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lives in gazing at, or stumbling over the failings of others. But I mean not to censure. It is their immortal souls' welfare I have in view; therefore, I would call them, yea, beseech and entreat them, as they tender their own salvation, to come away,-come away! This is not your rest. It surely is polluted. It is a land of darkness, as darkness itself. The shadows of the evening, yea, the shadows of midnight are spread over the minds of the inhabitants thereof. Oh, sorrowful! sorrowful! that any should love to dwell in utter darkness; that any should suffer their immortal souls to be made so easy a prey to the dragon. What will it avail thee, O soul, when thou comest before the great and final tribunal, to say, such a man professed great sanctity, but was a hypocrite: therefore, I was tempted to quit the service of the living God, and serve his enemy? Or, such an one made profession of exalted piety but was a liar, a deceiver, an abominable wretch; therefore, though I was somewhat washed, I turned to my wallowing in the mire ? This will never justify thee at the gates of heaven, nor procure thee an admittance thereinto. Oh! my soul mourns on thy account. My spirit is indeed grieved. Come, let me query with thee. Dost thou feel a daily striving to overcome evil in thyself? Art thou constantly concerned to keep up the inward watch and holy warfare? Yea, let me come closer. Whilst thou art dwelling, musing, and feeding upon the faults of others, art thou at the same time engaged, and panting after perfection in thy own soul? While thou art rehearsing to thy intimate friend, the wanderings and weaknesses of such and such, dost thou feel longing and unquenchable desires in thy mind to make war in righteousness against the power of corruption in thyself? If not, the enemy of truth, it is to be feared, may with justice. challenge the praise due from thy complainings. Oh! that that eye was open in thee, that could see thyself. Oh! that thou hadst a heart to understand this mystery of iniquity. But, alas! the adversary blinds thee. For why dost thou give back because of another's weakness, but because of thine own? Why stumblest thou at another's frailties, but because thyself art frail? Make a pause then, and turn thy attention inward. Set a watch upon the wicket of thy soul, and keep sentinel in deep
attention there: then wilt thou have enough to do, to view thy own imperfections, and to guard against them so as not to stumble others. Work enough, indeed, may be found to engage all thy care and diligence, in labouring to cease from evil, and do good thyself. It is less substantial than many a dream, to give the victory over our own souls to our enemy, because others are entangled in his snares. Shall I quit the field and turn my back in the day of battle, because a fellow soldier is treacherous, cowardly, or unfaithful, when I know my all is at stake, and if 1 flee I must perish? Surely nay. I ought rather to put forward with more zeal, vigilance, and constancy; endeavouring to encourage the fearful and unbelieving, as knowing the salvation of their souls, as well as my own, is at stake. Away then, thou reasoner, thou murmurer, with such pitiful musings and excuses. The day of solemn reckoning draws near. Thou must, ere long, appear before the Ancient of Days, to give an account of the deeds done in thy frail, mortal body, and to receive a reward according to thy works; not according to the stability or instability of another. Therefore, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, that Christ may give thee light. For darkness, gross darkness, is the encircling, overshadowing canopy of thy soul. It is time for thee to hear and obey the command given to Israel of old,—to go forward; for thou (with them) hast compassed this mountain long enough; a barren mountain, in the wide, desolate wilderness, from the top of which, it is much to be feared, thou mayst one day, or rather one night, by the arising of a strong and boisterous whirlwind, be swept off into the bottomless pit of despair, or into some quagmire, or swampy hole, where serpents, reptiles, and venomous creatures breed and dwell. Oh! that I could persuade thee, for thy own soul's sake, to turn thy back on satan's suggestions. Oh! that thou could be prevailed upon to lift up thy heart above the world, that so thy salvation might draw nigh indeed.
Now to conclude, let me once more beseech thee to hearken to that encouraging invitation, which is sometimes sounded in the secret of thy soul, "Come up hither, and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." Come up, is here the joyful sound: and even the spirit and the bride say, come: and indeed, he that
will come, may come: yea, verily, may come and if he improves the strength given, all the powers of earth, and of the infernal hosts, cannot hinder him. For "there is no enchantment against Jacob, nor divination against Israel," while sitting in their tents. Therefore, to thy tents, O Israel! To thy tents, O Israel! Keep inward. There thy strength lies. There is thy place of preservation. There shalt thou walk in the light of the Lord; his candle shall shine upon thee, and his inspeaking word shall guide thee in the way everlasting. Walking in which with fulness of peace, I desire to leave thee, and rest thy friend,
One Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism. Eph. iv. 5.
FINDING an engagement on my mind, to commit to writing some considerations respecting the one true God, especially the true and saving knowledge of him, the one true and only saving faith, and the one only christian baptism, my breathings have been frequent and fervent to the Lord, for his help and direction; certainly and sensibly knowing, by multiplied experience, that of myself, without his aid, I can do nothing that will please him, or further my own or others' salvation. Thus looking to him, who I trust fastened this concern on my mind, and has opened some gospel truths relative to these important subjects with clearness on my understanding, and humbly imploring his almighty aid, that through the influence of his Holy Spirit, what I write may be agreeable to his divine will; and that not a word may be suffered to escape my pen that would hurt the souls of any, I proceed first to some brief Remarks upon Knowledge of the One Lord, the Only True God.