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behalf a faithful God. I sball now leave room against I have some business to write about-till then, adieu—but let us not forget, that this God is our God for ever and ever, and will be our guide even until death. Amen. Amen. We shall soon meet in heaven.
" S. P.”
TO MR. KING.
Plymouth, April 23, 1799. MY VERY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER,
I have the satisfaction to inform you, that length my complaint appears to be removed, and that I am, by degrees, returning te my usual diet, by which, with the divine blessing, I hope to be again strengthened for the discharge of the duties, and the enjoyment of the pleasures, which await me among the dear people of my charge.
I am indeed informed by my medical attendant here, that I shall never be equal to the labours of my past years, and that my return to moderate efforts must be made by slow degrees. As the path of duty, I desire to submit; but after so long a suspension from serv. ing the Redeemer in his church, my soul pants for usefulness more extensive than ever, and I long to become an apostle to the world. I do not think I ever prized the ministerial work so much as I now do. Two questions have been long before me. Shall I live or die? The second, If I live, how will my life be spent ? With regard to the former, my heart answered, “It is no matter-all is well—for my own sake, I need not be taught that it is best to be with Christ; but for the sake of others, it may be best to abide in the body_I am in the Lord's hands, let him do by me as seemeth him best for me and mine, and for his cause and honour in the world? But as to the second question, I could hardly reconcile myself to the thoughts of living, unless it were to promote the interest of my Lord ; and if my disorder should so far weaken me as to render me incapable of the ministry, nothing then appeared before me but gloom and darkness. However, I will hope in the
The first was,
Lord, that though he had chastened me sorely, yet, since he hath not given me over unto death, sparing mercy will be followed with strength, that I may show forth his praise in the land of the living.
I am still exceedingly weak!; more so than at any period before I left home, except the first week of my lying by ; but I am getting strength, though slowly. It is impossible at present to fix any time for my return. It grieves me that the patience of the dear people should be so long tried; but the trial is as great on my part as it can be on theirs, and we must pity and pray for one another. It is now a task for me to write at all, or this should have been longer.
TO MR. POPE.
“ Plymouth, May 24, 1799.
The symptoms have been very threatening, and I have repeatedly thought that, let the physician do what he will, he cannot keep me long from those heavenly joys, for which, blessed be God, I have lately been much longing ;land were it not for my dear people and family, I should have earnestly prayed for leave to depart, and be with Christ, which is so much better than to abide in this vain, suffering, singing world.
The doctors, however, pronounce my case very hopeful-say there is little or no danger-but that all these complaints require a great deal of time to get rid of. I still feel myself on precarious ground, but quite resigned to the will of Him who, unworthy as I am, continues daily to “fill my soul with joy and peace in believing.” Yes, my dear friend ! now my soul feels the value of a free, full, and everlasting salvation, while I rest all my hope on Vol. VI.
the Son of God in human nature, dying on the cross for me. Το me now, health or sickness, pain or ease, life or death, are things indifferent. I feel so happy in being in the hands of Infinite Love, that when the severest strokes are laid upon me, I receive them with pleasure, because they come from my heavenly Father's hands! “Oh! to grace how great a debtor!” &c.
TO DR. RYLAND.
“ Birmingham, Jaly 20, 1799. MY VERY DEAR BROTHER,
Your friendly anxieties on my behalf demand the earliest satisfaction. We had a pleasant ride to Newport on the afternoon we lest you, and the next day without much fatigue reached Tewksbury; but the road was so rough from Tewksbury to Evesham, that it injured me more than all the jolting we had had before put together. However, we reached Alcester on Wednesday evening, stopped there a day to rest, and last night (Friday) were brought safely bither, blessed be God!
I find myself getting weaker and weaker, and so my Lord instructs me in his pleasure to remove me soon. You say well, my dear brother, that at such a prospect I “ cannot complain.” No, blessed be His dear name who shed his blood for me, he helps me to rejoice at times, with joy unspeakable. Now I see the value of the religion of the cross. It is a religion for a dying sinner. It is all the most guilty, the most wretched, can desire. Yes, I taste its sweetness, and enjoy its fullness, with all the gloom of a dying bed before me. And far rather would I be the poor, emaciated, and emaciating creature that I am, thán be an emperor,
with every earthly good about him. i but without a God!
I was delighted the other day, in re-perusing the Pilgrim's Progress, to observe that when Christian came to the top of the hill Difficulty, he was put to sleep in a chamber called Peace. Why, how good is the Lord of the way to me! said I ; I have not reached the summit of the bill yet, but notwithstanding he puts me to
sleep in the chamber of Peace every night
True, it is often a chamber of pain ; but let pain be as formidable as it may, it has never yet been able to expel that peace which the great Guardian of Israel has appointed to keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
I have been labouring lately to exercise most love to God when I have been suffering most severely :--but what shall I say? Alas, too often the sense of pain absorbs every other thought. Yet there have been seasons when I have been affected with such a delightful sense of the loveliness of God, as to ravish my soul, and give predominance to the sacred passion. It was never till to-day that I got any personal instruction from our Lord's telling Peter by what death he should glorify God. Oh what a satisfying thought is it, that God appoints those means of dissolution whereby he gets most glory to himself! It was the very thing I needed ; for of all the ways of dying, that which I most dreaded was by a consumption; in which it is now highly probable my disorder will issue. But, Oh my dear Lord, if by this death I can most glorify thee, I prefer it to all others, and thank thee that by this mean thou art hastening my fuller enjoyment of thee in a purer world.
A sinless state! “Oh 'tis a heaven worth dying for!” I cannot realize any thing about heaven, but the presence of Christ and his people, and a perfect deliverance from sin, and I want no moreI am sick of sinning-soon I shall be beyond its power. “Oh joyful hour! Ob blest abode! I shall be near and like
God!” I only thought of filling one side--and now have not left room to thank you and dear Mrs. Ryland for the minute, affectionate, and constant attentions you paid us in Bristol. May the Lord reward you. Our hearty love to all around, till we meet in heaven. Eternally yours in Christ,
TO DR. RYLAND.
Birmingham, Aug. 4, 1799.
Lord's day evening. MY VERY DEAR BROTHER,
Still, I trust, hastening to the land “where there shall be no more curse," I take this opportunity of talking a little with you on the road ; for we are fellow-travellers, and a little conversation will no: lose ine the privilege of getting first to the end of my journey.
It is seventeen years within about a week since I first actually set out on my pilgrimage ; and when I review the many dangers to which, during that time, I have been exposed, I am filled with conviction that I have all along been the care of Omnipotent Love. Ah, how many Pliables, and Timorouses, and Talkatives, have I seen,
while my quivering heart said, “ Alas ! I shall soon follow these sons of apostasy, prove a disgrace to religion, and have my portion with hypocrites at last."
These fears may have had their uses-may have made me more cautious, more distrustful of myself, and kept me more dependent on the Lord. Thus
" All that I've met has work'd for my good.”
With what intricacy, to our view, and yet with what actual skill and goodness, does the Lord draw bis plans and mark out our path! Here we wonder and complain—Soon we shall all agree that it was a right path to the city of habitation ; and what we now most deeply regret, shall become the subject of our warmest praises.
I am afraid to come back again to life. O how many dangers await me ! Perhaps I may be overcome of some Aeshly lust—perhaps I may get proud and indolent, and be more of the priest than of the evangelist-surely I rejoice in feeling my outward man decay, and having the sentence of death in myself. O what prospects are before me in the blessed world whither I am going! To be holy as God is holy-to have nothing but holiness in my nature-to be assured, without