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Satan viewing this, draws near, (for there are seasons of which, we may use the words of the Lord Jesus, concerning Satan, "this is your hour, and the power of darkness," (carefully concealing his cloven feet and ar raigns the poor soul before him, and begins thus to argue with him, Can you be a christian, a wretch like you, where is your love to God? Oh, says the poor child of God, I have no love, but I feel all enmity. Ah, says Satan, I know you do, and if you was a christian, you would have faith, for you know it is written, "Without faith it is impossible to please God," Pray where is your faith, can you lay hold of the promises of the word of God, and take comfort from them; as you see christians do. If you belonged to God, you will not be in such a desponding state of mind, as you now are, a plain proof you do not, or he would comfort you from his word. Oh, says the poor soul, I fear it is all true, I have no faith, but I am shut up in unbelief. Ah, and nothing awaits you, replies Satan, but to be shut out with all unbelievers, who have their portion in hell fire, and the heart of the poor soul, seems as if it really melted within him. Satan perceiving he is gaining ground, renews the attack, with, If you were a christtian, you would not feel such hardness of heart, such wicked and blasphemous thoughts. I wonder how such a being as you can have the most distant thought of being a christian; take a survey of yourself, is there any thing about you, characteristic of a christian? And the soul under his present circumstances, feels the more he looks into himself for comfort, the more he is dismayed; and these suggestions of Satan, stick like pointed arrows fast in his conscience, and he again concludes Well, I fear after all, I am only a deceiver, I am only an hypocrite; woe is me! would that I never had made a profession!' Yes, says Satan, it would have been better for you, if you never had, for the
word of God is really true in your case: The sow that was washed, has turned again to her wallowing in the mire, and the dog to his vomit again; all your hopes have been delusive, they were only nature a little excited; and God knows you are an hypocrite, one that is hateful in his sight; those about you much doubt your sincerity, therefore I advise you to deceive them no longer, but be seen in your real character, go forth into the world, take your fill of its pleasures, and I will warrant ye, you will be much happier than you now
At this the poor soul trembles, and is almost confounded by Satan's wiles, and says, What a woeful position is mine; go forth into the world I cannot, I have no relish for its sinful vanities; and mix with God's people I am afraid, I fear they will soon detect my hypocrisy. And the poor soul, under these feelings, cries out, Lord, help me, "God be merciful to me a sinner," 33 66 Lord, save, or I perish. Hold, hold, says Satan, and thrusts these words into the soul, "The prayer of the wicked is an abomination in the sight of God." At this, the poor soul sinks down almost in despondency, and nothing is heard from him but sighs and groans, and they only to God, for he himself sits by viewing all the malice of Satan, and the distress of his mystic member. sees the poor soul is well refined, and much of the dross taken away, he again appears, again he speaks peace to the poor soul, and heals his wounded conscience, by pouring ia some of the balm of Gilead, and seals pardoning love to his heart, and sweetly whispers to the soul, "The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." Yes, says the dear child of God, I feel it, and breaks out, saying, "Bless the Lord, oh, my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name."
And when he
Thus, my dear friends, I have given you a few features of the ex
perience and conflicts of the real child
dear brother, wait on the Lord; be of
THE EXPERIENCE OF A DEPARTED
little attention to me. Therefore I seldom visited home, being more taken with the pleasures of this life, and had as I thought a greater opportunity of enjoying them. But I found a bitter in every sweet, for the thoughts of the pleasnre were more than the thing itself. There was an aching void within, for which I could account. I tried to shake it off, but could not. I left off reading the scriptures, and read other books, more entertaining to me. What a mercy the Lord did not leave me to my own choice. Being now out of my time, and having done more than was agreed upon, I thought I might find a friend through life. But the person with whom I had been, fell very short in giving what he had agreed upon. This to me was a great disappointment, and knocked down this building of friendship in my mind at oue blow. This was I believe overruled by the Lord, that I should not trust in man, but seek a better friend. I often set up late to work upon a dress for myself, but when I got to bed, I could not sleep for such thoughts as these; How do you know you will ever live to wear that? you might die in the night. If you go to sleep you may never wake again. You see how vain it all is.' Soon after I called to see my old nurse, of whom I was very fond. Just before I got to the house, a cold chill seemed to run through my veins, and I thought, if she should be no more! when I went in, I found she was dead and buried. My spirits At sunk and I wished I could get by myself to give vent to my grief. I went to chapel and the minister took for his text, Search the scriptures." and he made this remark: Some of you instead of searching the scriptures, have laid your Bible upon the shelf, till you may write damnation on the cover. This to me was a home stroke, and I never forgot it. I now began to search the scriptures, and I heartly repented having neglected them. One day opening the
If it should please the Lord to bring to my mind, the beginning of his work upon my soul, I will, as the Lord shall enable me, endeavour to send you a short account thereof. At times I had convictions from a child, as I believe most have. But when I was twenty-one, I found a heaviness come upon my spirits, which I could not account for. I often burst into tears, but for what I could not tell. The follies of my childhood and youth were frequently brought to my mind, and when very sad, my mother's last words would be present with me; The Lord mark you with his grace, if it be his heavenly will.' Often in contemplating the works of creation, I have been so lost as not to know where I was. eleven years of age, I lost my mother; which was a great trouble to me; her last words frequently came to my remembrance, and I wished I had her to give me that counsel, which I began to find I stood in need of. My father was very fond of me when a child, but my leaving home very young and on account of ill health put to a business, which was thought would suit my weak arm, and he having married his fourth wife, paid very November, 1845.]
