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LETTERS BY THE LATE D. HERBERT.—III.
My dear Friends, I feel persuaded you will pardon the liberty I have taken in troubling you with these few lines, to inform you I ain still living to praise my ever-living, glorious Lord. I have for some time appeared to stand just on the brink of Jordan, looking, longing, and expecting my heavenly Father would say, “ Come up hither.” But truly the Lord has said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways;" for he has been pleased to raise me up once more.
You must know, my dear friend, that on the Sunday before I intended setting out for D , I went about six or seven miles from home to speak in the name of my glorious, precious Christ, and my heavenly Father was pleased so to indulge me with his special presence, and fill my poor earthern vessel so full, that I forgot I was an old man. I was raised above my infirmities, and was led to exert myself so much that on Monday I was taken with a bowel complaint and a nervous fever; so that I was obliged to keep my bed for a month. But, bless God, my soul was happy all the time, and I think I sometimes ate of the fruit of the tree of life that stands in the midst of the paradise of God, and knew sweetly what it was to rejoice in tribulation; cast down, without a fear of being cast off. Perhaps you will say, “ And why not come, after you got so much better?” O my dear friends, I know I disappointed you, and I do assure you the disappointment distressed my very soul; for I felt my heart was with you, although I thought it hardly probable I should ever see you again in the flesh; and after I felt myself better, I still felt my heart's desire was to see you; but two things counterruled all my plans. The first thing that operated upon my mind was, I thought the season was too far gone by; but the other reason was too powerful for me to resist, as it went deep into my heart. You may remember that last July twelvemonth, I felt a strong inclination to visit my old friends at QM, D , and G, once more; and I intimated my inclination to them by letter; but received an answer that they wished me not to come. I have been used to disappointments in a very great degree, but I must confess I never had one that afflicted my mind so much as that did, as it was such a blank to my anticipations; but still I thought that weeks and months would roll round, and looked forward to another year, feeling persuaded that when that period came round, I should receive an affectionate invitation from my Q- friends; and so fully did I expect it that almost every post during last May, June, July, and August, I was on the look out for my anticipated invitation; but alas! alas! it all turned out a blank, for I have not received a word from any one; and I have set myself down as a poor, abandoned, slighted castoff; therefore, from the feelings wbich agitated my poor nervous mind, (though my health was in a great measure restored,) I felt myself compelled to give up my intended visit to you; at which I think you will not be surprised.
It has been my lot to have many a pleasing gourd spread over my head, but it has as often been my lot to have a worm at the root. I have been so pleased and gratified with my Q- gourd that I little suspected a worm would ever' find its way there. At QI thought myself secure, and more than half at home. I hope when you see my Q-friends you will tell them that cuts and wounds from friends very soon fester, and mostly are very slow in healing.
When you see any of the Lord's dear tried ones, who perhaps expected to see me with you, tell them I thought to have had a very long stay with them, to bave told them about my precious and glorious Christ, what a suitable Christ I have found him to be; what a rich Christ for such a poor forlorn beggar as I; what a full Christ for such a poor ruined empty sinner; what a complete Saviour for one so completely lost; but the dear Lord would not trust me; yet I would say with that old servant of the Lord Nehemiah, “Shall such a man as I flee?" Are not all these vicissitudes under the management and direction of my heavenly Father, who has promised that whatever others do, “He will never leave me, nor forsake me," that “He will never turn away from me to do me good, but that he will guide me continually and lead me in the way that I must go ?”
I was thinking perhaps I ought to apologise for troubling you with this long round about letter, but, as it comes from a sincere heart, a poor old man bending under bodily infirmities, with a mind sometimes overwhelmed, so that I can often say with David, “I was brought low," I know you will excuse it.
Now allow me to make one request; and that is, when opportunity offers, that you will favor me with a few lines, as it would gratify my very heart to hear from you, and to know how you and my always kind Mrs. R. are. I have not forgotten that you and dear Mrs. R. were amongst the first of my friends thirteen years ago, in whom I have never experienced any change and whose kindness can never be obliterated from my mind.
