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To John CASH, (late of Coventry.)
WESTMINSTER, 10th Mo. 22, 1765. Dear Friend,
With pleasure I received, read, and reviewed thy most welcome and long-expected letter. It is true, I see little in myself, and nothing of myself, sufficient to secure me a place in the memory of my friends; but yet there are some reasons, not known to all the professors of friendship, that suffer me not to conclude myself forgotten by those whose favour I esteem, though I receive not, so frequently as I could wish, the evidences of their affectionate regard.
I very much approve of thy intention of marriage. May our blessed Lord, if He please, who so remarkably honoured the marriage in Cana of Galilee with His presence, vouchsafe His
glorious attendance at the solemnization ; and unite you to each other and to Him, in that love which survives faith and hope, and is coeval with eternity.
I am well pleased to hear of thy going into business for thyself; I hope it will answer thy end. If I recollect right, thou expressedst to me some diffidence of venturing into trade: truly it behoves us to be cautious in matters of importance; but then, when we act our part to the best of our understanding, it becomes us not (as Christians) to despond.
Let us remember, dear John, they that trust in the Lord need fear no want; for He hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee;" and ought we not to rest satisfied in the most sure promise of Him who is faithful ? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things [necessary ] shall be added unto you." He that feedeth the ravens, and clothes the lilies; without whose approbation a sparrow shall not fall, will not fail, if our trust is in Him, to extend a paternal, providential care over us, who are more considerable (though we be nothing) than the grass of the field, or the fowls of the air, and of more value than many sparrows.
I am obliged to thee for conveying my mother's love, from whom I am glad by every opportunity to hear. It gives me satisfaction to hear that friends at are generally well, but I am really sorry there should be any successors of the Laodicean church amongst them ; such a disposition of lukewarmness must, and will for ever, be productive of barrenness, of nakedness, of poverty, and want. Oh! what can be done or said, to alarm the indolent religious professors, who seem dead to their best reason, and truest interest; insensible of the blessings and glory of heaven, and deaf to His most glorious voice, who bath so long multiplied His calls in mercy, and waited to be gracious to them. Well! well! if such do not in time, (and the present is only their's) rouse themselves from their beds of ease, be zealous and repent, they may remember that He, whose word shall never go forth in vain, hath already pronounced “Wo to them that are at ease in Zion," and said to the lakewarm, “I will
spew thee out of my mouth." I am entirely of thy opinion with regard to
and abundantly convinced that our sentiments are just. Alas! alas ! flesh and blood would fain pray, though it cannot wait; and be a saint, though it cannot abide the will of God.
I do not know that I have any thing more to add, and perhaps I have trespassed too much on thy patience already; so for this time conclude, and subscribe myself thy most loving and affectionate friend,
To JOHN CASH.
WESTMINSTER, 5th Mo. 26, 1766. My dear Friend,
With regard to that part of thy last letter which respects thy external situation and circumstances, I have little to reply, because I have no doubt but in those things all will be well. A due attention to the established maxims of frugality and industry, through the blessing of Providence, will hardly fail of procuring all that can be thought necessary by those who, like good old Jacob, can be content with food to eat and raiment to put on. To the other part, which I count the best, in which I am more nearly concerned, and much more interested, I thought I should have answered more particularly; but I find myself rather mistaken, for truly I feel very little to say; and to force myself, like Saul, and offer unrequested, would at best prove but an unprofitable folly.
Are not men, the best of men, to be compared with reeds shaken with the wind, and clouds which cannot fill themselves? who of themselves can do nothing for themselves, much less for others. But He, to whom the work of man's salvation belongeth, hath both wisdom and power to carry it on, and will carry it on unto the end,