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a solemn appeal to God! The curious and inquiring mind may ask, Do you then believe the Lord inclines a sinner's heart to sin? I answer, Yes, in a certain sense he does, or else the prayer appears but a solemn mockery of words, without any suitable meaning. But if we seriously read the Psalm throughout, we shall find the whole of it to be a composed and deliberate breathing of the soul in prayer to God; and we are assured that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God; and that therein holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Tim. iii. 16; 2 Pet. i. 21.)

But as the declaration I have made is of such solemn importance, and as our reasonable powers by the utmost stretch of human wisdom faint, and are but foolishness, beneath the magnitude of the righteous interpretation of so awful and momentous a truth; may the Holy Spirit, to the declarative glory of God, so direct and influence my heart and mind, by comparing scripture with scripture, as on the one hand to make use of what he enables me to think and write to quiet some distressed and doubtful heart among his own people; and on the other, if possible, to stop the mouths of gainsayers, who will not admit the truth in question before us, unless God be the author of their sin.

Does the heart of the true believer tremble within him in exercise of thought upon the momentous subject? So has mine, till I felt my spirit sink within me. Nor are we without scripture proof to the same effect in the history of Jacob and Esau.

What I have in view is the blessing of Isaac upon his son Jacob; and perhaps it may not be unprofitable to enlarge a little upon so solemn a subject. It appears that Rebekah, the mother of Esau and Jacob, overheard the charge given to Esau, by Isaac his father, to go out and hunt for venison, and make savoury meat such as he loved, that he might bless him before the Lord, before his death. Rebekah, in the conception of Esau and Jacob, felt the struggle of the two children even in her womb, before they were born; and the effect upon her feeling was so amazing, that she could not rest until she went to inquire of the Lord, who assured her, that two nations were in her womb, and that two manner of people should be separated from her bowels; that the one people should be stronger than the other people, and the elder should serve the younger. (Gen. xxv. 23.) This, I have no doubt, sufficiently and effectually influenced the heart of Rebekah, to have a special and decided affection for Jacob, in preference to Esau whom Isaac loved; and to keep a pretty steady watch over the blessing, which, by birthright, according to God's command, be

longed to Esau. (Deut. xxi. 17.) After Isaac had given his charge to Esau to hunt for venison, Rebekah calls Jacob, tells him what she had heard, and bids him go to the flock and get two kids, and she would make savoury meat such as his father loved, that so she might transfer the blessing from Esau to Jacob, contrary to the intention of his father. Jacob dreads the experiment, for as Esau was a hairy man, and himself a smooth man, his father, though blind, yet, by feeling him, would detect the imposition, and instead of bringing down a blessing upon himself, would have his father's curse. Jacob's remonstrance with Rebekah, his mother, proves of no avail; and to silence all objections, as if confident of success, tells him, "Upon me be thy curse, my son; only obey my voice, and go fetch me them." What a spirit of simplicity and grandeur upon so momentous a subject, is couched in these words of Rebekah! Jacob disputes the matter no further, but fetches the kids: his mother makes savoury meat such as Isaac loved, clothes him with Esau's garments, and puts the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands and upon the smooth of his neck. Thus accoutred, she gave him the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, and sent him to his father.

"And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn: I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me." Isaac doubts the truth of what he heard, and asks him, how it was he found it so quickly? To which Jacob replies, "Because the Lord thy God brought it to me." Upon this Isaac calls Jacob near unto him, that he might feel him whether indeed he were his very son Esau or not. By which it appears he strongly questioned the truth of what he heard; for his heart was fully intent upon giving the blessing to Esau, which he knew, by seniority of birth, was his right. When Jacob went near to Isaac, he felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." And not being able by sight to discern him, because his hands were hairy like Esau's, he blessed him; but not before he expressly put the question to Jacob, “Artthou my very son Esau?" To which he replied, "I am." As soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and before he was scarce got out of the presence of his father, came Esau his brother in from his hunting: who also had made savoury meat, and brought it to his father, and said, "Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me." And

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Isaac said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. Upon this Isaac trembled exceedingly, or as the margin of the Bible reads, trembled with a great trembling greatly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and I have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. What a solemn history have we here! How confounding to our reasonable notions of right and wrong! It affords much scope for comment, but I can enlarge but little. That the Lord designed the blessing for Jacob is evident, from the Lord's own mouth to Rebekah, for thus runs the testimony of Scripture: For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand; not of works but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger." (Rom. ix. 11, 12; Gen. xxv. 23.) Rebekah understood the prophecy, and her affections were anxiously on the look out for its accomplishment: and as there appeared now no human probability to Rebekah but that the blessing inevitably must be Esau's, and that a few moments' delay would lose the blessing to her beloved Jacob for ever, she invents a stratagem of deception and falsehood, which she communicates to Jacob, and gets him to put into execution: and to our reasonable view of things, as the highest pitch of aggravation to the whole, Jacob appeals to the Great Searcher of hearts, the Lord himself, as having aided him in the haste he had used, and as being under his blessing and immediate direction therein. (To be continued.)


TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD. Sirs,-As the apostle of old said, so I must say,—“ Such as I have, give I unto you." At the best, it will be too much mixed with sin; for I daily find it as Paul said, "When 1 would do good, evil is present with me." Ah, sirs! could you but see what a nest of unclean things there is in this heart of mine, I am sure you would say, "Thou art vile indeed!" I sometimes think that so vile a wretch as I feel myself to be, cannot belong to that happy people of whom it is said, "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Nevertheless, at other times I hope that I have a precious Christ, more precious than I can describe to you. Then again, such coldness, such indifference, such un

belief, such callousness, do I feel within, that I often fear all that I have felt and rejoiced in has not been a reality. If the apostle felt but half what I feel, he might well exclaim, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin and death ?" The little hope that now and then springs up seems ready to sink into oblivion under doubts and fears. I used to despair almost altogether, because I thought if I were a Christian, I should feel the sweetness of the precious promises made to disconsolate sinners in the word of God; whereas, often did I read them, and as often had I to close them again, not being able to feel that they were for me: till a short time ago, as the poet sweetly expresses it,

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in the last verse of Isaiah liv.: "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper." O what a mighty support it was to my sinking soul. It raised me out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay. I could then say, "Enough, my gracious Lord!" O, sirs, it was such a weapon for me that I cannot in any way describe to you. Could I but have left this wilderness, and this vile body, and died with it on my tongue! Satan could not then bring me in guilty; but it was too sweet to last long; yet it has left a sweetness behind that now and then enables me to rejoice, though in the desert.

If, sirs, you think this may be felt and enjoyed by a carnal man, do tell me so, through your valuable work. Often do I tell a precious Saviour what hardness I feel within ; but almost as often does Satan break in, at some point or other, and mar my sweetest moments. Many a time do I groan, being burdened with guilt and misery. Dear sirs, I cannot describe it to you, but I think at times I could bear it a deal better were I assured that I belonged to that happy people, redeemed out of every nation, kingdom, people, and tongue; for I feel that if his precious Majesty should see fit to send me to hell, I could not but acknowledge he had done right. Bless his precious name, where shall Ĭ go ? Without him I can do nothing. O that I could but enjoy him, and feel my union to him. I know he died for sinners, and where is there a greater sinner than I am? I can truly say there is nothing to compare to him that my soul, when in her right mind, desires to have short of him; and whether these are the feelings of a hypocrite or not, they are my feelings; yet part with the little hope I have, I cannot, no, not for ten thousand worlds. He is precious to such a worthless wretch as I. I want to be found in Christ, to live in him, to die in him, and to stand in him

at the bar of God; and this is my petition, if I know how to pray at all. But often when I attempt to address him at a throne of grace, is my too prone heart wandering after some forbidden object. I cannot tell you of all the various ways and turns that Satan takes to rob me of my joys; for should my soul be warm in the wrestle with the God of Jacob, scarcely are the last words out of my mouth, ere pride says it is well done. O this cursed pride! This is one part of my bondage and grief. I must and can hope in nothing short of a whole Christ; for if my salvation were to be left to myself, my very feelings tell me I should perish eternally. But it is some consolation to me to know that it is through much tribulation the saints must enter the kingdom; not that I like the way, but that the dear Lord has marked it out for his family.

Another course that Satan takes to overcome me with is, he says that I have sinned against the Holy Ghost; and you know, sirs, as well as I do, that such a sin can never be forgiven, neither here nor hereafter. I cannot say that I know what kind of sin that is, and I often think I had better not know, lest, if I did, I should the more easily commit it, if I have not committed it already. Dear sirs, do tell me whether you think I had better know; for I often fear if I do not know, I shall be kept in bondage until death.

Being afraid of wearying you with my crooked ways, I must conclude. Yours, (I wish I could, without wavering, say, in the bonds of grace,)

Manchester, Aug. 12, 1835.


(Extracted from Letters.)


My dear Friend, for Jesus' sake,-I have this morning received your kind letter. I have no difficulty whatever in reading your letters, and shall consider your correspondence a favour, whenever your time will allow you to write to us.

Our dear brother is alive in every respect, but to the world, and to that he is as dead as a living man can be. 1 have never myself witnessed in any one such a settled peace as he is favoured with. At his particular wish, I spent the whole of last Wednesday with him, and never shall I forget the day. Jesus was indeed with us, and a sweet bedewing from the sacred Spirit, I believe, we mutually felt. Nothing but Christ and him crucified is his theme; nor do I think ten minutes, except while we took our meals, were spent through

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