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k: To wait in deep resignation, and with a constant atten
tion to what the Lord will please to do, or say, concerning us, and his Church: And to leave to him the times
and the seasons, is what I am chiefly called to do; taking se care in the mean while of falling into either ditch :
I mean into speculation, which is careless of action, or into the activity, which is devoid of spirituality. I would not have a lamp without oil, and I could not have oil without a lamp, and a vessel to hold it in for myself, and to communicate it to others.
I thank you, my dear friend, for the books you have S#: sent me. My good wishes attend your brothers. Fare you all well in Christ : So prays,
Here is my
I SHALL never forget the mercy, which the living and the dead have shewed me; but the sight of Mr. Greenwood in his son, has brought some of my Newington scenes fresh to my remembrance, and I beg leave to convey my tribute of thanks back by bis hands. Thanks! Thanks! What, nothing but words? humbling case! I wish to requite your manifold kindness, but I cannot; and so I must be satisfied to be ever your insolvent debtor. Nature and grace do not love it. Proud nature lies uneasy under great obligations, and thankful grace would be glad to put something in the scale opposite to that, which you have filled with so many favours. But what shall I put? I wish I could send you all the bank of England, and all the gospel of Christ; but the first is not mine, and the second is al. ready yours ; so praying the Lord Jesus to make up my deficiencies with you, as he has done with his Father, I remain your still unprofitable, and still obliged Lazarus,
To Mr. John Fennel.
MADELEY, Nov. 28, 1784.
I REJOICE to hear that you think of a better world, and of the better part, which Mary, and your late mo. ther, another Mary, chose before you; may all her prayers, but above all, may the dew of heaven, come down upon your soul in solemn thoughts, heavenly de. sires, and strong resolutions to be the Lord's, cost what it will.- Let the language of your heart and lips be, at any rate,-“ I will be a follower of Christ ;-yea, a member of his, a child of God,—and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven :" A noble promise this! And of which I have so peculiar a right to put you in mind. But in order to be this happy and holy soul, you must not for. get that your Christian name, your Christian vows, and ten thousand reasons besides, bind you to turn your back upon the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to set yourself steadfastly to look to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; to your Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
My dear John, you have no time to lose: We have calls here to the young without end ; they die fast. I lately buried two brothers and sisters in the same
also ready!—I was some nights ago praying for you on my bed, in my sleepless hours, and I asked for you the faith of righteous Abel, the chastity of Joseph, the early piety of Samuel, the right choice
of young Solomon, the self-denial and abstinence of Daniel, together with the zeal and undaunted courage of his three friends. But above all, I asked, that you might follow John the Baptist, and John the Apostle, as they followed our Lord. Back, earnestly, constantly back my prayer. So shall you be faithful, diligent, and godly ; a blessing to all around you; and a comfort to your affectionate old Friend and Minister,
To the Right. Hon. Lady Mary Fitzgerald.
MADELEY, Feb. 11, 1785. Mercy, righteousness, peace, and joy be multiplied to dear Lady Mary, and to all who are dear and near unto her, from the Father of mercies, through the Son of his boundless love, and through the Spirit of infinite love, which the Father breathes continually towards the Son, and the Son towards the Father ! So prays John Fletcher. And who are we, my Lady, that we
should not be swallowed up by this holy, loving, living r Spirit, which fills heaven and earth ? If we could ex
clude bim from our hearts, we might vilely set up self i in opposition to him, who is all in all. But whether we
consider or not, there he is, a true, holy, loving, merciful God. Assent to it, my Lady ; believe it, rejoice in it. Let him be God all in all; your God in Christ Jesus; your Brother, who is flesh of your flesh, bone of your bone; your Surety, who payeth all your debt, in whom the Father was reconciling you and us unto himself, and in whom we are accepted. What an ocean of love to
swim in- to dive into! Don't be afraid to venture, and $
to plunge with all yours : Especially our dear friends in
Gand Mrs. L- &c.
To Mr. Henry Brooke.
MADELEY, Feb. 28, 1785.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
I am now led to be afraid of that in my nature, which would be for pomp, show, and visible glory. I am afraid of falling by such an expectation into what I call a spiritual judaizing; into a looking for Christ's coming in my own pompous conceit, which might make me reject him, if his wisdom, to crucify mine, chose to come in a meaner way; and if, instead of coming in his Father's glory, he chose to come meek, riding, not on the cherubim, but on the foal of an ass Our Saviour said, with respect to his going to the feast, My time is not yet come:' Whether his time to come and turn the thieves and buyers out of the outward church is yet come, I know not. I doubt Jerusalem, and the boly place, are yet given to be trodden under foot by the Ged. tiles. But my Jerusalem! Why it is not swallowed up of the glory of that which comes down from heaven, is a question, which I wait to be solved by the teaching of that great prophet, who is alone possessed of Urim and Thummim. The mighty power to wrestle with him is all divine; and I often pray,
That mighty faith on me bestow,
Which cannot ask in vain,
Till I my suit obtain :
Till thou into my soul inspire,
That perfect love unknown,
• Whate'er thou wilt, be done.'
In short, the Lord crucifies my wisdom and my will every way; but I must be crucified as the thieves. « All my bones must be broken ;' for there is still in me that impatience of wisdom, which would stir, when the tempter says, “Come down from the cross.' It is not for us to know the times and seasons, the manner and mystical means of God's working ; but only to hunger and thirst, and lie passive before the Great Potter. In short, I begin to be content to be a vessel of clay or of wood, so I may be emptied of self, and filled with my God, my all. Do not give up your confident hope: It saves still secretly, and hath a present, and, by and by, vill have a great recompence of reward. We are, your obliged Friends,
To Mr. Melville Horne.
MADELEY, May 10, 1785.
I am sorry you should have been uneasy about the books : I received them safely, after they had lain for some time at Salop. I seldom look into any book, but my Bible; not out of contempt, as if I thought they could not teach me what I do not know; but because “ Vita brevis, Ars longa:" I may never look into either of them again.
Go on improving yourself by reading, but above all by meditation and prayer : And allow our Lord to refine you in the fire of temptation. Where you see a want, at home or abroad, within or without, look upon that want as a warning to avoid the cause of the leanness you perceive, and a call to secure the blessings, which are ready to take their fight; for sometimes true riches, like