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THE 

REV. JOHN'kEEWTON, 



LATS 

RECTOR OF THE UNITED PARISHES 

OF 

»T. MARY WOQLNOTH AND ST. MARY WOOLCHURCH HAW, 

ILottiyoti. 



FROM THK LAST LONDON EDITION, 
PUBLISHED BT DIRECTION OF HIS EXECUTORS. 



IN FOUR VOLUMES. 
VOL. IV. 



NEW-HAVEN: 
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY NATHAN WHITING. 

1824. 



?5X 5-631 

yr.i 



CONTENTS 

OF VOLUME IV. 



Letters to a Wife : written during three Toyages to Africa, from 1750 

to 1754 ^ 

Letters to a Wife : written in England, from 1755 to 1785 . • 127 
Appendix . ^^ 

LETTERS mTENDED AS A SEQUEL TO CARDIPHONU. 

Eighteen Letters to several Ladies t39 

Twenty-one Letters to Mr. and Mrs. W 266 

Eleven Letters to J S ,Esq 901 

Eight Letters to 920 

Eighteen Letters to the Rev. Mr. 3 996 

Four Letters to Miss W 95S 

Six Letters to the Rer. Mr. S - , 966 

Twenty-one Letters to Miss . 981 

' ^e Letters to Mr. and Miss M B 415 

ALetterto 425 

Three Letters to Miss O 427 

Three Letters to Mrs. G 499 

MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS EXTRACTED FROM PERIODICAL 
PUBLICATIONS. 

A Letter to a Friend in Trouble • 441 

Thoughts on the GoTemment of the Tongue 445 

On Pliny's Letter to Trajan 447 

Letter to a young Minister ..•...•,. 454 

On a Decline in the Spiritual Life . 453 

On Dreaming . . • • « 435 

On readhag the Bible 435 

Plain Tests of true Doctrine 437 

To a young Lady on her Birth-day 473 

Thoughts on the Doctrine of the Trinity 479 

Letter to a young Woman .482 

Memoirs of the Bey. ILRicoaltouo 484 

On Female Utem . • 499 



4 CONTENTS. 

Pag«. 

On Reiigioos Feasting 49t 

Thoughts on Faith, and the Assurance of Faith 406 

On Govetousness 501 

On the Consforls and Snares of Social Affections .... .505 

Sermon on the constraining Influence of the Lore of Christ « . . 51T 

Thoughts upon the African 'Slare Trade 9SS 

Address to the Inhabitants.ofOlnej . 590 

Token of Respect to the Inhabitants of St Mary Woolnoth . . .569 

Letter on Political Debate , , 570 

Index 585 



WBITTKN DUBIRG 

THREE VOYAGES TO AFRICA, 

FROM 17&0 TO 1754. 



rO Ubonim 



Dulce lenimen ! 

BOB. 



The3rtlntgodow]ilotlieMaiBibipi.tbatdobutine«B infrttt wtlsni th«M fcethci 
iratkt of tbeliordy and his wooden in tne deep.— Fsalm cvii. 23. S4. 



PREFACE. 



WHjfeKy after repeated checks of conscience, I obstinately broke through 
all restraints of religion, it pleased God for a time to give me up to my 
own wilfulness and folly ;. perhaps as much so, as ever poor creature 
was given up to himself, who did not finally perish. The way of trans* 
gressors is always hard. It proved so to me. The miseries into which 
I plunged myself, could only be exceeded by the dreadful wickedness of 
my heart and life. At length I was driven to the desperate determination 
of living upon the coast of Africa. My principal residence was at the 
Plantanes, an island at the mouth of the river of Sherbro, on the wind- 
ward coast, about twenty leagues S. £. from Sierra Leone. Some ac* 
count of this mournful part of my early life has been long in print 

The coast of Guinea is a country from whose bourn few travel- 
lers, who have once ventured to settle. there, ever return. But God, 
against whom I had sinned with a high hand, was pleased to appoint 
me to be 3 singular instance of his mercy. He not only spared me, bat 
watched over me, by his merciful providence, when I seemed to be bent 
Qpon my own destruction ; and provided for my deliverance from my 
wretched thraldom. To him who has ait hearts in bis hands I ascribe it, 
that a friend of my father's, the late Mr. Joseph Manesty, a merchant of 
Liverpool, to whom 1 was then an otter stranger, directed the captal^f 
one of his ships to inquire for me, and, if be could, to bring me home. 
This proposal for my deliverance, no less unexpected than undeserved by 
me, reached me at a time when some circumstances of my captivity were, 
according to my wretched views and taste, a little amended, and I at first 
hesitated to accept it. And, I believe, had it not been for one considera- 
tion, which will be often mentioned in the course of these letters, I should 
have lived and died in my bondage. When I returned to Liverpool, I 
ibund, in Mr. Manesty, a second father } he treated me with great kind- 
ness, and took upon himself th% care of providing fur me. 

Towards the close of the year 1749, Mr. Manesty promised me the 
command of a ship to Africa, in the ensuing season. On this promise 
(for 1 had no other dependence) I ventured to marry on the first of Feb- 
ruary following, where my heart had been long engaged. After I had 
gained my point, 1 often trembled for my precipitation. For though I 



8 FREFACfi« 

am sare I shoald have preferred the person I married to any other wo- 
man in the world, though possessed of the mines of Potosi ; (she had no 
fortune;) and if any thing had happened to involve her in difficukies up- 
on my account, I think my strong affection for her would have made me 
truly miserable. 

I have often thought since, that we were then like two unexperienced 
people on the edge of a wide wilderness, without a guide, ignorant of the 
way they should take, entirely unapprised of the diificuUies they might 
have to encounter* But the Lord God, whom at that time we knew not, 
had mercifully purposed to be our guide and our guard. 

The imminent danger and extreme distress to which we were reduced 
by a storm, in my passage from Africa to Liverpool, had, by the mercy 
of Ood, made such an impression upon my mind, that I was no longer an 
infidel or a libertine. I had some serious thoughts, was considerably re* 
formed, but too well satisfied with my reformation. If I had any spirit- 
ual light, it was but as the first faint streaks of the early dawn : and I be- 
lieve it was not yet day-break with my dear wife. She was young, cheer- 
ful, and much esteemed by her connexions, which were genteel and 
numerous. She was not wanting in that decent religion which is compat- 
ible with the supposed innocent gayeties of a worldly life; and which 
disposes people to be equally ready and punctual (m their respective sea- 
sons) at church and at cards, at the assembly or theatre, and at the sa- 
crament. Further than this she knew not, nor was I qualified to teach 
her. It is rather probable that, if I could have remained at home, my 
' great attachment to her would have drawn roe into the same paths, and 
thj^we should have looked no higher for happiness than to our mutual 
satisfaction in each other. 

But God had designed better things for us. The season for sailing ap- 
proached, and I was constrained to leave her, to take the command and 
charge of my ship. This n'Mressity of being absent from her, which then 
seemed to me bitter as death, I have now reason to acknowledge as one 
of the chief mercies of my life. iVist periUtiem^periUBem. If I could have 
obtained my fond short-sighted wish, and have continued with her, I see 
that, humanly speaking, it might have proved the ruin of us both. 

The summons I received to repair to Liverpool, awakened me as out 
of a dream. When I was forced from her, I found both leisure and occa- 
sion for much reflection. «My serious thoughts, which had been almost 
smothered, begsn to revive. And my anxiety with respect to what 
might possibly happen while I was abroad, induced me to ofier up many 
prayers for her, before I well knew how to pray for myself. He who 



PREFACE. 9 

lakes notice of the cries of the young ravens in iheir nests, was pleased to 
hear mine. In a word, I soon felt the need of that support which only 
religion can give. The separation likewise tended, on both sides, to give 
a certain tenderness and delicacy, and thereby a permanency, to our af- 
fection, which might not have flourished to equal advantage^ through life^ 
if we had always lived togetlien 

This brief introduction may |)08sibly throw some light upon several 
passages which will occur in the course of my correspondence. 

The only expedient we could then think of to alleviate the pains of ab- 
sence, was writing. Letters were accordingly exchanged, by every post, 
white I staid in England : and when I sailed, and could not expect to 
hear from her for a long time, I still continued to write -on the usual post- 
days. And this practice afforded me so much relief and pleasure, that it 
was not long before I wrote (i( business and circumstances would permit) 
almost every day of every, week. Few^ if any, of my letters miscarried. 
The first volume* of ffiis publication is formed by a selection of extracts 
from those which I sent home during the three voyages I made to Africa. 
Those in the second, are extracted from a number almost equal, which I 
wrote when we were occasionally separated, after the good providence of 
God freed me from that iniquitous employment in which I was too long 
ignorantly engaged, and appointed me a settlement on shore. 

When I first undertook this painful, pleasing task, I. had not the least 
thought of the letters appearing in print so soon. I intended them (or a 
posthumous legacy to my friends and to the public. But in the progress 
of the work, my objections to publishing them myself, were gradually weak- 
ened ; and I became more williug to erect, as it were, a monument to the 
memory of a valuable and much valued woman in my own life-time* The 
only justifiable plea 1 can allege fur printing these letters at all, is a hope 
that, by the blessing of God, they may be made useful to some of my read- 
ers ; and if this hope be not ill-founded, the sooner tliey appear the better. 
Some testimony in favour of the happiness of wedded life, some intima- 
tion of the snares and abatements which attend it, seems not unseasona- 
ble in the present day. And perhaps I, am, by experience, qualified to 
be as unexceptionable a witness, in both respects, as most men. 

I am aware that I shall expose myself to the charge of egotism ; but 
this I may cheerfully submit to, if oiy heart does not deceive me with 
respect to my motives and proposed end. Neither the censures nor the 
praises of men, ought to have an undue influence upon those who profess 

* These letters were originally published in two volumes. 

Vol. IV. 2 



10 PEEFACe. 

to act with a view to the glory of God, and the benefit of their fellow- 
creatures. And as to myself, now far advance^ in life, and standing 
upon the brink of the grave and of eternity, it does not become me to be 
very solicitoas what nmrtals may say or think of me, either at present, or 
when I shall cease to be seen among them, provided I am justly charge- 
able with nothing unsuitable to my profession and general character. 
We must«all shortly appear before the tribunal of the great, unerring 
Judge, the one Lawgiver, who is able to save or to destroy. Diet iste 
uuUcabit. Then the secrets of all hearts will be unfolded, and every 
character will appear in its true liglit. 

Yet as my letters are of a singular cast, and I tread upon rather new 
and unbeaten ground, the respect which I owe to my readers re- 
quires me to request their candid perusal, and to soften, if I can- 
such objections as I foresee may arise in their minds (as they may be 
differently disposed) to different parts of the book. 

It is proper to make an apology to the public at large, for the detail of 
many incidents which, however interesting to myself, especially at the 
time of writing, are certainly not sufficiently so to deserve general 
attention. If I had not suppressed the greater part of these, my 
two small volumes would have swelled to folios. To have sup- 
pressed them all, besides defeating my main design, would have 
made the little remainder appear harsh and stiff; would have given 
the letters an air of declamation, and have destroyed that freedom 
which is essential to the epistolary style. It is difficult to draw the ex- 
act line, and to fix the proper medium ; and especially so to me, on a 
subject in which I am so nearly concerned, and on which I could not 
well consult my friends. I have kept this difficulty in view through the 
whole, and have acted to the best of my judgment. What some persons 
will blame, others may approve, and my books will be open to all. Be- 
sides, as the workings and emotions common to the human heart are 
much fewer than the various events and occasions that may excite them; 
some account of my own feelings, under certain circumstances, may ap- 
ply to the feelings of others in their more important affairs. 

To my more serious readers, I may well apologize for most of the let. 
• ters of an early date ; which I should certainly be ashamed of now, if they 
were printed by themselves. But as I began to write about the same 
time that I began to see ; and, in proportion as light increased upon my 
mind, my letters assumed a graver cast ; I was willing to insert such a 
series as might mark the progress of that spiritual knowledge which the 
Lord taught me to seek, and which I did not seek emirely in vain. My 



PREFACX. 11 

letters, which at first were triflingy soon became more serious ; and as I 
was led into further views of the principles and privileges of the Gospel, I 
endeavoured to communicate to my dear corr^poi^ent what I had receiv* 
ed. And, in due time, he was pleased to make tmrn a mean of affecting 
her heart, and impressing her with the same desires and aims. For which 
mercy I can never sufficiently adore and praise him. 

If they who think lightly of marriage, or who chiefly engage in it upon 
interested motives, prefering the wealth, and pomp, and' glare of the 
world to a union of hearts ; if such persons should treat all that 1 have 
written upon the subject as folly, rant, and enthusiasm, I cannot help it. 
To them, I owe no apology. I only hope they will not be angry with 
me for expressing a friendly wish that tbey might be even as I was, ex- 
cepting the heart-aches and inquietudes that I sometimes fett, which I 
considered as a price paid (and I thought the purchase not dear) for my 
satisfaction. Long experience and much observation have convinced 
me, that the marriage state, when properly formed and prudently con- 
ducted, affords the nearest approach to happiness (of a merely temporal 
kind) that can be attained in this uncertain world, and which will best 
abide the test of sober reflection. 

To infidels, sceptics, and libertines, if such should be among the num- 
ber of my readers, I cannot expect that any apology of mine, for what 
might be justly exceptionable, would be either acceptable or sufficient. 
They will be glad if they can pick out any sentiments, either false or tri- 
vial, to exhibit as specimens of the whole. Yet I have something to say 
to them; not in a spirit of defiance, but of meekness. /These characters 
were once, alas ! my own. Had my abilities and opportunities been equal 
to the depraved taste of my heart, I should have rivalled Voltaire himself. 
My own experience convinces me, that nothing short of a divine power 
pan soften that mind which, after having stifled repeated checks of con- 
science, has renounced revelation, and is hardened like steel by infidelity. 
I know the gall and bitterness, the effects, and the awful danger of that 
state. Such persons are entitled to my compassion and my prayers ; if, 
peradventure, it may please God to give them repentance, to the acknow- 
ledgment of the truth. It is not the smallest evil resulting from this ma- 
lignant poison, that they who are infected by it, cannot*be content with 
going on iiMheir own way alone ; but usually labour, with a zeal almost 
eqnal to that of a martyr, to draw others into the sanAe path. ' There is sr 
something within them which will, at times, remonstrate and recoil, in de- 
fiance of their utmost efforts. At such seasons, (like children in the dark,) 



13 PREFACE. 

Ufilesi they faave company, their spirits will flag. This prompts them to 
entploy every art of sophisti|^ and dissimulation to gain proselytes. 

Historical deductioi^ and learned arguments are not necessary to 
eyince the truth of the Gospel. It proves its own importance by its ob- 
vious tendency, and by its uniform effects. Let a thinking man suppose, 
for a moment, that the motives, hopes, and rules proposed in the New 
Testament, were to be universally understood, cordially embraced, and 
itrictly observed, to-morrow ; the sure consequence, that a change equal- 
ly universal, in the general habits, tempers, and pursuits of mankind, 
would likewise to-morrow take place, must force itself upon bis mind. 
The wilderness would become a garden : fraud, violence, discord, op- 
pression, and profligacy, would instantly cease ; order, justice, peace, 
benevolence, and every branch of morality, would instantly flour- 
ish. Men would live as brethren^ and treat each other as they 
could equitably expect to be treated themselves in simlar cases. Such 
are the actual efiects, where the Gospel is truly received. How ma- 
ny who, like the man possessed with a legion, or like me, were mis- 
erable and mischievous, a burden to themselves and to their friends, 
and a nuisance in the community, have been, and still are, brought to their 
right minds, rescued from the tyranny of contending inordinate passions, 
and taught to fill up their places in society with decorum and usefulness ! 
The Gospel, thus embraced, is presently found to be exactly suited to the 
wants, desires, and forebodings of the human heart. It adds a relish to 
all the comforts of life ; diminishes the pressure of afflictions ; affords a 
balm for every wound, a cordial for every care ; and enables tlie believer 
to meet death with composure, dignity, and hope. 

How ungenerous then, how cruel, are they who endeavour to rob us of 
this precious depositum, when they have nothing to propose as a substi* 
tute ? But blessed be (rod, their attempts are no less vain than deperate. 
They may blind the eyes of a few, but they cannot deprive the sun of its 
light. 

Such is the power of guilt and fear to alienate the mind from God, that 
they who would tremble to be seated in a carriage drawn by unruly horses, 
with no one to manage the reins, are reduced to deny a governing providence 
of God over all his creatures, and especially over mankind. They think 
it less uncomfortable to suppose, that the contingencies to which we are 
liable, in such a world as this, are the mere unavoidable result of second 
causes, than that they are under the direction of Him whose almighty 
|iower is combined with infinite wisdom and goodness. For they know 
and feel, that if there be a God, if lie be wise and good, and if he takes 



PREFACE. 13 

cognitance of tbe hearts and actions of men, they have every thing to 
dread. From |)erson's of this stamp, I can expect no favour. I once 
thought, or wished, as they do ; hut the divine Providence, which I long 
denied and defied, convinced me of my error by multiplied merciful inter- 
positions in my behalf. May the like mercy and compassion be extend- 
ed to many others who, at present, know not what they do ! 

I return from this digression. My views in sending these letters* 
abroad, are chiefly four : — 

1. As a public testimony of the thanks which I owe to the God of my 
life, for giving me such a treasure ; for uniting our hearts by such tender 
ties, and for continuing her to me so long. 

2. As a monument of respect and gratitude to her memory. She was 
my pleasing companion, my most affectionate friend, my judicious coun- 
sellor. I seldom or never repented of acting according to her advice. 
And I seldom acted against it, without being convinced, by the event, that 
I was wrong. 

3. I hope to show by the most fkmiliar kind of proof, exampky that 
marriage, (when the parties are united by affection, and the general con- 
duct is governed by religion and prudence,) is not only an honourable, 
but a comfortable state. But, from what I have felt, and what I have 
seen, I am well assured that religion, by which I mean the fear of God, a 
r^^ard to his precepts, and a dependence upon his care, is absolutely ne- 
cessary to make us comfortable, or happy, even in the possession of our 
own wishes. The fairest prospects, unless founded upon this basis, may 
be compared to a house built upon the sand, which may seem to answer 
for a time, while the weather is fine ; but which, when tried by tbe 
storms and floods, the changes and calamities inseparable from the pre- 
sent state of things, will sooner or later fall, and involve the builders in 
confusion and distress. 

4. I likewise hope, that my example may prove a warning to otherS; 
who set out with warm hopes of satisfaction, to be cautious of ^n over-at- 
tachment to their creature-comforts. Hinc ilke lacrytMB. My sharpest 
trials, and my roost pungent causes for repentance and humiliation, 
throQgb life, sprung from this source ! 



LETTERS TO A WIFE. 



1750. 
FIRST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 



• St. A1ban\ May 19. 
Mt Dearest, 

I Could have reached Dunstable to-night, but I remembered 
that yoa had desired me not to ride late. 

I think I fully obeyed you io not saying much when I took 
my leave. My heart was really too ful|; and had I been more 
able, the fear of increasing your uneasiness would have prevented 
me. Were I capable of describing all the tender sentiments that 
have occurred since we parted, an indifferent person would allow 
me to be master of ibe pathetic. But I cannot express what I feel. 
Do me the justice to believe my affection goes beyond any words 
I can use. 

I purpose to set off early to-morrow, and to attend service at 
church somewhere on the road; which I do not care to miss with- 
out necessity. But now I am particularly desirous of improving 
the first opportunity to implore, in a solemn manner, the protec- 
tion of Divine Providence, that we may be favoured with a happy 
meeting. 

Gracious God ! favour me and my dearest M**** with health, 
and a moderate share of the good things of this life ! Grant that I 
may be always happy in her love, and always prove deserving of 
it ! For the rest, the empty gewgaws and gilded trifles, which en« 
gage the thoughts of multitudes, I hope I shall be always able to 
look upon them with indifference. 

I make no apology for this serious strain. Believe me, I write 
experimentally; and to the degree that I love you, I could not 
bear to be torn from you in this manuer, if I was not supported 
by my principles ; which teach me that I ought to be not only con- 
tent, but thankful that things are so well with me as they are, and 
to expect no pleasure in this life without some abatement. I be- 
lieve there may be persons who can keep themselves in tolerable 
good humour, by the strength of their own minds, in course of 
prosperity ; but when crosses and disappointments take place, or 



16 LETTERS TO A WIVE. 

when the}' are constrained to part from what they bold most dear, 
if they cannot call in religion to their aid, they usually sink and 
despond* At least I have always found it so. , 

I have a good horse and a good road, and pretty good spirits 
likewise, considering that the more haste I make, the more I in- 
crease my distance from you. But when I reflect, that now your 
interest, a^ well as my own, calls me away, methinks I can scarce- 
ly go fast enough. 

I am likely to perform the whole jonmey alone; but I want no 
company. It will always be a full entertainment to me, to recol- 
lect how very happy I have been in yours, and to animate myself 
with the pleasing hope, that in due time I shall be so again. 

I am, be. inviolably yours. 



Liverpool^ May 27. 

I WAS forced to defer writing so long on Friday, that I was 
constrained to^ leave a thousand things unsaid, 1 therefore begin 
now in time. * When you write next, (which 1 beg may always be 
by return of post,) let roe know at what hours you usually rise, 
breakfast, dine, sup, and go to bed, that I may keep time with 
you or at least, attend you with my thoughts, if I should be other: 
wise engaged. 

I cannot inform you that I have a ship yet; no one offers at 
present which Mr. M**** thinks good enough. Oh ! that it was 
possible for you to go with me where I go, to cheer and enliven me 
amidst fatigues and difficulties, without sharing in them ! How 
light would they then seem to me ! Bat I submit. At least, hap- 
pen what may, it will give me pleasure to think that my better, 
idearer part, is in safely at home. 

I have now received yours of the 24th, and kissed it a hundred 
times ! I beg you not to give way to uneasy apprehensions for me : 
for while you are well and easy, 1 am as happy as I wish to be 
during my absence from you. I should be sorry to find this ab- 
sence become more easy to me by time. Let it suffice that I eat, 
drink, and sleep well, and am in health and spirits to do every 
thing that may appear necessary to procure us a future happy in- 
terview. 

I acknowledge that at intervals, and when alone, the recollec- 
tion of the past almost overpowers roe with a lender concern ; but 
do jaot be grieved for me, for I find a pleasure in the indulgence of 
«ucii thoughts, which I would not part with upon any less consid- 
eration than that of being actually with yon. I have written my- 
self into tears now, and yet I feel a serenity and satisfaction^ of 



VmST ▼OTAGE TO AFRICA. ' }7 

which) till I could call you mini?, I had no perception. I ^9Jf%9t. 
bemoan your absence without reoDemberiug, at the s^]^e timf^, 
how happy, and how loog happy, I have been with yoi|. Tbi;s 
is a kind of bank stock, a treasure of which 1 cjinnot \^c d^priyr 
ed. And while I retain the recollection, that I have been so hap- 
py, I cannot be quite uncomfortable. But why dp I say, I mcp 
was ? — ^I am so still ; for the consciousness that you love ix^e, is 
a present and permanent comfort, and will be so at all times, apd 
lu ail places. Your love was my principal desire ; and, ^ithPH^ 
it, all that you had besides in your power to bestow vou)d baye 
been dull and insipid. 

Since you have kindly promised to write by every post, I wi^b 
we had a post every day. 



Lieerpooly June 29. 

Though, at taking up the pen, I have not a single sentence 
ready, I expect something will soon occur, when 1 write to you. 
I am going to set you a pattern, how to fill a sheet with nothing, 
or what is little better than nothing. But as I know yon wi|l 
make favourable allowances, I am content to appear at a disad- 
vantage : I can submit that you should^nd tautologies and ioco* 
berence to excuse, provided I give you no cause to: think me un- 
grateful. — 

— ^Do not think of me as suflering or grieving-^rather consider 
how happy you have made me, and that you* have put me into a 
situation from which I can look upon princes without envy; and 
that, notwithstanding ray regret for parting with you for a sea^ 
son, I would not change circumstances with any man in the king* 
dom. Of the many temporal blessings for which I am indebted 
to a gracious Providence, I set a higher value upon none than 
this, that I was formed with a heart capable of tender and disin« 
terested affection, and directed to you for the object of it. 

I am e^ntirely yours» 



Ijiverpooli July 10. 

I MUST be up late to-night to attend the tide ; but by writing 
to you, I can figreeably fill up the time, which might otberwxiie 
seem tedious. 

I pity those who must fly to company and naise to fill tip their 
vacant hours ; and must be always changing the scene, though 
often for the worse. Whereas I, when i am most retired and soTi- 

VoL. IV. 3 



18 Li:TT£RS TO A Wll^C. 

Ury, by directiog my thoughts to you, have more pleasure cbao 
they can conceive of in their gayest moments ! 1 say this the 
more assuredly, because I have formerly been on the other side 
of the question ; and have sought satisfaction, in that manner of 
life, with so much earnestness, that I should, at least sometimes, 
Imve found it^ had it really been to be met with. But I can 
scarcely recollect an hour of my past life with any pleasure, ex- 
cepting the time 1 have passed in your company ; and for that 1 
think the innumerable troubles and sufferings I previously under- 
went not a dear purchase. 

I was on shipboard this moaning till past two o'clock. The 
weather was perfectly serene, the moon shone bright, and having 
nothing from within or without to discompose me, I passed the 
hours pleasantly in thinking of you. It was with great satisfac- 
tion I indulged the hope that you were then in a gentle slumber, 
under a safe and sure protection, and as free from inquietudes as 
myself. I then imagined the scene changing to what I must, in a 
little time, expect ; when dark nights, heavy rains, violent winds, 
mountainous seas, and awful thunder, will sometimes all combine 
to alarm me. But this anticipation gives me no uneasiness at 
present ; for even then I shall hope, that ray dearer, better part, 
will be as calm and undisturbed as she is now. And as to the 
other half of myself, now^n board the Duke of Argyle, it may be 
pleased with the expectation of an ample amends at the comple- 
tion of the voyage. 1 shall probably at such times often repeat to 
myself a part of the verses which I addressed to you, at a time 
when I had little hope of obtaining the happiness I attempted to 
describe. They were then, therefore a mere rant, but they now 
express my settled j*idgment and choice ;— 

These ihreafning seas, where wild confusion reigns. 
And yawning dangers all arotnid appear, 
I value more than groves or flowery plains, 
Since 'tis the only way that leads to her. 

Believe me, 1 should think it well worth the trouble of another 
journey to London, to have an interview with you, if only for a 
quarter of an hour. But it must not be, and I submit. 

You either misunderstood the latter part of my letter, or I ex- 
pressed myself awkwardly, which is most likely. 1 did not mean 
to say that you were wanting in religion ;* I said, or meant to 
say, that as I thought myself not wanting in love, when I first of- 

* Alas ! neither of us had much sense of religion at that time. She was my 
idol, add peihaps I was her's. We looked little further for happiness than Co 
each other. 



FOtST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 19 

fered yoa my heart, and yet found afterward$, that my notions of 
it had been greatly enlarged by a more intimate relation to you ; 
80 it might be a happy circumstance if we could be recipro* 
cally belpfdl in improving each other's ideas of religion. If I 
seemed to take the upper hand, and affect the dictating strain, I 
ask your pardon. 1 ought to be sensible that I am not qualified 
for it, and to be more ready to learn than to teach.- 

I am, &c. yours. 



Liverpool^ July 20. 

I RECEIVED your welcome letter of the 17th, which, when 1 had 
read it about twenty times over, furnished me with many pleasing 
reflections ; and led me to compare my present state with the low, 
insipid life I must have led, even in the most aiBoent circumstan- 
ces, if my sincere love had not obtained the only adequate prize, a 
reciprocal affection from you. 

I am still of opinion that, at first, compassion and generosity 
induced you to think favourably of me. It did not suit with 
your temper to be unafieoted by the pain and nneasiness of aqy 
one, much less of one who, though under a thousand disadvanta* 
ges, you had reason to believe really loved you. And if I am not 
mistaken, you used some constraint with yourself, in the begin- 
ning, to bring your inclination to coincide with the power you 
had to make me happy. Thus I thought when I received your 
hand in marriage. Yet 1 was no less easy and secure, than if I 
had made the most successful improvement of our long acquaint- 
ance in gaining your heart. For I knew you too well to fear that 
after you had gone so far, you would stop short, till your affec- 
tion was equal to my own. 

I was pretty well assured ,iu my own mind, that I should make 
it the chief business, or rather pleasure, of my life, to study and 
aeize every opportunity of obliging you ; and 1 was no less cer- 
tain chat the most trivial instance of such an intention would not 
be overlooked by you, or lost uppn you. The event has answer- 
ed my expectation. I have now the same confidence that you 
love me, as that I love you ; and confidence whiph I would not 
exchange for any consideration the world could offer ; a con- 
fidence which renders me superior to all the little entertain- 
menu that would allure we while I am here, and which I hope 
will satisfy and cheer me when, in a few days, I shall leave them 
all behind me. I long to be gone, for after pahing with you, all 
scenes will be equally indifferent to me, till the happy hour of our 
re-uuiofl. 



20 JLGTTEBS TO ^ WITS. 

{ tlmk you fdr ybnr prombe of writiiig weekly, aftd you may 
{fepend upon my not beiog behindhand with yoo. Bot remem- 
ber, there is no regular pa%i from Africa, and that the length of 
the passage of a ship is very precarious. I hope, therefore, yon 
will not indulge discouraging thoughts, if you should not hear 
from me so sooi^ as yon may expect. 

The weather has been darJK and rainy. It is some time sinpe 
I saw the north star.* When I am at sea, I shall watch it, at 
the hour we agreed upon, that I may have the pleasure of think* 
ing that sometimes our eyes and thoughts are fixed upon the same 
object. I am, he, yours. 



Liverpool^ July 29. 

I THINK, if I stay here much longer, I must adopt your method, 
and follow your long letter with a very short one. For though 
I always take pleasure in writing, I begin to be ashamed of send- 
ing you little more tlian repetitions. 1 have expressed my affec- 
tion (so far as my knowledge of words can express) in so many 
dtfierent forms and phrases, that I am quite at a loss for new ones. 
I most either write but little, as you do, or to little purpose, unless 
I begin again, as from the first ; and in that case I believe my 
second round of letters would be very similar to the former, be- 
tanse I write fl-om my feelings. My heart dictates every line. 

And though my head often interposes, and observes that this 
hxpreBsion is hardly grammar, the next not well turned, the third 
tinnecessary, and so on ; yet heart persists in his own way, and 
trb^tever occurs to him goes down upon the paper, tu defiance of 
head's wise remonstrances. The contention arises sometimes to 
such a height, that head tells heart he raves and is an enthusiast. 
Aiod heart calls head a conceited pedant, whose narrow views are 
confined to a little nicety and exactness in trifles, because he is a 
Stranger to the emotions of love. As you know which side of the 
debiite I favour, I need not tell you that when my strains are 
doll, it is nohe of poor heart's fault, who always does his best to 
please ; but because head refuses to assist htm, and leaves us 
both to shift for ourselves : though I often tell him that I will nei^ 
tber regtod heart, head, nor hands, unless they all consider them- 

* With this view we agreed upon an evening hour, as a little relief in aln 
scn<Se, when we were to Took at the north star, if the j»ky was clear, and be 
pleased with the probability that we might both be looking at it at the same 
minute. tVe knew but little then of the throne of grace, the central point, at 
wbid) all who love the Lord duly meet (at whatever local disUncc) with bim 
and with each other. 



FIBflT TOYAOB TO ATBICA. 21 

sehes as beloKlgilig to you, and ready at all times for your ser^ 
vice, as myself. ' It seems wrong to say, a man has his heart in 
his motith trhen be is in great fear. I think he may properly be 
said to have bis heart in his moath, when be is capable of relat- 
tng, in suitable terms, what really affects him,. So, had I my 
beart at my finger's ends, I should perhaps write a letter worthy 
of your perusal. Till then I must beg you to accept what I send, 
because it is the best I have, I am yours, &c. 



Liverpool^ July 31. 
I WAS kept some little time in suspense for yours of the 28tb, 
which made it, ifi possible, more welcome when it came. Yet I 
am sorry that I hinted any thing to give you an anxious thought 
upon ray account. The pain I complained of in my head, or a 
^inuch more severe one, would be vastly more tolerable to me, 
than to hear that you are made uneasy. If it had not been a 
common thing, and usually soon over, 1 should not have mention- 
ed it ; but was unwilling to be guilty of a short letter, without as- 
signing the true reason. 1 am much concerned that you should 
have such a weight upon your mind, and beg you, by all the re- 
gard you have for me, to strive against it. 

If ray dearest M*** will permit me to offer my best advice, and 
which 1 propose as a rule to myself — it is this — To endeavour to 
cast all your care upon him who has promised to care for us, if we 
wiil but pat our trust in him. I long attempted to apply the spe-^ 
cious maxims of philosophy, to soften the cares and trials of life, but 
I found them ineffectual and false ; or, however they might have 
mooched some of the most ordinary and trivial inquietudes,, yet I 
tLin very sure that, under' this aggravated circumstance of separa- 
tion from you, I should be miserable and without support, if reli- 
gion did not assist me with nobler and more powerful motives of 
consolation. I go from you with the less regret, because I leave 
you in the hands of Him who is able, and, I trust, willing, to pre- 
serve yon from all evil, and to make every thing easy to you. 
And I look forward to the various scenes of my intended voyage 
with cheerftdness, because I am sensible that, in the most remote 
iobospitable climes, a protecting Providence will surround me, 
and is no less to be depended en in the most apparent dangers, 
than in the greatest seeming security. 

Let roe again and again entreat you not to give way to melan* 

cboly ; assure me that you will strive to be cheerful, or 1 protest 

lahall be unwilling to laugh, or even to smile, lest I should happen 

• €0 be naseasonably merry when you are sad. Scarcely any iking 



22 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

will inspire me with so much life and spirit, as the hope that you 
still possess that cheerfulness which nsed to be so engaging and 
so natural to you. Let me not have to charge myself with hav- 
ing spoiled your temper, unless you mean to frighten me indeed. 
I remember that before you quite consented to marry, you told 
me that I was pressing you to a life in which you should often re- 
gret the condition of happy M. C. And I endeavoured to per- 
suade you, that you would only change pleasures, not lose them. 
I hope, if ^ou will but help me by keeping up your spirits, I shall 
be able to make my words good. It will surely be my constant 
study to approve myself 

Your obliged, affectionate, and grateful, &c. 



At Sea^ August 20. 

This, I hope will go on shore by the pilot-boat, to inform you 
that I am now at sea, and with a prospect of a fair wind. I 
should be in high spirits but that the thought of being so many 
months at an uncertainty with respect to you softens me into tears. 
And your favour of the sixteenth, which I received last night, has 
renewed my anxiety for you. Let me beg of you to be as cheer- 
ful as possible, and to believe that the good Providence which, 
after a long separation, brought us together last year, when we 
were less interested in each other, will again join us to our mutual 
satisfaction. Once more, my dearest farewell ! May the good 
God bless you with health and peace, and restore me, at a proper 
time, to your arms ; and for what is to take place in the interval, 
I would make no conditions, but leave all to Him. 

I cannot seal my letter without one more farewell. I need not 
put you in mind of writing by every probable opportunity. I 
press to my lips the paper that will be with you in a few days, 
while I must be kept from you for many months. Adieu. 

1 am yours, &c. 



Ramsay J Isle of Man^ August 24. 
I COULD not have greater pleasure than in the opportunity 
which now offers me of relieving your uneasiness on my account. 
We have already met with unfavourable winds and weather ; 
particularly a violent gale last night, and in narrow, dangerous 
navigation. The weather likewise was thick and dark. My own 
caution and diligence would soon have been of little use ^ the 
wind blew so that we could not carry oar sails, and there was na ^ 



FIB9T TOTAGE TO AFRICA. 23 

friendly port within our power. But mydependence upon God's 
providence kept me in tolerable peace. I was relieved i)y the 
same consideration which I believe distressed my shipmates, I 
mean that we could do nothing further. 

I felt a persuasion, that if not so soon as we could wish, yet 
before it was too late, some alteration would take place in our 
favour. Acctlrdingly, this morning the weather cleared up, and 
the wind abated, and enabled me to put into this place, where 
we anchored about two in the afternoon. The wind now rages 
more than before, and had we continued this night at sea, the 
consequence, (humanly speaking,) might have been fatal. 

1 readily inform you of the danger we have been in, now it is 
happily over ; and hope you will not be alarmed because I am 
still liable to the like ; but rather be comforted with the thought, 
that in the greatest difficulties the same great Deliverei* is always 
present. The winds and the seas obey him. I endeavour, in 
every scene of distress, to recollect the seasons in my past life, in 
which, when I have given myself up for lost, I have been unexpect- 
edly relieved. Instances of this kind have been frequent with 
ine, some of them perhaps as remarkable as any that have been 
recorded ; particularly my preservation in the Greyhound in the 
year '48, which can only be accounted for by an immediate and 
almost miraculous interposition of divine power. Then I apply 
th*e argument of David — ^The God who delivered me from the 
paw of the lion, and from the paw of the bear, will also deliver 
me from this Philistine. The God who preserved me from sink* 
ing and starving, (from both more than once,) who raised me 
friends among strangers, when I had disgusted all my own by my 
follies; and, above all, who has not only afforded me the neces- 
saries of life, but indulged my softest wishes, obviated the many 
hindrances in my way, and made me happy in you — surely it 
would be not only ungrateful, but unreasonable, to distrust him 
now who has done so much for me hitherto. 

1 would be almost content that you should be indifferent con- 
cerning me during my absetice, provided your love might revive 
upon my return, that so you might experience all the pleasing, 
and be exempted from all the painful, sensations of a married state. 
But then I must not know it ; for I could hardly bear the noise 
anclJmperUnence of the world, were I not enlivened by believing 
myself to be often upon your thoughts. 

I confess at some times, I can hardly acquit myself from the 
charge of selfishness, that, for my own gratification, I should so 
earnestly press you to make your peace of mind dependent upon 
me. That you should be unhappy, and that I should be the oc- 
casion of it, would be painful to me indeed ! But, 1 thank God, 



34 LKTTEBS TO A WIFE* 

all is well hitherto ; and if yon (as 1 doabt not) will kfndly ac- 
cept my utmost endeavours to oblige you on our future happy 
meetiDgs, as a compensation for the anxiety you must now and 
then suffer, I hope I have not done wrong. 



At Sea, September 3. 
I WROTE you three letters, while in Ramsay Bay, but could not 
send the last on shore. We sailed from thence the 29th of Au- 
gust. The fair wind lasted but one day, which w^s not suffi- 
cient to run us clear of the land, and I had some trouble and fa- 
tigue till Saturday, when we got a breeze that has brought us into 
what tlie sailors call sea-room. The wind is now contrary again, 
but I have reason to be thankful we are so well as we are. I am 
at present little more than a gentleman-passenger ; I shall, per- 
haps, have little care upon my head till we arrive in Africa, then 
I may expect care and trouble in abundance ; but all will be wel- 
come upon your account. Therefore, while 1 have leisure, I shall 
appropriate an hoor every two or three days (sometimes, pehaps, 
daily) for writing to you, that I may have a sizeable packet 
ready at a short warning. ^ 



At Sea, September 10. 

There is a strange mixture of pleasure and pain in the life I • 
now lead. When 1 think of the regard which you express in your 
letters, (one of which, in their course, I re-peruse every post-day,) 
i feel a satisfaction which no wealth could buy from me. But 
when I think of the uneasiness it causes you, I could almost bear 
to be forgotten. I know I have said this often, but I must re- 
peat it when you write in a melancholy strain. You charge me, 
in that which I have now at my lips, with making hours seem 
more tedious to you than days and weeks did formerly. I am 
sorry. I beg you to strive to be cheerful. 

Though 1 feel absence painful indeed, I do not deserve much 
pity, because I am absent for your sake. I am likewise engaged 
in active business, and have some new scene offering everyday, 
to relieve my mind ; besides, I have been long used to suffer, and 
did not begin to know what peace or pleasure meant till I married 
you. On the contrary, you, by marriage, exposed yourself to 
-cares and anxieties to which you was belore a stranger ; and you 
have done enough to make me happy, if I could be happy alone ; 



FIMT 70TAGC TO AFRICA. !{( 

but that i§ iflipossible. Unless you are happy likewise, moQey, 
pleasure, health, nay, love ilself wi]l not make me amends. 



At Sea, September 14. 

LasI! post-day I finished a large sheet, and did not leave room 
to write my name, for I had crowded one hundred and eighty* 
4>De lines into it. Should this come first /to your hand, yoa 
may wonder where I could find subject matter. Notfaing^ (neces- 
sary business ejLcepted) seems deserving my attention but religion 
and love ; the one my constant support, the other my constant 
jsolace : and was I not favoured with some taste for these, 1 should 
find a settled gloom in my heart, though placed in the gayest 
scenes of life. For at the age of twenty-five, I have seen enough 
to force my assent to the confession which experience extorted 
from Solomon in his latter days, " AM is vanity and vexation of 
spirit." I mean, all that can be possessed exclusive of these two 
principles ; but under their regulation the scene is changed, and 
the whole creation blooms with beauty. 

Religion, rightly understood, is doubtless sufficient of itself to 
bear us through all the changes of this world, and guide us to a 
better. But our gracious Master has made us capable of tender 
and social affections, to add to the comfort of the present life. 
I kjiow nothing that is required of us as a duty, but what is both 
consistent with our happiness, and has a tendency to promote it. 
^Nor is there a single gratification prohibited, that is not, in its 
natural consequences, productive of pain or disgust. But yoa 
will say, why all this to me ? You are guilty of no excess, (ex-' 
ceptyour partial regard to me may be deemed one.) I answer, 
it was a grateful reflection on the goodness of God, and a sense 
of what I owe him, especially for giving you to me, directed niy 
pen ; and to whom coald I so properly address these thoughts as 
to your dear self, since to you I am secondarily i^jdebted for my 
present peace ? 



At Sea, September 18. 

I SUPPOSE that 1 am now about half way to Sierra Leone, and 
not less than fifteen hundred miles from my dearest— a great dis- 
tance, and hourly increasing ! But it is not sufficient to divide 
you from my thoughts. J have read three more of your letters, 
and as often as I take them in hand,! have a pleasure in the re* 
peated marks of your affection, which nothing else could afford. 

Vol. IV. 4 



ffll , LETTERS TO X "WIFK.. 

AlthoQgh I am obliged to go to sea, and what is more, to Goiiiea^ 
1 would not change conditions with the most wealthy bachelor oa 
shore. No ibx-hunter can follow his hounds with more alacrity 
than I now traverse the pathless ocean in quest of a country which,, 
but for your sake, I should be as earnest to avoid. I am obliged 
to you, not only for the happiness 1 have found, and hope to find, at 
home, but for a pleasure while abroad, m what woufd otherwise 
be very unpleasant. VVIien 1 left Africa in the G-reyl>odiid, I 
seemed resolved never to return thither again ; but my resolution 
was formed when 1 had no hope that you would ever make it 
%vorth my while ;. and \ knew that nothing else could. But upoa 
the encouragement (though slender) which you gave me when I 
arrived there in the Brownlow, every thing appeared with a dif- 
ferent aspect. And though, perhaps,, few persons in the same 
space of time, have met with more daagevs and hardships thaa 
I then did, 1 believe no one heard me e«mplain ; because, what 
I had 11^ View upon the end of the first *voyage, so fixed my 
thoughts, that 1 could consider nothing as a real bardshfp that 
had a probability of being acknowledged and rewarded by yon*; 
I ventured all upon your honour, and was not disappointed. If 
the bare hope of your love was such a support, judge, if you can, 
kow the proofs I have since obtained of it must influence me ! 



At Sm, October 1%. 

I Air mucb obliged to Mr. Addiso», from whom I took the bint 
of setting apart stated times for writing to you, and reviewing your 
dear letters. This expedient is a great relief in your absence. 
When I awake in the morning, if it be what I call a post-day, I am 
no less pleased than eliildren are with the thoughts of a fair-day. 

We have not yet seen the land, but I deem myself within one 
hundred miles of the Bananas, which is the first place I propose 
to call at. Th^el spent a part of my wretched time in thraldom, 
of which you have often heard me speak. 

Little did I think, in my sorrowful days there, when I went al- 
most naked, so that my skin in many parts of my body has been 
blistered by the heat of the sun — where sometimes I have not had 
half a good neal in the course of a month, where I was reduced 
so low as . ^ 

• to be tlib sport ofslaves, 

Or what more wietched yet, their pky 

I say fittle did I think that I should revisit that place in a state to 
excite the envy of those who would once, have scorned to let me 



tiaST VOTAM TO AFAICA. 27 

^it in the same house with them. Still less had 1 reason to hope 
that, you, wlioin, in the midst of my distress, I passionaleJy iowd 
would requite me as you have done. With such a hope, I could 
have borne all pretty well. But Prorvidence was mercifully in- 
tcmi to make my situation completely miserable for a time, in 
•rder to preserve me from that utter ruwi itito which my folly and 
wickcduess might otherwise have plunged me. I have nothing 
now to ask, but a disposition to he thankful to Him, the author, 
aad to you, the appointed instrument and mean, of my recovery. 
I can now look with pity upon all tliat the vulgar account great 
attd honourable. I pity poor kings, as sincerely as I do a poor 
beggar ; and consider wit, learning, and feme, likewise, as mere 
trifles, compared with oar mutual love, which may it please God 
to continue ; I was going to say to increase, feut that is unnecessary^ 



, Jit Sea, October 19. 

This momiiig we discovered the land of Guinea. It is exactly 
Four months from the day I took my mournful leave of you. 1 
hope my next post-day^s pleasure will be dated from my intended 
port. The passage from England has not beea the shortest, but 
remarkably pleasant and free from disaster. 

Last night we were disturbed by a tornado, triiich I lielieve I 
have told yon is a violent squall of wind, accompanied wUkk heavy 
■rain, thunder, and, lightning. The darkness of the night added 
to the horror of the scene. But with proper care, under the 
blessing of providence, these boisterous visitants, tTiou^h veiy 
troublesome, are seldom dangerous ; nor do they often last 
above an hour. At these limes my mind is generally calm, when 
every body, and every thing, is in confusion around me ; which 
is in a great measure owing to my sense of your love, and a hope 
that you are sleeping in safety. If it please God to permit me a 
happy return to you, a short interval will fully recompense me for 
the inconveniences of a whole voyage; and all the rest will 4»e 
clear again. 

If I do but win your acknowledgment, that I am not guilty of 
ibe stupid ingratitude too common with manj' of my sex, who un- 
dervalue their most desired blessings, merely t)ecause they are 
possessed of them ; but that my regard and behaviour, since our 
marriage, has been anwerable to the professions I made before^ 
hand — ^I say, if yon believe this, I shall think nothing hard or 
troublesome, that may confirm your good opinion of me, which I 
certainly prefer in itself, to a^il its pleasing consequences ; for I«m 
^disinterestedly Yours, &c. 



Sierra LeonCy Otiobttf ATov'embef. 

We arrived here the 24 th of October ; a harry of business bat 
forced me to pass ten days without writing to you. 

Though this country is not England, it do<$ nearly as well for 
toe in your absence ; and, on the other hand, if you could live 
here with me, without inconvenience to yourself, the gloomy 
mountains and forests of Sierra Leone would be to me as a Blen- 
Jieim, They who pity me because 1 am not fond of what thef 
call pleasure, know not the motives which render me superior to 
it. I was once no less eager after their pleasures than they are 
now. But you ha^e so refined my taste isince, that nothing short 
of yourself can thoroughly please me* As it is midnight, 1 only 
add my prayers for your peaceful repose. 



Sierra L^one^ November 8. 

t HAVE enclosed yoO, under another cover, two sheets of the 
largest paper^ full on all sides, containing near four hundred 
lines ; and 1 have as much more ready to send by the next op* 
portunity. If it please God to continue my health and welfare,, 
my stock will be still increasing, for 1 generally devote some time, 
twice a i^eek at least, for writing to you< But, for fear any 
thing should prevent my packet from reaching you, t commit 
these few lines to the care of Mr. M**^*. 

I think, were I allowed two wishes short of the happiness of 
beii^ i^ith you, the first should be, that you might have early 
in^rmation that I am well ; and the second, that I might have a 
letter from you, informing me that yon were well, and easy, whei> 
you wrote. I do not impose upon you by saying that I prefer 

ifour peace to my own. 1 would do or suffer much to obtains 
etter from you ; and then resign it, unopened, rather than miss 
one opportunity of writing to you. If I am favoured with any 
good quality, I think it is a grateful temper, which makes roe 
glad to acknowledge and return the smallest favour I receive^ 
even firom an indifierent person. Judge, then, what an effect the 
many endearing obligations I am under to you, heightened by 
the ardeiicv of my affection, must have upon me ! It is upon this 
principle that I not only submit to the scenes in which I am now 
engaged, with parfencc, but embrace them with cheerfulness. Had 
I been able to live always with you, I think I should not have 
loved you less ; but it would not have been in my power to show 
it so much. But I hope, now you find that, for your sake, I can 
take pleasure in my very pain^ you will do me the justice to be- 



HttST tO^AGfi TO AtHICA. $9 

tieve, that the confidence you have reposed in me has not been 
misplaced. I coimneDd you, upon my knees, to the blessing and 
protection of God. 



Bananas, November 21. 
^ Sfircs I came hither, I have been croiung about in the boat in 
quest of trade, without one leisure evening for writing to you, 
which has been my chief inconvenience. For the vicissitudes of 
winds and weather, the scorching days and damp foggy nights, 
are to me but mere trifles. 1 have lately had a visit from my 
quandam black mistress, P. I. [those two letters pronounced dis^ 
tinctly, and not in one syllable, as Pi, exactly sound her name, j 
with whom I lived at the Plantanes. I treated her with the great- 
est complaisance and kindness ; and if she has any shame in her, 
I believe I made her sorry for her former ill treatment of me. I 
have had several such occasions of taking the noblest kind of 
revenge upon persons who once despised and used me ill. In*' 
deed I have no reason to be angry with them ; they were, what 
they little intended, instrumental to my good. If my situation, 
at that time, had been more favourable, 1 should probably have 
missed you. I may say, with an old Grecian, if I had not beed 
mined, I should have been ruined indeed ! 



Jit Sea, December 3. 

Though this is not my post-night, 1 am willing to write, be« 
cause I am behindhand, and because it is the most pleasant way 
of filling up a leisure hour. It was not inclination, but businesiSf 
that made me limit myself to twice a week, for it would be an 
agreeable employment to write to yon twice a day, if I had no-' 
thing to call me ofi*. But, however my hands and head are enga- 
ged, my heart is always with you. It can be but seldom, if at 
all, that you are out of my thoughts for five minutes together. 
Whether I am visiting, trading, or watching, your idea is still 
before my eyes. 

1 would give something for* such a sympathetic needle and 
dial-plate as is mentioned in the Spectator, that we might be able 
to correspond without being interrupted by distance. B«t per- 
haps I am better without it, for I should hardly attend to any 
thing else. And we already have what is more valuable, a sym- 
pathy of mind and afiection. I believe, if we conid compare 
notes, we should find that our thoughts are often engaged in the 
«ame manner, at the same time« 



80 ^TTE&S TO A WIFJS. 



Skebar^ October 14. 

I SUPPOSE you have often observed, for I have, (and, to my 
credit be it spoken, we think pretty much alike,) that what we 
very much hope for, or fear, more seldom happens than such 
things as are quite out of our thoughts, and beyond our prevention. 
An instance of this lately, I shall mention, by way of change^ 
of subject. I went on shore at this place lately on accond|p 
of trade ; and the next morning, walking by the sea-side to look 
for the ship, she could not he seen. Upon this 1 sent off a boat, 
which returned in the evening, and brought roe word that they . 
bad been some leagues beyond the place where I left her, bdt 
could discern nothing of her. I leave you to judge of my anx- 
iety. I could not account for it, the weather being perfectly 
fine, and we had too few slaves on board to cause any distur* , 
bance. 

For once, and for a few minutes, I almost wished myself un-^ 
married ; for the most sensible part of my trouble was, that, 
whatever difficulties I may meet with, I cannot now suffer aloue«. 
I was at length, in some degree, relieved by the dependence 
w*hich I always endeavour to maintain upon the good Providence 
which has done so much for me hitherto. 

1 put to sea with two boats which I had with roe, and after 
-sailing some hours, discovered the ship, when I was upon the 
point of giving up all hope of ever seeing her again. I soon 
reached her, and found all ^ell on board. The night I left her, 
had been dark and hazy : she had dragged her anchor and had 
slipped to sea, and was carried a good way by the current, un- 
perceived by the watch upon deck, who doubtless had been care- 
less, and perhaps asleep. I brought her safely back again yos^ 
terday. So that this adventure was only to caution me, and to 
teach me never to think myself quite secure. 



Shebar, December. ^\. 
Mt Dearest, 

Must I imitate tlic news-writers ? They, in a scarcity of for- 
eign news, rather than fall short of their usual number of para- 
graphs, entertain their readers with relations of strange monsters, 
apparitions, wonderful sights in the air, or terrible noises under 
ground. For they take news^ in the strict sense of the word, to 
signify any thing that has not been heard of before, whether true 
or false* 

Most of my letters to you ixmind me of ^sop^s feast, which* 



FIRST VOTAOS TO APftlCA. 31 

ihough consisting of several dishes, were all tongues, only dressed 
in different ways. Thus, whether I write in a grave or a jocular 
strain, the subject is still love, love ; which is as inseparabte from. 
my idea of you, as heat from that of fire. 



Cape Mtmnif December 31. 
I SENT yon from Sierra Leone two sheets, like the two I now. 
enclose, and I have two more in readiness for the next ship, and 
shall think myself happy, if I can employ my leisure to afford yoil 
any* entertainment. I am apt to grieve at the probability of my 
voyage provmg longer than 1 expected ; but I am soon checked 
by considering how much cause 1 have for thankfulness. For I 
am in perfect health, and have met with no harm or disappoint- 
ment hitherto. I am informed there is a ship upon the coast which 
has letters for me ; I hope to be with her in a few days. My niind 
revives at the expectation ; for then I shall be able to boast of a 
real pleasure in your absence, besides that which I find in writing 
to you. It is now the last night, and almost the last minute of the 
year, being very near twelve o^clock. How can 1 cohclucje the 
year better than by writing to you, and praying to the Lord to 
bless you, and to spare me a little longer to love and deserve vow. 
and to be happy with you ? 



1751. 



Rio Junque, January ^. 

J WAS prevented writing on Friday by a violent pain in my 
head, which was perhaps partly occasioned by not receiving a 
letter from you* I have one from ilr. M***, dated October 24. 
He promised to let you know when he intended to write, but f 
would hope, for my own peace, he neglected it. For I am sure 
you woula not miss the opportunity, if you were able to hold a 
pen. I must now wait till I airive at Antigua. Then I hope to 
oe ratified. 

When I meet with any thing cross, or contrary to my wish, ! 
dare not now complain ; because in gaining you I secured the 
principal aim of my life : a real good, which, if set in opposition 
to the little disappointments I meet with from without, outweigh? 
them all. Nor need I envy others their wealth or prosperity, 
when it is a thousand to one if any of them have such a dear M*"*^ 
as I can call my own. I should therefore be sorrj^ to change with 
the very best of them, in all points ; or to part with a small por- 
tion of your regard for any worldly constderation. 



34 lETTERS . TO A WIFE* 

promised satisfaction of a happy meeting, are tmics which he 
dwells upon with equal elegance and passion. Having said so 
much of Pliny, I must add in my own behalf, that I love as well 
as he did, though T cannot express myself so well ; but for plain, 
downright affection and gratitude, I would not yield to the best 
Pliny that ever wore a head. 



Shebavj March 5. 

It was an expression of Cato, that it was more honourable to 
be a good husband, than a ^reat senator. The point of honour 
seems to have varied since his lime. We now find too many who 
value themselves upon a contrary character, and yet are not the 
worse received in company, not even by those of your sex; who, 
I think, both in justice and compassion, should unite in despising 
the man who dares to use a deserving woman ill, because he has 
not a heart to value her. 

But had Cato said, there was more profit and comfort in being 
a good husband than in being an unmarried emperor, he would 
have said but the truth. And however fashionable it might be- 
come to dispute or contradict this maxim, there would always be 
a fiaivoured few, who would not be disputed or laughed out of their 
experience. And it is only by experience it can be known. We 
need not wonder, therefore, it a married life is thought lightly of 
by those who judge of it only by hearsay. For a man might as 
well pretend to paint a sound, as to describe the various sensibilt* 
ties connected with a happy marriage, in such a manner as to 
make a stranger understand them. 



Shebar, March 22. 
A DESYRE of rendering myself agreeable to you has long been a 
motive of my conduct. This I may well style my ruling passion, 
I was changeable as the weather till my regard for you meed me, 
and collected all my ahns to the single point of gaining you. Then 
0iy faculties, which before were remiss, were roused, and indo- " 
lence gave way to application. It has been observed, that those 
who have wearied themselves in vainly searching after the philos- 
opher's stone, have often found out useful things which they had 
no thought of seeing. So I, in the pursuit of the methods by 
which I hoped to influence you, obtained, unawares, advantages of 
another kind. The desire of pleasing you, insensibly made me 
more acceptable to others. In one essential respect, the compar- 
wm hapfMiy fails* These phHosophera were poorly re wardlea for 



FIRST VOVAOS TO AFBICA. §$ 

their trouble by their petty didcoverteS) ithild their ^dpttl oIh 
ject was still unattained. Whereas I not only found the Wi$dfu 
leading to my chief desire pleasant and profitable, but in due tiow 
completely gained my end. I long for the opportunity of thaa^ng 
you again and again- 



Shebar, March 29. 

Thb Spectator tells us, that Socrates, in discoursing upon nar- 
riage, placed it in such an advantageous light, that he inouced ail 
his auditors to marry as fast as possible. And yet it seems k« 
was, at that time, himself wedded to a noted shrew : so that h» 
could hardly draw many persuasive arguments from his own ex«> 
perience. Surely, had he been matched like me, he would have 
spoken with still greater emphasis. Methinks, if I had his elo- 
quence, I could delight to speak on this subject from morning td 
night, I could tell the foolish world how strangely they wander 
from the path of happiness, while they seek that satisfaction in 
luxury^ wealth, or ambition, which nothing but mutual love can 
aflbrd. « 

I give and take a good deal of raillery among the sea captains 
I meet with here. They think I have not a right notion of Kfe, 
and I am sure they have not. They say I am melancholy; I tell 
Ihem they* are mad. They say, I am a slave to one woman, Which 
t deny ; but can pmve that some of them are mere slaveir to a 
hundred. They wonder at my humour ; I pity thdrs. They catt 
form no idea of my happiness ; I answer, I think the better of if 
on that account; for I should be ashamed of it if it was suited to 
the level of those who can be pleased with a drunken defoavch, or 
the smile of a prostitute. We shall hardly come to an agreement 
on these points; for they pretend to appeal to experience agaiBSt^ 
me. Just so some of the poor objects in Bedlam, white raving in 
straw and dirt, mistake their chains for ornaments of gold, anncmmte 
themselves to be kings or lords, and are firmly persuaded that dv* 
ery person who pities them is out of his wits. 



Rio Si. PauPs, AfrU 17. 
Mat yoa always feel a satisfaction eqiial to that which the re^ 
ceiptof your ^wo dear letters last night gave me, and I need wish 
j^u oolhiog furthef till we happily meet. Could any thing en* 
hanee the value of such marks of your aflectioa, it would be h^ 
receiving them so unexpectedly. For I had long given them 
over for lost, or worse than lost, exposed to the ill-br^d cwriostty 



36 LETTKBS TO ▲ WIVK. 

of some sea-bear, who, incapable of understandiagy much more of 
valuing, your delicacy, might have insulted them by some shock- 
ing jest, to the diversion of his brother animals, over a can of nas- 
ty flip. Do not think 1 extend the direction of Divine Providence 
too minutely, if 1 suppose there was something remarkable in my 
getting them at last, (for they have been transferred to six or 
seven different vessels successively.) They are of great import- 
ance to me : they could not have arrived at a more seasonable 
juncture to revive my spirits, which are sometimes a little flagged 
by the tediousness and difficulties of the voyage. I thank God 
that I possess them safe, and have the pleasure to 6nd the wax 
whole, as it came from under your seal. I could almost hug eve- 
ry dirty fellow through whose hands they have passed, for taking 
such care of them. It will employ me agreeably for some days 
to answer them periodically, if you will allow the wor^ in that 
Sense — I mean, ip comment upon every period. 



Rio St. Pff«Z'», April 19. 
You wonder that such a smart girl as Miss H**** should throw 
herself away upon an unsuitable husband. But are you sure that 
your own judgment has not been often called in question upon 
this head i It would ill become me to blame her for matching at 
an apparent disparity, because to such a partiality in your con- 
duct I owe my happiness. And though, upon comparison, I 
should prove a little more tolerable than he, yet you are so much 
superior to her, as still to leave a proportionate difference between 
us. I believe the motives which induced you to give me your hand, 
are not understood by at least one half of our acquaintance. 
How often must they have said, '^ What, the accomplished, easy, 
polite Miss C**** married to that cwkward piece of formalit}^ 
whose ridiculous behaviour was for years a standing jest amongst 
us ! Strange !" — but I could tell them that you yourself, with all 
your ease and politeness^ were alloyed with a quality almost as 
singular and unfashionable as any of mine ; I mean an artless 
generosity of mind, upon the knowledge of which I raised my first 
wishes, and to which I am indebted for their completion. My 
love to you occasioned my troubles, my troubles inspired you with 
compassion, that compassion encouraged me to perseverance, 
which long persevered in, induced first your good opinion, then 
your good-will, and thus, by pleasing gradations, I reached the 
happy summit of my wishes. That I may be always worthy of 
my privilege, and that you may be no looser by my gain, is my 
constant and earnest prayer ! 



VIRST TOrAGS TO AFBIGA. 37 



Rio St. PauVs, April 30. 
Now for a word of condolence on the catastrophe of poor Fan- 
cy. I am really sorry, having a complacence for every thing that 
has, in any degree, the merit of pleasing you. Besides, he was 
so good-natured, and bad a fidelity and assiduity which might 
shame many who walk upon two legs. Bat when I recollect his 
manner of life, I must, notwithstanding his ppetnature death, pro- 
nounce him to have beeO a happy dog. White many poor pup- 
pies have wandered forlorn in the streets, exposed to the gripe of 
the batcher's surly mastiff, the kick of the weary and peevish travel- 
ler, or of the more heavy iron-hoofed horse, and many similar ca- 
lamities, highly favoured Fancy was brought up within doors, in 
peace and plenty, and, to say all in a word, indulged with your 
smiles and caresses. While I — what would I give to be so ca- 
ressed and smiled upon ! If after all this he came to a violent end, 
many of the greatest heroes have been served so before him. So 
the mighty Caesar, after all his honours and success, was seized 
by mad dogs, (that were fawning upon him a little before,) who 
bit him (as we are told) in three-and-lwenty places, till he died. 
Csesar and Fancy equally afford a proof, that no sitaation in life is 
perfectly secure. But enough of trifling. 



Mana^ May 3. 
You know the grove where we have sometimes walked togeth- 
er ; but where I more frequently passed many hours by myself. 
I call that grove my chapel, and my study. There I have offered 
many prayers for your welfare. There 1 have formed plans for 
my fmure conduct, and considered in what manner I might best 
deserve and return your love. There is not a tree in the whole 
walk, but, if it could speak, and would speak truth, might bear 
testimony to my regard for you. For 1 believe you know that it 
is my frequent custom to vent my thoughts aloud, when I am sure 
that no one is within hearing. 1 have had many a tender solilo- 
quy in that grove concerning you, and, in the height of my enthu- 
siasm, have often repeated your dear name, merely to hear it re- 
turned by the echo. These and mmiy other harmless things, 
which the insensible and the mercenary would term fooleries, I 
have done ; and that not only when a desponding lover, but when 
a happy one. I am so far from being influenced by that detesta- 
ble maxim. Possession quenches love ! — ^that I can hardly allow 
my afllection for you before marriage the same name which I 
would express (if I could) what I now feel. 



38 LSTTBRS TO A WITE. 



Cape Mounty May 7. 
I HAVB beea tbrougb fire and water for yon tfl^ajr. Tbat in 
to say, 1 was exposed for 8one hours to a oBore ftcorchiog 8«a 
than you can conceive of; and then cooled, when I landed, by 
the surf, oririolent snrges of the sea breaking npon the sbore. f 
charge all my fatigue to your accoant, because you* only are able 
to pay me for it ; «nd for your sake it is all welcome. I an 
now warm with the hope of quitting this troubl^ome coast in a 
few days. 



Shebarj May 14. 
Mr last broke off abruptly. I was ill, and disconcerted by an 
inddertt in business, which might have had bad consequences^ 
But I am well again, and all is to rights. A happy restoration 
to you is the principal end I propose, and if I attain it, I am not 
very solicitous whether my passage homewards be long or short, 
pleasant or otherwise, so that our meeting be safe and happy at 
last. The scenes of Ufe I have passed through have taught me a 
degree oLpatience and thankfufaiess, which support me under or- 
dinary tfCibles ; and I hope the God in whom I desire to trust, 
will preserve me from very heavy ones. I seem persuaded that 
he who has done so much for me, will, at a proper time, do more, 
if I do not put hindrances in my own way by impatience and un- 
thankful complaints. In the mean time my assurance of your 
love is my constant support and feast. I must not expect to slide 
through life without meeting any ^ubs. If it would please God, I 
could wish to bear all my pains by myself, and to enjoy all my 
real pleasures with you. 



ShehoTyMay 17. 
THonoir in this country there is no winter, properly speaking, 
the different parts of the year are no less different than in Eng^ 
land. For about seven months the weather is remarkably fair, 
with light winds, and seldom a threatening cloud to be seen. In 
the remaining five, we havweitber incessant heavy rains, or sud- 
den storms of wind, with violent thunder and rain. This uncom- 
fortable season is now commencing, but 1 hope we shall not suffer 
much by it, as I expect to sail, and change my climate in a few 
days. I only mention it as an excuse for any fouks in my letters, 
which I would have you impute to my situation, which I leave yon 



rmrr votaqb to afmca. <39 « 

to gness ftt as well as 700 can. " Two bondred people confined in 
a small vessel, in bad weather, occasion noise, dirt, and trouble 
enough. Besides the common business and care incident to other 
ships, we have a large number of slaves, that must be attended, 
Ibd, cleaned, and guarded agamst, let what will stand still. When 
I compare a day passed in this, manner, with one of the happy 
days I have known with you, I can scarcely imagine a greater con- 
trust. But when I torn my thoughu forward, and indulge the 
hope of being restored to yon again, that prospect reconciles me 
to all that is before me. 



At Sea, May 24. 
At length, my dearest M***, I have lost sight of Africa, and 
bave been three days on my passage towards Antigua. Innume- 
rable dangers and difficulties, which, without a superior protec- 
tion, no man coold escape or surmouot, are, by the goodness of 
God, happily over. I now think myself every hour drawing 
nearer to you ; or, (which is the next comfort to it of which I am 
capable,) to the receipt of more letters from you, to confirm my 
prayers for your welfare, and for the continuance of your love. 
Of the latter I cannot doubt for a moment. I think myself as un- 
alterably fixed in your aflection, as I feel you are in mine. This 
persuasion, so needful to my happiness, is riveted in my heart, and 
I would not part with it for mines of gold. Yet there is some- 
thing inexpressibly engaging to read the tender acknowledgment 
under your own dear hand. You will quite spoil me for a tetter- 
writer. The great beauty of an epistolary style is conciseness ; 
I seem rather to study circumlocution, when writing to you, that 
1 may make some aidbnds in quantity, for what I fall short in the 
quality of my letters, if compared with yours. It is now ten in 
the evening. I am going to walk the deck and think of you ; 
and, according to my constant custom, to recommend you to the 
care and protection of God. 



At 5ea, June 27. 
Sometimes my letters resemble the course of a hare. I di- 
gress from one thing to another, till I make a fair round, and re- 
torn to the subject from which 1 began. At other times, like the 
Ibx, I lead you a chase right out, leap over all the bounds of ^go- 
larity, and you cannot guess, by the manner of my setting off, 
wU^r or bow far I may lead yon ; aor coo I tell myself; but 



«40 LETTERS TO A VflYX, 

fear I tire you to keep pace with my rambles. But if, upon tiie 
whole, you are pleased or amused, my end is answered. In this 
my desultory way, I am almost at the bottom of my twelfth large 
sheet, and am now expecting to see Antigua every minute, where 
I hope to be furnished with new materials. I had but tw9 oppor- 
tunities of writing from the coast, and shall therefore carry eight 
sheets with me, which 1 shall disperse homeward as fast as I can, 
as occasions offer, for my justification, lest you should in some 
anxious moment suspect roe of negligence. Though I rather be- 
lieve you are disposed to judge favourably of me, even if appear- 
ances should be against me. Indeed your idea is constantly 
with me, and I hope in due time 1 shall prove the reverse of 
iEsop^s dog, and, by long gaping after the shadow, come at length 
to repossess the substance. Eager as I am for the receipt of 
your expected letters, my heart goes often pit-^-pat, lest I should 
hear that you have been ill or uneasy. But I check my fears by 
considering that I have committed you to Him who is able to take 
better care of you than I could, if I was present with you. To 
Him I again recommend you, praying that we may at length be 
restored to each other, and that I may always prove worthy of 
your affection. 



' Antiguay July 4. 

As I have been for three nights almost sleepless, I can hardly 
keep my eyes open, not even to write to you. But I have been 
long providing against busy times, and now enclose you three 
sheets as a specimen ; and have six more ready to send, as ships 
may offer. The business of this is chiefly to acquaint you, that I 
arrived here in safety yesterday, and have deceived your several 
favours of the 20th of December, 11th of January; and 2d of 
April. That which you mention to have written in October has 
Not come to hand. But my joy for those received has been so 
great, that I have not been at leisure sufficiently to regret the one 
which is lost. Had not the news of my dear father's death been 
accompanied by these confirmations of your health, and your af- 
fection to me, I should have felt it more heavily, for I loved and 
revered him. But enough of this. My tears drop upon the 
paper. '^ 

Tell me, my dearest, if you can how two opposite passions 
find room for exercise in my breast at the same time f I rejoice 
greatly in the consciousness of your love, and I sorrow greatly 
for n>y father's death. These diflerent emotions seem not to inter- 
fere. But I have now given vent to my grief and shall not in- 



FiaST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 41 

dulge it. Religion, which is the best philosophy, has, I hope, 
prepared nie, in a measure, for every event ; at least, for all hot 
one ; that one, iudeed, I cannot think of without treml^ling. 



Antigua^ July 5. 

Yov caution ine to be careful of my own life for your sake, 
which is indeed the most engaging argument you can assign; for 
I know nothing but yourself that makes a continuance ^thisKfe 
very desirable unless as it is a state of improvement for* belter* 
But, if I durst, I should a little blame the strength of your ei|>ra0- 
sions upon the point. God only knows which of us must depart 
first ; but it is probable, one must survive the knowledge of tbf 
other's death. If it should be my lot, 1 cannot tell bow I shouM 
be able to bear it ; but I would wish our love to be so regulated^ 
that neither of us should be rendered miserable by a separlttiott ; 
but rather be supported by a well-grounded hope, that a few more 
rolling years would re-unite us never more to part In a world 
liable to such unexpected and unavoidable changes, there is no 
probability of being happy, even in the enjoyment of our own 
wishes, unless we hold them in subordination to the will and Wtf- 
dom of God, who is the author and giver of every blessing. 

Your last letter is the best, because the longest, and beeanse 
you seem to have written it when you were tolerably easy, and tX 
peace in your mind. If this was in any measure owing to bear- 
ing from me, I hope you will be peaceful for the remainder of iht 
voyage, for I expect frcqnent opportunities of \l^riting, and I am 
not likely to let one of them slip. 



Antigua^ July 9« 
This is my fourth letter in five days. I write by every 
ship, that you may have the most early information possible of 
my arrival and welfare, to relieve the anxiety which, I fear, you 
must have/elt; and I now send the twojast of the eight sheets I 
brought with me. Should all my packets arrive safely, and 
nearly together, your love must strengthen your patience, or yoa 
will be wearied by the perusal. But I believe you win recehrd 
them with as much pleasure as I wrote them. I cannot more 
strongly express my confidence of your afieciion. I have, per- 
haps, told you before, that, when we married, I had not deserved 
much of yotir positive love ; but I knew, from your temper, that 
I might be sure your Ubart was free from any odier eagageneDt 
Vol. IV, 6 



42 fIbst voyage to africa. 

or preference ; aad for' the rest, I depended on your generosity, 
lind on my own sincere endeavours to deserve you. But eveb 
this confidence in myself, and in you, did not induce me to ex^ 
pect you would advance so fast as in a few months to overtake 
me in the race, in which I set out seven long years before you. 



Antigua^ July 23. 
l^uiylast letter has the only additional excellence which I 
could \Mii for in a letter from you ; I mean the length. You are 
greatly improved indeed. At the end of five years, with some 
difficulty, I di*ew six lines from you. In less than two years after- 
wards, I obtained eleven lines and a half more. After marriage, 
you stipulated to return one line for my two ; and though you 
fell something short of your agreement, 1 acquitted you ; for be- 
sides that one of youp lines is worth ten of mine, 1 considered that, 
at the time of articling, yeu could not foresee that I should be so 
unreasonably prolix as I have proved. Could any' one who knew 
Qs both have imagined that you should already imitate me as far 
as one hundred and twenty lines ? Yes, any one who knew us 
both, perhaps, might expect it. But if he only knew me, I think 
he would not. When I say you imitate ' me, I mean only in the 
length ; for you leave me in full possession of my tautologies, per- 
plexities, and repetitions. I have thought that your writing so 
correctly was, in some measure owing to your brevity. But I 
was mistaken. You have shown me, that as you have the art of 
imprinting your character and spirit in three or four lines, so you 
can, if you please, enlarge to as many hundred, without sinking 
below yourself in a single expression. 

I admire the delicate turn of your writing. You need not be 
careful who sees your letters; for though yon touch upon the 
most interesting subjects in a manner quite intelligible to me, a 
stranger could pick little out of them. I would imitate you in 
this, if I could, while conveyances are so uncertain. However, I 
hopethatif my flights were exposed to public view, there would 
be nothing found but what tended to your honour, though, per- 
haps, my own prudence might be called in question. I might 
even be excused by competent judges but in the crowd we call the 
world, what a mixture of wonder, envy, and contempt, should I 
excite \ How Would they exclaim. This is mere cant, bombast, 
enthusiasm ! I hope most of my poor essays to thank you, have 
merit enough to meet with such a reception from the ignorant and 
selfish. Imagine Handel playing one of his best pieces to a par- 
cel of gypsies, who, till then, had only heard such music as gyp- 



LETTERS TO A WIFE. 43 

sies are accustomed to ; would they not gape and stare at h;m^ 
and wish that he had done tuning his instrument, and would 
give them something worth their hearing f Or if a clown, who 
bad seen a puppet-show, should go to the theatre, in hopes of 
something to make him laugh, and hear Garrick repeating the 
soliloquy, " To he, or not to be," he would probably wonder what 
the audience could find to admire or applaud in such dry stufi*. 
It grows late or I could run over fifty more instances of the read- 
iness of people to despise what they do not understand. And 
then I would endeavour to prove, (I think it no difficult task, that 
this folly is never more completely absurd, than when the dull, 
or the cruel, or the cross, or the unamiable, or the envious, or 
the selfish, or the abandoned, affect to undervalue the happiness 
of the marriage state. 



Antigua^ jlugust 4. 
You will perceive by the date, that this is one of the days 
which I pass, as much ^s I can, in retiremant and reflection. My 
correspondence with you falls in with my design. 1 hope a mu- 
tual affection will be rather a help than a hindrance to us in our 
most important concerns. Not one of the many blessings which 
God has bestowed upon me excites in me a more ardent desire to 
be thankful than that which he has given me in you. And the 
remembrance of our past endearments is a powerful preservative, 
to keep me from low and unworthy pursuits. In like manner, 
nothing reconciles me so much to the troubles and hazards inci- 
dent to my situation, as the thought that I endure them for your 
sake, and that from you I expect a recompense answerable to my 
wishes. I hope I may say this, without derogating from those 
motives which ought to have no less weight with me if you were 
out of the question. My meaning is, that I ought to be very 
thankful to the goodness of the Lord, who has thus ordered my 
duty and my inclinations to go hand in hand, and in a manner 
bribed me to my true uiterest. And this enhances my regard to 
you ; that I am not only indebted to you for my pleasure here, 
but that yon Will be a mean of preparing me for those which I 
hope for hereafter. This is the proper foundation for abiding 
love. A love like mine is calculated for all seasons and changes, 
equally suited to enlarge the advantages of prosperity beyond the 
comprehension of a stranger, and to gild the uneasy hours of 
pain and trouble. I may lose money, health, liberty, or limbs ; 
but while it pleases God to preserve my memory, nothing can rob 
jne of the consciousness that you are minCf and that I am favoured 



44 LEtfTKRS TO A WIFE. ' 

with the dearest place in your heart. The vessel is now under 
saily Bo I must conclude. I hope to follow her soon. Adieu, my 
dearest ! Believe me to be almost continually praying for yon, 
and studying how to approve myself Yours, 6ar. 



AfSea, August 14. 

f AM so pleased with writing to you, and so used to it, that, 
though I hope to deliver you, my packet with my own hand, I 
cannot desist. I now begin a book for your entertainment, and 
shall only mark the date here and there, reserving my bounden 
subscription to the end. 

I suppose most people when entering the marriage state prom- 
ise themselves much satisfaction ; and, I am afraid, very many 
are greatly disappointed. Why has it been otherwise with me i 
How was it that at a time when I was mistaken and wrong in 
every other part of my conduct, I should direct my addresses to, 
perhaps, the only one in the sphere of my acquaintance who could 
make me happy i Undoubtedly the band of God was in it. 
How wretched must I have been, had my heart been so closely en- 
gaged to a giddy, inconsiderate, or mercenary character ! Be- 
sides my other obligations, I must always consider you . as the 
principal instrument, employed by divine Providence, to wean me 
ttom those errors and evils which otherwise must have soon issued 
in my destruction. This will be a motive of regard which will 
always remain, though length of time should abate the force of 
many other endearing considerations ; and when life has nothing 
more in itself desirable, I shall have reason with my dying breath, 
to bless God for the influence you have had over me. 

You will not wonder that I write in a serious strain, when I tell 
you that I am sitting by a person in his last agonies, and who, 
aniy fiyedays since, was healthy and florid. This is my surgeon, 
who, by an obliging behaviour during the whole voyage, has 
gained a great share of my regard. But I fear he must go — cut 
short in the vigour of life, amidst a heap of amusing purposes and 
prospects if he reached England ! 



August 19. 

Mt poor surgeon is gone, and buried in the sea ; a sepulchre 

ef whicn, while living, he could not bear the thought. But it 

la^es no difbrence to him now. Besides my personal regard, I 

shall taiss btm opon your account. For, from the time I knew 



riBST TOTAGX TO AFRICA. 45 

him so well as to judge bim worthy of the subject, I have ofien 
found some relief by venting my mind to him in talking about 
you. I have none with me now but mere sailors, to whom I 
should degrade your name if I mentioned it, and shall therefore 
keep my pleasures and my pains to myself. Yet now and then, 
when I am sure I am not overheard, I breath out your name, 
'* My dearest M***," and find music in the sound. 

We have had very bad weather lately, and I should have been 
afraid of a hurricane, (for this is the season,) but that my depen- 
dence upon the providence of God is become almost habitual. I 
have had so many and such great deliverances, within these few. 
years, that I hope I shall learn, by degrees, to think myself in no 
more danger in one time or place, than in another, while I am io 
the path of duty, and do not place confidence in my own abilities, 
or mistake the means for the end. 



August 21. 
I suHm IT, witii due deference, to your judgment in my own fu« 
vour, and will entertain as good an opinion of myself as I can, 
with any regard to truth. Indeed, if I am not better than form^ 
erly by my connexion with you, I must be quite incorrigible. For 
a proof that I ouce was a very poor creature, I could, if you 
would not be angry, cite your own opinion upon several occa* 
sions, and summon more witnesses than two or three. I divert- 
myself sometimes with the recollection of what passed between 
Mrs. P** and me, when I first saw her after we were married. It 
was to this purpose :— »" Dear Madam, wish me joy." — ^' Of what. 
Sir ?— «' Of my marriage."—" With whom, pray ?"— « With my 
dear M***."— " What M*** ! M*** C*** ?"— « Yes, slie own- 
ed that name lately, but has now cast it oiT, and desires you would 
know her by mine/'-^" Ah !" says she, sighing and shaking her 
bead both at once, " I wish it was true." Her sister interposed 
— ** He only jests," She answered, "Then he is mooh altered j 
very lately he would not have jested upon this subject."*^" No, 
really, it is downright earnest ; why are you so backward to 
credit it ?" — " Nay — only— becaos^—I do not know — stay-— no 
— ^it is impossible." When she had repeated this, or something 
like it, two or three times, I begged her to collect herself, and 
give me her reasons. She did not care to speak out, but hinted 
an unsuitablrness of tempers ; that you was cheerful and spright- 
ly, and I heavy and dull ; and though I might be mad enougfi to 
match at a disparity you were more mistress of yourself than to 
make such a wild experiment. This she minced op as complai- 



46 LETTERS TO A WIF£. 

santly as she couid, not to otknd me ; but I am confident her real 
sentiments, and those of most of our acquaintance, were as I have 
expressed. 

I told her she had judged rightly of me, but it was plain she 
did not so well know you. At length she was convinced — but 
still insisted it was strange, it was passing strange ; but that she 
should love you better than ever. " With all my heart, Madam,'* 
I replied, " and so shall I likewise." 



August 26. 

When I am in easy circumstances, 1 try to heighten my pleas- 
ure by the recollection of past times, when I have been much 
otherwise. When I am in a safe harbour, or on shore, I think of 
past difficulties and dangers. When (as at present) I possess 
plenty, I recall to mind the seasons when I was destitute of bread 
to eat, or a shirt to wear. And to sum up all, since I have been 
happy in a return of your affection, I often compare the state of 
my mind with what I was when I despaired of gaining it. 

I have been lately looking back to the hour when I first saw 
you, and fi'om thence through all the various turns I met with till 
you had the goodness to give me your hand and heart; and 
though you have abundantly made me amends for all my suffer- 
ings, I think nothing short of yourself could have satisfied me ; 
and that, to the degree I loved you, I must have been miserable to 
the end of my life without you. 

Do not think I consider you as the whole cause of my wretched- 
ness ; you were indeed the occasion^ but the cause was wholly in 
myself. I gradually deviated from the principles in which 1 was 
educated, till I became profligate and abandoned ; and the way of 
transgressors will always be hard. From this state God might 
indeed have appointed, some other way for my recovery, though 
1 had never known you -, but to all human appearance you were 
the instrument of snatching me from ruin. And at last, if you had 
not been one of a thousand, to conduct the absolute influence you 
had over me with prudence and caution, we might both have been 
unhappy. 

December 12, 1742, was the memorable day on the event of 
which my future life was to turn. I was then advancing towards 
eighteen, you were within a month of fourteen. How wonderful 
that, when we were both so young, an impression should be made 
upon my mind almost at first sight, which neither distance nor ab- 
sence, nor all my sufferings, nor even all the licentiousness apd 
folly I afterwards ran into could obliterate ! 



FIRST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 47 

I knew not at first what ailed me. I was uneasy when you 
were absent, yet when you were present I scarcely durst look at 
you* If I attempted to speak, l trembled and was confused. 
My love made me stupid at first. I could not bear to leave you ; 
but once and again broke my engagements, and disappointed my 
father^s aim to settle me for life, rather than be banished far froih 
you. 



August 30. 
Lv March, 1744, 1 was impressed, and sent in a tender on board 
the Harwich. Here I began a new stage of my life. Here I met 
with a shrewd man, who robbed me of my principles, and poisoned 
me with infidelity. Then bad soon biecame worse, 1 forsook 
God, and he left me, for a time, to follow the way of my own 
heart. I deserted from the ship at Plymouth, when sent upon 
duty, but was apprehended, brought back like a felon, degraded 
and punished, as I well deserved. Surely no misery could be 
^eater than mine while I remained in that ship -, but at Madeira 
1 was exchanged and sent to Guinea. In that ship I mi^ht have 
done well, but I would not, and at length thought it eligible to 
quit her, and to reside on shore in Africa. Here falling sick, and 
being therefore useless, I incurred the displeasure and contempt 
of my black mistress, P. I. and soon became the scorn and the 
pity of slaves. Almost naked and famished, a burden to myself 
and to all around me, helpless and hopeless, I dragged through 
almost a year. My outward situation was then a little amended ; 
and I thought myself fixed for life, when a message reached me in 
a most providential manner, inviting mc to return to England. 
The invitation ^ould have been in vain, had it not revived in my 
mind the possibility (had I considered maturely, it would hardly 
have amounted to a possibility) of obtaining you. This gleam of 
hope determined me. If I had not known you, perhaps I should 
never have seen the coast of Guinea. But it seems more certain, 
that if I had not known you, I should never have returned from it. 
Near a year (for so long I was on shipboard) I spent in dreadful 
wickedness : and I should have come to England as unworthy of 
you as ever, had it not pleased God to meet with me. Oh ! I 
nave reason to praise him for that storm ; for the apprehension I 
had, first of sinking under the weight of all my sins into the ocean. 
and into eternity, and afterwards of being starved to death. Then 
I began to think ; I attempted to pray, and my first half-formed 
prayers were answered. He whom the winds and seas obey, in 
a manner little less than miraculous, brought me in safety to 
Ireland. 



48 LSTTEES TO A WIFE. 



September 2. 

Whsn I arrived at Liverpool, not meeting with a letter from 
your aunt, I thought myself forsaken by her. This added to the 
rest of the difficulties which I knew were in my way, i?iade me 
despair of success ; and as I was now become more considerate, I 
thought it best for us both to break off; accordingly I wrote to 
her, with a heavy heart, and with watery eyes, that 1 intended to 
give you no further trouble. Qut, upon the receipt of her an- 
swer, 1 was glad to change my mind ; and I soon set off for Lon- 
don to see you. See you I did, but little more. I was tongue- 
tied, as formerly ; when I had just feasted my eyes, I returned to 
Liverpool at almost as great an uncertainty as before ; I cannot 
say quite, for I saw so much generosity in your behaviour, as en- 
couraged me to hope on. And I ventured afterwards to put it to a 
final issue to yourself by letter. I believe, had you then given me 
aj) absolute refusal, 1 should have endeavoured to conquer, or at 
least, to smother my passion. 

When I received your answer, I kept it some time befqre I 
durst open it. When I did, I was transported to find you kind— 
for though you wrote in the most cautious terms, I knew it was 
much in my favour that you would write at all, and that you de- 
signed I should understand it so. And I was sure you bad too 
much honour and goodness to trifle with me, after I had stated the 
afiair in so serious a light. 

Then, my dearest M***, on that very day, I began to live in- 
deed, and to act, in all my concerns, with a spirit and firmness to 
which I before was a stranger. My next voyage, though trouble- 
some enough, yet, enlivened by the hopes you had given me, was 
to me light and easy. And as it pleased God to enable me, in 
some measure, to act up to my new resolutions, I was, for the 
most part, at peace every way. 1 informed you of my arrival at 
Liverpool, and, upon the receipt of your second dear letter, I set 
off to try once more what I could find to say for myself ; and, as 
you were then disposed to make your company agreeable to me, I 
found it so indeed. Such are the outlines of my history, which I 
will close with thanking you for the invaluable present you made 
me, on the never-to-be-forgotten first of February, 1750. But 
1 must request your patience while 1 draw an inference or two 
from it. 



September 6. 
And, first, from a frequent review of the past, I learn to be easy 
and thankful in my present situation. The dispensations of Di- 



FIKST VOYAGE TO AFRIOA. 49 

vine Providence towards me have surely been extraordinary* 
All the evil I suffered was the immediate result of my own folly 
and wilfulness ; but the good I have experienced was. wholly un- 
merited, and for a long time unhoped for. Had it pleased God to 
continue my life upon any terms, I ought to be very thankful for it, 
as allowing me time for repentance. But as though this were 'B, 
small thing, my wild and roving behaviour has been over-ruled to 
procure me a better prospect in life, than perhaps I should have 
obtained by following my proper business from the first with a 
steady application. And further, as I have reason to think that 
riches, could I have acquired them, would have been tasteless to 
me without you, what sufficient acknowledgment can I make that 
even this last, best crowning gift, should be added to the rest ! 
Could my wretched course of life, for several years that I pre- 
tended to have you so much at heart, entitle me to tnis blessing ? 
Alas ! I was unworthy of you, in every sense of the word. 

Since, iherefcfre, so many blessings were in store for me, though 
I had cast off all fear and thought of the great God ; why should 
1 fear, now that I endeavour to acknowledge him in all my ways ? 
I entered upon this voyage with little anxiety, though I well knew 
it would expose me to many dangers, because I had been protected 
before, and brought through the like unhurt. 1 parted from you 
with grief, it is true, and yet with a degree of cheerfulness ; be- 
cause 1 trusted that he who brought us together so much beyortd 
my expectations and deserts, would restore us to each other agaih 
at a proper time ; and, for the same reason, my heart now exultB 
in the hope that the time is nearly approaching. My cares are 
sweetened with many comforts, and my pleasures, when I meet 
them, I believe, are with as little alloy as can be expected in this 
sublunary state. 

I infer, secondly, (which I have often mentioned before, but 
cannot too often repeat,) how great my obligations are to you. i 
will not compliment you as the first and principal cause, (for that 
I look higher,) but surely I may consider you as the chief mean 
and instrument of rescuing me from guilt and misery, and forming 
me to a true taste for the enjoyment of life. In gaining you, 1 
gained all at once. The empty shows of pleasure, which daily 
ruin thousands, have no more charms for me ; and the difficulties 
and troubles which are, more or less, inseparable from this mortal 
state, appear light and tolerable for your sake. The only study 
now left me (a pleasing study) is, how I may best deserve and 
requite your goodness. Gooa night. I am going to look at the 
north star. 

Vol. IV. 7 



^^0 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 



September 6. 
I MUST mention one additional circumstance, ^vhich demands 
my thankfulness* I mean the friendship and kindness of the 
ivnole family to which 1 am by you allied. Was it not very happy 
for me, that I should receive you from those very persons to 
whom, of all others, I had the greatest desire of being obliged ? 
For I knew it would have been in vain to expect your consent, 
unless it was allowed dnd confirmed by theirs, by the bye, I 
should tell you that your unusual obseirvance to your parents gave 
me some of my strongest hopes, that if we were once joined, we 
should do well together ; for I thought it morally impossible, that 
the best daughter I had met with, should not prove a good wife* 
I have seen Uie peace of some hopeful marriages disturbed, and 
sometimes destroyed, by dissentions arising from the new rela- 
tions ; but I have seldom seen such entire disinterested harmony 



as subsists among us. 



mit Seoy September 9. 
It is now such weather as often makes those who live on shore 
pity the poor sailors* The wind blows very hard, the sea runs 
feign, and tosses the ship about without any ceremony* So that 
writing is difficult, and 1 must be shorter than usual ; but I was 
not willing to desist entirely. For my own part, I do not think 
my case very pitiable. I am in good health, I am surrounded by 
a good Providence, to which a calm and a storm are alike ; and, 
as the wind is fair, every puff pushes me nearer to you. I have 
shortened the distance between us about one hundred and eighty 
miles within the last twenty-four hours. Who would not purchase 
this speed (if it could be bought) at the price of a litde inconven- 
ience ? Not that I am anxiously in haste. I am willing to make 
the best use, both of fair and of contrary winds, and if possible, 
with equal thankfulness, for 1 trust all my concerns are under a 
better direction than my own, and that you and I shall meet again, 
in the best concerted hour and manner imaginable. 



At Seuj September 16. 
The scene is much changed since yesterday. The wind is 
abated, and the raging billows are greatly subsided. I thank God 
we did not sustain the least damage, though such seasons are not 
without real danger; for the force of the sea, when enraged by 
the wind, is inconceivable by those who have not seen it, and un- 



flRST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 61 

manageable by those who have seen the most of it. God is often 
pleased to make this element his instrument of confounding the 
pride of those who presume to think their own art, vigilance, and 
precaution, a suflicient security against it; while at the same, or 
at a worse time, he makes the use of common means successful, to 
such as acknowledge that their best endeavours must be in vain 
without his blessing. 

It is a common error to be much afraid in times of great appa« 
rent danger, and only at such seasons. In a tempest, a fire, a 
pestilence, or an earthquake, we are alarmed, and cry. Lord, help 
uis, and give ourselves up for gone. But , alas ! were our fi-ail 
lives any way inconsistent with the views of Providence, there is 
no need of such a mighty apparatus to remove us. A fever, a fall, 
a fly, a tile, or eveti a hair, are, and have been, sufficient to inter- 
rupt the schemes of the ambitious, to rob the conqueror of his tri- 
umphs, or to change beauty into a loathsome mass. 

These thoughts have arisen from a grateful sense of my late 
preservation, and there is a propriety in offering them to you. I 
owe to you the most that enaears life to me. I ought to.be thank- 
ful for its continuance, though it were not thus enlivened, as a 
state of improvement and preparation for a better! but for any 
happiness merely temporal, further than what shall be allotted mc 
through and with you, 1 have neither conception nor desire. Fur- 
ther than this I dare not say. God forbid that either of us should 
mistake the mean, his goodness in blessing us with affections so 
happily atlunecj to each other, for the end to which it ought to 
Icacf us ; so as to place an undue stress upon what must be either 
taken from us, or we from it. Since we are sure we must at 
length part, let us endeavour that it may be upon such terms as 
may afford us, mutually, the joyful hope of a re-union, when we 
shall no more be liable to separation or disappointment. This 
must be happiness indeed ! 



At Sea, September 19. 

I AM a great admirer of JEsop's fables. They could jUardly 
have been more adapted to the customs and humours of our times, 
had ihey been written in London. His apes, lions, foxes, geese, 
magpies, and monkeys, may be met in our streets every day. As 
a proof that I am not partial in my censure, I will confess that I 
myself have frequently appeared in some of these characters. 
When I first knew you, I was a bear ; I then became an owl, and 
afterwards exhibited the worst properties of all these brutes in my 
single self. 

The morals, so called, usually subjoined to the fables, I think 



$*2 LETTERS TO A WIFS. 

otiight.be omitted without much loss. Let the reader moralize for 
l^imself, as I mean to do on a fable which commonly stands the 
f^rst in the book. I must give it you from memory, and believe I 
Sihall not much deviate frooi the original : 

*' A cock, scraping in a dunghill, found a diamond. Oh ! said 
he, what a fine bright thing is this ! a jeweller would be overjoyed 
to find it; but, for my part, I think it a mere bawble, and, would 
prefer one barley-corn to all the diamonds and pearls in the 
world !" Is not tliis a lively picture of some who would be thought 
fine gentlemen! In taste, aiscernnient, and employment, how 
nearly do they resemble the cock ! Solomon assures us, the price 
of a virtuous woman is above rubies ; which sufficiently explains 
what is meant by the diamond. Thus the Ubertine judges of a 
fine woman, every way Qualified to make a man of sense happy. 
He will, like the cock, allow (hat she is worth much to the one who 
knows how to value her, (for beauty joined with goodness in a 
female character, will extort some homage from the most brutish.) 
Tmust own, he would say, she is very amiable ; and, if a man 
should ^in her who can relish the good sense, tenderness, and 
generosity ^he seems to possess, he would, to be sure, think him- 
self very happy; but these things are to me mere bawbles. If I 
have my barley corn, I shall not envy him. My bottle and a bro- 
thel are more to my taste. Thus far my moral. 

How is it that women, who profess a regard for honour, truth, 
and virtue, will, without scruple, converse in general terms with 
men who jive in open defiance to these principles, if they are only 
recommended by a genteel address and appearsfnce ; and will 
permit them, upon the easy condition of avoiding gross, vulgar 
terms, to say things which they must surely despise? If they 
would resolutely treat with contempt the man who should dare to 
hint, that he considers all women as alike, it would prevent the ruin 
of many of your sex. and be the most effectual step towards a 
reformation amongst ours that I can think of. But now, let a 
wretch, by a complicated scene of perjury, baseness, and ingrati- 
tude, first ruin, and then abandon, a youne creature who has been 
so unhappy as to believe him, he will probably be received in the 
next company with a smile, and marks of good will; while the 
poor du\>e of his artifice, deprived both of peace and subsistence, 
shall be deemed unworthy of pity ; and this from women who 
ought to be the patterns of commiseration and candour ! 

You, I know, think more justly. You do not suppose that your 
having withstood or escaped all villanous designs, can warrant 
you to add weight to the affliction of those who have been over- 
reached. I may say of you, with the poet, 

There dwelt the scorn of vice, and pitj too. 



FIRST VOYAGE TO ATRICA. 53 

I know not what I should digress to next, but T am just told the 
tea-kettle boils ; so, as the sailors say, no more at present. 



Septemher 20. 

We have another heavy gale of wind, and it is not easy to sit 
fast, or to hold a pen ; but as the distance between us is lessening 
at the rate of seven or eight miles per hour, I am willing to fill up 
my paper as fast as I can. 1 wish I had words to convey some 
idea oi the scene around me; but it cannot be fully described. A 
faint, and but a faint conception may be formed from pictures, or 
prints, of a storm at sea. Imagine tj yourself an immense body 
of water behind you, higher than a house, and a chasm of equal 
depth just before you : both so apparendy dangerous that you 
could hardly determine which to venture ; and both so near, as 
not to allow you a moment's time to choose : for in the twinkling 
of an eye the ship descends into the pit which is gaping to receive 
her, and with equal swiftness ascends to the top on the other side, 
before the mountain that is behind can overtake her. And this is 
repeated as often as you can deliberately count four. It is indeed 
wonderful that a ship will run incessantly over these hills and dales 
for days and weeks together (if the gale lasts so long) without re- 
ceiving the least damage, or taking any considerable quantity of 
water on board ; and yet never be more than four or five yards 
from a sea which, if it was quite to reach her, would perhaps disa* 
ble her beyond recovery, if not beat her to pieces at a single blow« 
Need we go further for the proof of a Providence always near, 
always kind, kind to the unthankful and the evil ? For though 
these marks of his care are repeated every minute, they are sel- 
dom acknowledged by seamen. For my own part, I see dangers 
so numerous and imminent that I should be always in anxiety and 
fear, could I not submit myself and all my concerns to Him who 
holds the waves of the sea in the hollow of his hand, as the proph- 
et strongly expresses it ; so that when most enraced by the winds, 
I am sure they dare not rise a single inch beyona his permission. 

You have often heard of an ostrich, and perhaps seen one. 
This bird is common in the northern parts of Africa ; and, if 
iravellei-s, may be believed, he has. a peculiarity which, if my 
friend ^£sop liad known, he would, I think, have given him a place 
in bis fables; They say, when an ostrich is pursued, he usually 
gets clear bv running, if the place is open and plain; (for they 
are swifter than a horse ;) but if he be near an enclosure or wood, 
he sticks his head into the first bush he can reach, and when he 
can no longer see his enemy, he thinks himself safe, and stands 
quiet till he is caught. We may smile at this folly in a bird, but 



54 LCTT£ES TO A WIFS. 

how often is it an emblem of our own ! When the thing we fear is 
impending, and before our eyes, we are alarmed ; but soon drop 
our apprenensions, and perhaps are unwilling to own we had any, 
when the danger is over, as we suppose ; that is, when we cannot 
see it. Our own wisdom, or diligence, or vanity, serve us for a 
bush ; and we little think of the many calamities to which we are 
equally exposed from other quarters ; though we daily see more 
people suffering by what they slighted, than by what they feared. 
May you and Ilearn to fear the Lord, and we need fear none but 
him. He could preserve us safe and happy, though fire and air, 
earth and water, men and devils, wei'e to conspire against our 
peace. 



September 2 1 . 

How different is to-day from yesterday ! The sea hardly seems 
to be the same element. The weather is quite fair, the wind mod- 
erate, but still favourable, and the water smooth. When the 
country is loaded with snow, and the trees without a leaf, how 
pleasing is the alteration produced by the returning spring! The 
ground, by degrees, is covered with flowers, the woods arrayed in 
green, and music is heard from every thicket. Seamen often ex- 
perience as jgreat a change in a few hours, which makes it the 
more sensible. A little bad weather, now and then, makes the re- 
turn of fair more pleasant. I seem to^^day to breathe a new air, 
and with a new liie. 

You are very kind to wish yourself at sea with me ; but dearly 
as I value your company, I could not consent to pay such a price 
for it. I can easily submit to the inconveniences of a sea-faring 
life while you are safe on shore; but they would distress me 
greatly if you were affected by them. I am like a prudent mer- 
chant who, not willing to ris^k his whole fortune in one adventure, 
leaves the better and larger part of his riches at home; and then, 
if any thing happens, he can comfort himself with the thoughts of 
a reserve. 

Excepting the pain of your absence, (which I hoj)e 1 shall al- 
ways feel when from you,) I have little to disquiet me. My condi- 
tion when abi*oad, and even in Guinea, might be envied by multi- 
tudes who stay at home. I am as absolute in my small dominions 
(life and death excepted) as any potentate in Europe. If 1 say to 
one. Come, he comes; if to another. Go, he flies. If I order one 
person to do something, perhaps three or four will be ambitious of 
a share in the service. Not a man in the ship must eat his dinner 
till I please to give him leave : tiay, nobody dares say, it is twelve 
or eight o'clock, in my hearing, till I think proper to say so first. 



riRST VOTAOE Td AFBICA. 55 

There is a migluy bustle of attendance when 1 leave the ship/ and 
a strict watch kept while I am absent, lest I should return una- 
wares, and not be received in due form. And should I stay out 
till mid-night, (which for that reason I never do without necessi- 
ty,) nobody must presume to shut their eyes, till they have bad 
the honour of seeing me again. I would have you judge, from 
my manner of relating these ceremonials, that I do not value them 
highly for their own sake ; but they are old established customs, 
and necessary to be kept up ; for, without a strict discipline, the 
common sailor would be unmanageable. But, in the midst of ail 
my parade, I do not forget (I hope I never shall) what my situation 
was on board the Harwich, and at the Plantanes. 



September 25. 
While 1 am writiog, the ship keeps running towards you. 
The wind has been mostly fair for more than a week. Some- 
times I almost fancy myself in a dream, and think, Can it indeed 
be possible, that 1 am within a few weeks of so much happiness 
as a return to you includes ? Perhaps I may find you ill — per- 
haps I may not reach you at all, near as I think myself. Hun- 
dreds have perished much nearer home. But all dark thoughts 
give way to my dependence upon God. 1 know I do not deserve 
so great a blessing as to be restored to you again ; but neither did 
I deserve to be blessed with you at first. 1 hope, arrive when I 
will, I shall bring home a disposition to be thankful, I have ad- 
vanced about eight hundred miles this week. How many deaths 
and dangers have I escaped in that space ! Why then should I 
fear these that are still before me, if I am always under the same 
pfotection f 



Jit Sea, September 26. 
The weather is at present very cold, wet, and windy ; but, I 
thank God, my heart is warm and calm. I think of past times, 
when I have been happy with you, and I count nothing a hard- 
ship that does not interfere with my hope of being so again. I 
would not wish to fix the hour myself, because I cannot choose 
for the best. I suppose myself about three hundred and fifty 
miles from Ireland, and I have at times been too impatient to see 
it, because I should be so much nearer to you. But were we now 
very close to the land, I might perhaps wish myself far out at sea 
again ; for the wind, in its present degree and direction, which is 



56 LETTERS TO A WITE. 

only inconvenient here, would there be dangerous. How often 
have I found, that the accooiplishmeot of my own short-sighted 
designs would have been to my hurt ! And yet, alas ! I feel it 
difficult to submit my concerns to a superior management, though 
I sum convinced, in my judgment, that I could not order them so 
well myself. The story of the Fairy who would never assign a 
reason for what she did, but always did right, though some of her 
proceedings appeared to contradict her promises, I think well suit- 
ed to illustrate the conduct of Divine Providence, which will sure- 
ly do us good, if we can humbly trust it, without nicely examin- 
ing the aptness of the means by which it works. Dr. PamelPs 
Hermit is a still more solid and satisfying illustration of this sub- 
ject. How miserable, for instance, must both you and 1 have 
been, if my desire had succeeded before I had a little learnt how 
to treat and value you f And how unlikely was the path that I 
trod for several years, to lead me to your possession ? And 
though I should have thought myself happy, could I have avoid- 
ed the necessity of leaving you for the long term of this voyage, 
yet I am assured, that when we are permitted to meet, we shall 
both derive advantages from the separation. 

The ship has so many motions, that writing (unless to you) 
would be quite troublesome. So I shall leave off, though I can- 
not say the tea-kettle boils, nor am I sure that it will, for the sea 
often puts the fire out. But if you drink your tea in peace, I can 
make a good shift without any. 



^t Sea, October 2. 

1 HAVE been prevented from writing in the day, so must try my 
eyes by candle-light. Indeed, at present, I could not write with 
pleasure to any one but yourself; for, as I. expect every hour to 
see the land, my head is full of the charge of a ship Valuably laden, 
and the lives of many people intrusted to my care. Not that I 
have more anxiety than is needful to make me use my best endeav- 
ours. For the success of the whole, I can with some comfort de- 
pend on the good providence of God ; but I must not presume to 
be preserved by a miracle. It is sufficient if my best diligence 
is permitted to answer the proposed end ; which, of itself, I am 
sure it cannot do. The innumerable possibilities of miscarriage to 
which a ship is liable, are far beyond the reach of human forc^ 
sight or prevention. It is my mercy to be convinced of this, 
and, at the same time, to be able to look higher for protection. 

When Caesar was once at sea in a storm, and the mariners them- 
selves were startled at the danger, he is reported to have said, 



FIRST VOYAGE TO AFRICA. fi7 

** Fear oothing, you carry Caesar and his fortune." Perhaps I may, 
with less presumption than he, take some comfort in the thought 
of my own importance ; for though, strictly speaking, I am a mere 
nothing, I hope I may rank myself with those to whom all things 
are promised to work together for good, and that my best interests 
are fixed upon a foundation that cannot be shaken. When I do 
give way to fears or wishes of a temporal kiod^ I think it is chief- 
ly on your account. I would be thankful for life, but am in some 
measure freed from the dread of death, further than for the grief it 
would occasion to you. I ought to strive to get the better of 
this thought likewise ; but I have not yet attained. In the 
wretched, unthinkii:g part of my life, 1 was futl of fears, which I 
do not now wonder at. The wonder is, how any-odeWho lives as 
I then did, can be otherwise. Surely the sudden and various 
passages from. this world to the next, must shock those who have 
nothing to hope for, but every thing to fear, by the change. 
The wicked flee when no man pursueth ; the shadow of danger 
discomposes them ; and whatever boasts they may make of their 
courage, it most commonly fails them when most needed, unless 
they have hardened themselves beyond the power of reflection. 
But the righteous are bold as a lion. No difficulty can overpower 
their resolution when they are in the path of duty. 

Were some gay ladies of your acquaintance to read what I 
write, they would call much of it stuff, and preaching ; and ad- 
mire that you have patience to read it. Perhaps a time will come, 
when such will wish they had thqughtas you do. However, I do 
not write in this serious strain for your perusal only, but for my 
own ; to quicken my remembrance of the past, when I shall be 
restored to you, and be in a state of more apparent safety ; in 
hopes that these passages may contribute to the forming of my 
behaviour then, answerably to my deliberate and cool judgftient 
of things now ; that I may not be like the sailor who once, in 
great distress, made a vow to the "Virgin Mary, that if she would 
deliver him, be would present her with a wax candle as big as 
the ship's mainmast ; and on being asked how he would raise mon- 
ey, to pay for so large a candle, he said, " Let us first get on 
shore, and then the saints will not exact too strictjy upon a sai- 
lor's promise." 



Jit Sea, October 3. 

What a tasteless, unpleasant voyage would this have been, if 
you had not secured my happiness before I came out, and given 
me something to remember, And something to hope for, that has 

Vol. IV. 8 



58 LXTTEBft TO A wirte« 

supported me at all times ; tod yet you denied me at first with so 
grave a face, and bad such absolute command over me, that I had 
almost taken you at your word. I may be obliged to Mrs. H.'s 
advice, that I did not fairly give up my suit ; though, upon second 
thoughts, I believe it was more owing to my opinion of your gen- 
erosity. For I thought, that to send me away empty again, 
would argue a selfish caution, of which I could not suppose yoo 
capable, without wronging you. So I ventured to touch again 
upon a subject on which you positively enjoined me silence. 
And I remember yon forbade me again, but I thought you did not 
speak in so peremptory a manner as before. In a lit Je time you 
heard me without interrupting me, and from thence proceeded to 
argue and object, in a cool, conversible strain. When it came to 
this, I promised myself success. I remembered that line. 

The woman that deliberates U gained. 

I then began to press my point more closely, till you actually 
yielded, and gave me your hand in consent ; which, though I 
had been so long entreating for, I could not receive without trem- 
bling and surprise. I could hardly think myself awake. I 
never till then was sensible of the force of my love ; and I slept 
that night with a content and sweetness which I had not known 
before. I often recollect these circumstances, and the much ado I 
made about you before marriage, to make me careful that my be- 
haviour now may be suitable to my former professions. But, I 
thank God, it does not require much care or pains ; for to do all 
in my power to please and oblige you, seems as natural to me as 
it is to breathe. 



Liverpool^ October 8. 

