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And seek to know Christ and the Power of his Resurrection in their Hearts, Phil. iii. 10. whom to know is Life eternal, John xvii. 3. Left they fall from one Wickedness to another, and never come by Faith into God's Righteousness, Psal.
And thus in this tedious Epistle, I have endeavoured to declare, as far as it is revealed, the whole Counsel of God, A&t. xx. 27. Agreeable to the Command in Scripture which saith, “ As every one hath received the Gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God," I Peter iv. 1o. ,
10 Neither am I “ ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the Power of God unto Salvation, to every one that believeth ;” (so as to become obedient to Christ) throughout the whole World : and justified Souls do gladly obey, by Virtue of the Principle of Grace implanted in them, Rom. i. 16, 17. And they are free from a slavish Fear, which causeth Pain, in the Prefence of God or Man; for“ being justified by Faith, they have Peace with God, through the Merits and Intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ," Rom. v. I. And forasmuch as the Lord is on their Side, they need not fear what Man can do unto them, Psal. cxviii. 6. And therefore the Righteous are bold as a Lion, Prov. xxviii. 1. Being adorned with Grace, and arrayed with the Armour of God, they become “ fair as the Moon, clear as the Sun, and terrible (to the Enemy) as an Army with Banners,” Cant. vi. 10. They are compared to a beautiful Woman, clothed with the Sun (viz. the Righteousness of God) having the Moon (the Emblem of a changeable World) under her Feet; and upon her Head a Crown of twelve Stars; the Doctrine of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, Rev. xii. 1. the Saints' Coat of Arms, or. Ensign of
Majesty, dwelling in the Court of Sion. And they “ are kept by the Power of God, through Faith, unto Salvation,” i Peter i. 5. And thus being " faithful unto Death, they fhall receive a Crown of Life,” Rev. ii. 10.
May you who read or hear these mysterious Truths, consider what they contain: and may the Spirit of our Lord reveal the Mystery to your Hearts, for great is the Mystery of Godliness, 1 Tim. iii. 16.
Behold! I leave this Epistle, as a Legacy, unto you, my very dear and well-beloved Neighbours, the Inhabitants of Gillingham, my native Town : being still desirous of your eternal Happiness. And I think it both my Duty and Privilege, to imitate my dear Redeemer, who pray'd for the Salvation of his Enemies and Perfecutors : and hath graciously beltowed a Measure of his Love to his Çhofen, to enable them to do likewise; in whose Hearts he chooses to reside: for he saith, “ This is my Resting-place, here will I ever dwell, for it is my Delight,” Psal. cxxxii. 14. And as he prayed for his Murderers, saying, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do, Luke xxiii. 34. And when he commanded his Gospel to be preached in all the World, he directed it should begin at JeruFalem, that Salvation might be offered first to his Enemies, John xxiv. 47. So, although I am wil. ling, if God permits, this Epistle to go into the World, for the Benefit of all, yet it was written particularly for your Sake. To you therefore I present it, though you were my implacable Enemies and Persecutors, because I believed and confessed that Christ does now, on Earth, forgive Men's Sins, and make it manifest unto them.This was all my Crime, and this was enough to cause a Diffention or Separation to take Place, and the Declaration of God to appear " I will put En
mity between thy Seed (the Serpent) and her Seed
Sins in his own precious Blood, Rev. i. 5. May he guide you while on Earth with his Counsel, and at last receive you to Glory. AMEN.
A Copy of a Letter to the Rev. Mf. PERN; Vicar of Gila
lingham : occafioned by a Sermon preached March 15th, 1752. on the following Text, And be ready always to give an Answer to every Man that afreth you a Reason of the Hope that is in you, i Peter ili. 15. In which Discourse he
railed vehemently against the Methodists, calling them Blasphemers, Subverters of Houses, Schismaticks, also that they wanted to overturn the Conftitution of the Kingdom.
Rev. Sir, 17.
IT H Submission to that sacred Function with which
you are invested, I intreat you to suspend your Invectives with Respect to those people you call Methodists, for if the Work they carry on be of themselves, it will come to Nought, but if of God, you cannot overthrow it. And be it known unto you, Rev. Sir, that it is no Blasphemy for the adopted Sons of God to call Him their FATHER. Such are many of those whom the unbelieving World call Methodists. Neither is it fubverting of Houses, nor Schism for Christian People to meet together after Divine Service, and spend the Remainder of their Sabbath in teaching and admonishing each other in Psalms, &C. As every one hath received the Gift, fo minister the fane to cach other, as good Stewards of the Grace of God. The Apostle commanded us not to forget the assembling of ourfelves together. God faith, where ever two or three are gathered together in his Name, he will grant their Request. All the whole Sabbath we are to delight ourselves in the LORD, not speaking our own Words. It is not our Father's Design to batter dawn our holy Conftitution, neither in Church nor State, by blowing thro' those Ram's-Horns, but ta blow down the IValls of Jericho, and to acquaint our dead Members not to te contented with the Form of Godliness, without the Power alfo: for if we have not the Spirit of CHRIST, we are none of his. It is much to be lamented, by those who have spiritual Eyes, and can see that we have so many blind IVatchmen, blind Leaders of the Blind, Ifa. lvi. 1o. who ran, says God, but I never fent them, Jer. xxxiii. 21. who rather marry our Church Members to Duties, than to CHRIST. "I could wild the Sons of our Church had fixed their House on the Rock, i. e. had washed their Robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb, they would soon be able to give an Answer of the Hope that would be in them. Which is the fir.cere Prayer of,
Rev. Sir, with all due Respect, Your humble Servant, Gillingham, Mar. 15, 1752.