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are Arians, Socinians, or Deists, and do not scruple to take the Calvinian oaths! I shall endeavour to wait upon you at Leeds at the time of the conference; in the mean time, I am, Rev. and dear Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
To the Rev. Mr. Perronet.
MADELEY, Sept. 4, 1781.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
Your last favour I received, and rejoice that like a fa.. ther in Christ, inured to disappointments and losses, you greet your friends in light, and commend with deep resignation, those who survive, to the mercy of that God, who hath stood by you many years. Oh! dear Sir, he will do better for them and for us than we either can ask or think. We need not then be staggered, when we see a black cloud hanging over our earthly en joyments; even over the life of our choicest friends. We must hope against hope, that great good-yea, spiritual and eternal good, will come out of the external, transi. tory evils we fear or feel. We shall know hereafter why the Lord dealt so by us; in the mean time, let us say, like the Jews, 'He has done all things well!'
I have been for some weeks in Yorkshire, chiefly at the house of an old friend of mine, Miss Bosanquet's, whose happy family put me in mind of your's. At my return home, I have found a letter from my brother, who informs me that my dear friend, your son, continues very weak. He is now at Gimel, a fine village between Lausanne and Geneva, where Miss Perronet's sister is settled. There he rides, and drinks asses'
milk, and breathes the purest air. The Lord give his blessing to those means of health ! and if he refuses it, may he give the best of blessings, saving health and eternal life in Him, who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification ! Mrs. Perronet is there with her two daughters, and my dear friend, so that if his illness should grow more grievous, he will not want for good attendance, and the most tender nursing.
I design to write soon to him and to Miss Perronet. Support him, dear Sir, by your fatherly exhortations ; they are balm to his blood, and marrow to his houes. Recommending myself to your prayers and blessing, 1 ain, Rev. and dear Sir,
Your offectionate and dutiful Son in the Gospel,
To Miss Hatlon.
You seem, Madam, not to have a clear idea of the happiness of the love of Jesus, or at least, of your privilege of loving him again. Your dulness in private prayer arises from the want of familiar friendship with Jesus. To obviate it, go to your closet, as if you were going to meet the dearest friend you ever had. Cast yourself immediately at his feet; bemoan your cold. ness before him ; extol his love to you, till your heart breaks with a desire to love him ; yea, till it actually melts with his love. Be you, if not the importunate widow, at least the importunate virgin, and get your Lord to avenge you of your adversary-I mean, your cold heart.
You ask froin me some directions to get a mortified spirit. To get this, get recollection. Recollection is a dwelling within ourselves ; being abstracted from the creature, and turned towards God. It is both outward and inward. Outward recollection consists in silence from all idle and superfluous words, and a wise disentanglement from the world ; keeping to our own business, observing and following the order of God for ourselves, and shutting the ear against all curious and unprofitable matters. Inward recollection consists in shutting the door of the senses ; in a deep attention to the presence of God, and in continual care of entertaining holy thoughts for fear of spiritual idleness. Through the power of the Spirit, let this recollection be steady, even in the midst of hurrying business : Let it he calm and peaceable, and let it be lasting. Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. To maintain this recollection, beware of entering too deeply, and beyond what is necessary, into outward things; beware of suffering your affections to be entangled by worldly vanities, your imagination to amuse itself with unprofitable objects, and of indulging yourself in the commission of what are called small faults. For want of continuing in a recollected frame all the day, our times of prayer are frequently dry and useless; imagipation prevails, and the heart wanders; whereas we easily pass from recollection to delightful prayer. Without this spirit, there can be no useful self-denial, nor can we know ourselves; but where it dwells, it makes the soul all eye, all ear ; traces and discovers sin, repels its tirst assaults, or crushes it in its earliest risings. But take care here, to be more taken up with thoughts of God than of yourself; and consider how hardly recollection is sometimes obtained, and how easily it is lost. Use no forced labour to raise a particular frame; nor tire, fret, nor grow impatient if you have no comfort; but meekly acquiesce, and confess yourself unworthy of it; lie prostrate in humble submission before God, and patiently wait for the smiles of Jesus. May the following motives stir you up to the pursuit of r-collection.-(1.) Without it, Gvd's voice cannot be heard in the soul.--(2.) It is the altar, on which we must offer up our Isaac3.—(3.) It is instru.. mentally a ladder, (if I may be allowed the expression,)
to ascend to God.-(4.) By it the soul gets to its centre, out of which it cannot rest.—(5.) Man's soul is the temple of God; recollection the holy of holies.—(6.) As the wicked by recollection find hell in their hearts, so faith. ful souls find heaven.-(7.). Without recollection, all means of grace are useless, or make but a light and travsitory impression. If we would be recollected, we must expect to suffer. Sometimes God does not speak immediately to the heart ; we inust then continue to listen with a more humble silence. Sometimes assaults of the heart, or of the temper, may follow, together with a weariness, and a desire to turn the mind to something else: Here we must be patient. By patience unwearied we inherit the promises. Dissipated souls are severely punished. If any man abide not in Christ, he is cast out as a branch ;-cast out of the light of God's countenance, and barrenness follows in the use of the meaus. The world and Satan gather and use him for their service. He is cast into the fire of the passions, of guilt, of temptation, and, perhaps of hell. As dissipation always meets its punishment, so recollection never fails of its reward. After a patient waiting comes communion with God, and the sweet sense of his peace and love. Recollection is a castle, an inviolable fortress against the world and the devil : It renders all times and places alike, and it is the habi. tation where Christ and his bride dwell.
I give you these hints, not to set Christ aside, but that you may, according to the light and power given to you, take these stones, and place them upon the chief corner-stone, and cement them with the blood of Jesus until the superstructure, in some measure, an: swers to the excellence of the foundation. I beg an interest in your prayers for myself and those committed to my charge ; and am, with sincerity, Madam, Your Servant for Christ's sake,
To the Hon. Mrs. C.
Cross Hall, YORKSHIRE, Dec. 26, 1781.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Your favour of the 4th instant did not reach me until a considerable time after date, through my being still absent from Madeley; a clergyman of this neighbourhood having made an exchange with me, to facilitate my settling some affairs of a temporal nature in this county. The kind part you take in my happiness demands my warmest thanks; and I beg you will accept them multiplied by those which my dear partner presents to you. Yes, my dear friend, I am married in my old age, and have a new opportunity of considering a great mystery, in the most perfect type of our Lord's inystical union with his church. I have now a new call to pray for a fuluess of Christ's holy, gentle, meek, loving Spirit, that I may love my wife, as he loved his spouse, the church. But the emblem is greatly deficient: The Lamb is worthy of his spouse, and more than worthy, whereas I must acknowledge myself unworthy of the yoke-fellow, whom Heaven has reserved for me. She is a person after my own heart; and I make no doubt we shall increase the number of the happy marriages in the church militant. Indeed they are not so many, but it may be worth a Christian's while to add one more to the number. God declared it was not good, that man, a social being, should live alone, and therefore he gave him a helpmeet for him: For the same reason our Lord sent forth his disciples two and two. Had I searched the three kingdoms, I could not have found one brother willing to share gratis my weal, woe, and labours, and com-