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When my life and reputation were both equally ftruck at, by the hellish plot laid against me by that man, who instead of hanging me would have hanged himself, who wrought my escape and deliverance from that deftroyer, but the wonderworking providence of Jehovah!
Such plots as the two last-mentioned have proved fuccefsful to the deftroying thousands of other men, but me they could not reach, because I was hid in the hollow of God's providential hand!
That finful defperation and unbelief while under the terrors of the law, which fent Cain, Judas, and innumerable millions of Adam's reprobate pofterity to hell, the place of the damned; what hindered that it did not fix me in the fame place and condition of mifery, when by the raging power thereof I was brought fo near hell, in my own apprehenfions, as that I looked on myself as a free denifon of that place? What, I fay, kept me back from defcending into that place but the providence of God, discovering and applying to me, by the faving operation of the Holy Ghoft, the Almighty Saviour held forth in the gospel?
See, and learn hence, how like an abfolute and unlimited fovereign the great God did work in my behalf; and that in behalf of my foul as well as my body!
He, who by the miniftry of man, hath by his own bleffing accompanying that, his own ordinance, converted innumerable thousands of the elect, it pleafed him to convert and call me out of my natuaral state to a state of grace, without the miniftry of man; and that both by awakening and wounding me by the spirit of bondage, fetting home by the law the fight and sense of my loft eftate, and by healing and curing the bleeding wounds of my despairing foul, by the spirit of adoption discovering and applying to me the merit and saving virtue of Chrift's mediatorial righteousness ; which hath occafioned my often thinking of what is storied of Achilles, a notable archer among the heathen, who gave fuch wounds by the arrows he fhot, as no hand but his own could cure. Una eademque manus, vulnus, opemque tutit. The selffame hand which gave the wound, brought the cure. How true this is of Achilles I am uncertain; but in this, of the wounding and healing of my foul, I am not more certain of any thing in nature than I am that the spirit of Chrift, which wounded me by the law, did also heal me by the gospel. Job v. 18. For be maketh fore, and bindeth up; be woundeth, and his hands make whole.
See, and learn hence, how ftedfaft and faithful God is to his promife. When, for Christ and the gofpel, I was forfaken and caft off by my father
and all other fleshly relations, being turned out empty handed to the wide world, and not knowing whither to go, or what to do, God took care of me, and provided a lodging and friends for me, which, with the peace of my confcience, gave me more fatisfaction and comfortable content than all the gallantry and greatnefs of my fleshly relations. Thofe fweet promifes, recorded in the fcriptures and made good by the providence of God, have oftentimes refreshed and ravifhed my penfive and weary foul. Pfalm xxvii. 10. When my father and my mother forfake me, then the Lord will take me up. Matt. xix. 29. And every one that hath forfaken boufes, or brethren, or fifters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my name's fake, fhall receive an bundred fold; and fhall inherit eternal life. Heb. xiii. 5. Let your converfation be without covetousness, and be content with fuch things as ye have; for he bath faid, I will never, never, never, never, leave thee, nor forfake thee. The Greek hath no less than five negatives in this one fcripture to affure the true believer that God will in nowife forget or forfake him. I have been forfaken of my nurse when but three months old, but I was taken into the nursery of God's providential care, which caufes me often to think with comfort of Pfalm xxii. 1o. I was caft upon thee from the womb; thou art my God from my mother's belly. The fame providence which took care of the head takes care alfo for the members.
I was forfaken of my bodily phyfician; but the great Physician of foul and body cured me by poor contemptible fnails.
I was forfaken of my earthly father, and all fleshly relations; but God is become, by grace and free adoption, my father, who will never forfake me totally or finally.
I was forfaken by my brethren and fifters; but those who are the fons and daughters of God, they are become my brethren and fifters: and albeit many of them who know me not, are, on malicious reports, prejudiced against me; yet others of them who know me, and God's dealing with me, love me dearly.
I have been forfaken by feveral of my churchmembers in Ireland and England; Chrift my Lord and Master hath been so before me. John vi. 66. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.-Yet God is my God ftill.
I have been forfaken of my brethren in the facred office, and left to ftand alone, when popery and quakerism were coming in like a flood, none stepping in to help or encourage me against thofe adverfaries of God's religion; but he that stood by Paul, when all other preachers in his day forfook him, stood by me, and emboldened me against their threats and malice.
I had thoughts of printing the most material objections brought in by Satan to distress and distract