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A LETTER FROM MR. E. PARSONS
TO A SISTER IN THE FAITH.
by and by, in order to save their credit is the shepherd of Israel, from hencethey say it is a new disease they forth and for ever, speak good of his
before. But nothing narne. This shepherd of Israel is baffles the skill of our shepherd ; he then the speaker in the text. There has skill to heal the diseases of his
are many other precious things in sheep, he covers the whole ground, the text, and as we are just comhe makes up a composition himself, mencing the subject, just got into the the same ingredients are employed : porch, and as far as relates to him, I one is blood, and another is love, am at a loss what to say, lest I mercy, grace, and truth, this variety should leave unsaid any thing that of things all make this compound, that ought to be said, as not the which is brought forward by this half has been said nor ever will be ; Physician, he knows the depth of as time admonishes me, I will, God the disease within, how long it has willing, preach this afternoon if my been standing, how deep seated, with- strength will permit. We shall not out feeling the pulse, or looking at do wrong in resuming this endearing the tongue, he can see the inward subject, when we meet again. Goci part, and as soon as ever the appli- bless the few hints dropped and his cation is made the dying man springs name shall have all the praise. up and says, “ Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together." Such is the astonishing skill of our shepherd, he heals poor broken hearted sheep; he is unlike all other physicians, because if you are Dear Friend, recovered what a dreadful after clap comes in the shape of a long bill,
May the God of grace, it may be twenty, thirty, forty, or mercy and truth be with you, through even fifty pounds, though you feel our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. restored that comes high. But here Having an hour to spare, I will it is all gratuitous, without money, drop you a line or two, God willing, without price.
Will this produce by way of answer to your's. You nothing worthy of notice? It will first tell me, that you could not hear produce every thing to the soul Mr. G-. for noise and confusion, alhealed; this bows him down in con- though it was your desire: a plain trition, gratitude, and godly sorrow. proof that the man's voice is of no What a pleasure to such, how they use, be he who he may, without the will try to exalt the divine Redeemer, power to a living child of God; and speak of his faith, his skill, and that we his children, cannot rivet our knowledge of things, his goodness, attention, nor have one good thought compassion, his boundless mercy and nor desire without the almighty grace grace. How cheerfully does
of Jehovah: neither can we overcome break forth, and in songs sublime he the devil, nor rout from our minds his repeats :
awful temptations, only as our God
is pleased to give us strength, so to “ What was there in me that could me it do by faith, in the blood of the Lamb it be so, why am I thus." I should Then you say, you feel dark, sinful wonder if you could, seeing one of and ignorant, that you do not think the greatest apostles living was not any ever felt as you do, Job says, sufficient of himself to think a good “ He hath set darkness in my path." thought: and this teaching brings us Jeremiah, “ He hath led me into feelingly to know, that all
esteem, Or give the Creator delight,
and testimony of Jesus. This is the Even so Father, we ever must sing
victory that overcomes the world, even For 80 it seem'd good in thy sight.”
our faith. In your way home you
could not think of any thing of what This is the happy conclusion, he I spoke of on the sabbath, only “if
sufficiency darkness and not into light." David, is of God the Holy Ghost. He shall " I was as a beast before him." The bring all things to your remembrance light discovers our darkness and sinfulwhatsoever I have told you. You ness, and life gives us to feel our did right in praying to the Lord, to wretchedness and misery as lost sinturn away your eyes from beholding ners in the sight of God, and leads us vanity : but the Lord did much to groan and sigh for deliverance from righter in laying afflictions upon your the curse of the law, the hands of loins and a heavy burden upon your justice, the power and dominion of mind, and by his light discovering to sin, from the world, the cruel oppresyou the evils of your heart, which sion of the devil, and from darkness, lead you to see where all the rest of bondage, hardness of heart, blindness the world is, and in this way the dear of mind, rebellion, desperation, and Lord is pleased to shew and keep from wrath eternal to this almighty his children from evil—" Before I deliverer of his people Jesus, " They was afflicted I went astray.” “In shall cry unto me, saith God, and I very faithfulness hast thou afflicted will send them a great Saviour, and me.'
