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some happy exceptions,) being so generally the case, I am sometimes ready to fear lest we should become too generally a lifeless, formal, superficial people. And as I believe the proverb is mostly true, like people like priest, I am persuaded there is great danger (what else can be expected ?) that what little there is of ministry amongst us, should become too much a superficial ministry. Have we not cause to be alarmed, lest others should come and take our crown?
Remember my dear love to Priscilla Hannah Gurney and to Sarah Allen, of whose kind attention I shall long retain a grateful remembrance. It was very pleasant to me, to see the close of a well spent life made happy by such domestic associates : I mean as happy as thou expectest to be, or perhaps as the nature of things will admit, in this present world; but there are better things in
Persevere, my dear friend, in the way of humility, self-denial, and faithfulness, and “a crown of righteousness” will soon be given thee, o that fadeth not away.” I am thy affectionate friend,
To RICHARD REYNOLDS.
MANCHESTER, 12th Mo. 1, 1808. My dear Friend,
The mental languor thou complainest of, may well be expected after thy illness; but if we should not this way account for it, thou and I have now to expect to feel the infirmities of age, when the vigour of the system must be greatly declined. The fervours of devotion, in which we most delight, are not always best for us; and I accord with the sentiment of a pious author, that “ if the will spirit stand right, the changes of creaturely fervour lessen not our union with God.” I know the enemy is always accusing us, and would dispose us to accuse ourselves; but we have a merciful High-priest, who is “ touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Let us, then, remember that apostolic exhortation, 66 Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”
We are also very liable to be mistaken in our opiņions, how it fares with others, who may be sitting with us. With regard to myself, I have little to say; I am favoured with health ; but it is winter; it is also the winter of age, and to me it seems like winter in the revolution of the Lord's
years ; and what can one say, or what can one do, in such a case !—why, endeavour after silent, patient submission, and be thankful, if we can, for the many undeserved mercies which yet remain.
Thou hast done a good day's work; I have done but little ; I am not at all disposed to flatter; but I would counteract the enemy, who, I know, would always spread discouragement both before thee and me.
Farewell, my dear friend; to hear from thee is always pleasant to thy affectionate friend,
To RICHARD REYNOLDS.
MANCHESTER, 5th Mo. 2, 1809.
My dear friend,
I say to myself (though perhaps it is not always good reasoning,) I have nothing new to say to my dear friends. I think of them often; I love them increasingly; I look forward in hope, to that blessed period, when there will be no more need of pen and ink in our communications, and when they will be purged from all impurities, and all impediments. If thou and I should land safely in the heavenly country, this time can be at no great distance from us ; a few more days and nights, and we shall bave done with all the shackles of mortality.
Those genuine traits of humility and selfabasement, which run through all thy letters, are very instructive, pleasant, and comfortable to me; because I know these heavenly virtues are only taught to the disciples of Him, who was “meek and lowly in heart:" and I have often been thankful, and my soul hath worshipped many times before this blessed Master, in feeling and observing, that He knows how to teach these blessed lessons, and is still teaching them to many, whose natural dispositions and circumstances are most unfavourable to this sort of learning.
I sincerely wish, for myself and thee, that we may be strengthened to do or suffer what little may yet remain to fill up the measure of our duty; and I have no doubt at all, but we shal be thus supported, and that He, who hath been our morning light, will be our evening song,
I am, with the salutation of brotherly love, thy affectionate friend,
To RICHARD REYNOLDS.
MANCHESTER, 8th Mo. 15, 1809. My dear Friend,
I sometimes wonder that there should be any such thing as self-righteousness in the world; or that any should think they have any claim, from merits, to rewards. But we have both cause humbly and gratefully to acknowledge, that mercy and goodness have followed us all the days of our lives, and, I have confidence to believe, will be continued to us for ever. Let us, then, contend for this faith, and possess our souls in patience. We have both bad many trials, in passing through this vale of tears, and many mercies to acknowledge; and I humbly hope and pray, that He who hitherto hath helped us, will continue to be with us, and finally give us an inheritance in His everlasting kingdom. I am thy affectionate friend,