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a few months I have felt a spirit of declension coming upon me.
“Oct. 27.-Of late I have been greatly employed in journeying and preaching, and endeavouring to collect for the East India Mission. I find a removal from place to place, though good for my health, yet not good for my soul. . I feel weary of journies, on account of their interfering so much with my work at home. I long to visit my congregation, that I may know more of their spiritual concerns, and be able to preach to their cases.”
“ May 12, 1796.--For a long time past I have written nothing; not because I have been uncomfortable; perhaps I never lived a year in my life in which I enjoyed more of the pleasures of religion, than in 1795: especially at the Association, which was held at Kettering. But my time has been so taken up about missionary and other public matters, and I have had so much writing on those subjects; that bence, and on account of writing being against the complaint in my head, I have declined it in this book."
I am, satisfied that intelligent readers will know what use to make of these valuable extracts; never intended indeed for public view, and almost prohibited from being seen; but which I have ventured to make, under a strong persuasion that if I could now consult my dear departed friend, he would be satisfied with the reasons of my conduct; and indeed apprehending that I bave done only as he would have done by another in like circumstances. Much there is to show what a poor creature is man, saved, renewed man, even at bis best estate. I do not object, and I am very sure he would not, to the idea, that there may be Christians who have got nearer to the mark of our calling, and who have had a fuller enjoyment even before band of the prize: would to God they were more numerous, and their attainments far higher. But after all, I am fully satisfied, that the best believer on earth has need of daily pardon, daily aid, daily healing; and that Mr. Edwards had good ground for the conviction he once expressed—“There is no dependence
It is to no purpose to resolve, except we depend on the grace of God; for if it were not for his mere grace, one might be a very good man one day, and a very wicked ope the next."
“Nevertheless, with all my dear Brother's acknowledged defects and painful conflicts, there was an unspeakable difference between his religion, and that of some high professors in the present day, whose only concern it is to maintain a confidence of their own safety, a confidence too often indeed' without evidence, from scripture, sense, or reason;' and if this can be attạiged,
(and the worst of all spirits would gladly help them to it) they care but little for sins of omission, and not much for those of commission: godly jealously they discard, and duty they cannot endure.
Individuals it is not my province to judge, and gladly would I hope that some men may have their hearts right with God who express themselves very incautiously. I do not know who made the hymn which I have seen printed in more collections than one; but nothing I ever saw is more liable to the worst construction in the world, than such lines as these:
“ Barren although my soul remain,
But sin and only sin be here;” Yet I will trust and not be afraid, is the sentiment that follows! Surely no man who lives in the habitual commission of the grossest sins can describe his case in stronger language than this; not even the vilest wretch that ever lived in Admah or Zeboim, or either of the other cities of the plain.
“ This I say;” says Dr. Owen, "under an habitual declension or decay of grace in the spirituality of our affections, no man can keep or maintain a gracious sense of the love of God, or of
peace with him.” Spiritual-mindedness, 278. “ Some would very desirously have evangelical joy, peace, and assurance, to countenance them
in their evil frames and careless walking. And some have attempted to reconcile these, to the ruin of their souls. But it will not be. Without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the grace of consolation.” Meditations on the Glory of Christ. p. 168.
My dear departed friend evidently hungered and thirsted, after righteousness; his soul panted after God, the living God: while others admired bis zeal, his diligence, his activity, &c. he was often bewailing his lukewarmness, bis sloth, and inactivity. He had a deep sense of what a Christian ought to be; he understood the spirituality of the divine law; be felt the obligations of the gospel, which did not supersede, but confirm, enhance, and endear prior obligations; and hence, while he trusted to behold God's face in the imputed righteousness of another, he could not be satisfied till he awoke in the likeness of his blessed Saviour. Now, I am well persuaded, he is with him, and is perfectly like him; for he sees him as he is.
He has fought the good fight, he. has finished his course, he has kept the faith, and has received the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge will give to all thein that love his appearing.
An Account of Mr. Fuller's various Publicutions, both of a Polemical and Practical nature-His earnest concern to be led into the truth-A solemn Covenant with GodBrief Notices from his Diary on this headRemarks on some of his Works interspersed with the CatalogueList of Magazine Papers - Intimation of unfinished Remains.
That Treatise which was written * first by Mr. Fuller, was of a controversial nature, as many of his subsequent publications were, It has been seen in the second chapter, by what means he was led, at a very early period in his religious course, to attend to various theological controversies : and though his first diary, in Chapter III, shows that he was very reluctant to enter into polemical discussions before the public, yet whoever considers the state of our churches, as represented in the
* The Sermon on The Nature and Importance of Walking by Faith was first printed, but the other manuscript had been long before prepared for the press.