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There being so many various classes of Narrow-souls, it is iinpossible to give a particular description that would exactly suit them all; for, in many instances, they materially differ from each other, yet, in the general outline of their character, there is a very striking resemblance. As for example, they are universally contracted in their views, selfish in their aims, mean in their pursuits, and miserable in their tempers; unhappy in themselves, and the source of unhappiness to all about them, especially their inferiors and dependents,
TO MR. S. SHEAPE, LONDON.
The generous present of books sent me by the Society* and yourself, demanded my grateful thanks long ago. But, partly, I was hindered by an extraordinary work; and, partly, I was willing to communicate something of the success of that work, when I should be acknowledging the receipt of those books, which came so providentially to help me in it. It was but a week after the tooks came to my hands, that there was a very singular call for them; and I was particularly pleased that it had been so seasonably put in my power to give every soldier a “ Compassionate Address:" a tract, for size, matter, and address, the fittest in the world for their use. You perceive, the work I mean has been among soldiers ; three companies of whom, announting to about 160 men, were sent to winter with us the beginning of November. I endeavoured to lose no time with them; but, without delay, preached a sermon extraordinary on their account, the Lord's Day afternoon, called by the people here, The Soldiers' Sermons. There was great difficulty to get their attendance to hear it: for, though they are ordered to be at church in the morning, and brought thither by their officers, yet their manner has been to turn off at the door. In this point I was helped by the zeal of iny dear people of the society, who made it their business to speak to these poor creaturcs; giving thein proper advice, and prevailing with a few of thein to be at church, as was wished. They soon became a large number: and our labours were so blessed to then and us, that in less than three weeks a full hundred of them came to my house, asking what they must do. This was what I aimed at, an opportunity of personal and free application. The effects have been very striking. One or two of the whole only excepted, you would have seen their countenances changing,
* The Society for promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor.
ORIGINAL LETTER FROM MR. WALKER. 243 tears often bursting froin their eyes, and confessions of their exceeding sinfulness and danger breaking from their mouthy, I have scarcely heard such a thing as self-excusing from any of them; wbile their desire to be instructed, and uncommon thankfulness for the least pains used upon them by any of us, have been very remarkable. Such promising symptoms gave me great confidence it would come to something; and more so, when I found that many of them were greatly stirred up to pray.
Many of them, as was to be expected, soon went back. Nevertheless, thus far both they and the others, who never came near me, are plainly influenced, that a certain fear has restrained them from swearing and cursing (which, when they came hither, was universally their practice); has engaged thein to attend public worship; and at least so far biassed their conduct, that military punishments are grown much less frequent among them. There are about twenty who have kept close to the means; and concerning whom I have encouraging hope that a good work is begun in them. Indeed, conviction of sin appears to have gone deep with them; and they are crying after Christ with such marks of godly sorrow, as make me hope it is, indeed, sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation.
These, I intend, shall be united together when they leave us, under the name of The Soldiers' Society; having already drawn up regulations for that purpose, in such a latitude as will consist with their being of different communions. While here, they make part of our society; by the exercises of which, as well as by meetings I particularly give them for their use, they seem to be much established. What such a society of soldiers may produce amongst that body of men, God only knows. Yet I would comfort myself with the hope, it may please the Lord it shall go farther.
It may be observed, that seven of these, viz. six Scotchmen and one English Dissenter, have enjoyed the benefit of religious knowledge in their youth : the rest I find totally ignorant of every thing relating to Christ, except two. Concerning the former, I cannot but admire the mysteriousness of God's ways, in leading them from one end of the island quite to the other, to do his work upon them. Yet, withal, there is an evident reasonableness in this procedure; for by some unaccus. tomed outbreakings in their conduct, since they have been soldiers, they were become more open to conviction. The ignoịance of the others has furnished me with a new and more enlarged ground of lamenting the superficial use, or total neglect, of catechizing among us; to which, I must think, is to be singularly ascribed our sad estate respecting practical religion.
Such a display of divine grace as I have been representing, ought it not to be regarded as a token for good? It is plain, Sir, the Lord has not forsaken us utterly, And may we pot reason. ably hope he will be with our armies, if his servants fight in the battles? I can enlarge no more at present. I beg you, dear Sir, to present my respectful thanks to the society, and that you will inform them of the use made of their bounty. I beseech you remember us at the throne of grace; and be assured that I am, very sincerely, Your affectionate friend
and servant in the Lord, Truro, Jan. 6, 1756.
II. LETTER OF THE REV. DR. CONYERS. As scarcely any remains of the late Rev. Dr. Conyers, Rector of St.
Paul's, Deptford, are in passession of the public, we trust that the following letter, written by him to one of his spiritual children, will not be unacceptable.
