« AnteriorContinua »
afraid he soon will, as usual, if we aright know ourselves, and the law, and its author, and at the same time examine our own dispositions and practice for one week, much more a month or year, that we shall be condemned by ourselves, and shut
up; that we can obtain no relief, but by the same power that loosed the bonds of our spiritual death. But I need not, Sir, mention these things to you, neither do I on any other account but to express my own mind to you as a friend, not as attempting in any respect to instruct one at whose feet I am happy to learn. I could not help last night observing the wisdom and truth of God in making all things work for good to them that love him, when I had the happiness to hear such a sermon, occasioned as I suppose chiefly by the incident of your correspondent's letter; and is to me a further proof of the utility of argument, and even in some degree of controversy, in the discovery and defence of the truth. I humbly think, Sir, after preparing such a sermon, and not only so, but in immediate answer to such objections, and in defence of such doctrines; which I believe you yourself are supposed by many to condemn; it would be both doing injustice to your elf, and withholding from the public a valuable means of instruction, if • you do not publish it. About six weeks ago, when you preached at Monkwell street the sermon on the abolition of the authority of the law over
believers in Christ, I was, I must confess, so much taken with it, that I would have almost given any thing for a copy of it; but did not think it was possible you could have time, and take the trouble, to write out at length such a copious discourse before delivery; and, if even you had attempted it afterwards, you could not have come any thing at all near the sentiments, not to say precise words; but, when to my great satisfaction I found it published almost word for word as it was delivered from the pulpit, I must say I was much surprised, and could not help admiring both the natural and gracious qualifications of the author. By the publication of that sermon I believe, Sir, you have at once defended your own cause and that of truth; while you have favoured the public at large, and those who heard it in particular, with an instructive and edifying discourse on the subject. I, among others, was minded to solicit the publication of it, and would actually have taken the liberty, if it had not been for the reasons above mentioned; that I did not think you could either have written it before, or could remember it with any degree of precision afterwards. However, I do not think this preached last night any thing inferior to it; and on this account, Sir, I would earnestly beg of you, that, as you regard the vindication of your character, and your success as a minister of the gospel of
Christ in the conversion of sinners, and the edin cation of saints, either immediately, in your own connexion, or more at large, you will favour them with the publication of it.
I am, Sir,
Your's, with due esteem,
N. FII. To MR. HUNTINGTON,
I desire to return my sincere thanks to Almighty God for hearing and answering my request, in sending you forth this morning to describe the very feelings of my poor soul; for I did not know it was got under bondage to the law; I thought I was an hypocrite, and I desired the Lord to send you to shew me if I was; and if not, that you might bring forth some saint that had been in my state; which the Lord has condescended to do. The Lord grant me a grateful heart for his great mercies. Dear Sir, pray for me, that the Lord may bring my soul out of this prison, that I may praise his holy name; and may the Lord give you a double portion of his Spirit.
Sept. 14, 1794.
HERE are but few of God's children, however dark, weak, or rickety, but what understand something of Satan's violent assaults, blasphemous attacks, cruel accusations, and fiery darts: but, in his transformation into the likeness, character, and office, of an angel of light, he is not so easily perceived, I mean when he goes of his own accord out of a man, and, as an enemy, a vexer, and an accuser, leaves the house empty, swept, and garnished: when he comes also to move the passions of a way-side hearer by an eloquent orator, in order to draw out the bowels of natural affections to the carnal and hypocritical, and to excite enmity to the sovereignty of God, to the ministers of the Spirit, and to mount Zion; when he comes to furnish the head, and illuminate the mind, of a Judas, and make his light darkness; to enforce the law as a rule of life, in order to bring into bondage; to rebuke sin in pious Mary, and enforce liberality from the price of her ointment; to reform outward conduct by a blind zeal, and varnish a sepulchre, or cover with turf an old grave that appears not;