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ture avail ? or what have we to trust in, to rely or depend upon, but upon God who showeth mercy? and that mercy is Christ Jesus. I commend thee then, with myself, my dear friend, into the arms of this Everlasting Mercy, for safety, keeping, and preservation; for He is, (thou hast hitherto experienced it to be so, and thou wilt do to the end,) that salvation which God hath appointed “for walls and bulwarks;" and the more thou art weakened and reduced, as to thy own strength, the more will His strength be magnified in thy salvation. And I have to believe, and liberty to express it, that the more thou art emptied and humbled, the more abundantly thou shalt be filled with His glory and presence, who is thy life. The deeper thou descendest into suffering and humiliation, the higher shalt thou rise in dominion, with thy suffering, glorified Redeemer; for, as said the apostle, “ If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."
It is in my heart therefore to say, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, let thy wants be made
known unto God; cast all thy care upon
care upon Him, both with regard to soul and body, time and eternity, and He will be every thing to thee thou standest in need of, according to the riches of His mercy in Christ Jesus. And, in-' deed, I see it clearly with an eye of faith, that the Lord, the glorious Lord, both is and will be unto thee, wisdom, righteousness, and strength; thy sword, thy bow, thy battle-axe, thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. I know He is on thy side, encamped round about thee; " and though a thousand fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand," thou shalt be preserved as Mount Sion that cannot be moved. My soul is exceedingly humbled, in thankfulness to the God of all grace, for that, in adorable condescension, He hath vouchsafed to fill my heart at this time, for thy sake no doubt, with such a degree of faith and hope concerning thee, as I am not able to express ;-thanksgiving and praise be to Him therefore.
It has several times struck my mind, whilst I have been writing, and a degree of sympathy has been raised in my heart with thee, that thy present humiliation, and compara
tive uselessness in thy own apprehension, in respect of former service, affect thee with a generous concern, on the church's account, wherein, to be sure, the number of upright labourers is small; but know, my dear friend, nay, thou dost know it, that the work and the power too are the Lord's; that He can work by many or by few, with or without instruments; and I believe He will work marvellously, and by His power carry on His work, and none shall let it. To Him, therefore, let us commit his own cause, desiring, willing, choosing nothing for ourselves, but that His will may be done in us and by us, as it is done in heaven.
I have only to add, that I would have thee in any wise comply with whatever thou thinkest may conduce to thy bodily health, in meet, drink, sleep, and exercise: to do any thing to injure our health, or shorten our lives, is certainly a fault. The blessing of natural life and health, deserves our gratitude and attention; and I believe it equally offensive to defile or to destroy.
I desire to be remembered by thee. It is always pleasing to me to hear from thee.
Give my love to thy husband, in which my wife joins, and to thyself.
In the unfeigned fellowship of the gospel, I conclude at this time, and subscribe myself, thy loving and affectionate friend,
P.S. Thou hast no occasion to fear my being offended at thy having suffered some of my letters to be seen; it is perfectly nothing to me.
To FRANCES DODSHON.
Manchester, 4th Mo. 16, 1780. My dear friend,
It might seem somewhat inconsistent with that friendship which I have often, and with much sincerity, professed for thee, (and which in truth I do constantly possess,) that I have been so long in acknowledging the receipt of thy letter, which, as all thine are, was a welcome one to me; but thou, my
friend, hast been better instructed, wherein the best fellowship consisteth,—not in words, but is beyond them, and standeth on that Foundation which will endure for ever. But the truth is, I had nothing which I believed it to be my business to communicate; at which, indeed, I do not wonder, believing the best of Counsellors, on whom all sure help is laid, to be often near thee; and thou knowest, the more our eye and attention are steadily unto Him, and our only expectation is from Him, the more we are in the way of receiving that help which cometh from Him; and this, thou knowest, is without exception, whatever be our state. To be preserved in faith, in patience, in humility and resignation of mind, in heights, in depths, in the night and in the day, is what I most earnestly desire on my own account; and I believe it to be the happy exercise (and, in good degree, the blessed experience) of my much esteemed friend.
I desire my love to thy husband, whose kindness towards thee, and sympathy with thee, and (according to his measure) bearing a part of thy burden, will, I have no doubt,