Bible, these words struck my mind, "If you will keep my sabbaths, not doing your own works, nor thinking your own thoughts; then shall this light break forth as the morning, and thy health spring forth speedily." Now I began to see a beauty in religion I had not seen before, wondering which was the right way, and how we were to know it. At last I came to this conclusion, that as I had always been sent to church, it was right for me to go, to be true and just in all my dealings, then hoped all would be right. I paid more attention to what I heard, and learnt from the Vicar, that God had promised to save the Jews, but as for us, he pute the cup of blessing into our hands and leaves us to determine whether we would reccive it or not. I then wished I was a Jewess, for I thought if that were the case they were far better off than I was. At the age of three and twenty I came to London, and went to live with a professsor, whom I had known for some years, she told 60 me, Now was the accepted time, now was the day of salvation," and if I did not turn now, the Lord might reject me at a future time; she had found many friends by being good, and the reason she did not turn sooner, she never met with religious people. But as I was with her, I should be left without excuse. I went with her to chapel, and as she kneeled down and repeated the prayers so fervently, I kneeled down also. But these words came very powerfully to my mind. "They honour me with their lips, while their heart is far from me." Indeed my mind was wandering hither and thither, and to me it seemed, instead of worship, a solemn mockery. I dared not kneel any longer, I tried hard to stay my thoughts. but they seemed to wander the more. When we returned, her words were, How happy I have been under the word.' vied her happiness, and lamented how miserable I had been. I learned the
catechism again for my instruction but this only added to my misery. For when I considered, they promised and vowed that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, instead of this being my case, I found sinful lusts working in my mind more than ever, and the more I strove to subdue sin, the more it worked within. Instead of keeping God's holy will and commandments, I found them so exceedingly broad that it was impossible to keep them. For them to promise in my name, what, when I was come of age, I myself was bound to perform, was binding heavy burdens indeed upon my shoulders which I could not bear. I suffered so much that I thought it should never be promised for a child of mine, and wished it had never been for me. But so it was, and I thought I was bound to perform it whether I could or could not. This seemed to me a cruel thing, but I must try my best. When I went to rest, I thought how I had got on that day, and found myself more behind; then I hoped the next day Iwould be better. But alas the stronger were my resolutions made, the sooner they were broken. This was my prayer, Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed and enlarge my coasts, or pardon mine iniqnity and keep me from evil, that it might not grieve me.' I thought upon the Lord granting the request of Jabez, and hoped he would mine. One sunday afternoon I went on the water with some friends, and was fearful I should be drowned; I thought if I once got safe home, never to go again on the Lord's day, and never have.
One night, I dreamed I was walking alone in a solitary place among trees; there was water at my right hand, resembling the river Thames. I dreamt I was obliged to go through I enthis water; it was very thick, and a man standing in the middle, stirring it up; the further I went, the thicker
it was this was a great trouble to me, and I awoke. I mentioned my dream to my companion, and asked her what she thought of it? She said, it seemed like the troubled waters; you are in a strange way altogether; you moaned and groaned in your sleep, that I was quite disturbed. I thought I was in a strange way indeed, for my mind was so troubled I could not sleep. Another Lord's day I visited a friend, who was going to reside in France; a young person was there, who talked of plays and concerts all the afternoon. obliged to seem entertained; but I found the words of the wise man true; in the midst of this laughter the heart was sorrowful, and the end of that mirth was heaviness. I longed to be out of their company, and thought upon Solomon's words: "It is better to go to the house of mourn. ing than to the house of (such) mirth;" for it brought my burden heavier upon me; I wondered how they could teach children that infant baptism made them children of God, members of Christ, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven; I thought I was more like a child of the devil, and was afraid the kingdom of heaven would never be inherited by me.