Under this divine teaching we he shall deliver them." Remember lose our taste for worldly pleasure, that a poor sinner sunk under the and all its charms die. The words sentence of the law, and bowed down that the Lord gave you are precious under a deep sense of his sin and words, “ I will help, &c.," and was guilt by the Spirit's conviction, never a token for good, and which you can raise his soul to a hope in the ought to treasure up as the words of mercy of God in Christ; but as the a faithful God in covenant, and plead same blessed Spirit works faith in his the same, and for the fulfilment heart to enable him, so that every risthereof, although they did not come ing up of hope from the word that with that power as at other times. you have, whether preached in secret, Yet, remember the Lord gave them or in reading the same is from the at a time when suited to the state Lord, and should encourage you in which you was placed. Again, you more and more to hope for better days say when you was sunk very low, and and greater manifestations of his love, concluding all was lost, and that you “He that has begun the good work had no God, Christ, or hope ; then in you, will carry it on until the day is the time for the Lord to work, as of Christ." “ The Lord direct you is plain he did by the words of Mr. heart into the love of God, and into H's. hymn, this is as a word in sea- the patient waiting for Christ.” Reson, like apples of gold in pictures member me to your dear old father, of silver, which was a word of life, may my God bless him in life and for you say, it was turned into prayer, death, not forgetting mother, brothers and this prayer was directed to God and sisters, with all that love a prethe fountain of life, so that it was a cious Jesus; my wife joins in the same. word of life to thy poor soul ; and I have been very busy in my
Master's then it follows, that life is received by work of late, may he bless it to many the word into the heart, and the re- God bless you, so prays cipient of it must be a living soul,
having done any good or evil, that
the purpose of God according to elecA Dialogue between Stephanus, tion might stand, not of works, but Aristarchus, and Epaphras.
of him that calleth: it was said unto
her, “ The elder shall serve the (Continued from page 58.)
younger; as it is written, Jacob have
I loved, but Esau have I hated." Furthermore, it was preached to
Therefore his counsel shall stand, and Abraham in the promised seed, in he will do all his pleasure, and whose Isaac who was a figure of Christ, it
purposes ever will be fulfilled in all was set forth to Israel by the brazen serpent, it was prefigured by the types of some, and in the effectual calling
the race of Adam, in the reprobation and shadows of the ceremonial law, which was the Jewish gospel, it was through to the everlasting kingdom.
of his people, and in all they pass set forth in the ministry of the pro
For the apostle informs his son phets, and then came the forerunner of his Master, John the Baptist, and called us with an holy calling, not
Timothy, “ Who hath saved us, and thus began his declaration, “ Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven according to our works, but according
to his own purpose
which is at hand: for this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, the world began.” 2 Tim. i. 9.
was given us in Christ Jesus before saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way
'Twas his own purpose that began of the Lord, make his paths straight.'
To rescue rebels doom'd to die ; Matt. iii. 2, 3. Then comes John's He gave us grace in Christ his Son, Master, " the faithful and true wit- Before he spread the starry sky. ness, and the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of Step.-What a sandy foundation the earth." Rev. i. 5.
are they on, who deny, and with all mised seed is the cabinet wherein all their might fight against those sweet God's jewels were secured, the head truths, you have been relating. The of the covenant, the husband of the purpose of God some assert is horrid, church, the gospel in all its glory, he and everlasting love a dreadful declarbeing the substance from everlasting, ation ; however, though I am a poor the beginning and the end, the first crawling worm, this I know, that as and the last, and the Amen. The many as are ordained to eternal life, purpose of God in the gospel is from shall believe, but no more : everlasting, let men rage and fight he will have mercy, on whom he will with all their power against so glori- have mercy; and whom he will he ous a plan. Have you never read hardens; for it is not of him that the apostle's observation to the willeth, nor of him that runneth, but Ephesians, where he is setting forth of God that sheweth mercy.” Rom. the hidden mystery of Christ, and of ix, 16, 17, 18. the salvation of the Gentiles, that it Aris. — Very right Stephen, con
According to God's purpose, fident I am, free-will has lost its and that purpose was eternal which power through the fall, however man he purposed in Christ Jesus." Eph. may boast of it; for as you observed iii. 11. And when speaking of elec- 'you are a crawling worm, and I am tion, he tells the Romans, in the ixth. sure, neither you or I should have chapter and 11th verse, “For the crawled out of the holes among the children being not yet born, neither bats, unless eternal life had been
communicated to our souls, And heart being prepared by him, and not blessed be the God and Father of by form, nor yet by notion. When our Lord Jesus Christ, that has re- the Lord made me sensible of my membered us, and made us to differ wants and my fallen condition, I was by his grace; and that shall be my glad to get into any corner (but not song through time, and to all eter- into the corners of the streets with nity.
the Pharisees, for they love to be Step.And my song also : though seen of men) where no eye could see my harp is often out of tune, and me, but his, and pour out my heart, many fears I have on my way to the before him, shew before him my city.
trouble, and beg him to communicate Epap.-True, Stephen, our harps that to my soul which I sensibly felt are often out of tune, but the Lord my need of. And this is prayer inis such a skilful musician, that in a deed, for none can make me feel my moment one touch from him, sets all wants, and prompt my soul to call in motion. I sometimes ascend my upon God, but the Holy Ghost, who pulpit, as distressed and uneasy as ą is the helper of my infirmities. Rom. poor creature can possibly be ; but viii. 26. when he appears, aļl the springs begin Step.-Then from your description, to play. I must depart, time hastens I am a poor supplicant at the footon, they will expect me to-morrow stool of mercy ; and they who adwith tidings, as usual, and you know here to form, are welcome; God give our exchange business is never done, me to enjoy the power of prayer, and Aris.--Let us have a little more
be a prevailing Israel. You are like Abraham's
Epap.--Broken language, true feelservant, you are richly laden with ings, earnest desires, heart pantings, jewels of the best quality; and as
and sincere longings, is the inspiration for your spices, nuts and almonds, of the Lord in the heart.