The news of my arrival will make this letter, however faulty, 
welcome to you. I could not write, at present, to any one but 
yourself. I am over-fatigued, having been incessantly walking 
for four days and four nights, which once brought on a temporary 
delirium, though not so violent as to prevent my knowing what I 
said or did. But almost every thing I thought of (yourself ex- 
cepted) seemed to be present before my eyes. But since I came 
here I have had a good nap, which has much refreshed me, and I 
hope to be quite recovered to-morrow. In other respects I am in 
perfect health. 

I hope to $et out for London as soon as the ship is discharged ; 
but cannot be yet sure. Should another voyage be proposed im- 



riasf VOTAOE to afrigla. fy 

mediately, I must beg yoa to submit to the inconventence of a 
long joorney in the winter ; for, now there is no ocean between 
us, we most not be separated, no, not for a single hoar, without 
necessity. But I rather hope and expect the lot of travelling 
will fall to me. 

I hope you will rather be pleased with the knowledge of my 
being now so near you, than be grieved that we must wait a little 
longer before we meet. For my own part, I have so strong an im- 
pression of the dangers I have mercifully escaped in the course of 
the last week, that I dare not complain of a little delay ; and 
when the post shall bring me kn assurance of your health and 
peace, I shall cheerfully v^ait the ordinary course of things. 



Liverpool J October II. 

In about fourteen days from this date I hope to be preparing 
for London. Mr. M**** says, that about March I may expect 
to be summoned again ; and then he hopes to see you with me, 
and that he will be glad to make his house an agreeable home to 
you, and charge himself with the care of returning you to London, 
if you do not choose to reside in Liverpool while I am abroad* 
Mrs. M**^* likewise wishes to see you. She thinks she pays my 
judgment a compliment, in forming a favourable idea of you be-^ 
forehand. I smile, and say nothing. She will perceive, when the 
time comes, that any opinion of you derived only from the know- 
ledge of what I am, must greatly wrong you. 

Many welcome me home ; but, alas ! Liverpool without you, is 
almost as poor a home to me as the wildest part of Africa. I only 
say almost, because I am much in Mr. M*^**'s family, and when 
there, 6nd some alleviation of your absence. All the rest is wea- 
risome and tedious. I enjoy myself best when retired in my 
room, and especially when I am writing to you. 



Liverpooly October 13. 
If I could write a quire, I should be unable to express my 

fileasure on the receipt of your dear, punctual favour of the 9th. 
t is like your kindness, to offer to meet me upon the road, but I 
beg you to spare yourself the trouble. I do not even desire you 
to come to London, as I have no business to detain me there, and 
I should be under some restraint at the house of an acquaintance. 
The pleasure of having our first interview quite at home, amongst 
ourselves, seems worth waiting for a kw hours. I am glad you 



60 liSTTE&S TO A WIFK. 

made yourself quite easy npon the news of my departure from 
Antigua. But novf I am safely arrived, I may venture to tell 
you, that my passage homewards at this time of the year (the 
hurricane season) was the most apparently dangerous part of the 
.voyage : I thought it so before I sailed ; yet I ventured to fore- 
tell a happy arrival ; because I trusted to that Providence which 
has never failed me. In effect, all proved favourable ; and, ex- 
cepting two or three hard gales, 1 might, for the most part of the 
way have come safely in a Gravesend boat. 



Liverpooly October 18. 
I HAVE been searching (in vain) for epithets and phrases, but I 
must stop. ■ T hey say the Greek is a more expressive language 
than our own ; if so 1 wish we both understood it, for it is impos- 
sible for mere English to do justice to a twentieth part of what 
I have in my mind. Yet I ought not to quarrel with words, lest 
my actions, however well meant, should fall equally short of 
what I owe you. But I know you will kindly value them accor- 
ding to my intention, which I am sure is strong and sincere, to 
make you every return in my power. I hope soon to name the 
day of my leaving Liverpool, and shall mind your caution about 
my health. 



SECOND VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 

1752. 

At Sea, June 30. 

I BEGIN to write the moineDt we are uader sail, and shall 
snatch every interval while my friends stay with me. 

The first thing I shall say is, that I am really easy. Though I 
have no relish for mirth, my mind is at peace. The knowledge 
of your love, the recollection of the happy time I have passed 
with you, and the powerful considerations of a more serious kind, 
which I {>ave oAen repeated to you, hav^ all tlie effect upon me 
that you could wish. And I assure you the resolution you have 
shown has no small influence, both as an example, and in giving 
me hope that you will strive to be composed, and to depend, with 
me, upon the good Providence which has already done so much 
for us. I do not complain of being something moved at parting i 
because I should be a wretch indeed, were I insensible of the value 
of what I leave behind. I can, from experience, pronounce, that 
the pains of an affection properly directed, are in no degree pro- 
portionable to its pleasures. I already look forward to a time 

when but I have no words to express myself, so must refer 

you to our last meeting on the second of November. Such ano- 
ther interview will be a full amends for the disagreeableness of a 
long voyage. May the good and gracious God bless and preserve 
you. Remember my last advice. Be patient and thankful, and 
expect me, at the best time, to return and be happy with you 
again. 



At Sea, July 11. 
Though my letter by the pilot-boat went twelve days ago, 
I have not written to you since.' We were exercised for some 
time, while near the land, with very thick weather, and westerly 
winds ; and I would not begin ray sea-correspondence till I could 
tell you (as I thank God I now can) that we are safely in good 
sea-room. I am almost ashamed to say how easily I bear your 
absence. Surely it is not that 1 love you less than formerly ; yet 
I seem to myself, to make a better shift without you than I ought. 
Though I think of you continually, and pray for you almost 
hourly, much oflener than ever, my love and care for you are much 
freed from inquietude and anxiety. I have my serious hours ; for 



62 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

it is only from serious thoughts, at some times, that I can derive 
considerations sufficient to make me cheerful at any time. 

I am now settled in a regular course ; for so far as circumstan- 
ces will permit, I do every thing by rule, and at a fixed hour. My 
time is divided into seasons for devotion, study, exercise, and rest ; 
and, thus diversified, no part of it is tedious. 

I have been following you, in my mind, to London this week^ 
where I hope you arrived in safety last night ; but, lest I should 
be mistaken in the time, I propose to travel it over again next 
week. ^ have almost dismissed my fears upon your account, for 
1 have so often recommended and resigned you to the protection 
of God, that I seldom doubt of his special care over you. But I 
have bound myself in a strict promise, and engaged to use my 
whole interest with you to join me in it, that when he shall be 
pleased to bring us together again in peace, we will both endeav- 
our to show gratitude by our conduct, as well as to express it in 
words. In the mean while, it is one of my daily and nightly pe- 
titions, that he may teach us to extract a real good out of these 
our painful separations, by improving Uie occasion to the increas- 
ing, and fixing, our best affections, on himself. From his favour 
and goodness, all our blessings, even our mutual love, proceeds. 
He is able and willing to prosper all our wishes and desires, so far 
as they are rightly grounded ; and from this notice, neither time 
nor distance can separate us. He is an ever-present and an all- 
sufficient helper. 



At Sea, July 24. 
I KNOW you have thought of me to-day; because it is my birth- 
day. I have likewise observed it ; but not so properly celebrat- 
ed, as solemnized it. I would willingly grow wiser and better, 
as I grow older, every year. I have now lived twenty-seven 
years, but how few things have I done really worthy of life ! un- 
less I am allowed to consider the instances in which I have endea- 
voured to show my aflection and gratitude to you of that number. 
1 have some hope that my remaining time will be better improved ; 
and my prayer and wish for you is, that we may be both of one 
mind, and prove helps to each other in our most important busi- 
ness ; and this will be the most eifectual means of securing peace 
and satisfaction in our inferior concernments. I continue to con- 
ceive most of my prayers in the plural number, as when we were 
together ; for every desirable good that I can ask for myself, I am 
equally solicitous that you should be a sharer in. 



SECOND TOVAGE TO AVRICA. 63 

At Seay July 27. 

I HAD nearly missed my post to-nigbt, by attending to our old 
sea form in crossing the tropic. This is the boundary of what the 
ancients called the torrid zone. We crossed the supposed line of 
this boundary to-day. On these occasions, all tfae people on board 
a ship who have not passed it before, are subject to a fine, 
which, if they refuse to pay, or cannot procure, they must be 
ducked; that is, hoisted up by a rope to the yard-arm, and 
from thence dropped souse into the water. This is such fine 
sport to the seamen, that they would rather lose some of the for- 
feiture (which is usually paid in brandy) than that every body 
should escape the ducking. And in many vessels, they single out 
some poor helpless boy or landsman, to be half drowned for the 
diversion of his shipmates. But as I do not choose to permit any 
arbitrary or oppressive laws to be valid in my peaceful kingdom, 
I always pay for those who cannot pay for themselves. If this 
poor relation does not entertain you, the thought that I wrote it, 
and the persuasion that my inclination to send you something bet* 
ter is not wanting, will, I doubt not, make you some amends. 

Indeed, I am at a loss for a subject. Suppose, for want of 
something better, I should observe, that it is a month since we part« 
ed. No, that will not do — the word parted has spoiled all. Oh ! 
that morning ! It was a parting indeed ! but do not think I am 
uneasy at the recollection. I only gave way to one tender sigh, 
and now it is gone. Well, suppose, we turn the glass, and look 
forward to our next hoped-for happy meeting ? Aye, that is the 
very thing ; at the mention of it, I almost forget that we parted at 
all. Such a meeting as our last! Well, I am content, and ac- 
knowledge that one of those hours will make amends for all. 
Till that time shall come, all that we have* to do is cheerfully to 
fill up the part Providence has appointed us, without too ansious 
solicitude ; to pray for each other's welfare, and to endeavour to 
live under the impression of the blessings we have already re- 
ceived, or have yet to hope for, from our all gracious Benefactor ; 
and all the rest will in due time come round, and you will find my 
dependence upon his goodness to be well founded. 



At Sea, August 7. 
I HAVE no confidant now, as I had in my poor doctor last 
voyage, to whom I can ease my mind a little, by talking of you. 
For my chief mate, though in all other respects much to my sa- 
tisfaction, has not that turn of temper which is requisite to relish 



64 LKTTERS TO A WIFE. 

the delicacy of the love I bear you ; and to those who have not 
something of a fellow-feeling, my tenderness would appear only 
a kind of innocent folly. In this, you have greatly the advan- 
tage of me ; you have friends about you, who %vill often speak of 
me, because they know it will please you. 1 would rather have 
your name so sounded in my ears, than to have Corelli himself 
entertain me with his own music. For want of this, I am forced 
to have recourse to ray old custom of repeating it softly to myself, 
praying, at the same time, that the happiness I have in you, may 
be repaid you a thousand fold. 

So that when I indulge myself with a particular thought of you, 
it usually carries me on further, and brings me upon my knees to 
bless the Lord fur giving me such a treasure, and to pray for your 
peace and welfare. I cannot express the pleasure and satisfaction 
I find in these exercises. When thus engaged, my fears subside, 
my impatience of your absence changes into a resignation full of 
hope, and every anxious, uneasy thought is lulled to rest. This 
is my present temper, nor would I waste a wish for any thing the 
world can afford, beyond the probabilities which lie before nie. 



At Sea, August 1 1 . 
I NCEj> not apologize to you for writing so much in a serious 
strain ; but were an excuse needful, 1 must plead yourself. For 
when 1 take up my pen, and begin to consider what I shall say, I 
am led to think of the goodness of God, who has made you mine, 
and given me a heart to value you. Thus my love to you, and 
my gratitude to him, cannot be separated. And as you are so 
good as to prize my affection, by finding it thus accompanied, you 
may be assured of its being unalterable. All other love, that is 
not thus connected with a dependence upon God, must be precari- 
ous. To this want 1 attribute many unhappy marriages. I be- 
lieve many persons fall (?om their hopes of satisfaction in that 
«itate, by degrees insensible to themselves ; and a secret change, 
or alienation of mind from each other, takes place before they 
are well aware of it ; till, in lime, they proceed to such lengths 
us they would once have judged impossible. 

« 1 am not at a loss to account for this. God has subjected the 
prcsciii state of the world to uncertainty and vanity ; not because 
he is a liard master, but because he sees, if we go on smoothly 
long, wo are prone to forget that our great concern in this life 
should be to prepare for another. Now they who, by his grace, 
are led to consider the great truths of religion, and are taught, 
before the days of trial come, to submit themselves, their designs. 



SECOND VOYAGE TO AFRICl. 65 

and enjoyments, to liis wisdom and guidance, may, in a great 
measure, escape the bitterness of evil, or, at least, the most 
bitter of those evils to which mqrtality is subject ; becs^ose the 
merciful design of affliction is, to them, so far answered. But 
they who judge so ill . as to place a dependence upon each 
other, which interferes with what they owe to their common 
Preserver, oblige him, if I may so speak, to quash their pur- 
pose, either by sickness, sufferings, death, or what to me seems 
worse than all, a change of affection, to make them feel their 
offence in their punishment. I dare not say that you and I have 
not been guilty of this error. But since it has pleased God, 
as yet, to forbear afflicting us for it, I hope, for the future, we 
shall be more upon our guard, and not further displease him. 



Sierra Ledne, August 11 , 
We arrived here the 17th, after a fine, and not very long, pas- 
sage. We had no violent weather, nor painful event, but a visi- 
ble hand of conducting Providence attended us all the day. I 
iiave begun trade, and things appear in a promising train. 

I often ask myself if I know any person upon earth with whom 
f could be content, in all points, to change : and I can confident- 
ly answer, No : for the knowledge and enjoyment of your \ovt 
enable me to look with pity upon kings, and I would not part 
with what I now feel upon your account, for the treasures of both 
the Indies. 



October 6. 

The Hunter, which will sail in a few days^ has a large packet 
for you ; and 1 have further sent you a few lines by Mr. D****, 
a young gentleman from Scotland, who is on board her. He has 
promised to deliver my letter in person, though he has no business 
at C**** but to oblige me by seeing you, that he may answer 
any little questions you may ask, or inform you of some incidents 
which Lmay have omitted. It is not easy to say, what pleasure 
I could take in conversing with any person who had lately been 
with you ; and I judge of you by myself In other respects he is 
an agreeable man, and I have been much pleased with him. I 
am informed he has a tolerable estate in Scotland } but having an 
«ager desire of seeing new things, after having made the tour of 
iFrance, he thought there might be something worthy of his notice 

Vol. IV. 9 



66 LETTfiRS TO A WirE. 

tm in Gttioea. Bat I believe bis expectations have been mucb 
banlked. 

It is now tbe noon of nigbt, as Sbalispeare somewliere expresses* 
it I left Sierra Leone this morning. I am sleepy, but must not 
go to bed yety being often obliged to watch when the ship is un- 
der sail. This I submit to cheerftilly, because you have, before- 
handy overpaid me fpr my trouble, I have been praying for 
ytmr calm repose, and am pleased with the hope that only one of 
us is kept waking. I pity those who have only dull interests to 
animate them in their business ; and am surprised to see how pow- 
erful an inducement this is to them who have not a better. But I 
believe love would support me through more, and with more 
alacrity, than their plodding motive. When I am wearied or 
perplexed with any affair, I have only to reflect that I am employ- 
ed upon your account, and that I may look for my reward from 
you, when I have done my work, or rather, that you rewarded me 
before I undertook it, and all difficulties presently disappear. 



Shebar, October S\. 

Since my last 1 have been a week on shore, and three or four 
days indisposed ; but am now, I thank God, quite recovered. 
Your letter of the I2th of July came very seasonably, to comfort 
me in my illness. When you assure me that you are easy, 1 seem 
to have nothing to make me otherwise. 

I have been sitting very gravely with my pen in my hand for 
some minutes, waiting for a thought to begin with ; but with so 
little success, that, were it not to you, I should lay the paper aside 
till I was in a better cue. But to you something must be said. 
I have rung so many changes upon love and gratitude, upon the 
pains of separation, and the over balancing pleasures of meeting, 
that though I cannot be weary of the subjects, 1 begin to be weary 
of my way of treating them. But then, where shall I find other 
subjects worthy either of your attention or my own ? 

Were I to muster up my learning, and tell you what Plato or 
Cicero said, and upon what occasion they said it, I should think 
the paper might have been filled more acceptably to you by a 
speech of my own. Were 1 to send you a sample of philosophy, 
you might justly say, " This is but a cold business." Shall I 
then try to be witty ? Alas ! one tender thought, one sigh that ter- 
minates in your dear name, would spoil my conceit. 1 can think 
but of one subject more, and that perhaps 1 have already over- 
done likewise, unless I could do it better. But perform well or 
ill, you have little to expect fipom me but either love-letters or ser- 



5KCOND VOTAOE TO AFAICA. 67 

mons* In all other topics I feel a vanity and unimportance, which 
disgusts me when I am writing to you. But I cannot be soon 
weary of reminding you and myself of our obligations to die Au* 
thor of all ^ood,for our distinguished lot May a grateful sense 
of bis mercies be mutual ! May it engage us in such a course, that 
death itself may not separate iis long ; but that we may have a 
well-grounded hope of meeting in a state, when the recollection 
of our highest endearments while here, which are surely the high- 
est pleasure this world can afford, shall, by our own confession, 
be but a small thing compared with the abounding joys to which 
we shall then be admitted; and when we may have reason, 
through eternal ages, to bless the divine providential hand that 
first brought us together. 



JVovemfter K). 

1 HAVE been walking the deck very pleasandy. It is my 
watch, for the ship is under sail. These silent night hours, when 
the weather is fair, are, tome, the most agreeable part of the voy- 
age : for in the day-time, the heat of the sun, the smc^e of me 
furnace, and the hurry of trade, are a little troublesome ; I me^Xk 
they would be so, did not the thoughts of you interpose to enliven 
the scene. But when the sun is set, the fires out, and all bwt (he 
watch are asleep, 1 can enjoy myself without disturbance, I 
have a set of favourite themes to muse upon, which are always at 
hand, and cannot be easily exhausted. Sometimes I mminyate up- 
on what is past ; at others, anticipate what I hope is to come. 
And sometimes I look round me and reflect how God has been 
pleased to distinguish me, in his providence, i|p^pnly from the 
crowds, whose miseries and sufferings are obvious, but even fitMn 
the most of those whi^ suppose themselves, and would persuade 
others, that they are happy^ But so scanty are the general no- 
tions of earthly happiness, compared with mine, that I doubt not 
there are thousands in possession of great ^utward advantaees, 
who yet, in their brightest intervals, never felt half of the saiisnc- 
tion which at this moment warms my heart ; though now it 10 a 
time of trial and exercise with me, oeing removed a third of the 
globe lirom the only treasure I have, or wish for, upon the surface 
of it. 

It is- now a twelvemonth since we met, .after the lon^ absence 
of my last voyage. The recollection of that hour ^yessie^a 

rleasure which neither time nor distance can impair* And whw 
reflect, that I may hope, by the blessing of God, to be &vo«red 
with such another, I can smile at all the little incidental diffionltifiS 
that may stand between m. Not that I have jreasen tp think so 



60 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

highly of that one particular day ; it has only the merit of bein^ 
an introduction to the many which followed. For when I am with 
you, I know little difference of days, except between the first and 
the last. These are very different indeed ! 



Cape Mount, J^ovember 20. 
It has been out of my power to write of late. A part of the 
time I was on shore ; and the rest, indispensably engaged. But 
my prayers, and warmest affection for you, have found a place 
in every waking hour. 1 have made no great progress in trade 
as yet, but as I am in good health, and mercifully preserved from 
heavy troubles, I am content and thankful ; and doubt not of do- 
ing well at last, by the blessing of Him who has-been with me 
hitherto. Were I master of the whole coast of Africa, I would 
part with it to procure you the same eround and degree of peace 
which, I possess myself ; and I am willing to hope that you are, 
by this time, not far, if at all, behind me ; for if you seek it in the 
path I recommend to you, I am as sure you will find it as I am 
that it is to be found no where else. Were I to confine my 
thoughts to the dark side of human life, and reckon up, not only 
the evils attendant on my present situation, but the numberless 
calamities to which the smoothest state on this side the grave is 
exposed, I should be always in fear, both for you and for myself. 
But when I consider that the Most High is on our side, that he is 
all-sufficient — ^that we have already had innumerable proofs of his 
goodness to us — ^and that his promise runs, To him that hath^ 
shall be given — then every disagreeable prospect vanishes. 



Mana, December 1. 
^ This d&y has been devoted to serious thoughts. I have had 
, Mr. T**** on board with me a month ; which, in one respect, 
was no small inconvenience, by breaking in upon my usual times 
of retirement. As I expected this would be a day of leisure, I 
resolved last night, to dedicate it to Him to whom I owe my all. 
1 find, by repeated experience, that it is impossible to serve him 
for nought. 1 who was yesterday fluctuating and unsettled, am now 
composed and happy. It is a pleasure to me that, in consistence 
with my plan, I can let you have your hour too ; and write a let- 
ter, which you will accept, in a religious strain. 

I spent the forenoon chiefly in a review of the various mercies I 
have received, the long list of my deliverances, enjoyments, and 
comforts. — ^The afternoon was employed in making known my 



SECOND VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 69 

requests, anci submitting my views, designs, and hopes, to the dis- 
posal of my heavenly Father, whose wisdom and goodness are, I 
trust, engaged for me. In these exercises — oh ! how I remember 
you ! My nrst acknowledgments are for your love, and that you 
are mine, when I attempt to enumerate the. blessings pertaining to 
this life ; and my first desire is for a hedrt to value them. My 
prayers for you are, for your health, peace, and satisfaction, while 
we are separated, and for our happy meeting ; but, above all, for 
your progress in religipn, and that you may have a prospect of 
happiness, independent of all earthly comforts, and superior to 
them* So disinterested is my love, that I often earnestly pray 
you may, by grace, be prevented irom making too much account 
of any thin^ on this side the grave, not excepting mjself* For 
though I value your affection beyond crowns and empires, I trem- 
ble at the thought of being over regarded, or that you should 
wholly rest your peace upon such a wretched, feeble prop, as I 
am. A love with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength, 
(such, 1 fear, ours has too much been to ^ch. other,) can be only 
due ta our Maker and great Benefactor. I mention this, because 
I have found it hard to- distinguish in this matter. A long time it 
was before I durst appeal to my conscience, that I did not behold 
you with a regard which belongs only to God. And even to this 
clay, I fear my heart deceives me. But I am endeavouring to 
avoid this en*or, no less for your sake than for my own ; lest I 
should provoke him to wound me in the most sensible part, and to 
afflict you, for my punishment. » ^ 

I hope you will not misunderstand me, as if I thought I loved 
you, or could love you, too much, (that one necessary exception 
only excepted*) You may be assured that my love (especially 
when thus limited) is incapable of change, and always upon the 
increase. Whatever may be expected on my side, from a temper 
naturally susceptive of tenderness, and from the many inexpressi* 
ble endearments and obligations 1 have received from you, non^ 
of which are lost or forgotten by mc, I feel at this moment, and 
trust I shall always feel, while I can subscribe myself 

Yours, &c. 



Cape Moun^t December 25. 
I NOW sit down to wish you a happy Christmas ; a merry one is 
a frequent phrase, but that falls far short of my desire. For I 
have often found mirth and happiness to be two very different 
^ things ; and that either of them, when prevalent in a great degree, 
is inconsistent with the other. My heart is warm with the recol- 
lection of many endeared hours passed with you, when my happi- 



70 ^ LETTERS TO A WJrE« 

ness has been, for the time, complete, and yet I have not then 
/elt the least inclination to be merry ; and I have often been for- 
ced into a laugh, when I have not been pleased. 

This has been a serious day with me ; and, after what I have 
written already, I need not attempt to say how much you have 
been concerned in it/' It grieves me to thmk that this is usually 
a season of festivity and dissipation. Surely they who think pro- 
per to notice it at all, should show their attention in a different 
manner. If we are really Christians, and do indeed believe the 
tenour of the Scriptures, with what serious thankfulness, and joy- 
ful composure, ought we to c9mmemorate the coming of a Saviour 
into the world ? If the Jittle eood offices we perform to each other 
demand a grateful return, what do we owe to Him, who, of his 
own free motion and goodness, humbled himself so far, and suf- 
fered so much, to redeem us from extreme and endless misery ? 
Oh .! my dearest M***, it is a most certain truth, that if he had 
not pitied us, we must have been for ever wretched. And If we 
continue to neglect hidi now, our misery will be aggravated by 
the refusal of the sure and only mean of relief. And, however a 
round and scries of what the world miscalls pleasure,, may stifle 
uneasy thoughts for a lime, they will at leneth awake, to the con- 
fusion of ail who despise this mercy, and die impenitent. My 
subject has almost made me forget I am writing to you. For, 
blessed be God ! I hope we are not like them. 1 trust we both 
desire to be^wisc in time, and to apply to the Giver of all grace, 
for 4hat sufficiency which of ourselves we cannot attain. And if 
we ask, we undoubtedly shall succeed. This hope fills my mouth 
with prais.e, since I now sec a plain and secure path to eternal 
happmess, not for myself only, but for you likewise, whose wel- 
fare, if I mistake not, is little less dear to me than that of mv own 
soul. I find, as Solomon says, that love is stronger than death : 
for my regard for*you often leads my views beyond the grave, 
and alleviates the thought, that we must sooner or later be separa- 
ted here, with the prospect of being joined hereafter, upon much 
preferable terms ; where our love will be refined and ennobled, 
and the consciousness of our being mutually and for ever happy, 
will fill us with a joy of which we have no present conception ; 
and yet, perhaps, this joy will be among the least in that happy 
state. 



1753. 

Mana^ January 12. 
• Were it not for the late alteration of the style, this would be 
new-year's day. It is with a pleasing kind of regret I remember 



SECOND VOTAGE TO AFRICA. ^ 7^ 

how happily I began the last year, and how happy I continued 
for/ just six months aftei*wards. The latter half of the year has 
been of a different colour ; for though I have, even now, much to 
be thankful for,* I am absent from you.. A seafaring life has its 
peculiar trials and difficulties, and the Guinea trade, perhaps, 
has more than any other. But if I must be detained from you for 
a season, I am as well here as elsewhere ; for to live without you, 
constitutes the very essence of Guinea to me, so far as the word 
expresses a disagreeable situation ; and 1 hope and believe I should 
find myself as much at a loss, and sigh as often for something bet- 
ter, if] lived in the palace of Versailles, and could call it my own, 
uales you were with me. But when I direct my thoughts forward, 
to the prospect of being restored to you again, the scene changes 
at once, and I seem to be at Versailles already. 

It may be said that my hopes are precarious, and may be dis- 
appointed. But here religion comes to faiy aid, and tells me that 
my best interest, though apparently contingent, is in effect firm as 
a rock ; being supported by Him whose wisdomj power, and 
goodness are infinite ; who cannot but be present with me in all 
difficulties and dangers ; who knows our weaknesses and our 
wants, and has promised to relieve and supply them. My own 
experience has convinced me a tlionsand times, that his promise 
-is snre. Here is my refuge and comfort. Every other expedi-» 
ent would fail me in somfi tender hours, when I think of home ; 
but in the trust I have just mentioned 1 find repose when, seem- 
ingly, most destitute and forlorn. My prayers are frequent, that 
you, like me, may always derive comfort from the same considera- 
tions. 



Mana, January 26 i 
Though to be absent from you is the chief part of my trial, it 
is not the whole. In this unhappy country, I am in the midst of 
scenes, not only inferior, but opposite to those which are hisepa- 
rable from your company. But from being much among a people 
who are so far from possessing such mercies as I am favoured 
with, that they are unable to form a conception of them, 1 may 
learn a lesson of gratitude ; since the least pleasing part of my 
life is such, as still to leave me room to pity millions of my fellow- 
creatures. The three greatest blessings of which human nature ^ 
is capable, are undoubtedly religion, liberty, and love. In each 
of these, how highly has God distinguished me ! But here are 
whole nations around me, whose languages are entirely different 
from each other, yet I believe they all agree in this, that they 



7*2 ^ LETTERS TO A Wlti. 

havjs no words among them expressive of these engaging .ideas ; 
from whence I infer, that t^ie ideas themselves have no place in 
their minds^ And as there is no medium between light and dark- 
ness, these poor creatures 4ire not only strangers to*the advantages 
which I enjoy, but are pitinged in 9II the contrary evils. Instead 
of the present blessings, and bright future prospects of Christian- 
ity, they are deceived and harrassed by necromancy, magic, and 
all the train of superstitions that fear, combined with ignorance, 
can produce in the human mind. The only liberty of which they 
have any notion, is an exemption from being sold ; and even from 
this, very few are perfectly secure that it shall not, some time or 
other, be their lot ; for it often happens, that the man who 
sells another on board a ship, is himself bought and sold, in the 
same manner, and perhaps in the same vessel, before the week is 
ended.* As for love, theje may be some softer souls among them 
than I have met with, but for the most part, when I have tried to 
explain this delightful word, I have seldom been in the least un- 
derstood ; and when I have spoken of its effects Ihave never been 
believed. To tell them of the inexpressible and peculiar attrac- 
tion between kindred minds ; the pain^ of absence, the pleasures 
of a re-meeting, (if I may make a word,) and all the other endear- 
ments (were it lawful, or possible, to name them,) which I owe 
to you, would be labour lost ; like describing the rainbow to a 
man born blind. What needs all this ado ? they have said, Will 
not one woman cut wood and fetch water,, as well as another ? 
Their passions are strong ; but few, indeed, have any notion of 

* The reader may perhaps wonder, as I now do myself, that knowing the 
state of the vile traffic to be as I have here described, and abounding with enor- 
mities which I have not mentioned, I did not, at the time, start with horror at 
my own employment, as an agent in promoting it. Custom, example, and in- 
terest, had blinded my eyes. I did it i^noranily ; for, 1 am sure, had I thought 
of the slave-trade tlien, as I have thnut^ht of it since, no considerations would 
have induced me to continue in it. Though my religious views were not very 
clear, my conscience was very tender, and 1 durst not have displeased God by 
acting against the light ofrny mind. Indeed, a slave-ship, while upon the 
coast, is exposed to such innumerable and continual dangers, that I w.is often 
then, and siill am, astonished that any one, much more so many, should leavo 
the coast in safety. I was then favoured with an uncommon degree of depen- 
dence upon the providence of God, which supported me ; but this confidence 
must have failed in a moment, and I would have been overwhelmed wjth dis- 
tress and terror, if I had known, or even suspected, that I was actirfg wrong. I 
felt the disagreeableness of the business very strongly. The office of a gaoler, 
and the restraints under which I was forced to keep my prisioners, were not 
•suitable to my feelings: but I considered it as the line of Ufe which God, in hU 
providence, had allotted me ; and as a cross which I ought to bear with pa- 
tience and thankfulness, till he should be pleased to deliver me from it. Till 
then I only thought myself bound to treat the glaves under my care with gentle- 
ness, and to consult their ease and convenience, as far as was consistent with 
the safety of the whole faoijly of \yhites and blacks on board my &hip. 



SECOND VOTAOE Td AFRICA. 73 

what I mean by tenderness. While I am writing, many ptast circiim* 
stances occur to my memory, and my heart swells at the odious 
comparison I have unawares made. 

I have heard England styled the paradise of women ; but sure- 
ly, in this respect, it is no less the paradise of men likewise : for 
there, perhaps they best understand the means of their own happi* 
ness, and of how much importance it is to form a right judgment 
of the dignity and value of your sex ; which, whoever attains, 
thereby indicates that he possesses some degree of dignity in 
himself. In saying this, to be sure, I sound my own praise, but 
you will excuse me. 



Shebar^ March 6. 

It is often remarked, that advice is more easily given than fol- 
lowed. 1 have of late, and perhaps sometimes too officiously, 
taken occasion to prescribe patience, wiien I have seen people un« 
easy under a scene of what we call disappointments, and want of 
success. Providence seems at length to put me to the trial, how 
far the arguments I have used with others will have influence upon 
myself. I h:^^ been now near seven months upon the coast, and 
am yet unable to judge when I shall probably leave it, and must 
expect to make a loosing voyage at last. I should not write so 
frankly, but that I hope to be in a better place, an^ upon a great- 
er certainty before I send my letter home. . But I am willing to 
give you my present thoughts, that you may judge, once for all, 
how I am supported when things do not answer my wishes. 

The interest of my employers, and ray long confinement from 
yon, are two points to which I cannot be indifferent. I hope I 
never shall, for then I must be ungrateful or insensible, either of 
which appears more terrible to me than any outward evils. Bu( 
then my concern ought to be no more than is necessary to excite 
me to make the most of what lies before me. As I cannot charge 
myself with neglect, or any considerable false step, though I am 
sorry to be the occasion of loss to my friends, the thought shouM 
not break my peace, if I am conscious of having doqo my best. 

As to what concerns myself; how far two unsuccessful Koy-^ 
ages may affect my interest, or diminish my expected profits, I 
am tolerably easy. I have placed my dependence higher : I 
consider my friends ^nd employers as instruments in the hand of 
God for my good. He can continue them to me, or raise me up 
belter with equal eajse. As to money, you know my thoughts of 
it. In itself, and as an end, it is of no value; but of use, as s^ 
mean of procuring the conveniences of life ; and therefore I am 

Vol. ;V. ' 10 * 



74 IiETTlUIS TO A WIVK. 

wilKog tD embrace any honourable ternis for procuring a compe- 
tency 1 but still, without solicitude, I have enough for the pre- 
sent ; and the promise of God warrants me to hope for what he» 
sees needful for me in time to come. 

In this manner I reasen against ray first grievance, which is. 
■either so pressing, nor so constantly upon my mind as the other 
—-my long separation from you. Money matters affisct me but 
occasionally, and I can relieve myself by employments or amuse- 
ments ; but yoar idea is before me at all times and in all places. 
You are with me in retirement, aD<) go with me into company r 
neither business nor relaxation, neither hurry nor indolence, can 
lude you from my thoughts. Every thing I see, equally reminds, 
me that you are absent ; and now the season is drawing near 
when we hoped to meet; and yet to be still deferred. However, 
against this uneasiness I have some remedies, which never wholly 
fail me. I heivc often repealed them to you : I think of your love, 
and that 1 am here for your sake. I recollect the past, I antici- 
pate the future, and am satisfied* I consider likewise the bene- 
fits I am favoured with even now ; my health, my preservation,, 
aod protection, while surrounded with impending dangers,, 
whether on ship-board or on shore ; and when I join to these the 
thought of my own unworthiness, and small improvement of my 
mercies, and my blindness and inability to choose (was it even 
permitted me) what is really best, upon the whole, for myself (St 
for yoti, I have pot a word to say. Instead of complaining, t 
ought to abound in praise. My chief trouble is from a fear lest 
yoa should not have the sam« resignation to the will of God. 
Excuse this doubt, my dearest ; I know your temper is tender 
and apprehensive ; and I know (and I am not ungrateful) that you 
feel much for me* Though I value your love more than a thou- 
sand kingdoms, I could alipost wish to possess it in a degree more 
consistent with your quiet. It is well the paper is full, that I caa 
add no more, perhaps I might contradict myself upon the spot, for 
my last assertion. How could I bear that you should love 
me Iqss than you do I 



Sierra Leone^ March 23v 
Sometimes, in travelling, when I have met with two or three 
different roads, and have not been sure which was the right, I 
fattVe deliberated a little, and then gravely taken the wrong : so it 
often happens in my writing to you. When I beat the bush of 
my brains for a subject, 1 start so many that I know not which to- 
fbllow y and at last perhaps, choose that which I am the least able 



SCOdtlB VHTAGft TO A»IttGA. 7i 

lo maiiage. I have been sitting id a wise suspense, wheAer t 
shoald try to divert, or advise, or tliaiik you. I am awakened at 
the first ; the second, if oeedAil, (for I would not pay you a false 
compliment,) is difficult for me to perform rightly ; and the third 
I have almost worn threadbare, though I have never expressed 
the half of my meaning. Then for other things, one day here is 
so like another, that there hardly arises a new incident in a month ; 
which, by the bye, demands my acknowledgment ; for life is 
usnally chequered with many events which, when well managed 
by an impatient temper, may furnish whole sheets, yea, quires of 
complaints. And as nothing extraordinary occurs in my own 
iiistory, neither do I hear of any thing interesting among the natives 
— politics or scandal have little place in this country : — under 
these circumstances I am hard put to it to write any thing ; and this 
difficulty* I have made so oAen, not only an excuse, tut a sub- 
ject, that I am tired of that likewise. But, as when a man is 
thoroughly hungry, he will eat what would once have seemed 
hard fare ; 60jM||er than forego the pleasure of wriUng to you, 
i make shift v^lPKiy thing that will serve ta fill up the papejc 



Bence Island, March 30. 
I AM HOW at the factory, in the river of Sierra Leone. We are 
at length preparing for sea, and I hope to find all in readiness 
when I return from Sherbro, where I purpose going to-morrow^ 
in the long boat^ to finish my business in that river, and ho^ to be 
>back in about a fortnight. Therefore, as it will be some tina 
before I can wrifeto you, I would not omit to-night, though we 
are very busy. I hope this will be the last cruize I shall n^ake this 
voyage. I have had so many, that I should be almost weary, did 
i not consider that yoar interest leads me, and that your Idve will, 
I hope, in due time, pay me for my trouble. 



Bence Island, April !0» 
St the mercy of God, I am returned safe and well from my 
voyage in the long-boat, without meeting any harm, though not 
without some fatigue ; but that is always welcome for y^ur sake. 
No one here can guess, by my looks or behaviour, how much of 
wy heart is in another quarter of the world. In short, yoo w*ou1d 
not yourself desire that I should bear your absence better than I 
do ; yea, I fear, if you could see me you would suspect me of in- 
difiereoce. But I shoold beg you to take tny word, rather tbM 



7^ LETTERS TO A WIVH* 

jucke by appearances. I hope to be, in a few days, on my way 
to &e West Indies, whither my thoughts have often gone before, 
me, in expectation of finding letters from you, which, next to youv 
company, is the greatest pleasure I can think of. Let those be 
pleased with letters-patent' who can be satisfied with honours and 
riches : if I do not absolutely despise these things, I can pro* 
pounce them trifles when compared with the satisfactions of mu- 
tual love, which so far resemble the joys of a good conscience, 
that nothing adventitious can either give them or take them away* 
They who possess an affluence of all other temporal good, if de- 
void of this generous tenderness, are in my view, objects of pity. 
I speak, as St. Paul says, after the manner of men ; for notwith- 
standing all my encomiums upon love, I hold it to be very dange- 
rous, and indeed destructive, unless regulated and governed by a 
due sense of religion. 



Sence ifSM, Jtpril 19. 
I HAVE been happy this evening, in a solfll^ ramble round 
this island. I studiously avoided all company, and chose a reti- 
red walk, where I could vent ray thoughts aloud, without fear of 
being overheard. The night was perfectly fine and serene, and 
I Was' favoured with a frame of mind that I cannot always com- 
mand. The ship was in sight at a smalt distance, which gave the 
first turn to my meditations. My tboughts went back to the time 
when I first saw her upon the stocks in the builder's yard ; and 
fi*om thence led me to review the different scenes in which I have 
keen engaged since I left Liverpool ; which furnished me with so 
many instances of a kind preserving Providence, that I was, in a 
remark^le manner, emboldened and encouraged to recommend 
the rest of the voyage to the same gracious protection. May I 
never forget this night ! I could not be^ long in the exercise of 
prayer and praise, without interesting you largely in it ; and I 
thiii I never prayed more earnestly for myself, than 1 have to- 
night for you. I am now quite easy and composed, which is the 
nearest approach to happiness that 1 desire in this world, when I 
am not with you. 



PlantanfiSj April 25. 

Accept this letter as a proof* that, in the midst of company and 

business, I am still thinking of you. I write, and talk, and trade 

M the same time. I am ixow to inform you, that I am just fmish- 

ing, and hope to sail this^ night, or to-morrow morning, for St. 



fli^COND V0YA616 TO AFRICA. 77' 

Christapher's. I completed eight months upon the coast yester- 
day ; in which time I have witnessed a variety of scenes, and have 
ofte^ been upon the brink of apparent danger, but am preserved 
in health and safety hitherto. If I call my long stay a disappoint 
ment, I would remember, that former disappointments, by the 
over-ruling providence and goodness of God, haveproved, \n the 
event, to my advantage ; and I trust it will be so still. Thu« I 
often preach to you, and you will not wonder, that having yotor 
peace of mind more at heart than any thing that can be named, I 
should be freauently inculcating what I believe, yea, what I am 
very sure, will be most conducive to it. If you could form a 
judgment of the numberless escapes and deliverances I met with 
last voyage, I think you would never fear for me again. 1 have 
©ow a better ship and ship'^s company, and am better provided 
than then. I leave this with a large packet enclosed, to go by a 
vessel which is expected to sail, in about three weeks, directly for 
England, and will probably arrive there before you can hear of 
mp from the West Indies. 



At Sea, May 4. 

fp I can contrive any thing to say, I hope now to be more regu*- 
lar in my correspondence ; for 1 have left the greater part of the 
cares and troubles, which used to divide my thoughts and timey 
behind me in Africa. I am now about three hundred miles on- 
my way to St. Kitt's, and hope to get the trade-wind soon, which 
will be fair for the rest of the passage. 

I lately enclosed you four sheets, which bring the history of my 
voyage down to the 12th of February. I have sent you twelve 
in all, by different conveyances, besides their covers, which were 
not blank paper. For all this, I charge your account, as the mer- 
chants say ; or rather I acknowledge myself still your debtor for 
the favourable reception 1 know they will find, and which they 
are no further, entitled to, than as proofs of an inclination td 
please. If there is merit in that, I shall not aiiect so much mod- 
esty as to disclaim it : for it is the business and glory of my life, 
to endeavour to act up to those professions which first induced 
you to confide in me. My mind runs so much upon the wished- 
for pleasure of letters from you when I arrive at St. Kitt's, that I 
often dream I have them in my hand, and when awake am often 
dictating for you ; and by reading those I have already received, 
I can make shrewd guesses how kind and good you will appear 
in those which are yet to come. But when I have done my best, 
I persuade myself that I shall find, as I have usually done in all re- 
lating to you, that my expectations will not only be answered, but 
exceeded; 



78 XETtMS TO A Wt^B* 



At Seaj May 7. 
I WAS sensibly disappointed in missing the letter you mention 
obliging me with by a ship from LondorK I should have found 
in that some particuiars of your long journey. How gladly would 
I have prevented yoti the inconvenience of that long anci lonely 
journey, if performine it for you myself on foot could have done 
It. As it was, 1 coddonly attend you with my thoughts and pray- 
ers. How much am I indebted to the divine goodness for resto*> 
ring you home in safety and peace ! The mention of footing it, 
reminds me of my solitary walk to Liverpool in the year 1748* 
Solitary indeed it was then ; but could I have known that the time 
was coming when you would accompany me on the same road, I 
should have thought it pleasant, in defiance of heat, dust, and fa- 
tigue% But my only business at London, which was with you, [ 
left unfinished : I was short of money, destitute of friends, without 
prospect of a livelihood for myself, and still more of having It in 
my power to mate proposals to you ; and therefore had nothing 
to cheer me. When I recollect these dark seasons, I cannot but 
pause t(5 wonder at the goodness of God, who was even then 
leading me, though I neither knew him, nor the way by which I 
went. How wonderfully was every obstacle to our union remo- 
ved, and h«w happy has that event been (I hope I may say) to 
vs both. I might have proved a wretch, insensiole ana ungrate- 
ful, when i had gained my point. Such I see is the folly and in^* 
constancy of many. But my satisfaction has been stiS upon the 
increase ; and, so far as happiness is attainable here', I think I 
tiave known it, aild wrth as few drawbacks, for the time, as any 
|)erson living. 



At Sea, May 18. 
We are now about half way to St. Christopher's from Guinea, 
in point of distance; and I hope nearer in respect of time, as we 
are in the trade-wind, which blows most of the year from the east- 
ern quarter. Though 1 count the days and hours I am from you, 
my time doe^ not hang heavy upon my hands : a part of it is em^ 
ployed, twice or thrice a day, in praying for you ; a part of it in 
reading and studying the Bible. The rest of my leisure is divid- 
ed between readmg, writing, and the mathematics^ as my inclina- 
tion leans. 1 pass my verdict upon the actions of Caesar, Pom- 
Fey, and twenty other hot-headed heroes of antiquity ; and wheft 
reflect upon their mighty designs, their fatigues and risks, and at 
last their disappointments, even when they attained the desired 
object; 1 ask myself sometimes, with»a smile, " What trifles are 



SXCOKi^ TOT46B TO AFRICA. 79 

these compared with love ?" sometimes with a sigh. ^' What trifles 
are these compared with eternity ?" The latter question brings 
my censure home to myself, and forces me to confess, that the 

Sreater part of my own schemes and prospects are no less vanities 
lan those which I pity in others. I am pleased with the mathe- 
matics, because there is truth and certainty in them, which are 
seldom found in other branches of learning. Yet even in these, I 
am discouraged ; for the more I advance, the more clearly I per- 
ceive, that the greatest human knowledge amounts but to a more 
Dompous proof of our ignorance, by showing us how little we 
Know of any thing, and how many inquiries may be started, con- 
cerning which we can know nothmg* Then again, what we can 
attain requires so much time and pains, that it scarely quits cost ; 
especially, as it seems needless to toil for knowledge in this world, 
under so many disadvantages, when possibly,, beiore I have been 
an hour within the vail, I shall know more, ifttuitivety, than my 
namesake. Sir Isaac, had ever a glimpse, of. However, I still jog 
on in this road, partly to keep me from idleness, which is the 
source either oi sin or disquiet ; and partly because I consider 
every little improvement I can make to be valuable, so far as it 
may enable me to appear to more advantage in, the character of 
your husbaiid. 



dt Sea, May 28. 

I EXPECT that we are now within three or four days' sail of our 
port. Thus far we have crossed the ocean again without trouble 
or harm. 

I hope you will derive encouragement and thankfulness by re- 
collecting, from what you may have heard or seen, how many 
persons in my way of life have parted from their families and 
affections since 1 left you, and with no less pleasing prospects and 
probabilities, who, before this time, have been cut off from the 
hope of a return. One instance I shall mention, because 1 think 
you know the man, Mr. ****, who sailed chief mate of the Adling- 
ton. He had a constitution likely to wear many years, a goocl 
character and interest, and a wife and family. He had been mas- 
ter of a ship in some home trade, but chose to go as mate to 
Guinea, one voyage, to introduce himself into this line of busi-* 
ness. His views would probably have been answered, if he had 
lived; but he was killecl in an insurrection of the slaves before 
he had been two months upon the coast* 

If this story, and many more of the same kind, which the com- 
mon news-papers will furnish, should increase your fears for me» 
I shall be sorry ; and must say the fhult would be in yourself. I 



80 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

am still safe, though I was liable to the same danger. My siffves 
likewise were, for a time disposed to be very troublesome ; but 
I was always providentially favoured with a timely intimation of 
tlieir designs, so that they never proceeded to open disturbance ; 
and for several months past, they have been as quiet and tractable 
as children. Having had so many repeated proofs of a gracious, 
and always present Protector, I think it would be not only folly, 
but ingratitude and sin to distrust him now. So that even with re- 
gard to yourself, though you are unspeakably the dearest blessing 
and comfort of my life ; for whose sake chiefly it is, that all other 
advantages appear desirable ; and though I have no information 
of your welfare, later than of nine months' date, yet I cannot say 
that I am uneasy. While I hear nothing to the contrary, I shall 
trust, pray, and believe that the Lord still preserves you in mercy 
to us both, and will, in good time, bring us happily together again. 



St. Christopher* s^ June 3, 
We anived here in safety last night. 1 can say little more, as I 
expect to be called on for my letter every minute ; and 1 would 
not miss the opportunity if 1 could only send a single line. I feel 
enough in my own disappointment, to oblige me to be punctual. 
J promised myself many letters from you, upon my arrival here : 
judge, then, (if you can.) how much 1 am chagrincfd, not to find 
<venone. I am sure it is not owing to any neglect of yours ; 
and though I have not heard from you so long, I ara not quite 
uneasy. I have committed you into the hands of God, whose 
goodness abounds lo me daily. On him 1 depend, and endeavour 
lo think, no news is good uews. 



Sandy Point, St. Kitfs June 8. 
i INFORMED you, Oft the 3d, of my arrival, bwt was then too busy 
to enlarge. I have now leisure enough, but must confess I write 
with a heavy heart. I cannot account for having no letters from 
you after so many months, if you are well. But I endeavour to 
compose myself by a submissive dependence upon the providence 
of God, to whom I have so often, and so earnestly commended 
ou. For my peace's sake, 1 try to suppose that the letters I so 
onged for, have by some means miscarried. I will endeavour not 
to mention this subject any more, but I cannot promise to forget 
it : in every other point, 1 have all possible satisfaction. Most of 
the cargo is sold, and at a good price. I hope the loss Upon the 
voyage will prove inconsiderable, and I believe my own interest in 



I 



SECOND VOYAGE TO ATRICA. 81 

It, will be better than the former. I was going to add, as usoafi 
that I expect my best reward from you ; bat this thought gave 
rise to another which drew from me a heart-felt sigh. But 
I remember my promise : I have sent a boat up to Antigua upon 
the peradventure that your letters may have been lodged for me 
there. 1 know a separation must at some time take place, but I 
hope and pray it may be deferred till we have more strength to 
bear it. A perfect acquiescence in the will of God, could we at- 
tain it, would be worth more than mountains of Gold and silver. 
I know, as I have often said, that our concerns are under the best 
and kindest management. I know who brought us together, and 
has blest us with a mutual affection ; for want of which, marriage 
is a clog and burden to thousands. And he knows our passions 
and our weakness j and, unless we over-rate the comforts he be- 
stows, will never deprive us of them, but with a design of giviqg 
as something still better in their room. 



Sandy Pointy June 12. 

I HAVE sent away all my spare sheets, and shall take care to be 
constantly provided with something for every opportunity. Bat 
to what purpose do I write, when perhaps my dear M**** may 
be past the power of reading f Indeed, I find it a heavy task now, 
to what it used to be ! but since I am not quite without hope of 
your welfare, (which is the very best I can say,) I must write on, 
lest I should subject you to an anxiety like that which I now feel. 
I am forced to assume an air of cheerfulness in company, but, 
roaugre all my precautions, I often discover myself to be a hy- 
pocrite, by my involuntary sighs ; and at night I dream I know 
not what. 

Yet when you read this, do not think I was unhappy when I 
wrote it. My hopes, for the most part, prevail ; and I consider, 
even now, that if we meet happily at last, 1 shall soon be overpaid 
for all my care. Under such a disappointment as this, it is ne- 
cessary either that I should not be quite easy, or that I should 
love you less than 1 do. You will allow the former evil to be a 
mere trifle, compared with the other. 

I have informed my owners thai I cannot undertake to do any 
thing upon the Windward Coast next season, the trade is so over- 
done. If they will send me, I am ready to go } but I will not be 
blamed, in case of ill-success, for not honestly giving my opinion. 
If they take my advice, perhaps they may send me to some other 
part of the coast, or to some other part of the world. \ am indif- 

VoL. IV. 11 



$i LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

fertnt as to ^e bow, or where, provided I may be permitted some- 
times to tdl you, it is al) for your sake ; and to hear you say, that 
Jrou accept it so* 



Sandy Point, June 21. 

I HATE sent you several letters and packets since my arrival. 
I cannot now complain, as formerly, for want of a subject. I 
have one with which I could fill many sheets, but have promised 
not to touch upon it, if I can help it. So that I am at present un- 
der a double difficulty: it is equally hard for me to write what 
would entertain you, or to refrain from what 1 kaow would grieve 
you. Well, I must submit. My happiness with you is such, that 
all incidental pains and uneasinesses seem mere trifles, when either 
past or to come, however hard to bear when present. My plea- 
sures, on the contrary, whether at the time, in recollection, or in 
prospect, always affords me consolation. Thus, though there is, 
strictly speaking, more evil than good in life, yet Providence so 
orders itf or at leasts so orders my share, that I find a little of the 
veal good overbalances a great deal of the evil. My fears and 
uncertainties upon your account are much preferable to my being 
A mercenary wretch, incapable of valuing you as I ought. When 
I consider how many I see who are blind to the merit of their 
wives, because they are secure of them, I learn how much I owe 
to the Lord for blessing me with the knowledge of my true inte- 
rest, and a mind susceptive of tenderness and sensibility. 

I believe I was rather sparing of my promises in the time of 
i;ourtship ; at least I engaged for no more than is usual on such 
jbccasi^ns ; but it has been my happiness since, to endeavour to 
act fully up to what I had said. And I now see, by the conduct 
of many who treat such things as matters of course, how nearly 
my duty and my pleasure were united, and how miserable I must 
have been, if capable of wronging the confidence you pla- 
ced in me. I see that those who cannot find their satisfactions 
at h<nnej seek them in vain abroad. And thus I understand the 
Kteral meaning of the word diversions ; which are only, or chief- 
ly, agreeable to those who wish to turn their thoughts from their 
ciwn situation. What numbers are there who frequent the thea- 
tres, assemblies, balls, and the various scenes of dissipation, with-^ 
out being really pleased for one half hour, either with themselves, 
or with any body or thing around them ? they languish continual 
ly for a change, and rather than continue in the same pursuit, are 
<Hlling to change for th^ worse. 

A tetter from Liverpool, dated April 6, informs me of the death 



ftBCOND tOTAGt TO AVSACA* 00 

of oor friend Mrs* M***« Wba^t a Atrikiog lesson ! A tewtiAil mo* 
man, in the bloom of youth, with gay hopes and prospects, cut off 
in the first year of marriage ! As you meDtiooed her beliig with 
child, I think it probable that she died in child-bed. Alas ! the 
vanity of this world and all its enjoyments ! How little do we know 
what to wish for ! I hope I shall always be contented and pleased, if 
it should please God that you never have to encounter that temble 
risk. How could I bear to consider myself as the imme^atp, 
though innocent, canse of your death ! I own that childreti) from 
the consideration of their being yours, would be highly acceptable 
to me, if it were so appointed ; but 1 hope I shall never be so mad 
as to wish for them, for fear the consequences should rain me. 1 
know I am already happy without them» 



Sandy Pomtj June 23« 
Mt letters were sealed, and just going away, but I gladly bceak 
open yours, to tell yeo, that the boat which I seat to Antigua 
has brought me (Oh how kind and careful is my dear !) six letters 
from you, besides several others from friends, which, though very 
acceptable are of less importance to my peace. I am sorry now, 
that I disclosed my fears to yoU) as you will perhaps be nneailf 
for me, till you learn by tbis that my wound is healed. I assuhe 
you, I dissembled what I could, and expressed much less concern 
than I felt, because I was writing to you. I have to praise God 
for the mercy of this day, and to confess the «in and folly of mjr 
distrust of his goodness* I have only had time, as yet, to r^ 
jour letters twice. 1 see, already, that I cannat fully answer 
them, but I am sure my full heart means yon thanks. 



Sandy Poinif July 5. 

I THINK this is the twelfth letter I have sent yon from henoe 
in the space of a month, and they have been all pretty full ; and I 
believe I shall hardly send you above one, or at most, two mdre^ 
before I sail myself, which I hope will be within ten days. In 
some of my former, 1 have commented upon three of yours^ which 
I have received here. 

The next, in order of time, is dated the thurd of Janflary. 1 b»- 
gan the new year very seriously, and wish I conld say, the whok^ 
hitherto, had been of .a piece ; but these has not a dajripassed 
without my prayers, that every blessing may rest upon yM. 1 
Ihank you for resolving not to like «ay one hnt.whoia I $rsiap- 



84 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

prove. I wish not to trouble yoa with many exceptions ; btff 
perhaps sometimes your judgment and mine may differ a little ; 
for you have too much good-nature and openness to suspect some 
of the poor fluttering things that intrude upon you. I aim at one 
in particular, but you are sensible that some, of whom you once 
thought better than they disserved, have before now explained 
their own characters, and justified my censure ; and, sooner or 
later, all such will appear in their proper colours ; for, where 
there are no good principles, professions and pretences must fall 
to the ground. You have given a good turn to Mrs. P*****s 
backwardness to believe we were married ; but if we live to see 
her together, she shall speak, if she pleases, for herself, and tell 
us whether your compliance did not surprise her more than my 
perseverance. But I care not which it was, since I know that I 
am happy. Happy indeed, since you acknowledge that yoa 
think yourself so ; for I never was- so poor a wretch as to think 
of being happy alone. The only risk I ran was this-— lest I 
should presume too much upon myself in expecting to inspire you 
with a reciprocal regard. The event has, indeed, answered to 
my wishes, but, when I think seriously of myself, 1 cannot but 
wonder at it, and at my own hardiness in the undertaking. 

You say, my love continued, and yours increased. But has not 
mine increased likewise f I have no similie to illustrate the dif- 
ference, between the regard I bear you now, and that which I had 
for you before marriage. I was not a hypocrite then. My affec- 
tion was, perhaps, as strong as, in those circumstances, it could 
be. But I loved you, as I may say, for your looks ; my love 
had little more to feed upon. As yet there were none of those 
endearments and obligations, which now continually throng my 
remembrance. In short, I find by experience, that love, to be 
stable and permanent, must be mutual ; and then, after years and 
years of possession, it will be still increasing ; and every new en- 
deavour to please, will produce a new pleasure. How different 
is this from the vice which the libertine would disguise under the 
pame of love ! 



Sandy Pointy July 11. 
h t have a good passage, I may be in England before this 
notice reaches you, for I hope to sail this evening, and the vessel 
by which I send it is bound to London, and will stay here two or 
three daiys after me. But as she is a better sailer than mine, may 
probably arrive first. I allow you to begin to think of my arrival 
when you hear I am upon my way home, but beg you not be im^ 



SSC9N0 VOTAQE TO AFEIOA, 85 

palientfor news. Passages from the West Indies are very uncer- 
tain. It somtimes has happened that a vessel, which has sailed a 
month after another, has reached home as much before her. I 
have told you, that there is not a stronger or safer ship than mine 
upon the sea } and the same good Providence which preserved 
roe last voyage, in a very old and crazy vessel, will be with 
me now; and I am going in the finest season of the year. In 
short, though I ought not confidently to presume on any thing in this 
uncertain world, I derive from the tenour of the dispensations I 
have met with for several years past, a cheerful persuasion, that 
the God in whom I trust will preserve me for further mercies, and 
still make me an instance of his goodness to the most unworthy. 



Jit Sea, July 23. 

I AM almost ashamed to say, that though I have been twelve 
days at sea, this is the first time of my writing to yon. But I 
liope to be more frequent in future. I have, indeed, been very 
busy, and am so still. But I will not oflier so poor an excuse ; 
ibr if I can find time to eat or sleep, I can as well find an hour 
for your service, which is the second best business of my life. I 
have had much peace since I received your letters ; but I may 
now venture to own, that my disappointment till I had them, was 
the greatest trial I have known since I could call you mine. You 
know the strength of my passion, and you know well (observe my 
confidence) the paiufulness of absence and silence from what we 
most value. But it is now happily over ; and I hope what I 
then sufiered will prove for the good of both hereaAer. * *' 

The weather is fine, and the wind fair. I am drawing nearer 
to you every moment. Perhaps, as my prospect brightens, my 
genius may improve. My good intentions, at least, will Qot be 
wanting to entertain you. Thus much by way of preface. It 
grows late, and another agreeable employment awaits me; I 
mean to recommend you to God in my prayers, that every evil 
may be kept from you while you sleep. I shall then lie down 
myself, with my usual wish, (which sometimes happens,) that I 
may dream myself in your company. 



di Sea, July %A. 
You think, by my last letters, that I am grown more grave 
than formerly. I do not intend to be more dull, nor am I trou- 
bled with low spirits ; but I own that gravity, so far as is con^ 



8Q LBTTSB8 TO A WStJB. 

ststetit witb elieerfulness of heart, appears to me desirable. Ad^ 
I hope I shall reUim to you graver (in my sense of the word) than 
I have been, but that this change will not be t^^my disadvantage 
«s a companion, and least of all to you. Cannot I remind you 
of many happy hours we have passed together, when noisy mirth, 
and the mistaken gaiety in which thousands are bewildered, would 
have seemed tasteless and impertinent f 

Perhaps when you read this, I may be at your elbow to ask you 
— ^if not, I beg you to ask yourseliP— When sometimes yoif have 
been sitting alone in a melancholy muse, perhaps the more lonely 
for not having heard from me — when your ima^oation has paint- 
ed the dangers to which I was exposed, and your memory has of- 
ficiously furnished you with instances of some who have suffered 
by such disasters ; — or, when you have recollected the circum- 
stances of our past endearments — and to finish all, when you 
have recalled me to your thoughts in the action of parting from 
you without a word or sigh, for fear of increasing your trouble—* 
I say, when a mixture of these, and similar ideas, have wrought 
you up to that pitch of regret and concern which must be some- 
times paid for the privilege of loving— -tell me, if then, the world, 
with all its gaieties and amusements, has not appeared a bubble, a 
shadow, a wilderness ? Why then should we not always be too 
grave to be pleased with them, since we have repeated proofs, that 
none of the world's gewgaws can afford us relief in our mournful 
hours f So far from helping us at such times, we prefer our own . 
thoughts (though painful enough) to every thing that ofiers to di- 
vert us, and carry it with caution to our dearest friends, lest they 
should steal our grief away ; I have said fVe and Us^ all along, 
hailing no doubt but a description of my own feelings will answer 
to yours likewise. Yet, after all, we seem to be persuaded, that 
a more happy couple than we are, cannot be found. If so, do 
we not allow and prove, that happiness is not to be expected in 
this life ; at least, not in any nor all the things that are of an 
earthly growth f Who has it, if we have it not ? And what have 
we ? Perhaps a precarious month in a year, which, considered in 
' itself, is to me valuable indeed. But it must be owned, that the 
more we are pleased the short space we are together, the more we 
are at a loss in the long interval of separation ; during the greater 
part of which, we know no more of each other than of the silent 
grave. 

The insensible, selfish creatures, whom caprice or custom yoke 
in a married state, without design or confidence, are strangers to 
our satisfactions : this is true ; but neitiier do they feel the draw- 
back. To quit a person dearer than eyes or life-^to be at a pain*- 
fill uncertainty for many weary moatlis for a welfare more pre- 



SSG0N1» VOYAGE TO AV&ICA. ST 

dons to us Aan oar own — ^and from a sense of happiness at home, 
lo be raised to a pitch incapable of tasting the common entertain- 
ments of life abroad — ^to be always fearing what may never hap- 
pen and regretting what can never be recalled — ^from these, and 
many more pains which I feel, bat cannot describe, their insensi- 
bility secures them. These are appropriate, prerogative troubles, 
which none but lovers, nay, none but happy lovers, are capable 
of snffering. 



At Sea, July 25. 

A STRANGER might suppose I was yesterday complaining of 
my lot, but you know me better. That I can love ; that my re- 
gard was directed to you, and met with a suitable return from 
you, are my chief temporal blessings, in which, notwithstanding 
all disadvantages, I still deem myself happy ; that is, in a qualifi- 
ed sense : so far as this imperfect state will admit, and far beyoud 
my deserts, or the common attainment of mankind. But for this 
I am much beholden to my gravity, such as it is. For should I 
grant, that a serious temper is not qujte necessary to give us the 
fall relish of our enjoyments when present, (which is more, how- 
ever, than I mean to grant,) yet surely it is needful ta support us 
jn the want of them. 

Though, in the moment of taking my leave of you, I felt 
more than I can express ; yet, in the midst of my grief, and when 
quitting what I most valued, I thought myself happier than thou- 
sands can be in the possession of their wishes. I left you, and 
with the expectation of a long absence; but the sense of the di- 
vine providence, and my trust in God, greatly obviated my cares 
and fears, and led my thoughts forward to the hour (I hope now 
nearly opproacbing) which will restore me to you again. I was 
like a person committing his dearest treasure to his dearest friend ; 
and then went down stairs with a mixture of peace and grief not 
easily described ; not as violently torn away, but as willingly 
foregoing you for a while, that I might better deserve you. 

I considered, that the Lord, who had joined us, could easily 
have so appointed our affairs, as to free us from the necessity of 
such long separations ; and I thought it would have been so, but 
that He, who knows all things, knows the indulgence would hurt 
us in some particulars, perhaps in many, which we are not aware 
of. I felt for the uneasiness which your regard for me might some- 
times occasion ; but I saw, that even this might lead your mind 
more closely and frequently to him for help, and if so be a benefit 
I coQfess, the thought of death, on either side, made me' serious 



88 LETTEE8 TO A WirK. 

If I had apprehended, that was the last time I should hold yoa in 
my surras, how could I haVe left yoa at all ? No ; — ^then methioks, 
wind and tide, business and honour, would have pleaded in vain, 
and I most have been carried from yon by force. Bat this, 
which was my only dread, hardly occurred to roe at the time, and 
was soon removed, by an inward persuasion that we should hap- 
pily meet again. And, oh ! conld you form an idea of the evils 
I have since been preserved through, and kept for the most part 
in peace, seldom knowing where the danger lay, till it was past, 
you would allow that I am a living proof of the truth of those pro* 
raises which 1 endeavour, by the grace of God, to make my stay 
and my trust. • 

I hope I have made out the advantages of a religious frame of 
mind, in my present situation. Let me now consider, whether 
it will not be equally necessary, and conducive to our happiness, 
upon a re-union. Will it not be an additional pleasure, to think 
that we do not meet again, as it were by chance, but by the care 
of a watchful Providence, in answer to prayer ; as a token of his 
favpur, and an earnest to encourage our future dependence upon 
him f How could I, loving you as I do, be easy a moment, with- 
out this dependence, in such a changeable state, and not knowing 
what the next day or hour may bring forth f Nor is religion a 
restraint upon any real or rational pleasure. For, as the apostle 
emphatically expresses it, God gives us all things richly^ to enjoy; 
not grudgingly, but freely and richly ; not to raise desires which 
n)ay not be gratified ; what he gives, is with the design that it 
may be enjoyed. It is true, there is a modus a moderation, en- 
joined ; but this, likewise, is for our benefit, that we may not 
spoil the relish of our comforts, nor indispose ourselves for the 
reception of bis further and better gifts. 



At Se/i, Jtily 26. 
Since, then, a serious and dependent spirit secures to us the 
best enjoyment of our blessings, and obviates, in a great measure, 
the inconveniences to which they are subject ; what remains, but 
that we should resolve and endeavour, to the best of our power, 
to cultivate this temper, and to live so as has appeared to us most 
reasonable, when we have been uneasy and afflicted i The con- 
trary behaviour carries in it so much disingenuousness, that I am 
ashamed when I reflect upon my past guilt and folly. For it is 
certain, that I have often been least observant and attentive, when 
a grateful mind would have been most so. For these reasons I 
hope, upon my return, to appear more grave than ever, to one 



S6C01!rD TOTAGB TO KniCk, 89 

part of oar acqnamtance ; but then I shall be always cbeerfiil, ia 
the approbation of my conscience. I have chiefly written all this, 
upon my own accoont, that the perusal of it hereafter may confirm 
and strengthen me in my present views and desires. 



I AM persuaded, as I have often said, that if it was in all points 
best for us to be always together, we should never be parted* 
He who has already done so much for us, could easily add this 
to the rest of his mercies, and perhaps at a proper time, he will. 
If not, let us entreat him to direct our thoughts and pursuits to 
a better state, where no separation, anxiety, or grief, shall disturb 
us for ever. The trials of this life are highly useful and necessa* 
ry to prevent our minds from fixing here ; especially to us, who 
have so much to prize in each other. But let not passion mislead 
us to suppose, that we are not capable of a happiness, as far beyond 
our present experience or conception, as the heavens are higher 
than the earth. Our mutual affection, which now makes life 
chiefly valuable to us, will, I trust subsist in a nobler manner, 
when the transient causes upon which it was at first founded shall, 
perhaps, have no more place in our remembrance ; at least, will 
not be considered in the light we now esteem them, but will ap» 
pear truly valuable, only so far as they were, by the blessing of 
God, subservient to a further and better end. And how will it 
then increase our joys, (if our joys will then be capable ofin- 
crease,) to think that we have assisted each other in obtaining 
them ! 



At Sea^ August 5. 

Supposing that, if you are in health to-day, you have been a 
partaker of the communion at church, I attended yt)u with my 
prayers, about the time ; that you might receive a blessing, and 
have cause to look back upon the opportunity with comfort. If 
it please God to continue our present favourable appearances, I 
hope to join with you the next time, with a pleasure which only 
they who have been ^png separated from public worship, and 
who have so many mercies to acknowledge as I have, can con- 
ceive. It comforts me to thmk, that you are favoured with all 
the advantages of which my way of life deprives me for a whole 
year, or longer. And 1 hope you suitably improve them. 

Vol. IV. 12 



90 LBTTEftS TO A WiFC. 

My aiectioD carries my wishes and desires for yoa, far beyosd 
the narrow bounds of the time we can expect to pass together 
here ; and I shall be glad to find, that a preparation for an here- 
aAer has a place in your thoughts, much superior to any concern 
or regard for me. For I am a poor, weak creature, incapable, 
dearly as I love you, of shielding you from the smallest evil, or of 
doing yon any service so great, as by dissuading you from plac- 
ing too much dependence upon a worm like myself. Think not 
that I undervalue your affection : I am sure I would not exchange 
it for all the kingdoms upon earth. But there is a regard, which 
is due only to Him who first inspired us with love to each other. 
While our mutual affection is restrained, in a proper subordina* 
tion to him, I hope we shall not be blameable for preferring it, 
as I do, to whatever else can be named. But if we exceed this 
boundary, we not only sin, but expose ourselves to a double risk 
of having our comforts blighted, eitlier by death, or by heavy 
troubles. All that we possess or value is the immediate gift of 
God, who proposes the most ingenuous and grateful motives to 
win us to his service. But if, by fondly reposing on creatures, 
we pervert his goodness, and set up a rest independent of the Cre- 
ator, what can be expected, but that he will either recall the bless- 
ings we so little deserve, or throw in bitter ingredients to spoil 
our pleasures P 

I tremble to think how much I have exposed you, by my blind- 
ness and folly in this respect. When I was so long at St. Kitt's, 
without hearing from you, that I almost concluded you were 
dead, my conscience confirmed my fears ; for I knew that I de- 
served to be punished where my feelings were most tender and 
^nsible. This conviction lay upon my mind, with a weight that 
no words can express. Ah ! thought I, but for me, she might 
have been still living and happy. My weakness and ingratitude 
have shortened her days ! But God is merciful : after 1 had suf- 
fered thus for about a fortnight, I received your letters. But had 
the event proved according to my dread and my desert, what 
would have *become of me f — To survive you upon any terms 
would be a great trial ; but it then seemed comparatively light, 
could it have been abstracted from the aggravation of having 
tinned you away. But — I cannot give you a just idea of tlie 
state of my mind at that time. I thank God, it is happily over, 
and 1 have now a comfortable hope that vy shall meet again in 
peace. If we do, surely I shall not be such a wretch again. 



SECOND TOTAGB TO AVRICA. 91 

At Sea, AugUit 16. 
iVow I may write leisurely, for the wind is contrary. Though 
I am earnestly desirous to see you, I would not be impatient, Mn 
wish, if it was in my power, to fix the time myself. I trust it shall 
be in a happy hour, and I desire to leave the when^ to God. Our 
times are in bis hands. It will signify little a hundred years 
hence, whether I was five, or six, or more weeks, on my passage 
home«vards from St. Kitt's, in the year 1753. And, indeed, it 
will signify but little when I have been half an hour with you. I 
shall then soon forget the inconvenience of delay. If I feel any 
concern, it is on your account ; for my love would not willingly 
have you kept in an hour's suspense for me. But my judgment 
speaks more reasonably, and tells me that, as disappointments 
and hindrances have often proved of real service to myself; so, 
perhaps, they may be to ydu likewise. And the dependent frame 
of spirit, in which I am now happy, would be worth your pur- 
chase, if vou have not yet attained it, (but I hope you rather ex- 
ceed me,; at the price of not seeing me this twelvemonth. 



At Sea, August 18. 

I AM brought in safety to the close of another week. The eve* 
sing of a Saturday, I asually allot to the exercise of prayer and 
praise. It is not foreign to this design to employ half an hour in 
writing to you, to invite you to join with tne in praising our gra- 
cious Preserver, as we are jointly interested in each other's con- 
cernment. 

The wind has been Easterly a few days, but it now seems to be 
coming about fair again. For my own part, I consider the 
winds from every quarter to be fair ; though, in compliance with 
our customary forms of speaking, I call those so which allow me 
to sail to my intended port in a straight line. When it dhanges, I 
am obliged to change my course,* and to go something about. 
But they all contribute to answer my best wish, at the proper 
time. And probably a contrary wind is no less conducive to this 
end than a more direct one ; for we know not when we go too 
fast or too slow. . A ship has often been hurried into danger and 
distress by a quick passage. 

I shall be with you in my thought to-morrow, in the church, in 
your retirements, and at your meals. I rise early to pray for 
your happiness, before you awake ; and sit up past your hoar, 
that I may beg a blessing apon your rest, before I go to rest my- 
self. Some persons would smile at all this. Let them snule*^ 



92 LETTERS TO A WIPE. 

SO that I may give the most sincere and serious proof of nyr affec* 
tion, by praying at all hours, and in all circumstances, ior your 
peace and welfare* 



At Sea, August 20. 
We have again a fair wind, and very pleasant weather, I have 
often heard your sex compared to the ocean. I hope the re- 
semblance does not generally hold, (I am happy to be certain, 
that in one instance it does not,) for there cannot be a more apt 
emblem of inconstancy. This spot of water, which I am now 
passing over, which at present is as smooth as a meadow, spread 
round far as the eye can reach, like a great mirror, and reflects 
the beams of the moon unruflled, has, perhaps, been the grave of 
many ; at least, their terror, and will o/teft be so. It may be, that 
the next who follow me, will find a very different scene. For let 
the wind blow with violence from any quarter, for the space of 
four hours, and all will be in confusion ; the mirror broken, the 
level destroyed, and nothing to be seen but alternately yawning 
gulfs and moving mountains, every one seeming to rise higher than 
Uie rest, and the smallest sufficient to destroy the stoutest ship, 
and to confound human confidence in a moment ; if not continu- 
ally restrained by that soverfeign power which rules the waves 
with a nod. and limits them to their bounds, beyond which, in 
their highest rage and confusion, the^ cannot rise the tenth part 
of a]i4nch« How they feel, at such times, who have no reliance 
but on their own skill and precaution, I cannot say ; but was it so 
with me, \ should often prove a very coward; and, indeed, al- 
ways ; for when danger was not apparent,! should dread it as be** 
ing imminent. When I compare the various contingencies to 
which a ship is liable, with the best preventions or remedies that 
art can furnish against them, they seem so disproportionate, that, 
were it not for a superintending Providence, I should think it a 
wonder indeed if any one vessel made a voyage in safety. But 
as in this view I should be always afraid, so now, since I am cer- 
tain that I am under the care of God in all places, I do not, even 
in turbulent weather, sufier more anxiety than is needful to engage 
my attention to the proper use of means. This is my part : and 
if means are succeeded, it is by the blessing of God, without which 
my diligence would be unavailing. The watchman waketh but in 
vain, except the Lord keep the city ; but it does not follow, that 
hecauu the Lord keeps the city the watchman may go to sleeps 
but rather the contrary* 



SECOND VOYAOE TO AFRICA. 93 



At Sea, August 29. ' 
1 TOLD you yesterday, that I might probably dine to-day at 
Liverpool ; but I must wait longer. Last night brought us, with 
fair wind and with fair weather, within four hours^ sail of our 
port. We stopped to wait for day-light and a pilot. The day 
came at its appointed time, but, instead of a pilot, brought a 
strong gale of wind, with thick weather ; so that I was glad to 
turn about and away to sea again ; and may be thankful if I can 
keep clear of the sands and dangers which lie before the entrance, 
of the river, which I trust I shall ; for I believe the providence of 
God has not brought me safely across two oceans, to leave me to 
ray own poor shifts at last. It really blew very hard, and looked 
very dismally at four this morning : but the weather is now more 
moderate, though still dark and rainy. I was something anxious 
in the night, but am at present tolerably easy. God is my de- 
fence •, if he is on my side 1 must be preserved : the winds and 
waves obey him ! « 

I can now give you a new proof that my dependence upon God 
is not in vain. When I wrote the above, I was in a very indifferent 
situation : a hard gale of wind, thick weather, and verv little sea- 
room. Had things continued to another day, I might have suffer- 
ed shipwreck within a few miles of my port ; but I had scarcely 
laid the paper by, when the weather changed to quite fine, and the 
wind came about fair. Before noon I got a pilot on board, and I 
may now hope to be at Liverpool this very night. Surely no one 
experiences the goodn^^ss and care of Divine Providence more 
continually than I do ! Surely the Lord hears and answers my 
poor prayers-l 



THIRD VOYAGE TO AFRICA. 
1753. 

At Sea, October 26. 
Mr Dearest, 

I NOW begin to prepare materials for new packets. The first 
thing in course is to tell you that, by the blessing of the Lord, all 
is well with mc. We had an extraordinary good outlet to sea, 
and lost sight of the last land the tliird day after parting with you. 
We are all in good health and spirits. My time passes, perhaps, 
too pleasantly, considering that possibly you may be mourning at 
the very instant when I am most cheeituL But I excuse myself 
to myself, by pleading that it was your desire I should be as cheer- 
ful as I can. At all times I have room in mv thoughts for you ; 
and (he most pleasant of all my hours, are those wnich are aevo- 
ted to praying for you. My mind attends you this week, from 
stage to stage, on your long journey home. The wise tasteless 
many would smile at this attention, and call me a trifler. So let 
them. If it g;ains a smile of acceptance from you, I will account 
it a matter of importance ; and smile at them, in my turn ; though 
I rather pity them. 



At Seoj JSTovemher 2. 

We saw and passed the island of Madeira this morning, (which 
is distant from Liverpool about 1500 miles,) though this is but the 
thirteenth day since we left the rock. As we are now entering 
that part of the ocean ^here the wind blows from the eastern 
quarter the year round, I have a prospect of a quick passage. 
Should it prove so, it will be agreeable, especially as I nave not 
been left to wish ifor any thing particular, being sensible that I 
know not how to choose the best means and times for accomplish- 
ing my own desires if the choice was given to me. Dispatch will 
be welcome, as affording me the prospect of a more speedy return 
to you. But should I meet with delay, I hope to acquiesce, and 
to believe that it will keep me back from something that would be 
worse. Was I to judge otherwise, I should sin agamst the experi- 
ence of many years, in which I have always had my wishes grati- 
fied,^o far as was consistent with my safety ; and have met with 
no disappointment, or trouble, but what I have afterwards per- 
ceived was intended, or at least over-ruled, for my benefit. 

In two points, we are, and have been, favoured above thou- 
sands. First, in a tender and reciprocal regard, which renders it 



THlliD VOYAO£ TO AlllICA. 95 

impossible for either of us to be pleased or pained alone \ and, 
secondly, that this sympathy has been chiefly, I could almost say 
wholly, employed in a participation of pleasures, With very little 
interruption, (the pain of absence excepted,) on either side. I 
know not which of these blessings is most valuable ; but certainly, 
when combined, (as with us,) they constitute the nearest approach 
to happiness, in a temporal view, that this imperfect state will ad- 
mit* There are many who, in point of outward advantages, may 
seem equal, or superior to us ; but then their Contracted, selfish 
spirits cannot relish or improve them* Again, there are others of 
generous and feeling dispositions, who borne down by the pres- 
sure of accumulatedafilictions, derive no advantage from their sen- 
sibility, unless it be a privilege to have a more exquisite reception 
of misery. There are those who could bear adversity in their 
own persons with tolerable composure, but feel a tenfold distress 
by seeing others involved with them, whose peace is dearer to 
them than their own. Help me to be thankful ! I have no rent- 
rolls, or stock Securities, to rely upon. But I have an inventory 
of another kind, a single article of which is preferable, in my eyes, 
to all the wealth of the Indies : health, content, liberty, love, the 
recollection of the past, and therein a lively image of what I may 
yet hope for, when it shall please God, in his good time, to re- 
store me home, to receive from you in one hour, an ample recom^ 
pense for the toils of a whole voyage. 



At Seaj November 23. 
I AIM, as well as 1 can, to mingle the agreeable and useful, in 
the course of my letters ; and to offer what may entertain yon, 
and, at the same time, improve us both. Our mutual happy af- 
fection supplies me with my largest fund, for the first purpose -, 
and I am glad when I can properly introduce such reflections as 
may assist us in making our present satisfactions subservient to a 
still higher end. You will not be displeased with me for saying, 
that though you are dearer to me than the aggregate of all other 
earthly comforts, I wish to limit my passion within those bounds 
which God has appointed. Our love to each other, ought to lead 
us to love him supremely who is the author and source of all the 
good we possess or hope for. It is to him we owe that happiness 
in the marriage state which so many seek in vain -, some of whom 
set out with such hopes and prospects, that their disappointments 
can be deduced from no other cause, than their having placed that 
high regard on a creature, which is due only to the Creator. He 
therefore withholds his blessing, (without which no union can sub- 
sist,) and their expectations, of course, end in satiety and indif- 
ference. 



96 LKTTEftS TO A WfTK. 

Perfect happiness cannot be attained in this life ; bat to icome 
as near it as possible, well deserves our close application. As 
persons difTer much in their views and inclinations, this attempt has 
oeen pursued by a great variety of mediums. The heathen philo- 
sophers were divided by a diversitv of opinions, but they all 
agreed in an endeavour to teach mankind how to make the most of 
the good which life affords ; and to bear its evils with the best 
grace possible. Some proposed one sort of rules ; others afford 
new ones, and perhaps quite opposite to the former ; but experi- 
ence confuted them all. Being ignorant of the original nature, the 
true end, and the future destination of man; they failed in the cure 
of the evils under which he laboured, because they knew not the 
source from which they sprung. Some attempted to eradicate the 
passions, and placed happiness in a calmness, or rather an insen- 
sibility of soul ; not reflecting that the Creator does nothing in 
vain, and that we have not a single naturtd inclination in our 
frame, but what he designed should, under a proper restriction, 
be gratified. But while they endeavoured to guard against care, 
and to restrain irregularity, their schemes tended to destroy some 
of our most distinguishing properties, and to exclude all tender- 
ness and generosity of sentiment. Others, to avoid this absurdity, 
fell into a greater, if possible. By supposing the greatest happi- 
ness to consist in the most constant enjoyment of sensual pleas- 
xire, they opened a wide door to folly and cnoi'mity ; and left each 
person to pursue his own propensity, under the notion of pleasure, 
without having recourse to any standard by which to regulate their 
conduct. These were the two very different plans of those who 
are generally deemed the wisest men among the ancients, the 
Stoics and the Epicureans. The one pretendedj that the world 
-afforded nothing worthy of their notice. The other founds there 
was nothing in the world deserving of the value they set upon it. 

fVe are relieved from this uncertainty by the Gospel, which has 
brought life and immortality, true happiness and the means of at- 
taining it, to light. And when tve count over the various blessing 
we enjoy, we should always acknowledge, in the first place, this 
pledge and ground- work of every other mercy, that we were bom 
in an age and a country affording us plain and sure instruction 
concerning our real interest and bounden duty, and how insepara- 
bly they are joined together. The Scripture teaches us how to 
enjoy prosperity in its full relish, by considering every instance of it 
as a gift and token of the divine goodness, always attentive to 
bless us ; and likewise abates the pressure of adversity, by show- 
ing us how much our worst sufferings fall short of our demerits ; 
how much more our Lord and Saviour endured for our sakes ; and 
by the assurance it ^ves, that if we love God, all things, even 
those which at present are most disagreeable, shall work together 



TSIftD VOTAQB TO AP&ICA. 97 

for our final good. Now, whatwer troubles we meet with, we 
can look beyond them all to an everlasting rest.' The hour of 
death, so much dreaded by others, will put the true Christian in 
possession of eternal life. These things, reason, unassisted by 
revelation, could never have discovered. 

The Christian religion is a consistent system, including the 
truth and morality of every sect of philosophy, and avoiding the 
errors of each. We now see the use and excellence of the pas- 
sions, when duly regulated ; though they render us unhappy 
when misapplied, because then they fall short of their proper end ; 
for God, who (as the Scripture says) made us for himself, has 
formed us, with a yastness of capacity which he only can satisfy^ 
And from hence proceeds that restlessness and disappointmenti 
that love of change, which is the poi*tion of those who place their 
highest desires and strongest hopes on any thing beneath the su* 
preme good. We can now say, that pleasure is our chief happi- 
ness, by using the word with a propriety unknown to the Epicu- 
reans. We seek for pleasure, but it must be of the noblest kind, 
and most lasting duration. Upon this maxim we cheerfully re- 
Dounce every present pleasure which, in its consequence, would 
occasion a pain greater, or more lasting, than the pleasure propo- 
sed ; and we can welcome troubles, when we clearly perceive 
they are but light and momentary, if compared with the far more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory to which they lead. This 
18 an abstract of my principles, and, I believe, of yours likewise. 
These shall support us when we shall be constrained to leave 
each other ; ana these, I trust, shall join us again in a bettej? 
world, to part no more for ever. 



Plantanesj December 10. 
The three sheets enclosed will bring my history down to the 
end of November. I arrived in safety at Shebar, the second in-* 
stant ; found my friend Harry* well, and very glad to see me. 
Your picture, if it could speak might tell you how well pleased 
his first lady was with your present ; for she dressed herself in it 
before you, and seemed to think that, in her new attire, she might 
stand in competition with you. ' 1 believe you will smile at her 
vanity, and think I pay you no great compliment, in prrfering 
your picture to her reality. But bad the finest woman in Englan4 
stood by, she would^ in my eye, have fallen almost equally short 
upon the comparison. 

* Henry Tucber, a Mulatto, at l^hebar, was the man with whom I had tbji 
firgeft connexion in business, and by whom I was never deceired. 
Vol. IV. 13 



98 LETTERS TO A WIVS, 

I t)ften look back, with a inixture of thankfulaess and regret, 
upon the iim^ we lately passed together at Liverpool, which I 
consider as the happiest part of my life. I never before had so 
much of your company, in an equal space, and with so little inter- 
ruption. Seven such weeks are preferable to seven years of com- 
mon time. After so many sheets and quires as I have written to 
you, I cannot always produce what is new. But the thoughts 
with which your love inspires me are too interesting to be irksome, 
though often repeated. 

Accept my thanks for your valuable, or invaluable, letter of 
the 28th of October, which I have just received. I thank you, 
likewise, for your punctual observance of our stated hour of retire- 
ment, which has been seldom omitted on my part ; though, some- 
times hurry of business, or want of opportunity, have prevented 
me. But if I slip the appointed minute, no business or company 
can prevent me from putting up, at least, frequent heart-felt ejacu- 
lations on your behalf. 1 congratulate Mr. B**** upon the 
agreeable company he had to London. I think the journey was 
at least as favourable to him as to you. I am sure I would rather 
have had his seat in the post-chaise than his office, however lucra- 
tive or honourable, unless you were annexed to it. But I remem- 
ber, as friar Bacon's head said. Time was. I have been happyi^ 
and hope to be so again» 



1764. 



SkebaTf January 10. 
I orxEN lose myself insensibly, in the recollection of our past 
times } and purchase the>ecall of the most valued pleasures at the 
ezpenseof only a transient sigh. I think of our evening walks 
and retirements, when the setting sun, the trees, the birds, and 
prospects, bave contributed to enrich the scene ; though your 
company was, to me, that which completed and crowned the 
whole. I reflect with pleasure on some seasons when our thoughts 
have risen faster than words could give them utterance, and we 
have surprised the tears silently stealing down our cheeks. What 
would the gay and fashionable world say to such a representa- 
tion ? They live in too much hurry, and have too little reflec- 
tion, to understand this elegance of soul, which, under the guise 
of grief, aflbrds the sincerest pleasure. My own experience would 
almost lead me to maintain what you, perhaps, will think a para- 
dox — ^That they who best love, are best qualified to support the 



THUU> TOTAGE TO APBICA. d9 

pains and anxieties of absence. Such strains of tiiought as I have 
mentioned, yield me more satisfaction than all the gewgaws of the 
great or wealthy could do» But it will not therefore follow, that 
people who are indifferent when together, are better pleased when 
asunder. In the former case, they are soon weary of each other ; 
in the latter they are soon weary of themselves. However, to me« 
the past and the future afford abundant subject for agreeable 
musing ; and even the present, though not very agreeable in it- 
self, becomes in some measure so, when I consider that I am here 
for your sake. And I am glad of tlie opportunity of manifesting 
that neither difficulties, nor dangers, nor distance, nor time, can 
abate the sense of what I owe you. However the case may be 
now, I can remember the time when you could have done very 
well without roe. The first obligation, which was the ground of 
every other, was entirely on your side ; and I still think myself 
far short of repaying it* Though, if 1 could cancel that, y^u 
have taken care to superadd new ones every succeeding day 
since. 



BioJunkt January 17. 

In the midst of a thousand hurries ai|d avocations, I must steal 
a few minutes to converse with you. I have been almost wearied 
to-day with noise, heat, smoke, and business ; but when I think of 
you, the inconvenience is gone. Which of your learned philoso- 
phers can define this wonderful, transforming thing called Love, 
that can infuse a degree of pleasure into trouble and disquiet i 

The ship that is to take my packet, is upon the point of sailing. 
I must witid up all, with fervent prayers, that it may please the 
Lord, the giver of all good, to preserve us in peace and depen- 
dence during the appointed term of our separation; and, in his 
good hour, to give us a happy meeting ; and that we may learn 
to wait for that time with patience, with thankfulness that our 
prospects are only delayed, or prorogued, and not wholly cut ofl', 
as has been the case with many, since we first joined hands. 
Above all, I pray^ that in every scene of life we may prepare for 
what we know must, sooner or later, take place ; that we may 
believe and act upon the principles of the Gospel, to the glory of 
onr Maker and Redeemer here, and then we shall be happy for 
ever hereafter, beyond the reach of sorrow or pain, and shall never 
more know what it is to part.' 



Id9 tftTMits to A mm. 



Rio Sestosy January it 4 
LoBi> Orr£rt remarks^ upon a letter ofPliny (whom, Ithinky 
I formerly mentioned) to his wife's aunt, that the eiamples of 
delicate conjugal love have been few^ He says, " Men cannot, or 
will not, see the excellencies of their wives. From the day of 
marriage, the woman lays aside her reserve, and the man his civil- 
ity. She grows forward and overbearing; he becomes sour 
and snappish. Or if they appear fond, (as, from the novelty of 
the state, it sometimes happens,) the grossness of the passion is 
too nauseous to be named." Whenever I meet with an observa- 
tion of this kind, it is an unspeakable pleasure to me to refiect, 
that I can put in an exception to it, in both your name and my 
own. Were I even assured that the whole time since Pliny and 
Calphumia lived (which is more than sixteen hundred years) 
horded only forty such happy couples, I should not scruple to 
include you and myself in the number. And in this conscious- 
tiess, I find more pleasure than the greatest affluence of wealth 
could give me. 1 have enough. I have all in that mutual af- 
fection with which it has pleased God to bless us, and without 
which, the treasures of both the Indies would, to me, be useless 
and tasteless. I think I have now some right to speak thus ; for 
the experience of nearly fqur years has convinced me, t(iat either 
the novelty so much talked of, is not necessary to my satisfaction } 
or else, which amounts to the same thing, that I find some new 
cause of endearment in you every day^ 



Rio Sestos, January 25. 

t siPBCtBti, before I left England, that the present voyage 
Would not prove successful, in point ol profit ; and I was not mis- 
taken. I shall hardly reach the half of my last year's purchase. 
I hope the vessel I have bought, to trade after I am gone, may 
secure the owners' interest ; bat my own part of the afiairs will 
probably be moderate enough. 

If a sigh should escape you on this accoimt, I beg you to re- 
collect yourself, and not indulge a second. Remember, that this 
failure in dirty money matters is the only abatement we have 
hitherto met with ; and that^ in other respects, we have as much 
the advantage of those who are envied by the world, as we &11 
short of them in riches. We have blessings which riches cannot 
purchase, nor compensate for the want of. And I see much 
cause for thankfulness that things are no worse. We want for 
liothing at present 5 and for the future, we may safely rely on the 



TAIRD irOTAOK TO AfBTdA. 101 

gdod Providence that has done so much for as already. Besides, 
what /may get by an indifferent voyage, woald, by many, be 
ihougfat a great sum^ We are both , sensible that we are too 
short-sighted to choose well for ourselves, if the choice were aU 
lowed us ; and, therefore, hope we shall agree to resign our con- 
cerns to the disposal of a better wisdom thanour own. 

When I look back, and reflect upon the difficulties from which 
1 have been relieved, and the advantages 1 have obtained beyond 
my former hopes and probabilities, it would be very disingenu- 
ous in me to distrsss myself about small matters. Nor need I be 
over-anxious upon your account, for God can easily provide for 
us, now we are joined in one interest, as if we bad continued 
separate. If we make our chief application for what chiefly de- 
serves it, we are assured that all inferior good things, in such a 
measure and manner as is most expedient for us, will surely be 
added to us. Perhaps we may not be rich-— no matter. We are 
rich in love. We are rich indeed^ if the promises and providence 
of God are our inheritance. And at present, we have every con- 
venience, and I can think of no one thing, really desirable, the 
greatest sum of money could procure us, which we have not al- 
ready, unless it vrert to free us from the necessity of these fre^ 
quent and long separations. 

This thought, indeed, were I to yield to my first emotions^ 
would make me more foad of gold than a miser ; though, in 
every other view, I can despise it. But when I am cool, as my 
conscience tells me that I am unworthy of so great a blessing, so 
my experience persuades me that probably I cannot, as yet, be 
safely trusted with it. Perhaps the event might prove worse than 
any thing which has hitherto befallen us. I am willing, indeed^ 
to hope it would be otherwise, but my heart is deceitful, and has^ 
more than dnce, deceived me in this very point. I might grow 
secure, and gradually neglect the due improvement of such addi-^ 
tiou to my talents. Nay, such is the unhappy depravity of hu^ 
man nature, that I cannot be sure I might not, in time, be permit-^ 
ted, for my punishment, to forget what I owe to you. It is true, 
that at this moment of writing, it seems quite as easy for me to 
forget to speak, or to breathe ; but there is an unhappy gradation, 
often observable in the coarse of life, by which people, from in- 
sensible beginnings, are carried on to things which once they 
conld not have thought of without horror. The first deviation 
from the paths of duty and peace are scarcely discernible, but 
they become wider and wider. 

1 innst recall, or soften, this last supposition ; for I cannot bear 
even to suppose it. Can I possibly forget you f I hope not. 
Sdrely it would be better for me to be condemned to the mines 



1Q2 LftTTBES TO A WIFE. ^, 

for life, than to be deprived of that grateful confidence with which 
my heart at this instant overflows — ^that t am yours, and that you 
are mine. This, I trust, will be among the last reflections I shall 
be capable of making in this world. But, that it may be so, I 
wish to acquiesce in whatever methods it shall please God to ap- 
point for the continuance of my afiection. Perhaps he sees that 
these intervals of absence are the best means for preserving me 
from an evil which 1 dread more than a dungeon or a galley. If 
it were otherwise, or whenever I attain strength sufficient to bear 
the indulgence without abusing it, he can easily put it in our power 
to live together here till we are meet to be removed to a nappy 
hereafter. The great word Eternity^ rishtly understood, is a cure 
for every evil, and casts a shade upon the brightest prospects that 
all on this side the grave can furnish. To us, I hope, it will be 
an eternity of happiness. 



Fehrwtry 2. 

Among the many congratulations you will probably receive to- 
day, I believe you will think none more sincere or acceptable 
than mine ; though, perhaps, I am in nothing more singular or 
unfashionable than in my manner of ezpressmg them. The re- 
turn of your birth-day requires from me an acknowledgment of 
the same kind as the return of my own. I commemorate both in 
the same manner. I was up lone before the sun this morning, to 
invoke a blessing upon you, and to pray that this may prove a 
happy birth-day to you, in my sense of the word. I am writing 
jn a tornado. The elements seem all at war over my head^ but 1 
thank God I have peace within ; and the storm does not interrupt 
my thoughts of you. 

The day reminds me of that (prophetical, shall I call it^ agree- 
ment between your mother and mine, when we were in leading- 
strings ; that, if we lived to grow up we should be man and wife. 
There seems, indeed, nothing extraordinary in such a discourse 
taking place between intimate friends. But as, afterwards, the 
intercourse between our families was totally broken ofl* for many 
years, and renewed by me, in the most contingent, and as the 
phrase is, accidental manner, when I did not even rightly know 
your name ; add to this, the unusual impression the first sight of 
you made upon my mind, when we were both so young that I 
knew not what, or why, I loved : and further, the many difficulties 
which attended my pursuit, which was begun and carried on for 
jr^ars, against the advice and consent of all your friends, and of 
all mine ; and what seemed the greatest bar of all, against your 
own inclination likewise ; — I say, taking all these circumstances 



TBIRD VOTAOC tO AFEICA. 103 

(oeether, I cannot but think it remarkable that we were so part^ 
cularly laid out for each other when we were infants. However 
this may be, 1 have abundant reason to praise the Lord, that be- 
fore I had been four years in the world, he should provide for me, 
in you, the greatest blessing of my life ; with which he purposed 
to enhance and crown all his other mercies to me ; and that you 
mieht be, in time, as a guardian angel, to preserve me from ruin. 
I desire to praise him for all the g^xlness that has followed you, 
from the hour I am commemorating to this day ; for the gracious 
protection which preserved you for me through your early years ; 
for your health and satisfaction since you have been mine ; and 
for enabling me, thus far, to answer the trust you have reposed in 
me. And I humbly pray that our affections and engagements 
may be preserved inviolable between ourselves, and in a proper 
subordination to what we owe to him, the great Lord of all. 



Settera CruCj February 6. 
I HAVE calculated, that if all the letters I have sent you since 
our first parting, in May, 50, were transcribed in order, they 
would fill one hundred and twenty such sheets as this, on all 
sides. An eye, less favourable than yours, might find very many 
faults in so large a collection ; but if tney have the merit of pleas- 
ing you, it pleases me more to have written them, than if I had 
published so many volumes, to be applauded by the world. I 
hope I need not be ashamed of them, if the^ were to fell into 
other hands. I hope 1 have, in general, expi'essed my regard in 
terms which reason and religion will waiTant. I consider our un- 
ion as a peculiar effect and gift of an indulgent Providence ; and^ 
therefore, as a talent to be improved to higher ends, to the pro- 
mobng his will and service upon earth, and to the assisting each - 
other to prepare for an eternal state, to which a few years, at the 
furthest, wilt introduce us. Were these points wholly neglected, 
however great our satisfaction might be for the present, it would 
be better never to have seen each other ; since the time must soon 
come, when, of all the endearments of Our connexion, nothing 
will remain but the consciousness how greatly we were favoured, 
and how we improved the favours we possessed. We shall hero- 
after have reason to be thankful, even for these frequent separa- 
tions, if they should conduce to fix these views more effectually in- 
cur minds. With such thoughts L endeavour to oppose my impa- 
tience to 3ee you. My occasional anxieties, and my indinerence 
to every thing around me, when you are not with me, I compare^ 
to the sense •f feeling which often costs a person pain ; but if hel 
were destitute of it, he would be incapable of pleasure, and little 



104 LBTTfi&S TO A WIVE* 

better than dead. If my heart were not susceptive of love and 
tenderness, I might escape many a twinge ; but I have not suffered 
enough to make me envy those whose whole thought and soltci" 
tude terminate on thc|ir own dear selves. 



Settera Crue^ February 12. 

What 1 daily acknowledge as the greatest blessing of my life, 
the return of tiiis day reminds me to notice more particularly. It 
is the anniversary of our marriase ; a point I had so much at 
heart ; in which I had long so litUe probability of succeeding, was 
so very unworthy of success, and which has so happily answered, 
1 may indeed say exceeded my expectation ; — when I consider 
all these items together, 1 am at a loss for words to express my 
thankfulness to God. For four whole years I have possessed the 
height of my wishes. I do not except even these necessary inter- 
vals of absence ; because I have been enabled to support them as 
well as I myself can desire ; and because the consciousness of 
your affection, of which neither absence nor distance can deprive 
me, affords me a continual feast. 

I arose before the sun to pray and give thanks for you, and to 
beg that you may always find as much satisfaction as you have 
raised me to ; and that we may both have grace to act answera- 
biy to the advantages we have above thousands. If you look 
round upon those^ of your acquaintance who have entered tlie 
marriage state abobt the time we did, I believe you will find but 
few who do not, in some degree, betray a sense of disappoiat* 
ment ; or, who are so entirely satisfied with each other as, I trust, 
we are. I do not mean to form a comparison withany one in my 
own favour. Sincerity and tenderness are the chief of my inven- 
tory ; buf if I ever g»*ow richer in accomplishments, both the praise 
and the profit ought to be yours ; and who can tell how far a de-^ 
sire to appear deserving of you may, at length, carry me ? 

The occasion might now lead me to a more serious strain, and 
to consider how we may make these blossoms of temporal good 
bear firuit for eternity ; but for this, I shall at present refer you to 
what I wrote on your birth day. Let us remember, that in all sit- 
uations, whether pleased or pained, we are equally advancing to- 
wards an unchangeable eternity. It is a part of human happiness, 
if rightly understood, to know that the very best of it must, ere 
long, be parted with for something unspeakably better. 



THIRD VOYAOE TO AFRICA. 105 



RioJunque^ March 1. 
I STILL continue in health, and all is well, excepting one late 
circumstance, which has given me, as you will believe, much con- 
cern ; but I have now got over it. Not to keep you in suspense, 
longer than iust to prevent surprise, I must inform you that all 
my schemes in favour of Captain L**** arc at an end. I told 
you, in a former letter, that I had bought a vessel upon the coast, 
and had given him the command of her. He went from me ia 

!^ood spirits, and with high hopes, but was seized with a fever be- 
ore he had left me three weeks, which proved fatal to him in 
about eight days. I have been much affected by this sudden 
stroke. I have known him long, and believe he had a true regard 
for me : and it was by my inducement that he came hither* 
There are other reasons for my concern, which I need" not men- 
tion to you. But the will of God has taken place, and it is my part 
IV submit. 

May we both profit from this recent and awful instance of the 
vanitv and uncertainty of human life, and of all relating to it. A 
healthy constitution and sprightly temper afford no security from 
death. How many such have I seen cut off from this coast ! And 
yet I, though supposed by many people to be in a consumption, 
and not likely to hold out for one voyage, are preserved from 
year to year ? Let us feel the expediency of preparing for a 
change, which, sooner or later, we must experience. The death 
of every friend is a warning to the survivors. And your^ and 
mine will, perhaps, by some of our acquaintance who knew how 
much we loved, and how happy we were in each other, be alleged 
as a new proof that even those temporal satisfactions which will 
best abide the test of reflection, are no less frail and transient than 
any other. 

I am in such a scene of confusion and noise, that I hardly know 
what I write. I only read, or think,, as it were, by starts. 



At Sea, April 8. 

It is a whole fortnight since I wrote to you, and seems to me 

much longer. I know you will charge my silence to the hurry of 

business, and not to neglect. But f can now make you amends, 

by informing you that I ain, once more, clear of the coast of 

Guinea. I sailed from Shebar yesterday morning. • I have left 

my chief mate, Mr. W****, in possession of the Race-Horse, 

(the vessel which I purchased for Capt. L.) with about a thousand 

pounds worth of my cargo, which I could not dispose of in the lim- 

e d t^m of my stay on tbe coast ^ which I bop<MViU save tl^e 

Vol. IV. 14 



lOft LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

voyage to the owners. As to my own profit, though it may not 
be so great as might have been expected, I hope it will be suffi- 
cient. A safe return tb you will make up all deficiencies. 

This has been a fatal season to many persons upon the coast. 
I think I never before heard of so many dead, lost, or destroyed, 
in one year. But I haye been kept in perfect health, and have 
buried neither White nor Black. Let us praise God for his singu- 
lar goodness to us, and take encouraeeoient to hope and pray 
that he will crown this voyage also with a comfortable meeting. 
Amen« 



M Sea, April 18. 

A FEW days ago 1 informed vou that 1 had left Africa, in good 
health and spirits. It has now pleased God to give me^ in my own 
person, an experience of that uncertainty of all human afeirs, 
which I have so often remarked in Ihe concerns of others. 

1 have been ill three days, of a fever, which, though it is at pres- 
ent attended with no symptoms particularly dangerous, it behooyes 
me to considerTnay terminate in death. I have endeavoured to 
compose myself to the summons, if it should so prove. And I 
hope I may say, I am, in some measure, ready to live or to die, as 
may be appointed ; and that I desire not to choose for myself, in 
this case, more than in any other. One specious excuse, with 
which I have often covered my desire of life, was, that I might 
have opportunity of doing something for the glory of God and the 
good of my fellow-creatures ; that I might not go quite useless 
out of the world. But, alas ! I have so little improved the talents 
and occasions which have been already afforded me, that I am 
ashamed to offer this plea any more. My only remaining con- 
cern is upon your account ; and, even in that, I am in a measure 
relieved, from the following considerations. 

My first and principal consolation *is in the hope that we are 
both under the influence of religious principles, and that you, as 
well as myself, are persuaded that no trouble or change can befall 
us by chance. Whenever a separation shall take place, as, if not 
now, it sooner or later must ; it will be by the express act and 
will of the same wise and good Providence which brought us to^ 
gether at first, has dven us so much in each other already, and 
has contimaally shielded us, as yet, from the various harms which 
have been fatal to many of our acquaintance. Further, I consider 
that The time u short. If I go now, in a few years, perhaps much 
sooner, you will follow me, I hope in the same oath, depending 
wholly on the divine mercv, through faith in the blood ana media- 
tion of Jeaus Christ our lledeemyer, according to the plaioi Jiteral 



tttlltD TOTALS TO XnVCA. Kft 

terras of the Gospel. It is in this faith I am now happy. This 
bears me^ in a measure, above my fears and sins, above ray sick-* 
Bess, and above the many agreeable views I had formed in my 
mind upon a happy return to you. May this be your support, 
your guide, and sbidd, and I can ask no more for you. Then 
j^oo will, at last, attain complete and unfading happiness ; and we 
shall meet again, and, perhaps, to join in recollecting the scenes 
we have been engaged in together while upon earth. Then, prob- 
ably, we shall clearly see what I now believe, and from which I 
derive another reason for acquiescence — ^that as the goodness of 
God first joined us, so it was his m^rcy that parted us again; 
nercy to each, to both of as. 

We have, perhaps,^ been sometimes too happy in each other) 
to have been always, or longer so, might have betrayed us into a 
dangerous security. We might have forgotten our present duty 
and our future destination. It has been too much the case already ^ 
1 have greatly failed m3rself, and I have been but a poor example 
for you. Should it, therefore, please God to make my death the 
happy occasion of fixing your dependence, hope, and desire upon 
him alone, surely I can say, Thy will be done. My heart bleeds 
when I represent to myself the grief with which such an event would 
overwhelm you. But I know that He can moderate and sanctify 
it, and give you cause hereafter to say. It was good for you to 
have been afflicted; and, ere long, the time will come when att 
^ars shall be wiped both from your eyes and mine. 



At Sea, April 30. 
It has pleased God to give me another reprieve. The fever 
has left me, and I feel my strength returning. You will congrat* 
vlate me on n^ recovery. I thank you. But let us not be too 
secure. A relapse may soon happen ; or twenty unforeseen events 
.may, without sickness, prove equally decisive. I hope I am, in 
some measure, thankful for the present, and not anxious about 
the future ; for the Lord will appoint what is best for us. My 
head was much confused when I wrote last; but I shall let it stand 
as a specimen of my thoughts in the hour of triak I endeavour- 
ed, from the first, to compose my mind for departure hence, if 
such should be the will of God. And n^ belief of the Gospel 
(which I once despised) made me tolerably easy and resigned* 
When this grand point was, according to my poor attainment, 
settled, you were the chief, the sole object of my remaining soli* 
citHde ; and I was desirous of leaving a few fines, while the fever 
«lid aot reader me quite incapable of writingi to#€ertij|y you ia- 



108 t£tT£E9 to. A Wire. 

what manner 1 was enabled to meet niy summonB ; and to kave 
you my farewell advice, my blessings and my thanks. Bot before 
I could finish what I intended, ihe occasion was mercifully re- 
moved. 

I hope the remembrance of this visitation will be a long and 
constant benefit to me, and will give me a better sense of the 
value of health, which I had been favoured with so long, that it 
seemed almost a thing of course^ I bless God for restoring it to 
me again. If it be his will, I shall be glad to live a little longer, 
Qpon many accounts ; and among the chief, for your sake. And, 
eh ! may it please him to spare you for me likewise, and to grant 
that we may again meet in peace ! My eyes will not yet allow me 
tQ write much. 



At Sea, May 16. 

1 SEKO this by a Vessel which will probably arrive in England 
before you can have any news of me from St. Christopher's, to 
inform you that the Lord has brought us safely within about a 
week's sail of that island. I have before mentioned the death of 
Capt. L****, which was, indeed^ a trial j but I soon acquiesced, 
as I ought always, in the will of God. When I consider. It is 
the Lord, should not I add. Let him do as seemeth him good ! 

There is^ indeed, one trial to which I always stand exposed ; 
should this come, my heart and conscience give me cause to fear 
that not only moral arguments, but the poor attainments I have 
made in religion would fail, unless I was immediately strengthen* 
cd from above. And I humbly trust I shall be, i{ I am ever called 
to a scene, which, at present, overpowers my spirits when I but 
transiently think of it. Yes ! God could enable me to resign 
you also ! He has promised strength according to our day ; and 
he is compassionate and faithful. 