My dearest and best beloved Child,
I received your kind and very affectionate letter; but have been prevented answering you, time after time, by indisposition, fatigue, and the daily calls of my ministry. I perceive, that when you wrote to me, you were still labouring under your usual deadhess of soul: it is a heavy trial, but God will appear for you. I would recoinmend, and you have often heard me recommend, a serious meditation upon the sufferings of our Lord: I would set before your eyes that eternal life which is with him, and in him; I would point out to you a thousand lovelinesses in our great Deliverer; I would set before you delicious fare ; but, iny child knows I cannot provide binn an appetite; yet, at the same time, he knows who can, and who will." O call upon him, cry mightily to him, give him no rest, till you are made a living temple of the Holy Ghost,—till you are baptized with fire from above,-a fire that will burn up all your dross. Your Lord has long delayed his coming, but glorify his name by a steady trust in him; let not an unbelieving thought enter into your heart; the strength of Israel cannot lie. Look to it, that you stumble not at your own infirmities: his mercy is undeserved mercy; his grace is free grace. Labour not for qualifications: I know of none we have, except misery and helplessness, and wretchedness and sin; the rest is absolutely all his own. Labour after a will swallowed up in the will of God; labour after holy and sanctified affections; call for grace, to enable you to mortify the corruptions of the flesh, and to bring your passions into a swee obedience to the Lord Jesus,
I long after you,
THE GREAT ASSIZE.
There is scarcely any situation or circumstance in and from which (when in a suitable frame of mind) we may not derive instruction. I have lately been a witness of the solemnities and proceedings of a country assize; and as they much inerested me, I shall, without reserve, communicate to you iny reflections upon the occasion. When the trumpets proclaimed the approach of the Judge, with bells ringing, &c. I could not help thinking of that solemn, yet joyful period to the believer, when he shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; “whom having not seen, he has loved, and in whom, though now hie. sees him not, yet believing, he was oft rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and full of glory." Oh, who can speak the rapturous delights of such an interview! « Lo!” (says the redeemed sonl to an assembled universe) “this is my God! I have waited for him ! this is my Beloved, and this is my Friend !" Oh, the triumphs of such an exclamation! “And thou" (says the Lord of glory, in return)“ art all fair, my love! there is no spot in thee!"
While the aforementioned circumstances of joy attended the entrance of the judge into the town, I could not help contrasting them with the doleful situation of the poor prisoners, who, coufined in the gaol, were awaiting their expected trials. With what trepidation, incthought, would they hear the trumpets sound! the approach, not of their friend, but of their judge; not of their deliverer, but of him whose office, probably, soon it would be to condemn them to banishinent, or to death! But with what awful dismay and terror, thought I, will the unconverted singer, in the last day, hear the loud trumpet sound, “ Awake, ye dead, and come to judgment!" and to this buih saint and sinner must be called; for we" must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.” Oh, my soul! fis first thy thoughts upon thyself: art thoa prepared to meet thy God? is thy lamp trimmed and burning against the bridegroom comes ? Art thou not only a professor, but a possessor? Hast thou not only a name to live, but a name likewise written in the Lamb's book of life? Hast thou evidences of an interest in luis lore? Art thou dying daily to the world, to thy sins, to thyself? Are thy proud thoughts humbled in the dust? Art thou content to be nothing, that Jesus may be all? Art thou satisfied that no other name is given among men whereby thou canst be saved, but the name of Christ alone? Art thou not only conscious of inward depravity, but mourning over it, and longing for deliverance from it? and that, not only from its apprehended consequence, the wrath of God; but also because it has pierced the heart, and occasioned the agonies of thy Redeemer: Art thou panting for holiness, not with a view of thereby justifying thiye
self before God, but because thy God is holy, and thou desirest to be like him? Then rejoice! the solemnities of the judgmentday need not affright thee; the books may be opened, and the judge be set, and thou mayest be called: the henvens may depart, the elements may melt, the rocks may be loosened, the whole world may be in Hames, still thou art safe: the Lord is thy portion; and because he lives, because he loves, because he redeeins, because he justifies, thou shalt live also. But if thyu art still a stranger to his grace; if thou knowest nothing of that change of heart which all his people experience; if thou art resting upon righteous self, and looking to that rather than to bim for salvativn, thy case is dreadful: thou art dreaming of security on the brink of diestruction and of liberty while bound in chains; and the officer is at hand to lead thee to death, to death not temporal, but eternal !
ANSWER TO A QUERY.
The observation of your correspondent, who signs Jop, in the Evangelical Magazine for January, respecting the use of the Hebrew verb, is ingenious; and bis Query worthy attention. He requests to have the passages where the same mode of expression is used (as in Gen. xxii. 17.“ In blessing, I will bless. ihee,” &c.) pointed out, and the propriety of his remark ex. amined. Perhaps the following observations may, in some measure, satisfy his enquiry.
Mr. Parkhurst, in his Hebrew Lexicon, coinciding with your correspondent's sentiment, observes, “ Hebrew verbs are fres quently joined with tleir infinitives; w'aich latter may then be rendered as participles active; or as the Latin gerunds in do. This sort of expression, generally, if not always, denotes succession, or continuance, as Gen. xxii. 17. “ In blessing, I will bless, fic. i. e. I will continually bless thee.”—The same mode of expression, upon the same subject, is used in Joshua xxiv. 10, “Therefore he blessed you still." } Chron. iy. 10. “O that ihou wouldest bless me indeed.” Mr. P. does not say that succession is the constant import of this mode of expression, but that it is generally so. That succession, or continuance, is the proper meaning of the expression in some passages, may be adinited; but that it is the radical, or uniforin sense, does not to me appear evident. Nor, indeed, does it intend the certainty or importance of the subject, as the radical import of the phrase, any more than the continuance of the action; for no one precise idea will apply io all the passages where it is so used. The true import of the expression is to be collected from the verh and its connexion : the intinitive being used adverbially, in some