« PreviousContinue »
can adequately express the dreadful tempests some of God's dear chil dren are called to sustain. They pass through fires and floods, but Je hovah is with them, and therefore the flood cannot drown them nor the flame destroy them. And the Lord is rich enough to make them abundant amends for all they can suffer for his sake.
Should famine cast a meagre stare,
And thrust his head within my door; Still let me trust in Jesus' care
To feed and clothe his helpless poor.
Should pain o'er my weak flesh prevail,
And fevers boil within my breast, And heart and strength and reason fail, Be yet my soul on Jesus cast.
In every trial let me be,
Supplied with all-sufficient grace, My spirit calmly, staid on thee,
And sweetly kept in perfect peace.
Through the tender mercy of the Lord, I arrived in safety at my earthly habitation, but I caught a violent cold, which gave me the face ache, with which I had to preach two sermons, on the following Lord's day. But through the Lord's goodness I am relieved from that, but I have a very painful cough, and I am going to walk seven miles to preach, although it snows very heavily. But I care not what I endure for that dear name, that has done so much for me, I hope he will strengthen me a few more fleeting hours, then the storm will be hushed, and I shall rest in his peaceful bosom. I feel experimentally, that I am perfect weakness in myself. It is by grace alone I am enabled to persevere through evil report and good report, in proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. But many have grace in the name, but not in the heart, they are Jews outwardly, but inwardly are ravening wolves, there are some of them outwardly rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing of temporals, yet are so blind in spiritual things as not to know they are poor and blind and miserable and
naked. Many of these are bitter persecutors of God's real servants in secret, they are for revenge as soon as you deal faithfully. They get a lamp without oil, and some the skin of a sheep but not the nature of them. Many of these filthy toads lie under the stones of the temple," the poison of asps is under their lips, and their tongues are set on fire of hell." These move under the garb of brotherly affection and profess to walk in love. By such characters I have often been wounded; and felt it most sorely, and so have many of the Lord's family, for they
"Can smile, and murder while they smile, And cry content to that which grieves their heart,
And wet their cheeks with artificial tears, And frame a face to all occasions."
These are the men who make a fair shew in the flesh yet have a dagger to plant into the breast of the upright in heart in secret and in the dark. But the Lord will sooner or later put to silence the lying lips, which speak grievous things against the righteous. He will hide them in the secret of his presence and protect them from the arrow that flieth at noon day. The times are such, that it is almost im possible for a real servant of the Lord to go to heaven without getting a nick name by the way. But it is better to go to heaven with a nick name, than to go to hell without one. live, says one, in reproaching times; he that is so over dainty of his name, that he cannot bear to see some dirt, and that a good store too, cast upon his back by reviling tongues, must seek a path to travel in by himself to heaven. Although grace does not preserve us from traveller's fare, and keep us from being dashed with calumnies, yet it will do us this kind office, that the dirt which lights on our coat shall not soak into our soul, to damp our joy, and chill our inward comfort. Yea, grace will do more than this, it will not only comfort us
under the persecution of the tongue, but the hand also; not only quench the fire which from thence is spit on our face, by tongues set on fire by bell; but it will comfort us in the very mouth of fire itself, if God shall suffer us by persecutors to be cast into it. For if God is with us we shall want neither company nor comforts. I know no sweeter way to heaven, than through free grace and hard trials together. And where
grace is, hard trials are seldom want. ing. No storms or tempests can hinder the communication of God's favour to his people, for he is " a very present help," a help at hand, even when the sea roars, and is troubled, Psa. xlvi, 1, 2, 3. Proud and secure carnal professors little dream of the near approach of their judgments. While they are plotting their deepest designs the overruling justice of the Almighty hath contrived their sudden confusion and sees and sets them their day. This world is not our rest, it is polluted, we are strangers and pilgrims in it; and we know we have turned the corner, gained the summit, and are going down the hill. The valley of the shadow of death is at the bottom, and then comes the river Jordan, on the other side is the chief mountain, the fountain of life, and the everlasting hills, where we shall see our best beloved and part no more for ever. Therefore may we look out and long for the time, when the day shall break and the shadows flee away, where our transient glances shall be changed into immediate vision and our short tastes into ever
lasting feasting and fulness! Hallelujah!
