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causes all his goodness to pass before him; while the believer follows after and observes his wondrous ways, the work of his hands, the leadings of his providence, the communications of his grace, and the inward motions of his Spirit. “He that will observe these things, even he shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
The eye of faith discerns the narrow path; and by the inward guidance of the Spirit, he shuns the rocks of error, the stumblingblocks and stumbling stones, where thousands dash and fall: he sees a harmony in the scriptures of truth, and a sweet harmony in the attributes of God, and in the glorious work of each person in the Godhead. A heavenly ray discovers the ancient footsteps of the flock, and his path shines more and more unto perfect day.
While he walks humbly by faith, he finds himself sensibly upheld by a free spirit; the omnipresence of his blessed Lord encompasses him about as with a shield, which lifts his soul above the shackles of legal bondage, and rescues his mind from the gloomy regions of the shadow of death, and from the melancholy meditations of terror. “He dwells on high, his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks, bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure;' thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, they shall behold the land that is very far off,"
The dear Lord often condescends to pay such humble souls his love visits: he sometimes meets them in their thoughts, and speaks upon their hearts; sometimes he meets them in his word, and makes them feel all that he says; meets them in their lawful calling, and puts his blessing on the work of their hands; meets them in their difficulties, and makes crooked things straight; meets them in his house of prayer, and gives them sometimes a reproof, and sometimes a promise. Thus the Almighty is with them, and his visitations preserve their spirits. I will bear thee, saith the Lord, from the belly, and from the womb, and to your old age I am he, and to hoary hairs will I carry you.
Christian reader, cleave thou to thy God, and shun the path of the destroyer; stand not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor meddle with them that are given to change. Novelty suits an itching ear; but a circumcised ear will not give heed to a naughty tongue, nor will the unctuous heart be carried about with divers and strange doctrines. “ Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes thee to err from the words and ways of wisdom.” “Stolen waters are sweet” to a proud stomach, and “ bread of deceit is pleasant” to the palate of those who carry the poison of asps under their lips; but in the day of temptation his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
I charged Mr. Loud, when with me, with having written some books, and of his intention to publish them, and with his having endeavoured to circulate his heresies to the injury of some of the weaklings in faith. All which he denied. But I am informed that he is now determined to publish them, if he pawns his clothes to do it. This shews that he will not stick at a lie. However, I must leave him where God has left him, to the perverseness of his own will, and the hardness of his own heart. He may serve as a fan, to blow away a little chaff from the floor, which we shall not be sorry for; and he may leave a testimony against his own soul; and the Judge of all the earth, who takes the wise in their own craftiness, may judge him out of his own mouth; but he shall never finally deceive one of God's elect. False doctrines, which are called the deceivableness of unrighteousness, never work effectually, only in them that perish. No soul shall embrace, hold fast, and go down to the grave with his lies in their hand, but those that were of old ordained to this condemnation. And I would advise him to send out his system as compact, and as closely put together, as possible; or else it is ten to one but the King of Zion, who teaches Judah the use of the bow, will furnish me with some arrows from his quiver that will make a way through all the joints of his harness. He that loveth and maketh lies should have a strong memory; and every lie must be well swaddled, and well varnished, or else truth will discover it. And let Mr. Loud take care never to mention the words, Son of man, as applicable to Christ, for the Godhead of Christ is the Father of all men by crea
tion. “ All things were made by him." But the father of all creatures can be the offspring of no creature. Neither divinity abstractedly considered, nor divinity incarnate, is the son of man, or son of David, but David's Lord. No nor even divinity transubstantiated into flesh and blood, according to Loud's notion, can ever be the fruit of David's loins; because, according to his tenet, the Godhead was changed into flesh in the virgin's womb, and took no more of her nature than his handkerchief. According to this, it never was in David's loins; consequently could never be a fruit that sprung from his body; for there was nothing of his body, or from his loins, in it. And by this doctrine what becomes of the oath of God? Psalm cxxxi. 11. But the human nature of Christ was once in the loins of Adam, and once in the womb of eve, and in the loins of forty-two ancients from Abraham to Mary; for all these, touching his human nature, were his ancestors and his fathers; of whom, as concerning the flesh, he came. But these fathers, who obtained such favour as to be the ancestors of such a wonderful and mysterious offspring, must now, in point of conversation, give way to the numerous offspring of their Son; whose children are much more talked of in the New Testament than the fathers are in the Old; as it is written, “ Instead of thy fathers, shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations, therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.”
Reader, fare thee well. Peace and truth be with thee. May God the Holy Ghost, our teacher, guide, and comforter, in our pilgrimage, bless this testimony to thy soul's profit; which I believe to be a true testimony, and a testimony that will not be easily contradicted; and which will never be overthrown by arguments drawn from the word of God. “ Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, and good will towards men." Amen and
I thank my God for the grace given unto you, in that you are enabled in a measure to make a bold defence in behalf of the truth; also to divide the same according to the proportion of faith contained in the word of truth.
This morning I was comforted in beholding your stedfastness and order in your discourse. I looked pretty close at your steps. I saw that they were toward the highway. I do not remember of any