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but God weigheth the spirits." Secondly, God weighs actions, or works; "God is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” God's balances of justice are his laws. Love to God, to Christ, to truth, and to the saints, is standing weight by the standard of Jerusalem, according to the law of Moses, which requires a just weight and a just balance.
Faith in Christ, and in God through Christ, in the righteousness of Christ, in the word of God, and in the promises of the gospel; this, this is a just weight in the balance of the sanctuary: for if the just are to live by faith, then the believer is just and righteous in his surety, according to the law of faith, and the proclamation of the gospel, which asserts the believer to be complete in him; and if so, then of full weight.
I have long seen my friend in this balance, ascending and descending, as I once was for a long space of time myself; but at a long run, I saw even then, blind as I was, was, that my scale gained, and its opposite mounted. And I as clearly see the scale of sin rise higher and higher, and will in time kick the beam; when my friend in hope, and in Christ the substance of that hope, will come down into the hand of justice full weight. Every conflict adds to the weight of thy scale, but thou wilt find the anchor of hope to hold fast, and abide firm, in all the possession she gains; and when this is the case, Satan's darts will be like straws, his accusations without ground,
and his charges without foundation, and then he will incur another damnation for condemning the just, and moving God against him without cause. Mr Hart, in mentioning three steps of faith, calls the first, believing the record God gives of his Son; this is divine revelation believed in. Secondly, as Christ is the sum and substance of the gospel, he speaks of believing on the Son, as the only -object set forth in the gospel record. And, thirdly, he treats of believing in the Son, by which he means a sensible in-being, or in-dwelling, in Christ, so as to see one's interest clear in him. The curious distinction of being safe, and not sound, I must leave. I know of no safety but in Christ; and if in him, we must be sound in the faith and perfect too; for Paul says we are complete in him, and Christ says without spot. God bless you! So prays the Coalheaver.
To the Rev. J. JENKINS.
I AM still permitted to remember my friend before God with confidence, freedom, and boldness. I evidently see in yours the struggles, the vigour, and the life of hope. This anchor may
lay dormant, and be covered with hurry, bustle, and confusion; but the principle, the habit, cannot be lost, being a grace or fruit of the Spirit, and coupled with everlasting consolation, which is the attendant on a good hope through grace. This hope is the smoking flax that shall not be quenched, because it pants, longs, looks out, and expects the love of God to cast out fear; love being the fire, and hope the smoke, that keeps ascending and aspiring after it. The bruised reed is the frail man, wounded in spirit. The flax is the faculties of the soul, chafed, tried, wounded, and sore broken, ready every moment to take fire, and often fearing the fire of hell. Love divine is what the soul longs for; and hope, attended with intense desires after that which we hope for, is the smoke that keeps ascending after it; and this love being in hope, though not in the enjoyment of it, is that little heat which feeds the smoke and keeps it ascending. This is the smoke by day, as love is the flaming fire by night, Isaiah iv. 5. Moreover, hope gets more firm, and gains a stronger hold by trials; it is an anchor of the soul, which the floods of temptation, and the overwhelming billows of corruption cannot break. Keep your eye upon hope, watch it, observe the workings of it, and the strength of it, the firmness of it, and its vigorous efforts; and depend upon this, that God is in it; he is the God of hope. It is experience that worketh hope; but then, mind what that experience is that produceth hope. It is the ex
perience of comfort that works hope. "Whatso ever was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope." And I know that you have experienced comfort enough to produce hope. Faith springs from power, hope from comfort, and love from itself; we love, because we are loved. I thank you for the tidings of those two persons you mentioned; the account furnished me for a thank-offering to God, who regards the prayer of the destitute, and does not despise their prayer. And let my dear friend acknowledge every respite, revival, refreshing, and renewing, and not be unmindful of his benefit: thousands in this world would give a thousand worlds for the hope that he has.
To the Rev. J. JENKINS.
I A AM more and more convinced of the faithfulness of God to the word of his grace, and especially this promise, which more immediately respects myself at this time, and is descriptive of my present engagements: "They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the
seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them," Isaiah lxv. 23. The whole crop of incorruptible seed comes into the heart at once; the Holy Spirit descends as the spirit of all grace and of supplication, and quickens the soul at once. This makes our feelings keen, the soul conceives life and immortality at once, and this brings on the labour, and others are set to travail for such souls. Soon after this operation, however imperceptible to us, grace appears; God, and the things of God, engage the mind, employ our thoughts, and will be uppermost; and awe, reverence, and fear of God, discover themselves. Faith in the truth, justice, holiness, immutability, and terrible majesty of God, works strongly in us, though as yet we cannot claim his love, his mercy, or his promised salvation; future trials are to discover that. And when the fiery trial comes on, then is grace to maintain the fight, while the dross and tin consume in the flames. In this furnace God tries us to the quick, that we may know what that treasure is, and what that grace can do that he has put into our hearts; and we at the same time prove him, and try the tried stone, and sure foundation, that he has laid in Zion, and watch narrowly to see if he is faithful and true to his promises, and to us poor needy, perishing sin ners, whose cases the scriptures describe, to whom the invitations are proclaimed, and to whom the promises are made; and if we can find the least failure here, or the least short-coming, or if we