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our brethren! But, for want of this, how indifferent we become with regard to others ! or, if otherwise, however active, if not under the influence of Divine love, it is but like fruits brought forth in the shade. Oh! the beauty and benefit of words fitly spoken, and in season. ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” Thus, my dear friend, thou, who art called into this line of labour in the vineyard, and hast received suitable qualifications for the work, being also providentially disentangled from the cares of this life, “Be sober, be vigilant.” “Whatsoever thy hands find to do, do it with thy might.” “Cast thy bread upon the waters." Be not discouraged at the appearance of things. “He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."

.” “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”

Thy friends here are tolerably well in health, except dear Martha Routh, who at present is but poorly as to the body; the other part of the compound in that good woman, is, I believe, always improving John Routh and his sister visibly grow older, but still move a little about; she (I hope both of them) seems wisely attentive to improve the golden sands, that so her measure may be completely filled up. Through great mercy, we live in true unity, which I hope will never be broken..

Believe me to be invariably, thy sincere and affectionate friend,


Letter XXHXH.


3d Mo. 22, 1788. Being, contrary to my expectation and endeavours, prevented from attending the ensuing Monthly Meeting at , of which I was the more desirous, for the same reason that I hoped, and still hope, thou wilt be there; I find freedom, and that, I trust, after having maturely considered it, with a desire to do right, to communicate to thee what passed in my mind, long before I knew or expected that would have happened which prevents me.

It hath not been usual with me to think beforehand of the affairs likely to come before such a meeting; but the mention made by the friends of

of the application of a certain person to be admitted a member of our Society, occurred again and again to my mind, and connected with it the parable of the “ leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” It was hidden; but its operation, though secret, was gradual and progressive, till there was a total assimilation. « Till the whole was leavened,” the process was from within to without; the exterior part was the last affected, the last whose appearance was altered ; but though the last, it was as completely changed as the rest; “ the whole was leavened.”

This seemed to convey instruction to my own mind, as setting forth the prior necessity of an inward change, for the proper regulation of the outward deportment. I thought, too, it might be applied not improperly to the case, nor, perhaps, unprofitably to the consideration of the party alluded to. I do not doubt his having been sensible of the secret influence of the Divine principle in his own conscience, or that his judgment has been measurably convinced by the testimonies he has heard borne to the truth, as professed by us as a people. I as little doubt the sincerity of his desire to be considered as one believing in the same principle, and desirous to walk by the same rule; but, rather than he should desire a premature admission, I hope he will not be offended, if I recommend to his serious consideration, whether there is yet that thorough conviction, that perfect harmony of faith and practice, as would justify the conclusion that “the whole” is leavened : for, as he that believeth will not make haste, 80 a waiting for the right time, when perfect

unity will be experienced, will not retard his growth in the truth, nor lessen the tender regard of his friends towards him, or the peace of his own mind.

I desire to be as brief as possible. I have nothing but good-will in my heart towards him, and if, under the influence of that Wisdom which alone, in such cases, is profitable to direct, friends shall admit him a member of the Society, I shall freely give him the right hand of fellowship, and desire to be his companion in the regeneration and in newness of life.


Letter XXIV.


MANCHESTER, 4th Mo. Ist, 1788. My dear Friend,

The accounts I have heard of the return of thy former affliction in this advanced period of thy life, is indeed affecting, but what shall we say? shall the thing formed say unto him that formed it, “Why hast thou made me thus ?" No, God only is wise in all his dispensations; and to his humbled children will bless and sanctify them all, and fulfil in their experience that which his servant has declared, that "all things work together for good to them that love God." The various vicissitudes, the ups and downs to which we are subject, during our connection with this earthly tabernacle, in this changeable, conflicting, and probationary state, however they may affect our own feelings, have no effect at all on with whom we have to do," who is fixed beyond all possibility of mutation, who is “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;" “ with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning;" so that, when the cloud or eclipse which arises from the elementary composition of the material frame, shall be removed, and removed it certainly will be, either before, or with the dissolution of the body, then will the Son of Righteousness, I have no manner of doubt, shine without interruption on thy immortal part, through an unfailing duration. Call to mind, my dear friend, the experience of former trials of this sort; recollect thy painful fears and doubtings with respect to eternal happiness, and how fully these have been proved to thyself to be without foundation, to be the suggestions of the father of lies, who is still the same, working so far as he is permitted, in the darkness; and truly I do believe there is no temptation into which he endeavours more to lead us, than either presumption or despair, according as our respective states may give him an advantage. “ It is a great sin,” says a pious writer, despair of the mercy of God; despair is the most powerful talon of the enemy:" and in another

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