I fear I have tired you, and I am very tired myself. I can only say, the Lord bless you; and when it is well with you and you can go to a throne of grace with, “My Father," then drop a word in favor of your poor but
Truly affectionate Friend and Brother, Sudbury, Sept. 29, 1830.
Repentance is, like the Holy Ghost, and forgiveness of sins, &c., a gift of God. “He shall give repentance and remission of sins to Israel.” It has been a deceit of Satan to persuade people they can repent when they please; and this keeps half the world easy in their sins.—Cennick.
Between the two extremes of absolute perfection and total apostacy, lies the large field of believers' obedience and walking with God. Many a sweet heavenly passage there is, and many a dangerous depth in this field. Some walk near to the one side, some to the other; yea, the same persons may sometimes press hard after perfection and sometimes be cast to the very border of destruction.-Owen. A LETTER BY THE LATE J. JENKINS.
My dear Friend, I have this day read over your letter, which you some time ago sent to me, and which has hitherto lay by me unanswered, either from want of an opportunity or a disposition for the work, or from both. When an opportunity has offered, there has been peither light, power, nor a heart to take the work in band; and though the will be present, yet how to perform that which is good I know not.
I believe you are a witness, and one more added to the cloud of witnesses, who bear their testimony that none ever waited on the Lord in vain. “They shall not be ashamed that wait for me; they shall not be put to shame;" nor shall either men or devils ever triumph in their disappointment of what they have hoped for; and though hope delayed maketh the soul sad, at which time we receive many a taunt by our enemies saying, “Where is now their God?” yet, when the desire cometh, it is so sweet that we forget all former causes of discouragement, all our pains, sufferings, temptations, and tribulations, which we endured; they are like water that passes away. It is true we are made to be ashamed of our doings that were not good, and reproach we must suffer. The waiting sinner often meets with disappointments,—is often baffled in his expectations, and will be both reviled and reproached by Satan at those times; and we are confounded and abashed, and dare not open our mouth before God, when we know that he is pacified towards us in his dear Son. But “for their shame they shall have double, and for their confusion, they shall rejoice in their portion;" in the Lord, they shall possess it; "everlasting joy shall be unto them."
I liked your letter when I first read it, and felt its power, life, light, simplicity, and honesty, and a union to the writer taking place; but rather wondered that you had slipped out so secretly and so soon. “This my son," said I, “where has he been? Who hath begotten me this? seeing that I judged myself childless, and a wanderer to and fro; who and whence is he? I said, Come near to me, my Son, that I may feel thee, and that I may know whose Son indeed thou art;" because I have, often been disappointed through the dimness of my eyes; and as he drew near, I thought I smelled his garments, as the smell of a field which the Lord of Hosts has blessed; and I blessed him in the name of the Lord, and prayed that he might be Lord over all his brethren, (according to the flesh,) and that all the base-born sons of his mother might bow down to him. :
I think you are a proof that God works by the most base, un-' worthy, and despicable instruments; and it seems he has thus or. dained it, that the excellency of the power might appear clear enough to be of him, and not of the instrument; and to God you must give all the glory. Nothing of it belongs to the poor vessel. No good thing was ever found in him, except that Spirit which convinced, reproved, enlightened, and wrought faith in your heart by hearing. O my son, keep near to him; walk as you have received
him; and hold fast that which you have received, that I may have cause of rejoicing in the day of the Lord, that I have not labored in vain, nor run in vain.