Since I left Africa, I have been ill of a fever. It was rather 
violent, but unattended with pains, delirium, or. any thi*eatcning 
symptom, and lasted but eight or ten days. Though it was not 
of the most dangerous species, I thought it right to consider it as 
a warning to prepare for eternity ; and I praise God, the princi- 
ples upon which 1 am to rest my hope when in health, did not lail 
mc in sickness. In surrendering myself entirely to the mercy and 
care of my Lord and Saviour, my ho|)es so much exceeded my 
fears, that had it been his will, 1 seemed contented to give up, 
•ven all those prospects which your love and a happy return to 
vou afibrded me, (for, at that time, no other temporal prospects 
had the least weight with me,) and to have died in the midst of 



THIBD VOTAGE TO AFRICA. 109 

the pathless ocean, at a distance from every friend. If my senses 
had not failed, 1 should have died praying that yon might be sup- 
ported, and the stroke sanctified to you. I wrote a letter to you 
in my illness, (confused as my head wfis,) when I was not without 
apprehension that it would he the last service my hand would per- 
form for me : but the Lord has been merciful to me : I am not 
only still living, but perfectly recovered ! 



St. KitVs, Sandy Point, May 30. 
We arrived here the 21st instant, and 1 received your dear 
obliging letter of the 16th of February. 

Before now, I hope you have received an account of my cele- 
bration of your birth-day, and the happy consequences of it, the 
day of our marriage. You say you endeavoured to imitate me 
on the return of these days, not only in observing them, but in 
the same manner. My own attempts are so unsuitable to what I 
could wish, that I cannot suppose yours inferior to them. 1 hope 
you will always copy after a more perfect pattern. Our prayers 
have been thus far answered, and I hope the hour of meeting is not 
very distant. You will be the more sensible of this mercy, when 
you receive information of my illness, on the passage, and that 
my life was, for a day or two, thought very dubious by those 
about me. My health was restored nt sea ; but, for want of 
fresh provisions and proper nourishment, (for I had distributed 
my stock among the sick seamen before I was taken ill myself,) 
* I continued rather faint and weak ; but now, at Mr. G****'s I 
have not only necessaries, but delicacies, and allow myself more 
indulgence than usual, with a view of recruiting. 

I am glad you think my picture like me. I cannot persuade 
myself to think so of yours ; yet I frequently look at it, and talk 
to tt, because you sat for it ; and I can supply the defects of it 
from my mind, where the dear original is painted, or rather en- 
graved, to the greatest exactness. 'There 1 have traces impressed 
which no pencil^ could copy ; a lively represeniation. not only of 
your person, but of your heart. 

Now and then I have been constrained to omit our noon-tido 
Qppoint«ient ; but in general I have observed it wjth much pleas- 
ure, and have found it Ofle of the best alleviations of your absence. 
At present the time falls out with me about eight in the morning, 
which is rather inconvenient ; but I try to make it up, more or 
less, through die day ; and I believe that one waking hour of my 
Cfc, since I parted with you, has seldom passed without some 
breathing of prayer in yonr behalf. 



110 L^nCM TO A Wltfe 



Sandy Pointy June ?. 

I UAVE found fewer opportuoiti^s of writing than I expected f 
but, before the close of this mbntb, I hope to be at sea myself, on 
my way home. Remember what t have formerly written upon 
such occasions, to prevent your uneasiness ; or rather, remember 
what the Lord has written for your encouragement : " When thou 
passest througb the waters, I will be with thee/' In all the dan- 
gers and difficulties that may affect either of us, our God is ever 
present. May we lecrn to sanctify him in our hearts, and to 
hiake him ouf dread, and we need fear nothing. It is my daily 
earnest prayer that you may find peace and comfort in his pro- 
mises, which are all yea and amen in Jesus our Redeemer, to them 
who trust in his atdneroent and mediation. If we have him on 
our side, nothing can 'be against us, so as to separate us from bis 
love. Through him we shall prove more than conquerors. Bui 
if we rely on ourselves, or on any thing else short of that only 
Rock of salvation, we shall be confused and shaken.r 

The enclosed was written chiefly during my sickness^ after leav- 
ing the coast. I had some expectation it would have been my 
last 'y but God was merciful to me. I desired to live upon youa 
account, and my desire was granted. At present I am in perfect 
health, and happy in the hope of being soon restored to you 
again. 



Sandif Point, June 13. * 
t HAVE picked up a valuable acquaintance here, of whom 1 
hope to tell you more soon. I was going to say he is one of my 
stamp ; but he is far beyond me, in all that I most desire* I 
hope his example and converse will prove to my advantage. We 
are always together '<rhen business will permit : and the last fort* 
night has been the most pleasant time I have spent during my ab-' 
sence from you. To be from you, is, indeed, an abatement to 
every pleasure. But I hope I make some advance in submission 
to the will of God. I have resigned all into his hands, and while 
separate from you, that is, from all that I hold dear in this world, 
I perceive in some degree His presence, whose loving kindness is 
better than life itself. 

A vessel arrived to-day from London, which brought many let- 
ters, but none for me. It is no matter. I trust in the Lord ; and 
this keeps me from uneasiness. I was more afraid than hurt for 
want of letters here last voyage ; and I hope I shall not be weak 
tenougb to grieve again without just grounds. 



TSI1U> VOYAGE TO ATBICA. Ill 

At SeCy June 24. 

I left St. Kitt's the 20th instant, and am now about six hund- 
red miles on my way homewards, in perfect health and peace. 

I had a sacramental opportunity while there, on Whitsunday, 
and was glad to embrace it. The service was, indeed, poorly 
administered, by a man whose only distinguishing mark of a 
minister, I believe, was his gown and surplice. But I aimed to 
look beyond the man, to the Lord ; and I hope I received a bless^ 
ing. You may be sure I thought of you upon the occasion. I 
hoped that you were engaged that day in the same manner ; and 
I earnestly prayed, as I do daily, that every appointed mean of 
grace may be made efiectual to your present comfort and final 
salvation. This is the one thing needful ; which I ask with soli- 
citude. I am more cool as to our temporal concerns, because I 
know we are npt competent to choose for ourselves ; and, there- 
fore, I am content with begging a blessing upon them in general 
terms ; soTar as they may most conduce to the promoting his 
glory and our eternal welfare ; resigning tbe particulars to the 
wise and merciful disposal of God. And I cao say, to his praise, 
that things never succeeded more to my mind than since I have 
been taught to aim at this method. May we be interested in the 
covenant, which is well ordered in all points, and sure ; and then^ 
both great mercies, and small mercies (if any mercies could witB 
propriety, be deemed small) will be ours of course. Then we 
need be anxious about nothing ; but, as occasions arise, make 
known oar requests to God ; and, if what we ask be really good 
for us, we shall certainly have it. The apostle's argument upon 
this bead is unanswerable : ^* He that spared not his own Son, but 
delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also, freely 

S've PS all things f That powerful love which brought down the 
!ost High to assume our nature, to suffer and to die for us, will 
not permit those who depend on him to want what i^ really good 
for them, 



Jit Setf, July 6. 
To-MORROW win be a fea&t-day with you, if as I hope, you are 
well. My thoughts and prayers wiU attend you at the Lord's table. 
May yoo have his preseace and blessing in all his ordinances ! 
It is my allotment to be seldom favoured with tbe benefits of 
Christian communion, and public ordinances ; but, I thank the 
Lord, I know that He, who is rich in mercy is, in every place, 
^aally nigh to all who cajl upo«i him* Ifeitber in the ^kls of 



112 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

Guinea, nor in the pathless ocean, am I wholly without his gra- 
cious presence. Yet, were it lawful for me to choose, 1 would 
rather be a door keeper in the houi^e of God, than to dwell in 
splendour at a distance from it. However, it is a great satisfac* 
tion to me, that you, who are dear to me as my own heart, have 
always in your power the privileges which arc but now and then 
permitted to me. 

Two very different errors are frequent concerning the Lord'6 
supper. The first is, of those who keep away because, as they 
say, they are umvorthy: If they mean, that they are determined 
to persist in those courses wh'.ch are directly contrary to the de-* 
sign of pur Redeemer's life and death, they certainly have no bu« 
siiiess at his table : but, alas ! what will they do if death should 
summon them, in this hardened disposition, to his tribunal ? But 
with respect to those who mourn for their sins, and strive, and 
pray against them, it is an artifice of the tempter to deter them 
from the Lord's table, because they are sinners ; when it is a sure 
and glorious truth, that sinners are the very persons invited. The 
whole need not a physician, but the sick. All the ordinances, 
and particularly this, are designed to strengthen the weak, to 
confirm the doubtful, and to raise them that^are fallen*. • Unbe- 
lief and a legal temper dishonour the Gospel, and disquiet die 
soul ; and, indeed the objection is founded in pride ; for they 
own, that if they were better, as it is called, they would readily 
attend. But it hi best for us to renounce all seeming good in onr* 
isclves, and as helpless, worthless sinners, to rely wholly on the 
mercy of God, in Jesus Christ. 

There is an opposite error. Many rush upon this sacrament 
us though it were a mere ceremony, or civil institution to qualify 
for an office ; or a sponge to wipe off their past offences, that they 
may begin a new score. They have no sense of the evil of sio» 
and therefore, cannot know their need of a Saviour. But they 
presume that God is merciful, and are quieted. He is, indeed, 
merciful beyond our conception, and be has shown himself so in 
the method of reconciliatiott ; but he has declared the way in 
which he will show mercy, and there is too other. For a person 
to partake of that bread, and of that cap, which exhibit to us the 
sorrows and sufferings of the son of God for our sins, and yet wil- 
fully to continue in the practice of those sins, which it cost him all 
his agonies in the gardien, acci upon the cross, to expiate, is, as 
much as in him lies, to crucify the Son of God afresh, and to put 
him to open shame. 



THIBO V0TA6£ TO AFBICA. 113 



At Sea, July 13. 

Of all the authors [ have read, who have occasionally^ treated 
«f a married ilk, and of the inadvertencies, on both sides, by 
which it is too often rendered unhappy, I do not remember one 
%vho has touched upon the greatest evil of all, I mean our wretch- 
ed propensity to lay the foundation of our proposed happiness in- 
dependent of God. If we are happy in a mutual alOection when ' 
we set out, we are too apt to think that nothing more is wanting; 
and to suppose our own prudence and good judgment sufficient to 
carry us on to the end. But that it is not so, in fact, we have 
daily proof, from the example of numbers, who, notwithstanding 
a sincere regard to each other at first, and the advantages of good 
sense, and good temper, in general, yet, by some hidden causes, 
gradually become cool and indiilerent, and at length burdensome, 
perhaps hateful to each other. This event is often noticed, and 
excites surprise, because few can properly account for it. But I 
see few marriages commenced which give me hope of a more fa*-- 
vourabie issue. 

It is an undoubted truth, that the Most High God, who is ever 
present with and over his creatures, is the author aud giver of all 
that is agreeable or comfortable to us in this world. We cannot 
be either easy in ourselves, or acceptable to others, but by his 
favour ; and, therefore, when we presume to use his creature-com- 
forts witliout consulting and acknowledging him in them, his hon- 
our is concerned to disappoint us. Dreaming of sure satisfaction 
in the prosecution or enjoyment of our own desires, we do but im- 
itate the builders of Babel, who said. Go to, let us build a tower, 
to get ourselves a name. So we, too often, when circumstances 
smile upon us, vainly think of securing happiness upon earth : a 
sensual happiness, and on an earth that stands accursed and sub- 
ject to vanity for our sins. In every state and scene of life there 
are instances of this folly ; but, perhaps, it is in no one more insin- 
uating and plausible, than in the commencement of marriage be- 
tween those whose hearts are united. But, alas! God looks 
down upon such short-sighted projectors as he did upon those of 
old. He pours contempt upon their designs ; he divides their 
language ; he permits separate views and interests to rise in their 
minds ; their fair scheme of happiness degenerates into confusion ; 
and they arc left under the reproach of having begun to build 
what they will never be able to finish. This is the true cause of 
half the unhappiness complained of and observed among those 
who come together by their own consent. Not for want of good- 
will at first, nor for want of any necessary qualification in them- 
selves ; but because, neglecting to own and to seek God in their 

Vol. IV. 16 



114 LCITTCRS TO A IVIFX. 

coneerns, he has refused them that blessing without whieb no no* 
ion can subsist. 

You will not ask me how we set out, and in what manner our 
happy connexion has been conducted. But perhaps you will see 
much reason to ask (I am sure I do) why we have succeeded sm 
much better than ethers f and why we, unlike the most of our 
acquaintance, have preserved our regard unabated, and all our 
obligations fresh upon our mind, into the middle of our fifth year ? 
I cannot pretend that it is owing to my being duly dependent, and 
humble, in ascribing all my blessings to the Lord ; or to my 
having enjoyed them with an eye to his glory. Alas ! 1 have 
given way to the evils which I knew I ought to avoid, and have 
neglected the good to which my conscience called me. But it is 
beeause the Lord, in all his dealings with me, has been wonderful- 
ly, singularly merciful and favourable. By his grace he brought 
me from a state of apostasy, to the knowledge of his Gospel ;' 
and by his good providence, he has no less distinguished me in 
temporals. He brought me, as I may say, out of the land 
of Egypt, out of the house of bondage ; from slavery and famine 
on the coast of Africa, into my present easy situation. And he 
brought me from the most abandoned scenes of profligacy, when 
I was sunk into a complacency with the vilest wretches, to make 
me happy in the possession of your heart and person. And thus 
be has continued to me, in your love and its endearing consequen- 
ces, all that I hold valuable in life for so many years ; though I 
have not endeavoured, in the mander I ought, to deserve you for 
one whole day. Often the consciousness of my disingenuous be* 
haviour has made my heart tremble i^pon your account. I have 
feared lest you should be snatched ^way, for ray punishment. 
But the Lord is God, and not man. As in a thousand instances, 
So particularly in this, I may well say, He has not dealt with me 
according to my sins, nor retvarded |ne after my iniquities. He 
has neither separated us by death, nor involved us in heavy afflic- 
tions, nor suffered our affections to fail. - Let us praise him for 
these three articles, for there is scarcely one couple in a thousand 
that is fa\*oured with them all for any equal space of time. 

Mr. Addison has treated, with propriety, on the want of com- 
plaisance, the improper freedoms, and several other failings, 
which, though seemingly, of no great immediate importance them*- 
selves, may in time, give rise to serious and abiding disgusts. 
The faults which he mentions are to be guarded against ; but to 
attend to these only will not be sufficient. Philosophy and rea- 
soning have their use ; but religion alone can teach us how to use 
the good things of this world without abusing them ; and to make 
our earthly comforts blessings indeed, by improving them to a 



TBIMD VOTACtt TO A9RICA. Hi 

timber view ; by tracing them, as streams, to their fountain $ 
by extending our views, from time to' eternity ; and making our 
mutual affection a mean of raising our desires to the great Lord 
of all. But herein, alas ! I have greatly failed hithefto. And 
perhaps this is the reason why I am so long and so oflen separa- 
ted from you. I now see that 1 may number it among my great 
mercies, that I was not permitted to remain always at home with 
you. Perhaps, by this time, I might have been hardened into an 
entire neglect of my dut}' to God, and my most essential duty to 
you ; but by being forced to leave you, again and again, I have 
had opportunity and leisure for reflection, and, I would hope, at 
length, for repentance. You have been much mistaken in your 
opinion of me. Your kind partiality has thought me very good^ 
when, indeed, I have been very bad ; very insensible and ungrate- 
ful, not only to God but even to you. I have not properly an- 
swered the trust you have reposed in me ; but I hope I shall be 
enabled to amend. 

You say you sometimes show my letters. Though roost of 
them are in an unfashionable strain, I am not very solicitous who 
may see them. I write from my heart ; from a heart that is not 
ashamed (excepting as I have acknowledged above), in any thing 
relating to you ; a heart that hardly beats, but in concert to some 
earnest wish for your welfare ; a heart that always feels the small-* 
est instance of your kindness ; a heart that would give up every 
pleasure this world can afford, rather than lose the joy it feels in 
being yours, and that you own an interest in it ; a heart that 
would welcome any temporal troubles that might be a mean of 
final good to you. Thus far I can go* There was a time when I 
could have gone further. Do not think my love impaired because 
I now desire to stop here. There was a time (what a mercy that 
the Lord did not tear qiy idol from me !) when you had that place 
in my heart which is only doe to Him, and I regarded you as my 
chief good. But I hope that time is past : and never did I wish so 
earnestly for the first proofs of your affection, as I do now that yott 
may be enabled to restrain tt within due bounds ; and that your 
regard may not prevent you from considering me as a frail, poor, 
mutable creature, unable of myself to procure you any real good, 
or to shield you from the smallest evil. Oh, may we adore Him, 
who provideth us for each other ; who brought us together, and 
has spared us so long ! May we love each other till death, yea, I 
hope, in a future state, beyond death ! And, in order to this, may 
we, in the first place, love him with all our heart, and soul, and 
^rength, who first loved us, and gave himself for us, to renew 
our forfeited title to the good things of both worlds, and to wash 
us from our 8in» in bis own blood. This was love indeeiL! 



114} LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

Where were the sensibility ^nd ingenuousness of spirit which we 
sometimes think we possess,' that this unspeakable lover of souls 
has been no more noticed, no more admired and beloved, by us 
hitherto f^Lord, make us partakers of thy divine nature, for thou 
art love ! 



At Sea, July 27. 

You will observe, I have of late made an alteration in my post- 
days. Instead of a few lines two or three times a week, I now 
write a whole sheet every Saturday ; and in the choice of a subject, 
I have an eye to the service of the following day. Thus I indulge 
my inclination in writing to you, without breakiug the rule I have 
for some time past, prescribed to myself; the forenoon of Satur- 
day I allow for relaxation ; but when I have dined, if no necessa- 
ry business prevents me, I endeavour to abstract my tnind from 
worldly concerns, and to prepare for the approaching Sabbath. 

I now mean to giye you some account how I pass a Sea-Sun- 
day, when I am favoured with a tolerable frame of mind, and am 
enabled, by the grace of God, to obtain some tolereble mastery 
over the encumbrances of the flesh and the world, which in my 
best hours, are too prevalent with me. 

My evening devotions when opportunity permits, commence 
about six o'clock, the week and the month round ; and I am, 
sometimes, engaged a full hour or more in prayer and praise, with- 
out any remarkable weariness or repetition. You furnish me with 
much subject for both. On a Saturday evening, in particular, I beg* 
a blessing upon your Sunday, upon your public worship and re- 
tirement. And as I know that where you are, you are unavoida- 
bly exposed to trifling company, to whom all days are alike, I 
pray thieit you may be shielded from their evil influence. I have 
likewise to pray for others ; for our friends ; for many of them 
by name, and according to the knowledge I have of their circum- 
stances; and extend my petitions to the general state of the 
world, that they who are strangers to the Gospel, in which I have 
found so much peace, may be brought to the knowledge of it ; 
and that they who neglect and despise it, as I once did, may, like 
me, obtain mercy. When these, and other points, are gone over, 
and my praises offered for our temporal and spiritual blessings, 
anrf likewise my repeated confessions of the sins of my childhood, 
youth, and advanced years, as they occur to my remembrance, 
you will not wonder that an hour is elapsed. The remainder of 
the evening I pass in ruminating on the mercies of the preceding 



THtED VChTAGP TO AFlMCA. Ill 

week, the subjects of my reading, or whatever I can pick useftil 
self-conference from. 

I usually rise at four on a Sunday morning. My first employ is 
to beg a blessing upon the day for us both ; for all who, like you^ 
are preparing to wait upon God in public, and for allAvho, like 
myself, are, for a time, excluded from that privilege. To this suc- 
ceeds a serious walk upon deck. Then I read two or three select 
chapters. At breakfast, I eat and drink more than I talk ; for I 
have no one here to join in such conversation as I should thea 
choose. At the hour of your going to church, 1 attend you in my 
mind with another prayer ; and at eleven o'clock the ship's bell 
rings my own Utde congregation about me. To them I read the 
morning service, according to the Liturgy. Then I walk the 
deck, and attend my observation, as we call it ; that is, to know 
by the sun, (if it shines,) at noon, the latitude the ship is in. Then 
comes dinner. In the afternoon 1 frequently take a nap for half an 
hour ; if not, I read, or write in a book I keep for^that purpose. 
I wait upon you again to church in the afternoon, and convene my^ 
ship's company, as in the morning. At four o'clock I drink tea, 
which recruits my spirits for the evening. Then another Scrip- 
ture lesson, and a walk, brings six o'clock, which, I have told you, 
is my hour for stated prayer. I remember you then again, in the 
most particular manner ; and, in trust that you are still preserved 
in safety for me^ 1 endeavour to praise the Lord for his goodness 
so long vouchsafed to us. 

But, alas ! when I look back upon a day spent in this manner, 
I cannot express how much I have to mourn over, and be ashamed 
of, at night. Oh !- the wanderings and faintness of my prayers ; 
the distraction of my thoughts ; the coldness of my heart, and the 
secret workings of pride, which debase and corrupt my best ser- 
vices. In short, every thought is wrong. But I remember that I 
am not under the law, but under grace. I rely on the promised 
mediation of my Saviour, renounce my own poor performances and 
implore mercy, in his name and for his sake only, and that sets all 
to rights. 1 need no one to pronunce an absolution to me ; 1 can- 
tell myself that my sins are forgiven me, because I knovf in whom 
I have believed. This leads me to praise and adore Him, that I 
was born in an age and country favoured with the light of the Gos- 
pel; when there are millions of my species who have neither the 
means of grace nor the hope of glory ; and further, that I have 
been callea out from the ^unhappy apostasy, and licentiousness^- 
and misery, into which I had plunged myself ; when many thou- 
sands, who never offended to the degree i have, are either suffer- 
ed to go on, from bad to worse, till there is no hope, or are cut off 
by a stroke, and sink into endless misery in a thoughtless moment I 
Lord, not unto me, but unto Thee be the praise^ It was wholly 



119 IiBTTKBS TO A WIFE* 

the effect of tby grace ; for thou wouldest be found of me when I 
bad not the least inclination to seek thee ! 

Though I have given you this account, chiefly of my passing a 
Sunday, it will, in the main, serve for the history of any day in 
any week, since 1 left St. Christopher's. It is thus I am enabled, 
ardently as I love you, to support your absence without impa- 
tience ; though a re-union to you, such as our"' two fbrmery^ncludes 
all I can wish as to temporals. And, I trust, he who has bcought 
me safely over two thirds of the ocean that was lately betweeKus, 
will do the rest in his own good hour. And, in the mean while, 
blessed be his name, my time does not hang heavv upon my hands. 
I trust you choose him for your portion also. Thus we shall bear 
separation belter, and be more happy wheh together, than for- 
merly. And when we are called finally to part, (as, sooner oi^ 
later, we must,) He will strengthen us according to the day of our 
trouble, and will assuredly unite us again to unspeakable advan- 
tage, and pla<)^ us beyond the reach of every trial and every evil. 



Jit iSea, August 3. 

Ip our reckonings are right, I am now within a day's sail of Ire- 
land ; and I niay hope (if me fair wind continues) to see Liverpool 
within a week. My passage thus far, like all the passages I have 
made since you have owned an interest in me, has been remark- 
ably exempted from disagreeable events and apparent dangers. 
As I hope I shall not have occasion to send you another weekly 
sheet before! see you, I would employ this on a closing invita- 
tion, to join with me in praising the great Author of all good for his 
numerous and repeated mercies and blessings vouchsafed to us 
both ; and the rather at present, as this day will conclude another 
year of my life. How much reason have I to say, with David, 
" O Lord, thou crownest the year with thy goodness." 

We are never in a better disposition to ask, and obtain, further 
favours from the Lord, than when our hearts are impressed with a 
grateful sense of those-we have already received. We have, in- 
deed, reason to praise him above many ; for his dispensations to 
us have been singularly favourable. His goodness has been 
manifested from the first moments of our life ; yea, still moi-e 
early, from the circumstances of our birth. It was by the ordina- 
tion of his kind providence, that we were bom in an age and land 
of light and liberty, and not among the millions who have no 
knowledge of the means of grace, or of the hope of glory ; nor 
among the multitudes who are trained up, from their cradles, to 
substitute superstition for religion. But I shall defer speaking of 



THIILD VOTAOlB TO AFRICA. 119 

fiptritual metcies till 1 have said sofflething of our temporal bles- 
sings. 

rerhaps we have sometimes been tempted to think that, be- 
cause we do not possess titles and estates, and are not of high dis- 
tinction and estimation in the world, we have received nothing 
extraordinary ; but two reflections will, 1 hope, suffice to correct 
this mistake. 

Let us, in the first place, think of the miseries we know or ob- 
serve in the world. How many are crippled or maimed in their 
bodies, or disordered in their minds ? How many, at this minute^ 
are nearly perishing through extreme want of the common neces- 
saries of life ? How many are chained to their beds by sickness 
and excruciating pains, and can find no ease by day or by night ? 
not to insist on the more deplorable case of those who are sufier- 
ing the agonies of a wounded spirit, or a terrified conscience^ 
Let us reflect on the miseries ana outrages whiph the scourge of 
war brings upon cities, provinces, and whole nations. Or, if those 
scenes are two shocking to dwell upon, it will suffice to take the 
estimate much lower. Let us look round us at home, amongst our 
own acquaintance, or, at furthest, within the bounds of the news- 
papers. How many fatherless — how many widows, do we hear 
of ? How many, from happy prospects, rendered suddenly misera- 
ble by what we call casualties ? Take these things together, and 
let us ask our consciences if a conUnued exemption from such a 
variety of evils, and a constant supply of the many wants we have 
in common with others, are not favours which we enjoy, and 
which are afforded, comparatively to few ? 

But fiirther ; let us, in the second place, turn our eyes to those 
who are placed in ihe smoother ^valks of life, whom customary 
speech calls the happy. Run over what you knoW of those who 
are most noticed for personal qualifications, for their riches, hon- 
ours, or the variety of their means and modes of pleasure : and 
then let us ask ourselves, if there.is any one amongst all these with 
whom we would be content to change in all points ? If we should 
not accept such a proposal, as surely we should not, (I answer for 
you, no less confidently than for myself J it^follows, evidently, that 
we have more to be thankful for (our cnvn partial selves being 
judges) than many of those whom, perhaps, we have been disposed 
to envy 5 and if so, it is equally plain that there are no two per- 
sons upon the face of the earth more indebted to an indulgent 
Praviclence than ourselves. 

If I mention particulars^ I must begin with what I have most at 
heart, our mutual, happy afiection. In this, at least, we are rich ; 
and this is a kind of wealth, with which gold and silver will bear 
no comparison ; nor would many cart-loads of them purchase a 
single grain of so great a blessing. But let us not ascribe this to 



120 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

ourselves. How manifest, how powerful and marvellous, was the 
hand of God in bringing us together? For myself, I have reason 
to say, (as you well know,) that never was attempt of the kind 
successful under greater improbabilities ; and yet, so peculiar was 
our turn, that had we missed each other, perhaps there was not 
one of each sex in the kingdom that could have made us so en- 
tirely happy. Then, after marriage, it was not impossible for us, 
more than others, to decline into that satiety and indifference so 
much complained of, and so often observed. If we had sunk no 
lower than into a cold esteem, a sort of mechanical good-will, the 
world might have judged charitably that we were well matched ; 
but we could not have been able to write, to speak, to look, and 
to feel, as we do now. But further, when all that we do possess 
was granted, we might still have been unhappy without the espe^ 
cial protection of God. We were liable to sickness, death, and a 
variety of distresses, which, if they had not impaired our love, 
would have made it productive of more pain than pleasure. But, 
in this respect, we have been no less distinguished than in the rest. 
I can give you no idea of the many evils and dangers which sur- 
rounded me in my last two voyages ; nor can I recount how many 
fell beside me, and at my right hand, who had equal prospects, 
better constitutions, and perhaps superior skill. But this was not 
all, nor even half ; for 1 found, upon my return, that my dearest 
M*** was preserved to me, ana had always the satisfaction to 
meet you in the most agreeable manner I could wish. And I have 
been conducted towards you thus far in safety the third time, and 
. my hopes still flourish. 

To the prime article, what we are to each other, many may be 
added, which, though subordinate, are very valuable. The union 
and harmony of every branch of our family ; an easy, sufficient 
way of life, cfeditable and decent, if not splendid. But want of 
room prevents me from enlarging on theSe items, and from the 
mention of several more ; for fam not willing to fill the sheet with 
what relates merely to this transitory state. The blessings 1 have 
recounted are, in themselves, great ; but when compared with the 
views and hopes revealed to us by the Gospel, they sink at once 
in their importance, and become, any further than subservient to 
our spiritual interest, less than nothing, and vanity. All advan- 
tages of this kind might have been permitted us for the term of a 
frail life, and yet we might have lived and died strangers to God, 
and to true peace ; nay, we certainly should, had we been left to 
ourselves. 

Let us, therefore, praise the mercy and goodness of God, for 
convening to us all his gifts in the channel of redeeming love ; 
and for leading us to build our hopes upon the mediation of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who, by being made a curse for us, an^ dying 



THIRD VOTAGB TO AFRICA. * ISl 

upon the cross, has taken out that curse and evil which the tians* 
gression of our first parents had entailed upon the whole lowef 
creation. Let us praise the Lord, that, though he has blessed us 
with so much of our heart's desire, he has enabled us to hope that 
he has oot appointed us all our portion of good in this life. Let 
us rejoice, not merely in our comforts upon earth, but rather in the 
trust we have that our names are written in heaven. Let us re- 
ceive our Lord's gifts with thankfulness, and improve them to his 
service ; and may they be doubly welcome to us, as tokens of his 
love, and earnests of his further gracious designs in our favour. 
And, oh ! may the consciousness of our past neglect, and our un- 
suitable returns for all his benefits, inspire us with redoubled dili- 
gence and care for the future, and engage us in a humble and daily 
application to our great Surety, who has undertaken to pay all our 
debts. And may you, ray dearest M***, appear to-morrow at 
his tabl6 with^ these views, acknowledging that our talents have 
been all of his bounty, and the abuse of them, yours and mine, 
and all that we can properly call our own. May your confes- 
sions end in peace, and your sorrow terminate in joy, in receivine 
the pledges of his dying love. You will remember me, and 1 shaU 
endeavour to be with you in spirit ; and I trust, on the next sacra* 
tnent day, 1 shall accompany you in person; and befoi-e that time, 
I hope we shall be permitted, with one heart and one voice, to 
praise the Lord, our light, and strength, and salvation, who holds 
our souls in peace, and sufiers not our feet to be moved. O 
Lord, thou hast dealt wonderfully with us ; therefore will we ei- 
^t thy glorious name ! 

I am unalterably yours. 



tAverpoolj August 11. 

Mv last just informed you of my arrival here in health and 
peace. I can tell you little more at present. I lived almost with* 
out bleep nearly a week before we came in, and my head and 
thoughts are not yet quite settled. 

It is not at present determined, whether you or I must remove 
from where we are ; if you receive this without a postscript, you 
may expect me. I shall be clear of my ship African in two days, 
I have quitted her because she is such a heavy sailer. But there 
is another that was born (launched) the same day with her, which 
I may have if 1 please, and probably I shall not refuse her, though 
I know not what to do with her at present. My judgment tells 
me that it would be better to sail six months hence, and 1 have 
almost induced Mr. M**** to think as 1 do. And yet 1 fear he 
suspects that I start objections, that I may have the more time to 

Vol. IV. 16 



132 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

pass with yoo. I wish he could know the peculiar torn of my 
love, and he would fully acquit me of such a charge. It is true, 
indeed, were I master of a small independency, though but a 
small one, I should glory in avowing, that nothing which the mer- 
cenary world calls advantage — not a large heap of yellow coun- 
ters — should bribe me to the necessity of being so long and so far 
from my dearest M***. For when I consider myself only, I 
linow and feel that the price of a kingdom would poorly pay me 
for your absence. But when I think of you as unprovided for, 
and liable to I know not what, if any thing should befall me ; and 
still more, that your desire of making me happy was the occa- 
sion of your being in this precarious state ; I almost grudge every 
hour in which I am not some way engaged for your interest. I 
should be ashamed to be long at home when your concerns re- 
quire me abroad. However, I am to submit every thing to the 
disposal of that all-wise Providence on which I am permitted to 
depend, and by which I never was, nor can be disappointed. I 
have many reasons for desiring a little time with you, if it will 
•suit my business ; if otherwise, I have one reason against it that 
outweights them all — tlie sense of what 1 owe to you. I consider- 
ed before we married, what must be the consequence on my side ; 
I joyfully accepted the terms with all disadvantages ; and I 
thank God, I never yet repented or thought, for a moment, that I 
could either bear, or forbear, too much, while you were my mo- 
tive and reward. 

If you ask how I pass my time here ? I answer, that if an as- 
semblage of all I can wish for satisfy me, without your company I 
need not set my foot out of Liverpool ; yet if I did not keep a strict 
watch over my heart, I should be uneasy and impatient amidst all ; 
and more so here than elsewhere, for every thing I see reminds 
me that you were with me last year. 



Warrington^ August 18. 
I AM thus far on my return from Manchester, and thus far on 
my way from Liverpool to London, and hope to be with you on 
Friday. You must prepare for another journey, for I promised 
to return within a month. Mr. M****, in, his usual manner, 
talks of having the ship at sea in six weeks; but I believe it will 
be near twelve before all is ready. I have procured for ray new 
ship, the name of the Bee ; both for shortness an(^ significancy, 
I could comment a good while upon the word Bee, and talk 
about the sting and the honey ; but I forbear, as we hope so soon 
to meet. 



THIRD T0TA6E Tp AFRICA. 123 

I make tbis a day or rest ; for I think it not right to travel on a 
Sunday, without a more argent necessity than I can plead at 
present. But it has been a cold, unfruitful day. It must be so 
at times, while I am encumbered with the world and the flesh. 
But I am something enlivened by the receipt of yours of the 
fourteenth. Like Hezekiah, I spread the letter before the Lord. 
But my circumstances are very different from his : instead of 
complaining of enemies, my joyful errand to his mercy seat is to 
praise him for his goodness ; for the confirmation of yo^r health 
and peace, and for the happy prospect of being soon with you. 

The last week I was at sea, was no less stormy with us than with 
yon ; and, besides, the many invisible and unheeded evils from which 
we were preserved, we were twice in imminent, apparent danger ; 
and never more so than for two or three hours before we arrived 
at Liverpool. Let these instances confirm you in the persuasion 
that storms and calms are equally safe to those who trust in the 
God of the sea and the dry land. He sometimes gives me a view 
of impending harm, to teach me that I am insufficient to my own 
safety. But when deliverance is seasonable and necessary, I find 
it always at hand. Had the wind and weather, during the whole 
passage, been at my own choice, I could not have gained my 
port in a more satisfactory manner, or in a better hour than I did. 
I had the pleasure of returning thanks in all the churches for an 
Afirican voyage performed without any disaster, or the loss of a 
single man, (for Captain L**** was fixed in another vessel some 
time before his death.) This was much noticed, and spoken of, 
in the town ; and I believe it is the first instance of the kind. 

No part of your letter pleases me so much as that where you 
lell me yon can sincerely say. The mil of the Lord be done. To 
find as both proficients, in this temper, would rejoice me more 
than the expectation of passing many winters at home ; and yet 
I think I should not undervalue a single hour of your company. 
But I consider that in a few winters and summers more, all our 
endeared hours will be as though they had never been ; but the 
efiects and consequences of our temporary connexion will abide 
for ever. 

N. B. When I returned to Liverpool, and was upon the 

E>int of sailing in the Bee, it pleased God to stop me by illness. 
y the advice of the physicians, I resigned the command of the 
ship ; and was thus unexpectedly freed from the disagreeable, and 
(as I now see it) abominable employment and traffic in which I 
md been engaged. So that my marine correspondence ends 
hjre. 



134 LETTERS TO ▲ WIFE. 

My first attack was a. violent fit, which threatened immediate 
death, and left me no signs of life but breathing for about an hoar. 
I soon grew better ; but the sudden stroke made such an im- 
pression upon my dear wife, that it cost her more than a 
twelvemonth^s severe illness. My friend, Mr. M****, procured 
ne a place in the Custom-house ; and when I was constrained to 
return to take possession of my ofiice, she had been but a few 
days a little revived from a state in which the pYiysicians had 
given up all hope of her recoverey. The . second series of my 
letters were written while I was tide-sarveyor of the port of Liv- 
erpool. 



yOtsgs 



WRITTEN IN ENGLAND^ 

FROM 1766 TO 1786. 



Thou dost but take the dying lamp away, 
To bless me with thine own unclouded day. 

Mrs. Rowx» 



Behold 1 t^e away from thee the desire of thine eyee, with a itroke ; yet oeitber 
•halt thoa moarn nor weep, neither iball thy lean nio down*— Ezek. x3Ut. 16. 



LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

1756. 
WHILE RESIDENT AT LIVERPOOIa 

Mr Deabest, Towcesier, August 12. 

Before this reaches you, your brother will have told ydu 
how easy and composed he left me. Indeed, I wonder at my- 
self. But the Lord has been very gracious to me, and fulfills his 
promise of giving me strength according to my day. My mind 
is not distressed. My companions in the coach are civil and 
agreeable, in their way ; but I had rather have been alone ; for 
to commune with God and my own heart, would be much more 
pleasing than the empty amusing chit-chat I am engaged in at 
present. 

I was enabled, this morning, to commend yon to the Lord's 
blessing with much comfort. And I have a cheerful hope that 
He will raise you up in due time ; and that we shall again have a 
happy and thankful meeting. Till then, let us attend to present 
duty, and keep close to him by humble prayer, and a renewed 
dependence upon the blood of Jesus. Let us, while the rod is 
upon us, inquire into the meaning of it, and hear his voice by it i 
let us bow to his chastisement, and acknowledge that we have re- 
belled against Him, and that he afflicts us far less than our ini- 
quities have deserved. Then we may be assured that though He 
cause grief, He will have compassion ; and will not only deliver 
us, but give us to see, and to say, that it was good for us to have 
been in trouble. I esteem it a mercy that you found some miti- 
gation of your pain, and some symptoms of amendment, before I 
left you. 6ut had 1 been called away in the hour of your great* 
est extremity, I ought to have relied on the Lord's goodness^ and 
to have been resigned to his will. But, alas ! how weak is my 
faith ! 

I am in perfect health, and not uneasy for you. To be sure I 
think of you continually, but my trust in God bears roe up. I 
shall endeavour to write by every post, but if one should pass me 
upon the road, I hope yen will not be anxious. The Lord is m^ 
guard and my guide. 



138 ^ LBTTERS TO A WIFK* 

LUekfiddj Aaguit 13. 

Thus far I am brouebt in safety, and am not willing to trust the 
post any further, and merefore must be brief. I met Mr. T**** 
at Daventry, and requested him to send you word how cheerful 
he found me ; fearing you would scarcely oelieve my own report, 
unless I had some one to vouch forme. I shall be glad to hear a 
like account of you, but I know who has the care of you, and 
what good ground I have to trust him. I hope my first news will 
be, that your recovery is advancing. Many prayers to this effect 
I have offered, and am every hour adding to the number, though 
not with the solemnity I could wish. For we have hitherto found 
so much company upon the road, and have come in so late, that I 
have not had the opportunity of a single retired room. This is 
the only inconvenience I have met with. But I know I do not 
serve a hard master. I pi'ay to Him who can hear the breathings 
of my thoughts, when in the midst of company, and who is more 
ready to hear than 1 am to ask. 

I hope you, my dearest, will continue waiting for Him, for from 
Him only our help can come. Pray for a praying spirit ; lay all 
your hopes and all your fears before Him. In this way, and m no 
other peace and comfort will be surely found : I recommend you 
to his blessing, and remain^ beyond expression, 

Yours. 



Liverpool J August 15. 

I CANNOT write much to-night, but I must tell you, in a few 
words, all is well. 1 have met with the usual kind reception from 
our dear friends — have done my business at the Custom-House, 
and received many congratulations. I have a holiday till Mon- 
day, and shall then enter upon my office. As there are two sur- 
veyors, and I shall be upon the river only every other week, the 
place is likely to afford me liesure, which, in its turn, will be as 
welcome to me as money. Well : since the Lord has given me 
so many blessings, shall I not trust him throughout ? Yes, I thank 
him, I hope 1 am warranted to say, I can, and do. My thoughts 
were much interrupted while in the coach ^ but I had a pleasant 
ride indeed from Warrington hither, and was led to wonder at my 
many mercies, and to resign both you and myself into the hands 
of God, with much satisfaction. 

I have received your brother's letter, and I thank him for his 
punctuality. As the Lord is pleased to give you intervals of ease 
and sleep, so I know he can remove all your pains by a word ; 
and I trust he will in the best season. May he, at present, sanc- 
tify his hand^ to the increasing of our faith and patience. Amen ! 



WaiLB MSmCMT AT LIVERPOOL* 139 



laverpodl^ August 20. 

1 HAVE received your sister's obiigine letter, with your own 
dear name, in your own dear hand, at the bottom. A welcome 
sight ! May I be thankful ! 

I entered upon business yesterday. I find my duty is to attend 
the tides one week, and to visit the ships that arrive, and such as 
are in the river ; and the other week to inspect the vessels in the 
docks, and thus, alternately, the year round. The latter is little 
more than a sinecure, but the former requires pretty constant at- 
tendance, both by day and night. I have a good office, with fire 
and candle, fifty or sixty people under my direction, with a hand- 
some six-oared boat and a coxswain, to, row me about in form. 
Mr. W**** went with me on my first cruise down to the Rock. 
We saw a vessel, and wandered upon the hills, till she came in. 
I then went on board, and performed my office with all due grav- 
ity. And had it not been my business, the whole might have pas- 
sed for a party of pleasure. 

To-day the wind blows hard ; but you need not be uneasy 
about me at such times. For though my department will lead me 
to be much upon the river, it is at my option to embark or not, as 
I find the weather. I like ray station, and shall soon be master 
of it. Remember that I am in the path of duty, and under the 
protection of Him whom the winds and seas obey. 

I perceive that you have thoughts of removing to Eltham. I 
pray the Lord to direct you when and where to go ; and that his 
presence may be with you, to preserve you from being hurt by 
unsuitable company, so as to forget the vows you have offered in 
the time of vour trouble. I hope our late trial will be sanctified 
to us, and tnat while we live we may have cause to say, that God 
is gracious and merciful even in afflicting us. If your health 
shoutdf be fully restored, let us remember it is but a reprieve. We 
must experience, sooner or later, another and a final visitation, to 
put an end to all our views which are bounded with the term of 
this frail life. Happy shall we be, if, when that hour arrives, we 
shall be found ready, and enabled by faith in our Redeemer, to 
withstand andK>vercome the shock of the last enemy, death. I 
hope ahd trust we are yet spared, that we may recover our 
strength before we go hence, and are no more: seen. I hope, if. 
the Lord is pleased to conduct you safely to me, and to cive us a 
bouse of our own, we shall act, in some measure,- suitable to our 
obligations, for so many deliverances and restorations as we have 
known ; and learn to trust in his providence, and no more offend 
him by our unbelieving fears. I hope in a few more posts to 
have the pleasure of a letter of your own writing. But do not 

Vol. IV. 17 



130 tKTTERS TO ▲ WfrE, 

attempt it too soon. It is not necessary to make me easy, for 
I have been helped to trust you to the Lord's care, with few inters 
vals of anxiety since I left you. 



Liverpool^ August 24. 
The good hand of God has brought me safely through a bust« 
ling, tempestuous week. I am to keep watch to-night till about 
two o^clock. But do not pity me. I shall be most of the time 
beside a good fire, reading, writing, and, at intervals, praying for 
you and myself. I bear you are still upon the recovery, for wnich 
I wish to be thankful, but, alas ! 1k)w much am I otherwise ! I 
seem almost to forget the bitter time we both have lately known, 
and to be nearly impatient to see you here. But do not think me 
uneasy ; 1 assure you I am not. But 1 cannot help feeling that 
you are not with me. To-morrow my week of rest begins ; then 
bome of my friends may expect to hear from me. Of late I have 
only had leisure to write to you* Be cheerful and dependent. 
Make use of means prescribed for restoring your health, but do 
not rest in them. The blessing must be from the great Physician. 
To him let us apply for it ; and ascribe to him all the praise, if we 
obtain relief. 



Ldverpoaly August 26. 
1 HOPE I am not capable of undervaluing any of your former 
fetters, but surely this now in my hand is the most pleasing and 
welcome one I ever received. May the Lord make me thankful 
that you are again able to hold a pen. Your brother repeatedly 
amused me with hopes of your recovery, when, as I now fintf, you 
Were in the greatest pain and danger- There is something so 
close and pertinent in the little you h^ve written, that I am tilled 
with joy4 I have hardly known, you allow, till now, that you 
were enabled to pray. We may praise God for that pain or 
sickness, however severe, which teaches us in good earnest to call 
upon Him. You have been in trouble, you called upon him, and 
he has deUvered vou according to his word. What shall we ren- 
der to Him for all his mercies ! Alas, we are poor, and can ren-» 
der nothing of our own. But he will not despise the efforts of a 
thankful heart. I wish you well to Eltham. I fear the company 
there will not be quite suitable to the present state of your mindi 
But I trust you will keep a strict guard over yourself, and redouble 
your prayers to the God of all grace, to preserve you from evil- 
Secure seasons for retirement, and let not thd world break in upon 



WHILE HESIDENt AT LIVERPOOL. 131 

you, til) you have daily committed and dedicated yourself to Him 
who has raided you from Xhe borders of the grav«. 



Liverpool^ SepienAer 2. 

The strain of your letters now makes me think light of our 
temporary separation. . Be not afraid, only believe. The Lord' 
Jesus, whom yon Jieed and seek, invites yon, and has declared, 
Whosoever cometh I will in no wise cast out* By nature, we all 
dislike his Gospel, and see no excellence in his person that we 
should desire him ; if this is hot your disposition at present, the 
change already wrought is his work ; and He is not like the un- 
wise, inconsiderate builder : what he begins, he is both able and 
willing to finish. You liave cause to lament the backwardness 
and hardness of your heart, (the Lord only knows how hard and 
backward mine is,) but let not this cast you down : He can take 
Away the heart of stone. Nor think it strange if now, upon your 
setting your hand to the plough, the enemy should assauk alid 
trouble you. He will, if permitted^ tempt you to suspect the 
reality of aH that you have experienced ; he will set your sins in 
order before you, and persuade you, if possible, to look into your* 
self for qualifications and conditions of acceptance^ But answer 
bim from the word of God, and tell him that he is a liar, and 
the father of it. Christ not only has mercy for the unworthy, 
the ungrateful, and perishing sinner, who cannot ofier one plea 
(as from himself) why he should be spared ; but it was pur- 
posely far those who answer to this character, that he came into 
the world to die, ]that He might save them to the uttermost. He 
gives qualifications inijeed, but he requires none from us. Per«- 
haps this enemy will quote Scripture against you, and press such 
texts upon your mind as might lead you lo form hard conclusions 
against yourself. But you will bear this, if you consider that he 
bad the impudence to assail our Lord himself in this mann.er^ 
Matth. iv. This Jesus whom you seek, was in all points ten^pted 
and afilicted (sin excepted) like unto us. He has tasted sufiering 
and anguish of mind, as well as deafh, for all his followers. 
Therefore He is a High Priest who ^an have compassion upon 
our infirmities, and is able to succour them that are tempted, and 
knows what temptations mean. 

Go on, my dearest ; I trust yon are in the right way ; wait pa- 
tiently upon the Lord. Cast not away the confidence you ex- 
press in his mercy, for in keeping it you will find a great reward. 
Greater is He that is with us, than he that is in the world. 
Cb^ges you must expeqt, The Christian life is a warfare ; an^ 



Idt liETTE&S TO A WiVE, 

Iboiigh the Captain of oar salvation, by conquering for us, iiaf 
secured us the final victory, we may be sorely pinched, and some- 
times wounded, while on the field of battle ; but there is healing 
balm provided, and be will be alwap near to apply it. There 
may be fightings without and fears within ; but He is fitithfiilthat 
has promised, who also will do it. 

I have been so affected and engaged by the former part of your 
letter, that I have not time to answer the other particulars. It is 
my boarding week again, and the weather is bad. But fear not 
far me ; I am in safe bands. 



lAverpoolj September 5. 

On the stormy night you mention, I was safe in bed. I have 
been but once upon the river this week. The wind blew very 
hard then, it is true y but I was in no danger. I. hope a little 
practice will teach vou to trust me with equal ease, at all times, 
and in all places, where my duty calls me. 

When you come hither, you will perhaps be more thankful for 
my being settled on shore, from what you will observe of the anx* 
iety of those who have husbands, orparents, or children at sea, in 
the way -of. the approaching war. From such fears you will now 
be exempted ; you will no more have to wait eight or ten months 
in suspense. When I think of my settlement here, and the man- 
ner oi it, I see the appointment of Providence so good and gra- 
cious, and such a plam answer to mv poor prayers, that I cannot 
but wonder and adore. I think I have not yet told you that my 
immediate predecessor in oflBce, Mr. C****, had not the least in- 
tention of resigning his place on the occasion of his father's death ; 
though such a report was spread about the town, without his 
knowledge, or rather in defiance of all- he could say to contradict 
it. Yet to this false report I owe my situation. For it put Mr. 
M**** upon an application to Mr. S****, the member for the 
town, and the very aay he received the promise in my favour, 
Mr. C**** was found dead in his bed, though he had been in 
company, and in perfect health, the night before. If I mistake 
not, the same messenger who brought the promise, carried back 
the news of the vacancy to Mr. S****, at Chester. About an 
hour after, the mayor applied for a nephew of his ; but though it 
was but an hour or two, he was too late. Mr. S**** had already 
written, and sent off the letter ; and I was appointed accordingly. 
These circumstances appear to me extraordinary, diough of a 
piece with many other parts of my singular history ; and the 
more so, as, by another mistake, 1 missed the land-waiter's place, 
which was my first object, and which, I now see, would not have 



WHIU RESIDJONT A.T LIVSKPOOL. 1^ 

caited as nearly so wdl. I thaak God I can now look through 
instnunentaand second causes, and see his wisdom and goodness 
immediately concerned in fixing my lot. He knows our wants 
and our infirmities. He knows what indulgences may, by his 
blessing, promote our real good, and excite us to praise his name ; 
and what those are which might be snares and temptations to us, 
and prove hurtful. And he knows how to bestow the one, and 
to withhold the other. He does all things well ! 



Liverpool^ September 7. 
1 WISH yon well in the country, and in what part you best ap- 
prove. To be sure, I should rejoice to see you ; but I hope I shall 
not be impatient. However, when you are able, the sooner the 
l>etter for your own sake, as bad roads and cold weather are ap* 
proaehing ^ and all the doctors here think that such an effectual 
change of air would strengthen you \ but they have already mis^ 
taken your case. I wish you to come when you think you can 
travel as I mentioned, so as to hold out four or five hours, setting 
out late and puctmg up early ; if you can thus advance only twen- 
ty miles in a day, it will bring you to me in time. But I only 
give my opinion ; I leave you to your own prudence, or ratiier to 
the direction of Divine Providence, which, I trust, you will both 
seek and find, and to which I recommend you with an humble 
confidence. Many inquire after you, are pleased to hear of your 
amendment, and hope to see you soon. I say. Amen, at the 
^ Lord's best time. Till then, may he sanctify our separation, and 
enable us to trust his precious promises and tried faithfulness. 



lAverpooiy September 9, 
I wviiL not own, as you do, that I am indolent, but I am rather 
weary. I would be thankful for the account you give of your 
health, appetite, and colour. I hope your strength will return 
^oon, and that I shall wait with cheerful patience till it does. 
When it shall please God to bring us together again, I hope we 
shall strengthen each other's hands, det us pray for this, while 
we are yet separated, that we may not be left any more to live to 
ourselves, but to Him, and may look upwards and forwards, to 
be prepared for the next trial ; for sooner or later more will come. 
The town is almost in mourning, because the players are gone. 
On their last night, the house was filled by four o'clock. Gayety 



134 LETTEBS TO A WlFEj 

and dissipation of all kinds .increase daily here; when this spl« 
rit will stop, I know not. For myself, I live easy and retired, 
three or four hours every day, in my apartment, if business will 
permit. I need no diversions^ and walking or reading are my 
only amusements, for I keep very little company ; but my time 
is far from hanging upon my hands. I want nothing that this 
world cfto afford to amend my situation, but to have my dearest 
]^«*« with me, and for this, the Lord's time will be the best. 



Liverpool^ September 12. 
I SHALL take care to write upon large paper, as you desire. 
But I believe the smaller may suffice for to-day. Most of my 
leisure this w^ek will be taken up with Mr. Wh-— d, which, as it 
is an occasional interruption, and from which I hope both for 
comfort and benefit, I think you will excuse. He came to town 
on Wednesday, preached on that evening, twice yesterday, and 
so will continue preaching twice a day while he stays. We shall 
try to keep him till Monday ; though he says he never was in a 
place where he had so little encouragement to stay as here. I 
made myself known to him the first night ; went to see him, and 
conversed with him the next morning, when he invited roe to sup* 
per. I went home with him from the preaching, and staid till 
ten o'clock. So we are now very great ; and very thankful I 
would be for the privilege. May the Lord yet give him to see 
that hi? labour of love amongst us is not in vain. But surely 
this is the roost unconcerned town, for its size, in the kingdom. 
I hope he is sent to awaken some of the people out of their false 
peace. However, he is, as he was formerly, very helpful to me. 
He warms my heart, makes me more indifferent to cares and 
crosses, and strengthens nty faith. I find you are making ac- 
quamtance with Mr. M****. Well, go on ; I hope you will 
leave London soon, or you will be thought as singular m your 
husband. To speak seriously, it makes my heart glad to see in 
you one mark of a real believer, in that you love the ministers 
and people of the Lord, and are not o&nded with the Gospel, 
which is a stumbling-block and rock of offence to many. May he 
carry on bis work,, and 4»uild you up in knowledge, faith, and 
much assurance. Amen. Think of me as always thinking of 
you, and praying for you. 



WHILS RBSIDKKt At LIVERPOOL. 13^ 



Liverpool^ September 10. 

Mr. Wb — n left us yesterday morning ; I accompanied him oA 
foot a little way out of town^ till the chaise overtook us, I have 
had more of his company than would have come to my share at 
London in a twelve month. I heard him preach nine times, sup- 
ped with him three times, and dined with him once at Mr. F**^^'s, 
and on Sunday he dined with me. I cannot say. how much I 
esteem him^ and hope, to my dying day, I shall have reason to 
bless God in his behalf. Having never been here before but one 
nighty he was not known or regarded by the fashionable folks, 
though several of them went to hear him. Butma^y of the poor- 
er sort are enquiring after him with tears. 

I commenced acquaintance yesterday with a gobd man, who 
lately lost his wife in child-bed the fil-st year. He is the very pic- 
ture of sorrow. I attempt to comfort him, though I succeed but 
poorly. It is only God who can give comfort in such a case. Yet 
I think few can be more capable of sympathizing with him than my- 
self. What I have lately gone through is fresh upon tny mind. And 
why was not the event the same to roe f Every way I am distin- 
guished. My prayers turn much upon the thoughts of our future 
settlement. It will require both prudence and resolution to set 
ont right from the first ; but, if we ask of God, it shall be given 
us. 1 would have you gradually prepare our sister for such a 
house as it will be our duty and privilege to keep y where God 
may be worshipped, and nothing practised or permitted that is 
contrary to our Christian profession. 



Litterpooly September l^% 
I FOLLOW you in my mind to Eltbam, Bromley, '&^c. ; thougb 
1 know not the country. May the Lord be witli ytti wherever 
you go, make known to yoa his covenant, and assure you of an 
unalienable interest in it. 

1 thank you for the account of Mr. B****'s sermon. You will 
observe, the principal effects or properties of Abraham's faith, by 
which he walked with God, were humility and integrity. He hum» 
bled himself before the Lord iu secret, claiming no higher title 
than dust and ashes. And he stood up boldly, as his avowed, de- 
voted servant, before men. Let us imitate him. I little doubt but 
he was thought singular, and perhaps laughed at, and so probably 
shall we ; but I trust grace will make us scorn proof, and not suf- 
fer us to be in the number of those who are ashamed of the Lord 
Jesus and his Gospel. No, I hope he will enable us to glory in 



IM UBTTBRS tb A WIFE, 

the etoBSf and to eadare the opposition we may meet with, as seep* 
ing Him who is invisible, who, when upon earth, submitted to be 
laughed to scorti himself, for us. He, having borne our reproach, 
has a just right to require that we should be ready and willing to 
bear reproach for him. 

If the present fair weather continoes, the road will be good to 
Warrington, where it will suit me rather better to meet you. But 
if you come by Chester, I can bring you by water in a pilot-boat 
very cleverly. Be sure that, for the sake of saving a little expense 
or time, you do not overact your strength. I could go on for an 
hour, in giving you foolish directions and precautions for your 
journey ; but after all^ it is best to leave you to the care of the Di^ 
vine Providence, and to submit the method of your route to 
your own judgment. 



lAverpool, September 28« 
I CANVOT guess the reasons which, yon say, taken together^ 
will induce you to come by the stage. You may^ perhaps, judge 
best, being upon the spot, and I would not overrule vour inclina- 
tions. But as I know my own weakness, I am afraid it will be an 
uneasy journey, to roe at least. As I have said before, I wish to 
trust yon into the Lord's hands ; but when we have the choice of 
means, it is our duty to consult Providence. Ask the first friend 
you meet whidi is the best adapted to your circumstances, as just 
recovering from illness ; to travel from three in the morning till 
eight or nine at night, in "a heavy coachj with mixed company ; or 
from eight in the morning till five in the evenings in a chaise with 
your sister ? 

I pray the Lord to direct and strengthen you^ and to give me a 
joyful sight of you agaiit: My poor, weak heart, sometimes re<* 
bels, and flilmost complain because you are not yet able to come. 
But this humour seldom lasts a full minute, before my thoughts 
recur to the day when I left London, and that silences me at once» 
What a heap of guineas (had f possessed them) would I then have 
given, to be assured that you should, by this time, be so much re* 
stored as you are f Alas ! I am still a sinful, inconsistent crea- 
ture ; but the Lord is merciful, beyond measure, to us both; 

I go on making useful acquaintance. The Lord honours me 
in the eyes of his own people^) which is the honour I most desire. 
And though some of the wags of my acquaintance have given me 
the name of young Wh*^, from my constant attendance upon 
him when be was here, it does not grieve me ; and perhaps, if 
theywould speak the tcutli, they do not think the worse of me in 



WHILE aCSlDENT AT UVERPOQIi. ^ 'l37 

their hearts. I find I cannot be consistent and conscientious in 
my profession, without incarriog the charge of sing^olarity. 1 
shall endeavour to act with prudence, and not give needless of- 
fence ; but I hope I shall never more be ashamed of the GospeK 



Liverpool, Sq^tember 26. 

I THANK yoo for thanking me, for the bill I sent you. But do 
not suppose I give it you. I expect to be repaid— I recant — ^I 
own myself io debt, over head and ears (as they say) to you 
still. I roust not talk of repaymmt till 1 am clear. But, I think, 
to do you real service^ I could as readily part with my life. May 
the Lord unite us, still more closely, in his faith and fear ! 

When I first asked Mrs. D***» to hear Mr. Wh — d, she could 
hardly give me a civil answer, (though otherwise she is very 
obliging and respectful.) But curiosity, or a better motive, pre* 
.i^ailing, she went on tlie second day. She returned very well 
disposed ; and asked me if I had one of his printed sermons. I 
lent her a volume. She went to hear him again, and became his 
great admirer. She herself first proposed my asking him to din- 
ner ; and his behaviour there confirmed her in her respect for 
liim. I invited four or five Christian friends to partake of his 
company. She provided a handsome dinner, and when I ^oke 
of the additional expense, she said she was very willing to bear 
it; but I do not intend that she shall. She has borne there* 
proach and laugh of many o^ her neighbours very well. They 
call her a Methodist, and siie seems as easy under the charge aft 
I am. So, we see, very unlikely ^ings may be brought about. 



Liverpool, September SO, 
I MUST transcribe part of a letter from Mr. W****. " I have 
several times had the pleasure of conversing with Mrs. N****. 
• God has been pleased to give her a great measure of your spirit," 
(so he writes.) '^ She is neither afraid nor ashamed to own her 
profession. After a sermon of Mr. B****, on Psalm xxv. 14. she 
told roe, that the hearing of the great physician had done her 
more good than all her other roedicines." Thus far he. The 
Lord help you to go on and to increase ! Now, roetbinks, I am 
happy indeed ! Now my highest wishes are answered, if my dear- 
est M*** is partaker of the same hope with myself. How pleas- 
ant will all the future comforts and blessings, which the Lord may 
be pleased to afibrd us, prove, if we can discern them conveyed 
Vol. IV. 18 ^ 



X3S . hKfTtnM TO A wire, 

to OS in tbe chatwel of redeeming love ! How pleasant will H be 
to look beyood them all, and, as the aposlle speaks on another 
occasion, not to think that we have attained any thing as yet, 
eomparatively speaking even when we have all we can wish for, 
but still to press forward in our hopes and views, towards the 
prise of onr high calling in a better world, where pleasure will be 
without abatement and without end. 

Since you were so ready to believe me when I said I had not 
been well, pray why could you not take my word about my re* 
eovery ? For shame, my dearest : these fears and distrustful 
thoughts passed with us once, but we must aim above them now. 
Let us have no more idolatry, if we value each other's peace, or 
VLte willing to avoid such fiery triak as we have lately known. 
However, whether you can believe me or not, I must tell you 
again that I am in good health. The Lord be with yon where 
you are, and in your journey when you move this way ; and may 
we trust and serve him according to what he has done for us ! 



lAverpooly Octobers. 

I AH. not sorry that you complain of your heart ; for, since our 
hearts will be bad, it is a mercy to be sensible that they are so. 
Nor will I contradict you when- you say that you are ungrateful, 
and insensible to the Lord's goodness ; only remember that 3roa 
are so in common with others, and that there is not a person up- 
on earth who knows hinself, but must make the same complaint. 
I can find no words more suitable to my own case, than those 
which you make use of, only substituting your name for my own. 
*' I delight, admire, and love to hang upon every sentence, and 
every action of my dearest M*** ; and yet how wanting, and 
howjcold, am I to the gracious Author of all our mercies, to 
whom we owe each other, our happy affection, and all the satis* 
iaction that flows from it." He might justly have parted us long 
ago for my ingratitude ; He might have shut out my prayers in 
your late visitation ; but He has raised you up to a new life. Oh ! 
that it may be so indeed ! 

I shall endeavour to temper my zeal with prudence. I am far 
from proposmg that you should keep company with washerwo^ 
men in this world. (Hereafter, I doubt not we shall be giad to 
join with such.) The religious acquaintance which I wish to 
cultivate with any degree of intimacy, will, I think, be confined 
to three or four families, all of whom are better to pass in the 
world than ourselves ; and who, though perhaps- they do not aim 
ill all things at the top of the polite taste, are sufficiently well-bred 



WHILE aVSIBKlIT AT LIVKBPOOL. ISt 

to be receiTed as visitaiiU any wbere, if their 'principles did not 
hinder* But this you may be assured of, that a consistent pro- 
fession of real religion will carry the appearance of singularity in 
this town ; and, .unless you can confine yourself wholly to the gay 
and careless, and go all their lengths, you will certainly have a 
bit of the cross to carry, and must prepare yourself to be thought 
altered for the worse, by some of your acquaintance. 1 much 
more fear our being cowardly, than imprudent. But if we are of 
the number of those, whom the Lord will not be ashamed to own 
in the great day, be will give us a measure of grace, that we shaH 
not be ashamed to own his cause and people, in the midst of this 
crodced and perverse generation. But, ,as you say, there is a 
^oay of doing thmgs, I shall try to carry it handsomely to others. 
It is not necessary to affront or quarrel vi^ith any who have treat- 
ed us civilly ; but, experience will convince you, that the less we 
are connected with worldly people the better. And as the Lord, by 
his providence, has placed us in a state of entire independence, 
and there is no consideration of trade or customers to prevent us 
from living, in all points, just as we please, 1 hope we shall judge 
better than to sacrifice our happiness and true interests to an emp^ 
ty sound- 
But I perceive that you, likewise, have picked up a fine set of 
roethodistical acquaintance. Should your aunt know it, she 
would set you down as almost ruined. But I, who love yon bet- 
ter than a thousand aunts could do, congratulate you upon the 
acquisition. You may now see, by the examples bi^ore you, that 
true religion has nothing in it of the ansociaUe or gloomy ; but 
is, on the contrary, the source of peace, cheerfulness and good 
humor. If, as yon say, you love good people, He who has in- 
clined your heart to love them here, will give you a portion with 
them both here and hereafter. Up<m this single evidence, St. John 
grounds an assurance of heaven, saying, '^We know that we have 
•passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." We 
may, indeed, tove a good roan npon other considerations ; but to 
Jove l|im because he is good, because we think we see the image 
-iof oar Saviour in him, and to love him most for the best parts of 
his character, is not possible till we have grace in our hearts-; 
•for till then, we have an enmity to the Gospel. And though this 
is not always visible and active, in persons of mild and gentle dis- 
position, the farthest soch4:an go is to say, I l^e the man because 
he is of a good life and behaviour, but be has some strange, uir^ 
acconntabic whims and prejudices. 



140 1.ETTE&S TO A WIVlEy 



Liverpool^ October 6. 
I BELIEVE you do DOt goess how I am disappointed when I re- 
ceive only half a side from you. Indeed, if writing is inconven- 
ient to you, I could be content with half a line ; but your excuse 
seems to suppose you are afraid of wearying me ; for you say, 
'^ I shorten this merely because my last was so long." Well, 1 
hope a few more posts will bring us together ; in the mean time, 
let me have as much of you as you can conveniently commit to 
paper. I fear lest, by the pressing manner of my writing, you 
should sometimes think 1 wrong you by a suspicion that you will 
stay a day longer than needful. But, indeed, it is my happiness 
to believe that your heart is as much here as mine is ^t London.^ 
I cannot make you a more expensive compliment. But, alas ! 
whither am I running f I forget my own duty and yours. I 
fear it is of the number of our great sins, that our hearts cleave so 
close to each other, and so little to the Lord ; that we are so 
thoughtful about the future, and so negligent of the present. It 
is, at least, thus with me. I still feel that you are my idol, and 
though the Lord has lately afflicted you for my sake, and is now 
raising you up for me again, as it were from the grave, I am 
not yet instructed. 



Liverpool^ October 7. 
I CANNOT express what I felt to-day while I was reading your 
dear letter, which informs roe that you hope to set out next week ; 
but you can guess for me. Ten thousand thoughts crowd upon , 
me at once. The remembrance of that mournful, painful week 
at London, when I could only behold and share, and, by sharing, 
increase your distress, without procuring you the least help or 
ease, (which I hope I shall never fotget while I can remember any 
thing,) — ^the situation in which we parted, when the Lord enabled 
me to hope against hope — the joy to think you now recovered 
from a most dangerous illness— the expectation of seeing yon in a 
few days, and the former experience I have had, of what a happy 
meeting with you includes — all these different emotions of joy and 
sorrow, love and gratitude, took possession of my soul at once. 
And is it so indeed ? Shall I receive yon soon as restored from 
the grave, and have all my pleasures heightened by the contrast 
of my late trials ? Oh ! then what shall I render to the Lord for 
all his goodness f Could qioney or friends have helped us, you 
would have been relieved sooner : but . there was no power in 
heaven or earth, that could restore ease to you or peace to nte, but 
Godiilone. To him, therefore -be the glory and the praise ; all 



WHILE RBSIDEKT AT LIVERPOOL. 141 

the glory and all the praise ! And let us aim to declare bis good* 
ness, DOt merely in secret, or to each other, but in the whole 
coarse of our lives by choosing what is pleasing to him, and 
avoiding what he liates. And especially, let us watch and pray 
against setting up onr rest here below, and misplacing that regard 
upon each other, which is dae only to him. May we be enabled 
to commit onr dearest concerns, and have recourse in every 
trouble, to Him who has so often heard our prayers, and done us 
^od. And, oh ! that we may have that m6deration, both in 
affection and practice towards earthly things, which becomes 
those who profess themselves strangers and sojourners here, 
and who look for a better inheritance, a house not made with 
hsmds, eternal in the heavens. Surely it was our own folly that 
brought our late distress upon us. We have lived too much to 
ourselves, and had not glorified, as we ought, the God in whose 
bapds our breath is, and whose are all our ways. 

When Hesekiah was sick, nigh tinto death, the Lord railed 
him up, and |#olonged his life fifteen years. But we are told 
he rendered not according to the benefit he had received, ^ 
Chron. xxxii. Alas ! how strongly does this charge lie against us ! 
How often have we been restored to each other, after long and 
dangerous separations ! How wonderftilly have we been pre- 
served from innumerable evils, to which, in such a world as this, 
we are hourly exposed ! And yet it has now pleased God to give 
ns a prospect of passing our days together comfortably, and free 
fiiom many inconveniences which formerly affected us. But to 
keep ns from growing too secure, just at the time. He did this. He 
laid his hand upon you, and by one stroke brought us both 
down to the ground. Now again, He is returning in mercy, 
bringing us health, peace, and joy. Let us bear the rod, and him 
who bath appointed it. For if we come together yet again in a 
thoughtless, ungrateful, self-seeking temper, he can again separate 
us in a way that we are not aware of. But, I hope and pray we 
shall be enabled to serve him from gratitude, and from a consider- 
ation of the great things He has done for us, rather than from a ' 
principle of slavish fear. 

If you are really afi*aid of being a hjrpocrite, it is a good sign 
that you are not one. For the hypocrite is secure and confident, 
and has no suspicion of a mistake. But the best persons upon 
earth must own, that though, through grace, they are not hypo- 
crites, there is too much hypocrisy remaining in them. Their 
real and fundamental aim is the glory of God ; but wretched, sin- 
ful self-will creeps in, and taints their best performances. How- 
ever,. our comfort is, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from' 
all sin. What a great word is that little wor4 Ml I not only- 



142 LETTEBS TO A WIFE, 

from sins of one kind, or of one degree, but of all kinds, and of 
all degrees, when we apply to it in a truly liunible and repenting 
spirit. 

I was not angry with you for doubting of my health, (how do 
you think I can be angry with yon at all f) I only meant to can- 
tion you against an overweening, distrustful care, which answers 
no good end, but is a species of sinful unbelief And I foresee 
that against my judgment and experience, and notwithstanding ail 
ray grave admonitions to you, I shall too often offend- in the same 
way, and you will have frequent occasions of giving me the same 
advice. But this is a part of our duty, and our privilege, to 
exhort and admonish each other, lest we should be hardened 
through the deceitfulness of sin* 

I was last night with Mr. and Mrs. **^. I think you will like 
their acquaintance. They are sober, sensible people, and seem 
very happy in each other. What a pity that the oiie thing need- 
ful should be wanting, when nothing else seems to be wanting ! 
^ut so it was with us once ; and it may be better Vith them here- 
after. 



1757. 



My Dearest M***, Liverpool, February 2. 

1 WOULD not give you occasion to think that the return of your 
birth-day is less interesting to me at present, than it was seven 
years ago ; or that my concern in it gives me less pleasure, now I 
I9im with you in Liverrool, than when I was exiled from you on 
the coast of Africa. It is a part of my happiness, and demands 
tny daily acknowledgment and praise to God, that my regard fot 
yon is no more capable' of being weakened by time than hereto- 
fore by absence. You will not expect me to address you in the 
strain of modem politeness, but I am persuaded that you will fa- 
voucably accept what I may write, because you will approve my 
motive and my sincerity. 

I often wonder at the ill-timed festivity and garety with which 
the return of a birth-day is usually observed. Multitudes, who 
with respect to the past, can find little to make them reflect with 
pleasure on their having been brought into the world, and, with re^ 
spect to the future, tremble in the midst of all their parade at the 
serious apprehension of death, yet agree to drown both the past 
and the future in noise and dissipation. For my own part, I see 
sufficient reason to make my birth-day, more especially, a season 
4>f serious rejection. And I recommend the practice to yon. For 



WHUX B»«mENT AT UTCVOOL. 143^ 

what is Ihe laogmge of a birtb-day f Has it not a waraiD^ 
voice, to remind us another year of our time and opportunities is 
closed upon us, (time and talents for which we are accountable,, 
and seasons which cannot be recalled,) and that death has ad- 
vanced nearer to us by the stride of a whole year i And, there^ 
fore, 1 judge that a birth-day is a very improper day for mortals 
to be frolicksome* To those whose hearts are deeply engaged 
in the things of tiiis world I should imagine the very thought of 
the occasion would be (like the hand-writing on the wall to Bel- 
shazzer, Dan. v.) sufficient to put a full stop to their feast, and to 
turn their joy to heaviness. But such is our depravity, that, till 
grace touches the heart, the most obvious and most interesting- 
truths can make no proper impression upon us. But 1 seem tt^ 
forget that I am writing to you. 

I am no enemy to joy ; and I am sure the real Christian, 4|rbo- 
has peace with God and in his own conscience, has both the best 
title to joy, and the best disposition lor it. I invite you to rejoice ;. 
but let it be in the right way, and in the right manner* '' Rejoice 
in the Lord ;" and *' Rejoice with trembling.^' Let us leara 
from the first, the sure grounds we have for rejoicing ; and from- 
the second, the many considerations which should correct aud^ 
qualify our joy, that it may not deviate intoti wrong channel, and 
b|M:ome sinful and dangerous. 

I say, Rejoice in the Lord. I congratulate you on your births 
day ; not to give you a vain complacence in yourself, but tO" 
lead you back to the time and circumstances of your birth, that 
you may reflect on the goodness of God. You were born of 
creditable and affectionate parents, in easy circumstances, with a 
body neither diseased nor deformed, and a mind endued with ra- 
tional faculties, with a soul formed for immortality, capable of 
loving and serving God here, and being happy with him for ever. 
Your lot was cast in a land favoured with the Gospel, without 
which all temporal blessings would have been of little worth f* 
butif yon take them together and compare your own state with 
that of millions of your fellow creatures, what great reasons have 
you to rejoice in this first view } But I would lead your thoughts* 
forward from thence, step by step, through every succeeding year, 
to this day ; through infancy, childhood, and especially youth, 
that dangerous period, in which such numbers make shipwreck of' 
their hopes and prospects. Must you not say, ^' Surely mercy 
and goodness have followed me all the days of my life f " What 
.sorrow:s, what sicknesses, what snares, have you either been ex- 
empted from, or preserved safely through ? How many, within 
the circle of your own acquaintance, have been cut short b^ore 
they reached your tern»of life i How many, who are yet livmg, 



144 LETTERS TO A WU% 

stre safferiog froni evils to which yoa are eqaally exposed f I 
make no scruple to Dnmber our happy marriage among the bless<»- 
ings for which you see cause to be thankful ; that it pleased Grod 
to bring us together, to bless us with a true affection, to restore us 
to each other after long separations, to recover us from long 
sicknesses, to fix us in our present situation, and, above all, to di- 
rect our hopes beyond the present world for our chief happiness. 
This is crowning mercy. If the Lord has shown yon and me 
those things which are hidden from many of the wise and prudent ; 
if we know our disease and our remedy, that we are sinners, 
helpless and hopeless in ourselves, but sinners for whom a sure and 
tree salvation « is provided in Jesus Christ, and that we have 
ground to hope that we are interested in the pardons and prom- 
ises of the Gospel ; that the hairs of our head are numbered, and 
that all things are working for our good ; that God will be 
our sun and shield here, and our portion for ever, if these things 
are so we may well rejoice, but still it must be in the Lord ; for 
all our good, present and hoped for, is from him alone. 

But I say, secondly, Rejoice with trembling. Our joy in this 
world cannot be unmixed. There are unavoidables which, thougl| 
they cannot take it from us, will and ought to temper it ; such as 
these — An ingenuous 'sense of our nnsuitable returns for so many 
and great mercies. 'May God preserve us from that terror of mind 
on account of sin, which, sooner or later, will be the portion of - 
those who know him not ! We need not be distressed ; for though 
we have sinned, Christ has died for sinners, and is able to save to 
the uttermost. Yet, certainly, we have much cause tb grieve and 
be ashamed, that we have lived so long to so little purpose, that 
we have received so much and rendered so little, and that after 
all our experience and resolutions, we are still so inactive and un- 
stable in his service. The snares, temptations, and enemies 
around us, may make us thoughtful, if they do not make us trem- 
ble. These would surely prevail against us at last, were not the 
Lord on our side. We- may almost tremble likewise for the sins 
of those among whom we live. Lot chose to reside in Sodom, 
because it was a pleasant country, and well watered ; but the 
sins of the inhabitants soon made him forget the advantages of the 
place. His righteous soul was vexed, from day to day, by their' 
ungodly deeds. And so shall we feel, if we have a due regard for 
the glory of God, the love of Christ, and the souls of our neigh- 
bours. We have likewise cause to tremble, when we think of the 
judgments that seem at present hanging over a sinful, insensible na- 
tion. We have just reason to fear lest mercy, so long despised should 
be withdrawn. Let us, like good Eli, tremble for the ark of God. 
And in this view we may tremble for ourselves, for we have con- 



WBILB BfiSlBSNT A^ lilTEAPOOt. 145 

Iriboted our part to the filling up of the- measore of ifatiooal 
ioiqiiity. We have neither borne that testimony against sin in 
public, nor mourned for it b secret, as we ought. Aud though, 
I trust, it shall be well with us at last, who can tell yrhzi scenes 
of distress and difficulty we may be appointed to struggle through, 
while we are upon earth f And therefore we should tremble, 
while we rejoice. 

I could enlarge my homily, would time and paper permit. In 
brief, you have, to my comfort, been spared to finish another year. 
The event of the next is uncertain. I would therefore exhort you 
and myself, to live this year as though it would, as though it cer- 
tainly were to be, our last. It may possibly prove so. Let us 
renew our application to the throne of grace, and the blood of 
sprinkling. Let us pray that we may be always ready^that our 
hearts may be withdrawn from worldly things, and be fixed, trust- 
ing in the Lord. And then, come Hfe, come death, let peace be 
continued, or troubles be multiplied, nothing shall be able great- 
ly to move us. 



1758. 

Warringtim^ December 18. 
Mt Deabest, 

Thus far it is well, and, I trust shall be to the end. Thd 
weather is fine, the roads good, the horse free and easy. He has 
not started once ; though he sometimes raises bis ears. 

Now and then I feel some twinges at being forced from you, 
though but for a season ; but the cause makes amends. Three or 
four weeks wilK I hope, re-unite us, and then, one hour will repay 
the pains of absence. Let us not wish away the interval, but 
make the most of it, for it will soon be over. The new scene of 
life which appears to be opening before us, is very important. We 
have need to pray earnestly, constantly, for each other, and for our^ 
selves. Make much of the means of grace, reserve seasons for 
retirement. Endeavour to avoid the company by which you 
cannot improve, and to improve by that which you cannot avoid. 
Adieu. May the peace of God here, prepare you for his glory 
hereafter. Amen ! 



Hunsletty December 15. 
I HAVE received my title from Mr. C***, and shall proceed 
to-morrow. I can hardly be more happy, while separated firom 
Vol. IV. 19 



X4fi^ wrxfiRs *ro A WltB, 

JQlk 1lb8^ ^ preseii;^. Dear Mrs. A**^» who ia veU, it sitting by 
ipe w h<^ )wba494's knee* while poor I am like a turtle witiMMMl 
Diy ^mie. Sat ( trujst my time will came again. Till ihcD'I can 
t^^f wr4le9 9d4 pray ; 1 can repeat your nanw a thouflaiid tunes } 
^n^ tb^efore I look at them now wilb a pleasure unmiicd witli 
f 9vy. But I mu^t nol trifle. I expect soon to assume a ehaiw 
acter which ought, if possible, to wean me from every thought 
li^at termiAaies in self or time. Pray for roe, my dearest ; my 
hour of trial Is at hand ; a solemn hour, which, will call for aU my 
ikithi strength, an4 zeal. But the needful supply is near. In 
our Liord there is; a fiiloess of grace, a sufficiency for me, for you^ 
^fH(i for al], that seek. May he give you that peace that passeth 
^11 i|Rderstaj94ii^} m^iy be bless us while apart, and join us agaia 
%QiWf matwJ coipfart, here lor a time, and heceafter forever. 



Londotij December 21. 

Well ! — ^All is over for the the present, and I have only cheat* 
ed you out of a journey to London. Last night I waited on the 
Bishop of Chester. He received me with great civility ; but he 
said, as the title was out of his diocese, he could do me no effect- 
ual service, and that the notice was much too short. However, 
he counlersigoed my testimonials, and directed me to Dr. N***, 
the Archbishop's chaplain. On him I waited this morning. He 
i;((l^rre(ik me to the Secretary, and from him I received the softest 
fi^sal imagiiiable. He had. represented my affair to the Arch-* 
bishop, but bis Grace insas inflexible in supporting the rules and 
^aaon^ of the church, Sec. 

U»d ipy eye beei^ raised no higher than to his Grace of York, 
I sbeulil bajve been displeased and disconcerted ; but I am in the 
liaeds of the great Lord of all. He has been pleased to prove 
VMS, wbetber my surrender to his will was sincere or not ; and he 
lias enabled; me to stand the trial. As sure as our names are 
Johfi and Mary, you will find that the time and expense of this 
jf^urney will not be thrown away. 1 am quite satisfied and easy. 
The Lord will make all these things subservient to our good. He 
CWPp^ another door in a minute. I think to go down to Chatham 
QQ Mofiday, and to set out for Leeds about Thursday. It may 
be the second week in January before I reach home, thougb I 
long to see you, with all the eagerness of a lover. Take care of 
your health, especially the health of your soul. 



WHILE ftfe810SRT k9 UTEKPOOli* 147 



Chatham^ Dteemher 25* 
I CAME hither, with your brother, on Saturday. Our fatuQy 
are all well, and well pleased with my design ; only some of thenh 
express a little of their cares and fears about monfey matters. 
jMamma had a pleasing prospect that I should be curate to Air. 
S***, that you might be near her again. But this prospect last- 
ed only half an hour, for, upon inquiry, I found he was provided. 
I hear Mr. Hervey is dying, so that I cannot see, him in this 
world. You may trust me to make the best of my way home. I 
seemalready to have been from you the term ofan African voyage; 
and still find as heretofore, that nothing cai) make amends for the 
want of your company. Though the Lord permits difficulties anA 
hindrances to arise for the trial of our faith and patience, I cannot 
believe that he either disapproves, or will finally disappoint, my 
desire to serve him. I surrendered myself to his disposal without 
reserve, and I cannot wonder, nor ought I to complain, if he tiaikes 
me at my word, and puts my sincerity to the proof. Mr. B^^^ 
is pleased with the disinterestedness I have been enabled to show^ 
and says he is persuaded we shall be no losers. He doubts not 
but the Lord will g^ve us more than He will call ^s to part with. 
Be this as it may, as to dirty money ; if He gives us grace and 
peace ; if He continues our affection, and preserve us to each oth- 
er ; if He is pleased to be with us in every trbuble and exi- 
gence ; if he afibrds us a clear evidence of our interest in a hea^ 
venly inheritance-; if he favours us with a calm believing acqui- 
escence in his will ; if he honours us with usefulness in this Kfe, 
and crowns us with glory in a better — we shall surely have no 
cause for complaint. If once we reach heaven, we shall not think 
that we did, or suffered too much for Him who loved us, and gave 
himself for us. One glance of that happiness which endures for 
ever, will abundantly overpay us for all the cares and fears w€ 
experienced during our pilgrimage. 

I cannot express the satisfaction your dear letter gave rae, ill 
finding you so easy and resigned, upon the event of my late at- 
tempt. This is a mercy 1 would, if necessary, or possible, or 
lawful, have purchased at the price of a limb. Nothing disquiet- 
ed rae from the first of my design, but the fear of involving you 
in difiiculties, or causing you uneasiness. But in this, as in a 
thousand instances, I have found the Lord a hearer of prayer. 
And I hope, and believe, he has a blessiog in store for yott updli 
this account. You know nie too well to suspect me of flattery ;. 
1 give you my plain advice, when I think it needful. It is a proof 
of nfy affection. But ticither ought I to withhold deserved 
praise. You have, fvotn the fifst rise of thU affair, acted a. pari 



148 LETTERS TO A WIFJE, 

which perhaps few of your sex could equal. To make such sacrT** 
fices so cheerfully, and upon such slender grounds, is not com- 
mon. I can only say it has not been lost upon me. My primary 
thanks, indeed, are due to the Lord, who gave you to me, and who 
gave you every qualification that could engage my heart, and 
gratify m^ utmost wishes in a wife. My next are due to you. 
The whole term of our union forms a series of many a proof of 
recollected love, as Thomson speaks. But nothing has more 
strongly enhanced my love and gratitude to you than your conduct 
when we were last at Leeds, and ever since. Take courage, 
hold on, the end will answer your expectations. I can say nor- 
thing as to particulars ; but, in general, I am sure that none who 
Eut their trust in God shall be finally ashamed. I suppose you 
ave yoin* fits of Tear and unbelief. I have likewise severely fell 
them at times. But mind them not ; or turn them to advan- 
tage, by making them occasions of more frequent and earnest 
prayer. For it is written " Call upon me in trouble, and I will 
deliver thee, and thou shalt gloriiy me.^^ Let us be diligent in 
the means of grace ; these are the paths in which the Lord has 
commanded us to walk, and where be has promised to meet us, 
and bless us. The enemy would fain keep us from them, or make 
them burdensome ; and he has too often prevailed. Should not 
experience make us wise ? Has it not always been best with us 
when we have been most diligent in prayer, most attentive to the 
Scriptures, and most disengaged from the world and from trifling 
company ? Have we not found a vanity in every thing but reli- 
gion, especially when trouble has stared us in the face, or when 
i)ain or sickness have taken hold of us ? Why, then, should we be 
boled and deceived any more ? Let us return to the Lord ; there 
is forgiveness with him for the past, supplies suited to every need. 
None that come to him shall be cast out ; none that rest on him 
shall be overthrown ; none that love and serve him shall be un* 
i:ewarded. 



1759. 



Loughborough, Januarjf 3. 

I HOPE this will come in time, either to prevent or relieve your 

uneasiness on my account. Whatever you have suffered, or may 

suffer, for me, you shall be made amends, so ?ar as gratitude will 

pass for payment, and so far as the study of my life can promote 

irour satisfaction. If you have had fears for me, they were need- 
ess. ' And I hope you will in time learn to trust me, and all your 
ct;mcerns, to God, who careth for us. I left London on Saturday 



WHILE KSSIDBNT AT IIVBRPOOL. 149 

about ten, but soon found I had a very indifferent horse* I have 
been obliged to travel his pace, for he positively refuses to travel 
mine : and though I tell him how impatient I am to see my dear 
M***, he will not move one foot the faster. When 1 came to 
Bamet, I demurred about the road ; at length I turned to the right, 
not knowing when I mi^ht have so good an opportunity of seeing 
the persons I mentioned m my last. 

I put up at Welling, sent a note to Dr. Young, and received for 
answer, that he j9ou\d be glad to see me. I spent an hour with 
him. His conversation was agreeable, and much answerable to 
what I expected from the author of the Night Thoughts. He 
seemed likewise pleased with me. It would have surprised you to 
hear how I let my ton^e run before this great man. He appro- 
ved my design of entenng the ministry, and said many encoura- 
ging things upon the subject ; and, when he dismissed me, desired 
that I would never pass near his house without calling upon him. 

I spent Sunday at Everton, and am glad I went, though it will 
cost me two days more absence from you. The first five miles 
from thence into the York road, were, I think, the worst I had ever 
rid or seen. I was sometimes in fear for myself, but more fre- 
quently for my poor horse, lest I must have left him sticking in the 
clay, as a memorandum of my having passed that way. When I 
put up at night, I found I had come about six miles beyond the 
place where I should have turned off. It was a poor day's jour- 
ney, but eighteen miles in all, and six of them out of the way. On 
Tuesday I was advised to keep on sixteen miles further, and I 
should find a turnpike road to Leicester. If I had missed this 
turning likewise, I should have missed some trouble and trepi- 
dation. I had thirty-three miles cross road to go, and found 
much of it a cross road indeed. Though the worst pieces of it, 
if taken together, were not above ten miles, I would rather go a 
hundred miles round, than travel it again. I am still a hundred 
miles from you, but I have no more kind friends, nor cross roads, 
to detain me. Thank the Lord for preserving me in health and 
safety. My horse is recovered from his fright, and seems in bet- 
ter order than when I left London. I am likely to jog on by my- 
self ; for if any persons were going my way, they would hardly 
have patience to wait my horse^s motions, nor Would he mend his 
pace to please any body. But I trust I am not alone, nor do I 
often feel a want of any company but yours. Continue to pray 
for me- I trust we shall live to see the hand of God over-ruling 
every thing for our benefit ; and that every separation, inconven- 
ience, or expense, occasioned by a desire of promoting his glory, 
shall be well made up to us in the best time. 



150 LCTTC&8 TO A Win^ 



BknslHt, Mmf IT. 
1 CANNOT tell you how often your dear name has been in my 
mouth since I left you, nor how earnestly and firequently I com- 
mend you to the Lord's blessing. May he teach us to improve 
these short, occasional separations. When I am absent from you, 
I most sensibly feel how dear you are to me ; and what a heavy 
trial I should have, if God was to take you wholly from me. I 
ought to believe that He will enable me to bear whatever he may 
appoint, because such is his promise ; but at present it seems that a 
blow so near to my heart would be long and deeply felt, in every 
other circumstance of life, and that I should find pleasure in no- 
thing but in bemoaning my loss. I doubt not but you have simi^ 
lar thoughts, upon the supposition of my being removed* May 
We therefore learn, in the first place, to be thankful that we have 
been so often restored, and so long preserved, to each other ; and, 
that our afiection is still n^aintained inviolable and increasing ; 
and, secondly, to be watchful and cautious, that we do not, by our 
idolatry or ingratitude, render it necessary for the Lord, even in 
mercy, to wound us in the most sensible part, and to punish either 
of us in the person of the other. 



1760. 



London^ July 4. 
You did not bid me write, because, I suppose, you hardly 
thought I could refrain, for so many tedious days, from giving my 
mind a litde vent. How often have I told you, that whatever 
pleasure or amusement I may find in the company of friends, yet 
there is a peculiar something, that shares in, and gives an inex- 
pressible cast to, every motion of my mind, when yon are absent ? 
A man deprived of his right hand, may go about his business with 
the same spirit and alacrity as in time past ; yet every thing he 
undertakes will necessarily remind and convince him of his loss. 
This, or something like it, I may have hinted a thousand times ; 
but as I write and speak from my heart, the thought occurs as 
readily to me ^s at the first, and I cannot easily avoid repeating it. 
1 am afraid of idolatry ; I am afraid we have been, and still are, 
too guilty of the charge ; and the Lord, to whom alone we be- 
long, and to whom all our services and affections are primarily 
due, might justly, very justly, blast our boasted paradise< Yet 
we owe it to him that our souls are susceptive of tender and gene- 
rous feelings. He formed us for each other, and his good provi- 
dence brought us together. It is no wonder, if so many years, so 



WHIL£ UttlDSNT AT trTBBPOOL. 151 

ttaoy tndeanMiits, so maaj obligations, hare prodvccd an un- 
oommoa effect ; and that, by long habit, it is become almost im- 
possible for me to draw a tureath in which you are not eoncerned 
If this mutual affection leads us to the Fountain from whence our 
Ueesings £k>w, and if we can regard each other, and every thing 
about ua, with a reference to that eternity to which we are hasting, 
then we are happy indeed. Theanot even death (the dread of 
mortals, espeeially of those who live in the possession of their 
wishes) can peatly harm us. Death itself can only part us for a 
little pace, as Uie pier of a hridse divides the stream for a few mo* 
ments, but cannot make a reed separation. The friendly waters 
soon nix again, and, with one force and consent, press forward to 
the ocean. 

Were it not for the auppoK of believing that there is a brighter 
and a longer day beyond the grave, I should sink down in despair, 
and starve, if I may use a viugar saying, in the midst of plenty. 
For Ihou^k 1 have known too much^ not to smile at the cold disci- 
pi€s {if there are any such) of Platonic love ; yet, methioks, a re-r 
gard like ours is designed to flourish in a better workl than this, 
and can never appear displayed to its full extent and advantage, 
until transplanted into those renons of light and joy, where all that 
is imperfoct and transient shaH be no more known. Here, then, 
ia the ti^ue plan of happiness for us ; to consider that God, who 
made us, made us immortals ; and appointed us to spend so many 
years in the most interesting connexion, not only to sweeten the 
cares of life, and to render uur path through this wilderness more 
easy, but chiefly that we mieht be helpful in animating each other, 
in our progress to that kingaom and crown which is incorruptible 
and undemed ; a kingdom to which we are called by Him who 
died once, to give us right, and now lives for ever, to give us 
entrancew 



Liverpool, August 6. 

It is almost noon, and no letter. I begin to fear I shall not 
have one by this post \ and I know not the time when a letter 
|pom you would have been more welcome, or more necessary. I 
oan but poorly bear your absence at any time, but I seem to need 
you now more than ever. I feel much suspense and anxiety about 
our bte proposed movements ; and I have no one to whom I can 
unbosom myself; or, if I had a thousand friends, they would sig- 
nify little without you. 1 am ashamed and grieved to think how 
iricsome 1 find it to be here alone. 

Now I am well again : a great lop at the door, and a letter 
fror /<'>m€bo^y, has quite c«^ mo. But as a few days of vaf 



%52 LBTTBRS TO A WIFK, 

leave of absence are yet unexpired, and the collector (to whom 1 
told a sad story, what a poor disconsolate thing I am,) has added 
six more to them, I think to take a jo\!imey into Yorkshire, and to 
meet you in good time at Manchester* I am told the coach per- 
forms in two days, which I am afraid will be fetiguing to you ; 
but if I get hold of you aeain, you shall not want for good nursing. 
I am glad you ventured to London by water ; for 1 wish you to 
strive against, and conquer, vain fears. The only way of doing 
this effectually, is by placing Our hopes and fears where alone they 
are due. Let us pray for grace to fear the Lord, and his good- 
ness, and then we need not be afraid though the earth be moved, 
and the mountains cast into the midst of the sea. Many a prayer 
I have put up for you since I saw you. I hope the Lord will an- 
swer us for ourselves and each other. I hope you will not be 
wanting to pray for yourself. Prayer is the great secret which 

F'ves the true relish to life. When I can pray with some liberty, 
find all goes on well ; when I cannot, I have no real pleasure in 
any thing. I believe I should not have begun my letter in so com- 
plaining a strain, if I was not much out of feime tor prayer. Draw 
nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you, is a maxim that we 
ought always to regard. To-morrow I set off for Yorkshire. But 
how gladlv would I give up the pleasure of visiting my friends 
there, to fly by the shortest rpaa to you, that I might tell you by 
word of mouth, if I was able, how much I am 

Yours, &c. 



1762. 



Liverpool^ June 14. 

You will, perhaps, wonder that I choose the formality of wri- 
ting, when we have so many happy opportunities of exchanging 
hearts by discourse. But in this way 1 can collect my thoughts, 
and present them to you in one view. And you can likewise pe- 
ruse and reconsider them at your leisure. Therefore, without 
further apolo^ or preamble, I proceed to the point. 

Though it is not necessary, it always eives me pleasure, to re- 
peat how truly I love you, how much my bappiness depends upon 
you, and that 1 never taste pleasure more sincerely myself, than 
when 1 am instrumental to the promoting of yours. And that, on 
the contrary, I* account it among my most painful trials if, either 
through inadvertence or necessity, I occasion you any uneasiness. 
I assume no merit from being able to say this. It amounts to no 
more than that I know when I am well. Besides, it is a just debt, 
in which I staad bound for the innumerable obhgations your 



WHILS ILESIDENT AT LIVERPOOL. 153 

affection daily increases upon me. I sboald be blind not to per- 
ceive, and ungrateful if I did not acknowledge, that you are not 
behind-hand with me in your inclination ; and from the turn of 
our circumstances, you have had fairer opportunities of showing 
what sacrifices you can make for my repose, especially within 
these last three years. 

And still, it seems, the advantage is, and will be, on your side* 
I am still striving to decline the thoughts of an undertaking which, 
though otherwise I should think agreeable, has this momentous 
difficulty attending it, that it has not your full concurrence and ap- 
probation. If I thought myself in the path of doty, and had yoii 
on my side, roethinksall trials would be comparatively light ; but 
when duty seems to call one way, and my regard for your peace 
seems to plead powerfully for another, how can 1 but be greatly 
perplexed? 

Not but that I am well assured. If I told you I was at such a 
pinch that I could see no medium between grieving you, and act- 
ing against the light of my own mind, you would comply with 
any proposal I could make ; and would rather suffer in silence, 
than see me at continual variance with myself. But such a con« 
sent would not satisfy me. The more you constrained yourself 
for me, so much the more should I be pained for you ; and thus, 
by our sensibility, we should give each other greater trouble, in 
proportion as we endeavoured to avoid it. 

I hope, therefore, that I write this in a happy hour, and that 
the Lord, who has power over all hearts (to whom we owe our 
all, and especially our mutual love) will accompany it with his 
blessing, that I may not merely extort your consent, but obtain 
your full concurrence and approbation to my design. I much 
desire to enlarge my little attempts in the way of preaching, or ex- 
pounding (call it what you please) in Liverpool. The wish of 
many here, the advice of many absent, and my own judgment (I 
had almost said ray conscience) are united on one side ; which I 
Ihbk would preponderate against Mr. B**^'s single sentiment, if 
your fears did not add weight to his scale. 

The late death of Mr. Jones, of St. Saviour's, has pressed thi§ 
concern more closely upon my mind. I fear it must be wrong, 
after having so solemnly devoted myself to the Lord for his ser- 
vice, to wear away my time and bury my talents in silence (be- 
cause I have been refused orders in the church) after all the great 
things that he has done for me. And should he throw me upon 
a sick bed, or visit you for my sake, I believe the sense of my 
cowardice and indolence, in this business, would greatly aggraf 
vate my distress. 

Vou IV. ^0 



154 L&TTEBS TO ▲ WIVE. 

. I thipk tb^re are but 4wo possible objections against my par* 
pose. The first is; that I should probably draw upon myself 
some of that scorn or opposition which, in a greater or less de- 

S'ee, is the usual portion of-tfaose who determine to be faithful, 
ut even if this was a weighty something, though indeed it is 
quite light when compared with the blessings promised to those 
who suffer for the troth, it is some encouragement to find, that af- 
ter it has been publicly known, for more than a twelvemonth, 
^t several of my friends frequent my house on a Sunday even- 
ing, 1 have not had the least disturbance near home, nor been 
treated with the least disrespect or ridicule abroad, upon that ac- 
eoMut. And if I procured a larger placid to ipesk in, I might still 
goon as quietly. However, I am willing to venture. 

The other objection, being started by prudence, ought to be 
attended to. But I think that if I chose such times only as would 
not interfere with my buVmesf, 1 should run no hazard of losing 
my place. And this is the opinion of my immediate superiors in 
office, whom I have consulted upon the point. Nay, I. know not 
but the diminutions I have found in my emoluments may be owing 
to my hesitation. If I serve the Lord heartily, be will be answer- 
able for consequences ; but if I continne to serve him by halves, 
^d to rebel against the conviction of my mind, will it be any 
wonder that when I look for much, it should come to little ? 

Yon know that I am not wholly incompetent, either as to know* 
ledge or expression. Shall I flatter your regard for me by hint- 
ing, that perhaps a step of this kind may, in a Kttle time, gain me 
more respect and estimation than I have yet known ? But, I hope, 
we both wish to be governed by a nobler motive. It will be of 
little moment what the people of the world once thought of me, 
when they and we shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ I 

You justly complain of dull Sabbaths. Let us then embrace 
tl^e grst favourable opportunity of aiming at what may more en- 
liven them. You love to hear me speak, upon all occasions. And 
I think yon have sometimes heard me with pleasure as a preacher. 
And you know not what blessings may yet be reserved for you. 
Perhaps the Lord may send you the greatest favours by the hand 
^f himy from whom you are kind enough to accept the smallest 
trifle with complacence. 

After all, as 1 have already said, I cannot be content with for- 
cing yoor bare acquiescence. I beg, therefore, you will think it 
eiVer frequently, and entreat the Lord to direct us both. ^ Per- 
bif s, before long, it may seem to deserve your approbation. To 
hear yon say so, would make me quite another person. For, 



WHILE BfeSlDEKt AT LlTfiliPOOL. ISS 

while I remain in this suspense, I feel, at times, a burden which i 
can hardly bear, and cannot possibly shake off.* 

May the Lord bless, gaide, and guard you, and abundantly re- 
ward yon for all your affection and kindness to 

Tours, Sue. 



1764. 



London^ April 5. 
Tour poor husband has need of your prayers, that he may not 
forget himself amidst the many caresses he meets with. I hope I 
shall not, but my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked ; and 
I can already see how prosperity blinds and hurts even persons of 
good sense and much experience. I cannot but be pleased to find 
so many gracious people in the higher scale of life. But I hope 
I could take as much pleasure in conversing with the p6dr of the 
flock. 1 think I could be happy at Olney, if thft Lord made mt 
nseful to the people there, though neither they nor I should be 
spoken of beyond the bounds of the parish. I am glad yott ate 
pleased with the prospect ; for no earthly contid^ratiotr tUri iitt}* 
mate me so much, as to have our hearts and deslrefi united hi this 
point, as they are in every thing ^Ise. What a blessing do I pos- 
sess in our undivided, unabMed affection. Sfoy the htiA tMk^ty 
it, as a mean to lead us both more closely td himftelf. We are tetd- 
jiaratively happy now ; but we shall n6t be completely so, till #e 
arrive in the better world of perfect peace and purity. My heart 
rejoices at the thought, of meeting you s6on at Liverpool ; but 

* The ihHtteoctt of my jvdtcioiw and tflectionme oovnellor aodefalfld the teal whreh 
ilictated the preceding letter, and kept me quiet, till the Lord*t tame came when I ihoald 
have the deeire of my heart. Had it act been for her, I shoold, perhaps, have pr^ctadrid 
fluyaelf from iboae important tatnet of serviea to which h^e was pleaaed |d apfjoiat me. 
Bet die exerciset of my mind upon this head, I believe, have not been pteuliar to nyaelf. 
i have known aeveral persons* sensible, pious, of competent abilities, cordially attasbed to 
Che eatablifihed ehiireh, who, being wearied oat by repeated refosabi of ordinaiion, and# 
perhaps, not having the advaataie of such an adviser as I had, have al len^ struck into 
the ittnerating path, or settled among the dissenters. Soma of these, yet hf in^, are aa^ 
of remeiable characters, and useful in their miaistiy. But their influence, whieh wouVi 
once have been serviceable to the true interests of tne church of England, now rather op- 
eratss against it. 1 was long in a trying situation,- thinking myself bound in eanaci^nee, 
upon groonds which, 1 believe, would have stood the test of candid examinatiod, c^ukl I 
Jiave obtained a hearing ; and yet refused admission, by two archbishops and one bishop, 
into that line of service which had my decided preferenee. This was one of the reason»l 
lave to praise God for the partner He mercifully allotted me. She waa useful to me 
through life, but perhaps in no one instance more essentially so, than in the pradeni use 
ehe made of my afleeUon to her, and of hers to me« 4i this period. I believe no aiKuineaia 
bet hers could have rastrained me for almost two years, from taking a rash step, of which I 
»honM, perhaps, have aoon repented, and which would have led me far wide of the hoft- 
oer and dottM I have since been favoured with. The KionTatla^ ia Tike the Uihe of 
tide^ which no hontu power esn eiOrer-aet^rtte wxetard. Thvii^ it tmy, wait for \u 






156 LETTERS TO A WIFE. 

what will that be to the joy when we shall stand together before 
the throne of glory, free from every imperfection and trial ; when 
we shall see Jesus as he is, be fully conformed to his image, and 
join in singing bis praises for ever. With what complsusance 
shall I then consider you as the instrument the Lord prepared te 
preserve me from ruin f And how will you praise him for our 
union, if he is pleased to make me, in any measure, Useful to pro- 
mote your faith and hope ! 

I cannot, as yet, judge how my affairs will terminate. If it 
please the Lord, if it be\he right place and the right time, I shall 
succeed. But I would have you prepared for what we call a dis- 
appointment. But disappointments are neither more nor less than 
providential intimations of the will of God. 



JLomifon, ^pril 12. 

I WAS with the bishop of Lincoln this morning, and he has fixed 
on Monday next for my examination. If I get safe through that 
scene, 1 suppose my ordination will soon follow. He received 
me with great civility and candour. The beginning of my inter- 
view with the bishop of Chester was not so pleasing. I suspect 
that some person or persons at Liverpool had written to him, and 
not in my favour. Great men not being able to see every where 
with their own eyes, must depend upon information, and are liable 
to be imposed upon by misrepresentation. He said, that before 
he could authenticate my testimonials, he must ask roe some ques- 
tions. But when I showed him Lord D***'s letter, a full stop 
was put to all inquiries but what were agreeable. He became ve- 
ry sociable ; kept me in chit-chat near an hour i and, when I took 
my leave, he wished me much success. I shall be glad to have 
this business fairly finished. My mind has been gready unsettied. 
Much company, and frequent changes, do not well suit me. 
Friends smile and favour roe on all sides ; but creature-regards 
affect me too strongly, and I feel a degree^of dearth in the midst 
of plenty. I hope I shall be better when we return to our old 
uniform way of life, so far as the expected change will admit of 
uniformity. I have been more familiar with the higher sort of 
life of late than formerly, and see it in its greatest advantage and 
beauty. But stiil my heart is at home ; and I am fully convinc- 
ed, that no assemblage of earthly things could make me more 
happy than I have been, and hope to be again, in the moderate 
situation to which we have been accustomed. 

I (desire to praise God for the progress of your recovery ; and 
begm now to think seriously of our removal. How will you be 



WHILC aSSIDSlIT AT UVEBPOOI*. l§f 

able to travely so soon after your loog illness and confiiieiDeDt ? 
Bat why do I look so far beforehaod f Will oot He, who has 
done so much for us, do what is still needful i I must break off% 
May the Lord bless and comfort you. 



London^ April 16. 

Just in the apparent moment of success, new difficulties occur- 
red, whicli seemed to threaten a total overthrow to my business. 
So the poor sailor is sometimes alarmed with the apprehension of 
shipwreck, when his port is in view. But, as I trust all difficult 
ties are now obviated, through the kind interference of Lord 
D****, to whom I have occasioned too much trouble, I shall say 
no more of them. 

I waited on the bishop of Lincoln this morning, and have rea- 
son to revere him for his candour and tenderness. The examina- 
tion lasted about an hour, ohiefly upon the principal heads of di- 
vinity. As I was resolved not be charged hereafter with dissimu^ 
lation, I was constrained to dissent from his lordship in some 
points. But he was not offended ; he declared himself satisfied, 
and has promised to ordain me, either next Sunday, in town, or 
the Sunday following, at Buckden. Let us praise the Lord ! 



London^ April 30. 
What thanks do I owe to the Lord, for all his goodness to me ! 
He made me willing to resign all, and to enter upon a very ob* 
scure and limited service, for the sake of his Gospel ; but when it 
came to the point, he mercifully interposed to prevent it. I as- 
cribe it to bis goodness, that my application to the archbishop, six 
years ago, did not succeed. There is now a probability of my 
being comfortably fixed, in a more agreeable connexion. May 
he keep me humble and dependent, and all will be well. But I 
see some striking and unexpected instances of the great danger to 
which the countenance and friendship of persons of distinction 
may expose a minister. We are poor, weak, inconsistent crea- 
tures, if left but a little to ourselves. My next acknowledgments 
are due to Lord D***^. He has greatly interested himself in 
my behalf. Considering his rank and some other circumstances/ 
I might wonder that he should submit to take so much trouble, 
did I not observe, from other instances, that he thinks not of him- 
self, where there is any probability that his influence can procure 
benefit to others. 



158 LETTERS TO A WIFliy 

As I have a little liesure, I must fill up the paper ; but how 7 I 
can repeat that I love you, that I continually offer up praycfs and 
thanks on your behalf. I can tell you again, as I have told you a 
thousand times that your dear person, your affection, and all its 
interesting proofs and pledges are'deeply engraven on my heart* 
Oh.! what do I, what do we both, owe to the God of our lives ! 
Shall not the mercies we possess in each other, though great and 
valuable in themselves, be much more so in their effects ! Shall they 
not lead us higher, and prove as steps by which we may rise to a 
still greater happiness ! Yes, I trust so. When I look back with 
Wonder to see how the Lord has led us thus fkr, by a way which 
we knew not, I am encouraged to hope that the end will crown the 
whole. How gracious has he been to me, in preserving me from 
innumerable inconveniences into which 1 have been ready to 
plunge myself; and in giving me so many advantages and friends! 
How gracious has he been to you, in visiting you seasonably, yet 
gently, from time to time ; in mitigating your illness ; preserving 
and composing you during my absence ; in permitting you again 
to ^o abroad ! And now, 1 hope, you have a change of situation 
before you, which will prove to your comfort in eveiy respect. 
It is true, as you observe, if we remove to OIney, we shall not be 
wholly without trials. They are inseparable from this mortal 
state, and they are necessary to discipline us, and to keep us from 
wandering. Let us, therefore, guard against resting in the crea- 
ture. Let us pray for submission to the will of God, and that we 
may welcome every ;cvent, from a sense of his hand being con- 
cerned in it, and a. persuasion, (which his promises warrant^ that 
some way or other, all shall conduce to our final advantage* 



Buckdcfiy April 28. 