"Happy the company that's gone
From cross to crown, from thrall to throne;
Death was to them a sweet repose, The bud was op'd to shew the rose, The cage was broke to let them fly, And build their happy nest on high.
The thousandth part they now behold,
They forage in the fields of love.
This, this does heaven enough afford,
Then said I, "Oh to mount away,
I feel obliged to you for the loan of your book, which I found contains thirteen pieces of Mr. H——ʼs Works, and although I have many books published by him, yet I have but three of those contained in your volume, since the reading of which I have read his Arminian Skeleton, and do conclude that it was through his publishing that book, and the Bank of Faith, that so many of the ministers, both amongst the Established Clergy, and the Dissenters rose up in battle array against him. I well remember when I was young, that there was a society of the most popular ministers both in town and country formed with a view of preaching him down, they styled themselves the Evangelical Society, I was present at one of their sermons, in Jewry Street Chapel, when Mr. R. H read and prayed and Mr. M. Wpreached, and when it was over I knew as much of the matter as I did before they began, but this I noticed, and was then a cause of grief and
disappointment to me, the preacher
the gospel, his ministry and character, which in his day were made so useful to expose the errors that abounded; but now there is no such a champion to stand forth and to collar those errors from the press, the few that have light and strength for this work are so crippled in their temporal concerns that they have not the power to buy the publications that the enemy sends forth, nor means to answer them, therefore these authors range through the country as the Philistines did through the holy land, when Israel had no power to oppose them; the most we now have is confined within the walls of a few cha pels.
because he ascribed the glory to God, as a God of proivdence, and cut at the universal charity of fallen man, exposed Arminian pride, Arian, and Socinian errors, and would have no confederacy with those who only sought the praise of men, therefore his name and his work, was by them cast out as evil, they watched to catch him, to expose him to the world, both from the pulpit and from the press, which was the cause of his pubafter died. Some time after that Row-lishing so many books in defence of land Hill preached at the Academy Chapel; I was not present, yet a friend of mine was, and took great trouble to convince me, that Huntington was any thing but a minister of Christ, he belaboured me with Rowland Hill's cudgel, as he knew I leaned towards the coalheaver, but in process of time, I went with this friend to hear himself preach at the Artillery Chapel, and when over I walked home with him, and then I took up the cudgels and shewed him that his ministry was as the wind, as a tinkling sound, to that of the despised coalheaver; I was strong in the faith, and enabled to prove from what he had advanced that he knew not the way of life, the consequence was he walked no more with me, I offered him his books to read, but no, he never had read any, and never would, it was enough to be disgusted with what he had heard minsters say of him, without being disgusted with reading his books. Soon after this one of those ministers was charged with three great crimes, the others met at a tavern to settle it, they then fell out, and from that time I never again heard of the Evangelical Association.
I do not expect that any minister before Mr. H. was ever led to explain the law and the gospel so clearly, and to expound and open up the viith chap. of Romans, and the Galatians, and other parts of the word, that speak of the law as he was, and
In reading the sermon preached on opening the New Chapel I was refreshed, in remembering that circumstance, when such a numerous assembly broke forth in singing the first hymn, that was sung there in public, which was the five last verses of the hundred and thirty second psalm,
"Arise O King of grace arise,
The sensation was so great that I
Will, I have no doubt, pardon my apparent neglect of his kind and affectionate letter; I assure you it is not that you have been forgotten by me, for I know scarcely an individual the recollection of whom gives me equal pleasure. As I consider myself indebted to you instrumentally in making many things clear to my mind at a time when much exercised with things of infinite importance. I now look back with pleasure on the time I tarried in Yeovil, the place where the Lord in his mercy led me to search the scriptures," to distinguish between truth and error, and light and darkness, so that I was led to acknowledge the justice of God in acting in accordance with his will in the armies of heaven, and amongst the inhabitants of the earth however men may oppose his sovereignty, the truth must stand, "he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." This is truly humbling to proud nature, and I cannot believe it possible for any in sincerity and truth, without the enmity of his carnal mind being subdued by God the Holy Ghost, to bow to the divine sovereignty, and say, "thy will be done.' Oh, nothing but free and distinguishing grace can soften the heart, and lead us to see a preciousness in the Lord Jesus, and to behold him as "the chiefest among ten thousand, yea, altogether lovely."
