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wheat. I approve your defign of examining the state of things for yourself, before you engage in the business. May the Lord bless the productions of your body and those of your mind : May your little family and your books appear in the world, under the most distinguished protection of the Most High! Adieu. Pray for
I am &c, 1. F.
Madeley, Aug. 1762. The Rev. Mr. Charles Wesley.
My dear Sir,
and I rejoice that Dr. Turner, by whose skill the Lord once brought me up from the grave, has undertaken your cure. May he have the same success with you, that he had with me; but, be that as it will, our comfort is to know, that God will do all for the best.
I have still trials of all forts. First, spiritual ones. My heart is hard: I have not that contrition, that filial fear, that sweet, humble melt, ing of heart before the Lord, which I consider as eilential to spiritual Christianity. 11 Secondly, the opposition made to my ministry increales. A young. Clergyman, who lives in Madeley Wood, where he has great influence, has openly declared war against me, by pafting on the church door a paper, in which he charges me with rebellion, schilm, and being a disturber of the publick peace. He puts himself at the head of the gentlemen of the parish, (as they term themselves) and supported by the Recorder of Wenlock, he is determined to put in force the Conventicle A&t against me. Å few weeks ago, the widow who lives in the rock church, and a young man, who read and prayed in my abfence, were taken up. I attended them bé fore the justice, and the young clergyman with his troop were present. They called me Jefuit &c, and the justice tried to frighten me, by saying, " that he would put the act in force, tho’ we should assemble only in my own houle: 1 pleaded my cause as well as I could, but feeing he was determined to hear no reason, I told him, " he must do as he pleased, and that if the Act in question concerned us, we were ready to suffer all its rigours." In his rage, he went the next day to Wenlock, and proposed to grant a warrant to have me apprehended; but, as the other justices were of opi. nion, that the business did not come under their cognizance, but belonged to the Spiritual Court, he was obliged to swallow his fpittle a lone. Mr. Madan, whom I have consulted, tells me, the A& may be enforced against the milIrels of the house, the young man, and all who were present. The churchwardens talk of put- . ting me in the Spiritual Court, for meeting in houfes &c. But what is worst of all, three false witnesses offer to prove upon oath, that I am a liar; and fome of my followers (as they are called) have dishonoured thcir profession, to the great joy of our adversaries.
In the midt of these difficulties, I have reafon to bless the Lord that my heart is not troubled: Forget me not in your prayers. Your, 1. E.
Madeley, Sep. 4th, 1762. Mr. Vaughan.
I Am very glad to hear your de
light is still in the ways of the Lord, and, I trust, you will never stop till you find them all pleasantness to you. Fight the good fight of faith; break through all temptations, dejections, wandering, worldly thoughts; through all unprofitable companions, and the backwardness of an unbelieving heart, and carnal mind : ftruggle, I say, until you touch Jesus, and feel healing, comforting virtue, proceeding from him; and when you know clearly the way to him, repeat the touch, till you find he lives in you, by the powerful operation of his Joving Spirit. Then you will fay, with St. Paul, I live the life of God, yet not I, but Chrift who liveth in me.
I rejoice that you enquire, where Christ maketh his flock to rest at noon. The rest from the guilt, and power of fin, you will find only in incoard holiness: and this I apprehend to consist in, what St. Paul calls, The kingdom of God righteousness, which excludes all guilt; peace, which banilhes all fear that hath torment; and joy, which can no more fubfift with doubts, enxiety, and unstableness of mind, than light wherein this kingdom is fet up, firmly set up in
? the heart, you may see from our Lord's sermon on the mount, by his priestly prayer in St. John, by the Epistle of that Apoftle, and various parts of the Epiftles of St. Paul and St. James.
To aim aright at this liberty of the children of God, requires a continual acting of faith-of a naked faith in a naked promise, such as, The Son of God was manifefted TO DESTROY the works of the Devil-The law of the Spirit of life, in Chrift Jesus, hath made me Free from the law of fin and deathI can do all things, through Christ, who strengtheneth ille. By a naked faith in a naked promise, I do not mean a bare assent, that God is faithful, and that such a promise is in the book of God may be fulfilled in ine; but a bold, hearty, steady venturing of my soul, body, and spirit, upon the truth of the promise, with an appropriating act. It is mine, because I am a finner; and I am determined to believe, come what will. Here you must shut the eye ofa carnal reason, and stop the ear of the mind to the reasonings of the Serpent; which, were you to reafon with him, would be endless, and would foon draw you out of the fimple way of that faith, by which we are both justified and sanctified.
You must also remember, that it is your privilege to go to Chrift, by such a faith now, and every succeeding moment; and that you are to bring nothing, but a careless, distracted, tossed, hardened heart-juft such a one, as you have now. Here lies the grand mistake of many poor miferable, but precious fouls: they are afraid to believe, lest it should be presumption, because they have not as yet comfort, joy, love, &c; not con. lidering, that this is to look for fruit, before the tree is planted. Beware, then, of looking for any grace, previous to your believing; and let this be uppermost in your mind. The Lord make you wife as a serpent, and harmless as the loving dove ; but beware of the serpent's food, dujt, and the dove's bane, birdlime-worldly-cares. O, my friend, what is the world ?--A flying shadow. As we fly through it, let us lose ourselves in the Eternal Substance. Farewell in the Lord. Yours, L. F.
harmless the *Bclieve that you have it, and you have it.
Madeley, Sep. 20th, 176e. The Rev. Mr. Charles Welley,
My dear Sir,
not an implicit faith in your half promises of coming to see me. I am Torry that my delay has furnished you with an apology; but comfort myself still with the idea,
will not wholly deprive me of the pleafure of embracing you; and that your vifit is only postponed for a little season.
i The Crede. quod habes et habes"* is not very
different from those words of Christ, What things. foever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. The humble reason of the believer, and the irrational presumption of the enthusiast, draw this doctrine to the right hand or the left. split the hair, where lies the difficulty. I have told you that I am no party man: I am neither for nor against the witness for Christian Perfection, without examination. I complain of those who deceive themselves; I honour those who do honour to their profession; and I wish we could find out the right way of reconciling
Maik xi. 240