I HAVE waited upon the bishop this afternoon ; have gone 
through all the previous forms, and am to be ordained, (if the 
Lord please,) at eleven to-morrow. 

I hope the repeated intimations I have given you concerning 
this long-expected to-morrow, have been in time to engage you in 
earnest prayer for me. I now almost stagger at the prospect be- 
fore me. My heart is, in some measure, though I dare not say 
suitably, affected. I am to stand in a very public point of view, to 
take the charge of a large parish, to answer the incessant demands 
of stated and occasional services, to preach what I ought, and to 
be what I preach. Oh ! what zeal, faith, patience, watchfulness, 
and courage, will be needful for my support and guidance ! My 
only hope is in the name ancl power of Jesus. May that precious 
name be as ointment poured forth to your soul and mine ! May 
that power be triumphantly manifested in oujs weakness ! 



WHILK RESipitNT AT OLNEY. 159 

I purpose now to cross the country to Oiney, just to peep at the 
place and people, and to take the Liverpool coach at Stony-Strat- 
ford. If fvo, we may meet on Thursday. My heart jumps at the 
thought. But the Lord's time will be the best. 



Buckderij June 14. 

I CAME hither in safely, about eleven this morning. I have 
been twice at prayers at the chapel. The bishop received me 
very kindly. Whether I have a second examination to go through 
or not, I cannot yet tell* 

I understand I cannot be dismissed very soon on Monday ; so 
that it will probably be tea-time before 1 am with you. I think 
you will trust me not to make any unnecessary delay. You know 
where 1 left my heart, and that, even if I was in a much more ' 
agreeable situation than at present, I would break through all for 
your sake, and prefer the little vicarage of Obey with you in it, to 
the palaces of kings without you. 

I meet here with many candidates for orders, but I know not 
that there is one of my own turn. However, they are all very 
civil ; and I. endeavour to accommodate myself to them, as far a^ 
duty and conscience will permit. 

I pray the Lord to fill your heart with his love. Then you will 
bear my absence as easily as we can brook the want of a candle 
when the sun shines in his noon-day strength. Pray for me, and 
for yourself. And remember that, amidst the many things which 
require a degree of our attention, one thine is more especially 
needful. I commend you to his grace and blessing. 



Olnet/y July 12. 

Your letter (as yoU will believe) was very welcome. 1 desire 
to be thankful for your safe journey. I set off the moment the 
coach was out of sight, and bad a pleasant walk home. As I was 
passing through Emberton, an old woman came after mc, and in- 
vited me to her cottage. Five or six more women soon joined us.. 
We talked, sung a hymn, and I prayed. I thought it a good bait- 
ing place by the way. 

I am well, and as comfortably settled as 1 can desire, during 
your absence. I feel the want of your company, but hope to bear 
It without anxiety. I cannot wish to love you less ; I hope it is 
impossible. But I wish, for us both, that our regard may be 
sanctified, and kept in due subordination. While I rejoice, that 
we are so happily sensible of what we owe to each other, 1 have 



160 LETTEES TO A WIFE, 

cause to mourn that our love to him should be so faint and dispro- 
portionate. His love to us passes knowledge. He loved us, 
when we were enemies, with a love expensive and interesting, be- 
yond expression ; a love that exposed him to ignominy and torture, 
that cost him his blood and his life ; a love that makes over to 
those who believe in him, all the riches of grace and glory. 

You need not propose Mr. T****'s case to me as caution. 
Our situations and constitutions are different. However, I shall 
try to be prudent and careful. But our times are in the Lord's 
hands. He who preserved me at Liverpool, will preserve me at 
Olney, so lone as he has service for me to do. Beyond this, I 
have no great desire to live, unless upon your account. And, I 
trust, he will spare me while it is neeaful, and good for you. If 
we have an eternity to spend together in his praise, it is no great 
matter who is removed first, or how soon. All our tears will be 
then wiped away. 

All our friends here seem to vie in civility ; and those who are 
not friends are kept quiet. I hope not to provoke them by any 
part of my behaviour ; but if they will be offended with me for 
speaking the truth, I cannot help it. As to provision, I am quite 
easy about it. The Lord, who brought me from Africa, where I 
was destitute of every thing ;^^ho has given you to me, and dealt 
so bountifully with us hitherto, will not suffer us to want any real 
eood, now he has so visibly displayed his power and providence 
in placing me here. 



Olnejfj July 14. 

I OBSERVE what you say about Hempstead. It seems a situa- 
tion in some respects desirable, and, was 1 only to consult my 
affection for you, I should wish to see you in more agreeable cir- 
cumstances than I can expect to procure you here. But we have 
striking examples, to remtnd us of the danger of choosing for our- 
selves, and being dazzled by great prospects. I am weU convin- 
ced that the Lord brought us hither ; and without as clear an inti- 
mation of his will, I hope I shall not indulge a wish for a removal. 
The people love me ; express a warm desire for my continuance ; 
our assemblies are crowded, and I hope the Lord makes my 
preaching useful. While things bear this pleasing appearance, I 
should not only be ungrateful to the Lord and my friends, but 
blind to mv own comfort, if 1 listened to a new offer. 

My health continues good, and I can hardly form a wish but for 
you. But when, which is very often, I think of the distance be- 
tween us, I give a little sigh, and long to see you. I pray many 
times in a day for your peace and establishment in grace *, and I 



WHILE RCSiraVT AT OLNfcT. 161 

• 

Itjoice in the hope that God is gently dravdng you to himself, by 

the altcntate inducements of light afflictions, and weighty com- 
forts and favours. Let this be your encouragement and mine, 
that no one ever sought him (in the way of his own appointment) 
in vain. Though he may seem to delay, he will surely come, and 
overpay our expectation. For myself, I have been brought, al- 
most imperceptibly, thus far. When I think how cold, dull, and 
heartless I have been ; how often 1 have wandered, how often tri- 
lled upon the brink of temptation ; when I consider what power- 
ful, vigilant, and subde enemies are combined aeainst me, and how 
many professors have fallen on my right hand and my left, 1 am 
amazed at the greatness of his mercy in preserving me. I am a 
living witness that there is forgiveness with him ; and that he is 
able to save to the uttermost. 



Oiney, July 21. 

The account you give me of the gentleman who dined with you, 
is very affecting- Every loss is gain that is over-ruled to bring 
the soul home to God. But the Lord hath dealt still more fa- 
vourably with us. How often have we deserved to be separated ! 
Yet we are spared to each other. May our lives praise nim, and 
may we be freed from idolatry ! To love each other, and dearly 
too, is no sin ; nay, it is our duty. But he will not suffer a crea- 
ture to usurp his place in the heart. The time of our ignoijince, he 
mercifully winked at ; but now he has shown us what is right, it 
behooves us to be upon our guard. Oh ! that he may so display 
the power of his grace, that the bonds and shackles which detain 
our souls might be broken ! He can, he will do it, if we wait and 
pray. 

I now can judge by my own feelings, how much you must have 
suffered during my long stay in London, especially sick and con- 
fined as you were, and anxious for the event of my journey. I 
never pitied you, ajs I ought, till now. For though I likewise 
longed every day and every hour to see you, I had many things 
to divert my attention, and alleviate the feelings of absence. But 
at present, 1 am as you were then, at home and alone. But as I 
know, let Who will have your company, I have your heart, I can 
make a good shift for a time. 

How are brother and sister C**** ? Do thev love like us ? 
No, they cannot yet. For love at first is a child, and grows 
stronger by age. I wish them happy ; more happy than this 
world can make them. 

Vol- IV. 21 



163 LETTERS TO A WIFE, 

I FEEL your head*ache at this distance. Your frequent indispo- 
ftitions are hot pleasant ; but 1 trust they are mercies, for which 
we have reason to be thankful*. Our comforts and crosses are all 
from the same hapd. We have chastisement, only because we 
jQ^ed it. I aim to leave you in the Lord's hands. Should we not 
forget ourselves, if he did not seasonably remind us what, and 
where wo are ? In the case of some of your dear friends, for 
whom you grieve, you may see how, in all probability, it would 
have been with you, if his eye of love had not been fixed upon you 
from your birth. He prepared his dispensations, to withdraw you 
gradually from that life of vanity and dissipation to which you 
might otherwise have been enslaved all your days. And he has 
been gently dealing with your heart for several years past ; lead- 
ing you, if slowly, yet I hope surely*, nearer to himself. How 
much of his ways, how many of his people, has he shown you ! 
and he has given you a heart to love them, and reconciled you 
to things to which you were once as litde inclined as those whom 
you now pity. 

If I consider the endearing union he has cemented between us, 
with all its effects, only in a temporal view, I prefer it to all the 
treasures, pleasures, and honours, this world can afford ; so that 
I would not exchange the joy I feel in the thought that you aro 
mine, to be monarch of the whole earth. B(}t, surely, it is much 
more valuable, considered as the mean by which the Lord design- 
ed to ufite us both to himself. 



1766. 



Olneifj September 12. 
i PRAT God to bless to you the ordinances and conversation you 
Rre favoured with in London, that you may go into Kent filled 
with the spirit of truth and love. When you are there, I hope 
you will make good use of the Bible, and throne of grace, to pre- 
serve you from being infected by the spirit of the world. Ah, 
jc. wKat a poor, vain thing is the world ! We have both found it so at 

time]»,^ though we once loved it,) and shall find it so again. But 
'5; may the Lord keep us alive to a sense of its vanity, before more 

'f. evil days return to extort the confession from our feelings ! Sick- 

fi' ness and pain, and a near prospect of death, force upon the mind 

\ a conviction of the litdeness and vanity of a worldly life. But 

* there is a more pleasing way of learning this lesson, if we pay due 

attention to the word of God, and pray lor the light of his counte- 
nance. If he is pleased to make his face to shine upon us, all 



WHILE BfiSlDBMT AT OLNBT. ISS 

that the world can offer to bribe os, will appear iasignificaiit and 
trivial as the sports of cbildren* 

He who has given us this desire, will, I trust, answer it, and 
unite our souls to himself for ever ! Happy state i To have 
peace with God, by Jesus Christ; liberty of access at a throne 
of grace ; an interest in all the promises ; a sure guide by the 
way ; and a sure inheritance at our journey's end ! These things 
were once hidden from us. We were so blinded by the God of this 
world, that we could look no further than the present }ife. But, 
even then the Lord looked upon us with an eye of mercy. He led 
us on, gradually, by a way which we knew not, to bring us into 
the paths of peace. How wonderful has our history been, not 
mine only, but also yours! How often has be. made himself 
known as your Deliverer and Physician, in raising you up from 
the gates of the grave ! May we always remember his goodness 
in your last affliction. How did he sweeten the bitter cup ; 
strengthen you with strength in your soul ; enable you to pray 
for yourself, engage the hearts of many in prayer for you, and 
cben speedily answer our prayers. Let us then excite each other 
to praise him ! I hope this little interval of absence will be useful, 
to make me more sensible of his goodness in still sparing you to 
me. I make but a poor shift without you now from day to day } 
but I am comforted by the hope of seeing you again shortly. 
Had you been removed by your late fever, 1 should not nav% had 
this relief ! May we then live to him, and maj every day be a 
preparation for the parting hour. Dark as thi Aiour seems in the 
prospect, if we are established in the faith and^^ope of our Lord, 
we shall find it supportable ; and the separation will be short. 
We shall soon meet again, happy meeting ! to part no more ! to 
be forever with the Lord ; to join in an eternal song to him who 
loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood! Then aU 
tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and we shall weep no more 
forever. 



Olney, September 26* 
1 WAS with you in spirit this evening, at the Lock, and prayed 
that the Lord would give a blessing to what you might hear. To 
love and trust tlie Lord Jesus, is the great lesson we have to 
learn. We are slow scholars, but he can teach us effectually. 
Without him, the very best o{ this life is insipid, and his presence 
can make the worst supportable. I often think, and hope, you do 
not forget how graciously he supported and answered you, in 
your late distress. There was a something that could, and did, 



164 LETTBBS TO A WW», 

bear you up under pain and anguish, and refresh your spirits 
when your bodily strength vas almost worn out. This is an in- 
stance of what he can do ; ai\d should be a bond of gratitude up* 
on both our souls. Your health is restored, and mine is preserved. 
May we devote our whole selves to him. He has great things to 
bestow ; and if we feel our need of his mercy, we arc properly 
qualified to receive it. We are not called to buy, but to beg ; to 
receive, without money and without price. By believing, aH 
becomes freely and surely our own ; not on the account of our 
prayers, but of his promise, blood, and mediation. And all he re- 
quires of us is, to be humble and thankful ; and the more he gives 
us, to desire still the more. Oh, my dearest M***, I bless his 
name for bringing us together, and for sparing us to have some 
knowledge and communion in these great things ! How many 
that were joined about the same time with us, or since, have been 
separated by death ! How many are living in mutual disgust ! 
And how many, who seem happy, are, in reality, miserable, be- 
cause they know nothing of the Lord, and of his goodness ! 



OZttcy, October 8. 
I BEgiN to count the hours to Friday. I am very desirous, 
tbou|^ not anxious, ito see you. The Lord has been good to me 
in your absence : the time has not seemed tedious, and all things 
at home and abrftd, as well as I could wish. I begin to write 
to-night, becauseit have devoted to-morrow to.be spent with as 
little interruption as possible, as a day of prayer, to entreat him 
to give us a happy and sanctified meeting, and that our future lives 
my be devoted to him. How great are our obligations for uniting 
us at first ; for restoring us so often ; or raising you up from so 
many illnesses ; for preserving our afiection ; for over-ruling our 
concerns ; for providing us friends ; and, especially, for direct- 
ing our hearts to seek his face. And still he is loading us with 
his benefits. Though we have not been without our trials, yet, 
all things considered, who has passed more gently through life 
thus far f And witli whom, upon the face of the- earth, could we 
be now content to change ? But with nothing has my heart been 
more affected, than with his goodness in and since your late ill- 
ness. I am persuaded something passed then, that has left a rel- 
ish and effect upon your mind ever since. Is it not so ? Are 
you not determined to be his ? Next to the salvation of my own 
soul, I have had no desire so often in my heart, so often in my 
lips, as to see you wholly given up to him f And, I trust, he has 
been answering my prayers, my many thousand prayers, from 



WHILS EB9IDENT AT OLMST. 13$ 

year to year. What a banble, in my eye, would the possession 
of the whole earth be, in comparison with our being fellow-heirs 
of the hope of eternal life. 

I purpose to be in time to receive you at Newport. Perhaps 
I may wait at Mr. R****'s, as be lives opposite to the ion gate. 
But when I hear the sound of the coach, 1 shall take my leave 
with very little ceremony. You never were more welcome to me 
in your whole life, than you will be this time. 



1768. 



Olney, April 5. 

I HOPE thj^ will be the more welcome for being unexpected. 
May it find*you in health and peace, panting after communion 
with God. 

I think of you all day ; and though I do not seem quite so 
much at a loss when you are from me as I have sometimes for- 
merly been, I am sure it is not because I love you less. The 
Lord has given us a sufficiency of mutual affection, which has 
been strengthened by a long series of endearments and kind offi- 
ces, and by a near participation in the comforts and trials' of life. 
And now it should be our great concern and prayer, that our love 
may not be inordinate, or irregular ; nor interfere with what we 
owe to the great Lover of our souls. The apostle's question, 
*' Was Paul crucified for you ?" suggests a thought which dis- 
parages all creature-regard, as the splendour of the noon-day sun 
overpowers the twinkling of the stars. 

May the Lord open your ears and your heart, that you may 
receive profit where you are. Do not give place to unbelief. 
Jesus is both an able and a willing Saviour. Pray for a tender 
conscience, and a dependent spirit. Watch against the motions 
of self; they are subtle and various. Let no engagements pre^ 
vent you from reserving seasons of retirement for prayer, and 
reading the Scriptures. The best company, the best public or- 
dinances, «will not compensate for the neglect of these. At the 
same time, guard against a spirit of bondage ; nor fetter your 
mind by too many rules and resolves. It is our privilege to 
serve the Lord with cheerfulness ; not considering him as a hard 
master, but as a tender father, who knows and pities our weak- 
ness ; who is ready to pardon our mistakes, and to teach us to / 
do better. He accepts us, freely and* graciously, when we pre- 
sent ourselves before himj, in the name of Jesus, his beloved Son, 



166 LBTXBBS TO A WIM^ 

Martham, April 15. 

We reached this place to-day, about noon, t am very wellt 
only much fatigued. The man you saw step into the coach, was 
drunk all the way to Colchester, (where we leA him.) He swore, 
for a time, almost at every word. As soon as I could find a fa- 
vourable opening, I spoke to him. He was civil, and promised to 
swear no more. But, poor man ! he might as well have prom- 
ised not to breathe. However, he was tolerably quiet aAerwards. 

My heart loves you, my dearest, and many an ejaculation I 
breathe out for you ; which, indeed, is almost the only kind 
of prayer I have found time or room for since I left London^ 
But I hope to be recruited and composed soon. I am likely to 
have business enough in hand next week. At present, I am dry 
and empty ; but the fountain from whence 1 have be^ often sup- 
plied, is still full and flowing. Excuse a short letter? If it was 
not to you, 1 could not write at all. 



Olney^May 1. 

The Lord brought me home in safety last night. I believe 
our dear people are truly glad to see me ; and I am sure I rejoice 
to be with them again. I preached this morning from 2 Sam. 
vii. 24. 1 wish my dearest a growing experience of the subject. 
No honour can be compared to that of being the Lord's people ; 
no privilege like that of having him for our God. 

I must not write much, for it is almost time to find a text for 
'the afternoon, which I have not yet done. 1 went this morning 
into the pulpit, as having only a small piece of bread, and offish, 
to set before the multitude. But, through mercy it multiplied in 
the distribution, and, I hope', there was a comfortable meal for 
those who were present and some fragments left that will not be 
lost. 

It is not choice, but necessity, tiiat makes me sometimes live, as 
we say, from hand to mouth. While my head is foil of new per- 
sons and places, I cannot do otherwise. And I have^ reason to 
be thankful that my hopes are seldom disappointed upon such oc- 
casions ; though I know not when I have been so straitened and 
embarrassed, as I was the other night at the Lock. I rather won- 
der that this happens so seldom, than that it happens at all. How 
justly might the Lord take his word of truth out of my unworthy 
mouth ! Perhaps he saw it good for me, that Mr. Self should 
have his comb cut rather there, than in another place ; and 1 hope 
there is that in me, which is as willing to appear to a disadvau- 



WBIt.K RftSIDBNT AT OLNET. I6t 

tage (if it mast be so) at the Lock as at Obey : though, to be 
sure, flesh and blood is pleased to be thought somebody^ when 
among dear friends or fine folks. 



(Hneyj May 3. 

I DUO not promise to write to-day, but my heart is always ready 
and opportunity always welcome. I am in good health and glad 
to be again retired from yonder noisy city. 

I wrote yesterday to Mr. A****, and, in my evening walk, my 
thoughts and prayers turned much upon the affecting stroke he 
has received. Indeed, it has been seldom out of my mind since I 
came home. Besides my concern for his loss and my own, (there 
is no cause to mourn for her,) I consider it as a loud speaking les* 
son to me and to yon. How often has she been raised up from the 
brink of the grave, in answer to prayer; and yet, now suddenly 
and unexpectedly removed ? We likewise have been long preser- 
ved, and often restored to each other. But a time will come when 
e\ery gourd will wither, every cistern be broken. Let us pray 
for a waiting, resigned, and dependent frame of spirit; for abili- 
ty to commit ourselves, and our all, into the merciful hands of Him 
who careth for us ; and that, while we are spared, -we may walk 
together, as help-meets and fellow-heirs of eternal life. We shall 
not be parted a moment sooner, for living in daily expectation of 
our appointed change ; but the thought may be a happy mean of 
composing our minds, and of preventing us from being too much 
engrossed, either by the sweets or the bitters of this transitory life. 
Many occasions of care and perplexity, that are apt to waste our 
time and wound our peace, would be avoided, could we duly cott* 
aider how soon we shall have done with all these things. May you, 
may I, be more rooted and grounded in the truth, more humbled 
and comforted, more filled with that love, joy, and unspeakable 
peace, which the Gospel reveals, and for which the promises of 
God warrant us to pray. Be not discouraged because you have 
nothing of your own. The bucket is put into the well emp- 
ty, and because it is empty, the Lord has opened a well of sal- 
vation for us, and bas promised that we shall not seek his face 
in vain. 

I long to have yon at home with me ; for though I am, in a 
sense, very comfortable, the house looks unfurnished without 
yoQ, and I miss you in every room. How then must the MooV" 
9%de look to our dear friend ! Every step he takes, every person 
he meets, must remind him of his loss ! But I trust the Lord is. 



168 LCTTSB8 TO ▲ WITE, 

and will be bis siipport. May his grace be with us ! Thea we 
shall be equal to every thing that can possibly befall us, and need 
not be afraid of evil tidings* 



02ney, May 5. 

Your last dear letter found me in peace, and, I hope did me 
good. It quickened my prayers and praises on your behalf. I 
never attempt to pray without putting up some petition for your 
spiritual i^elfare, nor without aiming at least, to express my sense 
of gratitude to the Lord for joining our hands and hearts. Your 
affection and its consequences, are* continually upon my mind, 
and I feel you in almost every thought. I am willing to hope 
that I am, in some degree, freed from the idolatrous regard which 
made me place you too long in a light for which I deserved to 
forfeit you every day. But I am sure my love has suffered no 
abatement ; yea, I am sure it has increased, from year to year, 
though I endeavour to hold you more in subordination to Him to 
whom I owe you, and by whose blessing alone it is that we have 
found comfort in each other. I trust the Lord had a further de- 
sign than our accommodation in the present life, in bringing us 
together; even that we might be joint witnesses and partakers of 
his gracCf and fellow-heirs of salvation. Our earthly connexion 
must cease ; but an eternal union in happiness is an important 
prospect indeed ! Every things else, however valuable in its 
place, sinks into nothing upon the comparison. 

If youth, and health, and life, could be prolonged for a thousand 
years, and every moment of that space be filled up with the great- 
est satisfaction we can conceive, this seemingly long period must • 
at last terminate ; and when once past, it would appear short and 
inconsiderable as the eighteen years we have already spent to- 
gether do at present. ' But if we ate united in the faith and hope 
of the Gospel, we shall never part. Even that separation which 
mtist take place (so painful at times to think of) will not deserve 
the name of parting. It will be but like the one coming down first 
from London, and the other safely following in a few days. And, 
however flesh and blood may start at the apprehension, the case 
of Mr. A****, and many others, sufficiently prove the Lord's 
faithfulness to his promise, and that he can support those who 
trust him, in the most trying circumstances. Let it, therefore, 
be our chief concern to attain a good hope that we are his, and he 
is ours, and then we may cheerfully commit the rest to him. He 
can forgive sin, impart grace, subdue corruption, silence unbe- 
lief, make us strong out of weakness, and do more than we can 



WHILE RSSIDSNT AT OLVET. 16f 

either .ask or think. And what he does he does freely, without 
money and without price. He does not require us to help our- 
selves, t>efore we apply to him,, but to come to him for help, and 
we shall not come m vain. Fight, therefore, my dearest, against 
unbelief, and the Lord will ^ve you the victory. Tell him, what 
I am sure you are convinced of, that you have nothing, deserve 
nothing, can do nothing ; but that you have heard he is mighty to 
save, and has promised, that none who appl^ to him shall in any* 
wise be cast out. None ever did miscarry m this way. If they 
did, his truth and faithfulness must miscarry with them. 



(Hney^ May 15. 

I HOPE your visit in Kent will, upon a review, be made profit- 
able to yourself. You will admire the Loin's goodness in selec* 
ting you (as one of a thousand) to the knowledge of his truth, when 
you might (according to the views with which you first entered 
upon liie) have been slill swimming down the stream of vanity 
and folly with the multitude. How little did either of us think, in 
those early days when I first knew you, to what the Lord designed 
to lead us ! Do not ^ou see, and say, He has done great thina| ? 
How often has he raised you from the gates of death ? With wnat 
mercies and gentleness has he followed you ? What a great ad- 
vantage has he afforded you, in so large an acquaintance and inti- 
macy with those who fear and love nim ! Shall the enemy urge 
you to draw discouragements from these multiplied instances of 
the Lord's goodness ? I hope not. . Do not give way to unbelief. 
Do not indulge perplexing thoughts of the secret counsels of God. 
What is revealed in the Scripture calls for our attention ; and 
there it is written, as with a sunbeam, " They that seek shall 
find.'' It is true, when we are seeking, he often exercises our 
patience ; but he has told us before-hand to expect it, and has 
given us encouragement, by parables, examples, and promises, 
to continue praying, and not to faint. Though he tarry, wait for 
him. Though he may seem to treat you like the woman of Ca- 
naan for a time, yet he is full of compassion and mercy. The 
humble spirit, the principle of faith, the heart-felt repentance, and 
every other gracious disposition to which the promises arc made, 
are all his gifts, which he bestows freely on the unworthy. 

Since you know that you are a sinner, and that he is the only 
Saviour, what should prevent your comfort ? Had he bid'you do 
some great thing, you would at least have attempted it. If a pil- 
grimage to some distant place was the appointed mean of salva- 
tion, would you be content to sit at home and perish ? How much 

Vol. IV. . 23 



170 LBTTERS TO A WirE, 

rather, then, should you keep close to the throne of grace, when 
he has only said, ^^ Ask, and you shall receive !'' 

When we first joined hands, neither you nor I knew much of 
the things pertaining to our peace. But as soon' as the Lord be-* 

Sin to show me a uttle of the way, how much, from that time to 
is, you have been upon my heart, is only known to him : and I 
trust he has answered, and is still answering, my prayers. What 
passed in your last illness I shall never forget. I think, had he then 
taken you from me, I c6uld have rejoiced in my grief. From that 
period I have had a hope of more value to me than the possession 
of the earth, that he has taken a sure hold of your heart, and that 
he will not cease to draw you nearer and nearer to himself. Con- 
tmue to pray, and watch over your spirit. Keep always in mind 
that you are a sinner, and Jesus is a Saviour of sinners. Such 
thoughts fireouently recurred to, are means by which the Lord 
composes ana sanctifies the frame of our tempers, and the strain of 
our conversation. Accept this little homily in good part, and may 
-a blessing attend you in the perusal. 



1769. 



Olney^ May 18. 

I PREACHED yesterday at CoUingtree. The church was full. 
Returned in safety before nine in the evening. 

The case of those who decline from the good way, after they 
seem to have chosen it, is lamentable. Thus it might have been 
mth us ; but thus I trust it shall not be. The Lord has made 
known to us his name of love, and has shown us, what we should 
never have seen, had it be^h his pleasure to kill us. Let us live 
under abiding views of the all-sufficiency of Jesus the Saviour, and 
we may rejoice in hope. The peace of God, which passeth un- 
derstanding, is seldom attained, but through a course of conflict. 
God ^ve Canaan to Israel by promise, and put them in posses- 
sion, oy the power of his own arm, yet they must fight for every 
inch of ground. The desire and the accomplishment, are equally 
of grace ; yet, in the use of means, and with our eye to him, wc 
must strive. Our poor exertions would be in vain, if he did not 
Vequire them ; but now they are needful, and shall be successful. 
The r«d of Moses, the instrument of performing so many miracles, 
was no better than common wood, till the appoinUnent of God 
gave it a wonderful virtue. Had Moses then refused, or neglec* 
ted, to use it, he could have done nothing. Now the means of 
grace, especially prayer, may be compared to the rod of Moses* 



WHILE RBSIDBNT AT OLNBY. 171 

If we gQ on, with this rod in our hands ; if we call upon God, me- 
ditate upon his promises, and plead them from day to day he will 
make our way prosperous. 



Olneifi May S8. 
The Lord has mercifully brought me home in peace. The 
fatigue of the journey and the excessive heat on Tuesday, occa- 
sioned a slight fever, which went off that evening, and returned 
yesterday, as I was taking horse at Bicester. However, I rode, 
not unpleasantly, to Buckmgham, and there, for fear of overdoing, 
we took a post-chaise to Stratford, where Mrs. U**** kindly met 
us, and brought us home. I have since taken the bark, and all the 
usual steps observed /m intermittents. Preached without pain on 
Sunday. The fever is now gone , my appetite returned, and 1 am 
well. My slight illness was rather a baulk and hindrance with re- 
spect to my friends at Oxford and Sutton. But, taking all things 
together, 1 never had a more comfortable iourney. I felt such a 
peace and composure, in considering myself and all my concerns 
m the hand of the Lord, as I cannot describe, and can seldom at- 
tain when in health. I had not one impatient or anxious thought, 
not even about you ; and seemed guite willifig, if the Lord had so 
pleased, to have died upon the roaa. I was, yesterday, if ever ia 
* my life, as a weaned child. I hope this account of my indisposi- 
*tion will not hurry you home sooner than you intended, for t am 
quite recovered. 



Olney^ May SO. 

My thoughts will accompany you to Wimbledon to-day. Give 
my affectionate respects to our dear friends, and tell them, I should 
have had much pleasure in being of the party. Besides the chief 
inducement of their comnany, I am fond of the place, and should 
promise myself some pleasant hours in the walks. But I know 
neither places nor company can communicate any real good^ un- 
less the Lord be present. And when he is near, any place, and 
even solitude itself, is agreeable, it is my mercy to and that in 
Olney which contents and satisfies me. 

I have such a levee of kind inquirers every morning, that I an 
much interrupted in writing. It is pleasing to be beloved, and 
doubly pleasing to me to know, that the favour the Lord has givea 
me here, is chiefly on account of the Gospel which I preach. The 
affection that is built upon this foundation will endure for ever, and 
will flourish when every other tie shall cease ; and thuS| I trust, it 



172 LETTERS TO A WIFE, 

is between my dearest M*** and me. How closely has the Lord 
united us^ by marriage, by affection, by the strongest and most 
endearing obligations ! But all these respect the present life, and 
must terminate with it. But I trust there is a still nearer relation 
between us, in the Lord and in his truth, which shall subsist to 
eternity. In the mean time, may he eive us to know more of the 
power and comfort of it, while we walk together here below ; that 
we may rejoice in the knowledge of what he has done already, 
and in the prospect of what he has provided for us hereafter* Be- 
lieve, my Clearest, and you shall be established. Pray, and vour 
faith shall be confirmed. Resist the devil with the sword of the 
Spirit, the good word of God, and he shall flee from you. Draw 
night to God, and he will draw nigh to you. I know your discour- 
agements ; but they are not peculiar to yourself. Surely, he has 
appeared for you in times past, and 1 cannot doubt but he will 
Again. 

I am glad to think the time of your return draws nigh. I ml^s 
you every dav and hour ; yet 1 cannot say that time is burden- 
some, or that I am very dull, or unkedj as they call it here, in your 
absence ; as the people think 1 must be. Several of them almost 
threatened to write on Sunday, to tell you how ill 1 was, and to 
beg you to return immediately ; but their fears magnified the case. 
They long to see youj however, for your own sake, and give the 
mjost simple and affecting proofs that they love you dearly. 



1770. 



Olneifj May 20. 
I HAVE had a morning walk, in which I was favoured with some 
liberty ; at such seasons you are always remembered. While f 
would praise God that we have been so long and so comfortabljT 
spared to each other, I must not forget that an hour of separation 
must come, and that the time is uncertain. It must be so ; and it 
is well. Surely we could not wish to live always here ! Oh for a 
clearer view of our interest in the love and all-sufficiency of the 
Saviour ; that we may stay our souls upon him, and possess a sta- 
ble, unshaken peace ! It is He who has given us a desire to seek 
him, because He has purposed to be found of us, Jer. xxxi. 3. 
And, though our desires are too faint, and disproportionate to the 

S'eatness of tlieir object, he will not despise the day of small 
ings, nor quench the smoking flax. 

I feel your absence, and long for your return ; but I am not dis- 
consolate. It was otherwise with me once. I can remember 
when the sun seemed to shine in vain, and the whole creation 



WBILC &B8I0ENT AT OLN£T. 173 

appeared as a blank, if you were firom me. Not that I love you 
less. The iotercoiirse of maoy saccessive years has endeared 
you more and more to my heart. But I hope the Lord has weak- 
ened that idolatrous disposition, for which I have so often deserv- 
ed to lose you. I am astonished at his patience and forbearance, 
that when I presumptuously gave yoa that place in my heart 
which WAS due only to Him, He did not tear my idol from me ! 
To what dangers has my ill-conducted regard often exposed 
yon ! But he is God, and not man. I hope it is now my desire 
to hold nothing in competition with Him, and to intrust my all 
to his keeping and disposal. If we hold each other in a proper 
submission and subordination to Him, he will bless us, and make 
us mutually comforts and helpmates. He will sanctify the bitter 
4>f life, and give the sweet a double sweetness. His blessing is the 
one thing needful ; without it, there is neither security for what 
we profess, nor true satisfaction in the possession. We have no 
good in, or out of ourselves, or which we can impart to another. 
We may pity but we cannot relieve each other when in trouble. 
We cannot remove one pain, or give one moment's peace of mind 
to those whom we best love. 

Many prayers are, and will be put up for you and Mrs. U**** 
while you are away. It is this endears OIney to me. The Lord 
has a praying people here, and they pray for us. To be interes- 
ted in the simple, affectionate, and earnest prayers of such a peo- 
ple, is a privilege of more value than the wealth of kings. In 
answer to their prayers, the Lord has placed a hedge about all 
our concerns, blessed our going out and coming in, and preserved 
us and ours in health, when sickness or death have been in al- 
most every house around as. And, doubtless, I am much indebt- 
ed to their prayers, that with such a heart as mine, and such a 
frame of spirit as I frequently mourn under, I am still favoured 
#ithsome liberty, acceptance^ .and usefulness in my ministry. 



1771. 



London, JN'ov, 19. 
We came safely to town about noon. I have just parted with 
my dear and honoured friend, with whom the hours of the jour^ 
ney passed very pleasantly. I am wondering kt myself, ^and at 
every body about me. It seems strange to think of being so sud- 
denly whirled away from you. So many preaching and other en- 
gagements are provided for me, that I believe I cannot return be* 
fore Saturday. 1 hope the Lord will be with you, and that you 



174 LSTTBES TO Jl ifHWZf 

will be led earnestly to seek a blesdng for me aod for yotirself. 
I have breathed out maoy a prayer for you since I saw you, and 
hope to do so while I can breathe at ail. May He pve us to grow 
daily in the knowledge of his grace, and to rejoice in the views of 
his excellency, and of our interest in him as our God and Savioar» 
This is the one thing ; and the only thing which is promised ab- 
solutely, and without a possibility of failure, to those wJio desire 
it. Every thing else is vain, uncertain, and changeable. But 
be Will surely, though gradually, make himself known to the 
heart that seeks Him. 

I have been with Mrs* C^*** ; she is sorely afflicted, but ap- 
pears to be in an humble, dependent frame. From how many heart- 
rending distresses, by which others are sufiering, has the good 
providence of God preserved us ! May He make us thankful for 
the exemption, and teach us to bear our smaller crosses with a be- 
coming submission to his will ! 



1772. 



Claphamj July 2. 

If it was not to my dearest M^**, I could not write so soon af- 
ter dinner. But though my belly is full, and my head empty, 
I roust tell you that I had very quiet, agreeable company in the 
coach, and a pleasant ride to Deptford ; where I mounted a horse 
my dear Mr. T**** had sent for me, which said horse brought 
me safely hither. Thus the Lord graciously preserves me from 
place to place. 

I am always a little awkward without you, and every room 
where you are not present looks unfurnished. It is not an hum- 
ble servant who says this, but a husband, — and he says it, not in 
what is called the honey-moon, but in the twenty-third year after 
marriage. Nor do I speak it to my own praise, but to the praise 
of our good Lord, who, by his blessing, has endeared us to each 
other. Inconstancy and vanity are inherent in our fallen nature ; 
and, if left to ourselves, we might have been indifferent, weary, 
and disgusted long ago* But He has united our hearts ; and, I 
trust, the union shall subsist to eternity. May we possess, while 
here, the peace which passeth understanding, and live under the 
abiding expectation of perfect happiness hereafter. 



WBILX EKdlI»BHT AT OLNZT. 175 

Olneyj July 9. 

I HATB not much news to tell you* I have been to see Mrs. 
{l«#*#^ You remember how near death she was, by falling into 
Ibe water, about a fortnight ago. She Was since persuaded to 
take the air, in a one-horse chaise* They were hardly half a 
nlile from the house, when the horse suddenly fell, upon a smooth 
road, and by the shock she was thrown out of the chaise, over the 
wheel. You will not wonder that she was much hurt and bruised, 
if yon consider her weight. No bones were broken ; but the fall, 
in addition, to her previous illness, has brought her very low, and 
I think she cannot continue long. What thanks do we owe to 
the Lord for his merciful care of us in all our journeys, when oth- 
ers meet with such disasters close to their own home ! 

The state of some of our family where you are is much upon 
roy mind. I hope I have engaged many to pray for them. The 
Lord grant that all you see, hear, and feel where you are, may 
draw your heart still nearer to himself! What is all below but 
vanity f There is no solid comfort no abiding peace, but what 
we derive from above. Once we knew nothing of this. But the 
Lord directed our path in life, in subservience to the designs of 
his gi*ace. How few of those with whom you were acquainted 
in your early years, have any right knowledge of God or of them- 
selves. We set out upon this plan ; and if mercy had not stop* 
ped us, we should have gone on till we had perished with a lie in 
our right hands. Do, my dearest, take encouragement from 
what the Lord has done, to believe that he will do still more 
for you. Do not think that he has opened 3'our eyes, and taught 
you that your help is in Him alone, only to disappoint you. The 
enemy would keep you from seeking him diligently and constant- 
ly, and would persuade yon that you get little or no good from 
idl your attempts ; but believe him not. Rather believe the word 
of promise — that though he may seem to delay, he will not, he 
cannot deny those who persevere in asking in the name of Jesus. 
Thus much till the post comes in. 

How little do I know of my own heart ! While I thought my- 
self sure of a letter, I vainly supposed I could be easy, though I 
should not receive one. But when the post arrived and brought 
no letter from you, my spirits sunk in a minute : and, I fear, I 
shall be too impatient in wishing for Friday. Surely my dear 
M*** knows me too well to think that, after a whole week's ab- 
sence, I should not be longing to hear from her. If you inadver- 
tently neglected to write, I must gently blame you : it ought, in- 
deed, to be very gently, as it is the first fault of the kind I can 
charge you with since our happy marriage. I rather think you 



176 LETTERS TO A WIFE, 

have writen, but by some mistake the letter has missed ; for I am 
williDg to hope you are well. I am quite disconcerted. But if I 
receive one by the next post, you need be in no pain for me, for 
' that will set all to rights. I have been to bury a corpse at Wes- 
ton this evening. I promised myseH a pleasant walk, but the 
want of a letter spoiled it. I would fain have directed my thoughts 
to subjects of more importance, but I could not. Alas ! I am a 
poor creature. Pray, my dearest, write oflen ; for, next to your 
company, I prixe your letters above any thing, merely temporal 
that this earth can afford. 



Olnty^ July 12. 

I WAITED about the street yesterday, till it was time to go to 
Orchard side, and then deputed Molly to supply my place. At 
half past four the horn sounded, and my heart went pit-a-pat. 
But I soon saw Molly pass the window, and by her looks and her 
speed, I guessed she had a letter. I snatched it from her and 
read it, and was presently well. 

My heart was melted the other day, when I found the little 
book in your drawer in which you had begun to set down such 
texts of Scripture as had more particularly engaged your notice, 
and especially when I read the two pages of prayer with which 
you had prefaced them ; a prayer agreeable to the promises of 
God, and, I trust, dictated to you by his Holy Spirit. My soul 
gave a hearty Amen to every petition. I am sorry that any thing 
prevented you from proceeding in what was so well begun ; but 
I hope you will resume it when you return. The blessings of 
the Gospel are open to you. Could you steadily strive against 
the hindrances and discouragements thrown in your way, and 
simply and patiently abide in the use of the means of grace with- 
out giving way to vain reasonings, you would soon experience a 
growth in peace and comfort. To patient faith the prize is sure, 
may the Lord help you thus to wait ; and may he give us more 
freedom to converse for our mutual encouragement. I am a 
strange, inconsistent creature in this respect, as in many others. 
Next to the salvation of my own soul, there is nothing lies so near 
my heart as your spiritual welfare ; and yet I am often tongue- 
tied, and can speak more readily to any body than to you. Let 
' us mutually endeavour to break through every restraint, that we 
may be helpmates in the best sense of the word. I preached 
this morning from Deut. xxxii. 10. The passage applies to all 
the Lord's people, '* He found them in a waste howling wilder- 
ness." How emphatically does it apply to me ? He redeemed 



WHILE RESIDENT AT OLNEY. ITT 

me from the house of bondage in Africa, and has selected me as 
a pattern of his grace to the chief of sinners. What a mercy to me 
I trust to you also. For he appointed us for each other from the 
first, and his hand brought us together, and into our present sit* 
uation by a train of miracles. 



1113. 



London^ ^oveniler 18. 

Past three o'clock, and a cloudy morning. So says the 
watchman. I hope my dearest is now in a sweet sleep. When I 
have done writing, I sliall proceed to the coach, which sets off ex«* 
actly at four. Pray do not fear my being robbed or hurt in th? 
dark. For I expect a guard will go with me, One to whom " th^ 
darkness and the light are both alike." I went through a very 
long davk lane, on Wednesday evening, with my de^jr Mr. Th*** ; 
but no one disturbed us for the Lord was our preserver. 

You may be sure that my heart is codtiaually with you. I 
seldom pass many minutes without darting a thought upwards in 
your behalf. The knowledge of your affection affords me the 
greatest pleasure I can receive or desire, of a temporal kind. 
But your apprehensions on my account, when I am called from 
you for a season, give me pain. I wish we could both more sim* 
ply intrust each other, without anxiety, to the Lord's goodness. 
Surely, he delights in our prosperity, or else why have we been 
spared so long ? or how have we been so mercifully supported, 
so seasonably relieved, and enriched with so many blessings, from 
year to year ? May all that we experience be sanctiGed, to hum- 
ble us, and to increase our dependence upon Him who is always 
near and willing to help us. 

I must go. I carry with me from place to place a heart full of 
an affectionate and gratelbl sense of your love, and of the innu- 
merable and invaluable mercies and comforts the Lord has given 
me in the relation I stand to you. 



1774. 



Olney, April 21. 

1 STif PATHUE with you ; I already feel the concern which you 
will shortly feel, when you say farewell to your sister and your 
family. Methinks, if I could prevent it, you should not have a 

Vou IV. 23 



178 LETTERS TO A WtPK, 

moment's uneasiness, pain, or trial, from the beginning to the end 
of the year. But how could you then be a partaker of that good 
which the Lord bestows upon his people through the medium of 
afflictions ? I hope he will give you an entire resignation to his 
will ; and that the grief you and your sister will feel at parting, 
will be compensated by a cheerful hope of meeting again, perhaps 
more than once, in this life ; but if not here, in a oetter world. 
And when you drop a tear at leaving your father, sister, aunt, and 
firiends, remember that you are comme to a husband who loves 
you better than it is possible any or ali other friends can. You 
will be more welcome to me on your return, than on the happy 
day which first made you mine. How will my eyes delight to see 
you, my ears to hear you sfteak, and my arms to enfold you ? 

My text to night is Psa; xxxvi. 7, 8. It is a full and gracious 
promise. The weak and defenceless shall be sheltered under the 
wings of the Almighty ! How does the hen cover her brood with her 
wings ! If her power was equal to her will, nothing shoukl hurt 
them. The Lord our Saviour makes use of this ima^e for your 
eneouraeement ; and his power, like his compassion, is * infiinite* 
Again, the hungry soul shall be satisfied with futncss ; not merely 
kept alive, but feasted, so that it shall thrive and flourish. Lastly, 
the miserable shall not only taste, but drink of pleasures ; not a 
single draught, nor out of a vessel that will sooji be empty, but 
from a river whose stream is perpetual, whose source is inex- 
haustible. We need not fear drinking a river dry. The streams 
of this river make'glad the city of God upon earth. How much 
more abundantly will it flow in heaven ? Here, then, is our en- 
couragement. Creatures fail and change, but the Lord is always 
the same. And he gives the water of life freely, without money 
and without price, lie invites all who hear, and receives all who 
come. 

The clock is striking twelve, therefore I wish you a good night. 
May the angels of the Lord, yea, the Lord of angels himself, 
watch over your bed and your sleeping hours. My chamber 
looks rather solitary at present, yet, through mercy, I sleep 
soundly. 



Olney^ April 17. 
I THANK you for your letter. I do not complain of its brevity. 
A single line to inform me of your safe arrival, would have gladr 
dened my heart, and, I trust, have excited my gratitude to the 
Lord our preserver. Not that I think you in more real danger 
upon the road than when at home ; for a thousand unthou^ht-of 
dangers are always near us, and our own short-sighted care is itt- 



WHILE R&0IDBKT AT OLNfiT. 2^9 

TWiflficient to preserve ourselves, or each other, for a single mo* 
nient. Yet my foolish mind is prone to be more solicitous about 
you when you are out of my sight. I am conscious of many things 
"which make me wonder at the Lord's goodness in sparing you to 
me so long ; and that you have not been oftener, or more heavily, 
stiBicted for my sake. But his thoughts are high above mine, as 
the heavens are higher than the earth. And it is our mercy that 
we are not under the law, but under grace. 

I rose from my knees to take my pen in hand, and shall daily 

Eray for you alL I trust the Loixl has given your sister that 
nowledge of himself which will make her situation in Scotland 
agreeable. The earth is the Lord's ^ and his servants, where 
their lot is cast, have his throne of grace always near them. I 
know not how she may fere there in point of ordinances. How- 
ever, if the Lord is {^leased to dwell in her .heart and in her house, 
he can make up every defect. His Providence, undoubtedly, 
leads her thither; and we can be no where better than in the path 
of duty. His blessing upon secret praver and the reading oi his 
/word will keep her soul alive, though the public preaching should 
Dot be quite to her wish. 

Though I miss you continually, I am neither lonely nor dull, 
I hope the Lord will ^ve me a heart to wait upon him, and then I 
shall do well enough till you are restored to me. I need not wish 
the time away : it ilies amazingly fast, and, alas ! too poorly im- 
proved. These little separations should engage us to seek his 
olessing, that we may be prepared for the hour (which must come) 
when one of us must have the trial of living a while without the 
other. The Lord, who appoints and times all things wisely and 
well, He only knows which of us will be reserved for this painful 
exercise. But I rely on his all-sufficiency and faithfulness to 
make our strength equal to our day. It will require a power 
above our own to support us under either part of the alternative, 
whether we are called to leave or to resign. But He who sa 
wonderfully brought us together^ and has so mercifully spared us 
hitherto, can sweeten what would otherwise be most bitter to the 
flesh. If he is pleased to shine upon us, all will be well. His 
presence can supply the loss of the most endeared creature coiii«> 
ibrts, asacaodle may be easily spared when the sun ii seen. 



Olfuvj JlprU 23. 

Vestkrday I went to see I^lr. C^"^**. I found him in much 

distress, and his wife ia more. They took my going very kindly, 

but the coming of the coroner prevented my stay. The buricJ 

was last nighu The ch«rch-yara was full qf people 5 but as the 



IfiO LETTBAS TO A WIP£, 

hour was late, and the parents broken-hearted, I did not say much 
at the j?rave. The lad was in his fourteenth year ; was just come 
home from school ; and asked for victuals, but before he got any, 
. went with the cart, which was going for hay. His father was cut- 
ting the hay at a small distance, and seeing the boy get up upon 
the sharps, he called to him, but was either not heara or not re- 
garded* Another son drove the cart *, the horse suddenly took 
fright, and the field being full of hillocks, the cart was soon over* 
turned. The boy fell under the wheel and was instantly killed. 
He neither spoke nor stirred. Mr. C**** saw all that passed, 
and was then forced to be the mournful messenger of the new6 to 
his Wife. It seems, she was wrapped up (as we say) in her chil- 
dren. I was told that when she heard of the event, she flew out 
of the house, and ran a considerable way, she knew not whither, 
before she could be stopped. She had afterwards a long succes- 
sion of fits, and they feared she would have, lost her senses. But 
when I saw her, she was more composed. She seems to be not 
without a sens^ of religion ; she had been long a hearer in the 
lower meeting, but of late has come more to my church. 

It is a heavy trial ; but the Lord can cause good fruits to grow 
firom a bitter root. How much praise do we owe him for that pro- 
tection which has covered us, as with a shield, in all our journeys, 
as well as at home ? 1 hope soon to have a call to thank him, 
for^onducting you safely into K^nt. 

I have been to see Mrs. C**** again. It is a pleasant, retired 
Walk to their house ; but it was not pleasant to me this time. My 
heart, alas ! was dry as a chip, unsettled as a weathercock. 
However, I could and did pray for you. I hope she is a good 
Woman. She told me she had often wished tnat some occasion 
might bring me to their house. But neither she nor her husband 
6cmld tak6 courage (such a formidable animal, it seems, am I) to 
ask me. She is now troubled for having wished I might come. 
But I hope the stroke may prove a blessihg to them both. 



Olneyj AprH 26. 
I THANK God I continue in good health, and well enough in 
spirits. But the frame of my mind is cold, waiwlering, and un- 
pleasant. For the most part, when yon have been abroad, I 
have been favoured with more composure, and the hours have 
passed More agreeably and profitably, than at present. But you 
iieed»ot wish yourself at home merely upon this account. For 
tihe Lord alone can remove the complaint of a dull, dissipated 
frame. Your tenderness can ,do much for me, but you cannot re- 
lieve me ih thi^ case. But though I am not as I wish to be, I am 
not unhappy. ' 



/ 
WfilLS BSSIDBITT AJ OtVBT. 181 

My text to night, when I lay my head upon my pillow, will be 
Psalm xxxiv. 15. Who are the righteous, upon whom the eye 
of th(e Lord is fixed, and to whose cry his ear is open ? Not the 
self-righteous — ^but the helpless, unworthy sinners, who, without 
any plea but the word of promise, put their trust in the name of 
Jesus.. These are accounted righteous for the Saviour's sake. 
They are accepted in the Beloved ; and, because they ask in his 
name, their prayer is heard* Why should not we, my dearest, 
open our mouths wide, and expect great things, when we have 
^ch an advocate ? Da you say, How shall I know that He is 
mine ? I answer. He is an advocate for all who will commit their 
cause to Him. Thev are not described by name, but by charac- 
ter ; as sinners who have no ho|)e in themselves, are not willing to 
perish, and, therefore, hearing that he is able and willing to save 
to the uttermost^ venture upon his word, cast themselves at his 
feet, and commit their all into his hands. Have not I, and have 
not you, such thoughts of ourselves, and ef Jesus the Saviour ? 
Wait, then, for Him ; give not way to unbelief : he can do all that 
he says, and he says no more than he means to perform. 



Ofaey, AprU 30. 

I rcsL for you every day while you are at Chatham ; but I 
hope and pray the Lord will sanctify all to your profit. If it de- 
pended upon me, you should have nothing to grieve you for a 
moment ; but I am glad our concerns are in his wise and gracious 
bands, who appoints us a mixture of afflictions and trials, not be- 
cause he takes pleasure in giving us pain, (our many (fomforts 
afibrd sufficient proofs of his goodness,) but because he sees that 
troubles are often better for us than the continual enjoyment of 
cgir own wishes. 

I am concerned to find you so very accessible to fears and 
alarms upon my account. Indeed I would not exchange the af- 
fection which gives rise to them for crowns and kingdoms. But 
why should you make yourself unhappy ? Why distrust the good 
hand of God, which has so long preserved us ? why should you 
take the course which, in the nature of things, is most likely to 
bring upon you the evil Mihich you fear ? Do not you consider that 
you yourself expose me to the greatest danger, by your sinful dis- 
trust of the Lord, and your over-much dependence upon a poor 
creature, who loves you, it is true, even as his own soul ; but who, 
with the warmest desires of your happiness, is, in himself, auite 
anable to promote it ; unable to procure you the smallest gooa, or 
to shield you from the greatest trouble* May it please God so to 
impress abd fill your heart, that your supreme and undivided re* 



182 LETTERS TO k WIFE, 

gard may be fixed upon Him who alone is worthy* Then we 
shall be happy in each other indeed, when all our thoughts and 
aims are properly subordinate to what we owe to him. If we 
ioyed him witn all our hearts, we should find it easy to trust him 
with our concerns. And then it would not greatly signify which 
of us went first to heayen, or by what means. 

Let us, my dearest, pray for each other. Methinks we still 
wander in a wilderness, upon the yery brink of a happy state, 
and yet cannot enter. How strange, that we who read of such a 
Saviour, who are acquainted with such promises, (made to the 
most unworthy,) and are so fully convinced of the reality of spir- 
itual blessings ; how strange is it, that we should be thus alter* 
• nately elevated or cast down by trifles ! that we should sit, like 
Hagar, lamenting over an empty vessel, when the fountain of life 
runs so near us ! Keep this to read to me, when it may come to 
my turn to be pinched with unbelief. Perhaps you will soon have 
occasion to say, Physician, heal thyself. 

I have had a pleasant walk this evening, and was enabled to 
pray for you, that you may gain a blessing upon all your remo- 
vals, and be restored to me in peace. My pillow text to-night 
will be in Psal. xxxix. Suppose I take ver. 8. <^ Deliver me 
from all my transgressions, make me not the reproach of the fool- 
ish.'' How rich is the grace that has provided a ground for so great 
a petition as is expressed in the first clause ! What arithmetic can 
compute the whole that is included in the word aU. One genera- 
tion would be sufficient to sink the soul into ruin. But the blood 
of Jesus Christ frees those who believe in him from the guilt of all. 
And his Spirit is [sufficient to set us at liberty from the power of 
^11 sin, so that not one shall have dominion over us. Yet the 
supply of this Spirit is to be sought by earnest prayer; otherwise, 
notwithstanding what we know, and what we have received, we are 
liable to take such steps as would make us the reproach of the 
foolish. 

Whenever you return, you will be welcome to me, as gold to 
the miser. But I hope to support the interval without being bur- 
dened. My days are filled up with employment, and at night i 
^leep soundly ; so that no part of my time hangs upon my hands* ^ 



0/ney, JUay 2. 
Methinks I see you jvist now. Your spirits sink a little, be- 
cause you are taking leave of your sister and friends. I allow you 
to drop a tear or two. But I hope to-morrow, and before you 
have "travelled many miles, you will resume your cheerfulness, 
and leave them ^nd yourself in the hand of the Lord without 



WHILE RESIDENT AT OLN>ET. 18S 

anxietj. He fitted your sister for the post be has assignedher, and/ 
I trasty he will not only bless h^r, but make her a blessing to many 
around her. I sometimes think that the child's lameness may 
give soch a dtfierent turn to his future life, may prevent so many 
things that might othervvise have happened, and give occa* 
sion to so many things which otherwise would not have happened, 
that, in the way of means, it may have a near connexion with the 
salvation of his soul. It is good to trust the Lord, and leave the 
management of all to him. He is wise. He sees to the end of 
our path. We, poor, short-sighted creatures, cannot see an inch 
before us, and if left to our own choice, should involve ourselves 
in troables by the very steps we sho^ take to prevent them. 

I shall be glad to hear you are ^ London, because you will 
then be thirty miles nearer to me. But I remember when there 
were not only hills but oceans between us. Then the Lord 
brought us together in safety. It seems to me now, almost as if 
we had been separated for the time of an African voyage. But I 
wait with pa^ence your summons to meet you at Newport. I 
would rather see yon than all that the world accounts magnificent. 
I had rather bear you speak, than bear all Handel's music. I 
I would rather call you mine, than possess waggon-loads of gold. 
Some persons would deem this the language of folly ; but it is the 
language of love and of truth. 

It grows late. The maids are gone to bed, and I shall soon re- 
tire to mine. It is rather lonely at present ; but, I thank God, 
I am a stranger to the remotest wish that it were lawful to me to 
have any companion but yourself. Since the Lord gave me the 
desire of my heart in my dearest M***, the rest of the sex are no 
more to me than the tulips in the garden. Oh, what a mercy is 
It, that I can say this! I speak it not to my own praise, but to the 
praise of the Lord. I have a vile heart, capable of every evil ; 
and, in myself, am as prone to change as a weathercock. But, 
with respect to you, he has been pleased to keep me fixed, as the 
north-pole, without one minute's variation for twenty-four years, 
three months, and one day ; and 1 humbly trust, that be wiU thus 
keep me to the end of my life. 



OZney, May 4. 
The wind blows bard at N. E. so that I suppose your brother 
and sister are embarked. If they are, I do not mean to be very 
uneasy for them; and I hope you will not. The God of the dry 
land is God of the sea likewise. He is as near us in a storm as 
in a ctilm i and we need his protection no less in a calm than in» 



184 l4CTTfiBS TQ A WlfE, 

'storm. May the Lord give to tbem and to us 1ii& grace ; that^ 
looking to him, we may be comforted under all separations and 
changes, by an assured hope of meeting, to unspeakable advan* 
tage, in a better world ! We are all lessening the distance apace to . 
our everlasting home-.. Our voyage through life will sometime* 
be incommoded by storms, but the Lord Jesus is an infallible, al- 
mighty pilot. The winds and the seas obey him. None ever 
miscarried under his care ; and he takes charge of all who intrust 
themselves to him. Has he not made us willing to do so ? Then 
we may be sure he will not disappoint the hope which he himself 
has given us. Let us make his good word our compass to dinect 
our hearts to the haven, to the heaven, where we would be ! 

I need not wish time aw^; it flies with an amazing swiftness, 
even in your absence. But I hope it will be better with me when 
you return. I am not uncomfortable, but I am a little unsettled. I 
can do more business in two days when you are at home, than in 
three when you are abroad. For though I sit many an hour in 
my study without seeing you, yet to know that you are in, or 
about the house, and that I can see you when 1 please, gives a 
sort of composure to my mind : so that I must not say your com* 
pany is a hinderance to me upon the whole ; thougb occasionally 
my attention to you might make me leave something undone 
which I ought to have done. In short, whether with you or with- 
out you, I am a poor creature, and see much to be ashamed of 
every day, and in every circumstance 

My comfort, and my eare, 
My safety, and my snare, 
You have been, and you are ! 

However, I have great reason to bleds God that I ever saw you. 



CHneify May 9, 
I AM very glad you heard and approved Mr. ♦***, and espe^ 
cially that you mean to call upon him. I hope you will pray 
and strive against those prejudices which your aflfection for me, 
and your jealousy lest any person should not look upon me with the 
same partiality which you do, have sometimes occasioned. These 
thoughts have been the greatest hurt to your spirit, and the great- 
est hinderance to yopr comfortable progress, of any thing that I 
know ; and have sometimes given me no small uneasiqes. I 
cannot wish you to love me less, but I often wish you could be 
IsH anxious «J>oqt me. Pray for me, that I nay be simple, upp 



WUUUB Rfi»IBSNT AT OLNEY. 185 

right, and diligent, in my walk and work ; and then you may 
cheerfully leave my concerqs with the Lord,. and maybe asbared 
that he will give me as much acceptance and favour as is good 
for me. Be upon your gnard against making yourself, and of 
course me, uneasy about things which neither of os can help or 
alter. Temptations follow tempers ; and Satan is always subtle 
and busy in his attempts to break oar peace, and divert our 
thoughts from the main object. Though your company is my 
dearest and most valued earthly comfort, I shall be well re* 
paid for a month's absence, if you bring home a desire to 
watch and pray against those wrong impressions which your 
love to me has sometimes obtruded upoa your mind. And I 
hope to study myself the lesson I recommend to you ; and to 
strive and pray for the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. But, 
alas ! though I know in theory what a Christian should be, I am 
still sadly deficient in practice. 

Give my love and thanks to all my kind friends. I was once 
without a friend ; but God has since given roe many. Who that 
had seen me at the Plantanes, would have expected what has since 
taken place ? How unwort^iy am I of all that I have ^i^eived ! 
Very unworthy of being made happy in you ; but above ail, un- 
worthy of the honour of preaching the Gospel, which I too long 
despised and blasphemed ! 

My evening walk was outwardly pleasant, but my mind was 
confused. However, 1 prayed for you. Let me be as I will in 
other respects, you are always present to my thoughts. My love 
has been growing from the day of marriage, and still it is in a 
growing state. It was once as an acorn, but it has now a deep 
root and spreading branches, like an old oak. It would not have 
proved so if the Lord bad not watered it with his blessing. 



OZncy, December 2]. 

As you intimate you shall not come before Saturday, I wf ite 
again. I need not wish the interval away, though I long to see 
you : Saturday will soon be here. I thank the Lord, and I thank 
you, for your letter. Indeed, he has been very gracious in sup- 
porting you and your father, so much beyond expectation ; sure* 
ly my heart has had a fellow-feeling with you. But such sorrow 
as he by his grace is pleased to sanctify, will be hereafter number- 
ed amongst our mercies. I often speak much, in public, of his 
all-sufficiency to uphold, under every trial. I have seldom had a 
more remarkable proof of it, than in the course of this late afflic- 
tion. May he eaableyou to improve this instance of his goodn^s^ 

Vou IV. 24 



186 LETTCaS TO A WITE, 

as an argument against that vain reasoning of unbelief wbich has 
80 often discouraged, you. If he had not been with you, I am 
sure you would have been crushed like a moth. I hope, when 
we meet, we shall rejoice in his loving kindness ; and that yott 
will be able to say, '* Because he has beard me, therefore I will 
call upon him as long as I life." 

May we learn from what we have felt, and from what we daily- 
see, of the vanity of all things here, to fix oor thoughts upon the 
one thing needful ; that we may experience his loving kindness to 
be better than life itself, and may have a sore resource in his love, 
against the pressure of every remaining trial that may be allotted 
us ; that we may rejoice as those who are still liable to be called to 
mourn, and mourn as those who have a happy prospect of rejoicing 
for ever at last. I thought on Monday morning that I was praying 
for you, while you was stepping into the coach. But when you 
did set off yesterday, I was asleep. But the Shepherd of Israel, 
who neither slumbers nor sleeps, was pleased to watch over you in 
your journey ; for which I desire to praise him. Sickness and 
death have entered many houses here since you left home. But 
we are stlH preserved. Our times are in the hand of him who car- 
eth for us. 

I have had another peaceful night, and awoke this morning in 
health. 1 hope you can say the same. We lie down and arise in 
safety, because the Lord sustains us. Oh ! to say, this God, this 
great God, is our God ; our sun, and shield, and portion ! What 
a privilege is this ! What a conterbalance for every trial ! And 
since he has said to our hearts, ** Seek ye my face," and has giv- 
en us a desire to answer, " Thy face, O Lord, will we seek," it 
is not possible that we should seek in vain. The Lord bless and 
keep you, lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give 
you peace. Amen. 



1776. 



London^ August 26. 
I MrsT send you a short letter for once. May the Lord bless 
you, give j'ou composure of mind, and do you good every day. X 
know you will be ready enongh to come to me when yon 
can, and therefore I leave the when to you. I like Monday best, 
because it is nearest ; but if you stay till Tuesday, I will wait pa- 
tientiy. But you know I am not quite the thing when you ace 
absent. Methinks I would have you always at my elbow. Give 
my love to my dear child, who, I hope and believe, will be a good 



WaiLS RBSIDSNT AT OLNET. 187 

girl. And I beg of her^ and of all who are about her, that your 
rules, to which she so cheerfully submits when at home, may be 
broken as little as possible. Tell all her friends that I love her, and 
accept her as my own t:hiid, and shall account the core of her to 
be one of the most important concerns of my life. 



Olney^ November 18. 
1 BEGAN to listen at four for the sound of the born. I listened 
till five before I heard it. Soon after I received your dear letter. 
i/[y heart travelled with you from stage to stage, and I set you 
down in the Old Jewry, just at the time you mention. But, Oh ! 
what cause have I to be thankful that you were shielded, by the 
Lord's protection, from the many possible events which might 
have spoiled my calculations, and sent me to bed to-night with 
an aching heart. 1 hope you are now at Chatham. I have put 
you into the Lord's hand, who I trust will do you good. Yet 
I cannot help being anxious till i know how you felt, and what 
you met with upon your arrival. If your dear father be still liv- 
ing, give my love and duty to him, and assure him th^t he is al- 
ways in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord suppoH yon, 
and keep up your spirits, by a sense of his power and goodness ! 



Olneifj November 21. 

I TOLD the people, on Saturday evening, my good news, and 
read your father's letter. Both he and you were earnestly prayed 
for. But I suppose more than a hundred were detained from us 
by colds and illness. There is scarcely a house without some 
person ill in it, and the general word is, that they never bad such 
a sort of cold before. Many have taken to their beds ; but in a 
few days most of them begin to amend. 

W. and R. B**** sent me word, that their little girl was dying, 
and I have since heard she is dead. J expect to find them in 
much trouble. Thus, at one time or another, every family and 
every person finds vanity entwined with their choicest comforts. 
It is best for us that it is so. For, poor and vain as this life 
is, we are sufficiently attached to it. How strong, then, would 
our attachment be, if we met with no rubs or thorns by the way .^ 
Is not the history of every day a comment upon those words, 
" This is not your rest .'*" I think you and I must acknowledge 
that the Lord has given us, from the beginning of our union, a fa- 
voiimd lot: I think we hare experieitced. as much of the good, 



n 



180 LETTftES TO A WIVE, 

and as few of the evils of life, as any person whom we know. And 
yet, if we could fairly estimate all the pains, anxieties-, and crosses 
we have met with, from first to last, it would make a considerable 
abatement in what, when taken in a more general view, may well 
be deemed a happy state. And bow soon has the best of it pass- 
ed away ! Nothing now remains of many endeared hours, but the 
remembrance. Though we have had tlie best that such a life 
can afford, it would be a poor happiness indeed were this our all. 
But blessed be God, who has given us a better hope than we had 
when we set out. For, I think, we then proposed no higher satis- 
faction than we could find in each other. It was well for us both 
that I was constrained to leave you for three long voyages , for 
though those frequent separations were very irksome at the time, 
they were sanctified to make us look further. Oh ! he has led us 
wisely and graciously ! He has done all things well. We have 
nothing now to ask, but for a deeper and more thankful sense of 
his goodness. 



Olney^ November 26. 
I AM thinking of you, and lifting up my heart for you, almost 
continually. You are in the Lord's school. He sent you t6 
give you the most satisfactory proofs of his goodness to your fa- 
ther ; which I hope will prove an encouragement, and a cause 
of great thankfulness, to yourself. He is very gracious, and, I 
trust, will show himself so to you, and in you. But you deprive 
yourself of comfort by listening to the voice of unbelief, which 
weakens your hands and prevents your progress. How often are 
you distressed, as though you were only to see the goodness of 
the Lord to others, and not to taste of it yourself! Yet the path 
of few people through life has been more marked with peculiar 
mercies than yours. How differently has he led us from .the way 
we should have chosen for ourselves ! We have had remarkable 
turns in our affairs ; but every change has been for the better, and 
ip every trouble, (for we have had otir troubles,) he has given 
us effectual help. Shall we not then believe that be will perfect 
that which concerns us ? When I was an infant, and knew not 
what I wanted, he sent you into the world to be, first, the princi- 
pal hinge upon which my part and character in life was to turn, 
and then to be my companion. We have travelled together near 
twenty-six years ; and though we are changeable creatures, and 
have seen almost every thing change around us, he has preserved 
otii affections by his blessing, or we might have been weary of 
ea^h other. How far we have yet to go, we know not ; but the 



WaiLB RSSIDCMT AT OLNST. 189 

greater and (as to externals) tbe pleasanter part of oar journey is 
probably passed over. If our lives are prolonged, cbe shadows 
of tbe evening, old age, with its attendant infirmities-, will be press- 
ing upon as soon. Yet I hope this uncertain remaining part of 
our pilgrimage will opon tbe whole, be tbe best ; for our God is 
ell-sufficient, and can make us more happy by the light of his 
coantenance, when oor temporal comforts fail, than we ever were 
when we possessed them to the greatest advantage. 



0/ncy, December 8. 

When you told me that S**** was coming home, my heart 
sank like a stone ; but it soon revived upon finding you had al- 
tered your purpose. If she had come, I must either have sent 
her back again, or have set out myself to fetch you. If you were 
not where you are, she would be very useful to me here : I feel 
the want of her. But as things stand, you must either both come, 
or both stay ; for I should not have one comfortable day if you 
were at Chatham alone. Every inconvenience will seem light, 
if compared with the thoughts of your being left by yourself. Your 
dear father is not acquainted either with my feelings or ray situa- 
tion ; but you will do best to apprize him of both. As to your 
return, if tliere be good grounds to think that the time of his de^ 
partore is near at band, I ought not to*desire it ; but if tbe unex- 
pected turn the physician speaks of should prolong his life, for 
months or years, and restore him to the same state in which you 
left him in September, your presence at home will soon be so ne- 
cessary, that nothing but the most urgent call of duty can dispense 
with it. 1 speak not merely upon my own personal account ; 
you are greatly wanted by tbe sick, by the poor, and by your 
family. There are many things to which I cannot attend as I 
ought, while you are away. I hope if your father recovers, so 
far as to bear a removal, he will give up business' and come and 
live with us ; and spend tbe remnant of bis days amongst those 
who can join with him in talking of that better land to which lie 
is going, and in praising the Lord for his goodness. 

I hope nothing that I have written will make you uneasy. My 
mind has been a little agitated ; but now I have put down my 
thoughts upon paper, I am composed again. Your absence is, 
indeed, a trial ; but who am I, that I should not have trials f Ah ! I 
have deserved much more than this ; even to be broken, with breach 
upon breach, and to be deprived of you altogether. The Lord 
helps me in some measure, to resign til to his disposal, and to say, 
Uoi my will bat thine be done. This separation is not like some 



190 LETTERS TO ▲ ITlPfii 

which we hav« form^ly known : there are no oceans between us 
now, nor am I under a painful suspense, as when I could not hear 
of you for a whole twelvemonth. Even then be was pleased to 
watch over ns ; to support us ; and restore us to each other, again 
and again. Therefore, my soul, hope thou in God, for I shall yet 
praise him. Yea, I will praise him now, for his goodness to you. 
I know you have felt much : afflictions must be felt to be sancti- 
fied. But yon have been strengthened according to your day. 
We seem, as I lately observed, to have had as smooth a journey, 
thus far, as most people. Yet, at intervals, our trials have been 
very sharp. Mine are always so when I feel for you ; though 
few things with which your peace or comfort are not connected, 
give me much trouble. I pay, at some seasons a heavy tax for 
loving you, I had almost said too well. But I cannot love you too 
well, unless I love you improperly. I believe it was of the 
Lord^s goodness that I loved you at first ; and I am sure that both 
duty and gratitude bind me to love you now. The love which a 
husbaiid should bear to a wife, is expressed in very strong terms 
by the apostle, Ephes. v. 25 — ^28. But you certainly have been . 
•my idol ; and I often fear, you are too much so still. Alas! 
how difficult is it to draw the line exactly between undervaluing 
and overvaluing the gifts of God ! The good Lord pity and par- 
don us both,^ and take such a full possession of our hearts, that 
no rival may interfere with what is due only to him ! 



0/ncy, December 7. 

If your letters (as you think) afibrded me neither pleasure nor 
comfort, I should not so earnestly wish you to write ; but you 
may be assured they afford me both, and that, in your absence, 
nothing of a temporal kind can give me equal satisfaction. I 
usually grow thoughtful and absent about four o'clock, when I 
expect the post is coming, till I hear the horn ; then my spirits 
flutter. But when I receive a letter from you, have read it, and 
find you were well, I presently feel composed, and, I hope, a lit-^ 
tie thankful. Thus it was to-night. Glad 1 am to hear that your 
dear father is preparing to part with his house, and seems not un- 
willing to come to Olney ; where, I trust, he will find me heartily 
joining with you to do every thing in our power to make bis re- 
maining days comfortable. 

The language of Psal. xl. 5. suits me well. There is no end 
to the inventory of my mercies. May he who has given so much 
to us, and done so much for us, add the crowning mercy of a 
thankful heart ! Though 1 can talk of thankfulness^ I feel much 



WPII^S RESIDENT 4T OLN#T. Idl 

Insensibility ; but I know, that while sin dwetleth in me, it will 
have effects. It will distress, but it cannot condemn those who' 
believe in Jesus. In Isaiah, xliii. 24, 25, we have a character 
oftbe Lord's salvation : it is free, for his ownsalie. It is full ; 
the blotting out of sins, like a cloud, beyond recall and remem* 
brance. And the subjects of this salvation are they who have, 
wearied him by their iniquities. 



Olneyj December 23. 

Many prayers are offered for you ; and I hope we shall soon 
bave to offer praise. I pray, not only that we may be restored 
to each other, but that our long separation may be sanctified to 
OS both. Though it has been a gentle trial, compared to what 
the Lord might justly have sent, and mingled with great mer-' 
cies, yet a trial it is to me, and perhaps more so to you. Not 
that I mean to yield the palm to you, as if you can be more sensi-* 
biy affected by absence than myself, but I allow my situation at 
home is more pleasant than yours while abroad. Considered as 
a trial, we have cause to be thankful that it has been so much 
sweetened ; and we should likewise aim to draw some useful les- 
sons from it. I hope I have learned some, if I can but practise 
them. I cannot feel how much I miss you, when you are from 
me but a few weeks without thinking what support I should need, 
if I was wholly deprived of you. The like thought, 1 suppose, 
js sometimes upon your mind. The hour will probably come, 
when we must experience the alternative of leaving, or being left. 
For though possible, it is not very likely, that we shall be remov-* 
ed both at once. May the Lord impress the event of this un* 
known hour upon our minds ; not to distress us, but to keep alive 
in us a sense of the insignificancy of every thing here, compared 
with the one thing needful ! May he cause our faith to grow and 
take deep root, and fix in us such a persuasion of his all-sufficien* 
cy and grace, and of our interest in his promises, that we may 
trust and not be afraid, but cheerfully commit all that is before 
us to his care. He who has supported us for weeks, can support 
08 for years, and make those things tolerable which seem the 
most formidable in prospect. We are prone to be over-earnest 
about matters, which will one day appear to us of no more impot^ 
tance than the recollection of a dream. But, oh ! the peace 
of God satisfies and fills the heart, and leaves but little room fof 
anxious cares, or a warmth of spirit about trifles ! 

I acknowledge your kindness in sending me tolerable long let- 
ters, and by way of thanks, I have this tiiqe taken a large she.et 



id3 * LEVTMRs 90 ▲ Wins, 

of |Mper^ and wH) try to fill it. If I bad leisare, and coald find 
soroethiog to say, I would please myself with writing, not sheets, 
but quires. But I have many things to attend, and meet with 
hourly interruptions. When I awakened our dear little girl this 
morning, I asked her for a text, and she very promptly gave me 
Isa. xlii. 16, which contains an epitome of my own history and of 
yours also. How blind were we, when the Lord brought us to- 
gether ! How little did we then think of the paths, by which, and 
to which, he had purposed to lead us. But he caused light to 
shine upon our darkness, he has made a thousand crooked things 
straight before us, and we have good reason to trust his promise 
that he will not forsake us. Crooked things will occur in our 
path now and then ; but, if he be with us, we need not fear. And 
the time is short. May we learn to speak the Psalmist's lan- 
guage from our hearts, " Lord ! what wait we for ? our hope is iu 
thee.'' We have seen much of the good which this life, in a tem- 
poral view, can afford. We have felt enough of its evils to know 
that all here is mingled with vanity and vexation of spirit. And 
I trust, that before he removes us, he will make us heartily willing 
to go, that we may behold Him who shed his precious blood to 
redeem our souls. 



Olnetfy December 26. 

The Lord is very good to me. He maintains my peace, and 
preserves me from evils and snares. But I feel much abomination 
in my heart. I can truly say, it is a cage of unclean and hateful 
birds. I dare not intrust any one, not even you, with a detail of the 
wild, foolish, and dreadful thoughts which often pester my mtod. 
The Lord who is infinitely holy, sees all, yet he bears with me, 
and permits me, vile as I am, to call him mine. Is not this won- 
derful f Oh ! he is full of grace and mercy ! 1 hope you think 
and find him so. 

Yesterday was a busy time, but I was led comfortably through. 
I had a good night, and slept this morning till past seven. I am 
sufficiently indulgent to Mr. Self. Do not fear my pinching or 
over-working him. I need a spur more than a bridle. You of- 
ten think I do too much ; I much oftener see cause to confess 
myself, comparatively at least, a slothful and unprofitable servant. 
In the concerns of immortal souls, with eternity in view, and so 
much depending upon the present moment, what assiduity or im- 
portunity can be proportioned to the case ? I ought to be always 
upon the wing, seizing any opportunity of aiming to be useful, 
whether by word or pen ; and, of coarse, much more careful and 



WHILE RES1DEU7T XT OLNtY. ld3 

diligeot than I am to redeem the time. The Lord pity and par- 
don us all, and make us as wise in our generation as the men of 
the world are in theirs I 



Olney^ December 2T. 
Wc are all well, and therefore you need not be alarmed at my 
writing so soon. Mr. R^*** called on me this morning, and 
when 1 spoke of my intended journey, he said he must go to Lon- 
don soon, and that if he conld be of any service, he would suit 
his time to ours, and willingly conduct your father to Olney. 
When he first spoke, my heart answered. Thank you for nothing ; 
I do not choose to miss the pleasure of seeing my dear M*** at 
least a whole week sooner than if I wait for her at home. But I 
soon considered, Mr. R*^** U an active, strong man, who has his 
eyes and his wits about him, and could, perhaps, upon many oc« 
casion8,be much more helpful to my father than 1 could. So I 
must mention this to her, andjf she approves it, 1 must, for my 
father's sake, submit to stay a little longer before I see her. If 
you think that my coming will do as well or better, here I am 
waiting. Nothing but prudence, and a sense of duty here, would 
prevent my setting oflf towards you this night. I should much pre- 
fer it to going to bed. If it depended on my will only, I feel myself 
well disposed to take a journey of five hundred miles, for one day 
or half day of your company, if I could have it upon no easier 
terms. 1 need not multiply words ; you well know that I cannot 
wish for an excuse to prevent my coming to you. But your fa- 
ther's safe and comfortable travelling is at present a chief object 
with me. I love him for his own sake ; when he gave his con- 
sent that you should be mine, he laid me under an obligation 
which I can never repay ; and over and above all this, he is your 
father. 



1776. 



O/ficy, January 7. 

Fob fear the snow should prevent my being with you on Tues-* 
day, I write a hasty line to tell you that we are all well. 

I suppose, if Self had his will, he would think his journey to 
yoo of such importance, that no snow should have fallen to re- 
tard it^ or make it inconvenient. Poor prond creature ! What a 
presumptuous worm, to admifr-oi^e thought against the appoint- 

Vol. IV. * 65 



194 LBTTERS TO A WIFfi, 

merit of the Most High ; instead of being dul? thankful that you 
and I are safely sheltered, and well provided for, in this severe 
weather ! Wha^t hardships are some persons suffering this morn- 
ing, while you, I hope, are sleeping peacefully in your bed, and I 
am sitting by a good fire. Far be it from us to repine, if in some 
things our inclinations are a little crossed. It is often, yea, always, 
in mercy when they are. We have seen it so in many instances 
thready, and shall hereafter see that it was so in all. 

Let me bee you not to give way to fears on my account, nor lo 
calculate the depth of the snow at present ; nor of the floods, when 
the snow shall melt. Since you have had an interest in me^ the 
Lord has preserved me ia the midst of many dangers, such as you 
can form no idea of. We may safel v trust him now. His arm is 
not weary ; he is always near us, and bis providence watchful over 
those that fear him. but I know I cannot reason away your ap- 
prehensions, any more than I can my own when they are exercised 
about you. I will therefore direct my thoughts upward — Lord do 
thou keep her heart staid upon thee, and give her power to trust 
all in thine hand, and submit all to thy will ! Amen» * 



■^ Olney^ January 9. 

If I did not feel for your anxiety, I should be quite easy, for we 
are all well, and surrounded with mercies. I thought to be in 
London to-night, and with you to-morrow ; but the Lord appoint- 
ed otherwise. The greatest fall of snow I ever remember, has 
prevented me ; but I might have been prevented by illness. Till 
ten or, eleven this morning, I thought of making myself as easy as 
I could at home. But after the wagon came in, finding that the 
road was open to Newport, and it beginning to thaw, I supposed, 
if I cotild reach thither, I should find the high road passable 
enough. As I chalked it out, I was to reach St. Alban's by eight, 
set out from thence at four to-morrow rooming, breakf^t in Lon« 
don, and drink tea in the afternoon with my dearest M***., < Ac- 
cordingly, about noon we began our march* Mr. R**** led the 
v^n, I was in the centre, and Richard brought up the rear* He 
was designed to bring the horses home. I was a little concerned 
how he would be able to manage the three horses ; but my con- 
cern vras needless, for we returned as we went. The road from 
Newport was impassable to carriages. Neither chaise nor mail 
could move. 1 came safely home, well pleased that I had made 
the attempt, and only anxious lest you should be alarmed. I wish 
you may be able to drive away your fears upon my account, or 
rather pray them away. I am in safe hands. The Lord is my 
protector, aad yours too. But if your pamful feefings cannot bi 



WBiLt RESIDENT At OLITET. 199 

avoided, may they be sanctified ! My love is unwUlitig that yo^ 
have an uneasy moment ; but the Lord^s love is not only tender, 
but wise. 

Nor let us regret, that this fall of snow should prolong our sepa«- 
ration. It fell By the direction of God's providence, both as to 
the tune and the spot. And he likewise times our concerns, or 
the snow might have detained your father on the road, as I heat it 
has some company, who were glad to be sheltered in a small pub- 
lie-house by the road side, and can neither get backward nor for* 
ward. Come ; all is well^ We are, indeed, asunder ; but I am 
not in Afirica. How things are now we know* What unforeseen 
events the interposition ofthe snow may have prevented, we know 
not. As it is, the consciousness of loving and being beloved, 
Tematns with us ; and this is better than every thing else ^tould 
be without it. 



(Uneyy Xanuary 20. 

You say you cannot describe your uneasiness, when you neither 
saw me^ as you expected, nor heard from me. I need no descrip* 
tion. I felt it foryou. I well know how you would be situated, 
unless you were apprised that the roads were stopped. Had the 
snow fallen with you as with us, you would have 9K:coimted tar 
lay not coming. I think no motive, less powerful than yourself, 
would have induced me to go to Newport whea I did. It was at 
least an unpleasant ride ; and 1 could not have manetged It had I 
been alone. We were obliged in some places to quit the road, 
which was impassable, and to £o round Uke odw fields ; and, at 
times, both the horse and his rider were almost ouried ia tfiesnow. 
Jf either fatigue or expense could have prevented your anxiety, 
you would have had none. But I hope all is well over now. 

It may help to make us patient, it should, indeed, make us 
thankful, to reflect upon the vast distress that multitudes are pro* 
hMy in, both by sea and land, at this moment while I am writing 5 
aome starving with cold, others with hunger, aome lost in the snow, 
itthars dashing a^nst the rocks. Ah, my dearest, haw lias sin 
filled the world with wo ! And we ave sinners like others ; but our 
aaffisite^ are light compared with what jnanv ^eodure, and still 
more lagbl, if compared with our deserts. The Lord has done a 
great thing for us, la showing us the way of salvation. Here may 
*our thouriUs and desiit^s chiefly fix. Il sin be paidmied, if we ane 
accepted ia the Beloved, then He wUl guide us by the way, and 
Jieaven will be our portion at the^d. And see ! He is seated on 
a Arooe of grace, and ready to beataw every blessii^ that we. 
Med, move than our scan^ aiinds can either ask or .canceive« I 



196 LETTERS TO A WIFE, 

am at a distance from you. But, alas ! what am I ? If you wefe 
here, I could afford you no comfort or help, but by his blessing* 
But he can do you good without me. He can sensibly refresh you, 
or secretly support you, and be unto you a6 rivers of water in a 
dry place. 



. Olney, January 2d. 

I AM not surprised that you sometimes find it hard to be recon- 
ciled to your present situation. 1 was much comforted by th6 
strain of cheerful submission expressed in your two former let- 
ters ; but I know, from what passes in my own heart, that we can- 
not maintain such a resigned frame of spirit by any power of our 
own. I wish you, however, to look back a month or two, to the 
time when you feared something had happened to me. You then 
thought, if you could be sure that I was well, you could mak6 
light of eveiT inconvenience. The present severe weather is a 
dispensation n'om the Lord. Thousands feel much more terrible 
effects from it than we have felt ; and I know no ground of claim 
that we have to an exemption firom a share in those trials to which 
all are exposed. May tiie Lord help us to siit)mit and wait pa- 
tiently ; for, after all, we can alter nothing. We may make things 
worse, by a want of resignation, but we cannot mena them. 

I acknowledge that your part of the trial has been the hardest ; 
yet mine has not been light, especially if what I have felt for you 
be taken into the account. Yet, upon the whole, the Lord keeps 
my mind attentive to what I have deserved, and to what others suf- 
fer ; so that, in the main, I am quiet and peaceful. If either you 
or I, or* the dear childi had been 'ill, the trial would have been 
much gi-eater 5 yet even then we could not have helped ourselves* 



Olnejfy January 30. 
Writing to you » now almost the only thin^ to which I can 
attencf. Let us try to be thankful that we are all well, and fei- 
voured with the necessaries and comforts of life. And let us pray 
that this separatbn, with all its inconveniences, may be sanctified. 
How often have I committed you and myself to the Lord, seemed 
willing that he should tak^e bis own methods with us, and that, in 
hope he would make all things work together for our good, I would 
never presume to say to him, What doest thou 9 And yet, when I 
think of your present distress, my spirits are so scrftened and affec- 
ted, that I am ready to overlook my innumerable causes for thank- 
fukies». I can easily see how this trial may be one of the alt 



»f WHILE R^LI>£KT AT OLNEY. 197 

Hiing$ working together fojr our eood ; but it is his blessing must 
make it so. For if left to'myseu, I am capable of forgetting both 
corrections and comforts. 

I am writing by a good fire, and while I almost burn on one side, 
I feel the frost on the other. How true is that word, '^ Who can 
stand before his cold ?" And there is another good word, which 
I hope, in due time, to see fulfilled : '* He sendeth forth his word 
and melteth them ; he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters 
fiow«'' He can make a speedy and powerful change in the weath- 
er. When he giveth his commandment, it runnem very swiftly. 
Such, likewise, is his power over the heart. He can give peace 
for trouble, heal our sorrows, revive our graces, and make us joy- 
ful in tribulation. If he speaks, it is done. He can bring real 
and enduring good out of seeming and transient evil, water out of 
rocks, and honey out of lions. Oh ! that I could leave you, my- 
self, and my all in his hands ; be still, and know that he is Go<J« 
and stand still to see his salvation. Remember me to Mr. K^***. 
If he wants his house cleared, I want mine to be filled. But the 
Lord has interposed. We must not complain \ if we do, we di- 
rectly find fault wit(i him who appointeth the seasons. 



OJnetfj February 1. 
Your mournful letter made me thoroughly uneasy, till this eve% 
ning about eight, when I was supprized by a note, informing m^ 
that your father was at Newport, where they could not get a 
chaise, but wished to come to Olney to-night, if I could send one. 
You may guess how I ran and flew to get one. It set off soon ;, 
it is now ten o^clock, and I expect them in half an hour. Your 
being in the dumps threw me into the dumps deep enough. 
I was distressed tor your uneasiness, but still hopea' what I 
wrote last would prevent his coming. For I was filled with 
the most alarmine apprehensions of your father's travelling in 
this weather. I thought the &*ost would seize his legs, and ima- 

S'ned I saw the chaise stopped in the snow, or overturned, and 
at he, incapable of helping himself, would be frozen to dcadi. 
The messenger arrived more than an hour before your second 
letter, or it would have increased my fears, to have been informed 
that he was actually upon the road. I have not felt my own 
weakness, and want of dependence upon God, more sensibly in 
a great while. But I hope when he shall have brought us hap- 
pily together, what we have suffered for each other, during these 
last eleven weeks, will be remembered by us with thanktulness, 
and to profit. ' 

P. S* Your fiuher arrived at half past ten, safe and welL as 



198 UTTERS to A Wire, 

full of Spirits as a yoting man, or as if he had but just risen from 
bed. He is very well Uiis morning, and so we are all ; and every 
face about me looks more pleasant, as we now can form a reasona-* 
ble hope of seeing you soon.^ 



f* 



1785. 



London, Hoxton^ Augiut 6. 

I LONG to hear that you had a comfortable journey to South-* 
ampton, and that you are now with our dear friends. Nothing has 
taken place among us that can be properly called new ; which is ' 
a great mercy. For though you nave been gone but one day, a 
single day, or a single hour, may produce painful alterations m a 
family. The Lord has preserved us through a lon^ course of 
years, and in different situations, from various calamities which 
have overtaken others. , Our obligations to thankfulness are singu- 
lar and numerous. When the chaise drove past the corner, my 
heart seemed to go away with it. It contained what was of more 
value to me than the cargoes of a whole East-India fleeu Tell 
Eliza that I love her very dearly. I feel parting with you and 
with her ; but I can cheerfully submit to any thing that may, by 
the Lord's blessing, contribute to her recovery or relief. She 
would soon be well if I could make her so. But she is in better 
hands than mine. I have a comfortable hope that her illness has 
been, and will be, sanctified to an end far more desirable than 
health or life itself. Therefore I leave her to the wise and merci- 
ful direction of the Lord, who, I trust, loves her better than I cani 

I cannot write a long letter to-night. What could I, indeed, say^ 
if I had more time, that I have not said a thousand times over? 
Yet thers still is, and will be, something unsaid in my heart, which 
I have not words to express. May the Lord bless this little sepa- 
ration to quicken us to mutual prayer, and to lead us to a tbanKfuI 
review of the mercy and goodness which have followed us. through 
the many years we have been united. How many turns have wp 
seen ! under how many trials have we beea supported ! How 
many deliverances have we known ! How many comforts have 
we enjoyed ! Especially, what great advantages oave weipossess- 

* From the above period ve were seldom separated. And the few letters I 
wrote were short and contained tittie that I can dean worth transcribing. 1 
add the followinic, written after our removal to London, when the illnefts of 
our dear Eliza Cunningham made a kmrae j to Soatbampton neceasar/. I 
subjoin them chiefly a* a testliDony of the ucd*s goodness m^ueserviag our 
affection from being diminished by the increase of yaan. I believe I was not 
absent from her more than a day or two at a timey after the date of the last, 
tSi she finished her course. 



WHILE BBSIDEMT IN L^FBON. 199 

ed, for seeking and knowing the things which pertain to onr ever- 
lasting peace ! The years we have passed together will return no 
more. The afflictions are gone, the pleasures likewise are gone, 
forever. The longer we live, such pleasures as this world can 
afford will, more and more, lose their poller of pleasing. Only 
our love, I trust, will subsist and flourish to the end of life, yea^ be- 
yond it. It will always be a truth, that the Lord, in giving me 
you, gave me the best temporal desire of my heart. But the 
shadows of the evening advance. Old age is growing upon us, 
and the days are approaching when we shall have no pleasure but 
what we can derive from the good word of 6od» and the consola- 
tions of his Holy Spirit ! These, if we are favoured with them, 
will sufficiently compensate for the abatement, or the loss, of all 
the rest. The streams may run dry, but the fountain of living wa- 
ters will always flow. May his presence be near our hearts, and 
then all will be well ! 

I am too fully employed to feel time hang heavy upon my 
hands in your absence ; and if I am permitted to come to you, the 
thoughts of the journey's end will make the journey pleasant. 



Hoxton, August 1 3. 

I f HANK the Lord and you for the comfortable account of your 
arrival at Southampton, without meeting any harm in the way ; 
and that you found our dear friends well. We entreated the 
Lord to take care of you ; and he has beard our prayer. How 
often has he heard and answered us ! Oh ! that we may, at 
length, learn to trust him without anxiety. I believe I shall find 
it diAmlt to procure a supply for my church. But if the Lord 
pleases to let me see my dear friends at Southampton, while you 
are with them, ways and means will be found. His will must take 
place ; and I should be sorry to move a step without it. 

I long to hear ^hat dear Elixa has been in the water, and how it 
agrees with her. The Lord can give it the virtue of the pool of 
Bethesda. If he sees it best for her on the whole, she will find re- 
lief. He knows what is best for her ; I do not. But I had much 
rather see her as she is, than in full health and spirits, if careless 
and fond of dissipation, as is too frequently the case with girls at 
her age. To bear the yoke in youth, is not pleasant to the flesh ^ 
but it has often proved a blessing to the soul. 

I commend you both to the Lord and to the word of his grace ; 
I wish you much of that peace which passeth understanding, par- 
ticularly in this respect, and it has no necessary dependence upon 



200 LB^TEjaS TO A ITlFfe, « 

outward things. If we wait upon bioi, we are sore to befemember- 
ed with the favour which he bears to his own people. We have 
much to be thankful for in this life : yet there is a thread of vani- 
ty runs tl^rough the whole of it ; for He who has done and suf- 
fered so much for our happiness, does not design that we should 
be quite happy here. 



Hoxton^ August 17. 

I THANK my dear friends for their great kindness to you ; 
tell them that I should be glad to be w^h you, to share in it. But 
I cannot come, with propriety^ at present. 1 hope Eliza will be 
able to bathe soon ; and as you are upon the spot, I think 3'ou 
must wait a while. Dependence and submission, in the use of 
prudent means, are our parts ; events are in the hand of God. It 
was right that you should go to a proper place, whether she 
can bathe or not, now she is there, because the attempt was 
thought adviseable. And if bathing would be useful, 1 think she 
will yet be able. If not, you have acted to the best of your 
judgment. What we call disappointments, are dispensations, 
which, if rightly improved, will answer valuable purposes, and 
we shall hereafter see cause to be thankful for them. I am wil- 
ling to think that I love Eliza almost, if not altogether, as well as 
you do. But there is an over anxiety attending 3'our love, which 
hurts you, and can do her no good. Your reflections upon this 
subject please me. I would do, I would suffer, much for her ad- 
vantage. But still we are creatures. Our Lord God has an ab- 
solute right to dispose of us, and of ours, as he sees fit. And as 
he is sovereign, so he is wise and good. It is a great ntticv to 
be enabled to yield to his will ; for every thing, and ever^Rart, 
must either bend or break before it. 

What shall I say by way of close ? What, but breathe out the 
warmest wishes of my heart to you and for you. Daily, and 
often, I thank the Lord for giving you to me at first, and for 
sparing you to me so long. How very different would the histo- 
ry of my life* have been, if yours had not been connected with it ! 
That my idolatrous regard had so happy an issue, and that my sin 
and folly have not yet deprived me of you, are proofs of his sin- 
gular mercy to me. I have innumerable comforts to be thankful 
for ; but my heart is so intimately united to you, that I scarcely 
seem susceptive either of pleasure or pain, but with some reftr- 
ence to you. Thus it was when our union commenced, and thus 
it has been every day since, to this hour. If I could say, with 
confidence, that 1 hold you now in your proper place of sobordi- 



WHILE BCSIBENT IH tONDON. S0| 

imtion to Htm who gave you to me,, tben I need not scruple 
to profess that your peace, your welfare, and your love, are 
dearer to roe than all earthly things. The latter I can say with 
truth ; I hesitate about the former. I fear you are too much 
my idol still. The good Lord pardon me in this thing. My 
choicest comfort has been, too often, the occasion of showing me 
the evil and ingratitude of my heart in the strongest light. Oh ! 
that we may both have grace to live the remainder of our days to 
Him ! Do, ray dearest M***, pray for me, pray earnestly for me; 
and may He return all the good you can ask for me a thousand 
fold into your own bosom ! 



Hoxiouy August 23. 

I THANK you for your letter ; and I thank the Lord that dear 
Eliza is able to bathe. May his blessing attend every means for 
ber relief; and, especially, may her soul prosper ! she and you 
are daily and hourly remembered. You express the very senti- 
ments of my heart. I am well and comfortable in the main ; but 
there is a want of something, when you are absent, which no crea* 
ture can make up. I hope we shall meet to praise him soon : but, 
1 believe, I mast wait till after the fourth of September. I hope 
l^all then procure a proper supply for a Sunday or two. If it 
hFthe Lord's good pleasure that I shall come to you, it will be 
made practicable. 

1 cannot but wish, with you, that we may not be separated 
again ; but it is of more importance to wish and pray that Qur 
present separation may be sanctified to us. Many things ofier to. 
amuse us : some deserve and require a degree of our attention } 
but one thing is especially needful. What a mercy is it that this 
one thing, which mountains of gold and silver cannot purchase, is 
to be had without money and without price ! May the Lord en- 
grave it deeply on your heart and mine ! His name is Love ; his 
word is Power. As sure as the sun will rise to-morrow, so sure is 
his promise, that he will in no wise cast out them that come unto 
him. If we have a desire for his blessings, he first gave it us, and 
therefore will not disappoint us. I long to see and hear you re- 
joicing in his salvation. He only knows the many prayers I have 
offered for you ; I trust not in vain. I cannot doubt but the one 
thiqg needful is your chief desire. Every thing else will shortly 
fail us ; but the blessing of the Gospel will last through life, 
through death, and to eternity. 

Vol. IV. 26 



3012 LGttEllS TO A WlFfi^ 

Hoxton, August 27. 

I LAID me down in peace, and awoke in safety ; (or the Lord 
sustained me. He is about our path by day, andoorbed by 
night, and preserves us from innumerable evils, which would come 
upon us every hour, if his watchful providence did not pro- 
tect us. He is our sure, though invisible, shield ; therefore, 
we are unhurt, though, in ourselves we are weak and defence- 
less, like a city without walls or gates, and open to excursions from 
every quarter. Could we but live mdre sensible of his goodness, 
and maintain that feeling of gratitude towards him which we do 
to some of our fellow-creatures, we should be happy. For what 
is the great destgn^of4he Gospel ? Is it not to introduce us into a 
state of the most honourable and interesting friendship, and to 
perpetuate! to us the pleasure which we find in pleasing those who 
are dearest to us ? The Lord Jesus is our best friend : his charac- 
ter is supremely excellent, oar obligations to him- are inexpressi- 
ble, our dependence upon him is absolute, and onr happiness, in 
every sense, is in his bands. May our love, therefore, be fixed 
upon him, and w0 shall do well. He will guide us with his eye, 
guard us by his power, and his fullness and bounty will supply 
all our wants. 

As to dear Eliza, I hope 1 have made up my mind about her. 
If her recovery could be purchased, I think I would bid as l^h. 
for it as my ability would reach, provided it was the Lord's vffil. 
But I am so short-sighted, that I dare not ask for the continuance 
-of her life, (nor even of yours,) but with a reserve ofsubmissioiY 
to his wisdom. I know not what mi^ht be the possible conse- 
quences, if I could have my own will. I know he can restore her, 
and I believe he will, if it be for the best. If not, I desire to sub- 
mit, of rather, to acquiesce, to be satisfied. I shall feel for myself 
if she be removed ; and probably my feelings will be doubled and 
accented upon your account. But he can support us, and sanc- 
tify the painful dispensation to us both. I pray to be ena})led 
to entrust and resign every thing to him. This is not an easy les- 
son to flesh and blood ; but grace can make it practicable. For 
the rest, if she should be taken off in a moment, I have reason to 
be quite easy about the event, as to herself. And if she should 
decline gradually, I have little doubt but the Lord will enable her 
to speak to the comfort and satisfaction of all about her. She is 
in his wise and merciful hands ; and there I am content to leave 
her. 



ITBltE RCSISEHT IN tiONBON. 203 



Hoxton^ September 1^ 
It is a maxim with me, when I can hope my intention is right, to 
make myself as easy as possible about consequences. I did not 
apprehend that Elisa had finally given up bathing : and Mr. 
T^**^'8 kind letter confirmed my determination to visit yoo. I 
therefore took places early in the Diligence that I might not be 
4aily pestered with an anxious fear of being t6o late, and thereby 
disappoint you. I know the way of man is not in himself; I be- 
lieve the Most High Lord condescends to direct the steps of those 
who depend upon his guidance ; and I am aware that a thousand 
events, unforeseen and unthooght of, may depend upon our move- 
ments. On thtese grounds I prayed him to direct me ; and I am 
satisfied. If we come down to Southampton before you leave it, 
I shall be ready to return with you the next morning, if you think 
proper. Every thing will easily give way to my attention to dear 
Eliza. 

^ Though Monday is tlie day on which I hope to meet our socie- 
ty, this was not the reason why I fixed to set off on Tuesday. I 
am not fond of travelling on a Monday, wh^n I can avoid it. 
The thoughts of something relative to the journey might intrude 
and discompose my mind on the Lord's day, wnich I love to en- 
joy as quietly as |)ossible ; and, after the services of that day, a 
good night's rest is desirable. I thought, if I changed my bed on 
Sunday evening, and rose at four the next morning, I might not 
corae to you so well and composed as i hope I shall on Tuesday. 
Otherwise, neither that society nor any company in the kingdom 
should detain me a day from yo^, unnecessarily, when yon expect 
me, and after a month's absence. I iWmk of our hoped-for meet- 
ing on Tuesday next with much the same anticipation of pleasure, 
as when I have formerly been on the return to you from, an Afri- 
can voyage. What difiference there is, I compare to the difference 
between the blossom and the fruit. The blessing of the Lord up- 
on our connection has, in the course of thirty-five years, ripened 
the passion of love into a solid and inexpressibly tender friendship ; 
which, I trust, in its most valuable properties, will subsist for 
ever. I shall never find words fully to tell you bow much 1 owe 
you, how truly I love you, nor the one half of what my bearf 
meanSf when I subscribe myself, 

You^ most affectionate and obliged husband. 



APPENDIX. 



No. I. 



A Rdaiion ofiome ParUeularSj respecting the Catae, Progress, and Close of 
the lasi lUntss qfmy laU dear Wjfe, 

Amoi/g my readers, there will, doubtless, be some of a gentle, 
sympathising spirit, with whom I am not personally acquainted ; 
and perhaps their feelings may so far interest tliem in my con- 
cerns, as to make tbera not unwilling to read a brief account of* 
my late great trial. I shall allot a few pages to this purpose, by 
way of close to my book, and to my history. 

My dear wife had . naturally a good constitution, and was fa- 
voured with good spirits to the last. But the violent shock she 
sustained in the year 1754, when I was suddenly attacked by a 
fit ( I know not of what kind) which left me no sign of life,, for 
aboBt an hour, but breathing, made as sudden a change in her 
habit, and subjected her, from that time, to a variety of chronic 
complaints. She was seyeral times confined, for five or six 
months, to her chamber, and often brought so low that her recov* 
ery was deemed hopeless* I believe she spent ten years out of 
forty that she was spared to me, (if all the days of her sufferings 
were added together,) in illness and pain. But she had like- 
wise long intervals of health. The fit I have mentioned (the only 
one I ever bad) was the mean the Lord was pleased to appoint in 
answer to ray prayers, to free me from the irksome seafaring life 
in which I was till then engaged, and to appoint me a settlement 
on shore. 

Before our removal from Liverpool, she received a blow upon 
her left breast, which occasioned her some pain and aniiety for a 
little time, but which soon wore oflT. A small lump remained in 
the part afiect^d, but I heard no more of it for many years. I 
believe that, latterly, she felt more than I was aware of ; but her 
tenderness for me made her conceal it as long as possible. I 
have often since wondered at her success \ and how I could be 
kept so long ignorant of it. 

In the month of October, 1768, she applied unknown to me, 
to a friend of mine, an eminent surgeon. Her design was, if he ap- 
proved it, to submit to an operation, and so to adjust time and cir- 
cumstances with him, that it might be performed in my absence, and 



300 knzHDtt. 

before I coold know it. But the surgeon told her that the oiala*' 
dy was too far advanced, and the tumour (the sise of which he 
compared to the half of a melon) was too large to warrant the 
hope of being extracted, without the most imminent danger of her 
life, and that he durst not attempt it. He could give her but lit- 
tle advice, more than to keep herself as quiet, and her mind at 
easy, as possible ; and little moreeitfcooragemeot, than by saying, 
that the pains to which she was eiposed were generally rendered 
tolerable by the use of laudanum : to which, however, she bad a 
dislike, little short of an antipathy. 

I cannot easily describe the composure and resignation with 
which she gave me this recital, the next day, of her interview with 
the surgeon ; nor of the sensations of my mind while I heard it. 
My conscience told me that 1 had well deserved to be wounded 
where I was most sensible ; and that it was my duty to submit with 
silence to the will of the Lord. But I strongly felt, that unless 
he was pleased to give me this submission, I was more likely to 
toss like a wild bull in a net, in defiance of my better judgment. 

Soon after, the Lord was pleased to visit our dear adopted 
daughter with a dreadful fever, which, at first, greatly afiected 
her nerves, and afterwards became putrid. She was brought very 
near the grave indeed ; for we, once or twice, thought her actually 
dead. But he, who in the midst of judgment remembers mer- 
cy, restored her, and still preserves her, Co be the chief temporal 
comfort of my old age, and to aflbred me the greatest alleviation 
of the loss I was soon to experience, that the case could admit* 

The attention and anxiety occasioned by this hea%7 dispensa* 
tion, which lasted during the whole of a very severe winter, were 
by no means suited to promote that tranquility of mind which 
my good friend wished ray dear wife would endeavour to preserve. 
She was often much fatigued, and often much ahirmed. Next 
to each other, this dear child had the nearest place both in her 
heart and mine. The effects were soon apparent : as the spring 
of eighty-nine advanced, her malady rapidly increased ; her 
pains <were almost incessant, and often intense, and she could sel- 
dom lie one hour ' in her bed in the same position. Ob ! my 
heart, what didst thou then sufler ! 

But in April, the God who heareth prayer mercifully aiTorded 
relief; and gave such a blessing to the means employed, that her 
pains ceased. And though, I believe, she never had an hour of 
perfect ease, she felt little of the distressing pains incident to her 
malady from that time to the end of her life, (which was about 
twenty months,) excepting at three or fonr short intervals, which, 
taken together, hardly amounted to two hours : and these returns 
of anguish, I thought, were permitt^ to show me how much I 



was indebted to the goodaess of God for exempting her feelingSi 
aud my sympathy, from what would have been terrible indeed ! 

In the close of the summer, she was able to go to Southamp- 
ton, and returned tolerably well. 

She was twice at church, in the first week after she came home* 
She then went no more abroad, except in a coach, for a little air 
and exercise ; but she was cheerful, tolerably easy, slept as well 
as most people who are in perfect health, and conid receive and 
eonverse with her kind friends who visited her. 

It was not long after, that she began to have a distaste for food, 
which continued and increased ; so that, perhaps, her death was 
at last rather owing to weakness from want of nourishment, than 
to her primary disorder. Her dislike was, first, to butcher^s 
meat, of which she could bear neither the sight nor the smell. 
Poultry and fish, in their turns, became equally distasteful. She 
retained some relish for small birds, a while after she had given 
up the rest ; but it was at a season when they were difficult to ob- 
tained. I hope I shall always feel my obligations to the kind 
friends who spared no pains to procure some for her, when they 
were not to be had in the markets. At that time I set more value 
upon a dozen of larks, than upon the finest ox in Sraithfield. 
But her appetite failed to these also, when they became more 
plentiful* 

Under this trying discipline I learnt, more sensibly than ever, 
to pity those whose sufferings of a similar kind are aggravated by 
poverty. Our distress was not small : yet we had every thing 
within reach that could, in any degree, conduce to her refresment 
or relief; and we bad faithful and affectionate servants, who were 
always williligly engaged to their power, yea, as the apostle 
speaks, beyond their power, in attending and assisting her by 
night and by day. ^ What must be the feelings of those who, 
when afflicted with grievops diseases, pine away, unpitied, unno- 
'ticed, without help, in a great measure, destitute orcomm9n necesr 
aai-ies f This reflection among others, contributed to quiet my 
mind, and to convincenne that I bad still much more cause for 
thankfulness than for complaint. x 

. For about a twelvemonth of her confinement, her spirits wer^ 
good, her patience was exemplary, and there was a cheerhiloess in 
her looks and her laojguage that was wonderful. Often the liveli- 
ness of her remarks has forced a smile from us, when the tears 
were iii our eyes. Whatever little contrivances she formed for 
her amusement in the course of the day, she would attend to no-* 
thing till she had finished her stated reading of the Scripture ; in 
which she employed much time and great attention. I have her 
bible by me, (which I woald not part with for half the mum* 



308 APPENDIX. 

scripts in the Vatican,) in which almost every principal text, from . 
the beginning to the end of the book, is marked in the margin 
with a pencil, by her own dear hand. The good word of God 
was her medicine and her food, while she was able to read it. She 
read Dr. Watts' Psalms and Hymns, and the Olney Hymns in the 
same manner. There are few of them, in which one, two, or 
more verses, are not thus marked; and in many, which I suppose 
she read more frequently every verse is marked. 

But in October, the enemy was permitted, for a while, to t^ke 
advantage of her bodily weakness, to disturb the peace and se- 
renity of her mind. Her thoughts became clouded and confused ; 
and she gradually lost, not only the comfortable evidence of bet 
own interest in the precious truths of the bible, but she lost all 
hold of the truth itself. She doubted the truth of the Bible, or 
whether the truth existed. And, together with this, she express^ 
ed an extreme reluctance to death ; and could not easily bear the 
mort distant hint of her approaching end, though we were ex- 
pecting it daily and hourly. This was the (icme^ the high-water 
mark of my trial ; this was hard to bear indeed. 

