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I Have ever had such awful apprehensions of the Cure of souls, that J durst not (though often solicited) undertake it ever since 1 knew uay own heart. I have found myself plagued to death witli watching over it:—what must it be to watch over two or three thousand !" Who is sufficient for this?" 1 feci myself as unfit for it, as to have the government of the world upon my shoulders; but being appointed to this church, not. only without my seeking, but also against my will, —and having an undoubted cull from God, therefore my sufficiency for the work being of God, I dare not stand out. [ have been forced to say, 'Here I am ; send me !'—and although he has enabled me to de
rend upon him for to do his will, both in me and by me, yet find the flesh resisting, and putting forth a multitude of doubts and fears, in order to discourage me; besides this, I have an enemy whom I do not wish to make my friend, and who hates me with a perfect hatred; but I make the Lord my strength, and go to battle in the power of his might, and I am sure all will be well while 1 am kept humble. O pray that I may be" a good soldier of tbc Lord Jesus Christ; but, above all, ask for me humility: an humble man can come to no harm; he will be ever trusting in the Lord, because he finds nothing in himself to trust in; while he gives great glory to God, by trusting much in him. God gives him great grace, and this grace is to keep alive au abiding sense of what he is in himself, to shew him his ignotance and helplessness, to open to him daily more of the mystery of iniquity, to discover to him the stirrings of corruption which others J'eel not, and make him sensible of these, even in duties and ordinances, that he may loathe himself and his very best works. These are the fruits of true grace; and he that is uuder the teachings of the Holy Ghost, will abouud iu them: the more God does in the heart, the more he humbles it. The great design of his grace is to bring the proud sinner low, and then to keep him low. When he has brought us low, we do not like to be kept there; we want to get up again: our foolish desire is, that he may do something in us, for which we may have a good opinion of ourselves; and so, with this thought, we are apt to wish, * O that I was more holy! O that I could pray better! O that I was more spiritual in duties! O that I was thankful enough!' If you could come to the true motive of these wishes (specious as they appear) you would find them spring from the secret workings or a proud, self-righteous spirit: take off their cloak of holiness, and their meaning is this:—•" I wish God would give me something for which I might be pleased with myself."—If this was the case, would not the eye be turned inward upon this very good self, and be drawn off from Igokjng to Jesus; and so far as self is made something, Clirist is made nothing. You may depend upon this as one of the surest axioms in divinity:—" Whatsoever it be that makes you pleased with yourself, that is not true grace; and whatsoever makes you displeased with yourself, is not true grace, unless it bring vou humble to Christ, and make you put more trust in him." The~Lord teach you these things practically! I have learned them by long experience;—though 1 know but little, yet I am getting on in ChristVschool, and hope soon to be in the lowest form, for there we learn most and fastest: we there depend entirely on the teaching of our divine Master, who reveals his secrets to none but babes. A new-born babe absolutely depends on the care of its parents; so must we depend on God, on Christ our Prophet and Teacher; and when we are brought thus humble, he will then make known to us what he hideth from the wise and pru'dent. I would therefore wish you the humblest man on earth, ami not only that you might know most, but love most: he that feels his sins and miseries, his vileness and unprofitableness, with the deepest loathings of them, is in the fittest way to love Christ. If he is an experienced believer, the feelings of these sins and miseries will make Christ more precious; the more he finds of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the more he will trust in Christ's righteousness; and the more misery he knows, the more he desires salvation: all will make Jesus more dear and lovely. His own vileness sets forth Christ's grace; his nnworthiness, the worthiness of die Lamb, the sufficiency of Jesus, who is all in all. When you "are going to measure Christ's high grace, do not get upon a mountain, but go down into a valley ;—lower still;—to the belly of Hell, from which Jonah cried; from thence see the height of Jesus's grace, and from thence see how lovely lie is. When the Spirit of Jesus is humbling you, shewing you your deceitful wicked heart, laying open your ruined nature in all its abominable workings, has not this often discouraged you, my friend? and, instead of loving Christ more, and trusting him more, did it not weaken your trust and lessen your love? and thereby you counteracted the gracious purposes of Jesus Christ. May he teach you better! that every future sense of sin may greatly endear to you that Lamb of God, whose blood cleanseth. from all sin! Depend upon it, that only is the true humbling for sin, which makes his blood more precious;—be faithful to your own heart;—stop here a moment;—look, back and read what, from one thing to another, I have written to you; and examine if you do not begin to fear for the interest of duty and holy obedience. If the more I feel sin, I may trust the more, and love Christ the more, what place is left for obeying? Is not that your thought? to which I answer, The humblest man not only knows most and loves most, but also obeys most. Is not grace the principle of gospel obedience ? and does not God give grace to the humble? grace to do all things, grace to suffer all
tilings:—What says lie who was less than the least in his own eyes? "O! I can do all things through Christ's strengthening me!"—The humblest man leans most on Christ's strength.; and therefore, through that strength, which is almighty, he can do most; he is helped best ,• rights most courageously; conquers most triumphantly. Shew nhe a seemingly humble man who does not love duty, and I will shew you his pride; but let me see a truly humble man, and I am sure to find him walking humbly with his God; he walks with God, and God walks with him.—Hear how he declares who are his favourites! not the rich, not the learned, not the Pharisee, not the great and noble, —no;—" but to this man will I look, who is of an humble and contrite spirit, and who trcmbleth at my word." These he honours; they are in his sight of great price; how exalted in )iU esteem, who is the Fountain of all true honour! and he will ex alt them very high. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted to the throne above, where all God's children are perfectly humble, crying with one voice, " Not worthy we, but worthy is the Lamb." If there be so great grace, O pray to God to make me more and m&re humble. 1 will do the same for you, and re main yours, W. HoMAiNE.