Your letter was not that of the necessitous, which call for the most and speediest of attention, otherwise I should have answered it sooner. I should be glad to see you for a little conversation when you can come, and when I have an opportunity, and am at home. That the Lord may bless and prosper you, is the prayer of
Sins against the Holy Spirit, in his work and operations, are taken notice of in a very particular manner, and are highly resented, even in the saints, and are punished with peculiar severity in the daring and presumptuous. The Israelites in the wilderness vexed his Holy Spirit, till he turned to be their enemy, and fought against them. Some of the young Gentile converts grieved him, and many were sickly and weak among them, and many slept, for their unbecoming behavior at the Lord's table. “ The Holy Spirit,” says Christ, “shall glorify me.” And the Spirit is grieved when the Lord is dishonored. Ananias and Sapphira, agreeing together in sin, tempted the Spirit of the Lord, and Satan filled their hearts to lie to the Holy Ghost. “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God," says Peter. Therefore the Holy Ghost is God. And they were both struck dead upon the spot for it. Great and innumerable sins against God in his law, as in Manasseh and others, have been forgiven; and many awful things done and spoken against the Son of Man have been pardoned, as may be seen in Paul. But those that do despite to the Spirit of Grace; who willingly and wilfully counteract his operations and designs in the souls of God's people; and who see his power, and yet oppose, hate, and fight against it; and who ridicule and blaspheme both the Author and his operations; never have been, nor ever will be forgiven; for “the sin against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." And can any man in his senses believe, or attempt to affirm, that the all-wise God, the Judge of all the earth, who is rich in mercy and abundant in goodness and truth, would exclude men from all possibility of pardon, and doom them to eternal damnation, for sinning against a name, an accident, or only a quality, attribute, perfection, or a power in God, which may be transiently put forth, and displayed as an operation on man? Surely sinning against God the Father himself, which is sinning against all the revealed perfections and attributes of his nature, must be a more heinous crime than sinning against a single quality in him. And yet all manner of sins and blasphemies, committed against him in the law, have been forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost never was nor ever will be. And why this sin unto death should be emphatically called the great transgression, I cannot conceive, if the Holy Ghost, against whom it is committed, be not the great and terrible God.-Huntington.
A FEW FRAGMENTS OF THE EXPERIENCE OF WILLIAM
KNEE, LATE OF DEVIZES, WILTS. William Knee was, in the early part of his life, dismissed from the horse soldiers, with a pension of 3s. 6d. per week, owing to his having fallen from his horse, which injured his heart and all the parts nearly connected with it; so that he had been a great sufferer from that time. He was sometimes laid aside for many months together, incapable of working, but, during the last three months he was a companion in affliction with Job. From the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, he was literally diseased. He said, “I am literally brought into that place, “My wounds stink and are corrupt.' I fear I shall be an offence to my friends; I fear I shall go mad; I have had only four hours' sleep since I was taken ill, two hours at once; I only doze now for a few moments; I do beg of the Lord to continue unto me the use of my intellects, let him do what he will with my body.”
He has now entered into rest, and truly it must be a rest to him; but the consolations of God were neither few nor small towards him. When this poor man was first called by grace, he could not read.
The longest word he could pronounce after he had spelt it, was from. He used to take his Bible to a solitary place, there kneel down and spell, and look up to the Lord to help him to pronounce it, which the Lord enabled him to do, and frequently gave him the spiritual meaning with it. When his mind was at first a little opened to divine things, he was pondering over the words in Eph. v. 30, "Members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones," when it was injected into his mind that Jesus descended from the Jews, and therefore he had no part in him. He searched the word, to see if these things were so. There he read that his descent was also from a Moabitish woman (Ruth.) To the joy of his heart he found, that both Jew and Gentile were one with Christ. At another time he was walking in great darkness, and whenever he took up the Bible whatever part he looked into, it appeared to speak condemnation to him, until at last he began to despair of receiving any consolation, but thought he would open it once more, and perhaps for the last time. He was about to close it, when Rom. iv. 4 caught his eyes: “Now to him that worketh is the reward; not reckoned of grace, but of debt; but to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." He could then go on his way rejoicing.
Knee once said, “More than twenty years since, I was in a wretched state of mind, fearing there was no mercy for me, when I was induced to go and hear Mr. P., at Allington. He spoke from these words, "There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen.' He spoke of the path of holiness, and said, the wayfaring men, though fools, should not err therein. O how I trembled while he was speaking of the first part. I thought