My readers, perhaps, will scarcely believe that I derived some 
Consolation, during this gloomy period, from perceiving that her 
-uttachment to me was very sensibly abated. She spoke to me 
with an indifference of which, a little before she was^incapable. If, 
when the Lord's presence was withdrawn, and she could derive no 
comfort from his word, sbe had found some relief from my being 
with her, or from hearing me speak, I should have been more 
^eved. Her affection to me, confirmed by so many proofs in the 
course of forty years, was not to be impeached by this temporary 
suspension of its exercise. I judged the same of the frame of her 
mind, as to her spiritual concerns ; I ascribed them both to the 
same causes, her bodily weakness, and the power of temptation. 
She was relieved in both these respects, after about a fortnight 
spent in conflict and dismay. The Lord restored peace to her 
soul ; and then her former tenderness to me immediately revived. 
Then, likewise, sbe could calmly speak of her'approaclung disso- 
lution.- She mentioned some particulars concerning her funeral, 
and our domestic concerns, with great composure. But \\er 
miod was not so fully restored to its former tone, as to give her 
freedom to enlarge upon her hopes and views as I had wished, 
till near her dissolution ; and then she was too low to speak at all. 

One addition to our trial yet remained. It bad been iier cus- 
tom, when she went from the sofa to her bed, to exert herself for 
my encouragement, to show me how well she could walk. But 
it pleased the Lord, that by some alteration which affected her 
spine, sbe was disablod from moving herself; and other circum- 



APPENDIX. 



209 



Stances rendered it extremely difficalt to move her. It has taken 
five of us near two boars to remove her from one side of the bed 
to the other ; and, at times, even this was impracticable : so that 
she has lain more than a week exactly in the same spot, without 
the possibility of changing her position. All this was necessary 
on my account. The rod had a voice ; and it was the voice 
of the Lord. I understood the meaning no less plainly than if 
be had spoken audibly from heaven, and said, " Now contemplate 
your idol : now see what she is, whom you once presumed 16 
prefer to Me !'* Even this bitter cup was sweetened by the pa- 
tience and resignation which he gave her. When I Said *^ Yott 
suffer greatly," her answer nsually was, " I suffer, indeed, but 
not greatly.'* And she often expressed her thankfulness, that 
though her body was immoveable, she was still permitted the use 
of her hands. 

One of the last sensible concerns she felt respecting^ this world 
was, when my honoured friend, patron, and benefactor, the late 
John Thornton, Esq. of Clapham, was removed to a better. She 
revered and regarded him, I believe, more than she did any per- 
son upon earth ; and she had reason. Few had nearer access to 
know and admire his character ; and perhaps none were nnder 
greater, if equal obligations to 'him than we. She knew of his 
illness, but was always afraid to inquire after the event ; not 
shonld I have ventured to inform her, but that the occasion requir* 
ing me to leave her (or four or five hours^ when I hardly expect- 
ed to find her alive at my return, I was constrained to give her 
the reason of my absence. She eagerly replied, " Go^ by all 
means ; 1 would not have you stay with me upon any considera- 
tion.'' I put the funeral ring I was favoured with into her 
hands ; she put it first to her lips, and then to her eyes, bedewing it 
with her tears. I trust they soon met again. Bat she survived 
him more than a month. 

Her head became so affected, that I could do little more than 
sit and look at her. Our intercourse by words was nearly brok- 
en off. She could not easily bear the sound of the gentlest foot 
npon the carpet, 4ior of the softest voice. On Sunday the twelfth 
of December, when I was preparing for church in the morning she 
sent for me, and we took a final farewell as to this world. She 
faintly uttered an endearing compellation, which was familiar to 
her, and gave me her hand, which I held while I prayed by hej; 
bed-side. We exchanged a few tears ; but I was almost as una- 
ble to speak as she was. But I returned soon after, and said, " If 
yoar mind, as I trust, is in a state of peace, it will be a comfort 
to me if you can signify it by holding up yoi|r hand." She held 
it up, and waved it to and fro several times. 
Vol. IV. 27 



810 APPENDIX. 

That ^ening ber speech, her eight, and, I believe, her hearing, 
tirhoUy failed. She continued perfectly composed, without taking 
notice of any thing, or discovering any sign of pain or uneasiness 
till Wednesday evening, towards seven o'clock. She then began 
to breathe very hard : her breathing might be called groaning,, 
for it was heard in every part of the house ; but I believe it was 
entirely owing to the difficulty of expiration, for she lay quite still, 
with a placid countenance, as if in a gentle slumber. There was 
DO start or struggle, nor a feature ruffled. I took my post by ber 
bedside, and watched her nearly three hours, with a candle in my 
band, till I saw her breathe her last, on the 15th of December^ 
1790, a little before ten in the evening. 

When I was sure she was gone, I took off her ring, according to 
her repeated injunction, and put it upon my own finger. I then 
kneeled down, with the servants who were in the room, and re- 
turned the Lord my unfeigned thanks for her deliverance and her 
peaceful dismission. 

How wonderful must be the moment after death ! What a trans- 
ition did she then experience ! She was instantly freed from sin, 
and all its attendant sorrows, and, I trust, instantly admitted to 
join the heavenly choir. That moment was remarkable to me 
likewise. It removed from me the chief object which made an- 
other day or hour of life, as to my own personal concern,' de- 
sirable. At the same time it set me free from a weight of painful 
feelings and anxieties, under which nothing short of a divine 
power could have so long supported me. 

. I believe it was about two or three months before her death, 
when I was walking up and down the room, offering disjointed 
prayers from a heart torn with distress, that a thought suddenly - 
struck me, with unusual force, to this effect : — ^' The promises of 
God must be tr4ie ; surely the Lord will help me, if I am willing 
to be helped /" It occurred to me, that we are often led, from a 
Vain complacence in what we call our sensibility, to indulge that 
unprofitable grief which both our duty and our peace require us to 
resist to the utmost of our power. I instantly said aloud, *^ Lord, 
I am helpless indeed in myself, but I hope I am willing, without 
reserve, that thou shouldest help me." 

It had been much upon my mind, from the beginning of this 
trial, that I was' a minister, and that the eyes of many were upon 
me; that my turn-of preaching had very much led me to endeav- 
our to comfort the afflicted, by representing the Gospel as a ca- 
tholicon, affording an effectual remedy for every evil, a full com- 
pensation for every want or loss to those who truly receive it ; so 
that though a believer may be afflicted, he cannot be properly un- 
happy, ouleas he gives way to self-will qjad unbelief. 1 bad often 



told my bearers that a state of trial, if rightly imprdved, was to 
the Christian a post of honour, aflbrding the fairest opportunity of 
exemplifying the power of divine grace, to the praise and glory 
trf* the Giver. It had been, therefore, ray frequent daily prayer, 
ihat I might not, by impatience or despondence, be deprived of 
the advantage my situation afforded me, of confirming, by my own 
practice, the doctrine which I had preached to others^ and that I 
might not give them occasion to apply to me the words of Eliphaz 
to Job, ch. IV. 4, 5. *^ Thy words have upholden him that was 
falling, and thou has strengthened the feeble knees; but now it is 
come onto thee, and thou feintest ; it toucheth thee, and thoa art 
troubled !'' And I had not prayed in vain. But from the time 
that I so remstrkably felt tnyselttoittii^ to be helped^ I might truly 
say, to the praise of the Lord, ** My heart trusted in Him, and I 
was helped'' indeed. Through the whole of my painful trial, I 
attended all my stated and occasional services, as usual ; and k 
stranger would scarcely have discovered, either by my words or 
looks, that 1 was in trouble. Many of our intimate friends were 
af^rehensive that this long affliction, and especially the closing 
event, would have overwhelmed me ; but it was far otherwise. It 
did not prevent me from preaching a single sermon, and I preach«- 
ed on the day of her death* 

After she was gone, my willingness to be helped, and my desire 
diat the Lord's goodness to me might be observed by others, for 
their encouragement, made me indifferent to some laws of estab^ 
lished custom, the breach of which is often more noticed than the 
violsidon of God's commands. I was afraid of sitting at home, 
and indulging myself by poring over my loss; and therefore - 
waS'Seen in the street, and visited some of ray serious friends the 
very next day* I likewise preached three times while she lay dead 
in the house. Some of my brethren kindly offered their assist- 
ance ; but as the Lord was pleased to give me strength, both of 
body and mind, I thought it my duty to stand up in my place as 
formerly. And after she was deposited in the vault, 1 preached 
' her funeral sermon,* with little more sensible emotion than if it 
bad been for another person. I have reasdn to hope that many of 
my hearers were comforted, and animated under their afflictions, 
by what they saw of the Lord's goodness to me in my time of 
* need. And I acknowledge that it was well worth standing' a 
while in the fire, for such an opportunity of experiencing and. ex- 
hibiting the power and faithfulness of his promises. 

I was not supported by lively sensible consolations, but by be* 
ing enabled to realize to my mind some great and leading troths 

* From a text which I had reserved, firom my Arst entrance into theaiiiiisttff 
fOj Ms pvHctflv torvice, if I should survive ber,- and be.aMe to^ j p oifc * 



213 jLffEumxj 

of the won! of God. I ^aw, what indeed I knew before, hot never 
dll then so strongly and clearly perceived, that, as a sinner, I bad 
no right, and, as a believer, I could have no reason to. complain. 
I considered her as a loan, which He who lent her to me had 
a right to resnme whenever be pleased ; and that as I had deserv- 
ed to forfeit her every day from the first, it became me rather to 
be thankful that she was spared to me so long, than to resign her 
with reluctance when called for. Further, that his sovereignty 
was connected with infinite wisdom and goodness ; and that con- 
sequently, if it were possible for me to alter any part of his plan, 
I could only spoil it^-**tbat such a short-sighted creature as I, so 
blind to the possible consequences of my own wishes, was not only 
unworthy, but unable to choose well for myself; and that it was 
therefore my great mercy and privilege that the Lord condescend- 
ed to choose for me. May such consideraUoos powerfully affect 
the hearts of my readers under their troubles, and then 1 shall 
not regret having submitted to the view of the public, a detail 
which may seem more proper for the subject of a private letter to 
a friend. They who can feel for me, will, I hope, excuse me. 
And it is chiefly for their sakes that I have written it. 

When my wife died the world seemed to die with her, (I hope 
to revive no more.) I see little now, but my ministry and my 
Christian profession, to make a continuance in life, for a single 
day, desirable ; though I am willing to wait my appointed time. 
If the world cannot restore her to me, (not that I have the remot- 
est wish that her return was possible.) it can do nothing for me. 
The Bank of England is too poor to compensate for such a loss 
as mine. But the Lord, the all-sufficient God speaks, and it is 
done. Let those who know him, and trust him, be of good con* 
rage. He can give them strength according to their day 9 he 
can increase their strength as their trials are increased, to any as- 
signable degree. And what be can do, he has proaiised he will 
do. The power and faithfulness on which the successive chan- 
ges of day and night, and of the seasons of the year, depend, and 
which uphold the stars in their orbits, is equally engaged to sup- 
port his people, and to lead them safely and unhurt (if their path 
be so appointed,) through ftooda and flames. Though 1 believe 
ehe has never yet been (and probably never will be) out of my 
waking thoughts for five minutes at a time ; though I sleep in the 
bed in which she suffered and languished so long ; I have not had 
one uncomfortable day, nor one restless night, since she lefk me* 
I have lost a right hands which I cannot but miss continually, but 
the Lord enables me to go on cheerfully without it 

May his blessing rest upon the reader ! May glory, honour, 
and praise be ascribed to his great and holly name) now and fof 
ever! Amen. 



No. n- 

VERSBS SUNG AFTER HER FUNERAL SERMON. 

Habak. lii. 17, 18. 

JBOuntgh (hef!g'trte shall not NoMom, ndther shaUfruti he in the vine$ ; ihe 
labour tf the oHve shall faUj and ike JUlds shall yiddno meal; thejloeks 
shall be ml off from the/old, and then shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet I 
ioill r^oicein the Lordf 1 will joy in the God of my salvation. 

1 The earth mth rich abundance stor'd 
To answer all our wants^ 
Invites our hearts to praise the Lord, 
For what his bounty grants. 

3 Flocks, herds, and corn, and grateful fruity 
"^ His gracious hand supplies ; 

And while our various tastes they suit, 
Their prospect cheers our eyes. 

3 To these he adds each tender tie 

Of sweet domestic life ; 
Endearing joys, the names imply. 
Of parent, husband wife ! 

4 But sin has poisoned all below, 

Our blessings burdens prove ; 
On ev'ry hand we suffer wo, 
But most where most we love. 

5 Nor vintage, harvest, flocks, nor herds^ 

Can fill the heart's desire ; 
And oft a worm destroys our gourds, 
And all our hopes expire. 

6 Domestic J<oys, alas ! how rare ! 

Possessed and known by few ! 
And they who know them, find they are 
As frail and transient too. 



214 APPENDIX. 

7 Bat you, who love the Saviour's voicei 

Aod rest upon bis name, 
Amidst these changes may rejoice, 
For he is still the same. 

8 The Lord himself will soon appear, 

Whom you, unseen, adore ; 
Then he will wipe off ev'ry tear^ 
And you shall weep no more. 



No. in 
EBENEZEft; 

A MEMORIAL OP THE UNCHiLNCEABLE GOODNESS QF GOD CNDeR 
CILINGIMG DISPENSATIONS. 

No. I. 

Writttn on Feb. 12, 1776.— Tic TtPcniy-Jifth Jtnpmrsary <rf 
our Marriage. 

THE LORD GAVE. 

1 For what this day recalls to mind 

My praise to God is due ; 
How maDy blessings he design'd 
To give, in giving you. 

2 When hateful, hating, and forlorn, 

In Afric^s wilds I stray'd ; 
His hand secured oiy saft retur^^ 
But you the mean was made. 

3 How little, then, couI(] be forct^een 

My path in future life ! 
But he preparM each following s<;ene, 
By making you my wife. 

4 The happy day that Join'd our hands 

(Sweet prelude to his grace,) 
More firm in my remembrance stands 
Than if engrav'd in brass. 

' 5 But, ah ! my heart, by sin betray'd, 
(How painfiU is the thought.) 
Soon of the gift an idol made, 
Tlie Giver soon forgot.. 



216 APPENDIX. 

6 How josdy might some sadden torn 
Have parted us again ; 
And left my guilty soul to mount 
In agony and pain ! 

T But though we both, and chiefly I, 
For good have render'd ill, 
His mercy hath been always nigh, 
His hand preserves us still. 

8 With mutual love, and peace, and health, 

And friends, we have been blest ; 
And if not what the world calls wtalth^ 
We have enough possessed* 

9 From place to place, from year to year, 

The Lord has been our guide ; 
Our sure resource in time of fear, 
When all has failM beside. 

10 Thus five-and-twenty years the sun 

Has trod his annual path ; 
And we apace are posting on 
To meet the stroke of death ! 

1 1 Sure, none a happier life have known, 

Than ours, thus far hath beeb ; 
But could we covet, now His gone. 
To Kve it o*er again ? 

12 Like checkered cloth, the warp with love 

And comfort has been spread ; 
But cares and crosses, interwove, 
Have furnish'd half the thread. 

13 Yes! even we, who so much joy, 

So much endearment, know, 
Have found that something will annoy 
And tarnish all below ! 

14 Yet ev'ry cross a mercy is, 

A blessing every thorn, 
That tells us, her^ is not our bliss. 
We were for nobler born. 



APPEI^DIX. 217 



15 That I am hers, and she is mine, 

-Invites my feeble lays ; 
But, Saviour, that we both are thine, 
Demands my highest praise. 

16 With thee, dear Lord, who rnlest all, 

The wise appointment lies, 

To which of us the lot must fall, 

To close the other's eyes ! 

1 7 Then all our intercourse while here, 

(How happy, and how kind !) 
Will like a fleeting dream appear, 
Which leaves no trace behind. 

18 Prepare us, ev'ry day we live. 

For that important hour ; 
And when, at length it shall arrive, 
Support us by thy pow'r. 

19 Who first departs, may thy kind smile 

Strengthen with joy to go ; 
And the survivor reconcile 
To stay awhile below. 

20 Then, may it seem of little weight,' 

Which of us goes before ; 
Assur'd that we shall shortly meet 
To part again no more. • 

21 Ob, with what wonder, joy, and praise^ 

Our souls shall then review 
The snares and mercies of the ways 
We were I'.onducted throughi 



>'0L. IV. H 



No. 2. 

Written on December 15, 1791. — The First Anniversary of her 
Dismission from this State of Sin and Sorrow. 

THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY. BLESSED B& THE 19AME OF 
THE LORD 

S Cor. i. S« 4. 

SUssed he Gody even the Faiher qfaur Lord Jesus Christy ihe Father ^ Mer^ 
cies, and the God of aU Contort ; who cofi\forleth us in all our iribulationp 
thai toe may be owe Id contort them which are in any trouble, by the amifofi 
wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God, 

1 Lord ! she was thine, and not my own, 

Thou hast not done me wrong ; 
I thank thee for the precious loan 
Afforded me so long. 

2 For though no single day has been. 

Or talent, well improvM ; 
I chiefly see, and mourn, my sin 
In what I chiefly lov'd. 

3 I trembled, when thou saidst " Resign 

" A much-abused trust ;'' 
But could not wonder, or repine ;, 
I own'd the sentence just. 

4 Yet mercy sweeten'd my distress , 

And, while I felt the rod, 
Gave me a1)undant cause to bless 
An all-sufiicient God I 

5 Sharp was my pain, and deep my wound, 

(A wound which still must bleed,) 
But daily health and strength I found, 
Proportioned to my need. 

6 Like Jonah, (well our stories suit^ 

I view'd my gourd, wellpleasa ; 
Like him, I could not see the root 
On which the worm had sei^^d. 



7 But saw, at length, the hour draw nigh 

(That hour I since have known) 
When all my earthly joy must die, 
And I be left alone* 

8 She dropped a tear, and grasp'd my hand, 

And fam she would have spoke ; 
But well my heart could understand 
The language of her look* 

9 Farewell, it meant a last adieu ! 

I soon shall cease from pam ; 
This silent tear I drop for you ; 

We part — to meet again. 

< 

10 I said, '^ If leaving all beloir, 

" You now have peace divine ; 
'^ And would, but cannot, tell me so, 
" Give me, at least, a sign*^ 

1 1 She raised, and gently wavM her hand, 

And filPd me with a joy, 
To which the wealth of sea and land 
Compar'd, were but a toy. 

12 I trust, indeed, she knew thy grace 

Before this tryine day ; 
But Satan had, a while, access, 
To fill her with dismay. 

13 Till then, through two long yoars she piti'd^ 

Without an hour of ease ; 
Cheerful she still appeared, resigned, 
And bore her cross in peace. 

14 Daily, while able, clpsely too, 

She read the word of God ; 
And thence her hope and comfort drew, 
Her med'cine and her food. 

15 A stranger might have well.presumM 

From what he saw her bear; 
This burning bush was not consumed, 
Because the Lord was there. 

16 Three days, she could no notice take, 

Nor speak, nor hear, nor see ; 
O Lotd, did not my heart-strings ache 2 
Did not I cry to-thee; 



220 APPENDIX* 

1 7 That while t watchM her, night and day, 

My will to thine might bow ? 
And, by this rod, didst thou not say, 
^^ Behold your idol now ! 

18 " From her you lovM too much, proceed 

" Your sharpest grief and pains ; 
'^ For, soon or late, the heart must bleed 
" That idols entertains." 

19 Yes, Lord, we both have guilty been. 

And justly are distressed ; 
But since thou dost forgive our sin^, 
I welcome all the rest. 

20 Only uphold us in the fire, 

Our fainting spirits cheer ; 
And I thy mercy will adm'u*e 
When most thou seem'st severe. 

2! Fainter, her breath, and fainter grew, 
Until she breathM her last ; 
The soul was gone before we knevr 
The stroke of death was past. 

23 Soft was the moment, and serene, 

That all her sufi'rings closM 
No agony or struggle seen, 
No feature discomposed : 

2^ The parting Sitru^gle all was mine ; 
" 'Tis the survivor dies :'' 
For she was freed, and gone to join 
The triumph of the skies. 

24 To me it was a stormy day, 

Though glad for her release ; 
But he whom seas and storms obey, 
Soon bid the tempest cease. 

25 My selfish heart had wishM her here. 

To spend her days in pain ; 
That she what I could say might hear^ 
And speak to me again. 

26" Our kindness to our suffering friends 
Would keep them still below ; 
But He who loves them better, sends, 
And at his call they go. 



APPXNDKK, 

97 Each moment, since that trying hour. 
My loss I keenly feel ; 
But trust I feel my Saviour's pow'r 
To sanctify and heal* 

3S Ah, world, vain world ! by whom my Lord 
Was crucifi'd and slain, 
What comfort now canst thou afibrd 
To mitigate my pain ? 

29 Long since, I should, by his dear cros.s 

Have learnt to die to thee ; 
But if I learn it by my loss, 
That loss Iny gain will be. 

30 Now, Lord, to thee I would apply, 

On thee alone depend ; 
Thou art, when creatures fail and dies 
An ever-living friend ! 

31 Now thou hast made a void within, 

Which only thou canst fill ; 
Oh! grant me pardon of my sin^ 
And grace to do thy will. 

32 That I with joy thy flock may feed, 

A pattern to them be, 
And comfort them in time of need. 
Vouchsafe to comfort me. 

33 Let me believe, and love, and praise, 

And wonder, and adore. 
And view thee guiding all my ways ; 
, I ask for noth'mg more. 

34 To thee I would commit the rest ; 

The when, the bow, the where, 
Thy yisdom will determine^best, 
Without my anxious care. 

35 May I with faith and patience wait, 

For soon thy call will come ; 
When I shall change this mortal stat^ 
For an eternal home. 

36 The vails of sin and unbelief 

Shall then be rent in twain ; 
And they who parted here with grief^ 
Shall meet, with joy, again. 



232 APPxnDtt. 

37 Then wilt the Lord himself appear 

With all his blood-bought sheep, 
To wipe from ev'ry face the tear, 
And they no more shall weep. 

38 May thoughts like these relieve my (oil, 

And cheer my spirit up ! 
Who would not suffer here a while, 
For such a glorious hope ? 



No IV. 

SECOND ANNIVERSART OF THE 16TH DECEBIBER, 1792: 

1 While grace her balm, to soothe my pain 

And heal my wound, applies ; 
To make it throb and bleed again, 

Officious memory tries. 
Too well she knows each tender string 

That twines about my hearty 
And how to fix a piercing sting 

In the most feehng part ! 

* 2^ May I not yet some respite take 

From dwelling on her death ? 
Did I not feel her heart-strings break, 

And watch her last drawn breath ? 
Oh ! cease, at leneth, to haunt my mind 

With images of ^ef ; 
Canst thou no pleasing topics find 

To yield me some relief? 

St But as a sieve the bran retains, 

And lets the floor fall through, 
So carefiil memory keeps my pains 

And loss in constant view ; 
While comforts, countless as the sands, 

Which crown my favoured lot, 
Though each my warmest praise demands, 

Are heedlessly forgot. 

4 And can I then forget the times. 
When helpless, hopeless, lost, 
I pinM in miseries and crimes, 
On Afric's horrid coast f 



▲ppftNBix. 333 

To Christ, my^ Lord, a daring foe, 

To men a wretched slave ; 
Tet, on that brink of endless wo, 

He show'd his power to save. 

5 His mercy, though by me misought. 

Kept me from falling in ; 
His arm my full deliverance wrought, 

His grace forgave my sin. 
He taught my base, blaspheming tongue 

To aim at pray'r and praise ; 
Became my shield, and strength, and song, 

And guided all my ways. 

6 Thus, freed from misery and death. 

My sorrow changed to joy ; 
He sent me forth to preach the faith 

I laboured to destroy. 
His mercies, through my future life, 

Were new from day to day; 
The chief of all, was that dear wife 

He since has calPd away. 

7 Shall one so favour'd e'er repine ? 

Or one so vile complain? 
No— -let me praise-^she long was mine, 

And shall be mine again. 
If death could break our union past, 

(Frail, though endear'd the tie,) 
The stronger band of grace shall last, 

When death itself shall die ! 



ADVERTISEMENT 

TO THE LAST LONDON EDITION. 



The Executors of the late Rjbv. John Nbwton feel highly grati- 
fied in presenting to the public a complete edition of his wi^ks. 

The greater part of the present volume consists of letters, intended by 
the Author as a continuation of Cardipho'nia. These were selected by 
himself, and transcribed under his own direction, and some of them very 
carefully revised. The Executors would gladly have availed themselves 
of the kind offers of his correspondents to increase the collection, but 
could not consistently with the injunction of their revered Friend, who 
expressly desired that none might be printed except those which were 
selected during his life-time. 

The remainder of this volume is occupied partly by papers extracted, 
according to the Author's direction, from Periodical Publications ; and 
partly by small pieces printed during his life, but never before collected, 
and concerning which no instructions were given by the deceased. 

THRSE PIECES ARE, 

A Sermon, preached on a public occasion, in the year 1800. 

Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade. 

Addresses to the Inhabitants of Olney, and St. Mary Woolnoth^ Lou* 

don. And 
A Letter on Political Debate. 

Tlie Thoughts on the African Slave Trade may appear to some a tem- 
porary publication, but the Executors regard it as an important historical 
document, by one who had been pers6nally engaged in the traffic, and 
was well acquainted with its horrors ; as such it will be read with interest 
by posterity. 

The Addresses to the Inhabitants of Olney and St. Mary Woolooth, 
show the Author's earnest and constant attention to the eternal interests 
of all his parishoners ; and at the same time furnish useful examples t6 
^ergyroen, of the different means which may be used to pronfote the wet* 
fare of their people, and of the different style and manner of address 
which may be adopted. 

Vol. IV. 2d 



226 ADVEBTISEBIENT. 

The Letter on Political Debate, is part of a friendly correspondence 
which took place between the Author and a Minister in the country in 
the year 1793. It contains some important and interesting considera- 
tions on the subject, and was therefore deemed worthy of preservation. 

These are all the workfc published or prepared for the press by the 
Author, excepting only the Life of the Rev. Mr. Grimshaw, the copy- 
right of which was given to the society fob relieving poor pious clebt 

OTHBN or THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH. 

The Execmors commend the whole to the blessing of Almighty God', 
calling upon every reader to unite with them in fervent prayer that God 
would raise up many, who, like his departed servant, may be examples 
to the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in 

FAITH, IN PURITY 



TO VARIOUS PERSONS, 

INTENDED AS A SEQUEL 

TO 

CARDIPHONIA. 



EIGHTEEN LETTERS 

TO 

SEVERAL LADIES. 

LETTER I. 

To Miss M**»*. 

September 10, 1760. 
Dear Madav, 

I ADDRESS my letter to you, but consider myself as writing 
to the whole ef the little society I had the pleasure of meeting at 
your house, and at Miss K^^^^'s. I still reflect with pleasure on 
the opportunities I was favoured with among you : and if, as 1 
hope, my little visits. were not unacceptable to each or any of yon, 
let us not lose a moment in apologies or compliments to each oth- 
er, but refer the whole praise where it is wholly due. Salvation, 
in its whole extent, and in each particular step, is of the Lord. 
Though we can but lisp a little word about his goodness, yet 
when he is pleased to be near us, his presence and blessing can 
work by the meanest instruments, and cause our hearts to burn 
within us. On the other hand, when he withdraws, we can no 
more help each other than we can help ourselves : then, the very 
best of us prove miserable comforters, fruitless teachers, and blind 
guides. Could 1 bring my heart to this point, to regard myself 
as insufficient to think one good thought, or to speak one pro6ta- 
ble word, any further than as influenced by that enlivening Spirit 
wliich Jesus is exalted on high to bestow, I should be well ; bat, 
Idas ! 1 am often hurt by a fond desire of being or doing some^ 
thing considerable ; and this, so often as it prevails, like a suddep 
fatal blast, spoils my fairest blooming prospects of comfort and 
ttsefalness. It is a great point to be constant and diligent in the 
use of all appointed means, and yet to have our souls waiting only 
upon God, in a deep persuasion t|^at neither the best means, nor 
the closest attendance upon them, can do any thing for us in themr 
selves ; and that nothing short of renewed communications from 
him, can either satisfy or sanctify our hearts. 

The best advice I can send, or the best wish I can form for 
you, is, that, you may have an abiding and experimental sense of 



230 TO MISS M****. [Let. 1. 

those words of the apostle which are jast now upon my miod— 
'^ Looking unto Jesus." The duty, the privilege, the safety, 
4he unspeakable happiness of a believer, are all comprised io that 
one sentence. Let us first pray that the eyes of our faith, and un*- 
derstanding may be opened and strengthened ; and then let as fix 
our whole regard upon him. But how are we to behold him ? I 
answer, in the glass of his written word ; there he is represented 
to us in a variety of views ; the wicked world can see no form 
nor comeliness in the portraiture be has given of himself; yet, 
blessed be Qod, there are those who can " behold his glory, as 
the glory of the only begotten Son of Grod, full of grace and 
truth ;" and while they behoM it, they find themselves '' changed 
into the same image, from glory to glory," by the transforming 
influence of his Spirit. In vain we oppose reasonings, and arga- 
ments, and resolutions, to beat down our corruptions, and to si- 
lence our fears ; but a believing view of Jesus does the business. 
When heavy trials in life are appointed us, and we are called to 
give up, or perhaps to pluck out a right eye, it is an easy matter 
for a stander-by to say, " Be comforted ;" and it is as useless as 
easy — but a view of Jesus by fiiith, comes home to the point. 
When we can fix our thoughts upon him, as laying aside all his 
honours, and submitting, for our sakes, to drink off the bitter cup*' 
of the wrath of God to the very dregs ; and when we further con- 
sider, that he who thus suffered in our nature, who knows and 
sympathizes with all our weakness, is now the supreme disposer of 
all that concerns us, that he numbers the very hairs of our head«, 
appoints every trial we meet with in number, weight, and meas- 
ure, and will suffer nothing to befall us but what shall contribute 
to our good-*-this view, I say, is a medicine suited to the disease, 
and powerfully reconciles us unto every cross. So, when a sense 
of sin prevails, and the tempter is permitted to assault U0 with 
dark and dreadful suggestions, it is easy for us to say, ^* Be not 
afraid ;" but those who have tried, well know, that looking to Je^ 
8U8 is the only and sure remedy in this case — if we can get a sight 
of him by fiiith, as he once hung between the two thieves, and as 
he now pleads within the vail, then we can defy sin and Satan, 
and give our challenge in the apostle's words, " Who is he that 
condemneth } It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen 
again; who also maketh intercession for us:" Rom. viii. 34. 
Again, are we almost afraid of being swallowed up by oar many 
restless enemies ; or, are we almost weary of our long pilgrimage 
through such a thorny, tedious, barren wilderness ? A tight of Je» 
8U8, as Stephen saw him, crowned with glory, yet noticing all the 
sufferings of his poor servants, and just ready to receive them to 
himself, and make them partakers of his everlasting joy, this will 



Let 8.] TO MISS M****. 231 

misetbe spiritSi and restore stnsngth ; this will animate as to hold on, 
and to bold ont; this will do it, and nothing but this can^ So, if 
obedience be the thing in qnestion, looking anto Jesus is the object 
that melts the soul into love and gratitude, and those who greatly 
love, and are greatly obliged^ find obedience easy. When Jesus is 
upon our thoughts, e^her in his humbled or his exalted state, either 
as bleeding on the cross, or as worshipped in our nature by all 
the host of heaven, then we can ask the apostle's question with a 
becoming disdain, *^ Shall we continue in sin that grace may 
abound f " God forbid. What ! shall I sin against my Lord, my 
love, my friend, who once died for my sins, and now lives and 
reigns on my behalf: who supports, and leads, and guides, and 
feeds me every day } God forbid. No ; rather I would wish for 
a thousand hands, and eyes, and feet, and tongues, for ten tfaou<* 
sand lives, that I might devote them all to bis service : he should 
have all then ; and surely he shall have all now ! Alas, that in 
spite of myself there still remains something that resists his will ! 
bat I long and pray for its destruction, and I see a day coming 
when my wish shall be accomplished, and I shall be wholly and 
for ever the Lord's. I am your affectionanate servant. 



LETTER IT. 
To Miss M****. 

jlVovember2j 1761. 
My Dear Sister, 

YoTK letter was welcome and comfortable. I praise the 
Lord on your behalf, and shall not cease to pray, " that you may 
be filted with his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding ;** 
that you may go on '^ to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in 
all things ;" anc^that a sense of his presence and power " who so 
loved us as to wash us from our sins in his own blood,'^ may be 
your establishment, and strength, and comfort, continually. You 
have reason, indeed, to praise him, and so have I, O what a won- 
der of grace, that he should say to those who were children of 
wrath, " Behold, I go to my Father, and to your Father, to my 
God, and to your God." Henceforth I call you not servants, but 
friends ;" and as a proof of it, ^* Ask what you will, and it shall 
be done onto you." Here are words sufficient either to raise oiir 
souls up to heaven, or to bring heaven down into our soul, accord- 
ing to that glorious promise which to many is fulfilled even in 
our day. Rev. zxi* 3. 



232 to MISS M****. [Let* 2. 

Let us not be greatly discoaraged at the many tribulations, dif- 
Realties, and disappointments which lie in the path that leads to 
glory : seeing our Lord has told us before ; has made a suitable 
provision for every case we can meet with, and is himself always 
near to those that call upon him ; a sure refage, aH almighty 
strength, a never-failing, ever-present help |p every time of trou- 
ble ; seeing, likewise, that he himself was a man of sorrow and 
acquainted with grief for our sakes. He drank off the full cup of 
unmixed wreath for us ; shall we then refuse to taste of the cup of 
affliction at his appointment ? especially when his wisdom and 
love prepare it for us, and proportion every circumstance to our 
strength ; when he puts it into our hands, not in anger, but in 
tender mercy, to do us good, to bring us near to himself; and 
when he sweetens every bitter draught with those comforts which 
none but he can give. Let us rather say, None of these things 
move us, neither do we count any thing on this side etc^ity dear, 
so that we may finish our course with joy, and run with patience 
the race which is set before us. 

The time is short : — ^the world is passing away ; all its cares 
and all its vanities will soon be at an end. Yet a little while 
and we shall see him' who has found a way to make us love him, 
though we have not yet beheld him — *^ we shall see him, as he 
i^," every vail will be taken away, every seeming frown be re- 
moved from his face, and every tear wiped away from ours. We 
fihall also be like him. Even now, when we contemplate bis 
glory as shining in the glass of the Gospel, we feel ourselves, 
in some measure, transformed into the same image ; what a sud- 
den, wonderful, and abiding change shall we then experience, 
when he shall shine directly, immediately, and eternally upon 
our souls without one interposing cloud betweeen ; because he 
lives, we shall live also : — ^because he shines, we likewise shall 
shine forth as the sun, in our Saviour's brightness ; then shall we 
sing with understanding those glorious songs, Isaiah, xii. Ixi. 10. 
Rev. V. 9. and vii. 10. without one jarring note, ^ one wandering 
thought for ever. 

" Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us 
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting 
holiness in the fear of the Lord :*' ^^ Let us lay aside every 
weight ;" « Let us not be slothful," but followers of that 
cloud of witnesses who in every age have set their word to 
the truth and power of God. They were once as we are now : 
they had their complaints and their fears, their enemies and 
temptations ; they were exercised with a wicked heart, and a 
wicked, world ; and I doubt not but many of them, in a fit of un- 
1>elief, have been ready to conclude, " I shall one day perish by 



Let. 2.] rro iiiss m****. ' 333 

the band of Saul ;" but at length, the *^ blood of Jesas, and the 
tvord of his testimony/* made them more than conquerors, and 
now their warfare is finished, they are " before the throne of God 
and the Lamb, and shall go no more out." While we are sigh- 
ing, they are singing; while we are fighting, they are triumph- 
ing ; but their song, their triumph, their joy, will not be conk- 
pkte till we are called up to join them. The Lord prepare us 
for, and hasten the happy hour. 

The strain of your present experience requires you, above alt 
others, to be humble and watchful, and 1 trust you are so. How- 
ever, it is our duty to exhort one another duly. One of the great- 
est contradictions in human nature, and the very strongest proofs 
of oar depravity, is that the communication of extraordinary mea- 
sures of cBvine comforts, which in their own nature have a direct 
tendency t^ bumble, has, through our corruptions, sometimes a 
contrary effect ; noiin.the present moment, indeed that is impos- 
-^le, but afterward. Paul himself was liable to danger in this 
matter. See 2 Cor. xii. 7. You will do well, therefore to en- 
treat the Lord to give you a double guard on this side, to keep 
you in continual remembrance what you were by nature, and 
"what you still are in yourselves. We are often forced to buy this 
vecollection by bitter experience. 

Again, be watchful : — ^raany eyes are upon you. Satan envies 
you. Oh ! he hates to see any pcfrsons, especially young persons, 
walking very closely with God. So &r as he is permitted, he 
will spread snares for your feet every hour : he desires to have 
you, " that he may sift you as wheat.'' Further, the world ob- 
serves you; ma^y would rejoice at your lialting; and a little 
thing in you would give them more pleasure and advantage in op- 
posing the t^th, than a greater slip in some others who are con- 
tent to plod on in the common way. Nay, it is well if there are 
tfot some even among yourselves, professors and members^ who 
would be glad to see you brought down to a level with themselves, 
since they cannot persuade themselves to join and imitate you. 
These things yon know without my telling you, and I do not mea- 
dpn them to discourage you. No, were every leaf upon the 
trees, and every blade of grass a sworn enemy to our sonls^ we 
are safe under the shadow of our great Rock : the blessing is his, 
and he will not withhold it ; but the appointed means are oipr 
part, and it is our wisdom and happiness to be found waiting op 
him in the use of them. 

Vol. IV. 30 



234 TO MISS M****. [Let. 3. 



LETTER III. 
To Miss M****. 



AprUb.nQl. 



Dear Mabaak, 

I DESJRE to praise God on yoirr behalf, and frequently t» 
remember you both at the throne of grace ; I may say each of 

you, for, as I understand Miss S**** is now returned to Y ^ 

I consider her as a part of my correspondence. I hope the 
Lord is with her likewise, and that she can, by sweet experience, 
set her seal to that comfortable truth, that all things, both shall, 
and do, work together for the good of those that love God. 

Things continue much with us as they were when I wrote last. 
For myself, I every day have proof that the Lord is gracious, 
merciful, aad kind^ I hope my experience in some measure cor- 
responds with yours ; I say, in some measure ; for I think you 
rather describe what I would be than what I am. Blessed be his 
name for a taste, though it be but a taste, of the water of life. I 
long for fuller draughts, and I trust he has given me that hungering 
and thirsting after his righteousness which shall at length be sat- 
isfied, and which cannot be satisfied with any thing short of his 
love. . Often I cry out, " Dh>! remember me with the favour 
thou bearest to thine own people.^ I know there are heights 
and depths in communion with God, to which many of his dear 
children are admitted, which are far beyond my present attain- 
ments ; but this rather encourages me than otherwise ; for they 
(even the very best of them) were once as poor as myself, and 
£ave nothing now, any more than I, that they can call their 
own ; and he who has done so much for them, is rith enough to 
do as much for me; the fountain of grace, though overflowing 
is ever full ; and as the sun shines as easily and powerfully on 
ten thousand, as upon a single person, so tlie Sun of Righteous- 
ness can enlighten and cbmfort all his children with one single 
glance of his love. I desire to praise his name for what he has 
already shown me, and to hope in his mercy that I shall yet " see 
greater things than these." 

As I have nothing particular to impart of my own, I shall tran- 
scribe part of a letter I lately received from a young woman a rela- 
tion of mine in London. She is not a member of a congregational 
church, but a hearer of Mr. Jones. She used to make herself merry 
at my expense for being what She called a Methodist. After the 
Lord awakened her, she walked three years in the valley of the 
shadow of death, almost without a glimpse of hope. Hq^ it is 



Let. 3.] TO MI8S M****. 235 

with her now, I shall give you in her own words. She writes 
thus among other things, for I have not time to give yon ihe 
whole: — 

" All the glory to' himself who is worthy ; I find the Lord bet- 
ter to me than ail my hopes, and all my fears. Thoagh I am 
often beset with temptations of various kinds, from without as 
well as from within, yet my gracious Lord gives me to wrestle 
with him till he gets the better for me, for it is not in me, I 
know, and blessed be the Lord for teaching me, that I aiA 
but a poor, weak, helpless creature ; but he strengthens me, and 
blesses me, and gives me to rejoice in him almost all the day long. 
Though I have not always love, and joy, and peace alike, yet I 
have not let him go since f wrote to you last. I can hold him 
iast, and I pray, and hope, and trust I ever shall. 1 believe ^ my 
Beloved is mine, and I am his.* From what I have found al- 
ready, I dare not doubt his love or his power : though, to my 
shame be it spoken, I too often wander from my God, if not in 
word or deed, yet, alas ! my heart too often betrays me. I find 
the Lord to be a jealous God, who will not accept of a divided 
heart ; and, indeed, if I know any thing of myself, it is the whole 
desire of my soul to give up alt and everything, myself, my 
soul, my body, my health my strength^ my friends, my all, as a 
willing sacrifice into his hand. I bless my God for such a dispo- 
sition, and often find the sweets of it ; and I always find that the 
more watchful I walk, the more comfortable 1 am." She then 
adds, " I believe it is a month since I wrote the above ; and thanks 
and praises to my dear Lord, 1 have had much of his presence 
and love in my heart ever since. I find that stupidity and dead- 
ness which I have had much of in times past, greatly removed. 
T^ Lord has kept my soul so open to prayer that I can pray 
ana praise all the day long. I never find any thing keeps me so 
low at the throne of grace, as a sense and feeling of the loving 
kindness of the Lord to my soul ;. it makes me nothing, it so emp- 
ties me of self. It is not a sense of sin without the love of God, 
will humble me ; I think that only makes me peevish and dissat- 
isfied I but when the Lord lifts up the light of his countenance 
upon me, then It is that every thing in me falls low at his footstool. 
I have found such power lately as I never had before ; I used to 
be as ready, to yield to temptation as the devil was to tempt, but 
now, (all the glory be to him that gives me this power,) I find 
that word to be faithful and true, ' Resist the devil, and he will 
flee from you.' When temptation besets me, instead of reasoning 
with the enemy till 1 lose all the Lord has given me, Iflee to 
Christ, and tell him how it is with me, and cry mightily to hm 
till he makeiB me more than conqueror.'* 



38i TO m»« E****. [Ut 4. 

I hope tbit little extract from mj cousin's letter will be accepl* 
able. I have several from her in the same strain, for she is not 
now in what is called the warmth of her first love, bnt has been 
walking comfortably in the Lord's way three or foar years past ; 
I think, indeed, every letter discovers a growth upwards io 
knowledge and love^ and downwards in hamility. May the Lord 
enable as so to do. Yours, be 



LETTER ir. 

To Miss K****. 

June I, 1761. 
Dear Madah, 

I FREQUENTLY reflect with pleasure on our little interviews 
the last year, 1 trust the Lord was with us of a truth. Surely 
my heart burned within me, and I have, and shall have, much 
reason to bless the Lord for those sweet and uneipected opportu* 
kiities. The remembrance of them has exceedingly engaged my 
heart to you both, and to Miss S**^*. I think a sight of the 
very ground we walked over together would bring to my mind 
much of what occurred in our conversation. May the same gra- 
cious Lord enable me so to write, and you to read, that we may 
experience a fellowship in spirit, and may drink plentifully of the 
refreshing streams of his love and grace. 

It gives me much pleasure to hear that the Lord leads you inta 
the green pastures of his love, so that yon are constrained to cry 
out, " How great is his goodness ! How great is his beauty T' 
May he show yon yet greater things than these, and make ymr 
soul fresh and flourishing, as a tree planted by a continual stream. 
Then I am sure you will love, and serve and p^raise him ; you 
witlj not be ashamed of his name and cause ; you will not be 
backward to speak for htm ; you will not find fault with any of 
his dispensations ; in a word, then your life and conversation will 
be a proof of your heavenly calling, and all who behold you will 
be constrained to acknowledge that you have b^n with Jesus in- 
deed. 

This is the way, and there is no other to glorify him in the 
world. We know, from experience, how little reading, and hear<^. 
ing, and resolving, can do for us, when the Lord is absent, an4 
our hearts in a hard and stupi4 frame. Alas ! how can we ren* 
4er, unless we first receive ? But, oh ! when his Spirit and 
power is with us, what a delightful surprising change t then old. 



ibipgs become aew, hard things easy ; and out of weakness we 
are made strong ! then onr enemies attempt in vain to bind and 
ensnare us ; be enables us to run throogh their troops, to leap 
over their walk, to esteem their darts and swords as straw and 
rotten wood, and to go forth in his strength, conquering and to 
conquer. I hope my letter will find you in this experience, with 
your bow abiding in force, and your enemies under your feet, 
and may it long continue. This is a privileged, glorious state in- 
deed ; but it calls for mu8h watchfulness and prayer. The Lord 
expects a particular closeness and obedience from those whom 
he thus delights to honour, and Satan watches with envy and 
rage to find an opening by which to assault such a soul. 

I hope yon will remember, that all your comfort and prosper!^ 
ty depends upon keeping near to him who is the sun, the shield, 
Ihe life of his poor children, and that neither experiences, know- 
ledge, nor attainments, can support us, or maintain themselves, 
without a continual supply from the fountain. This supply is 
to be kept up by constant prayer; and prayer will languish with- 
out continual watchfulness. I trust you will bear me to put you 
ill mind of these things, though you know them. We are yet in 
an enemy's country, and are directed to exhort one another daily, 
lest we be surprised by some stratagem and guile of our bitter 
adversary, who has many thousand snares and instruments to 
employ against us, and well knows how to use them to the most 
advantage, and to avail himself of our weak side. Yet we need 
not fear him, if we take, and keep, and use the whole armour of 
God, and remain under the shadow of that Rock which is higher 
than ourselves. 

As to me, the Lord deals gently with me : — my trials are few 
and not heavy, my experiences run in a kind of even thread, I 
have no great enlargements, and am seldom left to great darkness 
and temptation : I am often wandering away, but the Lord seeks 
nie out, and brings me back from time to time, much sooner than 
I could expect. 1 am enabled, through grace, to keep myself 
Irom the evil of the wcHrld, so that I have not been left to bring 
a blot on ray profession. But, alas ! my heart is a filthy, defiled 
heart stilt. It is well that he who only knows how to bear with 
me, knows what is within me. My comfort is comprised in this one 
senlenee-^^^ I know whom I have believed" — ^I know that Jesus 
is mighty to save ; I have seen myself lost in every view but the 
hope of bis mercy ; I have fled to him for safety; I have been 
preserved by him thus far ; and 1 believe be will keep that which 
I have committed to him even to the end. Blessing, and fionour, 
and glory, and praise, be to his name, who hath loved poor sin« 
n^rs, and washed them in his most precious blood ! Amen. Tot 



238 xa MISS »*•••• [Let. 5. 

the refit, alas ! alas ! I am un&ithfal and unprofitable to a degree 
, you would hardly believe ; yet, vile as I am, I taste of bis good- 
ness every day, and live in hope, that in his own time he will en- 
able me to show forth his praise. I have been much exercised 
with respect to the ministry ; my heart is led that way, but the 
Lord's hand keeps mefin f I need much bumbling ; there is that 
in me which seeks great tbbgs, though I am, as I said, sadly un- 
faithful in small ones ; therefore, for my pride, I am set aside for 
the present. I hope yon will help me with your prayers ; entreat 
the Lord to empty roe of all creature-dependence, that I may 
live to him alone. I am your unworthy servant. 



LETTER V. 

To Miss »!•*•♦. 

May 2b, 1162. 
Mt Dear Ma]>am, 

How can I begin better than with the aposUe's words f- 
" Blessed J)e the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Father of mercies and God of all consolation, who, according to 
his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope by 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." What a foun- 
tain of life, and joy, and praise is here ! that the God and Fa- 
ther ofbur Lord Jesus Christ should vouchsafe to be our Father, 
our God ; that he who is the source of all mercy and consolation, 
should direct the stream of his fulness to flow into our souls : that 
when we were dead in sins, he should look upon us and bid us live : 
that when we were sunk into the depth of despair, he should send 
his word and raise us to a lively hope ; that he should give us 
such a bright prospect, and such a sweet foretaste of the exceed- 
ing riches of his glory. Oh! who can say which is the most 
wonder/ul part of this wonderful subject i that he should provide 
such a happiness for such hell-deserving wretches, and that hp 
should commend his great and undeserved love to us in such a 
wonderful way, as to give his own and his only Son to be bom, 
to be buffeted, to be crucified for us. Alas ! alas ! for our stu- 
pidity, that we can write, or hear or speak of these things,' with 
so little feeling, affection, and fruitfulness. Oh ! that the power 
of God would set my heart and pen at liberty while writing, and 
fill youiP hearts while reading, that we may rejoice with joy ua- 
speakable and full of glory ! Oh, this unbelief ! Why caa we 
not pierce through the vail of flesh and blood, and by iaitl^ behold 



Let. 6.] TO KIBS II****. 

the hamble worship of heavtB? What countless muitttades 
have gone before us in the path that leads to that kingdom ! Tbey 
were, in their timey followers of an unseen Saviour, as we aru 
now ; bat now they see him as he is, iace to face, in all his glo- 
ry, and in all his love; with them are joined the innumerable 
hosts of angels. Angels and saints, however distinguished, are 
joined in one happiness and one employment. Even now, while 
I write, and while you read, they are praising the Lamb that was 
slain, and casting their crowns at his feet. And perhaps this 
scene is not so.far distant as we imagine. Where is heaven f Is 
it some millions of leagues from us, far beyond the sun and the 
£xed stars f What have immortal spirits to do with space or . 
place f Who knows but a heaven-born soul, who is freed from 
the olog of this vile body, and filled with all the fulness of God, 
jnay .pass as easily and quickly from one verge of the creation to 
iht other, «s our thoughts can change and fly from east to west,, 
from the past %o the future f Perhaps, even npw, we live in the 
ffiidst of this glorious assembly ; heaven is there where our God 
and Saviour displays himself ; and do not you feel him near 
you, nearer then any of his visible works f Perhaps there is 
nothing bat this thin partition of flesh and blood between us and 
those blessed spirits that are before the throne ; if our eyes 
were open, we should see the mountain^ around us covered with 
xhariots and horses of fire : if our ears were unstopped, we should 
hear the praises of our great Immanuel resounding in the air, as 
once the shepherds heard. What a comfortable meditation is this 
to strengthen our weak faith in such a dark declining day as 
this, when sense would almost persuade us that we are left to 
serve Grod alone. When we are wearied with looking on c^re-r, 
less sinners and backsliding professors, let us remeuiber that 
we have invisible friends present in our assemblies, our con- 
ferences, and our closets, who watch over us, and in ways which 
w^ cannot possibly conceive, are helpers of our joy, and wit- 
nesses of our conflicu. They are with us now, and we shall 
soon be with them. Ah ! how little does the vain world think of 
the privileges and the company in which a believer lives ! and^ 
what is worse, how faintly do we think of these things ourselves I 
and this is the reason we are so full of fears and complaints, so 
prone to distrust the Lord's methods of dealing with us, and so 
easily drawn aside to seek for something to rest upon in creatures 
like ourselves. 

With respect to my own experience, I have little now to add to 
what I have formerly offered ; at least, little variety : for, in one 
sense, every new day is filled up with new things ; — new mercies 
on the Lord's part,new in gratitude on mine ; new iustancesof the 



»40 Td tfiss M***^. [Let. 6. 

vileoess of my hature, ftttd new proofs of the power of sovereign* 
pardoning grace : — ^new bills of difficulty, new valleys of humili- 
ation ; and now and then, (though, alas ! very short and seldom,) 
new glimpses of what I would be, and where I would be. The 
everlasting love of God ; the unspeakable merits of Christ's right* 
eousness ; and the absolute freeness of the Gospel promises ;— 
these form the threefold cord by which my soul maintains a bold 
of that which is within thevail. Sin, Satan, and unbelief, ofteb 
attempt to make me let go and cast away my confidence, but as 
yet they have not prevailed x; no thanks to me, who am weaker 
than water : but I am wonderfully kept by the mighty power of 
God, who IS pleased to take my part, and therefore I trust in him 
that they never shall prevail against me. A vile sinner, indeed, I 
am ; but since God, who alone has a right to judge, is pleased to 
justify the believer in Jesus, who is there that shall dare to con- 
demn f I bless the Lord for that comfortable portion of scrip- 
ture, Zech. iii. 1 — 5. When the Lord is pleased to pluck a 
brand out of the fire to save it frbm perislmig, what power is 
heaven or earth shall presume or prevail to put it in again f No ; 
he has done it, and who can reverse it ? He has said it, and 
his word shall stand. And i humbly believe (Lord help my un- 
belief) that not one good thing shall fail of all that the Lord my 
God has, in his word, spoken to me of. 

Yet, alas ! I must still charge myself with a great want of 
watchfulness and diligence ; the enemy cannot destroy my foun- 
dation, but he spreads many nets for my feet, to weaken roe, and 
to interrupt my peace ; and, to my shame I must confess, he loo 
often prevails. The Lord, in great mercy, preserves me from 
such sins as would openly dishonour my profession ; and a mercy 
I desire to esteem it, for I can infer from my heart what Iny life 
would be if I were left to myself. I hate sin ; I long to be de- 
livered from it, but it is still in me, and works in me. *' O 
wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me ?" I bless CTod 
for Jesus Christ my Lord. To his grace I commend each of 
you. I am yours. 



LETTER VI. 

To Miss »!♦•••. 

September IS^ 1763. 
Dear M adau, 

I REJOICE to find that the Lord prospers his work in ^our 
kearu, and that you can say, from experience, he is a faithfiil an4 



Let. 6.] TO MISS »!••••. 241 

food Shepherd. Oh ! happy they vrho are in such a case, who 
now for themselves how good it is to draw near unto him, to sit 
down and rest under Us refreshing shadow, and feast upon his 
pleasant fruits ! 

Through grace I also continue waiting on him after my feeble 
measure ; and I trust in his love, that, though I sometimes faint, I 
shall not uitertvfall ; though I too often step aside, he will not suf- 
fer me to wander quite away. 

There is, indcea, aii evil heart of unbelief that would lead mc I 
know not whither ; but, oh! what a precious "mercy to be walled 
in on every side by everlasting love and free grace ! Do not your 
hearts rejoice in that word, " The eternal God is thy refuge, and 
underneath are the everlasting arms V^ And if he is pleased and 
engaged to uphold us, %vhat power or policy can force us from 
hitn ? No ; we may rejoice in it as a certain truth, let Satan ana 
unbelief say what they will to the contrary, that the Lord's afflict- 
ed people on earth are as safe, though not so quiet, as his glorified 
people in heaven. They are embarked on a troubled sea, the 
tempests often roar around them, and the waves seem ready to 
swallow them up ; but they have an anchor within the vail, sure 
and steadfast, which can neither be broken nor removed. They 
have a pilot, a guardian, whose wisdom and power are infinite, and 
who, 01 his own good pleasure, has engaged his truth and honour 
that he will bring them safe, through all, to the haven of eternal 
rest. Let us therefore trust, and not be airaid ; let os rejoice, and 
•ay^ ^^ The Loid Jehovah is my strength and my long, and be also 
is become my salvation.'' 

How happy should we be, could we always believe the glorious 
things which are spoken to us as children, in the word of him who 
cannot fail of accomplishing his promise. But are we not fools 
and slow of heart in tnis matter? at least \ am, and hence proceed 
my many complaints. Alas ! what a hard heail have I, that can 
doubt, and repine, and limit the Lord, after all the great things he 
has shown me! Wretched heart, that can stand it ojt still, against 
oaths, and promises, and blood. Methinks I may sum up all my 
wants and prayers in one sentence — Lord, give me faith ! Oh. if 
faith was in daily exercise, how little would the world, , and tne 
things of time and sense, seem in my eyes ! What a dreadful Ain^ 
would sin appear, that spilt my Saviour's blood ! And how woula 
my very heart rejoice at the sound of Jesus' name? If I had faith 
to pierce within the vail, and see what is going forward in yon 
blessed world ; how earnestly should I long to be dissolved, that 
I might join in worship there ! and how willingly should I spend 
and be spent for the Gospel's sake! However, though it is not 
with us as we would wish, we have reason to bless ^od it is so 
well with us as it is ; that we are not altogether dead in trespasses 

Vol. IV. 31 



342 . TO MISS !!•♦<». [Leu 7. 

and sins, strangers and enemies to the glorious Gospel of the Mes- 
sed God. We have reason to be thankful that we know some- 
thing of our disease and our physician. He who has taken our 
case in hand will, in his own time, perfect the cure. An hour ir 
coming on when we shall no more say, 1 am sick ; we shall see 
him as he is ; we shall be like him ; we shall weep no more, all 
tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and the days of our mourning 
shall be ended. 

Havine, therefore, such promises, let us be animated to run the 
way of the Lord's* coromandtfients with an enlarged heart. Let 
the joy of the Lord be our strength. ^ Opposition, temptation, af- 
fliction, we must expect; these things lie in the path-way to glo* 
ry -, but we may remember him who hath trod the path before tis, 
leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. I say, 
tempted and opposeci we may be ; but it is not probable that we 
shall be spit upon, buifetted, and crucified for him, as he was 
for us* 

We shall have but a taste, at the most, of that bitter cup which 
. he drank off to the dregs. And he is near us to support us in our 
((stresses, to carry us through, to make us more timn conquerors, 
and then to put the crown of righteousness and victory on our 
heads with his own hands. Let us, then, go forth without the 
camp, bearing his reproach ; let us not hang down our heads like 
bulrushes, but i;ather count it all ioy if we are called to the honour 
of suffering disg^ce, or any kind of inconvenience, for his name's 
sake. Atovq all, let us pray to have our conversation as becom- 
eth the Gospel of Christ; that those who speak evil maybe 
ashamed and put to silence, when they behold our meekness, hu- 
mility, and christian carriage. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Res 
member to pray for your unworthy friend. 



LETTER VII. 

To Miss M****. 



• 



March 22, 1763. 



Mv Dear Madam, 

I OLAPLT embrace the lirst opportunity that has c^ered of 
writing .post-free since I was favoured with your last letter. It 
gives me great pleasure to hear from you ; and, if our correspcmd- 
ence is made mutually profitable and pleasant, I trust we shall join 
in giving all the praise to him who hath taught us to lisp some- 
thing of the gracious truths of his Gospel. He is pleasedf to hide 



LeU 7,] TO M18S u——. 243 

these thines from the wise and prudent, and to reyeal them unto 
babes. Vve have, indeed, whereof to glory, but not in ourselves ; 
the right hand of the Lord has been exalted in our behalf ; the right 
hand of the Lord has brought mighty things to pass. When we 
were utterly helpless and hopeless, he saw and pitied us, and bid 
us live. He did not cut us off in the midst of our sins, (as is the 
case of thousands,) but waited to be gracious ; and when his hour 
was come, his time of love, he reveal^ himself as our mighty Sav- 
iour, he poured oil and wine into our wounds, he gave us beauty 
for ashes, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ; he 
opened our bliiul eyes, he unstopped our deaf ears, dispossessed 
the legion, and brought us to sit at his feet clothed and in our right 
minds. What a wonder of mercy is this, considered in itself! but 
much more if we think of the means by which it was effected ; that 
in order to bring about this blessed change, that m,ercy and truth 
might meet together in our salvation, and the righteousness of God 
harmonize wi& the sinner's peace, the Lord Jesus, who was rich, 
humbled himself to become poor ; to live an obscure and suffer- 
. ing life, in the form of a servant, and to die a shameful, painful, 
and accursed death, that we, through his poverty, might be made 
chiidrei) and heirs of God ; mi^ht receive grace to serve him here, 
and dwell ^uth him in glory tor ever. For this en(} he willingly 
endured thtr cross, and despised the shame, he hid not his face 
from shame and spitting, he gave his back to the smiters, his cheek 
to them that plucked off the hair, he submitted to wear a crown of 
thorns, to be nailed by the hands and feet to the accursed tree, to 
endure the fiercest assaults of Satan, yea, to drink the full cup of 
the wrath of God when '^ it pleased the Father to bruise him,'' and 
to make ^^ his soul an offering for sin !" 

Oh ! for this love let rocks and hills 

Their lasting silence break ; 
And all harmonious human tongues 

Their Saviour's praises spea£ 

Tes, we will praise thee, dearest Lord, 

Our souls are all on flame ; 
Hosannah lound the spacious earth, 

To thuie adored name ! 

The apostle well knew the force of his argument to a believing 
soul, when he said, ^ I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the 
mercies of God," Surely nothing can be more reasonable, than 
that we should live to him who thus died for us* Shall we, we 
who are redeemed from hell at such a price, shall we continue in 
sin? God forbid! Shall we not rather say, ^^ The love of Christ 
constraineth us" to devote ourselves, our all, to him alone : to ab^ 
stain from all appearance of evil ; to hate every false way, and to 



244 TO Mi&ft M«***. [Let. 7. 

know, study, desire, aod love iKHhiDg but Jestis Chnst and him 
crucified; that we may feel the power of his resurrection, have fel- 
lowship in his sufferings, and be made conformable to his death. 

What you observe of the way in which the Lord makes his pre- 
• cious promises food to his children's faith, namely, by inclining 
their hearts to watchfulness and diligence in all his appointed 
means; and enabling them to walk unspotted fram the vanities and 
pollutions of the world, waiting for the consolations and teachings 
of his Holy Spirit, is, 1 hope, the very sense of my soul. The 
promises were not given to slacken our endeavours, but to ani- 
mate us to earnestness. An evangelical dependence on the Lord 
for righteousness and strength, .and an evangelical obedience to 
kis commands, are well suited to each other ; they are, indeed, in- 
separable, and in equal proportion ; where one declines, the other 
cannot flourish. Too many, as you say, are for separating what 
God has ioined together. But let their mistakes humble and warn 
us, and snow us the necessity of keeping close to th^ Lord. We 
must not presume ; for our hearts are as deteitful as others. Yet 
we need not be terrified ; for the Lord whom we serve is able to 
keep us from falling, and to preserve us from every evil. We live 
in dangerous times ; the work of the Lord is greatly on the revival 
in many places, and therefore errors and offences ajbound ; for 
where the good seed is plentifully sown, the enemy Vill always 
find means to sow his tares. But our Lord will keep his own 
children that wait upon him for strength and direction every day. 
He will five us to grow in grace, and the knowledge of his truth ; 
and by the words of his lips we shall be kept from the paths of the 
destroyer. 

Let us further comfort ourselves with the prospect of a future 
time when every evil and infirmity shall cease. You know who 
hath said, ^' Surely 1 come quickly.'^ And do not our hearts echo 
to his words? Do not the Spirit and the bride agree? Yea, " A- 
men, Even so come Lord Jesus.'' Come and put an end tp our fears 
and failings. Come and deliver us from this scene of saife and con- 
fusion. We are weary of living in the tents of Mesech. We are 
weary of ourselves. Oh ! we can hardly bear to pass day after da v 
with such faint unworthy apprehensions of thy beauty and thy good- 
ness. We are weary anu ashamed of our holy things. So much 
coldness and wandering in prayer, in reading the wora, in thy pub- 
lic ordinances, that we cannot but say — Oh that I had wings like 
a dove, that. I might fly far away from this vain ensnaring werld ! 
When will this conflict cease ? when shall all our tears be wiped 
away? when shall we know thee as thou art, and be formed into 
thy complete resemblance ? Well, the time is short, and passing 
fest awav. Hold out, faith and* patience, a little longer, and he 
that shall come will come, and will not tarry. In the mean time, 



Let. 8;] ' TO MtM «•«•*. 345 

may we ha:^ grace to improve the present, as the onFf opportu- 
nity we can hare of glorifying our Lord and Saviour in a sinful 
world. When we get safe home, we shall not think we have done 
and suffered too much by the way, 

I am vours. * 



LETTER VIII. 

To Miss M****. 

June 11, 1763. 
DSAR Madaxi 

SiNCs mv return from Yorkshire, I have had but little leisure 
to recollect all I have seen, and heard, and been partaker in, for 
near these two months past. These occasional opportunities are 
now at an end for a season ; and my principal intercourse must be 
with him who is always near. Oh ! for grace to improve this high 
privilege aright; then I shall have no need to regret the defects or 
loss of creature-converse. 

The Lord has led me to many pleasant streams ; but I desire es- 
pecially to rejdce in liberty to draw nigh to the fountain. Methinks 
my heart joins with the desire of those who said, '^ We would see 
Jesus.^' When we come to heaven, without doubt we shall find 
great pleasure in communion with the '^ general assembly of the 
church of the first born ;" but the very heaven of all will be to be- 
hold him who for our sakes was crowned with thorns and nailed to 
the cross. All the rest would be but poor company if he were 
absent. And thus proportionably I fina it to be on earth. 1 de- 
light in his people ; but they can only profit me so far as I am able 
to see him in them, and to feel his presence in my own soul. My 
whole study and desire is comprised in this short sentence — ^"To 
walk with God" — ^to set the Loi-d always before me ; to hear his 
voice in every creature, in every dispensation, ordinance, and pro- 
vidence ; to keep him in view as my poilidn, sun, and shield ; my 
strength, advocate, and Saviour. And all my complaints may be 
summed up in this one — a proneness to wander from him. This 
is too frequently the case with me, I hardly know how or why. 
Through mercy, I am in a measure delivered from the love of this pre- 
sent evil world ; the desire of my heart is towards God? I account 
his loving-kindness to be better than life, and esteem all his pre- 
cepts concerning all things to be right, and just, and good. 1 do 
not even wish for a dispensation to admit any rival into my heart ; 
he richly deserves it all^ and I am willing and desirous to be his 
alone, and to be wholly conformed to him. Yet still I find the ef- 



246 TO MI88 *•••*. [Let S^ 

fects of a depraved nature $ and notwithstanding all my strunies 
against inward and outward evil, I am too often carried away from 
the point of simple faith and dependence. The lively experience 
of a Christian is not hard to be described ; neither is it hara to say 
^uch about it. But to feel what we say, to sit down under the 
shadow of the tree of life, to abide in Christ; to feed on him in my 
heart by faith with thanksgiving, this I find a rare attainment, easi- 
ly lost, and not so soon regainea. I know enough of it to make m& 
desirous of more, and yet so little, that I have frequent cause to 
cry out, My leanness, my leanness ! and to lie low in the dust be* 
fore God. A remaining root of pride and self-righteousness often 
springs up and interrupts my peace. Indeed, as to the ground of' 
my hopes and acceptance, I aim mercifully kept from doubts and 
fears ; I trust in him who has wrought out a perfect righteousness 
for my justification, and has stretched out an everlasting arm for 
my salvation. 1 see the honour of the divine attributes effectually 
secured, and that God is not only merciful and good, but faithful 
and just, in saving an unworthy believing sinner. But what 1 
want, is not only to expect a heaven hereafter, but to experience 
a heaven begun below, to live up to the privileges of the Gospel, 
to have enlarged desires after holiness, and those desires abun- 
dandy answered. I want more of the influences of the Holy Spi- 
rit, under his various characters, as the teacher, quickener, com- 
forter, and sealer of the people of God. I want to know more 
clearly what the apostle desired for his friends in those two com- 
jprehensive pravers, Eph. i. 17 — 20, and iii. 16 — 19. How little 
do I understand of that height and depth, and breadth and length, 
he there speaks Of! How faint are my ideas of the glorious hope 
of his calling, and the exceeding greatness of his mighty power! 
Well, blessed be God for the little I have ! I trust it is an earnest 
of more ; he has given me to hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
and he has said; I shall be filled. I remember the time when I was 
easy enough about these things ; the language of my heart was, 
** Depart irom ine.^' Yea, I resisted his Spirit^ desjpised his mer- 
cv, and counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thmg. But 
oh ! he '^ was found of me that sought him not.'' He passed by 
me, and bid me live; he saved me m spite of myself; he would 
not give me up ; he appeared in the hour of my distress, snatched 
the prey from the hana of the mighty, and delivered the lawful cap- 
tive. And ever since, how good has he been to me ! how gently 
has he led me ! how often has he restored me when wandering, re- 
vived me when fainting, healed my breaches, supplied my wanti, 
heard my prayers, and set up a seasonable standartl again3t my en- 
emies, when they have been coining in upon me like a flood ! And 
even now he is with me, he is never weary of doing me eood, and 
I believe he will be with me, even to the end, till at length he brings 



Let. 9,] TOMissM*«k». 247 

me home to his kingdom to be near him fbr ever. Hence, indeed, 
arises a great part of my erief, to think that 1 should be so cold, 
and barren, and unprofitable, under such ainfazing displays of un* 
deserved love. O Lord, touch the rock, and cause the waters to 
flow ; soften and inflame my heart, that I may at length become 
ihy disciple indeed. 

• 1 trust you will continue to prize the meana of grace, and to 
watch against every appearance of evil. Take heed lest either of 
you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Beware of that 
worst of evils, spiritual pride. Pray earnestly for a deep sense of 
your own insufliciency. I did not thoroughly approve the question 
that was proposed concerning a powdlr in ourselves, though I be- 
lieve yoti understand it in &good sense ; but let us beware of trustp 
ing in any other power than the p©wer of Christ received Continu- 
ally by faith, I know carnal minds will abuse this principle, and 
do they will every other doctrine of the Gospel ; but let it suffice 
us that be who knows us best has said, ^^ Without me ye can do 
nothing." . 

I am your affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER IX. 

To Miss M****- 

January 3, 1764.* 
Dear Madam, 

It is a time of trial amons your friends here ; nor have t 
wholly escaped. Mrs. N**** has kept her chamber more than 
ten weeks ; and we see no present prospect of her recovery. Her 
complaint is a nervous fever, attended with a complaint in her 
head and stomach, which medicines seem insufficient to remove. 
^•Through mercy; her illness has not often risen to a very high de^ 
ffree : but continuing so long, it has rendered her very weak and 
feeble, so that sometimes she can hardly bear any one to walk 
across the room. 

I sympathize for my friends, and I feel for myself. But, bles- 
sed be Uod, I do not mourn as those who have no hope. I 
know it is not an enemy hath done this. It is the Lord, who hath 
saved me out of all afifictions, he who gave me all my good things, 
he to whom I have surrendered myself and my all ; he it is that 
hath laid this trial on me for my good. I believe it to be necessa- 
ry, because he is pleased to appoint it ; and though at present it 
is not joyous but grievous, I trust that in the end he will cause it to 
yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. I desire to submit 



248 TO MIS3 »*••»• [Let. 9, 

td his will in all things ; and though I feef the depravity of my 
nature too often, yet, upon the whole, he enables nae to trust to 
him. and leave all in bis hands. I prav that her health may be re* 
stored when he sees best, but especially that her sickness may be 
sanctified to both our souls. In this we hope and desire the con- 
currence of your prayers. 

At such times as these, the unspeakable blessing of having a* 
hope in God according to the Gospel, appears with double evi- 
dence. Faith in Jesus prepares us for every event. Though he 
put forth his hand, and seem to threaten our dearest comforts, yet 
when we remember that ic is his hand, when we consider that it is 
his design, his love, his wisdom, and his power, we cannot refuse 
to trust him. The reluctance we feel is against our judgment ; 
for we are sure that what he chooses for us must be best. Then, 
again, to think how much less our sufferings are than our sins have 
deserved ; how many mercies we still enjoy on every hand, how 
much heavier burdens are the portion of many around us ; to com- 
pare the present momentary affliction with the exceeding weight 
of glory which shall be revealed ; to recollect that the time is 
short, the hour is swiftly approaching when the Lord shall wipe 
away all tears, and constrain us with wonder and joy to sing, ** He 
hath done all things well.** Such considerations as these, togeth- 
er with the remembrance of what he suffered for us, are always 
at hand to compose our souls under troubles, and will be effectual 
according to tne degree of faitb« Our faith also is strength- 
ened by affliction ; we learn more of our own insufficiency, anf 
the vanity of all things about us ; and we discover more of the 
power, faithfulness, and nearness of a prayer-hearing God. Upon 
this ground Habakkuk could sit down ancf rejoice under the loss of 
all. He could look at the blasted fig-tree and the withered vine, 
see the herds and flocks cut off; ana every creature-comfort fail ; 
yet says he, '^ I will rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my 
salvation.*' O the name of Jesus, when we can speak of him as 
oui*s ; this is the balm for every wound, cordial for every care ; 
it is as ointment poured forth diffusing a fragrancy through the 
whole soul, and driving away the hurtful fumes and fogs of dis- 
trust and discontent. 

I am affectionately yours* 



Let. 10.] TO MISS M****. 249 

LETTER X. 
To Miss M***\ 

Dear Madah, 

I AM afraid before this you have chargfed me with neglect 
ftnd unkindness. I confess 1 have delayed too long, but can truly 

say, my affection for you and all my dear friends at Y , 

remains unaltered and unabated. Let my various removals, and 
the necessary new engagements they have brought upon me, plead 
my excuse, especially as I have not been often faulty in this way } 
I hope I shall not in future give you so jusfreason of complaint. 

The Lord has at length brought me into the ministry according 
to my desire, and beyond my hopes placed me in a fruitful part of 
his vineyard, where bis Gospel is known, loved, professed, and 
possessed by many. I have a large congregation, and a com- 
fortable prospect of usefulness. This, 1 doubt not, will rejoice 
you and stir you up to praise him on my behalf, and to pray for 
me, that I may devote my all to bis service, and in a deep sense 
of my own insufficiency, depend continually upon him for wisdom, 
strength, and grace, to help in time of need. I can justly ask this 
of you, as I am sure you have a constant place in my heart, aud 
a frequent remembrance in my prayers. 

* I long to know how you go on : I hope comfortably. I hope 
yon still find that the joy of the Lord is your strength, that his 
service is perfect freedom ; that it is good to wait upon him, and 
that yon daily enjoy his presence both in public and in private. 
Are you not often filled with^dmiration and love at the thought 
of his distinguishing grace in calling you out of darkness into 
light ? And when you are enabled, by faith, to view Jesus as 
dying for sin, and now pleading for sinners before the throne, are 
not your hearts melted into godly sorrow, and inflamed with a 
holy zeal to hate every false way, and to cleave to him with full 
purpose of heart ? These are sure signs that you are walking in: 
the good old way, that you are interested in the blessings of the 
everlasting covenant, and you may be confidently assured, that 
be who has begun the good work in you will perform tlie same 
unto the day of Christ Jesus. 

Many are the trials and exercises we must expect to meet with 
in our progress ; but this one consideration outweighs them all, 
The Lord is on our side ; and if he be for us, none can be against 
us to harm us. In all these things we shall be more than con- 
querors, through him that has loved us. AfSictions, though not 
in themselves joyous, but grievous, yet, when sanctified, ara 

Vol, IV. 32 



260 TO Miss M****. [Let. 10. 

among oar choice mercies ; in due time they shall yield the peace- 
ful fruits of righteousness ; and even at present, they shall surely 
be attended with seasonable and sufficient supports. One great 
desire of the believer, is to understand the good word of God 
more and more ; and one principal means by which we advance 
in this knowledge is the improvement we are enabled to make of 
our daily trials. The promises are generally made to an afflict- 
ed ^tate ; aqd we. could not taste their sweetness, nor experience 
their truth, if we were not sometimes brought into the circumstan- 
ces to which they relate. It is said, '' I will be with them in 
trouble ;" but how could we know what a mercy is contained in 
these words, unless trouble was sometimes our lot f It is said to 
be the believers privilege to glory in tribulation. But we never 
could know that this is possible without we had tribulation to 
glory in. However, this is matter of joy and glory indeed, to 
find peace and comfort within, when things are disagreeable and 
troublesome without. Then we are enabled to set to our seal 
that God is true ; then we learn how happy it is to have a refuge 
that cannot be taken from us ; a support that is able to bear all 
the weight we can lay upon it ; a spring of joy that cannot be 
stopped up by any outward events. A great part of the little we 
know of our God, his faithfulness, his compassion, his readiness to 
bear and to answer our prayers ; his wisdom in delivering and 
providing, when all our contrivances fail ; and bis goodness in 
overruling every thing to our souls' good ; I say, much of what 
we know of these things we learnt in our trials, and have there- 
fore reason to say. It was good for us to be afflicted. And as the 
Lord has brought us safe through thus far, we have good ground 
to trust him to the end. We know not what is before us. Per- 
haps we may meet greater difficulties by and by, than we have 
ever yet seen ; but if we keep in mind who delivered us from the 
lion and the bear, we may face the Philistine also without terror. 
God will be with us, and strengthen us with strength in our souls. 
Only it is our wisdom to keep close to him» that when the evil day 
comes, we may have confidence before him in all our troubles. 
When afflictions overtake us in a careless frame, and find guilt 
upon the conscience, then they are doubly troublesome. 

I am yours^ &c. 



IjCt. 1!.] TO MISS M****. 251 

LETTER XL 

To Miss M****. 

July 20^ 1768, 
jMv Dear Sisters, 

We agreed to exchange a letter once in three months^ but we 
both began in the same week : I have been waiting ever since for 
yoars ; and perhaps our letters may meet upon the road again. 
If so, we shall be still puzzled; but if you have not yet written, - 
let me have an answer to this within one month, and then yoii 
may expect one from me about a quarter of a year afterwards. 
Indeed, some things I have lately engaged in will oblige me to 
drop a great part of my correspondence ; but I cannot prevail 
with myself to give up yours, because, both present and absent, 
the Lord has helped and comforted me by you ; and so long as 1 

can remember some precious seasons 1 have enjojred at Y — , 

so long will you have a peculiar place in my heart. However, 
3'ou must not expect two for one. 

I wish you could make it suit one, two, or all of you (the more 
the better) to come and see us at OIney. So I told you when I 
saw you ; so I tell you again. I think you would like to spend 
a little time with us. Through mercy, we continue to go on very 
comfortably ; our society has been enlarged by several additions : 
and all, in general, are in a thriving way. Soon after I returned 
from Yorkshire, I b^gan to expound the Pilgrim's Progress in our 
meetings on Tuesday evenings ; and though we have been almost 
seven months travelling with the pilgrim, we have not yet left the 
house Beautiful ; but I believe shall set off for the Valley of Hu- 
miliation in about three weeks. I find this book so full of mat- 
ter, that I can seldom go through more than a page or a half a 
page at a time. I hope the attempt has been greatly blessed 
amongst us ; and for myself, it has perhaps given me a deeper 
insight into John Bunyan's knowledge, judgment, and experience 
in the Christian life, than I should ever have had without iu 

The Lord is pleased to supply me still in public service, and to 
continue my acceptance, with his people. But with regard to what 
passes between him qnd my own soul, there is for the most part 
a very awful distance^ I monrn under such adeadness and bar- 
renness in secret duties, as I believe very few, who are in any 
measure alive, hre exercised with. It puts n\fi often to a stand, and 
affords the enemy a handle to present the moM distressing doubts 
and fears as to my own state. I dare not plead, in answer to his 
sugg^tions, that I most be right, because the Lord is pleased to 



2i» TO M18S M***». [Let. 11. 

assist and own me in the work of tlie ministry ; because the 
apostle plainly supposes, a man may speak like an angel to oth- 
ers : and be but sounding brass himself; may speak to good 
effect to them, and be himself a cast-away. But though I 
dare not rest upon this plea, the Lord affords me a better ; and 
has been pleased to ^ve such a view of the ail-sufficient right- 
eousness of Jesus, and the certainty of the promises in Him, 
that these doubts seldom pierce more than skin-deep, and, at 
the bottom of my dry complaining frames, he is pleased to 
maintain a stable peace. I trust 1 am safe ; but I am sure I am 
not comfortable. I have every thing to make me so that this 
world can afford ; but I hope the whole of this world would not 
satisfy me without the light of his countenance, and a more cheer- 
ful ability to love, serve, and praise. For this I sigh, for this I 
pine. After all, he knows what is best for me to humble the 
pride of my heart, and to maintain in me a spirit of dependence 
and self-abasement. Perhaps he sees I am not 6t to be trusted 
with comforts, especially when my outward path is in all respects 
so very smooth. I hope his grace is, in a measure, with me ; 
otherwise I should grow quite careless, or the evils I feel in my 
heart would break out to the observation of others ; neither of 
which I hope, is at present the case. To Him, and not to me, be 
the praise ; for if he did not hold me up continually. I am £ure I 
should soon wofully fall. 

I rejoiced to hear it was well with you ; yes, it is well ; you 
have a good Shepherd who is able to keep you from falling, and 
to supply all your wants, to shield you from all dangers, to 
feed you with heavenly manna and living water ; and ere long 
you shall see his face without a veil, and shine like the sun in his 
kingdom for ever. May I not address you with the angel's sal- 
utation ? — Hail ye who are highly favoured ; the Lord is with 
you ; blessed are ye among women. I need not tell you, that it 
becomes you to be deeply humbled ; you know it and desire it. 
It becomes you likewise to be highly thankful. Complain not of 
crosses by the way ; who was ever spiritually-minded without 
them ? These are among the evidences that you are children ; and 
the Lord will make a rich amends for all. Then we shall weep, 
we shall sin no more. 

Your truly affectionate brother and servant. 



Let. 12.1 TO M18S M****. 253 

LETTER XII. 
To Miss !«*••*. 

JIfarcA 1, 1769. 
Dear Madam, 

I NOW write A little before the time appointed, lest some hin- 
d^rance should again make you think me forgetfol. 

I was glad to 6nd yon were all living, as I had some apprehen- 
sions concerning Miss K****, and especially glad to find that 
you were al) alive in the very best sense, even to God. We have 
need eoougk to moarn over our unfruitfulness ; but let us remem* 
ber that it is a special mercy of God, to be enabled to hold fast 
our profession. For we live in perilous times, when there are 
such dreadful falls of professors as might well shake and terrify 
us» if we were not, indeed, founded upon a rock. But the Lord 
knows them that are his, and he will keep them ; yea, he teaches 
them to improve the miscarriages of others, as motives to stir 
them up to greater watchfulness, and to show them the necessity 
of crying daily to him, " Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." 
I suppose you have heard the unhappy case of *****, a man whom 
1 loved as a friend, and honoured as an eminent believer : how 
often have his letters made me ashamed ! his dreadful fall has 
affected me more than any thing of the kind I have ever met with 
since the Lord gave me acquaintance with his people. O, how 
great is the deceitfniness of the heart of sin, and Satan ! How 
should the apostle's words be laid to heart, " Let him that think- 
eth he standeth, take heed lest he fall !" 1 Cor. x. 12. Howev- 
er, as I said, those who feel their weakness, whose dependence 
upon Jesus is Scriptural, such a dependence as makes them 
diligent in the use of appointed means, and desirous of being 
kept from the appearance of evil ; these shall be preserved. That 
is a gracious and supporting promise, (to those who feel they can 
do nothing for themselves, are jealous over their own hearts, and 
see the snares that are continually spread for their ieet,) which 
the Lord makes to all his faithful people. Rev. iii. 10. Alas ! un- 
less he vouchsafe to keep the city, the watchman waketh but in 
vain. But faith in his name and promise, gives us confidence and 
encouragement to aim at that watchfulness on our parts, to which 
his word exhorts us. The Lord does not keep his people by 
teaching them so to rest in the promises of his care, as to sit 
down secure and careless in themselves. But he preserves them 
from falling from him, by putting his fear in their hearts, by 
making them sensible of their dangers, and drawing them to come 



254 TO MISS M****. [Let. 12. 

boldly to his throne ofgrace, that they may obtain mercy, and find 
grace to help in every time of need. And when his Spirit bears 
witness with our spirits, that we are thus looking to him in the 
way of duty, weak and unworthy as we are, we may triumph in 
his salvation, and be firmly persuaded, that neither the world nor 
Satan shaH be able to separate us from his % ve. Great is the con* 
solation provided for humble souls in what the Scripture declares 
concerning the power, grace, offices, faithfulness, and comptission 
of the Redeemer. These things are always equally true in them* 
selves, but not always equally evident to us ; for we cannot com* 
fortably apply them, but in proportion as his Spirit is with us. It 
is therefore wisely and mercifully appointed, that if we grow 
slack and careless, our comforts and peace should <lecline, that 
we may perceive in lime tliat we are getting out of the right 
. path, and cry to the Lord to restore us again. While those 
who are always alike, who can talk of assurance and persever- 
ance while they are evidently indulging a trifling and careless 
spirit, ^nd expect the promises will be accomplished in another 
way than that path of diligence, humiliation, and prayer, which 
the Lord himself has marked out ; these persons, I soy, always 
give cause to fear that they know very little of what they ar^ 
talking about. 

My paper is almost full, and all that I have written is quite be- 
side my first intention. But it may not be the worse for that ! I 
love to give up ray heart and pen, without study, when I am writ- 
ing. The Lord knows the stale of my friends, their present 
temptations, &^. and I look to him to give me a word in season. 
Things with us are as usual. The great Shepherd is still pleased 
to guard our fold, so that the enemy has not yet been suffered to dis- 
tract us with errors and divisions, nor has one turned back after 
having fully joined us. Our number increases every year, though 
not very fast. As to myself I am much exercised with a dead- 
ness of spirit in secret, which makes me often groan. But, through 
grace, 1 can say, that as I never saw more of my own vileness, so, 
I think, I never saw Jesus more precious and desirable, was more 
clearly sensible of the vanity of every thing without him, than I 
have of late. **JVo«e but Jesus," is my motto. AH wisdom, 
righteousness, holiness, and happiness, which does not spring 
from and centre in Him, my soul desires to renounce. 

May the Lord bless each of you with an abiding sense of hU 
precious love, that your hearts may burn, and your lives shine» 

So prays yours, fac. 



Let. 13.] TO MisB B^**% ^55 

LETTER XIII- 
To Miss M****. ^ 

Dear Madam, 

I DULY received yonr letter Of the 15th of December, and am 
very willing still to include Mrs. H**** in oar correspondence. 
I hope she finds, in every change of life, that Jesus is still the 
same, gracious and precious to her soul ; and my prayer is, that 
neither the comforts nor cares of a married state may damp the 
frame of her spirit towards him. The heart is deceitful, the 
world ensnaring, the enemy subtle and powerful ; but we know 
who has said, '* My grace. is sufficient for thee." He is able to 
keep us, not only safe as to the end, but also lively, faithful, and 
dependent by the way, in every circumstance and station to 
wbich bis providence calls us. 

I observe your last is written in a more complaining style than 
usual. Causes of complaint are, indeed, innumerable ; but re- 
member "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Be not snr* 
prised that you still find the efiects of indwelling sin — it must and 
will be so. The frame of our fallen nature is depraved through- 
out, and, like the leprous house, it must be entirely demolished, 
and raised anew. While we are in this world, we shall groan, 
being burdened. I wish you to long and breathe after greater 
measures of sanctification ; but we are sometimes -betrayed into a 
legal spirit, which will make us labour in the very fire to little 
purpose. If we find deadness and drynf ss stealing upon us, our 
only relief is to look to Jesus — to bis blood for pardon — to his- 
grace for strength ; we can work nothing out of ourselves. To 
pore over our own evils will not cure them ; but he who wa& 
typified by the brazen serpent is ever present, lifted up to our 
view in the camp ; and one believing sight of him will do more to* 
restore peace to the conscience, and life to our graces, than all our 
own lamentatious and resolutions. 

* Further, we must expect changes* Were we always alike, we 
should dream that we had some po|i^er or goodness inherent in 
ourselves ; be wilt therefore sometimes withdraw, that we may 
learu our absolute dependence on bim. When this is the case, it- 
is our part humbly to continue seeking him in his own appointed 
means, and patiently to wait his promised return! It is a point of 
great wisdom to know our Gospel liberty, and yet not to abuse it; 
to see that our hope stands sure and invariable, distant from all 
the changes we feel in ovjt experience, that we are accepted, not 
because we are comfortable or lively, but because Jesus has loved 



S&6 TO MI8S M***». [Let. 14.* 

us, and given himself for us ; and yet, at the same time, to be 
longing and thirsting for the light of his countenance, and a re- 
newed sense of his love upon our hearts. Two things we should 
^ways guard and pray against ; that the knowledge of our ac- 
ceptance may not make us secure and careless, and likewise, that 
our endeavours after conformity to his revealed will, may not 
subject us to a spirit of bondage. The apostle, who well knew 
the nature of our warfare, exhorts us to ** rejoice in the Lord al^ 
WATS." He knew what conflicts we should meet with from afflic- 
tions, imperfections, temptations, and desertions : yet he says, 
always ; which can only be practised by those who see and keep 
in mind that they are complete in Christ ; that he is all in all to 
them ; their righteousness, wisdom, and strength ; their sun and 
shield ; their friend and representative before the throne ; their 
shepherd and their husband. If I may speak my own experience^ 
I find that to keep my eyes simply upon Christ, as my peace, and 
^y W^ ^^ ^y ^^^ ^^^ hardest part of my calling. Through mer- 
cy, he enables me to avoid what is wrong in the sight of men, but 
it seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances . of outward 
conduct, than in its ceaseless endeavours to act as a principle of 
righteousness and power. 

John Bunyan, in his advanced years, took notice of the abom- 
inations that had still too much place in his heart ; one of them 
was, he says, a secret cleaving to the covenant of works. I am 
sure this is no small abomination in a believer ; but, alas ! it 
cleaves as close to me as my skin, and costs me many a sigh. 

I am yours, be. 



LETTER XIV. 
• * To Mrs. H****. 

September 2\,\1ilO, 
Madam, 

As the engagements you lately have entered into have not 
separated you from each other, I can, as formerly, write to you 
both at once. I should be glad to hear that the third in our cor- 
respondence was as comfortably settled in H likewise. 
However, I beg you will mention my love to her when opportu- 
nity offers, and tell her, that I hope to be always mindful of her. 
Your being both removed from Y— — must doubtless be a 
great trial to her ; but I trust she will find an all-sufficieut God 
always near, to make good every change and every loss. 



Jtet. 14.] to MRS. tt»^«. 457 

. I cpngratalate Mrs. C**** on her maniage, and Mrs. H**** on 
the Lora's goodness in preserving her Jife, and giving her a living 
child ; for the rest I may speak to you without distinction. The 
grace of God enabled you both to walk honoui*ably in single life : I 
trust the same grace will enable you to adorn your profession in the 
married state. I need not tell you that both the sphere of your com- 
forts and your trials is now enlarged. Your opportunities for use- 
fulness will be increased \ so, likewise, will the snares and tempta- 
tions in the path of duty. 1 take it for granted that you are very 
happy, that you are united to your husbands, not only by marriage, 
but by mutual affection, and what is better still, by mutual faith ; 
and that, as you sought the Lord's direction before the connex- 
ion was formed, so you came together evidently by his blessing. 
What then shall I say to you ? Only, or chiefly this — Beware of 
being too happy — beware of idolatry. Husbands, children, pos- 
sessions, every thing by which the Lord is pleased to afford us 
content or pleasure, are full of snares. How hard is it tofbve a 
creature just as we ought ; and so to possess our temporal bles- 
sings as neither to overvalue nor undervalue them ! How rare is it 
to see a believer go on steadily, and in a lively, thriving spirit, if 
remarkably favoured with prosperous circumstances ! It is hard, 
but it is not impossible : impossible, indeed, it is to us ^ but it is 
easy to Him who has said, " My grace is sufficient for you." My 
desire is, that you may both be witnesses of the Lord's faithfulness 
to this his eood promise. I wish you health, peace, and prosperi- 
ty; but, above all, that your souls may prosper; that you may 
still prefer the light of God's countenance to your chief joy ; that 
you may still delight yourselves in the Lord ; be daily hungering 
and thirsting after him, and daily receiving from his fulness, even 
grace for grace ; that you may rejoice in his all-sufficiency, may 
taste his love in every dispensation ; that every blessing of his 
common providence may come to you as a fruit and token of his 
covenant love ; that the frame of your spirits may be heaven- 
ward, your conduct exemplary, and your whole conversation may 
breaihe the meekness, simplicity and spirituality which become the 
gospel of Christ. I have strong confidence in the Lord for you, 
my dear friends, that it shall be even thus: and it will rejoice my 
heart to hear that it is so. 

However the Lord may be pleased to indtilge us with comforts 
and mercies here, still this is not, cannot be, our rest. Indwelling 
sin, the temptations of Satan, changing dispensations, and the vani- 
ty which is inseparably entwined with every earthly connexion^ 
will more or less disturb our peace. But there is a brighter 
world, where sin and sorrow can never enter ; every moment 
brings us nearer to it : — ^then every imperfection shall ceiase, and 
our best desires shall be satisfied beyond our present conceptions : 

Vol. IV. 33 



2S8 to ARS. c***». [Let. 1 5w 

— then we shall see him whom having not seen we love; we 
shall see him in all his glory, not as now, through the me- 
dium of ordinances, but face to face, without a veil, we shall see 
him so as to be completely transformed into his perfect ima^e. 
Then, hkewise, we shall see all his redeemed, and join with an m- 
numerable multitude of all nations, people, and languages, in sing* 
ing the triumphant -song of Moses and the Lamb, for ever! Then 
we shall look back with wonder on all the way the Lord led us 
through this wilderness, and shall say, ^' He htith done all things 
well.'' May this blessed hope comfort our hearts, strengthen our 
hands, and make us account nothing dear or hard, so that we may 
finish our course with joy. Pray for us ; and believe me to be 

Your affectionate friend and servant. 



• LETTER XV. 

To Mrs. C»»»*. 

May 2, 1771. 

Mv Dear Madam, 

I SPENT about five weeks at London lately, which has oc- 
casioned me to delay answering your letter something longer 
than usual. But I have not forgotten you. The change of your 
situation will probably change the methods of Satan in his unwea- 
ried attempts to disturb the peace of those who love the Lord ; 
for he knows how to suit himself to our circumstances, whatever 
they be. 

It may likewise draw forth the weakness of indwelling sin, in 
ways difierent from your former experience, and give you new 
views of the evil and deceitfulness of the heart. But, as I trust 
you had an eye to the word. Spirit, and providence of God, when 
you entered into the marriage relation, and sought his blessing by 
repeated prayer, you need not fear but his ^ce will be sufficient 
for you. The more the Lord blesses you in outward things*, the 
' more sensible you will be (if your heart is kept alive) that true 
happiness is only to be found in himself; for sin and vanity are 
closely connected with every thing beneath the skies. In this 
view I trust he will enable you to number your crosses among your 
mercies, as necessary to keep your soul from cleaving to the dust, 
and to quicken your prayers and desires heaven-wards. Our ne- 
cessary connexions in this life, especially those which are most 
pleasing, are attended with many snares. May the Lord keep 
you sensible of the danger, that you may be continually crying, 
" Hold thou us up, and then we shall be safe ;" and be watchful 
against the first appearances of decline in the power of the life of 



Let. 15.] TO MRS. c«HM>. 259 

feith. I aiD) however, fully persuaded that a due attention to 
the concerns of our relative duties and callings in this world, can 
never be properly hindcrances to us in walking with God. These 
things may require some of our thoughts, and much of our time ; 
but if we can manage them in obedience to his will, and with 
a reference to his glory, they are then sanctified, and become re- 
ligious actions. And 1 doubt not but a believer, acting in a right 
spirit, maybe said to worship God in the shop or kitchen, np less 
tnan when waiting on him in his ordinances. But hQ.must teach 
us to do this, for we have no sufiSciency of ourselves ; yea, he 
must teach us and strengthen us continually, for we cannot live by 
past experience, without a new supply of grace from hour to hour: 
and this he has promised. Sec Isa. xzvii. 3. It is not the action, 
(if lawful,) but the spirit with which it is performed, that the Lord 
regards. We are naturally desirous to do some great thing ; but 
all the law is fulfilled, evangelically, by love. And a person calU 
ed by providence to sweep the streets, if he does it to the Lord, 
performs as acceptable a service as another who should preach 
the Gospel to thousands. As to cares and anxieties, which are 
unnecessary, and therefore sinful, you will not be wholly without 
them while there is any unbelief and sin remaining in the heart. 
Your great mercy will oe to be humbled for them, and to take oc- 
casion from all that^ou feel amiss, to adore the free grace of God, 
to rejoice in the perfect work, boundless compassion, and prevail- 
ing intercession of Jesus. He knows our frame, and remembers 
that wp are but dust. And though many evils arise in our hearts, 
which are new to us, they are not new to him. He knew what we 
were, and what we should be, before he called us ; and yet it 
pleased him to make us his people. 

I am sorry to hear that you have uneasinesses and differences 
in your church ; for, through mercy, I wish well to all the Lord's 
assemblies, without respect to names and parties. I shall be glad 
to hear that the Healer of breaches is pleased to settle you com- 
fortably again. In the mean time, I ti*ust you will account it a 
privilege mat vou live in a place where the preachine of the Gos- 
pel is not connned to one denomination. I bless God, we are still 
favoured with peace here. Hay we prize it : it is that to the soul, 
or to a church, which health is to the body. There may be life, . 
but there can be no comfort without it. While Satan can prevail 
to break a people's peace, there is usually a full stop put to edifi- 
cation. There may be preaching, and hearing, and praying ; but 
every thing will be weak and languid. For the Holy Spirit, whose 
emblem is the peaceful dove, will not dwell in the midst of strife 
and contention. Nay, it is an awful token that he is withdrawn 
already, when these evils are greatly prevalent. When ordinan- 
ces are powerful, and both ministers and people taste that the 



260 to Mss. c«*»#. [Let. 16. 

Lord is gracious, ibings may arise, through human infmnity and 
Satan's subtlety, to threaten the continuance of peace ; but then it 
will be as at the breaking out of a fire, where every oi^e exertH 
himself to extinguish it before it can get to a head. We have ma- 
ily combustibles, and the enemy will throw sparks upon them to 
set all in a flame ; but happy they who so value peace as to be 
willing to give up any thing but truth to preserve it. We join in 
love to you both. Pray for us. 

I am affectionately yours. 



LETTER XVI. 

To Mrs. C****. 

Fdruary 14, 1772. 
1!)eail Madam, 

1 FIND, by the date of your last, that 1 have not been so punc- 
tual to the time of answering as formerly. Indeed, bu&iness of 
one kind or another so grows on my hands, that I am in arrears to 
many. 

I hope the Lord, who has mercifully given you children, will en- 
able you to bring them up in his fear, and accompany your endea- 
vours with his blessing; and make them in due time partakers of 
his grace, that they may know and love the Lord God of their 
parents. 

Your warfare, ijt seems, still continues ; and it will continue 
while you remain here. But he is faithful who has promised to 
make us more than conquerors in the last conflict — then we shall 
bear the voice of war no more for ever. Whatever we suffer 
by the way, the end will make amends for all. The repeated ex- 
perience we have of the deceitfulness of our own hearts, is a means 
which the Lord employs to make us willing debtors to his free 
grace, and to teach us to live more entirely upon Jesus. He id 
our peace, our strength, our righteousness, our all in all. And we 
learn, from day to day, that though diligence and watchfulness in 
the use of appointed means is our part, yet we are preserved in 
life; not by our care, but his. We have a watchful Shepherd, who 
neither slumbers nor sleeps ; his eyes are always upon nis people, 
bis arm underneath them ; this is the reason that their enemies can- 
not prevail against them. We are conscious to ourselves of many 
unguarded moments, in which we might be surprised and ruined, if 
we were left without his almighty defence. Yea, we often suffer 
loss by our folly ; but he restores us when wandering ; revives 
us when fainting; heals us when wounded ; and having oMidned 



Let. 16.] rro mrs. c««*«». 261 

help of him, we continue to this hour ; and he will be oar guard 
and guide even unto death. He has delivered, he does deliver ; 
and in him we trust that he will yet deliver us. 

We have had but few alterations at , since my last ; only 

that of late the Lord has been pleased to give his word a more 
convincing power than for some time before. We have had se- 
veral awakened within these few months, who jappear to he truly 
in earnest. Upon the whole, though we have many causes of hu- 
miliation, I hope it is with us in some measure according to that 
pleasing description, Acts, ix. 31. Help us to praise the Lord 
for his goodness to us. 

As to myself, there is little variation in my path. The law of 
gin in my members distresses roe ; But the Gospel yields relief. 
It is given me to rest in the finished salvation, and to rejoice in 
Christ Jesus as myall in all. My soul is athirst for nearer and 
fuller communion with him. Yet be is pleased to keep me short 
of those sweet consolations in my retired hours which I could 
desire. However, I cannot doubt but be is with me, and is pleased 
to keep up in my heart some sense of the evil of sin, the beauty 
of holiness, my own weakness, and his glorious all-sufficiency. 
His I am, and him I desire to serve. I am, indeed, a poor servant ; 
but he is a gracious Master. O ! who is a God like unto Him, 
that forgiveth iniquity, and casteth the sins of bis people into the 
depths of the sea. I shall not always live thus — ^the land to which 
we are going is far different to this wilderness through which, he 
is now leading us. Then we shall see his face, and never, never 
sin. 

If either of you or yours should come towards London, we 
shall be glad to see you ; but, if not here we hope to meet in glo* 
ry. There is but little probability of my seeing you in York-^ 
shire. We may meet, however at present, I hope we do, at a 
throne of grace. I intreat a frequent remembrance in your 
prayers, both of me and mine. This is the best proof we can give 
of our love to our frieiids, to bear them upon our hearts before 
the Lord. Afford roe this, and I will pay you in kind, as the 
Iiord shall enable me. 

Yours in tbe best friendship. 



2^2 TO MRS. o«M*. [Let It^ 

LETTER XVIL 
To Mrs. C****. 

Jiine 6, 177^ 
Mt Deab Friknds, 

I MIGHT appologize for my long silence, but yon set roe the 
example ; so let us exchange forgiveness. You are bosy ; and t 
can assure you I have but little leisure. However, I can say, with 
you, that roy regard remains. I still remember, with pleasure, 
past times, in which we have taken sweet counsel together ; and I 
look forward to the happy period of all interruptions, when I trust 
we shall meet to spend an everlasting Sabbath in praise to Him 
who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in bis blood. 

Mrs. N***** and I are still, by the Lord^s mercy, spared to 
each other. She joins me in love to you both, and to your bus- 
bands. We are not only spared, but highly favoured with healtli» 
peace, and an abundance of temporal mercies. I am still supported, 
and in some measure owned, iu the pleasing service of preaching 
the glorious Gospel to my fellow-sinners ; and 1 am still happy 
in an affectionate, united people. Many have been removed to a 
better world, but others have been added to us ; so that I believe 
eur numbers have been rather increased than diminished, from 
year to year. But most of our old experienced believers have 
finished their course, and entered into their rest. Some su^h we 
had, who were highly exemplary and useful omaments'to tbehr 
profession, and very helpful to the young of the (lock. We miss 
them ; but the Lord, who has the fulness of the Spirit, is, I hope, 
bringing others forward to supply their places. We have to sing 
of abounding grace, and at the same time to mourn over the 
aboundings of sin ; for too mauy in this neighbourhood have re- 
sisted convictions so long, that I am afraid the Lord has given 
them up to hardness oT heart ; they are either obstinately deter- 
mined to hear no more, or to sit quietly under the preaching, and 
Beem to be sermon-proof. Tet I hope and pray for a day of 
power in favour of some Who have hitherto heard in vain. Bless- 
ed be God, we are not without some seasons of refreshment, when 
a sense of bis gracious presence makes the ordinances sweet and 
precious. Many miracles he has wrought among us the twelve 
years I have been here. The blind see, the deaf hear, the lepers 
are cleansed, and the dead are raised to spiritual life. Pray for 
OS, that his arm may be revealed in the midst of us. 

As to myself, I have had much experience of the decettfulness 
of ray heart, much warfare on account of the remaining principle 



Let. 17.] TO tf&s. c»WH». 26B 

of indwelling sin. Without this experience I should not have 
known so much of the wisdom, power, grace, and compaCssion of 
Jesus. I have good reason to commend him to others, as a faith- 
ful Shepherd, an infallible Physician, an unchangeable Friend. 
I have found him such. Had be not been with me, and were he 
not mighty to forgive and deliver, I^had long ago been trodden 
down like mire in the streets. He has wonderfolly preserved me 
in my outward walk, so that they who have watched for my 
halting have been disappointed. But He alone knows the in* 
numerable backslidings, and the great perverseness of my heart. 
It is of biff grace and mercy that I am what I am ; having ob- 
tained help of him, I continue to this day. And He enables me 
to believe that he will keep me to the end, and that then I shall 
be with him for ever. 

I hope your souls prosper, and that all the comforts, employ- 
ments, cares, and trials of life, are .'sanctiSed by bis blessing, to 
lead you to a more immediate dependence upon himself; that he 
enables you to glorify him in your families and conneuons, and 
conforms you to his image, in love, spirituality, meekness, and 
resignation. Many things must be attended to in their places ; 
but O the blessing of being taught to do and to bear all things for 
his sake ! The life of faith is, to be continually waiting on him, 
receiving from him, rendering to him, resting in him, and acting 
for him. In every other view the present state is vanity and vexa- 
tion of spirit. But when the love of Jesus is the leading and con- 
straining motive of our conduct, the necessary business of every 
day, in the house, the shop, or the field, is enobled, and makes a 
part of our religious worship ; while every dispensation of Pro- 
vidence, whether pleasant or painful to the flesh, is received and 
rested in as an intimation bf bis will, and an evidence of his love 
and care for us. Happy t^ey who do not stop short in names, 
forms, and notions, but are desirous of knowing what effects such a 
gospel as we profess is capable of producing in the spirit and 
conduct of those to whom'it comes, not in word only, but in the 
demonstration and powei^ of the Holy Ghost. 

I commend you and yours to the Lord. I shall always be 
glad to hear from you ; and remain your affectionate friend aa4 
servant. . 



S64 TO MRS. c*»»*. [Let la 

LKTTERXVm. 

To Mrs. C****. 

June 12, 1779. 
Mr DB4& Friend, 

Your last letter was long in coming; but I have deprived 
myself of all right of compiaining by the slowness of my answer. 
Ton plead want of time; allow me to plead the same. Daring 
the first years of our correspondence you had no family, and I had 
few engagements, compared to what I have had since. As we 
grow older, connexions and business, multiply, while alas ! for 
my part, my ability to attend to the many things which call upon 
me seems rather to decline. My regard for you still subsists, and 
I use you no worse than I am constrained to use many others 
whom I have long and dearly loved, and who have equal reasoa 
to say I am become a poor correspondent. 

For three years past Airs. N***^* has experienced much ill 
health ; and this alone has abridged me of many of those hours 
which I used to employ in writing to my friends. Of late she 
has been better, upon the whole, but seldom comfortably well for 
many weeks together. But in the course of these trials we have 
had much experience of the Lord's goodness and compassion ; 
and I have found him, and still find him, a God hearing prayer, 
R very present help in time of trouble. She joins with me in love 
to you both, to Mrs. H****, and my other friend at Y ■ , 

whose name used to stand with yours, and of whom I have heard 
nothing for a long time. 

The life of leisure you once had is now changed for the care of 
a family. It is an honourable and important charge. I hope 
the Lord continues to bless you in it ; and that you have com- 
fort in seeing your children grow up like olive plants about your 
table. May he give you wisdom and success in your attempts to 
bring them up for the Lord ; that in doe time you, and the chil- 
dren he has given you, may appear together at his right hand. 

As to myself, though I have now entered the sixteenth year of 
my ministry here, and have almost finished the fifty-fourth of my 
life, my health and strength through his blessing, continue firm ; 
and through his mercy I feel myself no mOre weary in his service, 
or weary of it, than at first. I have comfort in the flock he has 
committed to my care : I have seen many of them depart in 
peace, and I rejoice to think they are safely housed out of the 
reach of storms. He has, from time to time, raised up others 
to supply the^r places^ and, in general, they walk agreeably to 



Let. 18.] TO MI8S €•••*. 266 

the Gospel, in peace among themselves, and united in affection 
to me. I speak of the serious people chiefly. Maltitudes in the 
town are mere hearers ; and some will not bear at all. Bat all 
behave civil, and give me no other trouble than that which I ought 
to feel most sensibly, a concern for their precious souls, that 
when the light of the Gospel shines around them, there should be 
so many who prefer darkness to light, because their deeds are 
evil. 

Every year, and indeed every day, affords me new proofs of 
the evil and deceitfulness ^ray heart, and of my utter insufficien- 
cy to think even a good thought of myself. But I trust, in the 
course of various exercises, I have been taught more of the power, 
grace, and all sufficiency of Jesus. I can commend him to others, 
not from hearsay, but from my own experience. His name is 
precious ; his love is wonderful ; his compassions are boundless ; 
I trust I am enabled to choose him as my all, my Lord, my 
strength, my Saviour, my portion. I lone for more grace to love 
him better ; for, alas ! I have reason to dumber myself among 
the least of saints and the chief of sinners! 

I am your$. 



Vou. IV. 34 



TWENTY-ONE LETTERS 

TO 

MR. AND MRS. W**»». 

LETTER 1. 
To Mr. W***». 