I sat, very much cast down and wondered I was so altered, that I could take pleasure in nothing; the more I strove to be better, the more I seemed to feel sin work within; I could not think how it was that I should see this wickedness working within, when these words came to my mind, "It is light that makes manifest, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." Now a ray of light shined within; the same as when a lighted candle is taken into a dark room; the light shews all that is therein. This astonished me very much, and I saw it was this light, that shewed all the evil within, and that it came from the Lord, that I had preferred darkness, because then I was at ease, but had no under
All love, grace, mercy, and peace be with you and your beloved spouse from Jehovah, in his trinity of persons, now and ever, Amen! A most sweet, affectionate, and unctious epistle came to hand on Friday evening last, from No. —, Street, Portsea, without name or signature of the writer, and had not " Priscilla (whom I much love for the truth's sake) given me to expect a line or so from yourself; the least of all," would have been quite at a loss unto whom to send " good news." Be pleased, therefore, Mrs cept my best thanks for your kind and spiritual favour, which, to unworthy me, was not only a word of encouragement, but also " good news from a far country." And I will tell you wherefore: "even because our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, as ye know what manner of man it was the Lord sent among you for your sakes. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord; having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost; what hath God wrought! Hallelu-Jah! Amen! From the general tenor of your most welcome letter, it is quite plain the Lord is graciously leading you by a way ye knew not in past days; being conducted now with weeping and supplications in the right way to a city of habitation. Yea, my heart doth indeed (as you write) love to " weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that do rejoice." But tell me, dear friend, wherefore all this disquietude within? Your reply, no doubt, will be: "the
heart knoweth its own bitterness." Be it so; what a proof, then, have you "within" of eternal life; for the dead in sin" know not anything, neither did you a little time back, although, peradventure, you then thought to know everything. But, now, O God, who is rich in mercy," for the great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened you "from a death in sin to a new and spiritual life in Christ!" Remember that this spiritual life is still in Christ, in whom we live and move and have our being; then, it is not in yourself, either in whole or in part. No, indeed, if it was, the devil would deprive you in one moment (did the Lord permit it), but his mighty command to the great adversary is, touch not the life; it being "hid with Christ in God." And here it is the defect of the present awful day of mere profession; those "from whom better things are expected," are continually looking for something in themselves, in the stead of looking out of self altogether unto Jesus," in whom we have all things and abound;" hence such are full of tossings to and fro, ever running about, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth, and hence those unskilful ones are filled with doubts, fears, and unbelief respecting their state before God, even because the "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath never yet made them free from the law of sin and death;" but this is not all, for they "love to have it so," and esteem all others who have been delivered therefrom, merely doubtful characters. Those are they who often "make the hearts of God's people sad," having a lie in their right hand, and feeding upon the ashes of their corruption, arising from the fiery lusts of "sin in this mortal body." This they ignorantly call "their experience," but which is not God's testimony in the heart. Talk to them of faith, they immediately begin to look for something within themselves, and are
grieved when they cannot find it; and how should they, when seeking the living among the dead? whereas the faith a living child glories in is the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." The Lord said unto his disciples, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the roots, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you." Luke xvii. 6. Again, speak we to such unstable persong concerning grace; away they go again into themselves, searching as with candles, after this somewhat, but lo and behold it is not there, furgetting all the while it is in Christ;
Thou therefore my son, be strong in the grace, that is in Christ Jesus." 2 Tim. ii. 1.
This then is one of the many ways the Lord hath in mercy brought you. my dear sister, by little and little, “line upon line, and precept upon precept," to be more and more out of love with sinful self, and righteous self, and to be more and more in love with the allprecious Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead (not the Godhead itself) bodily, and in whom ye are complete, " for he is the head of all principality and power." How immense our unspeakable blessedness, happiness, and salvation with eternal glory in Christ Jesus. "Therefore let no man glory in man, for all things are yours whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's," 1 Cor. 21. 23. Oh then to be enabled to enjoy the life of God in Jesus, to walk more in Jesus; yea to rejoice alone in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.' I trust dear friend, yourself and kind husbabd, are through one Spirit living in the constant, unceasing and uninterrupted enjoyment of these divine and sacred truths. If so the Lord hath done great things for you already, whereof