Every with the powders of the heavenly sigh from inward abominations, every merchant, there is none to excel them; though to numbers your jewels burdens, shall never lose their way
groan from the experience of soul are not valuable, nor are your spices,
up to the throne, and be accepted on blessed be God, with the offspring of the golden altar. As the poet sweetly
describes the prayers of our first Zion, both me and Stephen prove the
parents, after their recovering from sweetness and the excellent virtue
the fall. there is in them, for they spring from him in whom all fulness dwells.
To heaven their prayers flew up, nor miss'd Step.-My beloved Epaphras, I The way, by enyious winds blown vagabond have heard many who call themselves Or frustrate : in they pass'd dimensionless christians, despise and laugh at ex
Thro' heavenly doors ; they clad with intemporary prayer, saying, it is not
Where the golden altar fum'd, by their methodical, as they consider we should Great Intercessor, came in sight before the address the Almighly in a compre, Father's throne. hensive form of words.
Epap.-A man will never pray, Prayer is a sure weapon, and will sue, not cry to God, until he is conquer. Abraham's servant proved awakened to a sense of his misery: it in meeting with Rebecca. Isaac and as the Holy Ghost is the only entreated the Lord for his wife's conspring of motion, such being quick- dition, and God enabled her to conened, worship God in the Spirit, their ceive. Jacob proved its power with
God and with man. Hannah asked prized some hundreds through the Samuel, and got him after much good hand of God towards me : and wrestling. Indeed time would fail I shall surprize numbers more yet, me to tell of Samuel, David, and the understand me, I mean not by my prophets ; but it sufficeth to say, that doings, but what God will do for I well know prayer to be a bulwark me, and by me, for he is faithful that against the devil, and a heavenly promised. Hebrews i. 23. And my trading between God and my soul: venerable father and mother, Abraand though at times I cannot pray ham and Sarah, judge him faithful, with words, yet I can pray without who had promised. Heb. xi. 11. them, that is, I am shut up for lan- And through mercy being a partaker guage, yet pregnant with feelings, like of the same faith, the apostle saith, a bottle, as Elihu informs Job, that Know ye therefore, that they which wants vent. And blessed be God, are of faith, the same are the chilI well know to this moment what it dren of Abraham, after the Spirit, is for the divine prompter, to set my consequently are blessed with faithsoul at sweet liberty ; and then the ful ́Abraham. Gal. iii. 7, 9. Lord discovers himself propitious in- Step.--Aristarchus, my heart redeed : and the dew descending on joices at hearing these things from the fleece, causes me to rejoice with our beloved friend ; I pray God I may joy in the Holy Ghost, proving what enjoy them, and experience the power John saith : “And this is the confi- of prayer more, and the life of faith, dence that we have in him, that if we with a sweet dependance on God, ask any thing according to his will, while I am travelling here below. I he heareth us : and if we know that feel my soul refreshed, do proceed he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we my beloved Epaphras. know that we have the petitions that Epap.--I am willing to impart my we desired of him." i John v. 14, whole soul to you, and any one of 15. I am a living witness to John's Zion's fraternity, for I freely have retestimony, if there is one on earth, and cieved, and freely do I give ; but as I believe there are numbers, who with I observed before, I must be going, me prove the fact. Indeed, all the and at another opportunity, shall way I have come, many sharp trials, very gladly enter on any subject, as many sore burdens, and hard things far as God hsa given me wisdom and have I met with, which God, by his experience; however, I will tarry Spirit, has enabled me to call upon an hour with you, and now, him under, and has caused me to please, I will give you my firm berejoice in this truth, which Solomon lief of the promises, and the preachobserves, “ For he shall not much ing of the gospel of our Lord Jesus remember the days of his life, because Christ. The promises of everlasting God answereth him in the joy of life to the elect, was made to them in his heart." Eccles, v. 20. There- Christ Jesus, as it is written,“ In hope fore I can set to my seal that he is of eternal life, which God, that cana God hearing and answering prayer, not lie, promised before the world beand much work between him and me gan.” Titus i. 2. And the same is carried on in private, and I be-- apostle declares, writing to the Galalieve will be accomplished in his time tians, "Now we, brethren, as Isaac towards me, “For faith is the sub- was, are the children of promise," stance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb.
(To be continued.) xi, 1, You well know I have sur