Jan. 25, 1766. 
I>SAR Sir, 

You (and consequtntly Mrs. W****, for you cannot suffer 
alone) have lately been in the furnace, and are now brought safe- 
ly out. I hope you have much to say of the grace, care, and 
skill of the great Refiner, who watched over you ; and that you 
liave lost nothing but dross. Let this experience be treasured up 
in your hearts for the use of future times. Other trials will come : 
but you have found the Lord faithful to his promise, and have 
good encouragement to trust him again. I would take the liber* 
ly to address myself particularly to dear Mrs. ****, upon a theme 
my heart is well acquainted with. You know your weak side ; 
endeavour to set a double guard of prayer there. Our earthly 
comforts would be doubly sweet, if we could but venture them 
without anxiety in the Lord's hands. And where can we lodge 
Ibem so safely f Is not the first gift, the continuance, the blessing 
which makes them pleasing, all from him ? Was not his design in 
all this that we should be happy in them ? How then can we 
fear that he will threaten them, much less take them away, but 
with a view to our further benefit ? Let us suppose the thing we 
are most afraid of actually to happen. Can it come a moment 
sooner, or in any other way than by his appointment ? Is he not 
gracious and faithful to support us under the stroke ? Is he not 
rich enough to give us something better than ever he will take 
away ? Is not the light of his countenance better than life and all 
its most valued enjoyments P Is not this our time of trial, and 
are we not travelling towards a land of light ? — Methinks when 
we view things in the light of eternity, it is much the same wheth- 
er the separating stroke arrives at the end of seven or seventy 
years ; since, come when it will, it must and will be felt ; but one 
draught of the river of pleasure at God's right hand will make us 



T 



Let. l.J TO ME. w*»*#. ;^7 

forget our sorrows for ever ; or the remembrance, if any, will only 
serve to beightea our joys. Further, what life did he lead whom we 
call our Master and our Lord ? Was not he a man of sorrows and 
acquainted with grief? Has be marked out one way to heaven 
with his painful footsteps, and shall we expect,* or even wish to 
walk 19 another $ With such considerations as these, we should 
endeavour to arm our minds^ and pray to the Lord to fix a sense 
of them in our hearts, and to renew it from time to time; that 
when changes are either feared or felt, we may not be like the 
people of the world, who have no hope, no refuge no throoe of 
grace, but may be enabled to glorify our God in Xhe fire, and givp 
proofs that his grace is sufficient for us in every state. It is net* 
th^r comfortable for ourselves, nor honourable to our profession, 
IP start at every shaking leaf. If we are sensible of this, mourq 
over our infirmities before the Lord, and faithfully strive in 
prayer against the fear that easily besets us, he can, 9iid he will, 
strengthen us with strength in our souls, aud make qs more than 
conquerors, according to his $ure promise. 

A proneness to idolatry is our bosom sin : I have smarted for 
it. I dare not say I am cured } yet 1 would hope the Lord's 
wronderfiil interchange of comforts and chastisements have apt 
beep wholly lost upon me, but have been accompanied with some 
nseasgre of bis sanclifyiag grace. At prWnt, that is, ever since 
my settlement at , I h^ve.been favoured with an interval 

of ease. I never had so long aod general an exemption froQi 
sharp trials. When- 1 consider and feel what I am, I am amazed 
at his forbearance. Surely I deserve to 1^ visited with breach up- 
on breach. But his compassions are infinite. Yet 1 must not 
expect to have always fair weather in a changeable world. I 
would desire neither to presume that my mountain stands strong, 
nor yet to afflict myself with needles^ apprehension of what la 
day may bring forth. O that 1 could improve the present, and 
cheerfully commit the future to him who does all things wUefy 
and well, and has promised that all shall work toget}»er fpr goodi 
I am, dear Sir, 

Your very afiectioaate Itnd obliged servant. 



268 TO MBS. w»*»#. [Let. 2. 

LETTER II. 
ToMrs. W»«». 

March 8, n66. 
Mr Dear Madam, 

When I sent you my well-meant, though free, advice id my 
last letier to Mr. ****, 1 was little aware bow soou I should be 
called to practise my own lesson. However, upon trial, I can 
confirm what I then said, and assure you upon new and repeated 
experience, that the Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of 
trouble, and he knoweth them that put their trust in him. The 
Lord has been pleased to put us in the (ire ; but blessed be his 
name, we are not burnt. O that we may be brought out refined, 
and that the event may be to the praise of his grace and power ! 
Mrs. **** was taken ill, on Monday the 24th of February ; and 
firom that to last Wednesday was a sharp season. But let me 
not forget to tell you, that this visitation was accompanied with 
spiritual supports both to her and to myself. I hope we may say, 
the Lord drew near in the day of distress, and gave us some de- 
gree of peaceful resignation to his will. Yet the evil heart of im- 
penitence and unbelief had room to show itself, (I speak for one,) 
and I have the greatest reason to lie ashamed in the dust, and 
cry, '* Unclean, unclean." But truly God is good ; he considers 
our frame ; he remembers we are but dust ; he deligfateth in mer- 
cy, and therefore we are not consumed. 

I believe the Lord gave our dear people a remarkable tender- 
ness of spirit to sympathize with us and to strive in prayer as one 
man in our behalf. O what a privilege is it to be interested in 
the prayers of those who fear the Lord ! James, v. 15. I hope I 
shall consider her recovery in this view — as the effect of fervent 
prayer. May it likewise prove an occasion of much praise to a 
prayer-hearing God. 

May my soul learn by what I have lately felt, and may yon 
and yours learn, at a cheaper rate, to keep closer to the Lord 
than ever. After all, this is but a reprieve : separation, sooner 
or later, must take place. The day must come when all creature- 
comforts shall vanish. And when we view things in the light of 
eternity, it seems, comparatively, of small moment whether it is 
this year or twenty years hence. If we are interested in the cov- 
enant of grace ; if Jesus is our beloved, and heaven our home, 
we may be cast down for a little season, but we cannot be de- 
stroyed ; nay, we shall not be overpowered. Our faithful God 
will surely make our strength equal to onr day : be that ha^ de- 



Let. 3.] TO MBS. w****, 269 

livered, and does deliver, will deliver to the end ; and it will not 
be long before he will wipe away all tears from our eyes. There- 
fore let us not fear ; whatever sufferings may be yet appointed for 
OS, they shall work together for our good ; and they are but 
light and momentary in comparison of that exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory to which we are drawing nearer every hour. 

Well the day is coming when all the Lord's people who are 
scattered abroad, who praise hiro in different ages and different 
languages, shall be collected together, and stand, with one heart, 
consent, and voice, before the throne. O tho glorious assembly ! 
bow white are their robes, how resplendent their crowns, how me- 
lodious their harps ! Every boar the chorus is augmented by 
the accession of fresh voices ; and ere long we hope to join them. 
Then shall we remember the way by which the Lord led us 
through this dark wilderness ; and shall see that all our afflictions, 
our heaviest afflictions, were tender mercies, no less than our 
most pleasing comforts. What we shall then see, it is now our 
privilege and duty to believe. 

Believe me to be, dear Madam, 

Your most affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER III. 

To Mrs. W****. 

July 24, 1766. 
Vert Dear Madam, 

I AH truly glad that Mr. **^* and you go on comfortably. 
For so I trust you do, upon the whole, notwithstanding the inci- 
dental workings of unbelief and temptation. These, like fits of 
the tooth-ach, though troublesome, are not mortal ; and only 
give us painful but necessary conviction of the need we have of a 
compassionate and almighty Physician. They are like winds to 
the trees, which threaten to blow them quite down, but, in reality, 
by bowing them every way, loosen the ground about them, circu- 
late the sap, and cause them to strike their roots to a greater 
depth, and thereby secure their standing. If a tree were to grow 
all upwards, and the roots not to enlarge in proportion to the 
branches, it would be laid flat upon tbe^ ground by the first 
storm. It is equally unsafe for a believer to be top-beavy; 
and therefore the Lord suits and changes bis dispensations 
that, as they increase in gifts, knowledge, judgment, and usefiil- 
nese, they may grow downwards Itkewisei and increase in bu- 



270 TO M^ w***** [Let 4. 

nulity. Since we have been enabled to put ourselves in his hands^ 
let us stand to oar surrender, and leave hioi to carry on his work 
in his own way. It is a commonly received maxim, that if short* 
sighted, feeble man were to have the distribution of the weather, 
we should have but poor harvests. But, indeed, we are as well 
qualified to direct and manage the seasons of the year, as we are 
to prescribe what dispensations are most proper to promote the 
growth of grace in our souls. Rejoice, therefore, my dear friends, 
that ye are God's husbandry. The early and the latter rain, and 
the cheerful beams of the Sun of Rrighteousness, are surely prom- 
ised to ripen your souls for glory ; but storms and frosts likewise 
are useful and seasonable in their places, though we perhaps may 
think we could do better without them. In our bright and lively 
frames, we learn what God can do for us; in our dark and dujfl 
hours, we feel how little we can do without him ; and both are 
needful to perfect our experience and to establish our faith. At 
one lime we are enabled to rejoice in God ; at another we are 
;8eeking after him sorrowing : these different seasons are equally 
good in their turns, though not equally comfortable ; and there 
is nothing we need fear but security, carelessness, and presump- 
;tion. To think ourselves rich and increased wiih goods, or to 
suppose we are safe a moment longer than while depending up* 
on Jesus, would be dangerous. Let us pray the Lord to keep 
us from such mistakes ; and as to the rest, we shall do well. Lee 
us be faithful and diligent in the use of all appointed means, espe* 
cially in secret exercises, and then leave him to lead us as he 
pleaseth : and, though our path should lie through the fire, or 
through the water, we may trust his power and love to bring us 
«afely through, and at last to fix us in a wealthy place, where 
pur warfare and tears shall cease forever. 
I am, dear Madam, 

Your very affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER IV. 

To Mr. W****. 

JtJy9, 1767.. 
Mt Dear Sir, 

I CONGRATULATE you on that comfortable declaration, ^* We 
have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the rigfateons, 
who now appears in the presence of God for us.*^ An awful 
cause we had to manage in the court of heaven ; and when 



Let. 4.] TO MR. w*»»». 371 

we expected to be asked, what we could say, that judgi&ent 
should not be given and executed speedily against us, we were 
dumb, and withont plea. We could not deny the fact, or ofler the 
least amends. We coifid neither stand nor flee. But since Jesns 
has been pleased to take our afiairs in hand, how are appearances 
changed ! The law is fulfilled, justice satisfied, and " heaven 
opened to those who were upon the brink of despair and destruc- 
tion. And Jesus did not plead for us once only, but he " ever 
liveth to make intercession for us." Let us then take courage. 
That word uttermost includes all that can be said : take an estim- 
ate of sins, temptations, difficulties, fears and backslidings of eve- 
ry kind, still the word uttermost goes beyond them all. And 
smce he ever liveth to make intercession, since he is the righteous 
one who is always heard, since his promise and compassion are 
unchangeable, may his Spirit enable us to apply the conclusion, 
without wavering, to 'our souls' comfort, that be is indeed able, 
and willing, and determined, to save us (^en to the uttermost. 

This point being comfortably settled, that he will neither cast 
us off himself, nor suffer any to pluck us out of his hands, but 
that he will surely bring us, through fire and through water, to 
the wealthy place his love has provided for us ; the next impor* 
tant inquiry is, since we may hope for heaven at the end, how 
may we attain as much of heaven by the way, as is possible to 
be hoped for in this defiled state of things f Do we, indeed, 
through grace, hope to live with Jesus liereaAer ? then surely we 
desire to walk with him here. When I speak of walking with 
Jesus, my idea is helped by considering how it was with his dis- 
ciples. They lived in his presence ; while he staid in a place, 
they staid ; and when he removed, they went with him. Having 
him thus always near, always in view, the sight of him undoubt- 
edly gave a compositive to their whole behaviour, and was a check 
upon their eyes, their tongues, and their actions. Again, when 
tbey bad difBcuhies and hard questions upon their minds, they 
did not puxzle themselves with vain reasonings ; when they were 
in want, they looked to him for a supply ; and when in danger, 
though liable to fi!ar,3Tt recollecting that be was with them, they 
little doubted of deliverance. Now I want a faith that shall, in 
thete respects, be the evidence of things not seen $ i mean, to 
have such an abiding experimental conviction of bis nearness 
and presence as if I actually saw him. Surely if he were now 
npoQ earth, and I expected a visit from bim this aiteroeon, my 
heart would bound at the thouglu. With what a mixture frf'joy 
and fear should \ open the door to receive him ! How caotioiM 
sbootd i be, not to do or say any thing that mifffat grieve Inmi 
and sliorten Ms stay with me ! and how gladly, if he gawe bm 



272 TO ^R. w***». [Let. 5. 

leave to speak, should I catch the opportouity of telling him aU ! 
Surely I should be uowilling to let him go till he had healed my 
breaches and renewed my strength ; till he had taught me better 
how to serve him, and promised to support and own me in his 
service ; and if 1 heard him say, with an audible voice, ** Though 
they fight against thee, they shall not prevail, for I am with thee 
to deliver thee," I should be ready to bid adieu to fear, and to tri- 
umph in the Psalmist's language, ^' Though a host should rise 
against me, in this will I be confident." But, alas ! my unbe- 
lieving heart ! are these things not true, even at present ? Is he 
not as near and as kind ? Have I not the same reason and the 
same encouragement to set him always before me, and to tell him 
my <wants, my fears, and my dangers, as if I saw him with my 
bodily eyes f From hence it appears with what propriety the 
Christian life is called the life of faith, and from hence, likewise, 
it too plainly appears, that though I am by office called to 
teach others, I have need to be taught myself the first and plain- 
est principles of my profession. Lord, increase my faith. 
I am, with great, sincerity, dear Sir, 

Your most obliged and affectionate servant. 



LETTER V. 
To Mr. W****. 

October 2, 1767, 
Dear Sib, 

It is because I love you that I rejoice to think you are in the 
Lord's hands, and that I desire to leave you there. Happy is 
the state of a believer ; to such, all things are for good. Healtli 
is a blessing, and a great mercy, enabling us to relish the com- 
'forts of life, and to be useful in our generations ; and sickness is 
ct great mercy, likewise, to those who are interested in the cove- 
nant; for it is and shall be sanctified to wean us more from the 
present world, to stir up our thoughts and desires heaVen-ward, 
to quicken us to prayer, and to give us more opportunity of 
knowing the sweetness and suitableness of the promises, and 
the power and wisdom of a promise-performing God. Troubles 
have many uses when the Lord is pleased to work by them for 
the good of his children, and are necessary, upon this account, 
amongst others, that we should miss the time, relish, and meaning 
of a great part of the Bible without them. I hope the Lord 
blesses yon both with a measure of submission to his will, confi- 



Let. 5.] TO MRS. WMNM». S73 

dence in his love, and then, with respect to other things, you will 
say, All is well : uncertainty and brevity are written upon all 
below: therefore may we be enabled both to weep and re- 

^*oice as those who know we shall do neither very long Jiere. 
iy the Lord's goodness, it is appointed both for you and for us to 
have more temporal happiness in possession than the neatest part 
of mankind have in idea, and yet our best here would be a poor 
all, if it was indeed our aU. We should be thankful for present 
things ; but, O what great thankfulness for spiritual blessings, for 
pardon, peace, and eternal life ! Our gourd|Lmust one day wither ; 
out our portion will be ours for ever* Jesus, the fountain, will be 
full, when every creature-stream will be dried up. . Such discove- 
ries of his presence as we have a warrant to pray for here, are suf- 
ficient to comfort us under all the pains, losses, and trials we can 
feel or fear ; but still it will not appear, i>y all that he will give or 
show us in the present life, what we sliall be when we see him as 
he is, and arc made perfectly like him. O ! then let us rejoice in 
the Lord, and welcome every dispensation, knowing and believing 
that all we receive is conveyed to us by infinite love and unerring 
wisdom. 

B**** A**** has been sick, nigh unto death ; we know not 
well how to spare her, and she is very useful in her situation, and 
has been often made (though without her intending or observing it) a 
teacher to me. The Lord has heard prayer on her behalf, and she 
is raised up a^ain. I look upon our old believers here, as misers 
look upon their gold, with a mixture of pleasure and pain. I am 
daily apprehensive some of them will be called home ; but I long 
and pray that, before they are removed, others may be raised up 
to supply their places. I wish I had it more at heart. The work 
seems (so far as it comes under my knowledge) much at a stand 
as to new awakenings and conversions. I trust you will pray for 
us, that the arm of the Lord may be revealed. Things go on 
comfortably in our society : I can see some grow ; and I think 
there are few of them with whom I am not better satisfied than with 
myself. My coldness and stupiditv, when I am retired out of sight, 
is amazing. Blessed be the Lord, I hope I can say it is buroen- 
some, and robs me of much of the comiort I might otherwise en- 
joy in the many blessings the Lord affords me. But why should 
I wearv you with my complaints ? Let us turn our thoughts to Je- 
sus. In him we have peace, wisdom, righteousness, and power. 
He knows our weakness, wants, and temptations, and is every way 
a suitable High Priest and Saviour. May the Lord ^ve you a 
s€nse of his love while you are reading this. May his peace rest 
in your hearts, and his presence dwell in your house. May your 
childreii be all taught of God, and your servants be the servants of 
Jesus. May we ail be daily growmg in his knowledge and grace, 

Vol. IV. 36 



374 TO iiEs« w<MHi«. [Let; 6. 

be euided W fats counsel through the present life, and at last meet 
in gioiy. Believe that our hearts are with you, and that we have 
an afiectionate sense of all your kindness, particularly in coming to 
see us. 

I am your affectionate and obliged. 



LETT£R VI. 

* To Mrs. W****. 

Oei^er 31, 1767. 
Mr Dear Madam, 

I HEAR you still continue poorly in health ; shall I say I am 
sorry ? 1 hope this is allowable ; we have the best example and 
authority to sympathize with suffering friends. Yet our sorrow 
should be mixed with joy ; for we are directed to reioice always 
in the Lord ; always — ^not only when we are well, but when we 
are sick ; not only upon the mount, but in the valley. I rejoice, 
therefore, that you are in safe hands ; in the hands of Him whom 
you love best, and who best loves you. You need not fear that 
he will lay more upon you tha^ you are able to bear, for he has 
engaged his faithfulness to the contrary. I trust this sickness of 
your body is, and shall be, for the health of your soul ; yea, per- 
haps even now, if you were able to write, you would tell me that 
as your afflictions abound, your consolations in Christ do much 
more abound. All the fruit shall be to take away sin ; therefore be 
of good courage : behold we count them happy that endure ; yea, 
blessed are those servants whom the Lord chastiseth. Now he 
deals with you as a child ; he intends this dispensation to revive 
in you a sense of the uncertainty and vanity of things here below, 
to give you a nearer and closer perception of the importance and 
reality of unseen things ; to afford you the honour of a conformity 
to Jesus, who went through sufferings to the kingdom. But how 
different were his sufferings from yours ? There is no sting in your 
rod, nor wrath in your cup ; your pains and infirmities do not 
cause you to sweat blood, nor are you left to cry out, " My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Then Again, our trials are 
intermixed with abundance of mercies; temporal mercies, which 
appear exceedingly valuable to those who feel the want of them, 
and have a load or poverty, neglect, &c. superadded to grievous 
pains and sicknesses, to struggle with ; but, especially, spiritual 
mercies. In a time of sickness we may see in the strongest light the 
privilege of being a believer, to have a right to cast ourselves and 
our all upon the covenant mercies of a Qw in Christ. Sickness is 



Let 6.] TO KRS. WMHw. 275 

a bitter evil, indeed, to those who have no God to go to ; who can 
have no relief from their earthly iriends, and yet know not where 
else to apply either for patience or deliverance. When you med- 
itate on these things, I trust you find your heart sweetly composed 
into a frame of resignation to bear, as well as to do, the will of 
your heavenly Father ; and though your recovery may be slow, 
and your physicians shake their heads, as uncertain what to try for 
you, yet when the fit time is come, the great Physician who has 
taken charge of vour case can heal you presently. Diseases hear 
bis voice. To the Lord our God belong the issues from death. I 
pray as I am enabled, for your recovery at the best season, but es- 
pecially that the rod may be sanctified, and you brought forth from 
the fiirnace, refined as gold. 

I sympathize likewise with my dear Mr. **** ; nay, perhaps he 
is more to be pitied than you. You know what you feel, but his 
affection will be apt to aggravate every circumstance, and his ima- 
gination be busy in paintmg and foreboding sceneis which I hope 
will not yet take place. I know what it is, by repeated experi- 
ence, to watch night and day with anxiety over a life in mauy res- 
pects dearer to me than my own. I have been a long student in 
this school, and can tell you, my dear Madam, by experience, that 
the Lord our God is faithful and merciful. When he makes two 
person^ happy in a mutual affection, he sees now and then a need- 
be to put their faith and patience to a trial, and to quicken them to 
Crayer by touching them where they are most sensible -, hereby he 
umbles us for the idolatry, unbeliei, and ingratitude of our hearts. 
But he pities us still, and takes occasion, from our distresses, to 
make the suitableness and seasonablencss of his mercy and power 
more clearly manifested. Some time ago this was my trial. I 
know that youthen bore a friendly part with me, and remembered 
me at the throne of grace. I hope I shall now domv best to repay 
your labour of love. I wish we may learn, from all our changes, 
to be sober and watchful, not to rest in grace received, in experi- 
ence or comforts, but still to be pressing forward, and never think 
ourselves either safe or happy, but when we are beholding the glo- 
ry of Christ, by the light of faith, in the glass of the Gospel. To 
view him as God manifest in the fiesh, as all in ail in himself, and 
all in all for us; this is cheering, this is strengthening, this makes 
hard things easy, and bitter things sweet. This includes all I can 
wish for my dear friends, that you may grow in grace, and in the 
knowledge of Jesus. To know him, is the shortest description of 
true grace ; to know him better, is the surest mark of growth in 
grace ; to know him perfectly, is eternal life. This is the prize of 
our high calling ; the sum and substance of all we can desire or 
hope for is, to see him as be is, and to be like him ; and to this 



^6 TO MB. WMM. [Let. 7. 

boDOUr and faappineBS he will surely bring all that love his name. 
We need not think much of any way that leads to this blessed end. 
I am, with a sincere regard, 
Your most affectionate friend and obliged servant. 



LETTER VII. 
To Mr. >¥••••. 

October 29, 1768- 
My Dear Sir, 

I HOPE your souls prosper ; that the Lord hears from you and 
you from him often ; and that yoa both live a life of fetth in the 
Son of God, are strong in his might, and comforted by refreshing 
views of his glory, 'fiie great secret of our profession (O that I 
could learn it better !) is to b^ looking at Jesus. I am a stranger 
to the court ; but I am told that those who wait there form them- 
selves into little parties, have their own conversation, or make 
their remarks upon what passes, till the king appears ; then every 
thing is^ hushed and dropped, and their attention is fixed upon him 
alone. O ! that thus, by the eve of faith, we might obtain such a 
sight of the glory, beauty, and love of King Jesus, as might unite 
our scattered thoughts, and attract all our powers and affections to 
himself. But, alas ! we are prone (at least I may speak for my- 
self) to forsake the fountain of living waters, and to hew out bro- 
ken cisterns. Instead of receiving him, I am often looking in my- 
self for something to enable me to do without him, or at least for 
something to strengthen the warrant he has given me in his word 
to come to him. The Lord be merciful to my unbelief and slow- 
ness of heart ; though taught and warned again and again, I am 
frequently repeating the old mistake, and seeking the living amon? 
the dead. I have some faint idea of the life of faith, and can talk 
a little about it ; but to experience, myself, the power of what I 
preach to others, this is too often what I find not. Yet I must praise 
him ; if I did not, might not the very stones cry out and shame me ? 
for surely he has dealt marvellously with me. He found me in a 
waste howling wilderness ; in more than the prodigal^s distress ; 
with my heart full of madness and rebellion, and beset with horror 
on every side. In this state 1 was when he first passed by me, and 
bid me five. He sent from on high, and delivered me out of deep 
waters. And O, what has he not done for me since ! given me to 
know, yea, to preach his Gospel ; cast my lot in a pleasant place ; 
filled and surrounded me with mercies on every side ; and spoken 
good concerning me for a great while to come, even for ever and 



L€U 8.] TO mi. w»**#. 277 

^ver.* Praise the Lcxrd, O my soul ! Come, my d^ar friends, and 
•magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 
I am, my dear friend, 

Your most affectionate and obliged servant* 



LETTER Vni. 
To Mr, W**»*. 



July 8, 1769. 



My Dear Sir, 

I HAVE been thinking of you and yours upon my knees, and 
would be thankful for Uie int6rmation I had yesterday from Mr. 
****, that the Lord is raising you up again. Indeed, I have 
heard that, in your illness, you were favoured with such sweet 
foretastes of the glory that shall be revealed, that death appeared 
to you not only disarmed of its sting, but a very desirable messen* 
ger ; and that you had strong hopes that the hour of your release 
was at hand. In such a frame it is no wonder that you longed to 
depart and be with Christ ; yet, as man^ will have cause to re- 
joice at your recovery, I hope you likewise are made sweetly re* 
conciled to life, and willing to wait and suffer yet a little loneer, if 
by any means ihe Lord shall be pleased to honour you witn use^ 
fulness in your station. If we look to ourselves only, and consider 
our immediate interest, who that has a good hope through grace 
would not wish to be out of this wilderness, and at hom^ in our 
Father's house, where all temptations and enemies shall be shut 
out, and we shall enjoy the unclouded light of his countenance for 
ever, without the least abatement or interruption. ,But St. Paul, 
though he had been taken up into the third heaven, and knew 
more of the state of glorified spirits than was perhaps ever vouch^ 
safed to a child of Adam ; and though, from the tastes he had re* 
ceived, be had very strong desires to be at the fountain head, yet 
was content to defer the mil possession of his happiness a little 
longer, if in the mean time the Lord woukl be pleased to make 
him serviceable to his church and people. At the longest, the 
time is short ; ten, or twenty, or fifty years, is but a span in com^ 
parison to the eternity that awaits us. And though we should 
weep all the while, yet our tears would ere long be wiped away. 
If we consider this life chiefiy with respect to the things which 
make up a great part of it, as eating, drinking, buying, selling, 
putting on our clothes, and putting them off, a spiritual mind may 
well be weary of such a train of necessary trifling. But besides 
that, even the common actions of life are sanctified, and become a 



278 TO MR. w****. [Leu 9. 

part of our acceptable service, when perfocmed in a spirit of ftitb, 
love, and dependence ; this life, poor as it is in itself, will become 
exceedinglv important in one view. It is the only, opportunity we 
have to hold forth the power of Gospel truth in the midst of a 
crooked and perverse generation, to show our readiness to bear 
the cross, and to tread in the steps of a suffering Saviour, and to 
be subservient to the promoting his cause, and the encouragement 
of his people. Many of our years were wasted in the service of 
sin before we knew the Lord ; and though they are happy who are 
taken out of this vain world soon after their conversion, yet I think 
they are more honoured who are preserved to bear a testimony 
to his goodness, and to be useful in tlieir generation for a course 
of years. Therefore, though, jf the Lord had seen fit to remove 
you, you would have escaped some trials which in this world you 
will.be sure to meet with, and would have had your hungerings 
after Jesu s abundantly satisfied ; yet, upon the account of dear 
Mrs. **^j your chilaren, your place in the church and in the 
world, as well as upon my own account, I cannot but rejoice that 
there is a prospect of yoeur continuance longer on this side the 
grave. 

When 1 look at the state of the land, I know not how to spare 
one praying person. They are the chairots and the horsemen of 
our Israel ; and I hope you will live to be an earnest and preva- 
lent pleader in behalf oi a sinful people- 
It IS a happy and most desirable trame to be ready and willing 
either to live or die, and to be enabled so absolutely to give our- 
selves up to the Lord's disposal as to have no choice oiour own 
either way, but only intent upon improving to-day, and cheerfully 
to leave to-morrow and all beyond it in his hands, who does all 
things well. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Your affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER IX. 
To Mr. W****. 

December 2, 1769. 
Mv Dear Sir, 

I KKow our hearts ^re all alike by nature ; but I have reason 
to believe that the general tenour of your experience is very di£i 
ferent from mine ; yea, you tell me so yourself. Through mercy, 
I am favoured widi daylight which is sufficient to see by ; but the 
sunshine, in which many of God^s people rejoice^ is not my por- 



Let. 9.] to MB. w*»*«. 279 

tion* An evil heart of unbelief fills my sky with many clouds ; 
and though, so for as the foundations of fetith and hope ^re con- 
cerned, I can and do rejoice, believing that the Lord has loved 
me with an unchangeable, everlasting love, and that he will surely 
do me good ; yet I am, one way or other, so beset and cramped 
in my soul, that as to my frames, I often, Tor the most part, go 
moumin? all the day long. I trust I have the name of a child in 
the Loro^s family, yet I may fully compare myself to a servant ; 
for I set forth many a dish to my Master's guests, of which (to my 
own apprehension) I am not suffered to taste. The Lord sup- 
ports, yea, he owns me, in my public work ; he graciously keeps 
me in my outward walk : these are unspeakable mercies. O that 
I could praise him more on account of them ! But as to the state 
of things between him and my own soul— alas ! I could write a 
roll that, like EzekiePs, would be fiill of mpurning, lamentation, 
and wo. Well, he best knows why it is his pleasure I should live 
at such a distance, as to sensible communion. He has a right to 
do what he will with his own ; and, so far as his sovereignty and 
wisdom are concerned, I desire to .submit. If he is pleased to ac- 
cept my worthless name, to own my feeble services, to preserve 
me from the errors of the times, and to keep me from being a 
scandal to my profession ; though he appoints me a wearisome 
conflict with indwelling sin, still Fought to praise him. Ere long 
this conflict will be over ; I shall not always be burdened with 
this body of death. Only I pray that, whether I enjoy the light 
of his countenance or not, at least I may desire it, thirst after it as 
the hart after the water-brook, and feel an emptiness in all earthly 
things without it. If my soul be not satisfied with him as with mar- 
row and fatness, I pray that it may not be satisfied, or take up 
with any thing short of him. Rather let the whole world appear 
like a wilderness to me, than that I should be content that the 
Comforter, who should comfort my soul, is at a distance from me.* 

In the mean time, as I have but a small portion of spiritual con- 
solation, so I am not much exposed to the fieiy darts and black 
temptations of Satan. He fights against me, it is true, and too 
often gains advantage ; but he is not suffered to come upon me in 
a way of storm and terror, as he is against many ; neither have I 
outward trials worth mentioning. I believe the Lord keeps a kind 
of balance with his people ; afliictions and comforts are set one 
against the other ; and perhaps this may be one reason why I am 
led thus. My day at present is easy, and therefore my strength is 
bat small. If he should at any time call me to harder service, I 
may depend upon his ' feithfulness and care to administer propor- 
tionable support. 

Adored be the grace that has enabled us to make the choice of 
Moses, and to prefer even the complaints and exercises of the pea- 



280 TO HR. w****. [Let. 10. 

pie of God, to ail the seemiQ^ pleaftores of a blmded worid. The 
weeDiqi; of believers is happier than the mirth of careless sinners. 
I call neartilv say, Let not my soul eat of their dainties^ My first 
desire would be, to rejoice in the Lord's presence ; bat till this is 
granted, I would make it my £(fecond to go mourning after him till 1 
find him. • 

And may the Lord give to my dear friends who have a more 
sensible enioyment of his love, a proportionable measure of a 
humble andf watchful spirit, that you may abide in his light con- 
tinually. 

I am your much obliged scr^'ant. 



LETTER X. 

To Mn W**»*. 

Duember 16,^770. 
My Dear Sir, 

Blessed be God that he hath given us the beginnings of the 
life of faith, and that he hath favoured us with any growth ; but 
there is an unsearchable fulness, a rich treasure, whicn can never 
be exhausted ? and we have as yet received but little of the Lord 
in comparison of what he has yet in reserve for us* May not a 
believer be taught something by what we frequently observe of 
the men of the world ? Perhaps, when such a one first enters upon 
business in a little narrow way, he is in some measure content with 
a moderate income, and thinks himself happy if he can bring the 
year round, pay his debts, and, as the saying is, make both ends 
meet. But by-and-bv his acquaintance enlarges, his trade in- 
creas'es, his hundreds oecome thousands ; then he pities his former 
«mall way, he pushes all his interest, strikes into new branches ; 
fae began with a view to a maintenance,* but now he pushes for a 
great fortune, and, like the insatiable fire, the more he gets, the 
more he craves. Well, let the world have the world ; the whole 
of it can make but a poor all. However, the Lord grant that yoU 
and 1 may be thus wise in our generation. I remember when the 
Lord first set me up, (if I may so speak,) my heavenly trade lay 
in a small compass, my views were very narrow ; I wanted to be 
saved, and alas ! I hardly looked furtlier than a bare subsistence 
and security ; but since the Lord has been pleased in a measure 
to bless me, I hope I feel a desire of being rich. May I, and all 
whom I love, be thus minded ; not be satisfied that we have life, 
but labour in his appointed way, that we may have it more abund- 
antly ; not only to believe, but to be strong in faith ; not only to 



Let. 10.] TO MR. w**»*. • 281 

desire, but to hunger, and thirst, and pant ; to open our mouths 
wide, that we may be filled with bis goodness, as well as taste that 
he is gracious. O what a happiness is it to be lively and thriving 
in the ways of Grod ; to drink into the spirit of Jesus, and to walk 
with that simplicity, dependence, and heavenly mindedness which 
become a ton or a daughter of the Lord Almighty ! I trust the 
Lord has ^iven me thus to will ; but when I would do good, evil is 
present with me* On this account our life is a warfare y and it is 
never well with us but when we find it so* But we^have a good 
captain, good armour, good provisions, infallible balm to heal our 
wounds, and (what one would think might make even a coward 
fight) are assured of the victory beforehand. I shall be glad to 
hear the success of your last campaign. I trust you have been 
enabled, in the Lord^s strength, to put some of your enynies to 
flight ; that some spiritual Goliah who came out against you, has 
been cut down by the sword of the Spirit, and that like Gideon's 
soldiers of old, you are still pressing on, and, though faint, yet 
pursuing. To be sure, fighting is warm service, flesh and blood 
will not much like it ; but the time is short, we shall not fight al- 
ways ; we are going where we shall hear the voice of war no 
more for ever. A few brushes more, and the King will say to us, 
Come near, and set your feet upon the necks of your enemies. 
Then the redeemed shall enter into the kingdom with songs of 
triumph and shouts of everlasting joy, and sorrow and sighing shall 
flee away. 

As to myself, I have little to say in my own behalf. The Lord 
has appointed me a sentinel to give the camp notice of the ene- 
my's approach ; 1 am ashamed to say it, but indeed I am such a 
wretch, that I am sometimes half asleep upon my post. It is of 
the Lord's mercy that I have not been surprised and overpowered 
before now* Such is his condescension, that he comes to awaken 
me himself, and only says. Arise, watch and pray, that you enter 
not into temptation. I have good reason to believe my enemy 
has been as near to me as David was to Saul when he took away 
his spear, and yet I did not perceive him. Well it is for us that 
there is one who watches the watchmen, a Shepherd who himself 
neither slumbers nor sleeps, and yet knows how to have compas- 
sion on those who are prone to do both. 
Believe me to be. 

Your most aflfectionate and obliged. 



Vol. IV. 36 



2« to ME. w***». [Let. 11, 

LETTRR XL 

To Mr. W*»**. 

Jfpra 12, 1771. 
Mr DfiAft Sm, 

t OFT£N revtew my late London visit with much satisfac* 
tioD ; rejoicing that I found so many of my dear friends thriving 
in the good ways of the Lord. Surely his service is perfect 
freedom ; his ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are 
peace. He is a sun and a shield, a hiding-place, and a resting- 
place, to them that fear him. May we still press forward; we have 
not yet attained. There are larger measures of grace, establish- 
ment, and consolation set forth in the Gospel, than all we have 
hitherto received. The Lord has set before us an open door, 
which no man can shut ; he has given us exceeding great and 
precious promises ; has bid us open our mouths wide, and has 
said, he will fill them. He would have us ask great things, and 
when we have enlarged our desires to the utmost, he is still 
able to do exceeding more than we can ask or think. May we be 
as wise in our generation as the children of this world. They are 
not content with little, nor even with much, so long as there is any 
probability of getting more. As to myself, I am but a poor maa 
in the trade of grace ; I live from hand to mouth, and procure 
just enough (as we say) to keep the wolf from the door. Bat I 
must charge it to my unbelief and indolence, which have been so 
great, that it is a mercy I am not a bankrupt. This would have 
been the case, but that I have a friend (whom you know) who 
has kindly engaged for me. To tell you the plain truth, I have 
nothing of my own, but trade wholly upon his stock ; and yet, 
{would you. think it possible,) though I often confess to him that 
I am an unprofitable and unfaithful steward, yet I have, upon^roa- 
ny occasions, spoke and acted as if I would have people believe 
that what be has committed to me was my own property. Ah, 
Sir! if you had a servant like me, that should uStci to show 
away at your expense, yon would hardly bear with him long. 
Ton would be ready to say, What is this I hear f Give an 
account of your stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer 
steward. I learn sometimes from family relations to form a little 
judgment of the Lord's patience towards his people. What a 
family has he to bear with ! Those to whom he stands in the rela- 
tion of a husband, admit idols in their hearts against him; his 
friends hold a secret correspondence with his enemies ; his child- 
ren repine against him, and quarrel one with another; his ser- 



Ltt. !«.]• TO SIR. w****. taZ 

W9MM serve themselves. I do not wonder tliat those who are not 
well acqaaioted with the freedom and gecarity of the Gospel cove** 
nant, shonid live in daily fear of being turned oot of doon. I 
am sare I deserve U every day of my life. But he is God, and 
■oc man ; his ways are not as ours ; and as it has pleased him to 
receive us as children, he has promised that we shall abide in his 
house for ever. It is our mercy that we have an atonement of 
infinite valoe, and an Advocate who is always heard, and who 
ever livefh to make intercession for us. 

How I have run from one thing to another ! But by tliis 
means I have got through a good part of my paper. Do you 
ask after — .» ? Its present state may be summed up in two 
sentences : — ^The Lord is gracious, and Satan is )>U6y. The 
Lord is, I hope, carrying on his work-^reviving, healing, eeal- 
ing and feeding his people. And I am sure Satan is carrying on 
his work : some he is leading blindfold up and down the town, 
and miserable spectacles they are : he is stopping up the ears of 
others. He j^ spreading nets in all quarters ; so that believers 
can hardly stir a step without being ensnared. He has taken a 
professor or two in bis toils ; and now he seems to laugh at them, 
and to laugh at us. And all this while he is as assiduous io 
fighting against the peace of the upright, as if he had nothing- 
else to do. We are a besieged city, and it is not to be conceiv- 
ed, much less expressed, what showers of 6ery darts he discharges 
against us every day. *' The noise of the archer is heard in the 
places of drawing water." Judges, v. 1 1. And I am persuaded no 
soldier who served in Germany can show so many wounds as 
some of us have received in conflict with this enemy. However, 
chough he thrusts sore at us, the Lord is our helper. We are 
kept by the power of God. The banner of salvation still ilies 
vpon our walls ; and I believe Satan gnashes his teeth at the 
sight. I am, dear Sir, 

Your much obliged and affectionate servant. 



LETTER XII. 
To Mr. W****. 

December 6^ 1771. 
Mt Dsar Sik, 

' I WAS balked on the Friday I dined with Mrs. •***, to find 
you could not be at home. Then I wished I had staid with you 
on the Tuesday evening ; so ready are we, at least, so refidy am 



\ 



284 TO mi. wMHi«. . •[Lct^W. 

I, to want to recall the day that is past, and correct die disposal 
of Divine Providence. At length I retreated to my acknowledg- 
ed principles, that the Lord knows where we are, and when it is 
needful we should meet ; that the word disuppainimerUj when 
translated into plain English, means little more or less than the 
grumblings of self-will against the will of Crod ; and that we 
should never meet a disappointment in the path of duty, if we 
conid heartily prefer his wisdom to our own. I considered that, 
though to have had your company would have been more pleas- 
ant, yet an opportunity of trying iq bow my stubborn spirit to the 
Lord's disposal might, at that time, be more profitable ; so i en- 
deavoured to make the best of it. I am desirous to learn, (but I 
am a slow scholar, and make bungling work at my lessons,) to 
apply the great truth of the Gospel to the common concerns of 
every day and every hour ; not only to believe that my soul is 
safe in the Redeemer's hand, but that the hairs of my head are 
numbered ; not only that those events in life which I call impor- 
tant are under bis direction, but that those which I account the 
most inconsiderable, are equally so ; that I have no more right or 
power to determine for myself where or how I would spend a 
single day, than I had to choose the time of my coming into the 
world or of going out of it. Thus I would believe we did not 
meet according to our desire, because it was not his pleasure we 
should. When he sees it proper that we should come together, he 
can easily lead yon to ■ or me to London ; though neither 
of us at present have any prospect of the means by which our de- 
terminations may be guided. O ! would it not be a blessed thing 
simply to follow him, and to set him by faith, always before us f 
Then we might be freed from anxious cares, and, as I said, out tif 
the reach of disappointment ; for if his will is ours, we may be 
confident that nothing can prevent its taking place. When I go 
into a post-chaise, I give myself up with the most absolute confi- 
dence, to the driver : I think he knows the way, and how to man- 
age better than 1 do ; and thererore I seldom trouble him either 
with questions or directions, but draw up the glasses and sit at my 
ease. I wish I could trust the Lord so ; but though I have given 
myselfup to the care of infinite wisdom and love, and, in my 
judgment, believe they are engaged on my behalf, I am ready to 
direct my Guide, and to expostulate with him at every turn, and 
secretly to wish that I had the reigns in my own hand. " So stu- 
pid and ignorant am I, even as a beast before him." In great 
trials we necessarily retreat to him, and endeavour to stay our 
souls by believing he does all things well ; but in small ones 
^e are ready to forget him, and therefore we are often more put 



Let. 13.] TO MK. wx««)t. 28^ 

oot by little things that happen in the coarse of every day, than 
by the sharpest dispensations we meet with. 
I ani) with sincerity^ my dear Sir, 

Your most obedient, obliged, and affectionate servant. 



LETTER XIII. 
, To Mr. W****. 

June 2, 1772. 
Mt Dear Sir, 

It is true — I confess it. 1 have been very naughty. I 
ought not to have been so long in answering your last kind letter. 
Now I hope you have forgiven me. And therefore I at once 
recover my confidence without troubling you with such excuse s 
as the old man, ever desirous of justifying himself, would suggest. 
We were glad to hear of your welfare, and of the prosperity with 
which the Lord favours you at home, and in the two great 
houses ; which, I hope, will continue to be like trees planted by 
the waters of the sanctuary, maintaining the leaves of Gospel doc- 
trine always green and flourishingy and abounding with a con- 
stant succession of blossoms, green and ripe fruit ; I mean be- 
lievers in the states of babes, young men, and fathers in Christ. 

" Awake, O heavenly wind, and come, 
" Blow on these gardens of perfume ; 
** Spirit divine, descend and breathe 
^ A gf acious gale on plants beneath !'^ 

And while you are using your best endeavours in watching for tlie 
good of these vineyards, may your own flourish. May your soul 
rejoice in the Lord and in the success of his work, and every or- 
dinance, and providence administer unto you an especial blessing. 
The illness under which I have, laboured longer than the man 
mentioned, (John, v. 5.) is far from being removed. Yet I am 
bound to speak well of my Physician ; he treats me with great 
tenderness ; assures me that it shall not be to death, but to the 
glory of God ; and bids me in due time expect a perfect cure. I 
know too much of him (though I know but little) to doubt either 
his skill or his promise. It is true, 1 suffer sad relapses, and have 
been more than once brought, in iappearance, to death's door since 
I have been under bis care ; but this, fault has not been his, but 
my own. I am a strange, refractory patient ; have too often 
neglected his prescriptions, and broken the regimen h« appoints 



•86 TO MB. w«***. [Let. 13. 



% 



iii« to obsenre. This perversenessi joined to the exceeding ob- 
stinacy of my disorders, woold have caosed me to be tniued out 
as an incurable long ago, had I been nnder any hand but his. 
But, indeed, there is none like him. When I have brought my* 
.self low, be has still helped me. Blessed be his name, I am yet 
alive ; yea, I shall ere long be well ; but not here. The air 
which I breathe is unfavourable to my constitution, and nourishes 
my disease. He knows this, and intends, at a proper season, to 
remove me into a better climate, where there are no fogs nor 
damps, where the inhabitants shall no more say, I am sick. # He 
has brought my judgment to acquiesce with his ; and sometimes 
I long to hear him say. Arise and depart. But, to tell you the 
truth, 1 am much more frequently pleased with the thoogbt of 
staying a little and a little longer here, though in my present sit- 
uation I am kept alive merely by dint of medicine ; and,* though 
his medicines are all salutary, they are not all pleasant. Now 
and then he gives me a pleasant cordial ; but many things which 
ther^ is a need-be for my taking frequently, are bittel and unpal- 
atable. It is strange that, knowing this is and must he the case, 
I am not more desirous of my dismission. I hope, however, 
one thing that makes me willing to stay is^ that I may point him 
out as a Physician of value to others. We sometimes see in the 
newspapers acknowledgments of cures received. What sheets 
and quires of advertisements would be necessary, if all the Lord's 
people were to publish their cases. Methinks mine might run in 
this form : 

*' I, A. B. of the parish of C, long laboured under a compli- 
cation of disorders. A fever, (of ungoverned passions,) a drop- 
sy, (of pride,) a phrensy, (of wild imaginations,) a lethargy, and 
a dead palsy. In this deplorable situation I suffered many things 
of many physicians, spent my all, and grew worse and worse. 
In this condition Jesus, the Physician of souls, found me when I 
sought him not. He undertook my recovery freely, without 
money and without price, (these are his terms with all his pa- 
tients.) My fever is now abated, my senses restored, my facul- 
ties enlivened ; in a word, I am become a new man. And from 
his ability, his promise, and the experience of what he has already 
done, I bave die fullest assurance that he will infallibly and per* 
fectly heal me, and that I shall live for ever a monument of his 
power and grace. May many, may all, who ere sick of the same 
diseases, be encouraged, by this declaration of my case, to seek 
him likewise. For whosoever comes unto him, be will in no wise 
cast out.** 

When will you come and see the flock at ? By the 

blessing of the good Shepherd, we have had a good number of 



Let. 14,] TO Miu w»w«* 287 

Iambs added to the fold of late, who arc in a very promising way. 
You would like to hear their bleatings. The voice of joy and 
thanksgiving is heard in our tabernacles, saying, The right hand 
of the Lord is exalted ; the right hand of the Lord bringeth migh^ 
tv things to pass. Pray for us, that these gracious drops may be 
the forerunners of a plentiful shower. For notwithstanding what 
I have said, wickedness still abounds amongst us in the town. 
And many, having lone resisted the convictions of the word and 
Spirit, are hardened and bold in sinning to a great degree. So 
ihat ' ' is like the two baskets of Jeremian^s figs, the good 
are veiy good, and the bad are exceedingly bad. 
I am, my dear Sir, 

. Your affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER XIV. 

To Mr. W****. 

July 28, 1772. 
Mr Dear Sir^ 

It was not in my power to reach you after I called upon Mrs. 
****. Indeed, that London is such a noisy, hurrying place, I 
wish you would leave it, fill your coach with those whom you love 
best, and come and spend a few days with us. Here we could 
chat without interruption, and I couldshow you a set of promising 
young plants which have sprung up since you were here last ; if 
you cannot come to look at them, yet I hope you will pray for 
them, that they may flourish like the palmptree, and bring forth 
fruit in old age. 

Give my love to Miss ♦♦♦*. I trust and pray that, wherever 
she feeds, the Lord will be her shepherd, and will lead her in 
the green pastures of his truth, ana cause her to rest by the 
refreshing streams of his love. We know he is not confined to 
names, places, or instrimients. There is but one Lord, one faith, 
and therefore but one church, composed of all who are vitally uni- 
ted to him, and who receive from his fulness grace for grace. To 
him I commend her, and congratulate her upon the privilege that 
it is given her early in life to know his name, and to feel the con- 
straining power of his grace. In every other respect, the Lord 
has blessed you abundantly ; and if he vouchsafes you this bles- 
sing also, to see your children as they grow up walking in wis-, 
dom's ways, 1 doubt not but he will give your hearts to love and 
praise him for all his goodness. May grace, mercy, and truth, be 
with you all. 



288 TO MR. w*«**. [Let. 14. 

We finished our little peregrination in peace, and our return 
home was crowned with new mercies ; but we likewise find the 
return of old complaints and temptation. This evil heart of unbe- 
Kef ; this wicked spirit of self ; this stupidity and deadness in the 
things of God ; this cleaving to a covenant of works ; this grovel- 
ling attachment to the ihines of time and sense : for these things 
we groan, being burthened. But we have heard of One who is 
able to save to the uttermost ; and we find that his compassions 
fail not. His arm is not shortened, nor his ear heavy ; and though 
our many iniquities might justly keep good things from us, yet 
still he is gracious. In secret, I am for the most part dull and 
^ heardess, as usual ; but he is pleased to enable me and permit 
me to speak for him in public. I feci -enough to make me fre- 
quently utter David^s prayer, ^^ O lake not thy word of truth ut- 
terlv out of my mouth.^' He might, he might justlv do it ; he 
might lay me aside by sickness, or what is unspeakably more aw- 
ful, he might take away his gifts from me, and cause my rieht eye 
to grow oark, and my right arm to wither. Sometimes lam al- 
most ready to fear the sentence is coming forth ; I feel such a 
total inability, the scripture a sealed book, and my heart hard as 
the nether millstone. I know not how I shall make mention of 
his name again ; I am ready to sink at the prospect ; but 

Ic is he who supports me through all ; 
When I faint he rerives me again. 

In the midst of these exercises, I have reason to hope he bles- 
ses the word of his grace. I have come to the knowledge of three 
or four more since my return, who have been seeking him for some 
months past, and appear to have right views and warm hearts. 
And I have reason to hope that he is at work upon more than I 
am yet acquainted with. A young woman came to me last night 
in great distress ; when I asked her the cause, she said, ^' O, Sir, 
to think that he died such a death, and that I should sin so against 
him V^ Poor soul, she had no thought of teaching her teacher ; but 
what she said, and the simplicity with which she spoke, had almost 
melted my heart ; though the stubborn thing soon got over it, and 
gr^vv hard again. 

Believe me to be, sincerely, 

Your affectionate and obliged servant. 



Let, 15,] Ta mi. w»*^. 2B9 

LETTER XV. 

ToMr.W**** 

September 14, 1772. 
My Dear Sir, 

Yoo are hungering and thirsting to feel the power and savour 
of the truth in your soul, humbling, quickening, strengthening, com- 
forting you, filling you with peace and joy, and enabling you to 
abound in the fruits of righteousness, which are, by Jesus Christ; 
to the glory and praise of God. Are these your desires ? He that 
has wrougnt tbem in you is God ; and he will not disappoint you. 
He would not say, Open your mouth wide, if he did not design to 
fill it. O ! he gives bountifully ; ^ives like a king. A Utile 
is too much for our deserts ; but much is too .little for his bounty* 
Let me tell you a heathen story : — It is said that a man once ask- 
ed Alexander to give him some money, I think, to portion off a 
daughter. The king bid him go to his treasurer and demand what 
he pleased. He went and demanded an enoi*mous sum. The 
treasurer was startled, said he could n«»t part with so much with-* 
out an express order, and went to the king, and told him hf^ 
thought a small part of the money the man had named mi^ht serv^ 
lor the occasion, " No," said the king, " let him have it all. J 
like that man, he does me honour ; he treats me like a king, and 
proves by what he asks, that he believes me to be both rich and 
generous.'' Come, my friend, let us go to the throne of grace, 
and put up such petitions as may show that we have honourable 
views of the riches and bounty of our King. Alas ! I prefer such 
poor scanty desires, as if I thought he was altogether such an one 
as myself. Speak a word for me when you are near him ; entreat 
him to increase my love, faith, humility, zeal, and knowledge, a 
thousand fold. Ah ! I am poor and foolish ; 1 need a great sup- 
ply ; I cannot dig, and yet am often unwilling to beg. 

The other day I met, in a friend's house, a volume of Mr. Whit- 
field's Sermons, lately published by Gurney. I have read several 
of them. They are, indeed, more loose and inaccurate than prin- 
ted sermons usually are ; but I think them the more valuable in 
one respect on this account, that they give a lively idea of his 
manner of preaching, which can hardly be guessed at from the 
sermons formerly printed in his name. But in these, I cannot 
read a page but I seem to have the man before my eyes. His 
voice, his gesture, every particular, returns to my memory, as if I 
had heard him but vesterday. In this volume, 1 think it may em» 
phatically be said, He being dead, yet speaketh. I should sup- 
pose his friends will be glad that this striking picture of biia is' 

Vol. IV. 37 



290 TO MR. w*»»». [Let. 16, 

preserved. Though doubtless the world, who despised his 
preachine while he lived, will think meanly enough of sermons 
published just as he preached them. 
I am, sincerely, dear Sir, 

Your much obliged and affectionate servant. 



LETTER XVI. 
ToMr. W****. 

November 14, 1772. 
l(Ir Dear Sir, 

The heart is very deceitful ; I know but little of my own, 
and cannot see at all into other people^s. This is a day in which 
the many falls of professors give us warning not to judge too has- 
tily by appearances ; to be cautious whom we trust, and espe- 
cially wnom we recommend. However, I have great reason to 
believe that you will never have reason to be angry with me for 

having recommended to you. I have had seven or 

eight years^ trial of him, and judge him to be a simple-hearted, 
honest man. I account him a good sample of our flock. They are 
mostly like him, not abounding in that archness which the world 
calls wisdom ; they are more spiritual than clever, have more 
grace than politeness, and are more desirous (if they could) to live 
above the world than to make a noise and cut a figure in it. They 
know the Lord and the truth ; but very few of them know much 
of any thing else. Such are the people whom, for the most part, 
the Lord chooses and sets apart for himself ; simple, poor, afflic- 
ted, and unnoticed in the present world, but rich in faith, and 
heirs of the kingdom of glory. 

We jog on here much in our usual way. Only as our numbers 
are increased, the enemy has a larger field for action amongst us, 
and we have frequent proofs that he is not asleep. However, up- 
on the whole, I trust the Lord is with us, and preserves us from 
his devices. Of late we have had no new awakenings that 1 know 
of; I beg your prayers for us, that the Spirit from on high may be 
again poured out upon us, to make the wilderness a fruitful field. 
Indeed, notwithstanding the Lord has a few people here, and the 
preaching of the Gospel abounds so much amongst us, I think 
wickedness prevails and increases at , to a dreadful de- 

ijree. Our streets are filled with the sons of Belial, who neither 
ear God nor regard man. I wish my heart was more affected 
with what my eyes see and my ears hear every day. I am often 
ready to fear lest the Lord should testify his displeasure in some 



Let. !?•] TO MR. w»*», 291 

awful way ; but he is full of mercy, he has a remnant amongst us, 
therefore 1 am willing to hope he will yet spare. 

And surely if he were strict to mark w^hat is amiss, I myself 
might tremble* O I were he to plead with me, I could not answer 
him one of a thousand* Alas ! my dear friend, you know not 
what a poor, unprofitable, unfaithful creature I am* So much 
forgiven, so little love* So many mercies, so few returns* Such 
• great privileges, and a life so sadly below them* Instead of re- 
joicing in G(^, f go mourning for the most part. Not because I 
am shaken with doubts and fears ; for I believe the Lord Jesus, 
who found me when I sought him not, is both able and willing to 
save to the uttermost ; but because indwelling sin presses me 
close ; because when I would do good, evil is present with me ; 
because I can attempt nothing but it is debased, polluted, and 
Spoiled by my depraved nature ; because my sins of omission are 
innumerable* In a word, there is so much darkness in my under* 
standing, perverseness in my will, disorder in my affections, folly 
and madness in my imagination* Alas ! when shall it be other- 
wise* I seem to have a desire of walking with God, and rejoicing 
in him all the day long ; but I cannot attain thereto. Surely it is 
far better to depart and to be with Jesus Christ, than to live here 
up to the ears in sin and temptation ; and yet I seem very well 
contented with the possibility of continuing here a good while. 
In short, I am a riddle to myself ; a heap of inconsistence. But 
it is said, " We have an Advocate with the Father." Here hope 
revives ; though wretched in myself, I am complete in him. 
He is made of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and re- 
deniption* On this Rock I build. 1 trust it shall be well with 
me at last, and that I shall by and by praise, anc} love, and serve 
him without these abatements. 

I am your much obliged servant. 



LETTER XVH. 

ToMr.W««^* 

Jlpril 20, 1773. 
Ht Dear Sir, 

It is time to thank you for your kind letter, but I am so mnch 
taken up that I can haraly pay my debts of correspondence in 
due season. However, I do not love to let yours be long mian- 
swered, because till I have quitted scores, I hare but little hopes 
of hearing from you again. We are glad to hear that vou and 
Mrs. •»*• were well, and to find t>y your writing, that the Lord 



292 TO MR. w*^*. [Let. 17, 

makes your feet like hinds feet in his good ways, and leads you in 
the paths of pleasantness and peace. I doubt not but, you like- 
wise have your share of trials : but when the love of God is sbed 
abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, it sweetens what bitter 
things the Lord puts into our cup, and enables us to say. None of 
these things move us. Yes, the life of faith is a happy life, and, 
if attended with conflicts, there is an assurance of victory ; and if 
we sometimes get a wound, there is healing balm near at hand ; 
if we seem to fall, we are raised again; and if tribulations abound, 
consolations shall abound likewise. Is it not happiness to have 
an infallible Guide, an invincible Goard^.an Almighty Friend? — 
to be able to say of the Maker of heaven and earth, He is mf 
beloved, my Shepherd, my Saviour, and my Husband ; and to 
say to him — 

Let waves and thunder mix and roar, 
Be thou my God, I ask no more : 
While thou art Sovereign, I'm secure, 
I shall be rich till thou art puor. 

the peace which flows from believing that all events in which 
we are concerned are under his immediate disposal ; that the 
hairs of our heads are all numbered ; that he delights in our pros- 
perity ; that there is a need-be^ if we are in heaviness, and that 
all things shall surely work for our good ! How happy to have 
such views of his sovereignty, wisdom, love, and faithfulness, as 
will enable us to meet every dispensation with submission, and to 
look through the changes of the present life, to that nncbangea- 
ble inheritance to which the Lord is leading us, when all evil shall 
cease, and wher^ joy shall be perfect and eternal ! I trust be who 
loves you strengthens you in this life of faith, and fills you with a 
peace that passes all junderstanding. 

Perhaps you have heard that I have not been well. My illness 
was not so great as to confine me from my work, and the Lord 
was pleased to give me a peaceful frame of mind under his hand, 
so that I did not suffer much. For about a week I was set to learn 
the value of hearing by the want of it ; for I was so deaf that I 
could join in no conversation ; but now, thanks to the great Phy- 
sician, my complaints are all removed. 

A minister of Jesus Christ is as high a style (according to the 
spiritual heraldry in the word of God) as morul can attain. His de- 
partment is much more important than that of a first Lord of the 
Treasury, or Admiralty, a Chancellor, or a mere Archbishop. I 
can wish Mr. ••*• no higher preferment than to be an ambassa- 
dor of the King of kings. It is, however, a very serious business ; 
and he is young enough to admit of time for due deliberation. 



^ 



Let. 18.] *o MB. w«HHi. 29S 

Many in the time, of their first love, while a sense of divine things 
and compassion for souls have been very warm upon their minds, 
have heen desirous to preach the Gospel ; but this desire alone 
does not amount to a divbe call. In those whom the Lord 
has pot designed for the service, it gradually weakens and dieT 
away ; or, if they tqo hastily push themselves forward into the 
work, they have often cause to repent it ; for the ministry must 
be a wearisome and discouraging service, unless we are clear that 
God has called and appointed us to it. I hope it wilt appear that 
He who called Samuel of old is calling him ; then his desire will 
abide and increase ; and, though some difSculties may occasion^ 
ally intervene, you will, upon the whole, see the steps of Divine 

% Providence favouring and leading forward from the blossom to 

•'tbefrait. 

I am your much obliged and afiectionate servant. 



LETTER XVm. 
To Mr. W*"». 

August 13, 1773. 
My Dear Sir, 

We are always glad to hear from voo, because your paper is 
perfumed with the name of Jesus. You speak well of him, and 
yon have reason, for he has been a good friend to you. I like- 
wise am enabled to say something of him : and 1 trust the chief 
reason why 1 would wish my life to be prolonged, is that I may 
employ more of my breath in his praise. But, alas ! while I en- 
deavour to persuade others that he is the chief among ten thou- 
sand, and alAgether lovely,! seem to be but half persuaded of it 
myself; I feel my heart so cold and unbelieving. But 1 hope I 
can say this is not I, but^isin that dwelleth in me. Did you ever 
see my picture ? I have it drawn by a masterly hand. . And 
though another person, and one whom I am far from resembling, 
sat for it, it is as like me as one new guinea is like another. The 
original was drawn at Corinth, and sent to some persons of dis' 
tinction at Rome. Many copies have been taken and though, per- 
haps, it is not to be seen in any of the London print-shops, it has 
a place in most public and private libraries, and I would hope in 
most families. I had seen it a great many times before I could 
discover one of my own features in it ; but then my eyes were 
very bad. What is remarkable, it was drawn long before I was 
bom, but having been favoured with some excellent eye-salve, I 



-• 



294 TO MR. w****. [Let. I8> 

quickly knew it to be ray own. I am drawn in an attitode which 
would be strange and singular, if it was not so common with me, 
looking two different and opposite ways at once, so that you would 
be puzzled to tell whether my eyes are fixed upon heaven or up- 
on the earth ; I am aiming at things inconsistent with each other 
at the same instant, so that I can accomplish neither. According 
to the different light in which you view the picture, I appear to 
rejoice and to mourn, to choose and refuse, to be a conqueror or 
a captive. In a word, I am a double person ; a riddle ; it is na 
wonder if you know not what to make of me, for I cannot tell 
what to to make of myself. I would and I would not ; I do and 
I do not ; I can and I cannot. I find the hardest things easy, and 
the easiest things impossible ; but while I am in this perplexity,. * 
you will observe in the same piece a hand stretched forth for my 
relief, and may see a label proceeding out of my mouth with thesp 
words — << I thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord/' The 
more 1 study this picture, the more I discover some new and 
striking resemblance, which convinces me that the painter knew 
me better than I knew myself. 

Give my love to Mr. •**•. He has desired a good work ; 
may the Lord give him the desire of his heart. May he give 
him the wisdom of Daniel, the meekness of Moses, the courage 
of Joshua, the zeal of Paul, and that self-abasement and humility 
which Job and Isaiah felt when they not only had heard of him 
by the hearing of the ear, but saw his glory, and abhorred them- 
selves in dust and ashes. May he be taught of God, (none teach- 
eth like him,) and come forth an able ministers of the New Tes- 
tament, well instructed rightly to divide and faithfully to distri- 
bute the word of truth. In the school of Christ, (especially 
if the Lord designs him to be a teacher of others,) he will be put 
to learn some lessons not very pleasant to flesh and blood r he 
fliust learn to run, to fight, to wrestle, and many otUVr exercises, 
some of which will try his strength, and others his patience. You 
know the common expression of a jack of all trades. I am sure a 
minister had need be such an one ; a soldier, a watchman, a 
shepherd, a husbandman, a builder, a planter, a physician, and a 
Qurse. But let him not be discouraged ; he has a wonderful and 
a gracious Master, who can not only give instruction, but power ; 
and engages that his grace shall be sufficient at all times, and in 
all circumstances, for those who simply give themselves up to bis 
teaching and service. I am sincerely yours. 



Let. 19.] TO MB. W—. 3&6 

LETTER XIX. 

To Mr. W»***. 

August 29, 1774. 
Mt Dear sir, 

I HAFE been often with yon in spirit in yoar new habitation. 
In my idea of it, it is a grand place ; a temple where the Lord is 
worshipped ; a castle guarded by Almighty power. If 1 mistake 
not, it has several privileges beyond most of the houses in your 
neighbourhood. Does not the sun often shine into it in the night 
season ? Have you not some rooms so far exceeding the galle- 
ry of St. Paul's that if you speak but in a whisper, your voice is 
heard beyond the clouds ? Have you not a very fine prospect 
from it, when the air is clear ? According to my notion of 
the situation, when you look one way, you have a long vista 
which would take one a good number of years to travel over, and 
a great number of curious Ebenezers erected (instead of mile- 
stones) all along the road. If yon look the other way, there is 
always a kind of mist, which prevents objects which are near at 
band from being clearly seen ; but, what is very extraordinary, I 
am told you can see through that mist, to a land that lies a great 
way off, and that the more you look, the better you can see. If 
every house around you had the like advantages, it would be 
certainly the finest village in the kingdom — a little heaven upon 
earth. All houses, from the king's to the labourer's, however 
they differ in other circumstances, agree in this, that they must 
have windows whereby they may receive the light. A palace 
without a window would be but little better than a dungeon ; and 
a man would almost think himself buried alive in it. Many splen- 
did houses are dungeons with respect to spiritual light. A be- 
liever could not bear the thoughts of living in any situation, unless 
^he enjoyed the light of the sun of righteousness ; and with this, 
any situation is tolerable. You know the value of this light ; and 
you are favoured with it. Therefore I doubt not your house is a 
good one. May you enjoy it more and more, and* now yon are 
withdrawn from the noise of the town, and, (as I suppose,) in some 
measure, from the hurry of business, may your leisure be sanctified, 
and a sense of the Lord's presepce brighten every hour of your fa^- 
ture life ; and may you dwell, as Jacob lodged for one night, at the 
gate of heaven, till the appointed moment when the gate shall 
open and let you in, to be for ever with the Lord. In the mean 
time you are happy that the Lord has favoured yon with many op« 
portunities and advantages of promoting his glory, and the good 



2D6 TO lOfts. w**^. [Let. 30* 

of his people, aod given you a heart to improve them. I would 
tell 70U how it is with ine if I could ; at the best, it would be an 
inconsistent account. I am what I would not, and wbuld what I 
cannot. 1 rejoice and mourn ; I • stand fast, and am thrown 
down in the same moment. I am both rich and poor ; I can 
do nothing, yet I can do all things. I live by miracle. I am op- 
posed beyond my strength, yet I am not overpowered. I gain 
when I lose, and I am oAen a loser by my gains. In a word, I 
am a sinner, a vile one ; but a sinner believing in the name of Je- 
sus. 1 am a silly sheep, but I have a gracious, watchful Shep- 
herd. I am a dull scholar, but I have a Master who can make 
the dullest learn. He still bears with me, he still employs me, he 
still enables me, be still owns me. O for a coal of heavenly fire 
to warm my heart, that I might praise him as I ought ! As a peo- 
ple, we have much cause of complaint in ourselves, and much 
cause of thankfulfiess to him. In the main, I hope we are alive, 
though not as we could wish ; our numbers rather increase from 
year to year, and some flourish. In the ordinances, we are fa- 
voured in a measure with his presence. But, O for a day of his 
power ; that his work may run broader and deeper, and the fire 
of grace spread from heart to heart, till the whole town be in a 
flame ! To this 1 hope you will give a hearty Amen, and often 
remember us in your prayers. I am sincerely yours. 



LETTER XX. 
To Mr. W***». 

May 25, 1775. 
Mt Dear Sir, 

I WAS thinking of writing to you before I received yours, 
and I have been thinking of it oflen since. Yesterday I had the^ 
agreeable information that Mrs. **** was safely delivered of a. 
daughter. This qnickned my resolve, and determined me to con-' 
gratulate you and Mrs. *«*♦, and your son and daughter, upon 
the happy event the very next post. I trust that you, and all 
nearly concerned in this mercy, rejoice in it, not only as an ac- 
cession to your family, but especially as you see the good band of 
a covenant God appearing for you and yours in answer to prayer. 
This makes temporal mercies, mercies indeed, when we can re- 
ceive them as the firuits and pledges of special love ; when tfaey 
are sanctified by the promise and prayer, and when we can read^ 
in them the name and gift of Him who died for us. Pray give 



Lee. 30.] TO ifB. WiHHH>» 997 

my love to the pttrents, and let tbem know that my heart is with 
them. May the Lord make them very happy in themselves, in each 
other, and in their family ; and may they think they hear him say- 
ingy upon this occasion, as Pharaoh's daughter did to the mother of 
Moses, " Take this child and bring it up for me, and I will pay 
you your wages." The Lord's wages is good pay indeed. Who 
can express the honour and the comfort of bringing up a child 
for JesMS f The Lord has given you this honour ; and I am sure 
you prefer it to all worldly considerations. May he give you the 
desire of your heart for each and every one of your children. 
Mrs. **** and T are now in the line of parents. For though s he 
never felt a mother's pains, and there doubtless are some feelings 
pf a father to which I am a stranger ; the Lord has given us ^ 
child whom we love as our own, and look upon as our own. .We 
think it an advantage, rather than otherwise^ that she was bom 
j(if I may so say) to us, above five years old, which saved us all 
the trouble and expense of pap and cradle ; it is a great mer- 
cy to us that he has given her an amiable and manageable dispo^ 
$itiop, so that she is quite a companion ; we love to please her, 
and she studies to please us ; and she is, in general, ruled with a 
word. I trust she is sent hither to be numbered in due time 
amongst his favoured people, and to know the Saviour's grace in 
ber youth. Help me, dear sir, with your prayers vu her behalf. 
You ask if my soul be mofe alive to Jesus than ever } I can say 
.he is precious to my soul, and that I love his ways and his service. 
jHe is my hope, my end, my portion ; and I esteem his favour bet- 
ter than life. But lively feelings are seldom my lot. Blessed be 
his name. He keep^ and supports me. He keeps the flock commit- 
.ted to my care, so that we are, in the main, preserved from offen- 
ces and from strife. Now and then he brings a stray lamb into 
tb« fold, gnd often he is seen in the fold himself. Then the sheep 
are happy, for they know his voice, and admir/e his love. Aqd 
we know ne is present when we cannot see him, or else the wolf 
would quickly break in and scatter us. Here is our security—- 
that his eye and bis heart are upon us continually. Mr. *♦•♦ (for 
you ask after him likewise) is well, and I hope, goes on well. I 
do not think he is lukewarm ; nor has his preaching been in vain. 
He is a young man^ and must learn some thipgs, as others have 
done before him, in the school of experience ; but I trust he is 
sound and honest, and that none who were concerned in helping 
him through his difficulties, and bringing him into the ministry, 
will^have reason to repent it. 

I am sincerely youfs.. 

Vol.. IV. .^8 



29S TO MB. WW-. [Let. 21^ 

LETTER XXf. 

ToMr. W****. 

May 3, 1776. 
My Dear Sir, 

Will you accept a short letter as an apology for a long si^ 
leiice ? I have been working my way through a heap of unan* 
swered letters, (I should have said half through :) had there been 
one from you in the number, it would have been dispatched among 
the first ; but as there was not, I have deferred a Tittle and a Tittle 
longer, till I am constrained to say. Forgive me. I hope, and 
trust, you find the Lord's presence with you in your new habita- 
tion ; otherwise you would think it a dungeon. There is the 
^ame difference amongst people now, as there was between the. 
Egyptians and Israel of old. Multitudes are buried alive under a 
cloud of thick darkness, but all the Lord's people have Kght in 
their dwellings. Ah I how many great and fair booses are there 
without the heavenly inhabitant. It might be written upon their 
doors, God is not here ; and when you go in, you may be sure of 
it, for there is neither peace nor truth within the walls. This 
thought has often struck me when I have been to see some fine 
seats as they are called. When the Lord is not known and ac- 
knowledged, the rooms are but cells, in which the poor erkninals 
have license to eat and sleep a little while, till the sentence under 
which they lie condemned shall be executed upon them. On the 
other hand, the houses of believers, though most of them called 
cottages, are truly palaces ; for it is the presence of the king thai 
makes the court. There the Lord reigns upon a throne of grace« 
and there a royal guard of angels take their stand to watch over 
and minister to the heirs of salvation. After all, the best houses 
upon earth are but inns, where we are accommodated a little time^ 
while we are doing our Master's business. It is hardly doing yon 
justice to say, you live where you have a house. Your dwelling, 
your home, is in heaven, here you are but a sojourner ; but to ex- 
press it in a more honourable manner, you are an ambassador, en- 
ti^sted with aflairs of great importance, to manage for the King, 
your Master. Every believer, while upon earth, in his several 
callings, is an ambassador for Christ, though not called to the 
ministry. He has something of his master's character and inte- 
rests to maintain. He derives his supplies, his supports, his in« 
structions from above ; and his great charge and care is, to be 
iaithful to bis commission, and every other care he may confident- 
ly cast upon the Lord, to whom he belongs* In this sense we are 



Let* 21.] TO Hla. w*-^. 299 

to take the state opon oarselves, to remeniber our cfignity, and 
not to stoop to a conformity to the poor world among whom we 
live *y we are neither to imitate their customs, nor regard their 
maxims, nor speak their language, nor desire their honours or 
their favours, nor fear their frowns ; for the Lord, whom we serve, 
has engaged to maintain and protect us, and has given us his in- 
structions, to which it is both our duty and our honour to con< 
form. And though the world that know him not cannot be ex- 
pected to think very favourably of us, yet they can do us no real 
harm, if they do not prevail upon our unbelief, and make us 
shrink from ius service. And if through grace we are preserv- 
ed, so as not to be ashamed of him now, hereafter he will not 
be ashamed of us. If they account us as gazing-stocks and 
laughing-stocks at present, for our singularity ; if they re- 
proach, revile, and despise us, we may pity them ; for a day 
IS coming when they shall be ashamed, and when we shall 
stand forth with boldness, and shine like the sun in our Lord's 
kingdom. Then, at least, if not before, the difference between 
them that fear the Lord and them that fear him not, will be man- 
ifest. ^ How different will be their language concerning him ! Isa. 
XXV. 9; Rev. vi. 16, 17. And how diflereut will his language 
be to them ! Mattb. xxv. 34 — 41. O, what manner of love, that 
we who were like others by nature, should be thus distinguished 
by grace ! We knew him not, and therefore we could not love 
bim ; we were alienated from him ; sin, self, and Satan ruled in 
our hearts ; our eyes were blinded, and we were posting along 
in the road that leads to death, without suspecting danger. But 
he would not let us perish. Though when he knocked at the 
door of our hearts, we repeatedly refused bim entrance, be would 
not take a denial, but exerted a gracious force ; made us willing 
in the day of his power, and saved us in defiance of ourselves. 
And from the happy hour when he enabled us to surrender our- 
selves to him, how tenderly has he pitied us, how seasonably has 
be relieved us, how powerfully upheld us! how many Ebenezers 
have we been called upon to rear to his praise ! And he has said 
}«e will never leave us nor forsake us. And, O what a prospect 
lies before us ! When by his counsel he has guided us through 
life, he will receive us to his kingdom, give us a crown of glory, 
and place us near himself, to see him as he is, and to be satisfied 
with his love for ever. How many years did we live before we 
had the least idea of what we were born to know and enjoy ! Ma- 
ny things look dark around us, and before us, but the spreading 
of the Gospel is, I trust, a token for good. O, that we might see 
the work running, not only broader as to numbers, but deeper as 
t» the life, power, and experience, in the hearts, tempers, and con- 



300 TO ML. w«HMH>. [Let. 2f • 

venation of those who profess the troth. The Lord has removed 
many of his dear people from ■ ■ , to doorish in a better 

world. Not only many of the old cedars, but several of the 
choicest young plants are taken away. Should I be sorry that 
the days of their mourning are ended, and that they are ont of the 
reach of snares and storms f Nay, I should rather rejoice ; and I 
do. Yet I feel bereaved. I miss them ; they used to pray for me» 
comfort me, and often teach and shame me by their example. Pray 
that the Lord may raise us up more. 1 trust he has not wholly 
withdrawn from us. We walk in peace, and have some seasons of 
refreshment; now and then we hear of a new inquirer. I would 
be thankful when, as an angler, I catch a single fish. But O, that 
the Lord would put his great net in my hand, and fill it with a 
shoal! 

I am, dearest Sir, 

Your afiectionate and obliged servant.. 



ELEYEN LETTERS 

to 



LETTER I. 

Mr t^KAtt FfttEKD, 

I AH very wilKng to meet yoo with a letter at York, though 
I have no particular advice to offer. It seems probable, as you 
gay, that your expected interview with the G**** will afford you 
some further light into your future path. I am in no pain about 
the event. Man is a proud creature, and prone to please himself 
with the imagination of influence and4>ower ; but in reality, he bal 
none, any further than a^ it is given him from above. The G****^ 
or whoever else are displeased with you, have their commission, and^ 
limits assigned them by one whom they little think of ; and when 
Aey seem to think they can do most, they shalf, in effect, do no-^ 
thing but as instruments of his will. I trust the Lord will stand' 
by you, put his love into your heart, and suitable words into your 
mouth, and overrale the nrinds of them with whom you have to do. 
And if he has farther service for you in that situation, you will 
find that his hodk and bridle will hold them in, so that they shall 
not be able to hurt you. As you know whom you have believed^ 
and where to apply for strength suited to your day, according to 
fais promise, I am so far from trembling for the event, that 1 con- 
gratulate you on the honourable opportunity that is before you of 
witnessing a good confession in such a presence, which I trust the 
Lord will own ^nd bless yon in. Fear them not. Remember Jesus 
stood befori* the High Priest, Herod, and Pilate, for yoo. But 
how diffisrent are the cases ! You may perhaps meet with some ex- 
pressions of dislike, but the laws of the land will protect yov from 
the fiiU effects of their resentment ; and even the laws of polite-' 
ness wilt in some degree restrain them. You are not going to be 
buffetted, blinded, and spit upon. Lodk at your regimentals, and 
let them remim) you of Him who wore a scarlet robe for you, not 
as a mark of honourable service, but as a badge of infamy. Yoa 
are a soldier; iryoa were appointed to march against a bat- 



302 TO J. 8««««, Esq. [Let 2* 

terji^ though it is a service not agreeable to flesh and blood, yet a 
sense of hononr, and what you owe to your liing, your country, 
and yourself, would prompt you to reject any rising thought of 
fear, that might betray you to act a part unsuitable to your cha- 
racter, with disdain. But, O how much stronger and more ani- 
mating are the motives which should influence us as Christian 
soldiers ! I trust you will fully feel their influence. There is but 
a veil of flesh and blood between you and that unseen world 
where Jesus reigns in all his glory. Perhaps you will be attend- 
ed with such companies of the heavenly host as made themselves 
visible to the shepherds. How will they rejoice to see you fer- 
vent and faithful in your Master's cause ! Nay, he himself will be 
there ; and, though yon cannot see him, he will be looking upon 
yon, as he did on his servant Stephen. Then think of the day 
when he, in his turn, will own and confess you before an assem- 
bled world. Yea, perhaps upon the spot he may witness his ap- 
probation ; and if you can hear him whispering in your heart, 
^* Well done, good and faithful servant," you will Uttle regard 
what is said against you. As to consequences, leave them in his 
hand, they shall be all good and glorious to them that fear him. 
He may sufler a cloud to appear, but he can blow it away in a 
moment ; he may permit this or that source to be stopped up, but 
he can open twenty in the room of it. He can show you how lit- 
tle dependence there is to be placed on the friendship and favour 
of men, when once we are enabled to be active and hearty for him ; 
but these failures shall only give occasion of showing you likewise, 
how all-sufficient he is in wisdom, love, and power, to give more 
and better than creatures can possibly deprive us of. Fear not, 
be strong-^yea, I say unto you, be strong ; the Lord of hosts is 
with you. I am yours, &c. 



LETTER II. 

AprU 13, nQl. 
1 HOPE you find, while you attempt to water others, that yoii 
Me watered and blessed in your own soul. May the Lord opan 
your month and strengthen your hands, and own your labours, if 
it is his pleasure to employ you in his public service. The fields 
are, indeed, white for harvest ; and though I must govern myself 
by such views as the Lord is pleased to give me, when I look round 
and see the state of things, and the miserable darkness and securi- 
ty of poor sinners, I am not sorry that there are those who can 
and do attempt those services which I cannot. When I see the 



Let. 3.] TO J. s****, ESQ, 303 

beart humble, and simply devoted to the Lord, in whatever way 
Christ is preached, I can, yea, and will rejoice* Give me leave 
to suggest, that the enemy of souls will owe you a bitter grudge for 
your zeal ; you will have many eyes upon you, and hearts against 
you ; the work is great, and the heart deceitful. 1 doubt not but 
you are apprised of the need of watchfulness and prayer ; yet you 
will not be angry with me for reminding you. 

You will have two counter-streams to withstand, either of which 
is sufficient tobear us off our feet, unless the Lord uphcdds us ; I 
mean opposition and popularity. The former is troublesome, 
and in some respects perilous, as we are too prone to catch some- 
thing of the same spirit. But the latter is much more dangerous. 
Our friends are often eventually our worst enemies, it is not easy 
to find a preacher that has been honoured with much popularity, 
who has not been at some times greatly hurt by it. It is apt to 
make us forget who, and what, and where we are ; and if we are 
left to suppose ourselves persons of consequence, but for a single 
hour, it will surely prove to our loss, and may expose us to a 
, wound that may leave a lasting scar, even thougn the Lord is 
pleased to heal it. I behooves us, my dear Sir, to keep up a cleac 
distinction in our minds between gifts and grace. I can say, from 
experience, that it is possible to have a tolerable degree of liberty 
f(Mr outward service, so as to hold. a congregation pretty fast bv 
the ears, to make them weep, yea, and perhaps to weep with 
them, when the heart is far enough from a nght frame before tfa*. 
Lord. These things you know ; I had them not in view when i 
began, but they occurred in writing, and I set them dowq as a 
humbling part of my experience. May the Lord enable us lo 
walk huihbly, and then we shall walk safely ; to such he will etve 
more grace. He will be (heir light, their strength, and their joy. 
May you ever find him so. 

1 am, dear Sir, yours, &c. 



LETTER HI. 

June 16, 1767. 
Derr Sir, 

You perhaps think me lonj^ in answering your acceptable 
and obliging favour, but I was willing to take a second thought 
concerning the point on which vou desire my advice. I shall be- 
gin with this, and may the Lord help me to write as I ought. 

I am fully satisfied with your views, and your abilities for the 
ministry, and should have greatly rejoiced to have seen you upon 
our list, if the Lord had inclined you that way, and opened you a 



>304 TO J. 8****, Bs%. [Let. 3* 

door in his providence nt your first setting out. But I fear th^ 
thing is, humanly speaking, impracticable, after the steps you 
have taken. Considering your situation in liCe, and the public 
manner in which you have preached, I apprehend you have made 
yourself too obnoxious for any bishop to accept your ai^kratioo. 
But, as the Lord has all hearts in his hands, and can bring to pass 
things that are most unUkely, I ought to suppose the thing so fai- 
possLble, as to submit the consideration of another particular, 
whether, if you could procure ordination, you could properly, and 
vf'tth integrity, accept of it, and enter as a minister of the estafa^ 
lished church, with a previous and fixed determination tause your 
liberty indifferently, of preaching in all places and circumfttancee 
as you do now. And, I must own, that if you are determined to 
pay no regard to those regulations which seem to me incumbent 
on ministers in the establishment,! think you had bett^ remain as 
you are« If you are satisfied with your present call, you are now 
iree to act as your conscience shall lead you : why then should 
you fetter yourself ? For, more or less, you will find episcopal or- 
dination a restraint. As to the positive engagements you would 
bring yourself under to the bishops, I thinS all is inclraed in the 
teim canonical obedience ; to which you must bind yourself by 
oath. The measure of this obedience undoubtedly must be the 
canons ; and the sense, in my judgment, is obedience to all their 
requirements, so far as the canons extend, and where conjscience 
does not unavoidably interfere. Indeed) I am not sure that the 
* canons do expressly prohibit a minister from preaching indiffer- 
ently, when he pleases ; and therefore it may seem yol? are not 
bound by them. This I think is an excuse for those of my breth- 
ren, who having been ordained before they considered or knew- 
the nature of their iunction, and awakened afterwards, have been 
led insensibly, and by steps, to extend their labours far and wide. 
But things are so well understood now on both sides, thai for a 
man to apply for ordination with a design to act contrary to the 
general rule of parochial cure, carries the appearance of disinge- 
nuity ; and if the canons are silent, 1 believe the laws of the land 
give every minister such a right in hi& own parish, as not to allow 
any other person to preach in it without his consent, unless he 
claims, as a diseenter, the benefit of the Act of Toleration. 1 ap- 
prehend all the church ministers who act notoriously irregular, are 
exposed to suffer inconveniences for it, if ever it shall please God 
to permit their superiors to put their power by law in force against 
them. 

As to those who are alreadv in this way, and who think it their 
duty to go on in defiance of all. that might be done against them, I 
have nothing to say ; 1 rejoice in their zeal and success, so far as 
they appear to act for the glory of God and the good of souls, and 



Leu 3.] to J. 3**«*, ES<ju dOd 

Lord is pleased to hooour them with vsefMness ; but I cannot so 
well approve of a person's entering into orders, with a view to 
disregard the established regulations of the church. In your case 
it seems not at all necessary, for you would not preach better^^or 
probably to greater numbers, if you were ordained \ for your red 
coat and shoulder knot wil) probiably excite the curiosity of the 

Eeopie as much as my gown and cassock can do» And ihen I 
ave some reluctance to your giving up your connexions in the 
army, and especially as tou assured me that your influence, bofti 
with the officerft and soldiers, is no way lessened by your icom- 
mencing preacher* The continual removes of your regiment will 
give yon the opportunity of declaring the glad tidings in a ^eat 
variety of places \ your rank in the army will excite the attention 
of the people wherever you go ; and now useful the Lord may 
make you amonest the soldiery, who can iell ? So that supposing; 
you are satisfied in yourself as to your present proceedings^ you 
fiecm to have fairer and more extensive opportunities for useful* 
ness than any of us, and none can -charge, you with inconsistency, 
or give you tix)uble for what you do* 1 do not wopder that your 
family should wish you to take orders, because it would in sono^ 
ineasure remove that odium which they suppose you are under by 
preaching in your present capacity* . But I am persuaded this 
alone would not be a sufficient motive to you* Mr. H***^'a 
judgment has a considerable weight with me ; but, in the present 
case, I am constrained to differ ironp him, for the reasons I have 
suggested above# However, I trust that the Lord, whom you 
serve, will be your beat and infallible ixounsellor, and in time give 
you clear satisfaction M H^ what he would have vou to do* 

I am sorry to see n^yself so near the bottom of my paper, before 
I have opportunity to say something of that precious name, Jesus* 
Continue to look to Him, my dear friend^ and he will guide you 
with his eye, give you support for the present, and direfr^ion for 
the future* u be were upon earth, and you could get near him^ 
would you not lay your di$oukies before him ? Voii have the 
same liberty and encoiu^gement to do it f^mfMs if you saw him 
with your eyes* | need not tell you this ; fwk know it ; yet 
though our judgments t^re fully convinced that he is as near, as 
kind, as attentive to our concerns, as ready to fader, and as willing 
to assist as our own hearts can wish, it is not always easy to re- 
duce these sentiments to practiceji Unbelief, that injurious bar, 
interposes and starts a thousand anxious thoughts to hide him 
from us* If you find, througjh grace, that you are submissive, and 
only desirous to know his will, and continue waiting upon himt 
then fear not ; he will not suffer a soul that depends upon him to 
take a wrong step in a matter o^ such imjpo^nce* .And if yoo 

Vol. ly. 39 



306 TO J. s****, ES^. [Leu i^ 

find that he has assisted and owned you in what you have done 
hitherto, I would not have you entertain an uneasy doubt that you* 
have acted wrong. 

I am, Sir, yours.. 



EETTEB IV. 

July 14, 1767. 
Dear Sir, 

I THANK you for your favour of the 3(1. I wish I could ofler- 
you advice worthy of the confidence you place in me. Your rea- 
sons for a setdenient are weighty. I can only say, be much in 
Srayer, and atteml to the leadings of Divine Providence, and t 
oubtnot but he wiH make yeur path of duty clear ; not jKjrhaps 
all at once, but by degrees, and, though slowly, yet surely -, so 
Aat after you have been exercised with uncertainties for a season-, 
you shall find that be* is overruling all to bring about what he has 
already appointed for vou. 

A&you seem to think, that you may, upon cool reflection, be in- 
duced to see it the duty of a minister more peculiarly to attend to 
the charge of a single flock, my principal objection to your apply- 
ifig for ordination amongst us, is so far lessened. And I trust, if 
you alter your sentiments on this point, it will be owine to reflec- 
tion and real conviction^ atKi not to a bias arising from the motives 
and vie wsyoi^ mention in your letter. When a person has a be- 
coming diffidence of his own judgment, he is apt to be influenced 
(perhaps too far) by the advice and example of Chose whom he 
esteems wiser and better than himselfe It is no wonder, therefore, 
that if you attend only to the advice and' example of those of our 
friends who- are warm for itinerancy, when yeu consider their zeal; 
their motives, and their apparent success, you- should think it mat- 
ter of duty, not only to follow, but, if possible, to go beyond them. 
For my own part, the love and esteem I bear to many persons in 
that line is so great, that 1 know not if I durst tinist myself to be shut 
up Ion J amongst them in a room, lest they should, as it were, com- 
pel me to break through all bounds, and totally forget the views I 
nave had upon mature deliberation, and in my cooler hours. But 
1 find it best, wben< good men are divided, to hear wjiat may be 
said on both sides; I imaeine your connexions have chiefly led 
you to consider the plausible appearances on the one side of the 
question. But I can assure yon, there are (if I mistake not) some 
weighty considerations to be offered in hehdilf of regularity. And, 
by way of balance to what has occurred to you against it, I could 
wish you had an opportunity of convei*sing with my frieo,d Mr. 



tet. 4.] TO jv s****, Es^. SW 

T****, who, perhaps, might be of use to settle your jtfdgtoent 
and determination as to your future conduct* Though the diffi^ 
culties in the way of your ordination are great, they ai*e certainly 
not insuperable^ They were very great against me ^ yet the 
Lord opened a way. Some concessions will perhaps be ezpec 
ted from you, with respect to what will be called the irregularity 
of your late proceedings ; and therefore the strongest bars will be 
.laid in the way by your own honour and conscience, unless you 
should see that, all things considered, it is best for a clergyman 
genera-lly to restrain his zeal within the bounds allowed and pre- 
scribed by law 5 for, 1 dare say, unless you see it so, you will not 
say so. 

You may depend upon the business you intrusted me with be- 
ing kept a profound secret. Though you have not mentioned the 
person, yet as you seem to speak as if she were n6t a stranger to 
" me, 1 suppose I guess who she is ; and if I guess ri^ht, I congratu- 
late your choice ; for it seems suitable in every respefct* 1 have 
reason to be a frrend to tnarriage ; and \ doubt not but if the Lord 
is pleased to give you a suitable partner, it will both add to yovtt 
-comfort and strengthen your hands in his service. Commit your- 
self, therefore, to him ; act so far as he affords you an opening 5 
ronsult him step by step ; follow his providence close, but do not 
force it. We are prone to pursue things that appear desirable 
ivith too much keenness ; but in his leadings there is usually a 
praying time and a waiting time. Yea, he often brings a seemin^^ 
death upon our hopes and prospects just when he is about to ac- 
complish them, and thereby we more clearly see and diore thaak- 
fully acknowledge his interposition. 

The bearer ol this is a simple, honest man ^ a good proficient in 
the Lord's ways for the time of his standing. Like most of the 
41ock, he has many exercises, both inward and outward. If you 
have time to speak with him, be will tell more at large how it is 
with us. 

I rejoice that the Lord brought you honourably off from your 
challenge, and ^ave you victory without fighting. This shows his 
power over all hearts, and that he is a sure refuge and buckler to 
all who trust him. O that we could trust him at all times, and 
pour out our hearts before him ! When Moses was in any difficulty, 
he repaired to the tabernacle) and always found direction and sup- 
port. This was his peculiar privilege, the people could not come 
so near ; but under the Gospel, ail the Lora^s people have the 
privilege of Moses, to come into his immediate presence, and tell 
him all their wants at all times. How happy should we be if we 
could fully improve this privilege, and bring every thing, as fast 
as it happens, to the throne of grace. Surely he does not sit foe» 



iM fo i. «MHHi^ je8^« [Let i, 

mem the cbe^obim for any otber porpose than to give us answers 
<if grate and peace all the dtcy long. 
Lam, dear Sir, 

Your aflecftionate servant abd fellow-pilgrini. 



t£TTER y. 



iSept. 28, 17614 



My f)£AR t^RXENfir, 

Yours of the Slst of Aiigusl^ frcntt York, gaVe moch pleasure (6 
me, and to your friends here. I rejoice that the Lord enabled 
you to stand up for bis trutb, and gave you the victory in the 
manner you relate. It is k proof that be is indeed on your, 
jiide ; and I think it is an intimation that you are in the right 
place. Indeed, I own I could never heartily wish to see you in 
dkr uniform ; for I think you bid fair to be more extensively use* 
ful by keeping your stiind in the army, and continuing to preach 
where the Lonl opens you a door. As to c6nsiderations of a per* 
sonai nature, I doubt dot but you desire to hold them in subor- 
dttltttion to the will of Grod and the calls of duty ; and why might 
dot ^hitt you Minted to me t^ke place while a captaiil^, Us well as 
if a clergymen f Of this you are the best judge ; but, in gener- 
al$ I know the Lord can and will order all thmgs for the good 
bfhis children, and especially of those who are desirous to give' 
themselves up, without reserve, to his service, and to cast all their 
care and tonceftis on him by faith and prayer. 

I hope Mr. B^** and you are mutually comfortable ftnd pro-> 
Stable to eftch other. I understand bis heart is warm for the 
Work, and perhaps your teal aiidetample have quickened kts de- 
sire to what 1 sometimes bear called ati apostolic mission, and 
what Others disapprove by the term irregularity. For my own 
palrt, I Wish Well to alt, both regblars and irregulars^ that love and 
preach Jesus. But 1 rertfember a question something to the pur- 
|)08e, (and thki he was a man of a warm seal, and little under the, 
influence of Worldly wisdom as toy we hope to be in this day,) Who 
somewhere asks, ** Are alt apostles f^^ If it should be tillowed, 
(which t should be unwilling to contradict,) that in die case of 
some perhapi in your ease, there are some circumstances which^ 
taken in connexion With the event of things, do evidently Justify ' 
their acting in that Way which some call irregular ; it will not 
follow, thereforei that every young inan Who has a fldr and 
peaeeable right to expect orders in the church, and a provident 
tial appointment to the cure of soub in a particular place, wonUf 



L<EJt BJ TO i. 8*^**, tis<i. Sod 

do well to follow tbeir $teps. It appears to me that parochial 
charge is a weighty things and that a minister who keeps much 
with his own people, watches over and warns them publicly, 
^nd from hoose to house ( ac(}uaints himself with their situa- 
tions, tempers, and temptations, and thereby knows how to speak 
a word in season to them, and is on the spot to guard them against 
the first symptoms of a declension, or the first appearances of 
error ; I say, soch an one appears to me in a competent sphere 
of duty ; and if he admits engagements manifestly inconsistent 
with such a close and sedulous attention^ he may appear more 
important to himself, or in the eyes of the world, but will not, up- 
on the whole, be so useful. There is that in us by nature which 
may dispose us to be well pleased At aiming at great things ; and 
though 1 trust that many who sel out as if they expected to con- 
Vert whole countries, act from nobler motives, even a gracious 
concern for the glory of €rod and the good of souls, yet our own 
evil is so deeply and closely entwined with the good which the 
Lord puts into our hearts, that I believe many who earnestly de- 
aire to promote the gospel interest, do in some respects hurt it, by 
overlooking all regard to order^ treating the most express and 
positive engagements as not worthy of notice^ drawing a sort of 

S arrant thereby for any person to undertake any ^rvice, who^ 
links himself qualified for it. 

As to yourself, my dear Str, my whole heart goes with you iff 
your endeavours to serve the Lord ; what he has done for you, 
&nd by you, are satisfactory proofs to me of your call. But I 
write thus to beg you not to make your own case a precedent ^ 
when you meet with young men of right views and promising 
talents, who seem properly qualified to serve God in the establisii-* 
ed church, if they are ready to catch your fire, I would wish yoK 
lather to assist them with a bridle than a spur ; advise them to 
follow the leadings, and wait the openings of Providence ; to be- 
ginHrrith small things, and not to think their time lost, if the Lord 
tbottid pve tliem such an easy service as may afford them leisure 
ibr a close study of the word of God and of their hearts, that they 
teay come to be soKd, Scriptural, experimental, and judicious 
preachers, be furnished with ah acceptable variety, and prove, 
tKylh to the church and the world, workmen that need not to be 
a&hamed. Some young men have been loose and i^w preachers 
ail their days, by thinking a warm impressicNi of a text of Scrip- 
. lure, and a compassionate feeling for the souls of sinners, almost 
the only necessary requisites. When a young tree puts out blos- 
:8on^ in great abundance, the skilAil gardener pulls many off^ 
«Ad thou^ lie thereby lessens its fruitfuloess for the present^ te 
Mcnuea it for the fbiore. 1 am yours, be.. 



310 TO J. s****, E8^. [tiet. ۥ 

LETTER VI. 

J^ovember 9, 1767. 
My Dear Fiuend, 

I THINK we fully agree in our sentiments about preachers* 
The gifts, the views, the services of those who are sent and taught 
by the same Spirit, may be, and are in many respects, differ* 
ent ; but if they are sent and taught by him, they will preach 
the same Jesus, they will equally confess their dependence on the 
Holy Spirit for their ability and success ; and, more or less, he 
will own their ministrations, and give them living witnesses and 
seals that ho has employed them in his work. Those who agree in 
these essentials, would do well to agree amongst themselves, and 
to wish each other prosperity in the name of the Lord. When 1 
see a competency of spiritual knowledge, and a humble frame of 
mind, I would not look further, nor inquire whether the instru- 
ment is a scholar or a gownsman, before I give him the right hand 
of fellowsliip. But I own, if people attempt to teach others what 
they very poorly understand themselves ; or if the deportment 
savours of self-confidence and a desire of being noticed, I am 
ready to fear they run before they are sent. I wish that none 
of us who arfe called regular, may affect to despise those who^ 
from a principle of love to the Lord and to souls, think it 
right to move more at large than we do. And 1 wish that none 
in your way would censure and condemn us for being incumbent 
upon what we conceive to be our proper work and charge, but 
candidly believe we may have other reasons than the fear of man^ 
or the love of ease, (though, alas ! 1 know not to what charge 
I dare plead an absolute Not Guilty,) for not choosing to depart 
from our present path, and to imitate yours. I say I wish thef^ 
may be this mutual candour on all sides ; but if not, those will be 
happiest who can bear the misapprehensions of their brethren 
without being either grieved or offended. It is a small thing to 
to be judged of men. If the Lord condescends to smile upon as, 
and gives ns to maintain a good conscience in his sight, so that we 
can humbly appeal to him that we aim at bis glory, we may be 
content to bear any thing else. We shall all be of one mind ere 
long. In the mean time, may w^ ever remember, that not he that 
commendeth himself is approved^ but whom the Lord com 
mendeth. 

I am glad that you have been at H-— ; I made no' doubt 

but you would love my dear friend ; possibly I may overrate htm^ 
I own he is but a man, but 1 think him an uncommon one ; an 
eminent instance of the true Christian spirit. This is what in 



Liet-, 6.] TO J. s****, Bs<i.- ;il I 

most taking with me. Gifts are useful ; but tliey are mere tin* 
se), compared witli the solid gold of grace. An eminency in 
gifts is specious and glittering ; but unless grace is proportiona- 
ble, very ensnaring likewise. Gifts are like riches : if well im- 
proved, they give a man fairer opportunilies of service ; but if the 
Lord favours a man with great gifts, and in consequence thereof, 
considerable popularity, that man stands in a dangerous situa* 
tioo : if he is not kept humble, great, soon, will be his fall } and 
to keep such a roan humble, more than a common share of trials 
is usually needful. My prayer for you and for myself, my dear 
friend, is, that M^e may never he suiTered to infer grace from 
gifts, or to mistake the exercise of the one for the exercise of 
the other. We have need to be saying continually, ^' Held thou 
me up, and I shall be safe." How else can we stand ? If we 
tneet with opposiUon, it has hurt its thousands. If we are expo- 
sed to caresses and popularity, they have slain their ten thousands. 
Jesus alone is able to preserve us, and he is able to preserve us 
fully ; in the lion's den, in the fiery furnace, in the swellings of 
Jordan. If he be wiih us, and maintain in us a sense of our un- 
worthiness, and our entire dependence upon him, we shall be safe. 
I see that, besides the general lot of affliction in common with 
others, you are likely to have one peculiar trial, which might be 
lightly regarded by some, but not by me. Indeed, I can sympa- 
thize with you ; and, from what I have formerly felt, I am sure no- 
thing but tlw grace of God can compose the mind under such a dis- 
appointment. But remember, he has given you himself. If he sees 
fit to overrule your desires, be sure it is best for you. The Lord 
seee all consequences ; if we could do so, we should acquiesce in 
his appointments the first moment. If it is for your good and his 
glory, it shall yet take place, (you would not wish it otherwise ;.) 
>fnot, he can make it up perhaps in kind^ (for there is an old 
proverb, '^ That there is as good fish in the sea as ever came ou'^ 
of it ;") but if not so, he can easily make it op in kindness, and 
give you such a taste of bis love that you shall gladly forego all-, 
and say as David, Psal. IxxiiL 25. Let olher things turn out as- 
he pleases, yon must be happy, for the Lord himself is your 
guide, your shield, and your portion. Keep your eye and heart 
my friend, upon his work, and he will take care of your other nf- 
feirs, and not withhold any good thing from you. All hearts are 
tn his hands ; when his time is come, bard things are made easy, 
and mountains siol^ inio plains.. 

I am, deac Sir, yours, &c* 



3I» . TO J. B**»*, Est/ £f»f. Tt 

LETTER VIL 

Janmry 4, 1768. 
My Deak F&ienp, 

Mt heart is inucb with yoa, 1 trust, as it would be had you 
the most canonical appfDintment, and the most regular sphere of 
service. And I would as willingly hear you in your usual placesi 
as if you preached iu St* Paul's. But as I have already answer* 
ed your letter, this, and uiore that I could offer iVom it, now I 
have it before me, may be little more than repetition. 

I hope the entrance of the new year will be blessed to you« 
The last was to me a year of peculiar mercies ! Bui, alas ! as to 
my part in it, I have little pleasure in the review. Alas! how much 
faituness and unfruitfulness has the Lord borne with from tne I 
Indeed, I am almost continually a burden to myself, and find sucb 
a difference between what I seem to bein the pulpit and in public, 
and what I really feel myself to be berore the Lord, that I am b|^ 
ten amazed aqd confounded ; and was it not that the Lord liaa 
been pleased in some measure to eatablish me in the knowledge of 
my justifying righteousness, and the unalterable security of his 
covenant of grace, I should be ready to give all up. I am 
Kept at a great distance from the full possession of my privileges ; 
but, through mercy, the evils I feel are confined within myself | 
the Lord keeps me from stumbling outwardly, and does not snffisr 
Satan to distress me with those grievous temptations which ha 
has always in readiness when permitted. I trust my hope is fouo^i' 
ded upon a Rock, and that he to whom I have been enabled to 
commit my soul, will keep it to the end. Yet, surely^ I am a 
wonder to myself. 

Exercises of mind are common to all who know any thing of 
themselves, and have some just views of their obligations to redeem* 
ing love. But those who preach to others must expect a double 
portion. We need them in order to keep us humble, upon which, 
lis a means, our success aud comfort especially depend..^ We need 
Ihem that we may know how to speak a word in season to weary 
souls. Innumerable are the trials, fears, complaints, and tempta* 
]tions which the Lord's people are beset with ;, some in one way, 
some in another : the minister must, as it were, have a taste of all, 
or it might happen a case miglit come before him to which he had 
nothing to say. And we need them likewise to bring our hard 
hearts into a feeling disposition and sympathy with those who 
suffer, otherwise we should be too busy or too happy to attend un-? 
to their moans. Surely much of that hasty and censorious spirits 
(OP ofteo observable in young C9nvi&rt$i arises from their having, 



Let 8.] .TO J. s«i«», Bs^. 318 

as yet, a viery imperfect acquaintance with tbe deeeitfutness of 
their own hearts. But, the old weather-beaten Christian, who 
has learnt by sorrowful experience how weak he is in himself, and 
what powerful subtle enemies he has to grapple with, acquires a 
tenderness in dealing with bruises and broken bones, which great- 
ly conduces to bis acceptance and usefulness. 1 desire, therefore, 
to be resigned and thankful, and to give myself up to tbe Lord 
to lead me in whatever way he sees best; only I am grieved, that 
it is so much his appointment to keep me thus low, as it is the ne- 
cessary consequence of my own folly and remissness. 

I am yours, tzf;. 



I.ETTER Vin. 

Mt Dear Friend, 

From what I have beard, 1 suppose this wilt not come pre- 
mature to congratulate you on the accomplishment of your wishes. 
If the late Miss C**** is now Mrs. S****, we present our warm- 
est wishes of happiness to you both in your union — a union in 
which, I trust, you will both see the effect of his love and favour 
who. has previously, by bis grace, united you to himself. I was 
mucb pleased when you first mentioned your views to me ; for I 
thought you were remarkably suited and fitted for each other, 
and I had a good hope, from tbe beginning, that the difiiculties 
vFhich seemed at first to occur would in due time subside. I re- 
joice with you, therefore ; yet as one who knows that tbe sweetest 
connexions in the present life are attended with their proportion- 
able cares and abatements. No one has more reason to speak 
with thankfulness and satisfaction of the marriage state than my- 
self. It has been, and is to roe, tbe best and dearest of temporal 
blessings ; but I have found a balance, at iea.st an abateifisent, in 
the innumerable inquietudes and painful sensations which at times 
It has cost me. So it must be in the present state ; we shall, in 
one way or other, feel that vanity is interwoven in every circum- 
litance of life, and it is needful we should feel it, to correct that 
proneness in our hearts to rest in creatures. However, the God 
of air grace has promised to sanctify the changes we pass through^ 
and he will not afilict us without a cause, or without a blessing. 
Upon your entrance on a new way of life, you will probably find 
the enemy will ctiaoge the manner and method of his attacks ; be 
suits himself to oar occasions and situations. With such an ami- 
able partner, your chief danger, perhaps, will lie iin being too 
happy. Alas ! the deceitsfplness pf our hearts, in a tim^ Qf pr<?R- 
Vol. IV. 49 



314 TO J. s*****-. [Let. S^ 

periiy, exposes us It) llie greatest of evils, to wander from the 
fountahi of living waters, awd to sit down by broken cisterns. 

The fondness of a creature love, 
Ho*f strong H strikes the sens^i 

Permit me to bint to yoo, yea, to both of you. Beware of idola- 
try, I have srnrvrted for it; it has distressed me with many ima- 
ginary fears, and cut me out much cause of real humiliation and 
grief. I would hope that others are not so ungrateful and insen- 
sible as I anf*; bui for myself, I have chiefly found that the things 
which 1 have accounted my choice mercies, when I have seen the 
hand and tasted the goodness of the Lord the most sensibly, have 
been the principal occasions of drawing out the evils of my hearty 
seducing me into backsliding frames, and causing me to walk 
heavily and iu darkness. And this moment, should the Lord vi- 
sit me with breach upon breach, and bring the thing that I most 
fear upon me, I mu»t justify him ; for I have turned all his bless- 
ings into occasions of sin, and perhaps those most upon which my 
heart has set the highest value. 

Yet still I must congratulate you. So sure as you arfe joined 
you must part, and such separations are hard to flesh and blood ; 
but it will only be a separation for a little time. Yon will walk 
together as fellow-heirs of eternal life, helpmeets and partakers 
of each other^s spiritual joys, and at length you shall meet before 
the throne of glory, and be for ever with the Lord. May yoa 
live under the influence of these views, and find every sweet made 
still sweeter by the shining of the Sun of Righteousness upon 
your souls ; and every cross sanctified to lead yoa to a nearer, 
more immediate, and more absolute dependence on himself. For 
this 1 hope frequently to pray, and I entreat your joint prayers for 
9]s. To which I must add my hope and expectation, that if ever 
occasions should call you into these parts, you will certainly, give 
us the pleasure of receiving you both at the vicarage. 

Your experiences and mine seem something alike, only yon ap- 
pear to me to have a quicker sense both of sin and grace than I 
have attaii>ed. Perhaps you think difierently. It is a question 
that can be decided only by Him who searches our hearts. But 
it matters not who is best or worst, since Jesus is necessary and suf- 
ficient for both. I trust he is my righteousness and strength, and 
that f do not deliberately look for either elsewhere. But the old 
kaven — a tendency to the covenant of works, still cleaves to me, 
knd my judgment, (imperfect as it is) is much clearer than my 
experience. I think I can point out the way to others, but I find 
ift not easy to walk in it myselfl However, I am learning to cease 



Ijet. 9.] TTO J. s»»»«, Es^, tSlS 

from complaiotSi unless to the Lord, and would ratber invite my 
friends to join me in praising bis goodness and grace. I am not 
ivbat I would be ; but there is a period coming, wlicn I shall be so, 
yea, more than my heart can conceive. I hope to see Jesus, to 
be like bim, and with him for ever. 

1 am your very affectionate, fee. 



LETTER IX. 



J^ovcmher 14, 176S. 



Mt Dear Sir, 

Your last letter {which I am glad to find is without. a date) 
gave me much pleasure. As the Lord has shown you where 
your dangers lie, and has revealed himself to you as your wisdom 
and strength, I doubt not but you shall be led in the path of duty 
and safety. Sometimes, indeed, he lets us make a trip, to increase 
our circumspection and humiliation, to keep us sensible of our no- 
thingness, and to endear to us the name of Jesus, our gracious 
advocate. It is dil])cult to preserve a right frame of spirit in oup 
necessary converse with temporal things ; so as not to overvalue 
or undervalue the many tokens of his love, with which he is pleased 
to surround us. But, though the lesson is hard, and we are dull 
scholars, our Master is able to teach us all things that concern our 
comfort and his glory ; and he has promised he will teach us. In- 
deed, we are in his school from morning to hight ; every occur- 
rence of every day, all that passes within and without, has a vsice^ 
and a suitableness to advance our proficiency. The providences 
that affect our persons, families, and acquaintance ; the work-> 
ings of our own hearts, the conduct of others before our eyes, 
whether good or evil, all concur to expound and illustrate the word 
of God, and what we there read concerning the two great myste- 
ries of sin and grace. The best exposition of divine truth is al- 
ways before us ; and we may read and study it when we lie down 
or rise up ; when we sit in the house, or %vtien we walk b*y the 
way. In this way, though we are slow to learn, yet the Lord 
enables us to get forward a little^ And in proportion as we ad- 
vance, we see more of his fulness and sufficiency, and the empti- 
ness and vanity of every thing else. 

