he was to do and has done. - What he was to suffer and has suffered.--His resurrection. His complete redemption. His prevailing intercession.-And what he will do for his people in glory. These points are treated of at large.' And because we are dead to these truths, we cannot understand nor believe them, vor make the proper use of them by any power of our own: therefore God the Spirit, who inspired the book, still accompanies the hearing of it, and renders it the effectual means of quickening the dead, of working the saving knowledge of Jesus, and through faith in bim of manifesting the love of the Father. Would you grow in this knowledge, in this faith, in this love ? Here is the ordinance of God. His almighty power still accompanies his own word-still he works in it and by it, as truly as when he spake and the world was made when he commanded and all things subsist. Hear-readstudy-meditate-mix faith with it-pray over it, and

you will find it able to make you wise unto salvation—and that is as wise as you need to be. 2 Tim. iii. 14, 15, 16, 17. What think

you

of this Mr. ? Is not the Bible truly inestimable ? May you find it more precious every day! I wish the inspirer may. write out a fair edition in the heart of Mrs. she may know and feel for herself, what is the meaning of Jer. xxxi. 33, 34."

My good wishes follow Mrs. -, &c. The bless

-; that

ing of the Lord my God be with them all.--I inclose a little tract which you have seen and read. I beg of you to read it again for my sake. There were so many shabby editions, and one by —, not to the author's honour, that I thought it right to let it come out in its primitive dress. Here it is. Read-admire and bless God for it, with

W. R.

LETTER CXXXVI.

May 23d, 1787. WHAT through infirmity, business, and the King's too, preaching four times every week, and often five, visiting the sick from Hide-park corner to Mile-end and a fixed dislike to writing letters-indeed, to almost every thing but preaching, once more I take up my pen this 12th day of May, 1787, to acknowledge myself so much in your debt, that I am like a man, who owes such a sum, that he is afraid to meet his creditor. This arises from being ashamed of myself, and not from a fear of being arrested. An honest man's word is his bond.

I believe you have it under my hand, that I would send

you some hints of our new year's sermon : such as I can remember, you shall have They were taken from the life of an extraordinary person, Enoch, the wonder of his time. “ Enoch walked with God.” It is a custom with you this day, to wish one another a happy new year. There is but one true happiness, without which, the wish is but an empty compliment. To be in Christ, as Enoch was, is the only thing which can make a sinner happy; and to live and walk by faith in Christ, is the only way to enjoy that happiness. This from my heart I wish

you all. May you know it now in the beginning of the year, and find it increas

[blocks in formation]

ing unto the end of it. With this view, let us consider the history of Enoch, and the use we ought to make of it.

Let us look for God's blessing (a short prayer). Ever since the fall, there has been one way in which the natural man has walked, being “earthly, sensual, and having not the Spirit,” he follows his own carnal will. He is quite dead to God, but very much alive to sense. Dead in trespasses and sins, therefore he walks according to the course of this world—following the lust of the flesh--the lust of the eye-and the pride of life-a course directly contrary to the law of God, and to that perfect love of God, which his law requires. What strong proof of this does matter of fact give us ? The searcher of hearts declares, Gen. vi. 5, 11, 12, 13. that all flesh had corrupted itself, and that therefore he destroyed the earth, that then was, with a deluge of water. And, from that time to this, the history of the world, and especially the infallible history of scripture, assures, that men have turned every one to his own way, erring and straying from the way of God. Thus speaks the Oracle

— And you hath Christ quickened,” &c. Eph. ii. 1, 2,

3... Men are still by nature the same-ignorant, foolish, disobedient, &c. Titus ii. 3, 4, &c. · And they will worse and worse, till the world which once perished for its sin by water, will be utterly destroyed by fire: so that from the beginning to the end of time, there has been one way in which mankind have walked, and that was directly contrary to the way of God. How came Enoch to be singular? He took a different course from his companions; while they all went down the stream, he swam against it. Upon what motive did he act ? He had received the Spirit of life, who had opened his eyes, and made him see his guilt and feel his danger. He was enabled to believe the promise of a Redeemer who should save him from his sins, and his miseries. He rested on the faithfulness of the promiser, and having found joy and peace in believing, he set out to walk with God. He left the course of the world, that he

VOL. VII.

grow

[ocr errors]

might enjoy his friendship, who had said to him—“I am thc way.” That this is a true state of the case, appears from Enoch's conduct with respect to God. Two cannot walk together except they be agreed. The spirit of the world is opposite to the Spirit of God: yea, these two are at such enmity, that nothing can make them love one another; but Enoch was saved from a worldly spirit, he was reconciled to God, and walked with him as his loving father through faith: so says the apostle, Heb. xi. 5, 6. He was a sound believer, and he witnessed it in word and deed-going on in the walk of faith, just as many (365) years, as there are days in the year--pleased all the way with God, and God with him; and then he took him to himself. This also appears from his conduct with respect to the world-He preached against them. He was the seventh from Adam in the holy line, a preacher of the righteousness which is of God by faith. He lived against them. He walked with God," demonstrating the soundness of his principles by an holy walk. His actions declared, that he had found pardon and peace in being reconciled to God through Christ, whose friendship was dearer to him than all the joys of the world; and he prophesied against them. The holy Spirit had revealed to him the punishment that was going to be inflicted for the universal corruption of faith and morals; from which, nothing could save the world, but repentance and turning to God. And he was a true prophet, his words came to pass, as you may read Jude 14, 15. The judgment which he foretold, was executed; and God brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. Moreover, the Lord gave his own testimony to the goodness of Enoch's life, to the truth of his preaching, to the infallibility of his prophecy, by a miracle, as you may read in Genesis, and in Heb. xi. He took him to heaven without dying; hereby giving a demonstration, that Enoch was right with God, and that whoever should walk in the steps of his faith, although he might not be translated to heaven in such a miraculous manner, yet he should most certainly follow him to life and bliss everlasting--My promise is at last fulfilled. These are the outlines as well as I can remember them. The application on the subject of the day was chiefly in the way of exhortation-calling my people to remember Enoch, as I call upon you. The same conviction of sin and danger--the same faith-the same walk of faith, will bring you to the same end.

May Enoch preach to you every day; follow him, and then the year will be happy. To brother _'s case, I am no counsellor.

My judgment is singular perhaps: I am married to my parish ; called by providence; fixed; I do not look out, “should I be better off-more useful,--would it not be of God, if the king should send and offer me the bishoprick of London ?” I have nothing to do with preferment; it is my honour, my profit, my pleasure, to preach at Blackfriars as long as I do preach. Here the head of the church placed me, keeps me: it is my charge-He can do much or little, as it is his holy will, by me—and, the being in his will, is my paradise. But I quarrel with nobody who thinks differently from me. Mrs. R. has Mrs. —'s letter, and I wish her enquiries may be successful: her love and mine Mrs. The wet morning has kept me free from visitors, and given me a long wished opportunity of assuring you, that I daily remember you in the best moments, and recommend you to our best friend. Do not cease to pray

for

W. R.

[ocr errors]

END OF THE SEVENTH VOLUME.

« IndietroContinua »