Oh, for grace to feel after the blessed
I shall never forget while my senses are spared me, a sermon preached by you, at a time when I was deploring the carnality of my nature, and wondering that I did not make greater advances in christian perfection, as it is called, from these words,
Slay them not, lest my people forget," in which sermon you were enabled very blessedly to set forth the two natures, which keep up a continual warfare; and you remarked that a child of God when first brought into spiritual liberty, in the days of his first love, imagined that the Canaanites, were slain. Oh no, you said they are only knocked on the head, or as it were stunned for a season. I have
experienced the truth of the assertion,
so that there have been seasons when I have feelingly known that, that which is born of the flesh is flesh. but may we be enabled to rejoice, that notwithstanding all our sin, depravity and hard heartedness, our God changeth not: with him there is no varibleness nor shadow of turning.
I am truly glad to hear that the would-be great men are removed, and that you go on more comfortably. I sincerely hope that your ministry may be more and more blessed, and that you may be the means of bringing many a dear vessel of mercy into the knowledge of the truth. May your ministry be a savour of life unto life to many a sheep redeemed by blood; and the Lord grant you a sweet enjoyment of the truth you set forth in your own soul.
I wish heartily I had now the privilege I once had of hearing you from sabbath to sabbath; it is only when an individual is debarred hear ing a faithful experimental preacher that he can set a proper value on the ministry of a person raised up by God, to separate the precious from the vile. I hope at no distant period I shall have the pleasure of seeing you. I must now conclude, praying that the Spirit of Christ may dwell richly in you, is the sincere desire of your admiring friend,
Jesus Christ will not break the bruised reed, because a contrite heart is his sacrifice. A bruised spirit sends forth tears, which are as precious wine. A bruised soul is big with holy desires, yea, is sick of love; therefore if a bruised reed hath such virtue in it, Christ will not break it; no spices when they are bruised, are so fragant to us, as a contrite spirit is to God.
The bruised reed shall not be broken, because it doth so nearly resemble Christ: Jesus Christ was once bruised on the cross. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, his hands and feet were bruised with the nails; his 'side was bruised with the spear. bruised reed, resembles a bruised Saviour; nay a bruised reed is a member of Christ, which though it be weak, Christ will not cut off, but cherish so much the more.
Will not Christ break the bruised reed? This tacitly implies he will break unbruised reeds, such as were never touched with trouble of spirit, but live and die in impenitentcy; these are hard reeds, or rather rocks. Christ will not break a bruised reed, but he will break an hard reed. Many know not what it is to be bruised reeds; they are bruised outwardly by affliction, but they are not bruised for sin, they never knew what the pangs of the new birth meant. You shall hear some thank God they were always quiet, they never had any great anxiety of spirit, these bless God for the greatest curse. Such as are not bruised penitentially shall be broken judicially, they whose hearts would not break for sin shall break with despair; in hell there is nothing to be seen but an heap of stones and an hammer; an heap of stones, that is, hard hearts; and an hammer, that is, God's power and justice breaking them in pieces.
Will not Christ break a bruised reed? See then the gracious dispo sition of Jesus Christ, he is full of clemency and sympathy; though he may bruise the soul for sin he will not break it.
The surgeon may
lance the body and make it bleed, but he will bind up the wound; as Christ hath beams of majesty, so bowels of mercy: Christ gives the lion in his escutcheon, and the lamb; the lion, in respect of his fierceness to the wicked, and the lamb in respect of his mildness to his people; his name is Jesus, a Saviour, and his office is an healer. Christ made a a plaister of his own blood to heal a broken heart: Christ is the quintessence of love. One saith, it if the sweetness of all flowers were in one flower, how sweet would that flower be? How full of mercy is Christ, in whom all mercy meets. Christ hath a skilful hand, and a tender heart: He will not break a bruised reed.