I heard, some time since, that you were on =flie point of quii- 
4ing jrour regiment. Whether this report arose from tlie infor- 
mation which, as you mention in your letter, you had received 
from the commanding officer, but which you did not think of snf- 
iicient authority to djt^termineyou j or whether you bave received 



316 TO J. S4HHf«, Esq. [Let. 10. 

a farther iDtimatioii, I know not. Wherever this may find you, I 
hope it will find you just where, and just as the Lord would have 
yon to be; casting all your care on him, and having nothing 
much at heart but to know his will, and cheerfully to comply 
with it. This is a happy frame ; for they that thns trust in the 
Lord, shall never be moved : they shall not be afraid of evil ti- 
dings : he will guide them by his eye, direct all their paths, and 
give them his testimony in their consciences that their ways arc 
acceptable in his sight. 

I am, &£u 



LETTER X. 

May 20, 1769. 
My Dear Sir, 

I AM more sorry than surprised that you are constrained to 
leave the army. I was apprehensive from the .first, that, sooner 
or later, this would be the case. However, as I know you have 
acted with a simple view to the glory of Cod and the good of 
souls, I trust he will give you the reward of those that suffer for 
righteousness^ sake. May he now make you a blessing wherever 
he shall be pleased to fix or send you, and give you many seals 
to your labours, that you, and all about you may rejoice in your 
present situation. And as you are not now under either military 
or ecclesiastical restraints, I doubt not but you will gladly spend 
and be spent for his sake. The campaign is short ; the victory 
already secured; we have but a few skirmishes to pass through; 
and then he who has promised to make us more than conquerors, 
will put a crown of eternal life upon our heads. 

We were truly concerned to hear of Mrs. S****'s illness, but 
hope your next will inform us of a happy recovery. I know how 
to sympathize with yon in this article. When we have had such 
views of the world, that we are in a measnre weaned from all con- 
nexions but one ; when we may have (if I may so speak) but one 
gourd in which we rejoice, how do our spirits flutter when 
we think a worm is touching its root ! I have been a griev- 
ous idolater, ami have loved to a sinful excess ; yet, through 
marvellous mercy, we are both spared to this day. But how oft- 
en has the. Lord punished us in each other ; what anxiety and 
distress have I at times endured for want of faith to trust my dear- 
est concerns in his band who does all things well ; and for want 
of that moderation, with respect to all things below the skies, 
which becomes those who ave called with the high and holy call- 



Let. 11.]. TO J. S»*^, ESQ. 317 

ing of the Gospel. Such is the effect of our depravity, that we 
are almost sure either to undervalue or overvalue the blessings we 
enjoy. But the Lord is good ; he knows our frame, pities our 
weakness, and, when he corrects, it is with the affection of a fa- 
ther. 1 hope he will long spare you to be comforts and helpmeets 
to each other : yet knowmg how happily you are united, I cannot 
help, when 1 recollect how I have smarted, giving you a gentle 
admonition. Beware of idolatry. He, who in mercy brought 
you together, will not needle^ly grieve you. He loves you both, 
unspeakably better than you love each other, and therefore you 
may safely commit health and life, body and soul, into his keep- 
ing. Pray for me that I may myself learn the lesson I would pre- 
scribe to you ] for though it is easy to talk and write while all 
things are smooth, yet when the trial has returned, and I have 
been brought to a pinch, I have still found that I bad yet much to 
learn, and that when judgment is tolerably clear, the actual 
experience and feeling of the heart may be sadly mixed and dis- 
turbed. 

As to your complaints, I might transcribe them, and send them 
back in my name. I seem to have all the causes of grief and 
shame that are common to others ; and not a few, that J am readv 
to think peculiar to myself. But, through mercy, I can also fol- 
low you in what you say of the all-suflScicncy of Jesus. His 
blood, righteousness, intercession, and unchangeable love, keep 
me from giving way to the conclusions which Satan and unbelief 
would sometimes force upon me. It is he who must do all for me^ 
by me, and in me. I long to live more above thfe influence of a 
legal spirit and an unbelieving heart. But, indeed, I groan, being 
burdened. I have no reason to complain of a want of liberty in 
public ; but I wish I could be more concerned for success, and 
more affected to see poor sinners hardening under the sound of the 
Gospel. I am afraid that if 1 am enabled to fill up my hour, and 
to come off with tolerable acceptance, I am too easily satisfied. 
Indeed, this is a mercy which demands my thankfulness ; but the 
great concern should be, that neither my preaching nor their hear- 
ing may be in vain. However, the Loixl grant me to be faithful ! 

1 am yours, kc. 



LETTER XL 

January 19, 1773. 
My Dear Friexd, 

The evils of whith we mutually complain, are the effects of 
a fallen' nature ; and though we feel them, if the Lord gives us 



318 TO J. S——J E8«. {Let. 1 1 . 

grace to be bumbled for them, if they make us more v3e in our 
own eyes, and make Jesus more precious to our hearts, they shall 
not hurt' us, but rather, we may rank them among the all things 
that shall work for our ^ood. All our complaints amount but to 
this, that we are very sick ; and if we did not find ourselves to be 
so, we should not duly prize the infallible Physician. Our per- 
verseness and frowardness illustrate his compassion and tender- 
ness -, and what, by mournful experience, we learn of the deceitful- 
ness of our own hearts, qualifies us the better to speak to the case of 
others, and to ofier a word of warning, exhortation, and consola- 
tion to his people* There is no school but this, in which we can 
acquire the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to 
them that are weary, or to be preserved from the pride, vanity, 
and self-righteousness which would otherwise defile all our best 
services i It is better of the two, that we should have cause of 
being covered with shame and confiision of face before the Lord, 
than, for want of a due sense of the evils within us, be suffered to 
grow wise and good in our own conceits, as we certainly should 
when the Lord is pleased to give us some liberty and success in 
our public work, unless we were ballasted witn the mortifying 
•conviction of what we are in ourselves. Yet I hope he will ena- 
ble us to watch and pray against any actual backslidings of heart, 
and that the remembrance of what we have already, sufitered in this 
respect, may suffice to remind us that we are nothing, have no- 
thing, and can do nothing, but by his power working in us. If 
he is pleased to keep our eye and our heart simply dependant 
iupon him, his good word provides us with ample encouragement 
^against the remnants of indwelling sin, which will cleave to us 
^ile we are in the body. We are complete in him. Our right- 
eousness is in heaven. We have an advocate with the Father. 
We are not under the law, but under grace. In a little while all 
sins, temptations, clouds, and veils, shall be done away forever. 

I find that many of my complaints arise more from the spirit of 
'self, than I was fonnerly aware of. Self, as well as Satan, can 
transform itself into an angel of light. To mourn over sin is right ; 
but I do not always rightly mourn over it. Too often a part of 
my grief has been, a weariness of being so entirely dependent 
upon Jesus, of being continually indebted to him for fresh and 
multiplied forgiveness. I could have liked better to have some 
stock, ability, and power of my own, that I might do A litde with- 
out him ; that I might sometimes come before him as a saint, as a 
servant that has done his duty, and not perpetually as a poor, 
worthless sinner. O that I could be content with what is, and 
must be, my proper character ; that 1 could live more simply upon 
the freeness and fulness of his grace ! 



LcU 11.] to J. S****, ESQ. 31* 

There is no sin more to be dreaded than the great sin of thinking We 
can do a moment without a fresh application of the blood of sprink- 
ling to our consciences, and a renewed communication of his Spirit 
to our hearts. This life of &ith is the life of Christ in the heart.. 
" Not I," says the apostle, " but Christ liveth in me." Hi» 
strength is made perfect in my weakness. I am nothing. He is 
all. This is foolishness to the world ; but faith sees a glory in it« 
This way is best for our safety, and most for his honour. And 
the more simply we can reduce all our efforts to this one pointy, 
" Looking unto Jesus," the more peace, fervour, and liveliness,, 
we shall find in our hearts, and the more success we shall feel ia 
striving against sin in all its branches. 

J am yours, &c^ 



EIGHT LETTERS 



TO 



Dear Sir, 



LETTER L 

July 30, 176Y. 



Your letter ^avc me much pleasure, and increases my desire 
(if it be the Lord's will) of having you so near us. As 1 hope it 
will not be long before 1 have the pleasure of seeing you, I shall 
bf the less solicitous if my frequent engagements should constrain 
nic to close before my paper is filled. I can only advise you to 
resist, to the utmost, every dark and discouraging suggestion. 
The Lord has done great things for you, and wonderfully appear- 
ed in your behalf already ; take encouragement from hence to 
hope that he will not forsake the work of his own hands ; Judges, 
xiii. 23. There is much weight in the apostle's argument in Rom. 
V. 10. Surely he who showed us mercy before we asked it, will 
not withhold it now he has taught us how to plead for it agreeably 
to his own will. Though sin has abounded in us, grace has super- 
/abounded in him ; though our enemies are many and mighty, Jesus 
is above them all ; though he may hide himself from us, at times, 
for a moment, he has given us a warrant to trust in him, even while 
we walk in darkness, and has promised to return and gather us 
with everlasting mercies. 

The Christian calling, like many others, is easy and clear in 
theory, but not without much care and diflSculty to be reduced to 
practice. Things appear quite otherwise, when felt experimen- 
tally, to what they do when only read in a book. Many learn the 
art of navigation (as it is called) by the fire side at home, but ^vbcn 
they come to sea, with their heads full of rules, and without expe- 
rience, they find that the art is only to be thoroughly learnt upon 
the spot. So, to renounce self, to live upon Jesus, to walk with 
God, to overcome the world, to hope against hope, to trust the 
Lord when we cannot trace him, and to know that our duty and 
privilege consist in these things, may be readily acknowledged, or 

Juickly learned ; but, upon repeated trial, we find that saying and 
oing are two things. We think, at setting out, that we sit down, 
5fnd count the cost j^bu* alas ! our views are so superficial at first^ 



Let 2,] TO •*•♦. 321 

that we have occasion to correct our estimate daily* For every 
day shows us some new thing in the heart, or some new turn in the 
management of the war against us, which we were not aware of ; 
and upon these accounts, discouragements may arise so high, as 
to bring us (I speak for myself) to the very point of throwing down 
our arms, and making either a tame surrender, or a shameful 
flight. Thus it would be with us at last, if the Lord of hosts were 
not on our side. But though our enemies thrust sore at us, that 
we might fall, he has been our stay. And if he is the captain of 
our salvation ; if his eye is upon us, his arm stretched out around 
us, and his ear open to our cry, and if he has engaged to teach 
our hands to war and our fingers to fight, and to cover our head^ 
in the day of battle, then we need not fear, though a host rise up 
against us ; but, lifting up our banner in his name, let us go forth 
conquering and to conquer. Rom. xvi. 20. * 

We hope we shall all be better acauainted soon. We please 
ourselves with agreeable prospects and proposals ; but the deter- 
mination is with the Lord. We may rejoice that it is 5 he sees 
all things in their dependencies and connexions, which we see nut, 
and therefore he often thwarts our wishes for our good ; but if we 
are not mistaken, if any measute we have in view would, upon the 
whole, promote our comfort or his glory, he will surely bring it to 
pass in answer to prayer, how improbable soever it might appear ; 
for he delights in the satisfaction and prosperity of his people, 
and without a need^^e they shall never be in heaviness. Let us 
strive and pray for a habitual resignation to his will ; for he does 
all things well. It is never ill with us but when our evil hearts 
doubt or forget this plainest of truths. 

I beg an interest in your prayers, and that you will believe me 
to be, 
I Dear Sir, your affectionate servant. 



LETTER n. 

February 22, 1778. 
Mv VERY Dear Friend,. 

You will believe that we were all glad to find that the Lord 
had given you a good journey, and that he is pleased to support 
and comfort you with his presence ; and that we all sympatnized 
with you in your present trial, and are greatly interested in your 
brother's illness. Prayer is made both for him and you amongst 
us, publicly, and from house to house. And as you know we have 
bad repeated cause to say, He is a "God that heareth. prayer^ we 

Vol, IV. 41 



5^ TO •***. [Let- «* 

hope that our prayers in this behalf likewise will open a door (or 
praise. 

And now may the Lord direct my pen, that I may send you 
what Mr. Philip Henry calls " A word upon the wheels ;" a word 
in season for your refreshment and encouragement. I rejoice and 
I mourn with you. The little acquaintance 1 have had with your 
brother (independent of his relation to you) has ^iven him a place 
in my heart and esteem ; and I can form some judgment of what 
you must feel at the apprehension of losing so near and dear a 
friend. But though he is brought very low, and physicians can 
afford little assistance, ^' to God the Lord belong the issues from 
death*^' He can speak a returning word at the last extremity ; 
and what he can do he certainly will, if it is best upon the whole. 
But if he has otherwise determined, he can enable you to resign 
Um, and can answer your desires in what is of still greater impor- 
tance than prolonging the natural life. Considering how much 
his best interest is laid upon your heart, the pleasure he expressed 
at your arrival, his willingness to hear your prayers for him, and 
the liberty you find to improve every opportunity of speaking I 
am willing to hope that you will be made a messenger of lisht and 
peace to his soul. The Lord's hand is not shortened that he can- 
not save. He can do great things in a small time, as you know 
from your own experience. In a moment, in the twinkling of an 
eye, he can command light to shine out of darkness. If he speaks, 
it is done. Vour brother's amiable character and regular deport- 
ment would undoubtedly be to his advantage, if he were to stand 
before a human judge ; but we know that we have to do with a 
God who searches the heart, and to the demands of whose holy, 
inflexible law, the whole world must plead guilty, and cast them- 
selves entirely upon his mercy in Christ, or be confounded. This 
we cannot make one another understand, but the Lord can con- • 
vince of it in an instant ; and then how plain, how pleasing, how 
welcome, is the Gospel method of salvation bv free grace in the 
blood of Jesus ! One glimpse of the worth of the soul, the evil of 
sin, and the importance of eternity, will effect that which hath been 
in vain attempted by repeated arguments. I hope the Lord will 
be with your neart and mouth, and that he will afford you the moU 
lia iempora fandi ! and direct your words to the heart. Perhaps 
BOW you may be heard when you touch upon your own most sin- 
gular case, and declare the manner and the effects of the Lord's 
wonderful dealing with yourself, which, as it cannot be gainsaid, 
so neither can it be accounted for upon any other principles than 
those of the Scripture, respecting the power, grace, and all-suffi- 
ciency of Jesus to save to the uttermost. 

You may perceive I would willingly help you if I could, though 
I know the attempt is needless, for the Lord is with you ; and 
though I feel my own poverty in the endeavour, accept it, how- 



Let 3.] T6—^. sn 

ever, as a tdcen of my affection, and as a proof that my Keart it 
"warmly engaged with yours in your present concern. 

1 was sorry to be prevented accompanying you to W ■ ■ * ■» 
but I found afterwards it was right ; you were better engaged, and 
I should but have interrupted you. I was with you, however, in 
spirit, as I returned alone in the chaise, which were two of the 
most pleasant hours I have known for some time. I preached that 
evening at Weston, from Deut. xzxii. 9 — 13. a passage which ex- 
hibits the history of a believer in miniature — an Iliad in a nut- 
flftelK The night was stormy^ so that we had but few people* 
Two persons who were well the day before you left us, are since 
dead, one of them buried ; a poor profane creature suddenly cut 
off ; the other lived at Emberton, but spent mast of his time at 
Olney, a sort of gentleman, young, jovial, jesting^ and thougbtlesa» 
He was liaken ill on Saturday, and died on Mondav evening. O ! 
my friend, what do we owe to the grace of God, that we were not 
cut off in the days of ignorance, as so many have been ! Blessed 
be God for Jesus Christ. 

Believe me to be 

Your most affectionate and obliged* 



LETTER III. 

March 8, 1776. 
Mt Dear Sir, 

Whilr it is the Lord's pleasure we should be separated, 1 
would be thankful for the convenience of post, by which we caa 
exchange a few thoughts, and let ^ch other know how we eo on^ 
You are remembered by me, not only jointly with the pifeople, but 
statedly in the family, and in secret ; and, mdeed, there are not 
many hours in the day when I do not feel your absence and the 
occasion of it. I find your brother is little better ; but it is an 
encouragement to know that he is no worse. His disorder is 
alarming and dangerous ; but though physicians and friendtf 
can do little, there Ls a great Physician to whom alt Qases 
are eoually «asy, and whose compassion is equal to his pow- 
er. It he who does all things well* sees it best, he can and he 
will restore him : if not, he is able to give him such a view <it 
what is beyond the grave, as would make him desirous to depart; 
and to be with Christ ; and make you perfectly willing to resi^ 
him. This is my prayer : — that he may find, to live is Ghrist| 
and to die, gain ; for this, I commend him to Him who is the way, 
the truth, and the life, who has overcoofie death, and him that has 
the power of death, and is exalted to save to the uttermost; That 
word, uttermost, has an extensive meaning ; it includes a conqueBl 



424 to •♦•♦• [Let 3; 

over all difficulties, and a supply of all that is iieces8arv« How 
totally, and (if possible) bow often should 1 have been lost, had 
not Jesus eosaeed to save to the uttermost. And many a time 
I think I should liave given up all hope, but for those two textSf 
his own gracious declaration, '^ Him that cometh unto me, I will in 
no un$e cast out,^' and the apostle^s assertion under the influence 
of the Holy Spirit, that '^ He is able to save to the uttermost.'^ 
<< In no wise,'' takes in all possible characters. ^^ To the utter- 
most," reaches to all possible circumstances. He can enlighten 
the most ignorant, soften the most obdurate, succour the molt 
tempted, comfort the most distressed, pardon the most guilty. O 
may his precious name be engraven upon our hearts, and sound 
sweeter than music to ou^r ears ; for he has loved us, and washed 
us from our sins in his own blood, and will save to the uttermost, 
in defiance of all our sins, fears, and enemies ! 

Your present trials are great ; but Grod is faithful, who will not 
suffer you to be overpowered ; and your consolations, at some 
seasons, are great likewise. I know the hour of conflict is sharp, 
but the victory in which it terminates is sweet. Your conjectures 
how Dr. **** and myself would behave under a fiery trial, are 
highly precarious, and seem to depend upon a supposition, which, 
though it may steal into our thoughts, has no place in either ot 
our judgments, namely, that some believers have a latent habit- 
ual power above othei*s, which will appear in exercise when it is 
wanted. Undoubtedly, Dr. ****, if left to himself in similar 
cases, would do as Job, Jeremiah, and Jonah have done before 
us. The grace of the promise is, and shall be, sufficient for our ^ 
support ; but while you are borne up by a power above your ' 
own, it is ri^ht and fit that you should feel your own weakness. 
It must, and it will be so, with, all to whom the Lord hath given 
that frame^of spirit in which he delights. As to myself, my very 
heart sinks at the apprehension of sharp trials ; the Lord has long 
dealt with a marvellous accommodation to my weakness in this 
respect ; what supports me when I look forward to them is, a per- 
suasion of his nearness, faithfulness, and all sufficiency ; but 1 
know there is a great difference between viewing the battle at a 
distance and being actually engaged in it : this f find, that in my 
present calm and easy situation I have not a grain of strength to 
spare. And when I think of the questions, Jer. xii. 5. I can only 
say. Be thou nay strong tower, whereunto I may continually resort^r 
In a word, trials would not deserve the name, nor could they an- 
swer the ends for which they are sent, if we did not feel them ; 
they are not, they cannot, be joyous while present, but grievous ; 
but, in the end, they shall surely yield the peaceable fruits of 
righteousness. The God whom you serve is able to support and 
deliver you, and I trust you shall have cause to praise him for this 



Let. 4.] TO«H«». ' 3^ 

also, as you know you have for those through which he has alrea- 
dy brought you, 2 Cor. i. 3 — 11. ' 

WiUiam iC**** is one of those who have been lately visited with 
the putrid fever and sore throat. He had been for some time 
(longer than I knew of) under a concern about his soul. His ill- 
ness brought him to the brink of the graive ; but the Lord has 
been gracious to him, not only in sparing nis life, but iA filling him 
with peace and consolation to a degree he is not able to express. 
He now rejoices with the joy of an unexperienced soldier, who is 
little aware of what he may meet with in the course of the war, 
and seems hardly to understand us, when we bid him expect 
changes ; for his mountain stands so strong, he thinks he shall not 
be moved. Thus it is ; nothing but experience can teach us the 
lesson, which in words is so plainlv set before us, that through. 
many tribulations we must enter tne kingdom. But the Lord 
knows and pities our weakness, and shows us the nature of our 
falling by degrees, as we are able to bear it. ^ 

Believe me most cordially yours. 



LETTER IV. 

My D£ar Sir, 

Since the occasion of our intercourse with (5****, w'e. listen 
for the post with anxiety ; the accounts we received yesterday, 

S;ive me a very lively idea of your situation, while you are expec- 
Ing so critical and dangerous an hour as thjat which you have 
in view. 1 can, and I do feel for you, yet I know you are and 
shall be supported. Prayer is made, without ceasing, amongst 
us, for you and your brother. And we know and belifeve that tne 
Lord, on whom we call, is rich in mercy, and mighty to save. We 
see many amongst us who have been restored from the gates of 
the grave in answer to prayer, when the healing arts of medicine 
bad proved utterly inenectual. This encourages us to hope that 
our prayers shall terminate in praises to the Lord, to whom oelong 
the issues from death. In the mean time, I should be glad to drop 
a word that mi^ht afford you some consolation in your present 
trial. I have lUst arisen from my knees, to take the pen in hand : 
may the Loi-d be with my heart in writing, and with yours in read,- 
ing-^at may ooeur to me. 

I drank tea last night with Mr. ****. I had sent him my booll 
9l few days before, and I found he had read it about half through^ 
I expected he would say something about it, and he did. Though 
he seemed to perceive and approve the main design, and to be 
pleas^ with what he had rea% yet I suppose many things were 



326 TO *»», [Let. 4.. 

not much to his purpose* What he chiefly fixed on was the ae- 
cond chapter, and he told me the description 1 had givea of the 
Gospel was exactly suited to the state, the wants, and desires of 
his mind ; that be had read it twice over, and found much comfoit 
from it. This gave me pleasure. He is, as you know, a man 
much exercised with a sense of the evils of his heart, and there- 
fore I account him a competent judge^ I hope I would rather be 
instrumental to the peace and coi>^oIation of one such person, 
than honoured with the applause of thousands who live at their 
ease- 
Since I left him, I have been led into some reflections, on the 
admirable suitableness of the Gospel-way of salvation by Jesus 
Christ, to all the possible varieties of a sinner's condition. When 
once he knows himself, and is acquainted with the holiness, jus- 
tice, and majesty of the God with whom he has to do, no other 
expedient can ever satisfy him, or give peace to his conscience. 
And when once he knows Christ as the way, and receives &ith in 
his name, he is provided with an answer to every discouragement 
and fear that can arise. And here persons of every age, country^ 
character, situation, and capacity, unite and agree. Their views 
of themselves, of the Saviour, of the sround of their acceptance 
with God, and of the communion wi£ God which the scripture 
speaks of, are so similar, that many think they learn them oneof 
another, which is, indeed, sometimes true, with respect to the in- 
fluence of means, (God having appointed to difiuse tne knowledge 
of salvation by his blessing on preaching, &:c.) yet every one of 
them is taught of God, and receives personally for himself an inimi- 
table conviction, which, as it cannot be easily described so as to 
be understood by those who have not experienced it, (for which 
reason it is compared in the scripture to tasting, Psal. xxxiv. 8« 
and 1 Pet* ii. 3.) so all attempts to gainsay it, are hke attempting* 
(as we commonly say) to persuade us out of our senses* I re- 
member that three or four years ago I mentioned some part of the 
Gospel truth to a gentleman who called on me here, and he an- 
swered, ^' If it is a truth, you are indebted for it to Calvin.'' As 
well might he have said, because Calvin had seen the sun, and has 
mentioned it in his writings, we build our knowledge of its light 
and influence upon his testimony. These are acknowledged 
throughout the world, whenever there is an eve to behold them. 
Here the courtier and the clown, the philosopher and the savage, 
are upon a level. And Mr. (>ccam, the Indian, in describing to 
me the state of his heart when he was a blind idolater, gave me. 
in general, a striking pcture of what my own was, in the early 
part of my life ; and his subsequent views of the Gospel corres- 
ponded with mine as face answers to face in a glass, though I dare 
say when he received them he had never heard of Calvin's name. 



Let. 4.1, TO *»**. S27 

I am sure I can aay, for myself, that I received not the Gospef 
from man. The litUe instruction I had received in my youth, I 
had renounced ; I was an infidel in the strictest sense of the word. 
When it pleased God to give me a concern for my soul, and for 
. some years afterwards, I was upon the seas, or in Africa, at a dis- 
tance from the influence of books, names, and parties. In this- 
space the Lord taught me, by the New Testament, the truths upon 
which my soul now ventures its everlasting concerns, when I did 
not know there was a person upon earth who had the same views 
with myself, or at least did not know, where to find such a person ; 
perhaps, 1 may i*ather say, I took it for granted that all people 
who were religious, were of my mind, and .hardly suspected tnat 
any who professed a regard to the Bible, could doubt or deny what 
to me appeared so plain. Your case, likewise, has been pretty 
much like my own. How different were your views when you 

left , to what you had when you went there, and how little 

did men contribute to that difference ! These things I am sure of, 
that the proper wages of sin is death ; that I and au mankind have 
sinned against the great God ; that the most perfect character is 
unable to stand the trial of his holy law. When I saw things in 
this light, I saw the necessity of a Mediatorr And in the account 
the scripture gave me of Christ, his adorable person, his offices, 
kis matcniess love, humiliation, obedience, and death, I saw a pro- 
vision answerable to my need. His blood is declared to be a com*- 
plete atonement for sin ; his righteousness, a plea provided for the 
guilty -, his power and compassion are both infinite ; and the pro* 
mise of parclon, peace, and eternal }ife, is made to them who be- 
lieve in nis name. He himself is exalted to bestow that faith to 
which the promises belong, and he will give it to all who ask. 
This I have found to be very different from the assent we give to a 
point of history. It changes the views, dispositions, desires, and 
pursuits of the mind ; produces that great effect, which is emphati- 
cally called, being bom a^ain ; without which our Lord assures us 
no man can see the kingdom of God, whatever his qualifications 
may be in other respects. O, my friend, let us praise the Lord 
who has enlightened our dark understanding^, subdued that natu* 
ral enmity we felt against his government and his grace, and has 
given us a hope full of glory ! Now we are enabled to trust in 
him ; now we find a measure of stability in the midst of a chang- 
ing world ; now we can look forward to death and iudgment with 
composure, knowing whom we have believed, and; that we have 
an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 

Having little news to communicate, 1 have let my thoughts run 
at random upon the subject you best love. As Cicero says to 
Atticus, Jld avMum^ amid, de amicUidj or to that purpose ; so the 
letters from me to yoii, so far as they are not taken up with neces- 



.838 TO****. ifi-ct. 5. 

sary occurrence^, should be concerning the love and grace of our 
adorable Redeemer. O ! to think where, and what we were when 
he showed us mercy ; what great things he has done, and is pre** 
paring for us, and that he so loved us as to wash us from our sins 
in his own blood ! These are themes suited to warm our hearts, to 
bear us up under all our troubles, and to fill us with joy unspeak- 
able and full of glory. O that my heart might take fire as 1 write ! 
Surely I am, in my better judgment, persuaded that life is not 
worth a desire, but' as affording opportunity to spread the savour 
of his name, to set him forth in my ministry for the comfort of his 
people and the salvation of poor sinners. I trust you pray for 
me that I may be faithful ; that I may give myself wholly to 
his service,' and, by continuing in it, save myself and those that 
hear me. 

I am inviolably yours. 



LETTER V. 

March J 5, 1770. 
My Dear Friend, 

Though I have hardly time to write, I cannot be silent upon 
this occasion. You will easily judge what satisfaction your letters 
by yesterday's post gave us. Blessed be God — the God who an- 
swers prayer, and who alone does marvellous things. I rejoice 
with you ; I rejoice with your brother. Now a chief point in our 
prayers will give place to praises, and we shall have tiie sweetest 
encouragement to continue praying for the re-establishment of his 
health. If we had let the good news transpire, how quickly 
would it have flown over the town ! But we have thought it best 
to keep it to ourselves a few days. When we shall meet on Tues- 
day evening, I purpose to impart it to the people in a body, by 
reading your letter ; my heart jumps at representing to myself, 
how they will look, how they will feel, how they will pray and 
give thanks, when thfey hear what God has wrought ! I am willing 
to hope wc shall have a comfortable, a memorable evening. In 
the mean time there is some self-denial in keeping the secret — 
for myself, 1 feel it at my tongues' end continually, and am ready 
to speak of it to every one I see ; but we think, upon the whole, 
it will do better to come in a lump to them. 

Yon need not wonder if, upon this very affecting and impor- 
tant occasion, the enemy attempts his utmost to disturb you. He 
(ears for his Kingdom, which has already received many severe 
shocks, in the spread the Lord has lately given to his Gospel ; 
he sees a new instrument rising up, (as we hope,) to deliver souls 



f* 



Let 5.] TO*w». gj99 

ont of his power ; he knows how nearly yoo are concerned in 
these things, and therefore, so far as he is permitted, will cnt you 
oat trouble. And yon may be assured there are wise reasons for 
his having such a permission ; but all your conflicU shall lead 
to consolation, and end in victory : and at last you shall be more 
than a conqueror. Wolfe conquered, but died upon the field of 
battle* Hannibid was a famous and frequent conqueror, yet at 
length was vanquished in his turn. But the believer shall socout 
quer, in the close of the campaign, that he shall never hear the 
sound of war any more ; so conquer in time as to triumph to 
eternity. This we owe to Jesus ; we overcome not by our own 
might, but by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of his 
testimony. He has conquered for us, and goes before us, and 
fights in us by his Spirit ; and in his own time he will bruise Sa- 
tan under our feet. In the mean while, he will be your strength 
and your shield ; your song and your salvation. In his name 
you may lift up your banner, and bid defiance to Satan and all 
bis hosts. 

Remember me afiectionately to your brother. 1 can truly say, 
I esteemed him, I loved him before ; my regard has been in- 
creased by the share I have taken in his concerns during his ill- 
ness ; but how much more is he dear to me, since I know that we 
are united in the love of truth. With what pleasure shall I now 
receive him at — ! now the restraints we were mutually un- 
der, for fear of giving each other pain, are removed. I think, 
when the Lord permiu us all to meet here again together, we 
•hall have much to say oo the subject of redeeming love ; much 
to ascribe to the wisdom, power, and goodness of a wonder-work- 
ing God, who causes light to shine out of darkness, and has given 
us the light of the knowledge of his glory in the person of Jesus 
Christ. What an amazing change in our state, in our heart, in 
our views, is the result of this discovery ! Old things pass away; 
all things become n^w. Then we see how unavoidably we must 
be men toandered at by all who have not experienced the same 
things ; and we are content to be so for his sake who has loved 
us, and to account his cross our glory. 
Believe me to be, my dear Sir, 

Most affectionately yours. 
In the nearest and strongest bond of friendship. 

Vol. IV. 42 



SSO , TO ♦***. [Ut. fr. 

LETTER VI. 

Charles Square, April 29, 178(r. 
Mt Dear Friend, 

We seldom seiid any thing to a frieud with a more interested 
and selfish view than a franl; ; for we expect not only to have it re- 
turned, but that what we send empty should be returned full. I hope 
when the weather will not allow you to be all day in the garden, 
you are preparing a cargo for my frank ; letters, essays, thoughts, 
bon mots, tales, fables ; in a word, miscellanies of all kinds, in 
prose or verse, whatever bears the signature of your hand, or of 
your manner, will be welcome ; and as long as you find materi- 
als, I will endeavour to find franks, and to send you pepper-corns 
of thanks in return, as often as I can. 

The recovery of my arm has advanced happily without inter- 
ruption. I can DOW put on my great coat, have almost done 
with my sling, and hope, in a few days more, to be released from 
the bandages. Blessed be the Lord, my best physician and 
friend, my present and all sufficient help ! I have seen no rea- 
son yet to regret my fall, nor have I been permitted to do it ; yet 
I may consider it as a chastisement, though" of a gentle and mer- 
ciful kind. A sinner need not spend much time in searching out 
the cause of an affliction ; but that the afflictions of such a sinner 
as I should be so seldom, so moderate, so soon removed, depends 
upon reasons which I should never have known but by the word 
of Ood. There I am taught to spell his name, ^ The Lord, the 
Lord Ood, long suffering, abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity, 
transgression and sin ;" and thus I read the reason why I am not 
consumed. 

The spring, long-retarded, begins to force its way, and to make 
its appearance in the trees which surround our square. The close 
behind our garden seems as green as your meadows, and the cows 
that are feeding in it have very much the look of country cows. 
St. Luke's church affords us a sort of substitute for stee- 
ple. Islington (by tbfe help of an imagination which loves to 
concur in putting an agreeable deception upon itself) passes for 
; and the New River, if it did not run under ground here- 
abouts, would soon obtain a new name, and be called the Ouse* 
We take the same liberty with persons as with places, and cannot 
walk much in the streets without meeting a somebody that recalls 
somebody else to our minds. But to impose upon ourselves so 
far as to think any place like Orchard Side or any persons like 
Mrs. **** or Mr, ****^ exceeds our present attainment in the art 



Let. 6.] TO •*•*. SSI 

of sobstiUitiOD. In other respects, oar sitnation is, upon the whole, 
so welly that I may apply to either of yoa — 

Excepto quod non simul esses, cactera laetus. 

Baty indeed, a removal from two sueh dear friends is a disloca- 
tion, and gives roe at times a mental feeling, something anaSa^ 
gous to what my body felt when my arm was forced from its 
socket.' I live in hopes that this mental dislocation will one day 
be happily redaced likewise, and that we shall come together 
again as bone to its bone. The connexion which the Lord him<» 
self formed between us, was undoubtedly formed for eternity ; 
but I trust we shall have moi)ib of thQ'ilIeasure and comfort of it 
in time. And that I shall yet hear you say, ^^Come, magnify th# 
Lord with me, and let ns exalt his name together, for he hath 
turned my mourning into joy, and he hath taken off my sackcloth 
and girded me with gladness." 

How the world goes, 1 know not ; for I seldom see a newspa- 
per for a fortnight together ; when I do, I weet with so little to 
please me, that I seem rather to prefer a state of ignorance, which 
gives me more scope for hoping for the best. The prevalence of 
wickedness and insensibility, however, forces itself upon my 
notice, whether I will or no. And 1 am afraid, in the conten- 
tions which are fomenting and spreading throughout the king- 
dom, I see such seeds of trouble as were sown in the early part of 
Charles the First's reign, and which quickly produced such plen- 
tiful crops of confusion and misery. Yea, I am afraid the present 
times are worse ; there is an equal degree of party rage, without 
any portion of the public spirit which undoubtedly influenced ma- 
;iy individuals in those days. I see but few Hydes or Falklands 
amongst the courtiers ; but few Haropdens Pyms, or Blakes, to 
dignify the opposition. The pretences on each side are but a thin* 
veil, through which it is easy to perceive that the contest is chief- 
ly between the ins and the outs^ and that while some plead for ar- 
bitrary power, under the name of constitutional prerogative ; oth- 
ers, who clamour for liberty, mean nothing; better by the word 
than licentiousness. So that if my calling as a christian would • 
permit me to take an active part in this uproar, (which, in my 
view, it does not,) I must still remain neuter, till I could find more 
men of principle on one side or the other to associate with. I 
most be content to look on, and patiently wait the issue, and 
should be ready to sink with apprehension, but for two support* 
ing considerations. The first, tliat the Lord reigns, and will 
surely accomplish his own wise and gracious promises* The 
second, that in the midst of all tUs confosioo^ he is manifisstty 



832 TO •^•. . [Let. 7. 

spreading the light of hiB Gospel, and gathering sinoers into bis 
fold. While he maintains and multiplies the means of grace 
amongst us, and increases the number of praying souls to stand 
in the breach, I think we have a pledge that we shall not be given 
up, that our motto will be no worse than *' cast down, but not de- 
stroyed." There is a third, a personal ground of comfort. He 
has said, it shall be well with them that fear God, and his word is 
Sore. His people have properly nothing to lose, have nothing to 
fear, for be is their sun and shield, and exceeding great reward. 
His power, providence, presence, and all-sufficiency, will lead 
them safely, and, upon the whole, comfortably through every pos- 
sible change, and bring them Mrtheir unchangeable rest. 

Mrs. **** is not at honi% but sh^ knows what I am about, and 
abends her best love. She has very tolerable health. 1 was ai 
first afraid the hurry and anxiety of her spirits, on account of my 
fall, would have brought a return of all her nervous complaints. 
I felt more for her than for myself, while the four men were al- 
most displacing my bones which were right, in order to put that 
right which was out of place. But while 1 was in that attitude, I 
may say, with Nehemiah, <^ So 1 prayed unto the God of heav- 
en ;" I prayed for her, and the Lord heard me* She was at first 
exceedingly terrified, and felt the effects of the shock for a little 
time, but 1 hope they are quite subsided. 
I am, dearest Sir, 

Your most afiectionate and obliged. 



LETTER VII. 

Charles Square^ May 6, 1780. 
Mt Deak Sir, 

You will have no reason to apply to me, Luke vii. 32. For 
when you pipe, I am ready to dance ; and when^yon mourn, a 
cloud comes over my brow, and a tear stands a tiptoe in my eye. 
^ observe your letters usually begin and end in the allegro 
strain, and you put the more serious part in the middle : as this 
seems the fittest place for it, 1 will try to imitate you, though it 
will be something, if either my beginning or my close should en- 
title me to your smile, except you smile at the presumption of 
your humble imitator, and recollect the fable of the frog, who tri- 
ed to imitate the ox. 

On Thursday I attended, in my robes, the church-wardens and 
several of the gentlemen of the parish. We had large nosegays 
in our hands, and, all but myself, &vours in their bats', accompa* 



Let. ^.] TO ****• 333 

Died by a namber of little boys smartly dressed, and carrying 
white wands. Thus marshalled and accoutred^ we paraded the 
streets, and a tall mad who has some other name, but is best 
known to roe by that of the organ-blower, pointing successively 
to the marks, corners, and abutments which distinguished ours 
from the circumjacent parishes, proclaimed at each the boundary 

of the parish of St. . The chorus, consisting of a number 

of huzzas, was performed by the youths, who likewise beat the 
marks and walls with their wands. This ostentatious service 
draws abundance of eyes ; ladies, gentlemen, porters, and cart- 
ers, all stop, and tdrn, and stare. After the procession, and dis- 
tributing ribbons and cakes to the parishioners, we divided into 
two parties for dinner ; all passed with much decorum and cour- 
tesy, and nothinff happened that made me sorry 1 was among 
them. This little parochial farce is acted annually on Ascen- 
sion-day. I am afraid my overture is very dull, but if you could 
suppose it the translation of a fragment dug out of Herculaneum, 
giving an account of some custom that obtained (mutatis mutan- 
dis) in ancient Rome, then both the ears of your classical atten- 
tion would doubtless be nailed to the subject. 

Do not wonder that I prize your letters. Besides the merit 
which friendship puts on them, as being yours, you always send 
me something I should value from a stranger. Some thoughts in 
your last I shall be the better for, if it be not my own fault. How 
wonderful is that tincture, that inexpressible something, which 
gives your j^entiroents, when you speak of yourself, so gloomy a 
cast, while, in all other respects, it leaves your faculties in full 
bloom and vigour ! How strange that your judgment should be 
clouded in one point only, and that a point so obvious and stri- 
kingly clear to every body who knows you 1 How strange that 
a person who considers the earth, the planets, and the sun itself 
as mere bawbles, compared with the friendship and favour of 
God their Maker, should think the God who inspired him with 
such an idea, could ever forsake and cast off the soul which he 
has taught to love him ! How strange is it, I say, that ^ou should 
hold tenaciously both parts of a contradiction ! Though your 
comforts have been so long suspended, I know not that I ever saw 
you for a single day since your calamity came upon you, in 
which I could not perceive as clear and satisfactory evidence that 
the grace of God was with you, as I could in your brighter and 
happier times. In the midst of all the little amusements, which 
you call trifling, and which I would be very thankful you can at- 
tend to, in your present circumstances, it is as easy to see who 
has your heart, and which way your desires tend, as to see your 
shadow when you stand in the sun* 



334 TO •*•*. [Let. 8. 



I shall enlarge my commission for filling the franks and par- 
cels which I hope to receive from you. I have a little baCk par- 
lour, which bears the name of my study. It is at present much 
unfurnished, and I must beg you therefore to send me a few moun- 
tains and valleys, woods, streams, and ducks, to ornament the 
walls ; in return, I will join my praises to Mrs. **^*'s and your 
own, which, indeed, considering how destitute 1 am of taste and 
virtik, will be but like putting a cypher on the wrong side of a sig- 
nificant figure, which adds a round to the line, but nothing to 
the sum. But let the great boast of their Raphaels and their 
Titians, it shall sufiice for me if I may describe on the pieces id 
my study, ****iWfwrtV. * 

My bandage is taken off, and my arm almost in statu quo. I 
wish to be thankful to Him who maketh sore, and biadeth np, 
who woundeth, and his hands make whole. 
Accept our best love, and believe me to be, 

Most aflectfonately yours. 



LETTER VIII. 

Charles Square^ Hoxton^ June 3, 17S0. 
Mt Dear Friend, 

On Monday we went to Greenwich, and returned to-da^. 
time enough to preach my monthly preparation sermon in the 
forenoon. The visit was as pleasant as a kind reception could 
make it ; but there is a something necessary to make one *^ To- 
tus teres et rotundus'' in our proposed schemes for pleasure, 
which it is not in the creature's power to supply. However, 1 
had much to be thankful for, and particularly that Mrs. **** was 
well at the time. Two very agreeable hours I spent solus in the 
park, a situation which I think is hardly to be equalled upon the 
earth. Rural prospects equally striking, or more so^ may be 
found in abundance ; but the embellishments of such a city, at a 
distance so convenient to the eye, and of such a river with the 
navigation, are local advantages peculiar to the spot. Were I to 
traverse the park daily, perhaps when familiarized to the objects, 
the effects would not be so great. But I believe twenty yi^rs or 
more have passed since I was there, and therefore all appeared 
to me in a manner new. The cloud of smoke hanging over Lon- 
don, tq which every house contributed iu quota, led me to moc- 



Let 8.3 Tp ••^- 335 

alise. I thoaght it an emblem of the accumulated stock of mise- 
ry, arising from the trials and afflictions of individuals within my 
view. I am persuaded a detail of these, were our minds capable 
of receiving it, would have the effect of the cave of Trophonius, 
and give such a solidity to our features, that no occasional inci- 
dent, however jocular, would move our laughter, or even extort 
a smile. A person would hazzard his reputation for humanity, 
who was disposed to be merry among the lunatics in Bethlehem, 
or in the midst of a group of agonizing sufferers in Bartholo- 
mew's Hospital, or a field of battle. .And what is the world at 
large, but a more extensive and diversified scene of wretchedness, 
where phrensy and despair, anxiety, pain, want, and death, have 
their respective wards filled with patients } I thought it likewise 
an emblem of that cloud of sin which is continually accending 
witii a mighty cry in the ears of the Lord of hosts. Sin over- 
spreads the earth ; but in London the number and impunity of 
offenders, joined with the infidelity and dissipation of the times, 
make it a kind of hot-bed or nursery for wickedness. Sin is studi- 
ed as a science, and there aiy professors and inventors of evil 
things, in a variety of branches, who have an anhappy address in 
teaching others to sin with an edat Could we have knowledge 
of the monstrous enormities and villaoies which are committed in a 
single day, within the compass of the prospect I had from Green- 
wich Park, or Bkckbeath, it would make us groan and tremble. 
Such were a part of my meditations, accompanied with some de- 
gree of praise to Him who snatched me from that st^e, wherein I 
stood an AntisigTumus in iniquity, and brought me to a knowledge 
of salvation and peace. 

I was rather alarmed yesterday. The Protestant Association, 
under the influence of Lord George Gordon, met in St. George's 
Fields, and from thence paraded through the city to Westminster, 
joined and accompanied in their march by many thousands of 
the blackguards from all quarters ; they walked, however, with 
great decency and quietness ; how they behaved in the avenues to 
the Parliament-house, and what weight their petition acquired 
from snch a respectable attendance, I have not yet heard. Bu| 
I believe things went on pretty well considering the multitude as- 
sembled. However, I do not much like these motions and com- 
motions, and my forboding sp|pt fancies no small resemblance 
between the present appearances and those which were foreran- 
oers of the civil wars. 

1 am your very affix^tionate and endeared friend. 

And obliged servant* 



EIGHTEEN LETTERS 

TO 

THE REV. MR. 8*-^***. 



LETTER I. 

Kovtfnbtr 27, 1767- 
Mt Deab Frieni), 

I CONGRATULATE yoQ and Mrs. **** OQ your setdement at 

B , in your new bouse, where I hope the Lord will dwell 

vith and bless you both, and make you blessings to many. 

Visits, &c. of ceremony are burdensome ; yet something is due 
to civility ; and, though we cannq( have equal comfort in all our 
acquaintance, it is best to be on peaceful and neighbourly terms. 
You need not have much of it, but so far as it cannot be prudently 
avoided, bear it as your cross. 1 would not wish to have yon 
attempt to force spiritual things too much upon those who do not 
like them ; or to expect them from those who have not experien- 
ced them. But, like a physician among sick people, watch op- 
portunities of doing them good if possible. 

Ton know not what the Lord has to do ; some whom you now 
can hardly bear, may prove your comforts hereafter ; and if in 
the meantime they are disposed to be friendly, and show you good 
offices, they have a right to a return in the same way. 

I approve and rejoice in your faithfulness, but in some things, 
perhaps, you would do as well to keep your mind more to your- 
self ; I mean in your free and unreserved speaking of ministers, 
&c. Our Lord's direction to his disciples, in something of a sim- 
ilar case, was. Let them alone. So far as it is needful to with- 
stand them, do so in the Lord's strength ; but in mixed conversa- 
tion, it is a good rule. to say nothing, without a just call, to the 
disadvantage of others. I must agree with Mr. B****, that such 
expressions as, drowsy Dissenter^ are as well avoided in public 
prayer, being more likely to give ofience than to do good. And 
I thought some few things you said at Mr. W****'s- might as well 
have been spared, considering the spirit of some of your hearers. 
I endeavour to bear a testimony against every thing wrong, but 
asinprofessorsy without distinguishing between church and meet- 
ing ; for, alas ! the best of us have cause for humiliation. My 



Let. ^.] TO THE REV. MR. g****. 337 

jadgment of many persons and things agrees wiih yours ; but I 
have seen there is good sense in the old proverb, " Least said, 
soonest mended." We are sometimes mistaken in our spirits^ 
and though it becomes us to be plain and open upon proper oc- 
casions, it is not pur duty to be very busy in disturbing a nest of 
hornets. I was once in a large company where very severe things 
were spoken ofMr. W****, when one person seasonably observ- 
ed, that though the Lord was pleased to effect conversion and 
edification by a variety of means, he had never known any body 
convinced of error by what was said ^ef hira behind his back. 
This was about thirteen years ago, and it has been on my mind as 
a useful bint ever since. 

Believe me to be a/Tectionateiy jours. 



LETTER II. 

Ji*Zy 15, 1768. 
My Dear Friend, 

I WA9 glad to hear that you and Mrs. S**** were again safe- 
ly restored to each other, and that the Lord had freed you from 
your -complaint. No doubt it was far from pleasing to be so 
straitened at R . But to be made in a measure, submis- 
sive to the Lord's will, to appear io a disadvantage at those times 
and places when, perhaps, we should particularly desire to do 
our best ; I say,, to be content to appear weak and poor, from a 
real sense of our weakness. and poverty in bis sight, to see his 
wisdom and love in appointing us such bumbling dispensations, 
and to submit to them, is a nobler attainment than to be able to 
speak with the tongue of wi angel. The Lord, who opened the 
mouth of Balaam's ass, could, if he had pleased, have enabled it 
to have preached a sermoe an hour long, and with as much 
method and accuracy as the most learned in academies or univer- 
sities. Speaking is but a gift, and if he is pleased sometimes to 
•iopen our mouths freely, we know not but a wicked man might 
«qual or exceed us. But grace is the peculiar blessing which be 
Jbestows upon his dear children, and upon tbem only. Your 
streams may sometin^es run low, but only when he sees it good 
and necessary } at other times you shall be as if you were taking 
water from Ezekiel's river. However, rejoice in this, that th^ 
fountain is yours, and nothinfi^ can cut you off from it. 

1 am a#ectiQnately yourjs. 
Vol. 1\. ^3 



33& TO THE BEV. MB. 8****. [Let. SL 

LETTER m. 

September 30, 1768. 
My Pear Friend, 

This has been ft sort of busy week ; but seldom have I fdt 
more oufit to teach others, or more uoGt to preach to my owb 
heart. O, these outside services are wearisome things, when the 
Lord leaves us to feel our own hardness and emptiness ! But I 
would learn to glory in my infirmities^ that the power of Christ 
may rest upon me. As to myself, though I have cause enough to 
be hiimbled, I have none to be cast down, if my righteousness is 
in heaven. And as to my ministry, I ought to desire it may ap« 
pear, that the excellency of the power is of God, and that thert 
19 nothing in me but weakness. 

Dust and ashes is my name, 
My all is MR and niiseiy. 

So we say, so we believe, and yet we would fain go forth as if we 
Nnrere wise and good. The Lord help us to discover self in all 
Its various windings, to resist it by the sword of the Spirit, as we 
would the devil, for surely it is his great engine. It would be a 
fine thing to have the knowledge of Paul and the eloquence of 
Apollos united in our dear persons ; so that we might be the tip- 
top characters in the foolish dispute among professors. Who is the 
best preacher P But I can tell you a finer thing, and more with- 
in our reach, because it is what the Lord invites even the mean- 
est of the flock to seek for ; I mean the character to which the 
promise is made, Isa. Mi. l5. Let the discourses of others be 
admired for ingenuity, learning, or pathos, but may we be ambi- 
tious that ours may savour of a broken and contrite spirit ; then 
shall we be best able to commend a precious Saviour, and then we 
may warrantably hope the Lord will not sufier us to speak in vaio. 
I am afiectionately yours, in the best bonds^ 



LETTER IV. 

February 11, 1769. 
Dear Sir, / 

I CANNOT agree with your friends, or with Witsius, respect- 
ing the degrees in glory. Perhaps we are not capable of stating 
the question properly in this dark world. I see no force in the 
Stfgument drawn from 1 Cor. xv. 40, 41 n or rather, that does not 



LeU 4.] TO THE BEV* MR. S****. 9Si 

appear to mc the sense of the passage, or that the apostle had 
any respect to degrees of glory. The text in Matt, xix* 28 may 
be compared with Rev. iiu 21. However, admitting such de« 
grees, perhaps they will not be distributed (according to human 
expectation) to such as have been most employed in active life, 
Matt. X. 41. As wickedness is rated by the judgment of God, not 
according to the number of outward acts, but by what the heart 
would do, had opportunity offered Matt. v. 28 ; so the Lord will 
graciously accept the desires of his people, and they shall in no 
wise lose their reward, because his providence ha« appointed them 
a narrower sphere. 

One man like Mr. Whitfield is raised up to preach the Gospel 
with success through a considerable part of the earth ; another is 
called to the humbler service of sweeping the streets, or cleaning 
this great minister's shoes. Now, if the latter is thankful and con? 
tent in his poor station, if he can look without envy, yea, with 
much love, on the man that is honoured ; If he can rejoice in the 
good that is done, or pray for the success of those whom the Lo^xl 
Bends, 1 see not why he may not be as great a man in the sight of 
God, as he who is followed and admired by thousands. 

Upon a supposition of degrees of glory, 1 should think it pro- 
bable the best Christian will have the highest place. And 1 am 
inclined to think, that if you and 1 were to travel in search of the 
best Christian in the land, or were qualified to distinguish who de- 
served the title, it is more than two to one we should not find the 
person in a pulpit, or any public office of life ; perhaps some old 
woman at her wheel, or some bed-rid person, hid from the know- 
ledge of the world, in a mud-walled cottage, would strike our at- 
tention more than any of the doctors or reverends with whom we 
are acquainted. Let us not measure men, 'much less ourselves, 
by gifts or services. One grain of grace is worth abundance of 
gifts. To be self-abased ; to be filled with a spirit of love, and 

Eeace, and gendeness ; to be dead to the world ; to have the 
eart deeply affected with a sense of the glory and grace of Jesus ; 
to have our will bowed to'the wiU of God ; these are the great 
things, more valuable, if compared in the balance of the sanctuary, 
than to be an instrument of converting a province, or a- nation : 
see 1 Cor. xiii. 1 — 3. in a word, I should think, from Luke, vPi. 
47, that those who love most will be most happy ; that those who 
have most forgiven, will love most. And as, in the present life, 
«very believer thinks himself a peculiar instance of mercy, and 
i^ees his sins in a pecu^ar light of aggravation, I apprehend it to 
be so hereafter. The sin of nature is equal in all ; and so I think 
would actual sin be likewise, but for the differences made by the 
restraining grace and providence of Qod. He is not, perhaps, in 
the sight of God, the greatest sinner, who has committed the mosl 



^40 TO THE REV. MR. S****. [Let. 4* 

notorious acts of sin in the sight of man. We should not judge 
one wolf to be fiercer than another because he had opportunity of 
devouring more sheep. Any other wolf would have done the same, 
in the same circumstances. So in sin. So (think I) in grace. 
The Lord^s people, every one of them, would be glad to do him 
as much sA'vice, and to yield him as much honour, as any of the 
number have attained to. But he divides severally, to one 60, to 
one 30, to one 100, as he pleases ; but they are all accepted in 
the same righteousness ; equally united to Jesus, and, as to the 
^6od works on which a supposed difference is afterwards to be 
founded, I apprehend those that have most, will gladly do by 
them as Paul did by his legal righteousness, count them loss and 
dung for the excellency of Christ Jesus the Lord ; Mattj xxv. 37. 
But it may be said, is then nothing to be expected for so manv tri- 
als and sufferings as some ministers are called to for the sake of 
the Gospel ? In my judgment, he that does not find a reward ia 
being excited, supported, enabled by the Holy Spirit of God in 
the work of the Gospel ; who does not think, that to have multi- 
plied labours owned to the conversion even of a few souls, is a 
great reward ; who does not account the ministry of the Gospel, 
with grace to be faithful in the discharge of it, a reward and hon- 
our in itself sufficient to overbalance aH the difficulties it may ex- 
pose him to ; whoever, I say, does not thus think ef the service of 
Jesus in the Gospel, has some reason to question his risht to the 
lowest degree of glory, or, at least, has little right to look for emi- 
nence in glory, even though he should preach with as much power 
and acceptance, and in the midst of as many hardships, as St. 
Paul did. 

You will hardly think, by my letter, that I am straitened for 
time at present, yet this, indeed, is the case ; but I have dropped 
into a gossip witn you insensibly. I am glad the Lord has visited 
you and comforted you of late. Think it not strange if such sea- 
sons are followed by temptations and darkness. St. Paul was in 
danger of being exalted above measure ; and you know the means 
the Lrord employed to preserve him. You are no better than he ; 
and need not desire to be more graciously dealt with. His grace 
shall be sufficient for you. As to every thing else, submit your- 
Jfdf to hin>. 

I am yours. &c- 



I^t. 5.] TO THE REV. MR* S»««, ^41 

LETTER V. 

July 7^1170. 
My Dear Friend, 

I RECEIVED your piteous, doleful letter ; I hope it is needless 
now to attempt to comfort you, and that this will find Satan cast 
out and the man restored to his right miod, fitting at the feet of 
Jesus. I pity you that you have so manv conflicts ; yet I rejoice 
with you, because I know the Lord intends you good by these tos- 
sings, and will thereby keep you humble and.dependent. Is it not 
better to be sifted and shaken, than to be left to fall in such snares 
as some have been taken in, whom . you have accounted better 
than yourself ? But why are you so ready to throw down your 
shiela, and to talk of running away from the battle 2 He that har- 
rasses you'while you hold the Gospel plough, would be presently 
with yon if you were ploughing in the neld. Nor can any change, 
of circumstances put you out of his reach, unless you could teli 
how to run away from yourself. 

It is said, ^' Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the 
corn.^' I am sure the Lord has not muzzled you : how is it then, 
thdiX while you set forth a free salvation to others, you do not feed 
upon it yourself ; but contradict your own preaching, and reason 
and complain, as though you had found out that the blood of Jesus 
Christ cannot cleanse from all sin ; or, as though the Lord were 
as changeable as you are ? I know you ai*e a staunch Calvinis^t in 
your judgment, or I should think you an Arminian by some of 
your complaints. 

When the enemy would tempt you to murmur about a provis- 
ion, tell him that he knows (for he walks to and fro the earth) that, 
taking the kingdom round, there is not one minister of the Gospel 
in ten, so well provided for as you. And if so, you may ask him, 
if you have not much more cause for thankfulness than murmur- 
ing. What you have, the Lord has given you ; and if he sees that 
is too little, he will moreover give you such and such things ; 3 
Sam. xii. 8. But then it must be in his way and time, and not in 
your own. How can you teach others to live a life of feith, except 
you learn, by daily experience, to live it yourself ? And the life of 
faith is maintained, not by bags and coffers, but by pleading the 
promises in prayer, when we have nothing else to look to. 

As to the success of your ministry, it is no part of your conceni) 
further than to make it matter of prayer. Faithfulness and dili- 
gence is our part ; the rest is the Lord's. I suppose you arc quite 

as acceptable in B as Jeremiah was in Jerusalem ; and 

probably see more to encourage you in your hearers, than he ||id 
in his. He was not very popular, but he was plain and honest ; 



34^ TO Ta£ REV. MB. smhhi. [Let. 6. 

and ifnot owned lo save the souls of others, he delivered his own. 
And after all, the Lord did just as much by him as he purposed 
before he called him ; and he did not a tittle more than he had 
purposed beforehand, bv the preaching of St. Paul. 

But it seems you think other people preach better than you. I 
hope you will always think so ; if you should be mistaken, it is a 
fault on the right side* But other people think so too. I am not 
so sure of that ; but if they do, it is perhaps to chastise you for 
your unbelieving fears. If you have a mind to outdoyourself, and 
to outdo us all, 1 will give you a receipt — Believe. The more you 
believe, the better you will preach. If the ministers they com- 
mend are faithful, simple preachers of the truth, depend upon it, 
the more your people like them, the more they will like you. I 
believe you are as free from a fear of being outshone by others as 
most men ; but there is some of this leaven in all our hearts ; let 
us watch and pray against it, and heartily wish and pray, that all 
who preach Jesus, may do it with more power and success than we 
can ourselves. We «hall not be the poorer for their riches ; but 
our Lord and theirs will take it well of us : and if he sees us sim- 
ply content to take the lowest place, he will raise us up higher, for 
It is a standing law in his kingaooi, that he that humbleth himself 
shall be exalted. 

I have touched on all your complaints, and brought myself to 
the end of my paper. Notwithstanding what I have written, 1 
could fill a sheet with sorrowful stories in my turn ; but " The 
Lord is good.^' 

I am affectionately yours. 



LETTER Vf. 

My Dear Friend, 

I MIGHT defer answering your last till I see you ; yet because 
I love you, I will write. I apprehend your mind is darkened with 
temptation, for your views of the Gpspel, when you preach, are 
certainly clearer than your letter expresses. You may think you 
distinguish between evidences and conditions, but the heart is de- 
ceitful, and often beguiles our judgment, when we are judging con- 
cerning ourselves. 

You say, *' I hope it is my desire to cast myself upon the free 
promise in Jesus Christ ; but this alone dees not give assurance 
of my personal interest in his blood." I ask. Why not ? Because 

?ou lean to conditions, and do not think yourself good enough* 
t appears to me, that if I cast myself upon his promise, and if hie 
promise is true, I must undoubtedly be interested in his full re* 



Let. 6.] TO THE BET. MR. S«hum. 3491 

demption ; for he has said, *^ Him that cometh I will in no wis& 
cast out.'^ If you can find a case or3i|rcumstance which the words 
in no wise will not include, then you may despond. 

It is certainly a delusion to imagine one's self of the number of 
Elect without scriptural evidence. But have you not that evi« 
dence ? I think, as the sayine is, you cannot see the wood for 
trees. You tell me what evidences you want, namely, spiritual 
experiences, inward holiness, earnest endeavours. All this I may 
allow in a right sense ; but in judging on*these grounds, it is com"* 
mon and easy in a dark hour to turn the Gospel into a covenant 
of works. But lake it your own way. If a fear of being deceiv- 
ed, a mourning under a sense of vileness,a hungering and thirsting 
after righteousness, a sense of the evil and danger of sin, a persua- 
sion of the preciousness and suitablent^ss of Christ in his offices, 
&c. ; if these are not spiritual experiences, I know not what are. 
And will you dare deny that God has given you these ? As to in- 
ward holiness, when we meet, you shalidefine, if you please, what 
you mean by it. The holiness of a sinner seems principally to 
consist in self-abasement, and in admiring views of Jesus as a com- 
plete Saviour — these are the main principles from whence every 
gracious fruit is derived. In proportion a& we have these, wo 
shall be humble, meek, patient, weaned from the world, and devo- 
ted to God. But if you will look for a holiness that shall leave na 
room for the workings of corruption and temptation, you look for- 
what God has no where promised, and for what is utterly inconsist- 
ent with our present state. If you say, you must doubtless expect 
to feel evil in your heart, but that you are discouraged by feeling 
so much ; I ask, further, if you can find, from the word of Goo^ 
how much a holy person may feel ? Fo^ my own^ part, 1 believe 
the most holy people feel the most eviU Indeed, when faith is 
strong and in exercise, sin will not much breakout to the observa- 
tion of others ; but it cuts them out work enough within. Indeed,, 
my friend, you will not be steadily comfortable till you leani ta 
derive your comforts from a simple apprehension of the person, 
work, and offices of Christ. He is made unto us of God, not only 
righteousness, but sanctification also. One direct appropriating^ 
act of faith in him, will strengthen you more'tban all the earnest 
endeavours you speak of. Evidences, as you call them, are of 
use in their place ; but the best evidence of faith i^ the shutting 
our eyes equally vpon our defects and our graces, and looking 
directly to Jesus as clothed with authority and power to save to 
the very uttermost. Sp you preach to others — so you deal with 
exercised consciences ; why not preach so to yourself ? Will you 
point out a ground for their hopes upon which you are afraid to 
venture your own ? Has He not kept you sound in the faith in 
wavering times ? does he not preserve y^u^ unspotted from th^* 



iM4 TO THE EKr. MB. s»^, [Let. 7. 

world ? does he not enable . and own you in your ministry ? has 
he not often refreshed you with his consolations ? Do you not tell 
others, that the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin f Why th«Q 
do you give way to doubts and fears ? I would have yon hnmbled 
before the Lord for your unworthiness. In this I wish I was more 
like you ; but rejoice in Christ Jesus, and resist every temptation 
to doubt your interest in his love, as you would resist a tempta- 
tion to £idnlteryor mui^er. Plead the apostle's argument Rom« 
viii. 31 — 38, before the Lord and against Satan, and do not dis- 
honour Christ so as toimaghie he will disappoint the desire which 
no power but his could implant in your heart. 

Yours in the best bonds, &c. 



LETTER Vn. 

Mt Dear Friend, 

1 SHALL be glad to hear that you and Mrs. **^* are in 
health, and that your souls prosper. Mine was dull and languid 
when with you, and has been too much so ever since. But I trust 
the Lord, the good Shepherd, wilf lead me safely through this 
wilderness, and bring me at last to see him in his kingdom. I 
-am weary of living at such a distance, yet cannot quicken myself. 
Pray for me and roine^ that we may be favoured with a season of 
refreshment. I have every thing else ; but the want of more live- 
ly and abiding communion with him, makes my chariot wheels 
move heavily. 

To him I owe my wealth and friends 
r And health, and safe abode; 
Thanks to his name for meaner thiffgs, 
Bur these are not my God. 

Y find vanity engraven, in capital letters, on myself and every- 
thing around me ; and, while encompassed with mercies, and so 
thoroughly satisfied with my outward condition that I could hard- 
ly wisii a single circumstance altered, I feel emptiness, and groan, 
being burdened. If you think, by my writing in this strain, that 
I am very spiritual, you will be greatly mistaken. But I can 
say, I wish to be so. 

My preaching seems, in some respects, contrary to my experi- 
ence. The two points on which I most largely insist, are, the 
glories of the Redeemer, and the happiness of a life of communion 
with God. I can often find something to say on these subjects in 
the pulpit 5 but at some other times, my thoughts of Jesus are so 



{jet. @.] TO Tfiifi REV. M^. »»»^«, 845 

low, disjointedy and interrupted, that it seems as if I knew nothing 
of him but by th^ hearing of the ear. And answerable to this is 
the sensible communion I have with him. Alas ! how faint, how 
unfrequeut ! I approach the throne of grace encumbered with a 
thousand distractions of thought, each of which seems to engage 
more of my attention than the business I have in hand. 

Tq complete the riddle, I would add, that, notwithstanding all 
these complaints, which seem great enough to forbid my hope, to 
plunge me in despair, I have peace at bottom. I see, I know, I 
caunot deny, that he is all-sufficient ; can, and does pity and help 
me, unworthy as I am; and though I seldom enjoy a glimpse of 
sunshine, yet I am not wholly in the dark. My heart is vile, and 
even my prayers are sin ; I wish I could mourn more, but the 
Lord /brbid I should sorrow as those tliat have no hope. He is 
able to save to the uttermost. His blood speaks louder than all 
ray evils. My sonl is very sick, but my physiciap is infaUiblis* 
He never turns out any as incurable of whom he has once taken 
ibe charge. That would be equally to the dishonour of his skill 
and bis compassion. Had he been willing I should perish, he 
would not have wrought a miracle (for I account it no less) to 
save me from sinking into the great deep, when he first put it in my 
lieart to cry to him for merc^. And, O what astonishing good- 
ness has fpllowed me from that day to this ! Help me to praise 
him ; and may he help you to proclaim the glory of his ^Ivation^ 
and to rejoice in it yourself. 

I 9jn affectionately yours. 



LETTER VIII. 

December 6, 1773, 
]Ay Dear Sik, 

I LONG for you to learn to distinguish betiween what are pro# 
perly the effects of a nature miserablv depraved, and which shows 
itself in the heart of every child of Gbdj and the effects of Satan's 
immediate temptations. Wha^^u complain of are fiery darts, 
but you cannot be properly said to shoot them at yourself; they 
«ome firom an enemy, and the' shield of faith is given you, that 
you may qnencti tbem ; why then are you so ready to throw it 
away f You seem to think yourself better at one time than at an- 
other ; now I believe that we, as in and of ourselves, nre slU 
ways alike. Look at the s^ea ; sometimes it rages and tosses its 
waves^ at another time it is calm and smooth. But the natnre of 
|he sea is not cb^ged : i( is not growa inore gt^ntle in lAelf tban 



346 TO THE BEv. HR. s«*«*. [Let. 91. 

h was before ; wait but till the next storm, and yoa will see it rage 
again a:^ much as ever. Our unrenewed part is as antameable as 
Ibe sea. When temptations are at a distance, or the Lord is pre^^ 
sent, It may lie quiet, but it is always deceitful, and desperately 
wicked. Ur like a lion, which may be sometimes awake, some- 
times asleep ; but whether asleep or awake, it is a lion still, and a 
Klile matter wilh rouse it from its slumber, and set it roaring; 
though, while sleeping, it may seem as harmless as a cat. 

If we cotrTc^ muse less upon ourselves, and meditate more upon 
ihe Lord Jesus, we should do better. He likewise is always the 
same : as near and as gracious in the storm as in the calm. Yea, 
he expresses a peculiar care of those who are tempted', tossed; and 
not comforted. Though you are sore thrust at that you may 
fell. Fie will be your stay. But I wish yon could more readily 
rest upon his word, and rejoice in his righteousness, even in thct 
anly. 

Believe roe to be. 

Sincerely and* affectionately, J^our?.. 



LETTER IX; 

October 22, HIS.. 
Mr Dear Friend, 

If the lives of the two Henrys; and of other good men, were 
written by inspired men, you would not be so much discouraged at 
Heading them. Depend upon it, they saw as much reason to be 
ashaoied of themselves as we do. To us they appear in their Bet^ 
ter clothes, and we are told more of what the Lord wrought for 
them, than of the effects of indwelling sin under which they groan- 
ed. If I should outlive you, and I should have a call to write 

the life of the Rev. Mr. ****, of , I should perhaps find 

more to say in your favour thanr you are aware of; and if you 
would have the darker side Known, as well as the Mghtdr, you 
must write it yourselC ^^ 

I^am glad Mr. **** preacbfr among you, there are some 

Joints on which we must exercise mutual forbearance. I have 
eard him speak sometimes as if be considered assurance to per- 
tain to the essence of faith. Yet t db not think he would wil- 
lingly discourage a weak believer; He is a frank, booest roaOy 
and I am persuaded would not Have been offended, if you bad 
hinted to him in conversatioor any thing in which you seemed 
to differ; and perhaps, were tie to explain himself, the differenoBL* 
would not appear to be great. 



\JkU IG.] TO *rH£ MXiV, MR. 8»<<Mw 34V 

i hope yoti are both well reconciled to the death of your child. 
Indeed^ I cannot be sorry for the deatli of truants. How many 
storms do they escape ! J^r can I doubt, in my private judgment, 
that they are included in the election of grace. Perhaps those 
who die in infancy are the exceeding great multitude of all people, 
nations, and languages mentioned, Rev. vii. 9. in distinction from 
the visible body of professing believers, who were marked in thdr 
foreheads, and Qpenly known to be the Lord's. But I check my* 
self, and would not indulge opinions about points not clearly and 
certainly revealed. 

I am, skicerely, 

Your affectionate friend and brother* 



, LETTER X. 

June 44, l'?74. 
JSIy Dear Friend, 

I RETURNED homc in saiety, under that invisible and gra- 
cious protection to wVicli we are always equally indebted, whether 
at borne or abroad, and which had preserved all in peace during 
4ny absence. Many, undoubtedly, who led their houses on the 

-day I went to , will never return to them again alive; and 

.probably many who left their families in peace, have found, or 
will find when they come back, that some unexpected calamity 
has quite prevented the pleasure they proposed in seeing their 
habitation again. To live as I. have long done, fi'om year to 
year exempted from tiie distresses with which the world is filled ; 
to see so many falling and suffering around, yet I and mine pre- 
served ; sickness and deatb marching a*bout and filling almost 
every house witb groans, and yet not permitted to knock at our 
door ; this is a mercy for wbich 1 am not sufficiently thankful. 
Ifideed, ingratiljirde and insensibility towards the Lord, ate evils 
which I may ^bhor mjself for ; and did t act in tfa^ like unfeeling, 
stupid spirit towards my fellon'^creatures, they would soon be 
weary of me. But he is God yid not man! I often call upon 
my heai*t, and charge it not to forget his benefits': but there is so 
much slon)* and lead in its composition, that I Can tiidke little im*^ 
pression upon it. Melt it, O Lord, with the fire of thy love ! 

Though I Was very glad 4o see you and our friends at your 
4iouse, I was not pleased wifli myself when there. Particularly, 
{ was sorry I gave way to the discourse about Baptism, which, as 
"we all seemed well persuaded in our own minds, was little better 
tfiati idle talk. When tea was almost over^ it occurred to melioir 



348 t6 THE ILEir. Mm. ^MHi*. [Let^ 1 1 . 

easily I might have turaed it to a moi^ profitable subject ; but 
then it was too late. Methinks it did not require much study to 
find out that we were but poorly employed. Perhaps I maybe wiser 
hereafter ; but one word draws on another so strangely, that we 
are liable to be entangled before we arc aware, for Mr. Self loves 
. to speak last. 

I thought of you yesterday. I hope you had a pfeasant visit. 
I should have been glad to have been with you ; I love that 
house. 'I*here seems to be no leisure in it to talk about persons 
or opinions. The inquiry there is concerning Jesus ; bow to 
love him more; and serve him better ; how to derive from him, 
and render to him. If this is to be a Moravian^ 1 do not wonder 
they are reproached and scorned. Where the spirit of the Gos- 
pel is, there the cross will be. But as I am acquainted only with 
two families^ I cannot say how it is with the rest ; but why should 
I not hope they are all in the same way ; if they have dotwith-' 
standing, some little peculiarities, I apprehend very few of those 
societies which are ready to censure them, can exceed them in the 
real fruits of the Spirit. 

I am your sincerely affectidnatei 



LE-fTER XI. 

September — , 1774. 
Mt Dear FeienI), 

YduA judgment in the Gdspel is sound ; but there is a legal 
sdmething in ytiur experience, which perplexes you. You are ca- 
pable of advising others ; I wish you could apply more efiectually 
what you preach to yourself, and distinguish in your own case be- 
tween a cause of humiliation and a reason of distress. You can- 
not be too sensible of the inward and inbred evils you complain of) 
but you may be, yea^ you are, improperly affected by them. You 
say you find it hard to believe it compatible with the divine purity 
to embrace *r employ such a monster as yourself. You express 
not only a low opinion of yourself which is right, but too low an 
Opinion of the person, work^ and promises of the Redeemer; 
which is certainly wrong. And it seems, too, that though the to- 
tal, absolute depravity of human nature is a fundameiltal article 
in your creed, vou do not experimentally take up that doctrine, in 
the length, and breadth, and depth of it, as it lies in the word of 
God. Or else, why are you continually disappointed and sur- 
prised that in and out of yourself you find nothing but evil f A 
man with two broken legs will hardly wonder that he is not Mcy 



Let. 12.] Tb i'aE kev. Mft. s**»*. 349 

to ruDi or even to stand. Tour complaints seem to go upon the 
sapposition, that though you have nothing good of your own, you 
ought to have ; and most certainly you ought if you were under 
the law ; but the Gospel is provided for the helpless and tlie 
worthless. You do not wonder that it is cold in winter, or dark 
Xki midnight. All depends upon the sun ; just so the exercise of 
grace depends upon the San of Righteousness. When he with- 
draws, we iiod ourselves very bad indeed, but no Worse in our- 
selves than the Scriptures declare us to be. If, indeed, the divine 
rectitude and puritv accepts and employs you, it is not for your 
own sake, nor could it be, were you ten thousand times better than 
you are. You have not, you cannot have, any thing in the sight 
of God, but what you derive from the righteousness and atonement 
of Jesus. If you could keep Him more constantly in view, you 
would be more comfortable. He would be more honoured. Sa- 
tan transforms himself into an angel of light. He sometimes 
offers to teach us humility ; but though I wish to be humble, I 
desire not to learn in bis school. His {^remises perhaps are true, 
That we are vile, wretched creatures : — but then he draws abom- 
inable conclusions from them ; and would teach us that, there- 
fore, we ought to question either the power, or the willingness, or 
the faithfulness of Christ. Indeed, though our complaints are 
good, so far as they spring from a dislike of sin ; yet when we 
come to examine them closely, there is often so much self-will, 
self-righteousness, unbelief, pride and impatience, mingled with 
them, that they are little better than the Worst evils we can com- 
plain of. 

We join in love to you both. Let us pray that we ma}' be en- 
abled to follow the apostle's or rather t.he Lord's command by 
him, Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice. We 
have little to rejoice in ourselves^ but we have right and reason to 
rejoice in Him. 

I am, for his sake, sincerely yours^ 



LETTER XIL 



February 11, 1777. 



Mt Dear FaiENi), 

The words, " for them," Isa. xxxv. 1. had better have been 
omitted, ^or they have no business with the text, and only perplex 
the sense. This is the judgment of the best commentators. But 
if retained, the best meaning is, that when the power of Edom is 
destroyed, the places which before were desolate and barren^ 



350 XO THE BET. UR. S**^ (liet. 1^ 

shall rejoice 4>ver them ; to the destruction of the one, the glory of 
the other shall siTCceed. 

The whole chapter is chiefly a pastoral description of the bless- 
edjchaiige which the Gospel shall effect ; as if a dry wilderness 
shall be changed into a well-watered and frvitftil country. There 
is no deed to seek a particular and express meaning of the words 
^* reeds and rushes ;^' they only enliven the description and con- 
trast. Dry sandy deserts ^as in Africa) are Che haunt or habita*- 
tion of serpents or dragons. Bnt such an alteration shall ensue, 
that instead of dry places, there shall be rivers and pools ; water 
not merely to refresh the grass, but in great abundance, as in these 
places %vhere reeds and rushes usually grow. • What is often said 
of parables, that they do not go on all-fours, is true of many pro- 
phetical descriptions ; there are circumstances which heighten the 
beauty of the painting ; but if we attempt Co deduce doctrines from 
every such circumstance, we rather enervate the Spirit of the pas- 
sage, than explain it. 

It must be allowed, likewise, that our translation, though in the 
«Dain excellent and faithful, often misses the beauty and clearness 
of the original, owing sometimes to a servile dependence on the 
Masorite pointiog, and sometimes to the translators not attend- 
ing to the genius 4)f the Hebrew poetical language, which is con^ 
siderably diiferent from the prose. ^' In the habitation of dra- 
gons, where each lay^'' the word each makes the passage bald. 
*^ In the places where dragons lay, (or lurked,) shall be grass, 
&c." In die eighth verse, likewise, instead of " but it shall be 
for those," ttie original points out a glorious thought which is 
ifoite lost in the version, because it. follows an improper division 
^f the verse. Dr. Lowth^s later version, which, when read, seems 
to speak for itself, is to this purpose : ^' The unclean shall not 
pass over it ; but he shall walk with tliem iu it, and the fool (or 
the weak) shall not err therein." This is the reason why no lion 
^r unclean thing shall be there, and why the weakest of his people 
«hall not be destroyed or wander ; because he (their Gcd and 
Saviour, verse 4,) shall walk with them, and be their guard and 
guide. 

However, in public preaclung, I meddle as little and as gently 
as possible with these differences. I sometimes intimate that the 
words will bear another sense ; but I should be unwilling to make 
plain people suspect their bibles are not right. But tliere are in- 
numerable places in the prophets which are capable of much clear- 
er translation than what they have at present. Let me add one 
more, Isa, Ixii. 5. Instead of '* So shall thy sons marry thee," it 
should undoubtedly be. So shall thy Maker (or Creator) mar- 
ry thee^ agreeably Xq the following part of the verse. 

Believe me to be affectionately yours. 



Let. ISJ TO T»E M5V. KB. s****. 35*1 

LETTER Xin. 

MarcR 11, 1778. 
My Dear Friend, 

I HOPE Mrs. S****'s cald is better, and the cliildrcn's com- 
plaints on the mending band. What a many careful hours by 
day, and sleepless hours by^ night, have 1 escaped by not being a 
parent 1 It is wellf when they that have children, and they that 
have none, are alike pleased with the Lord's appointment. 

1 had no dread of the Fast-day ; for whether overtures towards- 
peace had fteen proposed or not by Lord N****, I should most, 
certainly not have prayed for havock, but should, both in prayer 
and preaching, have expressed my desires and loBgings for a stopi 
to ttie effusion of blood. But I fear we are not yet come to the 
crisis. The steps now taking would, humanly speaking, have- 
done something awhile ago ; but they are now too late, and, 1 
think, will be rejected. But J know not the Lord's secret wilh.. 
That I am snre willlake place. As to outward appearances and 
the purposes of men, pro and con, I pay Kttle regard to theor. 
Indeed, they are no more stable than the clond^ m a storm, whicU 
Tary tbeir shape every moment. It is enough (or us that the Lord, 
reigns, is carrying on his own cause, and will take care of his. 
own people. The best, the only way in which we can serve 
the public, is by praying for it, and mourning for those sins 
which have given rise to these calamities. Alas i what signr- 
€es one day of humiliation in a year.^ When the day is over,; 
every thing goes on just as it did before. The btisy world,, 
the gay world, and the religious world, are, I suppose, much- 
the same since the fast as they were before ft ; buying, and see- 
ing, eating and drinking, dancing and playing— and the pro- 
fessing sheep biting and tearing each other like wolves ; or else 
Kke decoy-ducks, enticing one another into the world's snares. 
And though I find fault with others, I have enough to look upon 
at home. The Lord pardon them and roe also ! My heart is. 
deceitful and wicked ; ray services poor and polluted, my sins very 
many, and greatly aggravated : so that I should be one of the 
fast to be censorious. And yet I cannot help seeing that the 
profession of many is cold where it should be warm, and only warm- 
in animosity and contention. The Lord help* us ! for wo are im 
u woful ease as a people. 

I am sincerely yoiirs> 






35^ TO THE RET. MR. 9***^. [L^t. 14« 

LETTER XIV. 

September 4, 1778. 
My Dear Friend, 

Welcome from K— -^ . I hope you were the iDStrumem 

i)C much good abroad, and brought home much comfort and peace 
in your own heart. How many are the seen and the unseen mer- 
cies we are favoured with in a long journey ! And what mercy to 
fnid Mrs. S*^*** and your family well on your return, as I hope 
you did ! 

Tl:e same good Providence which has preserved jom and yours, 
has taken care of me and mine. But Mrs. **** has been some- 
times ill; no oftener and no more than we have been able to 
bear, or than the Lord saw was most for our advantage. After 
so many years' experience of his goodness, we surely have reason 
to be convinced that he does all things well. At present, she is 
loierably well. 

We are his sheep ; he is our shepherd. If a sheep had reason, 
and were sensible of its own state, how weak to withstand the 
wolf, how prone in itself to wander, how utterly unable to pro^ 
vide for its own subsistence ; it could have no comfort, unless it 
Icnew that it was under the care of a shepherd ; and in proportion 
to the opinion it formed of the shepherd's watchfulness and suffi- 
ciency, such would be its confidence and peace. But if you could 
suppose the sheep had depravity likewise, then it would act as we 
often do ; its reason would degenerate into vain reasoning, it 
would distrust the shepherd, and find fault with his management« 
It would burden itself with contrivances and cares ; tremble un- 
€\ev the thought of a hard winter, and never be easy unless it was 
surrounded with hay-stacks. It would study, from morning till 
night, where to hide itself out of the wolfs way. Poor, wise, silly 
sheep ! if thou hadst not a shepherd, all thy schemes would b^ 
fruitless ; when thou hast broken thy heart ^vitb care, thott art 
>:till as unable to preserve thyself as thou wast before ; and if thou 
hast a good shepherd, they are all needless. Is it not sufficient 
th«at ho careth for thee? 

Thus I could preach to such a sheep as I have supposed ; and 
thus I try to preach to my own heart. But though I know I can- 
not, by any study k>T mine, add a cubit or an inch to my stature, I 
am prone to puzxle myself about twenty things, which are equally 
out of my power and equally unnecessary, if the Lord be mv 
shepherd. 1 am yours, &c. 



Let. 15.] TO THC REV. MB. s»»*». 35$ 

LETTER XV. 

Kovtmber 4, 1778* 
Mt Dear Friend, 

Mr. **** told me on Satarday, that when he left ^ 

you and two of your children were ill of * the putrid sore throat : 
the next day be sent me word that you were better, but unable 
to preach. I have not had opportunity of writing since ; but 
you have been often on my mind. I hope you will be able to in- 
form me soon, that the Lord has caused his rainbow to appear 
in this dark cloud, and that you and Mrs. ^^^^ found him a pre- 
sent help in time of trouble. The disorder, I know, is very 
alarming, and the event fatal in many instances. It would have 
been no less so to you, if it had received commission to remove yoo 
by a quick passage out of the reach of sin and sorrow ; but I hope 
your work is not yet done ; and if not, I know the most danger- 
ous disease cannot affect your life. Till the Lord's purposes by 
us and concerning us are fulfilled, we are in perfect safety, though 
on a field of battle, or surrounded by the pestilence, i trust you 
will be spared awhile longer to your Ikmily, friends, and people. 
Upon the same grounds, if either of your children should be re- 
inoved, I sh^il not so directly ascribe it to the illness, as to the will 
of God ; for if upon the whole, it be the most for bis glory, and 
best for you, they likewise shall recover. Should be appoint oth- 
erwise, it must be best, because be does it ; and a glance of the 
light of his countenance, the influence of that grace which be has 
prouaised shall be afforded according to our day, will enable you 
to resign them. I do not say it will cost you no pain, but in de^ 
fiance ofthe feelings of flesh and blood, you will, I trust, hold no- 
thing so dear that you have received from bim as to be unwilling 
to return it into bis hands wbea he is pleased to call for it. He 
will help you to remember that you owe htm all ; that your child- 
'reA are not properly your own. He lent them, and every crea- 
tcire comfort you enjoy, and has a right to resume them. We do 
not like to have any thing forced frOm ns which is our own ; but 
it would be dishonest in us to want to keep what we have only 
borrowed, if the right owner demands it. Further, the Lord ig 
not only sovereign, but infinitely wise and good ; and therefore 
it is our interest, as well as our duty, to acquiesce in his appoint- 
ments. Should you be called to the trial, I wish you the same 
supports and the same submission as Mr. **** had wben he part- 
ed with his little one lately ; and as you have the same God, and 
tbe same promises, I hope you will. Thus much upon a suppoM- 
tion this should find you under the rod. But 1 shall be glad to 
Vol. ly. 45 



354 TO THC RET. MR. B****. [Let. 16. 

hear that the merciful Liord has healed both yoa and them, and 
that yon are now feeling the fneaning of Psalm ciii. 1 — ^5. 

Mrs. N"^**)^* has been favoured with a comfortable share of 
health since she was at Bedford ! a little indisposed now and then, 
but slightly and soon better. The many attacks she has bad the 
last two years, have rendered such considerations as I have ofler- 
ed to you familiar to my thoughts ; sometimes I have felt the force 
of them, sometimes they all seem to fail me. For I can do nothing, 
or I can do all things ; just as the Lord is or is not, present with me. 
In my judgment, however, I am satisfied that I have at all times 
great cause for thankfulness, and at no time any just reason to 
complain, for I am a sinner. Believe me to be 

Your very affectionate friend and servant. 



LETTER XVI. 

JVovember 18, 1778. 
Dear Sf&, 

I HAVE observed that most of the advantages which Satan is 
recorded to have gained against the lord's servants, have been 
after great and signal deliverances and favours ; as in the cases 
of Noah, Lot, David, and Hezekiah. And I have found it so 
repeatedly in my own experience. How often, if my history were 
written by an inspired pen, might this proof of the depravity of 
my heart be inserted : '* But John Newton rendered not again 
according to the benefits received ; for his heart was lifted up." 
May it be far otherwise with you. May you come out of the fur* 
nace refined ; and may it appear to yomrself and all around you, 
that the Lord has done you good by your afilictions. Thus vile 
are our natures ; to be capable of making the Lord such perverse 
returns as we often do ! How should we bhish if our earthly 
friends and benefactors could bring such charges of ingratitude 
against us, as he justly might. No ; they could not bear a thou- 
sandth part ; the dearest and kindest of them would have been 
weary of us, and cast us off long ago, had we behaved so to them. 
We may well say, Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardonest 
iniquity, and passest by the transgression of the remnant of thine 
heritage. It seems that the prophet selects the Lord's patience 
..towards his own people, as the most astonishing of all his perfec- 
tions, and that which eminently distinguishes him from all other 
beings. And, indeed, the sins of believers are attended with ag- 
gravations peculiar to themselves. The inhabititants, of Sodom 
and Gomorrah were great sinners, but they did not sin against 



Lee. 17.] TO THE RSV. MR. $•*•*. 366 

light, and love, and experience* Pharaoh was proud, but he had 
not been humbled at ttie foot of the cross. Ahab killed Naboth 
for his vineyard, but not altogether so basely as David killed Uriah 
for his wife. I see many profligate sinners around me, but the 
Lord has not followed them with mercies, instructions, and par* 
dons, as he has followed me. My outward life, through mercy, is 
not like theirs ; but if the secrets of my heart were laW of^en, they' 
who are favourable to me, would not think me much better than 
the worst of them. Especially at some times and seasons, since I 
first tasted that he was gracious. And yet he has borne with me, 
and is pleased to say, He will never leave me iior forsake m6. 

Well, when we have said all we can of the aboundingsof sin in 
us, grace still more abounds in Jesus. We cannot be so evil as 
he is ^ood. His power is a good' match for our weakness ; his 
riches lor our poverty ; his mercy for our misery. We are vile in 
ourselves, but we are complete in him. In ourselves we have 
cause to be abased, but in him we may rejoice. Blessed be God 
for Jesus Christ. 

1 am sincerely yours. 



LETTER XVII. 

December 20, 1780. 
My Dear Friend, 

So it seems I owed the letter, and charged the fault of not 
writing, to you. It must be so, because you say you are very cer- 
tain it was so. Remember, however, I am writing last now* I 
hope when this comes, it will find you and yours comfortable, and 
your heart and mouth full of eratitude to Him who crowneth the 
year with his goodness. Well, these returning years each bear 
away a large portion of our time, and the last year cannot be far 
ofil O that precious name which can enable a sinner to think of 
bis last year and his last hour without dismay ! What do we owe 
to him who has disarmed death of its sting and horrors, and shown 
us the land of li^bt and immortality beyond the grave ! 

May he be with us in the new year. Yea, he has promised he 
will, even unto death. Therefore, though we know not what a dav 
may bring forth, we i^ed fear no evil *, for he knows all, and will 
provide accordingly. O, what a relief is it, to be enabled to cast 
every care and bunlen upon him who careth for us ! Though the 
night should be dark, the storm loud, and the billows high, the in- 
fallible Pilot will steer our barks safely through. 

This has been an important year with me, it has introduced me 
into an entire new scene of service ; and it has likewise seemed a 



356 TO TH£ EXV. ME* 8****. [Let. 18. 

very short year. O, bow the weeks bare whirled round! It has 
not been without its trials ; but comforts have much more abound* 
ed. With respect to my public work, I have been much fiaivoured 
with liberty, peace, and acceptance. I hope it has not been wholly 
a lost year ; though with respect to my part and share of it, I have 
reason to say, Enter not into judgment with thy servant. 

Let u^ help each other with^our prayers, that the little uncer- 
tain remainder of hfe may be filled up to the praise of our dear 
Lord ; that we may be united to his will, conformed to his image, 
and devoted to his service. Thus we shall show forth his praise ; 
if we aim to walk as he walked, and, by a sweet constraining sense 
of his love, are formed into an habitual imitation of his spirit and 
temper, in meekness, integrity, benevolence towards men ; in hu- 
mility, dependence, resignation, confidence, and gratitude towards 
him. 

I pity such wise*headed Calvinists as you speak of. I am afraid 
there ai^e no people more fully answer the character, and live in 
the spirit of the pharisees of old, than some professed loud stick- 
lers tor free erace. Thev are wise in their own eyes ; their no- 
tions, whioh the pride of their hearts tells them are so bright and 
clear, serve them for a righteousness, and they trust in themselves 
and despise others. One modest, inquiring Arminian is worth a 
thousand such Calvinists, in my esteem. You will do well to 
preach quietly in your own way, not minding what others say while 
your own conscience testifies that you preach the truth. If you.- 
are travelling the right road, (to London, for instance,) thou^* 
fifty people should meet you and say you are wrong, you, know- 
ing you are right, need not mind them. But, alas ! the spirit of 
self, which makes us unwilling to hear of contradiction, is not 
easily subdued. 

I am yours. 



LETTER XVni. 

March 29, ilSl. 
Dear Sir, 

It is certain I did not wish to leave , and Ukewise 

that if the Lord had left me to choose mv situation, London woul4 
have been almost the last place I shoulcl have chosen. But since 
it was the Lord's choice for me, I am reconciled and satisfied* 
He has, in this respect, given me another heart ; for, now I am 
fixed here, I seem to prefer it. My sphere of service is extremely 
enlarged, and my sphere of usefulness likewise. And not being 
under any attachment to systems and parties, I am so for suited to 



% 



Lei. 18.] TO THK REV. MB. s<»*»- 357 

my situation. Mv hearers are made up of all sorts, and my con* 
nexioDS are of all sorts likewise ; I mean of those who hold the 
head. My inclination and turn leads me chiefly to insist on those 
things in which all who are taught of God agree. And rov en- 
deavour is to persuade them to love one another, to bear with one 
another, to avoid disputes, and if they must strive, to let their strife 
and emulation be, who shall most express the life of the Son of 
God in their temper and conduct. 

I preach my own sentiments plainly, but peaceably, and directlv 
oppose no one. Accordingly, Churchmen and Dissenters, Cal- 
vinists and Armenians, Methodists and Moravians, now and then I 
believe, Papists and Quakers, sit quietly to hear me. I can 
readily adopt No Popery, for my motto ; but Popery with me has 
a very extensive sense. I disliKe it, whether it be on a throne, as 
at Rome, or upon a bench, or at a l^oard^ as sometimes in London, 
Whoever wants to confine me to follow his sentiments, whether as 
to doctrine or order, is so far a Papist. Whoever encourages me 
to read the Scriptures and to pray for the teaching of the Holy 
Spirit, and then will let me follow the light the Lord gives me, 
without being angry with me because I cannot or will not see with 
his eyes, nor wear his shoes, is a consistent protestant. The de* 
pravity of human nature, the Peity of the Saviour, the influences 
of the Holy Spirit, a separation from the world, and a devotedncss 
to God, these are principles which I deem fundamental. And 
though I would love and serve all mankind, I can have no reli-* 
gious union or communion with those who deny them. But whether 
a surplice or a band be the fittest distinction of a minister, whether 
be be best ordained by the laving on^ or the holding up of hands ; 
whether water-baptism sbouid be administered by a spoonful or 
tub-fui, or in a river, in any river, or in Jordan, (as Constantine 
thought,) are to me points ot no great importance. I will go fur- 
ther — though a man does not accord with my views of election, 
yet if he gives me good evidence that he is effectually called of 
Oody he is my brother : though he seems afiraid of the doctrine of 
final perseverance ; yet if grace enables him to persevere, he is my 
brother still. If he loves Jesus, I will love him, whatever hard 
name he may be called by, and whatever incidental mistakes I may 
think he holds. His dinering from me will not always prove him 
to be wrong, except I am infallible myself. 

I praise the Lord for preserving you fl-om harm when you fell ; 
I have had such falls from horses, and received no hurt. When I 
dislocated my shoulder, I was at my own door, and in the greatest 
apparent safety. But we are only safe naturally or spiritually 
while the Lord holds us up. 

lamyours, &c» 



4. 



OUR L.E'TTERS 

TO 

MISS W**»*. 



LETTER I. 

March 3, 1772. 

IbcAR Miss, 

Your obliging request to hear from me has not been forgot- 
ten ; and if my leisure were equal to my ioclination, I should 
write very often. 

And now, what shaH I say } May the Lord direct me to send 
you a profitable word. It rejoices my heart to think, that at a 
time of life when you might have been plunging into the vanities 
of the world, you are seeking Jesus. The Lord, who appointed 
the hour of your birth, and the bounds of your habitation, was 
plefiised, in his good providence, to withdraw you early from the 
giddy circle of dissipation in which you might have lived, and to 
favour you with the advantages of example, instruction, and or- 
dinances. You live at a distance from those ensnaring tempta- 
tions by which the mind of young persons are blinded and stupifi- 
ed. Yet this alone would not have secured you. His providence 
has been subservient to his grace ; otherwise, by this time, you 
would have been weary and impatient of restraint ; you wonld 
have accounted the means of grace burthensome, and your borne 
a prison. The evil of the heart is too deeply rooted to be over- 
come by any thing less than the power of God. Whatever your 
papa and mamma, or the ministers of the Gospel, could have told 
you concerning your state as a sinner, and your need of a Saviour, 
you would not have believed them, if the Lord himself had 
not borne witness in your heart to his own truths. You are now 
seeking him that you may find him, yet if be had not found you 
at first, you would never have sought him at all. This I mention 
for your encouragement, as a good reason why you may be as- 
sured that you shall not seek him in vain. I take it for granted, 
that though you are but a young soldier, you have already met 
with conflicts. There is a subtle enemy who labours to distress, 
hinder, and wound all who desire to serve the Lord. If you 



Ijct. 1.] TO HISS w****. a59 

could give up this parpose, and be content to make the world 
yonr portioa, you woold meet with no disturbance from him ! if 
you were asleep, he would make no noise to awaken you. Those 
who are content with his service and wages, he manages with so 
much address, that though he leads them captives at his will, 
though he dwells and works in their hearts, though all the facul* 
ties of their mind and members of their body are under his 
influence, yet they are not at all aware of him ; yea, when many 
in this state pretend to dispute his very existence, he does not at- 
tempt to undeceive them. Thus, while the strong one armed 
keeps his house, his goods are in peace ; but when the stronger 
than he, the gracious Redeemer, come.$ to deliver the prey out of 
the hand of the mighty, and to release a soul from Satan's cap- 
tivity,' then the enemy begins to show himself as he is : and there- 
fore I suppose by this time you can tell, in a measure, from. your 
own experience, why he is called in the Scripture, an accuser, an 
adversary, serpent, a roaring lion ; and what is meaiit'by his 
wiles, devices, and fiery darts. He knows how to aggravate sin, 
to strengthen unbelief, to raise objections against the truth of the 
Gospel, or to work upon the imagination, and to fill us with dark, 
uncomfortable, wild, or wicked thoughts. But if he assaults you 
in any of these ways, you need not fear him ; for he is a conquer- 
ed and a chained enemy : Jesus has conquered him, he has brok- 
en bis power, aud taken away his dominions, so far as concerns 
tbT>se who flee for refuge to the hope of the Gospel. And Jesus 
holds him in a ohain, and set limits to his rage and malice, be- 
yond which he cannot pass. Nor should he be permitted to open 
bis mouth against the peace of his people, but that the Lord in- 
tends, (for his greater confusion,) to make him an onwiUing in- 
strument of pi;omoting their good. By these exercises they learn 
to prize his free salvation, and to depend upon his grace alone $ 
for they find they are not able to stand against their enemy by 
their own. strength. Tiierefore, fear him pot ; he who delivered 
Daniel from the lions will deliver you, make yog more than con- 
queror by faith in his name, and at last bruise Satan under your 
feet. 

I wonder how my thoughts have turned upon this subject. I am 
sure I did not intend it when I sat down to write, and if I had stu- 
died for one, I certainly should not have chosen this. If it should 
prove a word in season, I shall be glad. Perhaps it may ; for 
though I know not the present state of your mind, it is known to 
the Lford, and I began my letter with a desire that he would direct 
loe wl^at to send you. However, if it does not so directly suit 

Jfou now, it may perhaps hereafter, and in the itiean time you may 
end it to your mamma. She knows what temptations mean* 



376 TO THE REV. MB. 8*««f . [Liet. 4, 

necessarily lie in my way. I believe most persons who are truly 
alive to God, sooner or later meet wilhsome pinches in their expe- 
rience which constrain them to flee to those doctrines for relief, 
which perhaps they had formerly dreaded, if not abhorred, because 
they knew not how to get over some harsh consequences they 
thought necessarily resulting from them, or because they were 
stumbled by the miscarriages of those who professed them. In 
this way 1 was made a Calvinist ntyself ; and I am content to let 
the Lord take his own way, and his own time, with others. 

I remember to have seen a letter from you to Mr. **♦*, but I 
can recollect nothing in particular of the subject : but I suppose if 
I had disliked it, or received any unfavourable impressions from it, 
some traces of it would have still remained in my memory. From 
what I have written above, and from the beginning of Omicron's 
ninth letter, (which was written io answer to one from Mr. ****,) 
I hope you will believe that I should be much more likel3^to blame 
his forwardness in giving the challenge, than your prudence in de- 
clining. I trust **** means well ; but, as you say, Ac is youngs 
and I Know not but the kind reception he met with in Yorkshire 
might send him home with a greater idea of his own importance 
than he carried with him from hence. I suppose it was just about 
that time, when his spirit was a little raisea, that he wrote to you. 
Young men often make mistakes of this kind. The Lord's bles- 
sing upon years, experience, and inward exercises, cures them of 
it by degrees, or at least in a degree ; for, alas ! tlic root of self 
Jies deep, and is not easily eradicated. 

We were very glad to hear that Mrs. S**** was likely to do 
well after her delivery. I hope, if the Lord spares ihe child to 
you, he will be numbered among the children of his grace. If he 
call him home by a short passage, he will escape a number of 
£torms and troubles incident to human life. I know not how to 
regret the death of infants, especially under the dark ap|)rehen- 
sions I have of the times. How do they appear to you ? The 
prevalence of sin, and the contempt of the Gospel, in this long* 
favoured land, make me apprehensive that the present commo- 
tions are but the beginning of sorrows. Since we heard of the 
commencement of hostilities in America, we have had a prayer- 
meeting extraordinary, on a national account. It is held on Tues- 
day morning, weekly, at five o'clock, and is well attended. We 
are not politicians at ' ; but we wish to be found among 

those described, Ezek. ix. 4. We pray for the restoration o( 
peace, and a blessing upon our public councils. 

1 am your affectioAate and obliged^ 



Let. 6.] TO THE REV. ftB. 8****. 377 

LETTER V. 

September 3, 1776. 
My Djsar Sir, 

If 1 were disposed to make you wait as long for my letter a$ 
1 did for yours, you have taken an effectual method to prevent me. 
1 have now daily a monitor at my elbow, saying, when will you 
write to Mp. **** ? If I answer, "before very long,H the reply is, 
^^ Nay. it must be very soon, for he does not Know whither to send 
the flowers, and it is high time he did.'^ Thus I am likewise pre- 
cluded from making any merit of writing so speedily, notwithstand- 
ing your long silence ; for you may be ready to think, <^ I should 
not have heard from him these two months, if JWrs. **** had not 
wanted the flowers.^' However, to be even with you, I shall beg 
the favour of a letter from you a post or two before you send them, 
to prevent, (if necessarv,) by a timely inquiry, such a sorrowful 
disappointment as we bad last year, and I promise, in return, 
not to over-l^te your punctuality in writing so soon, but to con- 
sider it as an occasional favour, which I must not often expect ; 
but owing to the importance of the flowers, and vour kind readi- 
ness to oblige her. Sic vos nan vobis. So much for a business, 
in which for want of taste, I have no great personal interest my- 
self. But let not this discourage you ; for though a violet or a 
cowslip pleases me almost as much as any of the pompous or 
high-sounding words of the parterre, Mr. ****, Mrs. ****, and 
Mrs. ****j are suflicienlly qualified to congratulate your skill and 
felicity as a florist. 

After all, 1 acknowledge flowers l^ve their value : they are very 
beautiful, and therefore pleasing ; they are very transitory, and 
therefore instructive. All flesh is grass, and all the glory of man 
as the flower ; the flower is more conspicuous and beautiful than 
the grass, but likewise more precarious and liable to fade. Min- 
isters, some of them at least, nave a beauty beyond the grass, the 
bulk of their hearers. They are adorned with gifts and advanta- 
ges of knowledge and expression which distinguish them for a 
time ; but the flower fadcth. How precarious are those distinc- 
tions for which some admire them, and for which they are in dan- 
ger sometimes of admiring themselves ! A fever, or a small change 
in the animal system, may deprive them, of their abilities; aa^ 
.while they remain, a thousand things may happen to prevent the^ 
exercise. Happy are those wise and faithful stewards, who know' 
and approve their talents while afforded, who work while i^s day, 
aware how soon, how suddenly, a night may overtake them* 
They may be hastily removed, cut down bv the scythe of death ; 
or, as the stalk remains alter the flower is faded, they may outlive 

Vol. IV. 48 



sin to THE nxf. MR. 8*M«* [Let. 6. 

Aeir atefalness, and then the poet's words may he appKed to the 
toost accomplished instrament — 

Stat MagDi nomlois umbia. 

However, the trae servants of the Lord have something that will 
not decay. Grace is of an abiding nature, and will remain when 
the gifts of knowledge and elocution are withered* We know not 
what changes we may live to see ; but the love and promises, 
which are the pleasing subjects of our ministry, are unchangeable. 
It gives me much pleasure that we are remembered by you and 
your friends ; for then, I hope, you pray for us. We are like- 
wise mindful of you. Though absent in body, I am oflen pres- 
ent with you in spirit. Saturday evening, in particular, is a time 
when, if I am not prevented, my mind travels round the land to 

visit the brethren, and I seldom miss taking H in my way. 

The ignorance of the common people is indeed lamentable ; 
we have affecting instances of it even here, where there has been 
no sound but the Gospel heard, from the pulpits of either church 
or meeting, for many years. YoU ask what I think the best 
method of removing it. I know no better, no other, than to go 
on praying, preaching, and waiting. When we have toiled all 
night, and have taken nothing, we have still encouragement to 
cast the net again. It must, it will be s^ till the Lord opens the 
understanding, then light shines out of darkness in a moment* 
Should this ignorance be so far removed from the head, that peo- 
ple can form tolerable notions of the truths we preach, there is 
but little real advantage gained, unless the heart be changed by 
divine power. But the montent the heart is touched, they will 
begin to know to purpose. A woman who had heard me for 
years, went home one day, and expressed a pleasing surprise that 
I had entirely changed my manner of preaching. '' Till now,'' 
said she, '' I have often listened with attention, but could never 
make out any thing of his meaning ! but this afternoon he preach- 
ed so plainly, that I understood every word." The Lord had 
opened her heart so suddenly, and yet so gently, that at first she 
thought the change was not in herself, but in me. It is well that 
he is pleased so to work, that we should have no pretence for as- 
|Mmingany thing to ourselves. He lets us try and try again, to 
xonvince us that we can do nothing of ourselves ; and then, often 
when we give up the case as desperate, he comes and does all. 

Do i^ot you feel something of 1 Sam. iv. 13. in this dark day ? 
I am not a politician, much less an American ; but I fear the Lord 
has a controversy with us. I cannot but tremble at the conse- 
quences of our present disputed, and lest the disappointment our 



heL 6. j TO THE BST. MIL 8****. 379 

forces met with at Charlestown should be the prelude to some 
more importaot* miscarriage. The plans of our operations may, 
for aught I know, be well laid, according to human wisdom, and 
our generals and admirals well Qualified and supported to carry them 
into execution; but I am afraia the Lord God of Hosts is but lit- 
tle acknowledged or thought of in our councils, fleets, or armies* 
1 see the nation, in general, hardened into that spirit of insensibil- 
ity and blind' security, which in all former ages and nations has 
been the token aad forerunner of judgment ; and therefore I lay 
but litde stress upon the wisdom of the wise, or the prowess of the 
valiant. I think if our sins were not ripe for visitation, the Lord 
would have prevented thines from coming to the present extremi- 
ties. I should have better iiope, if I saw his own people duly imr 
pressed with the present awtul appearances; but, alas! I fear 
that too many of the wise virgins are slumbering, if not asleep, at 
such a time as this ! May the Lord pour out upon us a spint of 
humiliation and prayer, that we fliay prevail, if possible, for our 
country ; or if wrath be decreed, and there be no remedy, we may 
have our hearts kept in peace, and find him a sure sanctuary for 
ourselves. Two texts seem especially suited for our meditatioo, 
Luke xxi. 34 — 36. Rev. iii. 10. 

I trust the Lord will reconcile you to his will, if he removes 
your sister. He is all-sufficient to make up every loss; and, in- 
deed, it is wrong to grieve much for them who are called away 
from sin and sorrow to perfect and endless happiness. 

I have had an excrescence growing on my thigh sixteen years ; 
it is now threatening to get bigger, and therefore I expect soon to 
go to London to have it eradicated. It is notpainful, and the sur- 
geon tells me the operation will be neither difficult nor dangerous ; 
•nly 1 must keep the house for some weeks till the wound be bealcd. 

I am 3incerely yours. 



LETTER VL 



Mr Dear Sir, 
Ir you think proper to furnish an article for the York Courant^ 



eral other illustrious names, arrived at — — . They traveled 
in disguise, or, as we say, incognito ; but it is thought and hoped, 
they will appear in their best robes before they leave the place; 
to which they already discover so strong an attachment, that they 
^are, in a mannert rooted to it. Yon may furthir ^tdd, tbal^tke 



380 TO THB REV. MR. S****. [Lct. S. 

same aflernoon in aforesaid, a comet and eclipse \?ere 

both visible at the same time. I could enlarge in a marvellous 
strain, but perhaps this is a qtuintum sufficii; mil as much at once 
as will gain credit in a newspaper, 

Mrs. **** returns you thanks for your present and your care- 

And we both wish that what flourishes at H may flourish 

at Olney. What avails it for a flower, or a man or woman, to 
bear a good name, if degenerated from the characteristic excel- 
lences which the name imports ? A tulip that has lost its colours, 
a shrivelled, deformed, irregular carnation, would not long pre* 
serve their places in your parterre ; much less could you suffer 
weeds to rear their tawdrv heads among your choice flowers. — 
But, alas ! how is the Lord's garden, the professing church, over- 
run ! Almost every lily grows among thorns or baleful plants, 
which convert all the nourishment they draw from the soil into 
poison. A time is coming when all that he hath not planted shall 
be rooted up* May we, as under-gardeners, be furnished with 
grace, wisdom, and diligence to detect, and, as much as possible, 
to check every root of bitterness that would spring up, both in the 
plantation at large, and in our own hearts. 