LETTER FROM DR. FRANKLIN
I) E A R S i R , To the Editor.
I Am indebted to the friendship of the late Robert Keen and Daniel West, Esqrs.'(the Rev.Mr.Whitefield's executors) for near a thoufand letters, from various correspondents, to that eminent man. None of these letters have vet seen the light; and as many of them will, no doubt, highly gratify the public, I shall occasionally send you one for publication, through the medium of the J*>inge!ical Magazine. The inclosed, from the celebrated Dr. Franklin, %vi!l serve as a specimen of ihc entertainment with which you will furnish o'jr readers, particul; ,'y those who personally knew Mr.Whitefield, and all who Mill rcveie his memory. Your9 affectionately,
Leeas, Dec. 7, iSoa. E. Parsons.
Dear Sir, Philadelphia, July G, 1749
Since your beiog in England, I have received two ox your favours, and a box uf books to be disposed of. It gives me great pleasure to hear of your welfare, and that you purpose soon to return to America.
We have no kind of news here worth writing to you. The affair of the building remains in statu- quo, there having been no new application to the Assembly about it, nor any thing done in consequence of the former.
I have received no money on your account from Mr. Thanklin, or from Boston. M rs. Read, and your other friends here isi general are well, «:itd will rejoice to sec you again.
I am glad to hear that you have frequent opportunities of preaching among the great. If you can gain them to a good and exemplary life, wonderful changes will follow in the manners of the lower ranks; for, ad Exemplum Btgis, fyc. On this rinciple Confucius, the famous eastern reformer, proceeded, Y'he.n he saw his country sunk in vice, and wickedness of all lands triumphant, he applied himself first to the grandees; and having by his doctrine won them to the cause of virtue, the com-? inons followed in multitudes. The mode has a wonderful influence on mankind; and there are numbers that perhaps tear less the being in Hell, than out of the fashion! Our more western reformations began with the ignorant mob; and when numbers of them were gained, interest and party-views drew in the wise and great. Where both methods can be used, reformations are like to be more speedy. O that some method could be found to make them lasting! He that shall discover that, will, in my opinion, deserve more, ten thousand times, than the inventor of the longitude.
My wife and family join in the most cordial salutations tq you and good Mrs. W hitefield. I am, dear Sir, your very affectionate friend, and most obliged humble servant,
Sir, To the Editor.
It has been often remarked, that the Hebrews had a pecu* liar way of using the participle with the verb, to denote, according to some, the certainty; and, according to others, the importance of the event. It occurred to me, in reading, the other day, Whether the true import of the phrase, were not the commencement and continuance of an action till its completion? Thus, when it was said to Adam *, " In dying thou shalt die;'" which our translators render, " Thou shalt surely die," and the Seventy," Thou shalt die the death;" I conceive the meaning to be, That he should then begin to experience that death which terminates only in eternal ruin. Walts says,
•• Soon as we draw our infant breath,
So Adam, the moment that he fell, became mortal; and besides that, being condemned already, he became also dead in law.
When it was said to Abraham," Blessing, I will bless thee !" -J* the phrase implied, that God would continue and increase his blessings, fill, in the end, he should be a blessing to all nations. •—There are many similar expressions, I believe, in the Old Testament; and I should be obliged to any of your critical arid Biblical readers to point them out, and to examine whether they will bear the interpretation here proposed.
A LAY-COMMENTATOR. At the time when the late Mr. Lacy was pastor of the Baptist church at Portsea, some of the brethren (chiefly those of the dock-yard) constantly ushered in the morning of the Lord's Day, at six o'clock, by meeting in the vestry for social prayer, exhortation, and conference on some portion of Scripture, alternately*. At one of these conference-mornings, the text led to charity: all spoke in their turn, if they chose, when it rested with Charles Benjamin, who was a waterman, and lived between Portsmouth and Gosport. l}is comment on the text was as follows : " I shall say nothing more than this,-*-We have been talking of charity; it would be good to put it in exercise: here is our brother, Cphraim Forth, goes to Dock every morning this cold weather without n great coat; and here isniy shilling towards buying him one." The good men took the hint; and Ephraim was enabled to purchase the necessary next day, and went to Dockf, '< warmed, if not quite filled."—Query, Can the laity expound Scripture?
* This laudable custom, I find, is still continued there, and has been. Without intermission, for more than halt a century". f James ii. 16.
LAMENTx\BLE IGNORANCE. Mr. A. B, after his conversion, owned, that when in his . carnal state, he used to say his prayers -seven times over every Monday morning, that he anight not have the trouble of theiii all the rest of the week.
A Few years ago, a lady, visiting her brother at C ,
observed, he had not many cherries in his garden that season'j and said, That, as it was a very fruitful year, she could attribute it to nothing but the amazing increase of Sunday-schools lately. Formerly, the boys used to go a bird-nesting on Sundays; but since folks had undertaken to make them so wise, the birds were suffered to multiply in such quantities, that she supposed we should soon have no fruit at all!!!
1. How may we ascertain, Whether our thoughts are the result of a gracious influence, the suggestions of Satan, or of our Coj> nipt depraved nature i
2. When we receive comfortable impressions under the hearting of God's word, how may we kn»w whether they are true or false? or, in other words, Whether they come from God, or are only the joys of the stony ground hearer i M. O,