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religion which “makes all things new." Whatever speculative difficulties you may have felt, or may still feel, you can be at no loss to discover, that the warm and affectionate preaching of Christ crucified is the grand instrument of forming lively christians. May you, in this glorious attempt, be abundantly honoured and blessed.
I return you my warmest thanks for every expression of esteem and affection with which you have honoured me, and remain, with sentiments of high esteem, dear Sir,
Your affectionate Brother,
TO WILLIAM HOLLICK, ESQ.
ON THE DEATH OF MRS. HOLLICK.
My dear friend,
Leicester, July 6, 1810. I sincerely sympathize with you, in the heavy stroke with which your heavenly Father has seen fit to visit you in the removal of your dear partner, with whom you have so long trod the paths of this weary pilgrimage. I hope she has gone to eternal rest; and you, my dear friend, will, I trust, meet her in that world where no separation, no sorrow or sin, will ever enter. “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in him.”
• HH 2
I have endeavoured already, and often shall, “to spread your case before the Lord,” and to entreat him to support you under, and sanctify you by, this dispensation. You have learnt, my dear friend, the terms on which all earthly unions are formed; the ties on earth are not perpetual, and must be dissolved; and every enjoyment, but that which is spiritual,—every life, but that which is “hid with Christ in God,"—is of short duration. Nothing here is given with an ultimate view to enjoyment, but for the purpose of trial, to prove us, and “ to know what is in our hearts, and, if we are upright before God, to do us good in the latter end." You had, no doubt, often anticipated such an event as the inevitable removal of one from the other; and I hope neither of you were wanting in making a due improvement of the solemn reflection, and laying up cordial for such an hour. Still, I am well aware that the actual entrance of death into the domestic circle is unutterably solemn, and places things in a different light from what we ever saw them in before. You seem, and it is with much pleasure I perceive it, fully aware,—thoroughly apprized of the true improvement to be made of this heavy blow, which is undoubtedly intended to quicken your preparation for a future world. It loudly says to you, and to all, “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” God grant it may be eminently sanctified, by weaning you more completely from this world, and “setting your affections” more entirely and habitually “on the things that are above.” You will then, in the midst of that deep regret such a loss has necessarily inspired, have cause to bless God that you were afflicted.
We have been, for some time, in expectation of a visit from you. I hope you will not disappoint us, nor delay it long, as my dear wife expects in a very few months to be confined. We shall rejoice to see you, and shall be happy to contribute, in some measure, to your solace and relief. My wife, whose health is extremely delicate at best, and very often interrupted, desires to be most respectfully and affectionately remembered to you. Please to present my kindest and most sympathizing regards to your daughter, and love to inquiring friends.
I remain, dear Sir, with best wishes and prayers, your affectionate and sympathizing friend and brother,
Leicester, July 12, 1811. I thank you for your favour, inclosing a draught for 751. 2s. 9d. ; and am highly gratified with the genuine sentiments of piety contained in your letter. It has been a peculiar satisfaction
to me, for a long time past, to hear of your decided attachment to the cause of God; and it is my earnest prayer that the life of God, which his grace has commenced, may flourish more, till it issues, as it infallibly will, in the fruit of eternal life. Go on, my dear Sir, in the course you have begun; dare to be singularly good, and to follow Jesus “out of the camp, bearing his reproach,”—a reproach that will be found “greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.” You are already the joy of good men, and a shining hope of the church; and it is impossible to calculate the eminent advantage you may be of to the interests of religion, in the sphere where Providence has placed you.
Your admonitions I take in good part. I am not without a consciousness of my not having exerted my small abilities to the extent I ought in the cause of religion ; but I find strange and
seemingly insurmountable obstacles, arising in $ part from a certain fastidiousness of taste, which
renders me dissatisfied, and even disgusted, with all my performances. My extreme ill state of health must also be taken into the account. I am seldom free from pain, which is often very severe.
TO JOSEPH GUTTERIDGE, ESQ. DENMARK HILL,
Leicester, September 16, 1811. I have not relinquished my intention of publishing the substance of the sermon delivered at Prescott-street; though I think it will be most proper to print it in the form of a charge, in which it was first delivered. You may rest satisfied I shall not omit making mention of the occasion on which it was preached at Prescott-street, and embracing the opportunity of recommending, as far as lies in my power, the new institution to the attention and patronage of the religious public. The reason of the sermon not appearing sooner, has been, principally, an almost uninterrupted struggle of painful discouragement, arising from its appearing so contemptible under my hand.* The truth is, I am tormented with the desire of writing better than I can; and, as this is an obstacle not easily overcome, I am afraid it will never be in my power to write much.
My dear Sir,
* The sermon here referred to is that on the Discouragements and Supports of the Christian Minister.-ED.