I am, like your flowers, getting apace into an autumn state. — 
The Lord grant I may find the declension of vigour, which I must 
soon expect to feel, balanced by a ripeness in judgment and expe- 
rience as you speak. If it be so with me, it is in a great measure 
bidden from me. To be sure, 1 have had more proofs of an evil 
nature and deceitful heart than I could possibly expect or con- 
ceive of twentv vears ago ; though I then thought I found as much 
of it as I could bear. I believe, likewise, my understanding is 
more enlightened into the three great mysterii^s of the person, love, 
and life oi Jesus. Yet I seem to groan under darkness, coldness, 
and confusion, as much as ever. And I believe I must go out of 
the world with the same language upon my lips which I used 
when I first ventured to a throne of grace — Have mercy upon me, 
O Lord, a poor worthless sinner. My feelings are faint ; my ser- 
vices feeble and defiled ; my defects, mistakes, and omissions in- 
numerable ; my imaginations are wild as the clouds in a storm ^ 
yea, too often foul as a common sewer. .What can I set again^ 
this mournful confessien ? Only this— that Christ hath died and 
is risen again ; I believe he is able to save to the uttermost, and 
he hath said, " Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast 
out." Upon his person, worth, and promise, rests all my hope^- 
but this is a foundation able to bear the greatest weight. 

I am your sincerely affectionate and obliged. 



TWENTY-ONE LETTERS 

TO 

MISS ****. 



LETTER I. 

Olney, September 8^ 1779. 
My Dear Child, ^ 

I WAS glad of your letter, for we weve just thinking of you, as 
it seems you were of us, that it was a long time since we heard 
from you. When you want a letter from me, you must write ; if I 
send you ene for one, I think it will be pretty well. 

R***** died about a fortnight ago, and I buned him and three 
others within a week. All four were rather young people, |that 
is, about thirty years of age. Last Sunday evening 1 preached a 
funeral sermon for Richara; the text was Gen. xfix. 19. That 
short verse contained bis history ; and I hope it contains yours 
likewise. The first part is sure to you if you live; vou will meet 
with many troops, sins, fears, cares, and troubles, which will fight 
against you, and'seem, at times, almost to overcome you; yea, 
overcome yoa they certainly would, if you were to fight them in 
your own strength. If you should not seek and love the Lord Je- 
sus, you would -be destroyed by them. But I cannot bear to en- 
tertain siich a thought ; surely you must, you will love him. You 
hear a great deal of his beauty and goodness ; believe it, for it is 
true ; and that a great deal is but little of what ought to be said of 
him. But pray nim to show himself and his own love to your 
heart; then you will love him indeed ; all the world would love 
him did they but rightly know him. Well, if you love the Lord 
Jesus, you will certainly overcome at last, and then you shalk 
have the crown of life, and all the happiness which is contained in 
the promises made to them who overcome, in the second and third 
chapter of Revelations. My dear child, pray to him, and never 
be content or satisfied till you feel your desire and love fixed upon 
him. Nothing less will content me for you. If you should be- 
have to me and your mamma with the greatest tenderness, affec- 
tion, and attention, as you grow up, (as I hope you will, and you 
yourself are sensible you ought,) still I should weep over you, if I 
saw you negligent and ungrateful towards the Lord. We loye 
you> and would do much to show it; but we cgulcl not, we dare 



382 TO HISS »««•. [Leu 2. 

not be crucified for you. This was such love as only he could 
show ; judge what a return it calls for from you. Not to love the 
Lord, is a disposition of the height of wickedness and the depth of 
misery. Believe me to be yours. 



LETTER II. 

Old Jewry, October 22, 1779. 
My Dear Child, 

You may well expect to hear from me ; but you will hardly 
expect a tone letter if yeu remember what little leisure I have in 
London. Almost every day loads me with debt, and brings me 
letters which I am not able to answer ; but my dear Betsey must 
not be forgotten. We have been here a fortnight or upwards; 
the Lord gave us a pleasant and safe journey. Your mamma has 
been, upon the whole, comfortably well ; and as you know we are 
at Dr. ****'s, I need not tell you that we are situated as much to 
our minds as can be, in the midst of so much noise and smoke. 
But here I can have no garden ; no pretty walks amongst ti*ees 
and fields ; no birds but such as are prisoners in iron cages, so 
that I pity them for all their singing. 

But the same sun that shines at N , is often to be seen at 

London ; and the Lord Jesus, like the sun, is in all places at once. 
Go where we will, we are not far from him, if we have but eyes to 
see kim, and hearts to perceive him. My dear child, when you 
look at the sun, I wish it may lead your thoughts to him who made 
it, and who placed it in the firmament, not only to give us lights 
but to be the brightest, noblest emblem of himself; there is but 
one sun, and there needs not another; so there is but one Saviour, 
but he is complete and all-sufficient, the sun of righteousness, the 
fountain of life and comfort; his beams, wherever they reach, 
brine healing, strength, peace, and joy to the soul. Pray to him, 
my dear, to shine forth, and reveal nimself to you. O, how dif- 
ferent is he from all that you have ever seen with your bodily eyes ! 
he is the sun of the soul, and he can make you as sensible oi his 
presence as you are of the sunshine at noon-day ; and when once 
you obtain a clear sieht of him, a thousand little thines, which 
have hitherto engaged your attention, will in a manner disappear. 

As by the light of op'ning day, 

The stars are all coDcealed; 
So earthly beauties fade away, 

When Jesus is re?eard. 

! entreat, 1 charge you, to ask him every day to show himself to 



Let. 2.} TO MISS ****. 383 

you. Think of him as being always with yon ; about your 
path by day, about your bed by night, nearer to you than 
any object you can see, thongh you see him not ; whether you 
are sitting or walking, in company or alone. People oflen con- 
sider God as if he saw them irom a great distance : but this is 
wrong ; for though he be in heaven, the heaven of heavens can- 
not contain him ; he is as much with us as with the angels ; in 
him we live, and move, and have our being ; as we live in the air 
which surrounds us, and is within us, so that it cannot be separa- 
ted from us a moment. And whatever thoughts you can obtain 
of God from the Scripture, as great, holy, wise, and good, en- 
deavour to apply them all to Jesus Christ, who once died upon 
the cross, for he is the true God, and eternal life, with whom you 
have to do ; and though be be the King of kings, and Lord of 
Jords, and rules over all ; he is so condescending and compas- 
sionate, that he will hear and answer the prayer of a child. Seek 
him, and you shall find him ; whatever else you seek, you may 
be disappointed, but he is never sought in vain. 

Your very affectionate. 



LETTER III. 

Charles' Square^ Hdxton^ AprH 8, 1780. 
My Dear Child, 

I HAVE heard of you several times since I received your let- 
ter, which I wished to answer before. I would be thankful that 
you are well, and I hope you are happy, that is, in the common 
sense of the word ; for, strictly speaking, happiness is not to be 
found here. I hope, however, you are cheerful, thankful, and, in 
some degree, satisfied with your lot ; and, in order to this, I would 
wish you to look around you, and see bow many children are 
sick, while you are well ; poor and destitute, while yon are pi*ovi- 
ded, not only with the necessaries, but the comforts of life. How 
many, again, are exposed to hard and unkind treatment, whereas 
you are noticed and caressed, and have kind friends abroad and 
at home. Once more, consider how many are brought up in ig- 
norance and wickedness, have nothing but evil examples, and it 
is to be feared will go from bad to worse as they grow up ; while 
you have the advantage of good education and good examples, 
and are placed where you can hear the precious Gospel, by which 
the Lord gives faith and salvation to them that seek him. Then 
ask yourself how it is, or why you are better ofi'tlian they P And 
I hope there is something within you that will tell you, whateve'r 



384 TO MISS ****. {Let. «, 

the reason may be, it is not because you are better in yonrselC 
or deserve better things than others. Your heart is no bettei^; 
yon likewise are a sinner ; you were born with a sinful dispou- 
tiou, and though you are a child, you have sinned against the 
Lord ; so that had he been strict to mark what is araiss, be 
might justly have cut you off long ago. The reason why yoit 
are so favoured!, must be the Lord's mercy and goodness. He pit- 
tied you when you did not know how to pity yourself; and in his 
providence he removed you from a plaice where you would proba- 
bly have remained ignorant of Him, and he placed yotf under our 
care, and made you dear to us, that we might feel a pleasure in 
doing every thing in our power to promote your welfare. And I 
hope that you and we shall have reason to thank him that you 
came to us. The days are growing long, the summer is coming, 
and among the many pleasant days of summer^ there is one which 
1 hope will bring you home. I believe you will be glad to come, 
and we shall be glad to see you : I hope you will like the house. 
There are green trees in front, and a green field backwards, with 
cows feeding in it ; so that it has some little resemblance of the 
country. 

Your mamma desired Miss **** to send you a cake, which I 
hope you received ; and if you did, I suppose it is all gone by 
this time : for they say, you cannot eat your cake and have it. It 
is a true saying, and full of meaning. Look at all that appears 
good and pleasant in this world ; could you call it all your own, 
it would last but a little while, and then you go into another 
ivorld, the remembrance of what you had in this, will be but like 
remembering you once had a cake, but it is gone, quite eaten up. 
But it is not so, my dear child, with respect to that feast which 
Jesus prepares for poor sinners. The pleasures which he givei 
are repeated from time to time, and are pleasing even when we 
reflect on them. And in the other world, when earthly pleasures 
will be quite ended, they that love him shall have pleasure with- 
out interruption and without end, rivers of pleasure at his right 
hand for evermore. The Lord bless you, and keep you. It is 
one of my pleasures while here to think of you, to feci for you, 
»ud write to you, as Yoor affectionate* 



Let. 4.] TO MISS •***. 38% 

,, ■ 

LETTER IV. 

August 3, 1780. 
Mr Dear Child, 

You may be sure your mamma and I were very glad to bear 
that the Lord preserved you from harm, and that you were safe 

and well at N . I wish you to have a deep impressioa 

on your mind, that your safety, whether abroad or at home, or 
the continuance of your health from one hour to another, is not a 
matter of course, but the effect of the care and goodness of Htm 
who knows we are helpless as sheep, and condescends to act the 
part of a shepherd towards us. May you learn to acknowledge 
him in all your ways, to pray to him for his blessing, and to praise 
him daily for his mercies ; and then you will do well. This is 
the great privilege which distinguishes us from the beasts of the 
field ; they likewise owe their preservation to his providence : 
but then they are not capable of knowing him or thanking him. 
There are many young people who are contented to live without 
God in the world ; but this is not only their sin, but their shame 
likewise. They thereby renounce the chief honour they are ca- 
pable of, and degrade themselves to a tevel with the beasts. 
But let it not be so with you. Pray to the Lord to teach you 
to love him, and when you think of him, fix your thoughts 
upon Jesus Christ ; upon him who conversed on earth as a 
man* The great God has manifested himself in a way suited 
to us, as weak creatures and poor sinners. God is every where 
present, but only those who look to him ijn Christ cs^ attain 
to love, tru^t, or serve him aright. When you read our Saviour's 
discourses, recorded by the evangelists, attend as if you saw him 
with your own eyes, standing before you ; and when you try to 
pray, assure yourself before you begin, that he is actually in the 
room with you, and that his ear is op^ n to every word you saj'. 
This will make you serious, and it will likewise encourage you, 
when you consider that you are not speaking into the air, or to 
one who is a great way off; but to one who is very near yov, to 
your best friend, who is both able and willing to give you every 
thing that is good for you. 

Though you have not been gone from us a fortnight, we seem to 
long to see you again. August is come already ; and December 
which we hope will bring you here again, will be here before 
long. I shall be glad if you make the most of^our time, and re- 
turn so much improved, that we inay be able to keep you at 
home ; for it is no pleasure to us to have you at such a distance 
from us. But lhei« is no suitable day-schgol in this neigbl^^nn'- 

VoL. IV. 40 



386 TO MISS ••♦♦. [Let. 5. 

hood, and if you must be at boarding-school, I believe you 

must be at N ; for, after you have been so long there, we 

should not beVilliog to take you from Mrs. ••**'s school to put 
you to another ; it would seem a slight to her ; though our mo- 
tive would be only to have you nearer to us, people would think 
we had other reasons. 

My advice to you will be chiefly with respect to your religious 
concerns and your moral conduct. But there are other things 
belonging to your mamma's province. She wishes, as you grow 
up, you may not appear to a disadvantage when compared with 
other young women, and indeed, if you should be every thing she 
wishes you to be, you will do honour to the school yon come 
from. • 



I think you are in general willing to oblige her, and I am per- 
suaded a little care and resolution on your part, would soon make 
it easy and familiar to you to follow the example she sets you, as 
well as the advice she gives you. I hope, therefore, for ber sake, 
for mine, for the sake of your governess, and especially for your 
own sake, you will endeavour to be notable. It was a grief to 
tne that my time was so unavoidably taken up, that I could §pare 
but little to converse with you ; but we agreed, you know, to 
make it up by letters. It is now your turn to write, and I shall 
be glad of a long letter from you soon, in which I wish you to 
open your mind, to tell me what you think, feel, hope, fear, or 
desire, with the same freedom as if you were writing to one of 
your school-fellows. 

The Lord bless you, my dear child, and give you to increase 
in wisdom and grace, as you increase in years. Always think of 
me as Your very affectionate father. 



LETTER V- 

JVavember 1, 1780. 
Mt Detar Child, 

I CONGRATULATE you that you are now within a month of 
December, when you will begin to count the days, and to see the 
vacation peeping over the head of a short interval. I may con- 
gratulate your mamma, and myself likewise, (provided you come 
to us improved as we wish you,) for we long to see you, and have 
done so every day since you left us. 



Let. 6.] TO Misis «**». 38t 

Yoar mamma is often indisposed, but seldom very ill, at least 
not long together ; but both she and I have many feelings with 
which we were not acquainted when we were young like you. 
The advantages of youth and health a^ Seldom rightly known 
at the right time. It is, indeed, a mercy if, when wd are growing 
old, we have some proper sense of the folly and vanity we indulg- 
ed in early life, and can be ashamed as we ought, to think how 
many opportunities we neglected ; how many talents we misim- 
proved. Yet repentance cannot recall the day that is past. It is 
my frequent prayer that you may be wiser than f was at your 
time of life ^ that you may have grace to remember* your Creator 
and Redeemer wbile you are yet young. Depend upon it, my 
dear, whenever you really know the Lord, you will be sorry you 
did. not know him sooner ; whenever you experience that pleasuri^ 
which is only to be found in loving and serving him, you will wish 
you had loved and served him, (if possible,) from your very 
cradle. 

1 have no news to teH you ; but one thing I can assure you, 
which though yon have often heard, I hope the repetition will bt 
always pleasing to you, 1 mean, that I am your very afiectiouate 
friend, and feel for you as if I was really and truly your father. 



LETTER vr. 

Januartf, 10, 1781. 
Mt Dear Child, 

1 TELL many of my friends abroad, that my tiihe is so much 
taken up, they must not expect me to write to them ; and yet 1 
have offered to begin a new correspondence with you, though yoti 
are in the same house with me. I would have you take notice, 
and I believe you will, of this among many other circumstances 
by which as occasions offer, 1 take a pleasure in shoeing you thtit 
I dearly love you, and long to contribute every thing in my power 
to your improvement and to your satisfaction ; and I persuade 
myself the hope I form of a suitable return of love and attention 
from you, will not be disappointed. The Lord in his good pro- 
vidence, gave you to me as a gift, and committed yon to me as a 
trust ; at the same time, be gave me a great love for you, and 
whatever we do for those we love, we do with pleasure. 

I thank you for your letter of yesterday. It encourages me 
to hope that the gracious Saviour is knocking at the door of your 
bean. I doubt not but you write what yoa thhik and feel, yet 
there is more meaniag in your expresftioQSi than either yoir or I 



388 TO MISS ****. [Let. 6. 

can folly comprehend. You are, as yoa say, a sinner ; a yoting 
sinner, and yet a great sinner. It is not your case alone, we are 
all born in sin ; bat to be sensible that yoa are a sinner, is a mer- 
cy afforded but to few children at your age. May the Lord keep 
the persuasion alive in yoar heart. But the word sinner includes 
so much, that a whole long life will hardly suffice to give you a 
full sense of it. Thus much I hope you know already, that a 
sinner needs a Saviour ; and that Jesus is the Saviour of all sin- 
ners that seek him. I commend you to him ; if he has taught you 
a little, he will teach you more. Put yourself simply into his 
hands, and wait patiently his time ; he works powerfiiUy, but for 
the most part gently and gradually. You know the sun does not 
break out upon us all at once in a dark night ; there is first 
a glimmering dawn in the sky, which gives us notice that he is 
coming, and prepares us for bis appearance. By degrees that 
faint light grows brighter ; we see clearer and further j it becomea 
broad day, and after that the sun rises. 

Your part is to pray to him, to bear his word, and to listen 
with attention when you hear it preached. 1 trust you will find 
your light increase, and your difficulties abate ; I wish you to be 
as cheerful and easy as possible. Cheerfulness is no sin, nor is 
there any grace in a solemn cast of countenance. On the other 
hand, I would not have you light and giddy with levity ; it will 
hurt your own spirit, and hinder you from the piirsuit of what, in 
your serious moments, you most desire. I know your natural 
spirits are changeable; sometimes they are highly volatile: I 
would have you correct them by thinking you are a sinner. 
Sometimes you are grave enough; but if you feel uneasy, then 
try to think what a Saviour you read of. Be sure you do not 
indulge a hard thought of him, as though he were severe, and 
stern, and ready to take advantage of you. Form your ideas of 
.kirn from the accounts the evangelists give you, that he was meek 
and lowly when upon earth, full of compassion and gentleness, 
ready to pity, to heal, to help, and to teach all who come to him^ 
and tbey will tell you that he had, in particular, a great love for 
children. He tells you so himself. You read how he took them 
in his arms, put his bands on them, and blessed them. When you 
think of this, shake ofi* gloomy thoughts, speak to him in your 
heart, and say, Lord bless me too. 

One of the best methods of keeping free from uneasy, trouble- 
some thoughts, at least of lessening them, is to be always em- 
ployed ; strive and pray against indolence^look upon it as a 
hurtful, yea, a sinfiil thing. Read in Englisli and French, write 
and work. Your mamma and I will be both willing you should 
diversify these employments as may be most agreeable to your 



Let. 7.) TO MISS •«». -389 

own iDclination ; but we wish not to see you idle. Now is the time 
of life for you to acquira useful knowledge, that you may make 
yourself agreeable, and that you may be useful and qualiGed to 
fill up that station in the Vorld which the Lord may allot you. I 
will gladly assist you, as much as I can, in what falls under my 
department ; but you know I have but little time. God has 
given you a good capacity, and therefore the less assistance will 
be necessary, if you are not wanting to yourself. You may de* 
pend on our doing what we can to make you happy. If we seem 
to cross your wishes sometimes, or not to comply with your de* 
sire, you may be sure we li^e some reason for it. You shall go 
out with as, as often as we think it will be proper and right ; and 
we shall not leave you at home for our own pleasure, but because 
it would not be good for you to be too much abroad. We ex- 
pect and hope you will be ruled by a hint or a word ; and then 
you will find us studious in contriving how to make every thing 
as agreable as possible to you. Because you desired a letter soon, 
I have written thus much, although I had other things to do, and 
it is preaching morning. I shall hope for a letter from you very 
much. The Lord bless you. 

1 am, my dear child, 

Your afiectionate father. 



LETTER VII. 

October 17, 1781. 
My Dear Child, ^ 

I SEND you the first letter ; in future you must not expect me 
to write but in answer to yours. We wish to hear soon that yon 
are weM, and that you like your situation. I do not wish you t$> 
like any place so well as home : upon one account you ought not ; 
for it is impossible any persons should ever love you so well as 
your mamma and I do ; and therefore you are bound to love ns 
dearly, and that will make you love home ; and the more you 
love home, the more diligent yon will be in the improvement of 
your time at school. For your return to us must, in a great mea- 
sure, depend upon yourself ; it is no pleasure to us to send you 
abroad. I thought for a day or two the house looked awkward 
without you, and I miss you a little every day still ; hot' we are 
forced to part with you for your own good. I cannot bear the 
thoughts of your growing up like a tall weed ; I want you to 
appear like a pretty flower ; and it is observable that the best of 
flowers in a garden would in time degenerate into tawdry weeds if 



3aO TO MISS *••*. [Let. 7. 

they were not cultivated ; such is the importance of education to 
children. The Lord has been good to you : he has given you 
good understanding and natural abilities — and much that is enga- 
ging in your disposition. It would be a great pity that, with all 
these advantages, you should prove only a weed. To prevent it, 

I was obliged to transplant you from London to H , where I 

hope you will thrive and flourish, iocreasingin wisdom and favour 
as you increase in stature. 

I have written you many letters in a religious strain, which I 
hope yon have preserved, and will nOw and then read them over, 
the more willing, perhaps, because your papa wrdte them, i 
would' not overdo you upon this subject ; though the truth is, this 
is my chief desire for you, that you may know the Lord and love- 
him ; if not, though you were accomplished and admifed beyond 
any of your age, and though you could live in all the splendour 
of a queen, I should weep over you ; I should lament your birth, 
and the day when you first came under my care. But I know 
that I cannot make you truly religious, nor can yon make your- 
self so. It is the Lord's work, and I am daily praying biro to 
bless you indeed. But be has a time ; till then, I hope you will 
wait upon him according to your light, in the use of his appointed 
means, that you will make conscience of praying to him, and 
reading his word, and hearing when you liave opportunity. I 
hope he will enable you to behave obediently and affectionately 
to your governess, and in an obliging manner to all around you, 
so as to gain their love and esteem. I hope you will likewise care- 
fully abstain from whatever you know to be wrong. Thus far I 
may hope you can go at present ; but I do not wish you to affecc 
more of religion in your appearance, than you are really conscious 
of. There is some danger of this in a family where a religious 
profession is befriended. Young people are apt to imitate those 
about them, and sometimes (which is abominable) to put on a 
show of religion in order to please, though their hearts have no 
concern in it. I have a good hope that the Lord will teach you, 
and guide yon, and that the many prayers and praises I have 
pflered on yottf behalf will not be lost. 

When I began my letter, I did not mean to write half so gravely, 
I rather thought to find something to divert you ; but you are 
very near my heart, and this makes me serious. I long to come 
and see you, but it cannot be yet, nor can I say when : but I shall 
bounce in upon you some day when perhaps you are not think- 
ing of me. I am, my dear. 

Your very affectionate. 



Let. 8;] T,o MISS *»*»,. 3^ 

LETTER Vllt - 

Nofftmber 10, 1781. 
^Y Dear Child, 

When yoar mamma and I come to see you, it must be on a 
Monday, for more reasons than one ; which it is not necessary for 
yon to know : and as there is but one Monday in a week, some- 
thing or other may prevent oftener than I wish* However, I pro-' 
mise to think of you when I cannot see you, and somfetimes we 
talk of you. " Christmas will soon be here | then we shall hav6 
her at home, and then who knaws but she will be so improved, 
wid behave so nicely, that we shall be sorry to part with her 
again." When we talk thus, I hope you will make good what 
we say. 

Lately, for about a week, I was attacked by a company of 
pains. Some seized my face and teeth, some took possession of 
my back, and some got into my sides ; but they are all gone now, 
and they did me no barm. You know little about pains and 
cares yet. You are pow at the time of life when you are espe- 
crally called upon to^member yoar Cveator and Redeemer, and 
have the greatest advantages for doing it. ^But, if your life is 
spared, to you likewise the days will come when you will say, 
^' I have no pleasure in them." But I hope, long before they come, 
you will have some experience of pleasures which do not at all 
depend upon youth or health, or any thing that this world can 
either give or take away. Seek t)ie Lord, and yoq shall live ; 
and you have not far to seek for him ; he is very near you ; he 
h all around you ; about your bed by night, and your pa^th by 
day. He sees, he notices all you say and do. But I do not wish 
you to conceive of him so as to make the thought of him uneasy 
to you. Think of him according to the account the evangelists 
give of him when he was upon earth ; how gracious, compassion- 
ate and kind be was. If he were upon earth now, would you not 
wish that I should lead you to him, that he might lay his hands 
upon you and bless you, as he did the children which were brought 
to him f If he were here, and I could go with you and say, *' Lord 
bless my child likewise !" I am sure he would not frown at you, 
and say, " Take her away, I will have nothing to do %vith her !" 
No, my dear child, he has promised, them that come to him he 
will in no wise cast out. Go to hip yourself ; though you can- 
not see him, it is sufficient that he sees and hears you. Tell him, 
that you hear and believe he is a Saviour to o^any, and beg him 
to be your Saviour too. Tell him it was not your own choice, 
but his providence, that removed you from C , and put 



S92 TO HISS •»»*, [Let. 9* 

you uoder mj care which gave you an opportunity of knowing 
more of his goodness than yon would otherwise have done ; and 
beg of bim to give you his grace, that the advantages you have 
had may not aggravate your sins, but lead you to his salvation ; 
and do not let a day pass without thinking on his sufferings in Geth- 
semane and mount Golgotha. Surely his love to poor sinners, 
in bleeding and dying for them, will constrain you to love him 
again ; and if once you love him, then every thing will be easy, 
and you will account it your greatest pleasure to please him. 

I thank you for your letter. I conceive a hope from it, that 
you will improve in your writing. I wish you not only to write 
a good hand but a good letter ; and the whole art is to write 
with freedom and ease. When you take your pen in band, pop 
things down just as they come to your mind ; just as you would 
speak of them without study. Tell me something about the fowls 
in the yard, or the trees in the garden, or what you please ; only 
write freely. The Lord bless you, 1 love you dearly, and wisk 
you to believe me to be Your affectionate. 



LETTER IX. 

My Dear Child, 

Mrs. **** died on the Fast day, and was buried yesterday. 
I had often visited her during her illness, and was at her funeral. 
She was well a few months ago, but a consumption soon brought 
her down to the grave. But, though she was young, she was not 
sorry to leave such a poor world as this. I always found her 
happy and cheerful, though her illness was very painful. She 
suffered much by .cold sweats ; but sbe said, a few days before her 
death, that it would be worth lying a thousand years in a cold 
sw«at, for one hour's such happiness as she then felt. *' O !" she 
said, '^ if this be dying, what a pleasant thing dying is." I think 
my dear child has told me, that you are often terrified at the 
thoughts of death : now if you seek the Lord, as Mrs. ♦•*♦ did, 
while you are young, thien whenever you come to die, you will 
find that death has nothing terrible in it to them that love the 
Lord Jesus Christ. He has disarmed death, and taken away its 
sting ; and he has promised to meet people and receive them to 
himself, .when they are about to leave this world, and everything 
they loved in it behind them. You have the same advantages that 
Mrs. ♦**♦ had; like her, you are placed under the care of those 
who wish well to your soul ; the Scriptures, which made her wise 
tp salvation, are put into yaur hand likewise, and you also have 



Let. 9.] TD |ti9s **»*. 898 

the opportunity o( heariDg {be Gospel. She w«s dxhorted and 
encouraged from a child, to pray to the Lord for his grace ; and ^ 
so are you. I hope you will do as she did ; aod the Lord, who 
was gracious to her, will be gracious to you ; for he has 
promised that none who seek him, shall seek hini in vain. 
Your conscience tells yod that you are a sinner, and that makes 
you afraid ; but when the Lord gives you faith, you will see 
and understand, that the blood >of Jesus Christ deanseth from 
all sin ; then you will love him ; and when you love him, you 
will find it easy and pleasant to serve him ; and then you will 
long to see him who died for you : and as it is impossible to see 
him in this world, you will be glad that you are not to stay 
here always ; you will be willing to die, that you may be with 
him where he is. In the mean time, I hope you will pray to 
him and wait for his time to reveal himself to you ; endeavouring 
to avoid whatever yon know to be wrong and displeasing to ht^ : 
and sometimes, I hope, you will feel your heart soft and tender, 
and serious thoughts and desires rising in your mind; when you do, 
then think, " Now is the Lord calling me I" and say as Samuel 
did, ** Speak, Lord, for thy servant beareth." He does not call 
with an audible voice, but he speaks to the heart in a way not to 
be describ«d by words. When we are grieved and ashamed for 
our own sins ; when we are affected with what wh read and hear 
of him, of his love, his sufferings, and his death ; when we see and 
feel that nothing but his favour can make us happy ; then we 
may be sure the Lord is near. 

I believe you have too much sense and honesty to make a pro^ 
fession of religion, further than your heart is really engaged, in 
order to please your fellow creatures. But, on the other hand, I 
would not have you backward to open your mind to me on reK- 
gious subjects. I know you are not without convictions, and 
though all convictions are not rights yet true religion always be- 
gins with convictions. We must know we are sick, before we can 
prize a physician. If I live to see you a partaker of the grace 
of God, one of the chief desires of my heart will be gratified ; 
this would please me more than to have your weight in gold, and 
therefore you may be sure I often pray for you. 

I am your affectionate. 

Vol. IV. 50 



394 TO MISS ♦*•#. [Let. 10. 

LETTER X. 

August 1, 1762. 
Mt Dear Child, 

Do not think we forget you ; our love would reach yoa 
were you a hundred times further from us than Highgate is ; but 
we are very much taken up. Monday your mamma was ill in 
bed all day ; she is pretty Well now, but P**** is very bad indeed 
—worse, I believe, than ever you saw her, and we can hardly at- 
tend to any thing but her. Then again poor Mr. B***"^ was hurt 
by a mad ox, about ten days since ; his life has been in great dan- 
ger, but we How hope he will recover. I visit him every day, and 
that takes up a good deal of my time. 

I would be thankful that the Lord preserves you in health and 
safety. I hope you are thankful too. When you see any body 
sick, or hurt, or lame, I would have you think it is of the Lord's 
goodness their case is not yours. Sin has filled the world with 
sorrow ; all the calamities you read or hear of, or see with your 
eyes afe the fruits of sin ; and as you are a sinner, you might suf- 
fer what others do, and it is only the Lord's mercy that preserves 
you, and provides you good things which many others have not. 
You know many children are brought up in poverty, meet with 
iM treatment have no parents or kind friends to take care of them. 
But though the Lord removed your parents before you were old 
enough to miss them, he took care to provide you a place with us ; 
h% inclined us not only to receive yon, but to love you ; and now 
, your wants are all supplied : and besides this, you have been, and 
are instructed and prayed for every day. You have great rea- 
son to be thankful indeed, and I hope you will pray to the Lord 
to give you a thankful heart ; for you cannot have it except he 
gives it you. That hymn in Dr. Watts' little book — 

Whene'er I take xny walks abroadi kc 

though it is written principally for children, will deserve your 
notice when you grow up and become a woman ; I hope you will 
say from your heart — 

Not more than others I deserve^ 
Yet God has given me more. 

Oh, it is a great blessing to be sensible we deserve nothing from 
God bot misery, ai!id that all the good we receive is mercy, and 
then to know that all this mercy we owe to the Lord Jesus, who 
died foroi that we might live and be happy. 



Let. 11.] TO MISS *•«*. 396 

There's ne'er a gift bis band bestows, 
But cost his heart a groan. 

When you,understaDd this, you will love him, and then you will 
be happy indeed ; then it will be your pleasure to please him ; and 
then, putting your trust in him, you will be preserved from anxie- 
ty and evil. Ycuir aflSectiouate. 



LETTER XL 

Augutt 10, 1782. 
My Dear Child, 

" Vanity of vanities !" saith the preacher. " How vain are 
all things here below !" saith Dr. Watts ; — ^^nd you and I, and 
your mamma, may say so likewise ; for we all counted upon 
meeting last Sunday : we listened at the door, and peeped out of 
the window, but no Betsey came. When we heard by Miss ***» 
that you were well, we were satisfied. Now we will venture to 
expect you next Sunday. Indeed, it is not amiss that you should 
now and then meet with a balk, that yon may learn, if pd^sible, 
not to count too much on what to-morrow may do for you ; 
and that you may begin to feel the impossibility of being hap- 
py any further than your will i^ brought into submission to the 
will of God. In order to this, you must have your own will 
frequently crossed ; and things do and will turn out, almost 
daily, in one way or other, contrary to our wishes and ex- 
pectations. Then some people fret and fume, are angry and 
impatient ; but others, who are in the Lord's school, and desirous 
of being taught by him, get good by these things, and som^time^ 
find more pleasure in yielding to his appointment, though contra- 
ry to their own wills, than they would have done if all bad hap- 
pened just to their wish. 

I wish my dear child to think much of the Lord's governing 
providence. It extends to the minutest concerns. He rules and 
manages all things ; but in so secret a way, that most people 
think he does nothing, when in reality, he does all. He appoint- 
ed the time of your coming into the world ; and the day and hour 
of your coming from Highgate to us, depends upon him likewise : 
nor can you come in safety one step of the road without his pro- 
tection and care over you. It may now seem a small matter to 
you and to me, whether you came home last Sunday, or are to 
come borne next Sunday ; but we know not what different conse- 
quences may depend upon tte day : we know not what hiddeii 



396 TO MISS ••••. [Let. 12. 

danger jou migbt escape by staying at High^te last Sunday 
The Lord knows all things ; he foresees every possible conse- 
qaefnce, and often what we call disappointments, are mercies from 
him to save ns from harm. 

If I could teach you a lesson which as yet I have but poorly 
learned myself, I would put you in a way that you should never 
be disappointed. This would be the case if you could always 
form a right judgment of this world, and all things in it. If you 
go to a blackberry bush to look for grapes, you must be disap- 
pointed ; but then you must thank yourself, for you are big- 
enough to know that grapes never grow upon brambles. So if 
you expect much pleasure here, you will not find it ; but yon 
ought not to say you are disappointed, because the scripture 
warned you beforehand to look for crosses, trials, and balks 
every day. If you expect such things, yon will not be disap- 
pointed when they happen. I am your very affectionate. 



LETTER XII. 

Ocroter 15, 1782. 
Mt Dear Child, 

It is rather to your disadvantage that I have lately correct- 
ed a mistake I had made. I thought yon were but twelve years 
old last birth-day ; but I read in a blank leaf of the great Bible, 
that my child was born June 22, 1769; consequently 3'ou are 
now in y6ur fourteenth year. Therefore, to keep pace with my 
ideas and wishes, you ought to be a whole year more advanced 
in improvements of every kind than you are, a whole year wiser. 
Some things which I might think very tolerable in my child, sup- 
posing she was but twelve years old, will seem but rather so so, 
when 1 know she is thirteen ; and some things of another sort will 
be quite unsuitable at the age of thirteen, which might be more ex- 
cusable if you were but twelve. You see, my dear child, you must 
sUr your stumps, and use double diligence to fefch up this year, 
which we have somehow lost out of the account. You have, a year 
less for improvement, and are a year nearer to the time in which 
you will begin to appear like a young vmman, than I expected* 
I know not but I should have been pleased to find that I had made 
a mistake on the other side, and that you were younger than I 
bad supposed you. As it is, I shall hope the best ; I do not com- 
plain of you. As I love you dearly, so I have muih comfort in 
you ; and I trust you will pray to the Lord for yourself, as I do 
for you, that he may give you bis grace, and wisdom, and bless- 



hex* 12.] TO MXSB ♦•••. S9T 

iog ; then I knovr ynu will do well. Bat sometimes wheal coo-' 
sider what a world you are growing up into, and what snares and 
dangers young people are exposed to with little experience to help 
them, I have some painful feelings for you. Th^ other day I 
was at Deptford, and saw a ship launched : she slipped easily in- 
to the water ; the people on board shouted ; the ship looked tieaa 
and gay, she was fresh painted and her colours flying. But I 
looked at her with a sort of pity : — '' Poor ship," I thought, 
** you are now in port and in safety ; but ere long you must go to- 
sea. Who can tell what storms you may meet with hereafter^ 
and to what hazards you may be exposed ; h&w weather-beaten 
you may Jbe before you return to port again, or whether you may 
return at all." Then my thoughts turned from the ship to my 
child. It seemed an emblem of your present state ; you are now,, 
as it were, in a safe harbour ; but by and by you must launch out 
into the world, which may well be compared to a tempestuous^ 
sea. I could even now almost weep at the resemblance ; but I 
take courage ; my hopes are greater than my fears. I know 
there is an infallible Pilot, who has the winds and waves at his 
command. There is hardly a day passes in which I do dot en- 
treat him to take charge of you. Under his care I know you will 
be safe ; he can guide you unhurt amidst the storms, and rocks, 
and dangers, by which you might otherwise suffer, and bring you 
"nt last to the haven of eternal rest. I hope you will seek him 
while you are young, and I am sure he will be the friend of them 
that seek him sincerely ; then you will be happy, and I shall re- 
joice. IVotbiog will satisfy me but this ; though I should live to 
see you settled to the greatest advantage in temporal matters, ex- 
cept you love him, and live in his fear and favour, you would ap- 
pear to me quite miserable. I think it would go near to break 
ray heart ; for, next to your dear mamma, there is nothing so dear 
to me in this world as you. But the Lord gave you to me, and I 
have given you to him again, many and many a time upon my 
knees, and therefore I hope you must, and will, and shall, be his. 
I hardly know any accomplishment I more wish you to attain, 
than a talent of writing free and easy letters ; and I am ready to 
think, if you could freely open your mind to me, you might in- 
form me of something I should be glad to know, or you might 
propose to roe some things which now and then trouble your 
thoughts, and thereby give me an opportunity of attempting to 
relieve, encourage, or direct you. For these reasons I have re- 
quested of your governess to permit you now and then to seal up 
your letters to me or your mamma without showing them to her. 
I have asked this liberty for you, only when you write to us ; 
nor even then always, but at such times as you find yourself dis- 



398 TO MISS •♦••. [Let. IS. 

posed to write more freely than yon coald do if your letters were 
to be seen before you send them. I have likewise told ber, that I 
woold desire you to be as careful in writing as if she was to see 
your letters, and not send us pot-hooks and hangers, as they say, 
because you know she will not inspect your writing. Under 
these restrictions she has promised to oblige roe ; and I take it as 
a favour ; for I am well aware that, in general, it is by no DKans 
proper that young people at school should write letters from thence 
without the knowledge of their governess. But yours has so good 
an opinion of you and me, that she is willing to trust us, and I 
hope we shall neither of us make an improper use of her indul- 
gence. 

I am, with great tenderness, 
9ly dear child, 

Your very affectionate fa\her. 



LETTER Xni. 

• 

January 27, 1783. 
My Dear Child, 

Want of leisure, and npt want of inclination, prevented my 
writing before you left home; and I now take the first opportuni- 
ty that has offered since you went from us. If I liad no more 
correspondents than you have, you would hear from me very of- 
t^n ; nor can I expect to bear from you so often as I wish, be- 
cause I consider you likewise have your engagements ; and though^ 
perhaps, I am not willing to allow that your business is so impor- 
tant as some of mine, It must, and ought, for tlie present, to take 
up a good deal of your time. You have not only reading, and 
writing, and arithmetic to miad, but you work sprigs, and flow- 
ers, and maps, and cut bits of paper to pieces, and learn a strange 
language, so that you are very busy to be sure ; for idleness and 
sauntering are very great evils, and doors by which a thousand 
temptations and mischiefs may en.ter. Your mamma and I are 
well pleased with you, on the whole; your affection is not lost 
upon us ; we think we can perceive an improvement in you, and 
we believe the things in which you yet fail proceed rather from in^ 
attention than from the want of a desire to please ; and we have 
a good hope that, as you grow older, you will outgrow that heed- 
lessness which you sometimes discover. You are not yet a wo- 
man, but neither are you a child ; you are almost fourteen, and ^t 
that age a certain degree of thought and forecast may be hoped 
for, which it would have been unreasonable to expect from yon 



Let. 13.] TO MISS «*»». 299 

some few years ago. It has pleased G6d to give you a capacitgr 
for improvement ; and, as you see we are so situated, that neither 
your mamma nor I tan bebtow that time and attention upon you, 
when you are at home, which we would wish, I hope you will 
make the best use you possibly can of the opportunities you have 
at school. It is no pleasure to us that you should live so much 
from us, for we love you dearly, and love your company ; but it 
is what we submit to for your advantage. 

You desired me to send you news, when I should write ; but I 
have little to tell you. The public news you will hear, I suppose, 
from twenty people ; it is very important. The Lord is about to 
give us the blessing of peace. Neither you nor I can tell the value 
of this blessing, because we have not known the want of it. It 
is true, we have heard much talk of war, and we have heard of 
the calamities which war has occasioned ; but we have heard of 
them as things which have happened at a distance : had we lived 
in America, we should probably have seen and felt them. We 
should tiave seen towns villages, and houses in flames ; have 
heard the groans of widows and orphans around us ; have had 
every thing we call our own torn from us, and perhaps have been 
glad to hide ourselves in the woods, to save ourselves. Such has 
been the lot of thousands in the course of the war. If you re- 
member the hurry, confusion, and terror which prevailed at the 
(ime of the riots, it may give you some apprehension of the case 
of those who live in a country which is the seat of war. Our 
apprehensions i^ere over in a few days ; but they live in such 
alarms, or greater, from the beginning to the end of the year. I 
hope, therefore, you will be thankful to God, if he is pleased to 
sheath the sword of war, aud to put a stop to the devastations and 
the slaughters which have so long prevailed. Though you your- 
self have not been a sufferer, I wish you to cultivate a feeling and 
benevolent spirit, a disposition to compassionate, if you cannot 
relieve, the distresses of others. This, n^xt to the grace of God| 
is the brightest ornament of human nature ; or rather, when genU^ 
ine, it is one of the beskeffects and proofs of grace. It was the 
mind of Jesus the Saviour ; they who love him, will in a degree 
resemble him, and they only. A hard-hearted, unfeeling, selfish 
Christian, is a contradiction. ^ 

When you think what multitudes of m^ikind are suffering by 
war, famine, sickness, storms, earthquakes, and other calamities, 
let it lead your thoughts to the evil of sin, which brought all other 
evils into the world. But what is sin ? I endeavoured to tell you 
last Sunday, from J^. ii. 11. Sin is pretuming to do our own 
will in opposition to tfce will of God, who is' our Creator, Lawgiv- 
er, and Benefactor. Sy sin we affect indepen^oce of our Crea^ 



400 TO MIS8 «***« [Let. 14. 

tor, affiroD^ the authority of our rigfateoas Lawgiveri and aieguil- 
ty of base and horrid bgratitude against oar greatest and kindest 
Benefactor. If you could form a Kttle creature and make it live, 
if it hated you and opposed yoo, slighted your Idndness, and took 
a pleasure in displeasing you, would you not soon be weary of it, 
and, instead of feeding and taking care of it^ be provoked to tread 
it under your feetf But, O the patience of God? though he could 
destroy rebellious men much more easily than you can kill a sp- 
der or a beetle, yet be waits to be gracious, and has so loved them 
as to send his own Son to die that they may live. Sin has not 
only filled the world with wo, but it was the cause of all the wo 
that Jesus enduredl He groaned, and wept, and sweat blood, 
. and died upon the cross, only because we had sinned. May I live 
to see you duly affected with the evil of sin, and the love of Je- 
sus ; and what more can I ask for youf 

1 am, my dear child, 

Your most affectionate father. 



LETTER XIV. 

March 8, 1783. 
My Dbab Child, 

It would please me if I could either visit you or write to you, 
or both, every week. But it cannot be ; 1 am behind-hand with 
every body. ^ Yet I think I send you six letters for one. You 
stare at that ; but if you please to count the lines in one of your 
epistles, and the letters in every line, and then compare it with 
one of mine, ycoi will find that you receive many more words and 
letters than you return. 

You sometimes idliihate that you are afraid of death ; and I 
wonder not at it. For you are a sinner, but I hope to see you a 
believer, and then you will not greatly fear it, while it is at a dis- 
tance ; and whenever it comes very near, you will not fear it at all. 
Mr. **** is gone, and so is Mr. ****, and neither of them was 
more afraid of death than you would be afraid of .a coach that 
should stop at the gate to take you home to us. Jesus died to 
make death«8afe and comfortable to us. Balaam was not a good 
man, but he spoke well when he said, ^* Let me die the death of 
the righteous." Make that prayer for yourself; it is a good one, 
though short. Eutreat the Lord to number you amogst the 
ri.i^hteous, that you may live their life ; then your death will be 
like theirs. The Scripture, in many places, speaks of the right- 
eous and the wicked, as two characters which divide and compre- 
hend all mankind ; and yet it tells us that there is none righteous^ 



Let. 14.] TO BfiSB «•«•« 401 

no, not one — ^that ' is, there is none righteous by natare ; sinners 
are made righteous by the grace of God. The grace of God 
teaches them to understand what they read of a Saviour, and of 
their own need of a Saviour. When they put their trust in him» 
their sins are forgiven them for bis sal&e ; and when they rightly 
consider his love to them, his dying for their sakes, they learn to- 
love him, and they who love him, must and will hate what is evil ; 
they learn to resemble him, and study to please him ; and thus 
they are not only accepted as righteous in the beloved, but they 
are really made so ; the love of righteousness is implanted in their 
hearts ; they believe what the Lord says, they heartily strive to 
obey his commands, to avoid what -be forbids ; they place their 
happiness in his favour, and in doing his will. They cannot but 
speak of their Saviour,' and what he has done for them ; they lave 
to hear others speak of him, and they love to hear those ministers 
who preach concerning him ; but their religion does not all con- 
sist in talking and hearing ; they are upright, gentle, and loving ; 
they imitate Him who went about doing good. The evil tempers 
of self-will, impatience, pride, envy, anger, and malice, are put 
away ; they cannot allow themselves in such things ; if they feel 
the rising of such things in their hearts, they are grieved and 
ashamed, and are glad to fly to the throne of gtace for mercy and 
help against them. On the other hand, they no longer seek pleas- 
ure in the vanities and follies of the world ; they hkve better 
things to mind. These trifles they lay aside, as we forsake, when 
we grow up, the playthings which pleased us while we were child- 
ren. 

But you must not expect all this at once. Look at a great 
tree; an oak, for instance. How tall it is ! bow wide its branches 
spread ! and if you were to dig, you would find it has deep and 
wide-spreading roots in proportion ! Yet this great tree sprang 
from a little acorn ; but not like a mushroom, in a single night : it 
has been years in growing, and had you watched it every day, 
you would hardly have perceived that it grew at all. May I not 
hope that there is at least a little seed of a gracious desire already 
put in your heart f If so, may the Lord, who alone could plant it, 
water it with his blessing, and cause it ta increase ;'i( not, it is my 
daily prayer that it may be so ; and I hope it is your prayer for 
yourself. I pray that you may live and die with the rights 
eons: it is said of them, They have hope in their death ; and 
that when they see him approach, they shall say, ** O deatb, 
where is thy sting !*' 

Your mamma and I love you dearly, and hope we shall always 
have reason to love you more and more. 

I am your affectionate. 

Vol. IV* 51 



409 TO MI88 ****. [Let. 1^. 

I-ETTERXV. 

May 12, 1783. 

I HAVE ju&t now received my cbild^s short and sweet letter ; 
and having nothing to prevent me, I begin my answer to it imme- 
diately. 

The snow does not often cover the ground in the neighbour- 
hood of London so late as the 8tb of May ; but it has been so 
sometimes. One reason yon were surprised at the sight is, be*- 
cause you are young, and this is the first instance, perhaps, in the 
few years yon have been able to take notice. You will meet with 
many other things, as you grow up, which will surprise you for 
the like reasoii : for want of experience, you will not expect them. 
We expect lowers on the ground in May, and not snow : so those 
pleasures, the prospects of which present themselves to your mind, 
and appear at a distance as beautiful as we usually conceive a May 
morning to be, when we talk of it in winter, will not always answer 
expectation. When the time comes, something which you did not 
think of, unseasonable as snow in May, will come with it, and 
you will be surprised and disappointed ; especially at first, and 
till you are used to these changes. By the time you are as oM 
as I am now, you will not wonder so much ; and I hope, long be- 
fore that, the Lord will teach you to profit by such things. It is 
necessary we should find all to be uncertain and unsatisfying in 
die present world, or we should be contented with it, and not 
think of a better. One reason why young people are but sel- 
dom serious is, because the world appears so pleasing and so pro- 
mising. Th^ expect roses without thorns, and May without 
snow. The Lord make you wise by tiroes, that you may re- 
member and seek him now in the days of your youth, before the 
evil days come, (for come they will,) when you will find no plea- 
sure in them. 

Such days are come very early to Miss B****. I wish, if it 
were practicable, that all the misses in all the schools in London 
could see her. What are the pleasure and gaiety which the most 
are thinking of, now to her ! shut up as she is, in the bloom of 
life, unable to move herself, and with pain her constant compan- 
ion day and night ! I have been much afiected with looking at 
her ; but I believe I shall not see her long. Within these three 
days she has been much worse. 1 was with her twice yesterday ; 
and I have been with her again this morning. The doctors think 
she cannot live many days ; and she thinks so too. I am glad to 
find that she is not unwilling to die. If her affliction has been 
sanctified to lead her heart to the Lord, then, instead of greatly 



Let. 16.] TO MX9S 4HNHI* 403 

pit3riag her, we shall rejoice in her behalf. It is better to be sick 
or lame, or full of pain, and seeking after him than to live ^hat b 
commonly deemed a happy life, without God in the world. 

Cannot you contrive to put your lines in, a little closer togeth-i 
er ? Your paper looks like a half furnished room. I want a good 
long letter ; I care not what it is about, so that you write easily. 
Fott read sometimes ; cannot you find somethiag in your books 
to tell me of .^ You walk sometimes, and without doubt look about 
you. Take notice of any thing that strikes your eye ; make 
some reflection or observation upon it, and then put up your 
thoughts very safely in a comer of your memory, that you may 
send them to me the next time you write. I love a long letter, 
especially from you, because I love you a great deal. 

Adieu, the Lord bless you, is the prayer of 

Your affectionate. 



LETTER XVI. 

JIfay 19, 1783. 
Mr Deab Child, 

If your sensibility drops a tear or two when yon are inform- 
ed that your aunt C**** is removed from this world of sin and 
sorrow, I have no objection ; but I do not wish you to shed ma^ 
ny, nor is there just cause for it. If we could see her now, she 
would surely say, ^* Weep not for me, I am happy!'' Yes, she 
knew and loved the Lord ; she lived in his faith and fear, and di- 
ed in his peace and favour ; and now she is before the throne. 
She had her share of trials in this life, but they are all over now : 
she fought the good fight, and the Lord made her more than con- 
queror. Now she has received the conqueror's crown, and is 
singing the conqueror's song. Methinks, dearly as I love you, I 
could bear to part with you likewise, if I was sure that the Lord 
had set his seal of love upon your heart, and thereby mark- 
ed you for his own. If he has not done this already, I hope he 
will. If he has not yet taken full possession of your heart, I 
hope you are sensible that he is standing, as it were, at the door, 
and knocking, waiting to be gracious to yon. The door of the 
heart is not easily opened. The love of sin, of self^ and the 
world, are so many bolts, which are too strong for us to remove 
by ouc own power; yet he can open it easily, fbecause all things 
are easy to him,) and by a sweet constraint of love, force himself 
an entrance. I hope you are willing that he should do this ; and 
that you are not willing to do any thing on your part that may 



404 TO M1S8 «••'• [Let. 17. 

grieve him and caase him to withdraw and leave yoa to year- 
self. You cannot do much : you can, indeed, do nothing gpirit«- 
ualiy of yourself. Yet there is something for you to do ; yoa 
are to wait, and pray, and long for his blessing ; yon are to read 
his word, and to endeavour to make it the rule of your conduct, 
so far as yoo undel^stand it ; you are to attend to his voice in 
yeor conscience, and not wilfully allow yourself in what you know 
to be wrong. This is the path in which my heart's desire and 
prayer is that you may walk at present ; and then in due time the 
promise shall be fulfilled to you, which says, ^* Then shall yon 
know, if yon follow on to know the Lord :'* Hosea, 3. vi. 

You may believe we had some weeping at home upon this occa- 
sion. But the Lord is very good. Your mamma has been sup- 
ported, and is pretty well. 

I long to see you, and especially now, that we may read Mr. 
Gray's Elegy together. I hope we shall be permitted to be with 
you on the faitious exhibition-day ; «and I please myself with the 
thought, that ^u will appear to advantage. I wish, for your 
own sake, yon cobld. get the better of that trepidation and hurry 
which discomposes you ^wfaen the eyes of company are upon you ; 
but it is a fauh on the right side, and much better than a bold, 
pert, self-confident carriage, which is very disgusting in soma 
young people ; but there isa medium which I wish you to aim at. 

I am your a&ctionate. 



LETTER XVn. 

Jiin«ll,1783. 
Mt Dear Child, 

I THANK yon for your last letter, which pleased me and 
your mamma very much. We thought it well written, and 
#ell expressed. Take as much care as you please how yon 
write, and use as Kttle study as you please, what to write. 
When you are surrounded with the beauties of nature, you need 
not pozde yourself with thinking what to say first ; but set down 
first what first occurs to your mind : when you have written that, 
something else will ofier. Try to write just what you think, and 
write as often and as largely as your many important businesses 
wiH allow ; for nothing but practice will give you a habit of writing 
easily : and practice will do it. We could fill up as large a sheet as 
you, with repeating how much we love you ; I hope and believe 
there is no love lost on either side. Love will make you desirous 
to please «nd obligt us, and love will prompt us to do every tUag 



Let. 17.] TO HISS •««». 405 

in our power to oblige and please you ; and 90 1 hope we shall 
go on loving and pleasing as long as we live. 

We often think of Monday se'nnight, when we hope to come 
and see your exhibition. I promise myself that your part will do 
you credit, and give us satisfaction. I could like to come over 
and read the Elegy with yon once more ; but I know I shall not 
be able, and I believe it will not be necessary. I doubt not but 
you will do it very well, especially if you can get the better of 
your diffidence and trepidation. But 1 had much rather see you 
a little timid, than see you assuming and affected, as some young 
people are. I could wish you to have just so much feeUng when 
you begin, as might intimate a respect for the company ; and then 
that you should enter into the spirit of the poem, so> as, in a man- 
ner, to forget every body present, till you have done. There is a 
great beauty in the cadence and melody of the verse, if you can 
hit it off without overdoing it. If you understand and can feel 
the subject, you will express it properly. 

I hope the Elegy will likewise lead you to some profitable re- 
flections for your own use, and which may excite your thankful- 
ness to the Lord. To him you owe your capacity, and to him, 
likewise, yon are indebted for the advantages you have of culti- 
vation. It is possible, that among the children we meet half na- 
ked io the streets, there may be some who might have been amia- 
ble and admired in life, if they had been favoured with the helps 
which the good providence of God has afforded you. But they 
grew up, poor things, in ignorance and wickedness, after the ex- 
ample of those among whom they live. And though you would not 
have been like these, yet it is probable you would not have been, 
as you now may, and I hope will be, if the Lord had not sent you 
to us. Though you were deprived of your own parents when you 
were very young, perhaps no child, in such a case, has had 
less cause to feel the loss ; because the Lord not only made 
ns willing to take care of yon, but gave us, immediately on 
our receiving you, a tender affection for yon, as if you had 
been our own ; and from that time your welfare has been a 
very principal object with us. You have been guarded against 
the follies and vanities which might otherwise have taken an early 
possession of your mind ; and you have been acquainted with the 
means of grace, and the blessed Gospel. I trust the Lord has a 
gracious design to lead you to himself, by all these favourable 
circumstances in which he has placed you ; for, without this every 
thing you can learn or attain would be but of little worth. I 
wish, indeed, to see you possessed of every accomplishment you 
can acquire at school ; but nothing will satisfy me for you but 
the grace of (Sod. I am your very affectionate. 



406 TO MISS ****. [Leu 18. 

LETTER XVni. 

July 2% 1763. 
Mr DfiAE Great GirLi 

Yoo seem to take it for granted thai I roust always write 
first ; and you see I very readily submiti in hope that when your 
great and many important businesses will permiti you will at 
least oblige me with an answer ; for it will give your mamma and 
me, and your cousin, pleasure to know that you are well. 

While you were a little girl, we used, when you came home 

from N , to place you with your back against the wall, by 

the fire-place in the parlour, and compare you with your former 
marks, that we might notice how much taller you grew from one 
half year to another. According to present appearances, yon 
are likely to be sufficiently tall, and to shoot up apace. I need . 
not measure, for I can perceive, by a glance of the eye, that you 
are grown every time you return to us. But I am watching your 
growth in another sense with more attention — I wish I could say 
with more satisfaction. I wish to see you outgrow a certain child- 
ishness, which once looked very pretty in you, but is by no 
means so pleasing in a person of your years, and of your size ; I 
think I may add of your sense too, for I know the Lord has given 
you a good measure of understanding and natural abilities ; so 
that with a proper degree of atti;ntion and application, you are 
very capable of every attainment suitable to your sex and your 
situation in life. 1 love to call you my dear child, and shall pro- 
bably call you so as long as I live, because there is something to 
me in the sound of the word child^ expressive of the tenderness 
and afiection I feel for you ; but I would not always have you a 
child in the common sense of the word. I hope you will not 
think 1 am angry with you, aud I hope you will not be angry with 
me for giving you this hint. ' , I love to see .you cheerful, and a 
little occasional volatility in a young person favoured with health 
and full of spirits, is very tolerable ; but then I would have you 
remember, that it is high time that a measure of thought, and 
steadiness, and attention, should begin to mark your general de- 
portment. Your dear mamma, at your age, was capable of su- 
perintending the afiairs of the family, and was actually called to 
it ; and you are now old enough, if you will do yourself justice, 
to take a great deal of care off from her hands when you are at 
home ; you have it in your own power to shorten the term of your 
living away from us. I am glad that though you like your school ve- 
ry well, yet you like home better ; and I am sure we shall be glad 
when we can think it no longer neoessary to keep you abroad, 



JLct. 19J TO MISS <HH». 407 

for we love your company, and it is principally for your own 
sake that we are constrained to part with you. But, they say, a 
word to the wise is enough, and therefore I shall add no more in 
this strain. 

You heard several of my sermons on Mary and Martha. Last 
Sunday night, I finished the subject by speaking on ** One thing is 
needful" — a sentence which I pray the Lord to write upon your 
heart. Many things are necessary in their places ; but one thing 
is absolutely needful. It is right that you should be diligent at 
school, obedient and obliging to your governess and teachers, and 
endeavour, by a kind and gentle behaviour, to gain the esteem 
of your school-fellows, and of the whole family ; a regard to 
the one thing needful is very consistent with all this. But 
though you were beloved by every body that knows you, you can- 
not be happy eiccept you know and love the Lord. The one 
thing needful, therefore, is to seek him, and liis favour, which is 
better than life ; and if you ssek him, he will be found of you. 
You are a sinner, and need forgiveness ; you have many wants, 
which he only can supply ; you are growing up in a world which 
is full of sins, snares, troubles and dangers. Will you not cry to 
him, then, " My Father, thou art the guide of my youth !" You 
have encouragement to seek him, for be himself both ii^vites and 
commands you to do it ; and if obligations and gratitude can 
prevail, there is no friend like him, whose mercies are new every 
morning, and who died upon the cross to redeem us from misery. 
1 commend you to his blessing. 

Your cousin is much as she was ; she sends her love to you. 
I believe she loves you dearly, and I believe you love her. f 
hope you will both love each other as long as you live upon this 
earth ; and that afterwards 3'ou will meet in the kingdom of love, 
and be happy together in heaven for ever. Mamma sends her 
best love. Believe me to be often thinking of you, and praying 
for you, and always desirous to show my love in deed and in truth. 

Your afiectionate. 



LETTER XIX. 

October 16,1783. 
Mt Dear Child, 

I HOPE you will now be able to rest yourself: for you have had 
a sad hurrying time since Midsummer. So much visiting and run- 
ning about has, I hope, given you a ripe relish for the retirement 
and regularity of schooK What a pretty place you are in, and 



40& TO MISS ••••. (Let 19. 

what a pretty time of life it is with you, if yon can bat think so, 
before trouble and care have received commission to disturb yon. 

I could wish that all my letters might afibrd you both pleasure 
and profit : I would make you smile sometimes, and always en- 
deavour to do you good. At present I most write a little upon 
the subject of temper. I do not think your temper a bad one. 
Tou mamma and \ are always ready to give you a good charac- 
ter, and it pleases us that wa can say you are, in the main, aflec- 
tionate and obliging. But we sometimes observe that in you, 
which we could wish nobody took notice of but ourselves ; or 
rather, that you would strive to get quite the better of it, that we, 
who love you so dearly, might be no more grieved. It is a cer- 
tain self-willed impatience, which disposes yon, when your inclin- 
ations are over-ruled, or when any thing is desired of yoti which 
does not exactly please you, to pout, frown, and alter your 
countenance, so that you often appear to a disadvantage in com- 
pany. You do not seem to find, or to think of finding, a pleasure 
in giving up any thing, to please your mamma, but bad rather 
have your own way. Now, if you sit down and consider how 
much we love you, and study to oblige and please you, 1 hope 
you will strive against this humoursome temper. I call it so, be- 
cause I do not believe it is owing to a want of afiection and grati- 
tude on your part, but rather the efiect of a something in your 
natural temper, which, if you strive against, I hope you will be en- 
abled to overcome. 

Besides what you owe to our love and tenderness, I can give 
you a further reason why you should attend to this point. I have 
told you repeatedly, and I tell you again, that your cousin's com- 
ing to live with us will not make the slightest alteration in our 
love for you. You are still, and will be, our own dear child ; we 
have love enough for you both. But, in the outward expression 
of our love, something must, of course, depend upon behaviour. 
We are sometimes obliged, though with reluctance, to reprove 
and contradict you ; now, we cannot reprove her, because she 
never gives us an opportunity. In the seven months she has been 
with us, I never once knew her debate with us, nor have I once 
seen a cloud upon her brow for a single moment. She watches 
our looks, and if she perceives the slightest hint that any thing 
she proposes is not quite agreeable to us, she has done with it in 
a moment, and gives it up with a smile ; which shows that it 
costs her nothing, but that she really prefers pleasing us to the 
pleasing herself. Now you must allow, my dear, that this be- 
haviour is very engaging. I wish you to be equally engaging, 
and not to seem to come short of her m any thing. 



Let. 20«] TO MI9S 4HM>«. 409 

Have you heard of your good friend Mrs. ****»s illnesfi ? They 
have no expectation of her recovery ; nay, perhaps she is dead 
before this time. How well she seemed when wc dined there but 
lately ! So uncertain is life— even youne people have no assurance 
of continuing here; but I hope you will pray as Davi4 did, Psa. 
xxxiz. 4, and that the Lord will hear your prayer. When you 
come to know him as your Lord and Saviour, you may sing Sim- 
eon's song. And we cannot enjoy life with true comfort, till we 
(ire delivered from the fear of death. I am your affectionate. 



LETTER XX. 

October iS, 1783. 
My Dear Child, k 

When I showed my last letter to your mamma, I thought she 
looked as if she was almost unwilling I should send it ; but she did 
not say so, and therefore it went. She is unwilling to give you 

f^iin, and so am L But I persuaded myself you would take it (as 
meant it) as a proof of mv love. Now and then I must gently 
give you a word of advice, but it will always be much more pleas- 
ing to me to commend than to find fault* Your welfare is very 
near my heart, and I feel a warm desire that your behaviour, in ev- 
ery respect, should be such as to engaee the esteem and affection 
of all who know you. I remember, when you were a litde girl at 
Northampton school, I once told you, in a letter, that when the 
Lord, in his providence, sent you to my care, I received you as 
his gift ; and in the pleasing hope of being an instrument lA his 
hand of doing you good, I found such affection for you, that I 
would not part with you for your weight in gold. And though 
you are much heavier now than you were then, Icansay,t£e 
same still. 

Mrs. W**** had been ill some days before I heard of it, and 
then I was told she was at the point of death. This information, 
with some hindrances and difficulties in the way, prevented mv go- 
ing tQ ; so that I did not see her. She was an old and 

kind acquaintance, and though of late years I was not often in her 
company, I feel that I have lost a friend whom 1 loved. Such is 
the state of this world. If we live long in it, we must exnect to see 
our firiends drop off, one after another, ax the leaves at tois season 
of die year fall from the trees. But the pain which Christians feel 
at partmg with their Christian friends, is alleviated by two consid- 
erations : first, that now they are gone, they are much more happy 
than they could be here ; and secondly, ne tope ^re teng to ofe 
Vol. iV. 82 



41 Q TO MISS *»**• P-iCt. 20. 

with them again, and to share in their sonp and joys before the 
throne of God. This, my dear child, is the desire of my soul for 
you, that while you live, and when you die, you maybe ifee Lord^s. 
Nothing but this will satisfy me. And for this I ollen pray. My 
thoughts and prayers are often employed for you, when perhaps 
you are asleep. 1 cannot make many very particular requests for 
you, because 1 know not what is best for you ; but when I pray 
that you may have wisdom and grace to seek and know the Liord, 
and that he will be graciously pleased to be your Saviour and Shep- 
herd, and the guide of your youth, I am sure I do not ask amiss. I 
have a cheerful hope that he will put you among his children, 
guide yon through this wilderness world by his counsel, and after- 
wards receive you to his glory y and that he sent yon to me, that 
you might have the benefit of those means of grace and instruc- 
tions, which, by his blessing, will be effectual to make you wise 
unto salvation. 

Though he alone can work in you to will, and to do according 
to his good pleasure, yet there is something incumbent on you. 
He has said, ^* They who seek me, shall &nd me.'^ You must 
therefore seek him ; and he is not far from you. He is about 
your bed, and about your path. Yea, he is still nearer. I hope 
there ^ seasons when you can perceive him knocking, as it 
were, at the door of your heart. Do not you at times perceive 
somethitig within you bearing witness to the truths of his word ; 
warning you of the evil of sin, reminding you of death and 
eternity, and stirring up your desires towards himself? At such 
times you may be sure the Lord is near. He made the heart, and 
he knows how to affect it. Such warnings and calls from his 
Good Spirit, I can recollect when I was a child younger than you ; 
I can remember getting into corners by myself, and praying with 
some earnestness, before I was eight years old. Afterwards, alas ! 
I proved rebellious. I cast off his fear, and would have my own 
way»; and thereby I plunged myself into abundance of sin and 
misery. But I hope you will be more obedient. Think of him 
as often as you can ; make a point of praying to him in secret, re- 
membering that-wh^n' you are most alone, he is still with you. 
When you pray, endeavour simply to express your wants and feel- 
ings just a^ if you were speaking to me. Fine words and phrases, 
some people abound in ; but true prayer is the genuine language 
of the heart, whidh the Lord understands and accepts, however 
brokenly expressed. The woman of Canaan only said, ** Lord 
help me !'' The pubHcan*s prayer was almost as short, " God be 
merciful to me a sinner :" and both were heard. 

The Bible, or the New Testament, is frequently used at school, 
as a school-book; and children often think no more of it than just 
10 read their appointed lesson. But I hope you will consider it as 



Let. 21.] I'D MISS ««». 411 

God's book, and when you take it in hand, open it with reverence, 
and read with attention, as you think you would if you expected to 
hear him speak to you with an audible voice from heaven. The 
plainest and most affecting part of the Bible is the history of our Sav- 
iour in the evangelists ; reaa it often, that you may be well acquaint- 
ed with it. I pray him to enable you to understand wliat you read. 
Surely, when you read who he is^ what he did, what he suffered, 
and what he has promised to pocH* sinners, you will, you must, 
love him ! And if you once love him, you will study to please 
him. The Lord bless you* Give our love to your governess, and 
all friends. Believe me to be your very affectionate. 



LETTER XXL 

October 30, 1783* 
My Deak Child, 

Though I lately sent you a long letter by the post, which I 
hope you' received on Tuesday, I must write again ; and I take a 
new pen, and a sheet of gilt paper, that I nay, in the best manner 
I can, make vou a return for your letter which I received yester- 
day. I would not delay lon^ to let you know bow much your 
mamma and I were pleased with it. ft is a great happiness to us 
that we are well assured of your desire and intentiofi to oblige us ; 
and we hope not to be behindhand with you* 

We are very far from thinking your temper is bad ; the manner 
of your answer is a proof of the contrary. You may Fometimes 
need a woitl of advice or admonition ; 1 believe even this will not 
be often necessary ; and when there is occasion, my affection will 

f>rompt me to offer it with so much tenderness, that it shall look as 
ittle like reproof as possible ; abd I hope and expect to find ma- 
ny more occasions for commending than for reprovm^ you. 

Should it please the Lord to spare your cousin, a time will come 
when you will live together, and, I believe, love each other dear- 
ly. I would certainly wish you to imitate her in any thing that 
you see is commendable ; and there will be other things, I trust, in 
which you may be a pattern to her. Thus you may be mutually 
useful to each other ; and we will love you both, and rejoice in 
you both. We shall not love you a hair^s breadth th^ less than, 
wc should have done if we had never seen her. 

Indeed, I canivot be sufficiently thankful to the Lord/that when Ke^ 
was pleased, in his providence, to put two children wider my care,, 
they should be both of such an amiable, affectionate disposition, 
as would win my love if they had been strangers, and not so near- 
ly related as^ou and your cousin are to us. And though I con* 



413 TO Mias <^*^ [Let 94. 

sider you both riow as my own children, yet you are still my eld- 
est, and my having a second will be no prejudice to your birthright. 

I have not a bit of News that I can think of to send you. Your 
mamma is pretty well, and your cousin likewise ; but she is much 
confined, for if the weather is either wet or cold, we cannot ven- 
ture her abroad. She does not seem to want to go out, except to 
church. When we arc going thither, it is some trial to her to be 
left behind ; but she is satisfied, because she thinks her aunt is 
the most proper judge whether she can go with safety or not. 

You, my dear, are favoured with health, and I hope you will be 
thankful for it. Your cousin, and twenty other youne people I 
^ouU same, know the value of health by the want of it. The 
Lord can make sickness a blessing when he is pleased to send it; 
but still a good state of health is a great privilege. If your life 
should be prolonged, it may be a good while before increase of 
years makes a sensible change in your constitution, but you will feel 
it at last. When you see an old woman tottering about with a stick, 
consider that she was once as young as you are now, and probably 
her spirits as lively, and her fimbs as agile as yours. Suppose it 
may oe fifty years before you are like her, such a space, which 
seems long beforehand, will seem very short when it is past; and 
there is hardly one in fifty of your age, that will be alive fifty years 
hence. 

Dangers stand thick through all the ground. 

To push us to our tomb ; 
And fierce diseases wait around, 
To bun-y mortals home. 

How just, therefore, and important is that advice, *' Remember thy 
Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come !" , 

And whom should we remember if we forget him? Our Creator 
is our Redeemer ; Isa. liv. 5 ; the Saviour, the Lover of Souls, 
who assumed our nature, that he might be capable of dying for us. 
Shall we not remember him who endured agonies, and sweat blood, 
and hune upon the cross, that we might escape the misery we have 
deservea, and be made the children of God ! I wish the poet's 
words may express the very feeling of your heart and mine : — 

Remember thee ! — 
Yes, from the table of my memory 
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, 
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, 
That youth and observation copied there ; 
And thy commandment all alone shall lire 
Within the book and volume of my brain, 
Unmix'd with baser matter. 

I commend you to his love, and pray him to write his name upon 
your heart* We all join in love to you. 

Believe me to be your affectionate^ 



FIVE LETTERS 

TO 

MR. AND MISS M***» B****. 



FIVE LETTERS 

TO 

MR- AND MISS M**** B****. 



LETTER I. 
TO MR. B****, 

May 1, 1780. 
Mt Deab Sib, 

I BLAME myself, and ask your pardon, for not writing sooner. 
My confinement occasioned me so many visits from kind friends, 
that it added little to my usual time of leisure. Your first letter, 
enclosing Mr. C****'s, came safe ; as did the second, but that was 
posterior to mine to Miss P****, and therefore I could not then 
acknowledge it I now thank you for them both, and for that dated 
the 27th otApriL As the news of your illness and your amend- 
ment came together, my sympathy was concern mixed with pleas- 
ure ; and having as much that seemed to require immediate atten- 
tion as I could well find time* for, I believe the hope of seeing you 
soon in town, made me the more easy to let your letter lie by un- 
answered. ^ 

My arm, I believe, is nearly, if not quite well, excepting a stiffness 
in it, from being so long confined in one position. 1 have it now 
as much out of the sling as in it. I hav6 been able to wear my 
coat for a week past ; the surgeon, however, thinks it prudent, 
though not necessary, to keep on my bandage for a few days lon- 
ger. I believe the arm has advanced as happily, as speedily, and 
with as little pain, as possible. 

My spirit has been peaceful ; it is a small thing to say resigned, 
for I have seen it a dispensation full of mercy, and have not oeen 
permitted to feel a wish that it had been otherwise. Especially as, 
through the Lord's mercy, Mrs. N^*** felt no abiding ill effect 
from the great terror she was at first seized with, and which I feared 
might have brought a return of all her nervous complaints. But 
h^ is very gracious to us, and she is remarkably well. 

I think you must have suffered more than I have done of late f 
but eur faithful and good Shepherd affords to us both, strength ac- 
cording to our day. He knows our frame, and wiU lay no mor^ 



416 TO SR« ^^^^. [LeU U 

on us than he will enable us to bear : yea, I trust, no more than 
he will cause to work for our jgood : he aelighteth in our prosperi- 
ty ; our comforts of every kind come free and undeserved. But 
when we are afflicted, it is because there U a need-be for iu He 
does it not willingly. Our trials are either salutary medicines, or 
honourable appointments, to put us in such circumstances as may 
best qualify us to show forth bis praise. Usually he has both 
these ends in view ; we always stand in need of correction ; and 
when he enables us to suffer with patience, we.are then happy witJ^ 
nesses to others of the truth of his promises, and the power of his 
grace in us. For nothing but the mfluence of God's good Spirit 
can keep us, at such times, either from despondence or impatience. 
If left to ourselves in trouble, we shall either sink down into a sul- 
len grief, or toss and rebel like a wild bull in a net. 

Our different posts are, as you observe, by the Lord's wise ap- 
pointment ; and therefore must be best for us respectively. Mine 
IS full -of trials and difficulties ; indeed, I shoula soon make sad 
work of it without his continual help, and should have reason to 
tremble every moment, if he did not maintain in me a humble con- 
fidence that he will help me to the end. He bids me ^^ Fear not;'^ 
and at the same time he says, ^^ Happy is the man that feareth ad- 
ways." How to fear, and not to fear, at the same time, is, I be* 
lieve, one branch of that secret of the Lord which none can under- 
stand but bv the Ufaching of his Spirit. When I think of my heart, 
of the world^of^e power of darkness, what cause of continual fear, 
I am on an enemy's ground, and cannot move a step but some 
snare is spread for my fee^ But when I think of the person, grace, 
power, care, and faitnfulness of my Saviour, why may I not say, I 
will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord of hosts is with us, the 
God of Jacob is our refuse. I wish to be delivered from anxious 
and unbelieving fear, which weakens the hands, and disquiets the 
heart. I wish to increase in a humble jealousy and distrust of my- 
self, and of every thing about me ; I am imperfect in both res- 
pects, but I hope my desire is to Him who has promised to do all 
things for me. 

Your desire for the mortification of self, in every view and form, 
is, I hope, mine likewise. Yet I would regulate it by the word of 
God, so as not to expect more than is promised. I cannot proper- 
ly expect a perfect exemption from conflict, because I believe it is 
the will of God I should have something to conflict with while I am 
here. To be sensible of the motions of sin in me, watchful against 
them, humbled for them, this I desire ; and I believe the more I ad- 
vance in grace, the more feelingly I shall say, *< Behold, I am vile." 
But desirable and precious as sanctification is, it is not, I trust it 
will never be, the ground of my hope. Nor, were I as sinless as 
an angel in glory, could I have a better ground of hope than I 



L^. 2.] TO MR. B»»«*« 417 

have at present. For acceptance, I rely, (oh that I indeed did,) 
simply, wholly, and solely, upon the obedience unto death of my 
surety, — ^Jesus is my righteousness, my life, and my salvation, I 
am still a sinner ; but he who knew no sin was made sin for me, 
that I might be the righteousness of God in him. This right to 
eternal lire by believing in the Son of God, is, in my view, equal in 
all who do so believe, and as perfect and sure when they first be- 
believe, as at the last moment of life ; as perfect and sure in the 
thief on the cross, as in an apostle or martyr. An infant is as truly 
alive as a grown person, though all his members and faculties, are 
in a state of weakness. Therefore, with respect to my accept- 
ance, I would put my graces as much out of the question as my 
actual sins. That wora suited me at first, and will suit me to the 
end — " To him that worketh not, but belieVeth on him who justi- 
fied the ungodly.'' 

This morning (May-day) I preached for Mr. R**** a sermon 
to young people ; it reminded me a little of my annual new-year's 

sermon at ; but though I had some liberty, 1 feel a difier- 

ence between speaking to one's own children, and those of ano- 
ther. They were my own proper charge, and the concern of 
their souls was laid upon me with a peculiar weight. 

I am, dear Sir, &c. 



LETTER IL 

Dec. 3, 1780. 
My Dear Sib, 

The Lord is risen indeed. This is his day, when we are 
called to meet in his house, and (we in this branch of his family) 
to rejoice at his table. I meant to write yesterday, but could not. 
I trust it is not unsuitable to the design and privilege of this day, to 
give you a morning salutation in his name ; and to say, Come mag- 
nify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. If I 
am not mistaken, I have met you this morning already. Were you 
not at Gethsemane ; have you not been at Golgotha ? did I not see 
you at the tomb ? This is our usual circuit, yours and mine, on 
these mornings, indeed every morning ; for what other places are 
worth visiting ? what oth^r objects are worth seeing ? O this won- 
derful love! this blood of sovereign efficacy! the infallible anti- 
dote which kills sin, cures the sinner, gives sight to the blind, and 
life to the dead. How often have I known it turn sorrow into joy. 

O thou Saviour and Sun of the soul, shine forth this morning, and 
cheer and gladden all our hearts ! Shine upon me and luine, upon 
all whom I love, and on all who love thee ! Shine gpwetfuUy cm 

Vol. IV. 53 



418 TO Miu B«»«»« [Let S. 

my dear friends at , and let us know that, though we are ab- 
sent from each other, thou art equally near to us all. 

I must to breakfast, then dress, and away to court. Oh for a 
sight of the King ! and oh to hear him speak ! for his voice is mn* 
lie, and his person is beauty. — ^When he says, Remember me, and 
the heart hears, what a train of incidents is at once revived ! — ^from 
the manger to the cross, what he said, what he did, how be lived, 
how he loved, how he died ; all is marvellous, affecting, humbling, 
transporting ! I think I know what 1 would be, and what I wouH 
do too if I could. ^ How near would I get, how low would I Ml, 
how would 1 weep and sing in a breath ; and with what solemn 
earnestness would I recommend him to my fellow sinners* But, 
alas ! when I would do good, evil is present with me. Pray for 
Hie, and help me likewise to praise the Lord, for his mercies are 
new every morning and every moment. 

I am your affectionate. 



LETTER m. 

January 8, 1781. 
JHy Dear Sir, 

In my peregrinations to-day, I saw Mr. L*****, Mr. R****, 
and Mrs. G**** ; Mr. G**** called here while I was abroad, so 
that I missed hearing your letter to him, but he read it to my dear; 
and 1 have seen a copy of your son's letter. 

I understand your views and feelings so well, that my letter will 
not have such an air of condolence as some people might expect 
on a like occasion. The first thing that strikes me respecting 
your personal concern in the late awful calamity, calls rather for 
congratulation. I see your beloved son preserved in the midst of 
eeneral ruin ; in his preservation I see the immediate, the wonder- 
Uil hand of the LorJ stretched out ; I consider it as an answer to 
your prayers ; I humbly hope it is a token of further good respect- 
ing him, and that the restraining word. Destroy it not, for a blessing 
is in it, is applicable to his case. I find, likewise, that bur one life 
was lost on your estate, which, to a mind like yours, I am sure is 
an alleviating circumstance. For the rest, I am sure you have lost 
BOthing but what He, if he sees it good, can restore with a large 
increase ; nothing that is directly necessary to your peace and 
comfort even in the present life ; nothing that is worth naming 
when compared to that which you love above all. You may still, 
and I trust you will, find the Lord as near, as gracious, and the 
light of his countenance as sweet, as cheering, as ever. And you 
hav€ an estate in a kingdom which cannot be shaken, out of the 



Let 3.] TO MR. BiNHw. 419 

reach of earthquakes, hurricanes, and enemies. Indeed you do not 
think you have lost any thing, in strictness of speech, because you 
have been taught of God not to consider any thing you possess a« 
properly your own. You feel yourself the Loi-d's servant and 
3tewarcf, and whether he is pleased to enlarge orabndge the tal- 
ents he has intrusted to your care, your chief solicitude in either 
case, is to be faithful to every intimation of his will* I believe that if 
the whole produceof Jamaica centered in your warehouses, the Lord 
would not permit you to forget that you are a stranger and pilgrim 
upon earth; and I believe if vou were not to receive a pepper- 
corn from it in future, he would still make you happy in himself. 

1 judge thus for what he has done for you alreacly ; he has giv« 
en you a taste and a desire which nothing but himself can satisfy ; 
he has shown you the secret of his holy religion : and by leading 
you to fix your dependence upon him, has raised you to a noble 
state of independence with regard to creatures and contingencies, 
which are all in his hand, and can do us neither good nor harm 
but of bis bidding. 

Barbadoes and Martinico, it seems, have sufTered still more. It 
is observable, that during the whole summer, while we and the 
French had large fleets in those seas, the Lord would not permit 
them to do any considerable harm on either side. He was pleas- 
ed to take the business into his own hands, and has shown us how 
easily he can strike such a blow as shall constrain even enemies 
to commiserate each other. 

Mr. P**** told mc this morning, that it is supposed Jersey is 
taken. Thus the cloud grows darker. The flames of war arc 
still spreading wider, and difiiculties seem increasing on every side. 
The Lord's hand is lifted up; men will not see ; thus far the pro- 
phecy is fulfilled. 1 tremble at what may further concern us in the 
folloi^ing clause, " But, they shall see !" If he undertakes to make 
this insensible nation know that he is the Lord, he will certainly 
accomplish his purpose. What it may cost us before we Icarn the 
lesson, who can say ? but he will be mindful of those that fear 
him. That word, '* It shall be well with the righteous," cannot 
be broken. Hitherto the nation is in a deep sleep, and profes- 
sors, I am afraid, are sadly slumbering. I can hardly find, any 
where around me, (alas ! that I cannot find in myself,) a spirit of 
humiliation and prayer, in any degree answerable to the state of 
the times. Oh that the Lord would graciously revive us ! We 
have, indeed, abundance of preaching and abundance of hearers; 
there are, doubtless, many individuals alive and in earnest, but the 
bulk of those who avow an attachment to the Gospel, are too little 
affected either for themselves or others. 

Mrs. **** is pretty well, she has had but litde complaint since 
P***n has been ill, who likewise is now getting better. The child 



420 TO MISS !!♦*♦♦ B****, [Let. 4. 

scalded her foot on new-year's day, throogfa mercy but slightly : 
it was a gentle memorial to us bow entirely dependent we are on 
his protection for safety in our smoothest hours* We are frail 
and feeble creatures, it is not needful to raise a hurricane to de- 
stroy us ; were be only to witlidraw his arm for a moment, some 
unthought-of evil would presently overwhelm us. It did not pre- 
vent her hearing my sermon to young people that night, but she 
has been confined to the house since. My health continues firm^ 
and I am enabled to preach with apparent liberty, with what ef- 
fect God only knows, but I am sometimes afraid there is more 
sound than power. I am well attended, and encouraged to hope 
tirat I do not labour wholly in vain. 

May the grace of our good Shepherd be with us all.. Let us 
praise him for what is past, and cheerfully trust him for what is 
to come. He knows where and what we are, and numbers the 
very hairs of our heads. 1 am, most affectionately. 

Your much obliged, &£c. 



LETTER IV.. 

March 13, 1781. 
My Dear Miss M****, 

If wishes and purposes were always effectual, I should not 
have been so long three letters in debt to your bouse ; I would 
answer all if I could, but perhaps it will take the leisure of two or 
three mornings to answer one, and the first must be to you, be- 
cause it is so seldom I have one from you to answer. 

I saw Mr. **** yesterday : he informed me of Mr. ****'s dteath; 
though I knew him not, I felt it as an event in which my dear 
Mr. B**** is concerned ; and indeed the suddenness of it struck roe. 
The uncertainty of life has been a theme for declamation in all 
ages, but by how few is it practically laid to heart ! Happy they 
who know whom they have believed, and are waiting with desire 
bis recall home to himself, that they may see him as he is ! 1 am 
bound to pray that this bereaving stroke may be sanctified to his 
family. But Mr. *•** told me something that affected me still 
more nearly. He says that Mrs. B**** has been worse this fort- 
night past. I believe I am foolish and inconsistent, but I cannot 
help it. When the Lord has taken her to himself, I hope I shall 
say, " Thy will be done." I hope I shall follow her with my 
thoughts, and feel some satisfaotion in thinking — ^Now she is out 
of the reach of pain and sorrow for ever ; now she sees her S|iv- 
iour's face without a veil, and sings his praise without the inter- 



Let. 4.] to MISS M**** B****. 421 

niption of a single sigb ;. now she is a pillar of the heavenly tem- 
ple, and shall go no more oot. But at present, and while sheis 
continoed with us, I fe^l an anxiety and a desire, which I fear are 
wrong : I feel unwilling to lose such a friend ; and I am sure I 
feel for those who are more nearly interested in her than myself. 

Tell her, dear Miss M., that Mrs. N. and I are not wiliing to 
think any but her own children can exceed us in love and sympa- 
thy ; that we shall be thinking of her, speaking of her, and (I 
hope) praying for her daily, and for you all. Well, let the flesh 
say what it will, we know that all is well. We cannot love her 
so well as He that bought her with his blood. And, ah ! how 
faiiu is our tenderness compared with his. He will not let his 
children feel one pain too many, or too sharp. He will enable 
them to glorify him even in the fire, and he will soon wipe away 
every tear. 

I am glad to find that the Lord leads you further and deeper 
into the mysteries of his salvation. As a theory it may be express- 
ed in a few words ; but to live a life of faith on the Son of God 
as our wisdom, righteousness, and strength, considered as a mat- 
ter of experience^ is what we usually attain to by slow degrees, 
and at best, but imperfectly. We are always capable of further ad- 
vances, and are frequently obliged to learn over again that which 
we thought we had learned already. My sentiments on this point 
seem tolerably clear, but in practice I fall sadly short, and feel 
that the principles of self and unbelief, are still deeply rooted in 
me. However, I trust I am in the school of the great Teacher, 
and 1 humbly hope he will carry on the work he has begun. What 
I want, what I pray for, is a simple, dependent spirit, to be will- 
ing to put myself entirely into his hands, to follow him without 
asking questions, to believe him without making objections, and 
to receive and expect every thing in his own time and in his way. 
This is the course we take when we consult an earthly physician ; 
we consult him, but we do not pretend to direct him. Thus would 
1 give myself up to my heavenly, infallible physician ; but this is 
one branch of the good which, when I would do, I find evil is pre- 
sent with me. But it is likewise one part of the sickness I groan 
under, and which he has in mercy undertaken to cure ; and 
therefore, though I am very sick indeed, I trust I shall not die, 
but live and declare bis wonderful works. 

I long aimed to be something. I now wish I was more heartily 
willing to be nothing. A cypher, a round is by itself a thing 
of no value, and a million of them set in a row amounts to no 
more than a single one ; but place a significant figure before the 
row, and you may soon express a lau*ger number than you can 
well conceive. Thus my wisdom is 0, n>y righteousness is 0, my 



42a TO HI88 ■**«* B»***. [Let. 6. 

strength is 0. But put the wisdom, power, and grace of Jesus be* 
fore them, let me be united to him, let his power rest upon my 
weakness, and be magnified in it, in this way I shall be something. 
Not in and of myself, but in and from Him. Thus the apostle 
speaks of being filled with all thefutaess of God. What an amaz-' 
ing expression ! Thus, so far as we die to self, Christ liveth in us. 
He is the light by which we see ; He is the life by which we live ; 
He is the strength by which we walk, and by his immediate virtue 
and induence, all our works and fruits are produced. We have no 
sufficiency in ourselves, but We have all-sufficiency in Him, and at 
one and the same time we feel a conviction that we can do no- 
thing, and an ability to do all things that fall within the line of 
our calling. Wlien I am weak, then I an strong. 
1 am, dear Miss M****, 

Your very affectionate and obliged servant 



LETTER V. 

April 12, 1781. 
My Dear Miss M»*»*, 

Accept my sincere, though rather tardy thanks fur your fa- 
vour of the 1 1th February ; I beg you likewise to accept my as^ 
surance, that if leisure and opportunity were with me in any pro- 
portion to my inclioation, your letters would be very speedily 
answered. 

I knew you would be a favourable reader of Cardipbouia. 
Your kind partiality to the writer would dispose you to put the 
best construction on what voo read ; and your attachment to the 
design and principal subject of the letters, would make them wel- 
come to you. We can put op with smaller faults, when a per- 
son is disposed to praise them whom we dearly love. I trust my 
pen is chiefly devoted to the praise of Jesus, your beloved; and so 
far as I succeeded, I am sure what I write will be acceptable to 
you. How can 1 but wish to praise him, when he has snatched me 
as a brand from the buniing, and quenched the fire of my sins in 
his own blood ! How can t but praise him, if he has given me a 
glance of his excellency ! If any do not love him, it is surely be- 
cause they do not know him. To see him but once with the eye 
of the soul is to be convinced that He is the chief among ten thou- 
sand, and altogether lovely. His person is glory, his name is 
love, his work, fro.m first to last, is grace. The moment the sin* 
ner is enabled to behold him, he is seiied with gi'eater admiration 
iljan the Queen ot Sheba felt when brought into tlie presence of 



Let. 6,] TO HISS !!♦♦♦* B****. 423 

Solomon ; and is convinced that they only are happy who, as 
children and servants in his family, stand continually before him, 
to watt upon bim| admire him, and hear his wisdom. But, ah ! 
bow faint are my conceptions ; how little do I know of him ! and 
how little of that little which I deem my knowledge, is realized to 
my heart ! What trifles are sufficient to hide him from my view, 
and to make me almost forget that he is nearer to me than any 
object that strikes my sense ! Is it so with you ? Let ns at least 
rejoice in prospect of the promised hour, when veils, and clouds, 
and walls shall be removed, and we shall see him as he is ; so 
see him, as to have all our desires satisfied in him, and fixed 
upbn him, and to be completely transformed into his image. 

My mind frequently anticipates the pleasure I propose in a visit 
to B— , but it is not likely to take place so soon as I wished. I 
had hoped to leave London soon after Easter, but circumstances 
are likely to forbid it. My times are in the Lord's baud, and if 
be sees it best for me to be gratified^ be will make it practicable, 
and his providence will likewise determine the fittest season. I 
I wish not to be impatient, but to refer myself to him. This is 
certain, when he opens the door, and says. Go, I shall set ofi* with 
alacrity, for I long to walk upon that lawn, and to sit in that tub^ 
and to converse with those dear firiends who have, deservedly, so 
much of my heart. 

Thank Miss M**** for her letter. We rejoice to hear that 
j'our dear mamma is better. I believe I think of her daily, and 
often in the day ; and this not only for the love I bear her, but 
for my own relief. — Mrs. N. is often ill, sufficiently so to awaken 
my feelings for her. But when I reflect how the power, grace, 
and faithfulness of our Lord and Saviour support under much se- 
verer trials, it disposes me, in some measure, to submission, thank- 
fulness, and confidence. Our trials are light, ourselves being 
judges : But I see that he can make those that appear to be heavi- 
est tolerable. I shall certainly write before I come, when I can 
fix the time, and then, except something extraordinary interferes 
to require it, I shall not easily alter my plan, for if we cannot be 
with convenience in the same house, it will be worth something to 
be in the same town, and just to look at Mrs. B. a few minutes 
occasionally, if sl)^ can bear to receive us, and if she can be^r no 
more. For I believe another interview with her, before the Lord 
sends his chariot and angels to remove her from this land of sor- 
row, will be the principal and most interesting object of our 
journey. Our other friends, if we are spared, we may hope to se^ 
at some future time. I consider her as in the situation of the 
apostle when he wrote 3 Tim. iv. 6. 



424 T© MISS M**** B****. [Let. 5. 

I am preparing materials for two more volumes of Cardipbo- 
nia. My present thought is, to have them ready for publication 
at a time when my pen will no longer be able to move. Wheth- 
er any circumstances may send them abroad sooner I know not ; 
but, at my time of life, I ought to consider that period as not 
likely to be at a very great distance. I do not wish to be im- 
patient for its arrival ; but I do wish my willingness to live 
longer here, was more simply and solely from a desire' of promo- 
ting my Lord's service, and the edification of his children ; I hope 
this is not out of my mind, but I am afraid it is shamefully det^a- 
sed by an undu^ attachment to earthly things, and a want oT 
spirituality. I am yours, Sz4:. 



A LETTER 



TO 



June 8, 1780. 
Mv Dear Madam, 

Though I write to both when I write to one, it seems time to 
drop a word expressly to you, that I may keep you in my debt, 
and maintain a hope of hearing from you again. 

I sympathize with my friends at , under the afflictive dis- 

Bjnsations with which the Lord has been pleased to visit the town, 
e has a merciful design even when he inflicts, and I hope the rod 
will be sanctified to those who are too negligent under the public 
means of grace. 1 am not sorry for Mrs. H****'s death, as you 
sa V she died in the Lord, for she bad but little prospect of tempo- 
ral comfort. The death ol Mrs. *** affected me more on account 
of her husband and family, to whom I hoped she would have been 
a comfort and a blessing. But we are sure the Lord does all 
things wisely and well. The moment in which he calls his people 
home, is precisely the best and fittest season. Let us pray (and 
we shall not pray in vain) for strength proportioned to our day ; 
then we have onlvto wait with patience; our time likewise will 
shortly come. The bright, important hour of dismission from this 
state of trial is already upon the wing towards us, and every 
pulse brings it nearer. Then every wound will be healed, and 
every desirable desire be satisfied. 

I believe you mast now take the will for the deed, and give me 

credit for what I would have said or written if I could. Mrs. 

came in and engrossed the time I had allotted for your letter. I 
knew not how to grudge it her ; she had wished to spend an hodr 
with me ; her conversation, I think, was from the heart, and I be- 
lieve the interruption was right. If it should abridge the pleasure 
I proposed in writing to you, I must make myself amends some 
other time. 

Mrs. N has some degree of the head-ache to-day. But her 

complaints of that kijid are neither so frequent, nor so violent, as 

when at . His mercies to us are great, and renewed every 

morning. 

I have still a quarter of an hour for you ; but now, when opportu- 
nity presents, a subject is not at hand, and I have no time to rami- 

Voi-. IV. §4 



436 TO •«»•. 

nate. I will tell vou a piece of old news. The Lord God is a sun 
and shield, and both in one. His light is a defence : his protec- 
tion is cheering *, a shield so long, and so broad, as to intercept 
and receive every ar^ow with which the quiver of divine justice 
was stored, and which would have otherwise transfixed your heart 
and mine ; a shield so strong that nothing now can pierce it, and 
so appositely placed that no evil can reacn us, except it first makes 
its way through oar shiield. And what a sun is this shield ! when 
it breaks forth it changes winter into sumoier, and midnight into 
day, in an instant; a sun whose beams can not only scatter clouds, 
but the walls which Sin and Satan are aiming to build, in order to 
hide it firom our view. 

Public aflbirs begin to look more pleasing just when they were 
most desperate* Affairs in America are in a more favourable train. 
A peace with Spain supposed upon the tapU. I should hope for 
some halcyon davs after the storm, but for the awful insensibility 
which reigns at home. But if the Lord revives his people, we 
may hope he will hear their prayers. 

Mr. **** bids £aiir to be as unpopular in the course of ano-' 
ther month as any of his opponents have been. This is a change- 
able world. The inns and the outs, being fastened upon the same 
Tolling wheel, have each their turn to be uppermost* Really, one 
is tempted to smile and constrained to weep in the same breath.— 
The Lord bless yon and ke^p you. 

I am, for self and partner, 

Most affectionately youra. 



THREE LETTERS 

TO 
MISS G**«. 



LETT£R f . 

• /illy 11, 178$* 

Madam, 

I HAVE been mach affected with your present situation, and 
«inth the case which you did me the honour to propose me for my 
own judgment. I hope it is from some real sense of my own weak- 
ness, that I usually undertake the office oS casuist with fear and 
trembling. How unhappy should I be to mislead vou in a point 
of such importance ! How cruel, to wish you to be determined by 
my decision, except I am sure it is warranted by the word of Goo! 
Indeed, you have been hardly out of m^ thoughts sinee I saw you 
in the garden. I have considered, agam and again, the advice I 
ventured to give you, and I am the more confirmed in the proprie- 
ty of it ; and in a persuasion that if the Lord (for what are our re- 
solves without him ?) enables you to act the part which you seemed 
to be satisfied was right, you will never have iust cause to blame 
either yourself or me. i think the Lord highly honours you, by 
permitting you to be brought to such a trial, and thereby putting 
it in your power of giving Doth to the church and to the world, (so 
far as you are known,) such a singular and striking proof of die 
sincerity of your heart towards him. Surely I shall not cease to 
pray, that he who has wrought in you to will, may strengthen you 
with his power to act accordingly ; and that you may do it witli 
cheerfulness. You have good reason for it, madam. He for 
whose sake you are about to reject what many would eagerly re- 
ceive, deserves it well at your hands. He ^ve up much more 
for you ; he became very poor that you might be rich. And 
though he was once poor for us, he is now rich again: ricl;^ enough 
to make you ample amends for all you give up. be not afraid. His 
own kind providence will take charge of you, and surelv do you 
good. Were your conduct generally known, you would be blam- 
ed or pitied, by those who know of nothing better thad sold, and 
such toys as gold can purchase. But they will neither blame nor 
pity you in the ereat day of vour Lord's appearance. When I see so 
much interestea and formal profession, 1 should be almost dtscou- 



438 TO MISS ««•«. [Let. 2. 

raged, were it not tbat the Lord has given me to know a happy 
and ftivoured few, whose conduct exemplifies and adorns the glo- 
rious gospel they profess* In them I see a simplicity, a spiritual- 
ity, a dismteresteaness, a submission, and a ready obedience be- 
coming the servants of such a Master. They have made the 
choice of Moses ; they endure as seeing him who is invisible, and 
prefer even the reproach of Christ to all the treasures of Egypt. 
The sight of one such person in the bouse of God, animates and 
comforts a minister more than a crowd of common hearers. I 
bless the Lord that I have the honour of preaching to more than 
one of this description. Go on, madam ; may the Lord be with 
vou. I pray for you, and I rejoice in the hope, that I shall soon 
have to cbngmtttlate you that me Lord has given you a complete 
deliverance, a victory, and filled your heart and mouth with his 
maise. Think of the reward promised to them that overcome, 
Hev. ii. and lii. What can the world propose worthy to be put 
in competition with these ? 

I aO) Madam^ 

Your sincerely affectionate servant. 



LETTER II. 

July 14, 1783. 

I WAS much affected and comforted by your obliging answer 
to my letter yesterday. I believe, as you say, there was some- 
thing providential in my writing, and, indeed, in the timing of my late 
agreeable visit, where I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting 
^th you. On Saturday, when 1 had a quite different business in 
Ivand, a thought struck me, which made me lay aside what I was 
engaged in, to prepare a letter which I thought I could get convey- 
ed to you from church ; not thinking I should see you there, and 
have.an opportunity of putting it into your own hand. As you say 
it proved a means of confirming your mind, 1 have reason to praise 
the Lord (to whom I would ascribe every ^ood and useful motion) 
for putting it into my heart to write. I rejoice in your determina- 
tion; persuaded that the principle upon which you act will bear 
you through, and that the Lord, whom you desire to serve, will, 
either in kmd, or in kindness, afford you a testimony that he ap- 
proves of your conduct. ^Ve are short-sighted as to consequen- 
ces, but he knows what he.is about to do» You have, in his pro- 
mises, upon which he has enabled you to trust, a greater treasure 
by for than the Bank of England ; and therefore you can be no 
h9fli by declming an otkv which he only permitted to be made for 



Let. 2.] TO HISS G«M. 439 

the trial of your fiiuh and iolegrityk 1 Iiave been, likcwiae, in my 
lime, called to make sacrifices, and to give up seeming advantages 
for conscience' sake, though certainly mine wei*e trifles compared 
yf'ith yourS) as yoa are now situated ; and my own experience, as 
well as ray frequent observation of others, convinces m^ that 
though we may appear to lose something for the Lord, we shall not 
eventually lose t^ him* But what I recollect of such things in my 
own case, and of tl^e manner in which I was led through them, 
makes me take the liberty of offering a farther word of advice upon 
the subject. In the first place, I would not have you wonder, if, 
when vour determination is fixed, and the affair quite at an end, you 
should find, instead of your path being made smoother immedi- 
ately, fresh difficulties and exigencies arise. 1 hope it will not be 
so ; but it was so with me. I met with pinches that at times al- 
most staggered me, and strongly tempted me to repent that I had 
been, (as ihe thought in a dark hour iutinided upon me) too scru- 
pulous, and had brought inconveniences upon myself by a punc- 
tilio. Still, however, my better judgment spoke a different lan- 
guage, and assured me, it was not a punctilio, but evidently con- 
nected with duty and peace of conscience. I could not, I durst 
not, deliberately repent that I had acted right; but, as I said, I 
was tempted to it. The Lord kept me steadfast, as far as ontward 
conduct was concerned ; but he alone knows the evil workings of 
my heart at some seasons. I was, however, supported; and in 
due time light broke through the darkness, difficulties were remov- 
ed, he maJe me good amends, even in a temporal way, for what I 
had given up ; besides, the opportunity it amrded of commending 
my profession and character, even to the people of the world, who 
had before affected to despise me a^ an enthusiast. They seemed 
to think, many of them to allow, that my religion was better than 
theirs, because it had enabled me to part with that which they felt 
they could not have parted with in similar circumstances. If you 
should be tried something in the like way, tarry the Lord's leisure; 
wait patiently upon and for him, and you shall one day see he has 
not forgotten you, though he should permit you |i while to be tried 
whether you will hold fast your integrity. Perhaps, when the 
Lord has enabled us to act honourably in very difficult, ensnaring 
circumstances, the greatest danger we are liable to is, lest we 
should be insensibly drawn into a too good opinion of our own re- 
solution and constancy, and indulge a secret, self-confidence, in- 
stead of giving the whole praise to the Lord. I cannot forget 
that I felt this evil, nor how much I suffered by it; for Qk; 
Lord, who mercifully watched over me for good, to pievent my 
being exalted above measure, w^s pleased, at the sam* time that 
he enabled me to conquer in a greater trial, to leave me to my 
own weaknes in much smaller ; so that I was left to hesitate, stum- 



430 TO MISS Q—. [Leu 3. 

ble, and fall, in some things so seemingly trivial, that I shoold 
have been ashamed of mentioning them to my most intimate 
friend. Excuse my mentioning this. I trust the caotion will to 
you be unnecessary, after the noble stand the Lord has enabled 
you to make, I have nothing to wish or pray for you, but that 
he may preserve you humble and thankful^ Mrs. *** miatea 
with me in love to you. Need I say, that we shall be very glad 
to see you whenever it suits you to call upon us ? 
Believe me to be. 

Very affectionately and sincerely, yours. 



LETTER til. 

August 19, 1783. 
Dear MadaIi, 

Methinks I well understand the apostle, when he speaks of 
being present with his friends in spirit, while absent from them 

in the body. How often have I been at London, and at N , 

since I came here ! Besides this, I usually convey myself once 
a day iq the shape of a letter ; and this morning I mean to make 
you a visit. May I arrive in a good hour ; and may the Lord 
put some good and seasonable word in my way, that your heart 
may be comforted. The good hand of the Lord brought us bitfa^ 
er in peace and safety ; and we are hitherto favoured with a pre- 
servation from illness, though many are ill around us, and many 
are falling every day. I do not remember so many people being 
ill with fevers at one time during the eighteen years I lived here. 
I am now very busy amongst a people whom I have long loved, 
and who are glad to see me ; and though I am going from house 
to house almost all day and every dajr, I shall hardly be able to see 
them all while I stay. Health, when rightly valued and duly im- 
proved, is a great mercy. I hope you have it, and find it so. The 
mind not only suffers by what the body feels when ill, but is, for 
the most part, indisposed by it for the enjoyments of its best privi- 
leges. An aching head, or a sick stomach, take off our chariot 
wheels, engage our attention to our infirmities, preclude us from 
public ordinances, or unfit us for hearing if abroad, and for any 
spiritual exercises when at home. At such a time we can do little 
more than simply cast ourselves upon the Lord's care, and wait 
his will. *tndeed, it is well if we can do so much ; for to exer- 
cise faith Ind patience at such a time, is a great thing. If health 
and spirits are good, we are so far prepared to meet and support 
the daily trials of life. I hope yon are thus armed, yea, mucit 



Let. 3.] TO wss o***. 431* 

t)etter ; that you are favoured with a peaceful frame of mind, 
a sense of the Lord's presence, and a persuasion that his arm will 
support you and surely do you good. Be of good courage ; 
trust in the Lord with all your heart ; take up your daily cross, 
whatever it may be ; he is your shepherd and guide, to whom 
you have committed yourself, and you may be assured that he 
will Irad you the right way. . I can easily conceive that many 
things in your present situation must be unpleasant to you ; but 
while they are so, they will not be hurtful ; and the Lord, who 
has assigned you your present post, is at hand to support yon in 
it, and I trust wiH honour you with some usefulness while he con- 
tinues you. Live with him to-day, and leave to-morrow in his 
hands. Do not let your spirits be burdened as though you were 
bound to perform impossibilities V but make the best you can of 
things as they lie before you. You are placed where you are to 
be a witness for him ; perhaps he designs to make you an instru- 
ment of good to some who are around you ; your example and 
conduct may have an influence in this way far beyond what you 
expect, even when you do not see it proper to speak a word ; 
but somedmes probably, a word will be put into your mouth, and 
you will not speak in vain. If he had not enabled you to make 
the choice of Moses, you would have avoided the trials you find 
at N ; you would, probably, before this time have entered 

a very different path of life. The world would have either con- 
gratulated or envied you ; but I should have pitied you. You 
would soon have felt (what the Lord enabled you to collider 
without making the experiment) how little the fine things of this 
world xan contribute to happiness. Every day would have 
shown you more of their vanity, and every day would have discov- 
ered to you new instances of the solid and real evils and troubles 
which are connected with tliem. You would either Wve been 
carried away with the stream, to the wounding of your con- 
science and the loss of your spiritual discernment ; or, if enabled 
to stand your ground, you would have found a thorn in every 
step you took. 

Blessed be the Lord, who inspired you with wisdom and 
strength to resist the golden temptation ! I said then, and I say 
still, you will never have just cause to repent it. Continue hum- 
bly to commit your way to him ; he will take care of you, and 
he can give you, even in temporals, what, upon the whole, shall 
be much more valuable and comfortable than all that you give 
up. However that may be, his loving-kindness, and the light 
of his countenance, are better than life itself. I warned you, though 
you knew it before, that the enemy would try, as far as permitted, 
to distress and worry you. But regard him not. Resist him, 



432 TO mss o*«*. ILeU 3. 

and he will flee from yon. You are in the path of doty ; what 
you canoot alter, bear patiently, and the Lord, in his own time, 
will make the crooked straight. Yon are in a peculiar sense, the 
charge of his providence, and he will not leave you nor forsake 
you. We hope to be at home on the evening of the &th. I. have 
great reason to be pleased with my excursion } and, blessed be 
the Lord, the thought of returning to London is very pleasant to 
me likewise. There (with respect to this world) my treasure is, 
and there ts my heart also. The opportunities of preaching his 
word, and of intercourse with his dear people, the many kind and 
valuable friends he has given me are more to me than all tlie 
mines of Peru. 

Let 09 love, and sing, aud woadef, 
Let us praise the Saviour's name. 

Let the world take the world ; for you and for me the Lord 
has provided better things. Oh for grace to be humble, thank- 
ful, circumspect, and exemplary, that our light may shine to his 
praise ! I commend you to his gracious protection, and am, 

Dear Madam, 

Yours most sincerely. 



THREE LETTERS 

TO* 

MRS. C***. 



LETTER I. 

May 29, 1784. 
Mt Dear Madam, 

We have heard that you have been sick, and I write in 
hopes of obtaining an answer, to inform me that you have expert* 
euced the help and power of the great Physician, and that you 
arenow better. I know, indeed, beforehand, that, whether sick or 
well, yon are just as you should be, and that what the Lord 
chooses for you is always the best. But the Gospel, though calcu* 
lated to form us (rebellious as we are by nature^ to a cheerful ac-» 
quiescence in his will, and to regdb^e our sensibility, is not de* 
signed to suppress it. The same lov#which rejoices in the com* 
forts of others will likewise sympathize with them in afliction. 
We are directed to pray for one another in this view, that, tf It be 
the Lord's pleasure to prolong life to restore health, our sense of 
the mercy may be heightened by the consideration that it is be* 
stowed in answer to prayer. Too do not properly need my 
prayers and wishes, you are safe in the hands of infinite wisdoqi 
and love ; and if you were in a wilderness, remote from all socie- 
tyi you could not be sick or afflicted an hour longer than the Lord 
saw necessary to answer some gracious purpose in your favour. 
But this is his institution, that as members of the same body, we 
should maintain a fellowship and sympathy, helping together by 
prayer, that so, for the gift bestowed by means of many persons, 
thanks may be given by many on our account. It pleases me td 
think that, though I am much and often surrounded with nolsei 
smoke, and dust, my friend Mrs. C^** enjoys the beautiful scenes 
of rural life. O how I long somctimetf to spend a day or two 
among woods, and lawns, and brooks, and hedge-rows, to he*r 
the birds sing in theibashes, and to wander among the dieep and 
lambs, or to stand under the shadow of an old oafc, upon a faill 
top ! Thus I lived at OIney ; how different is London ! But, 
hush ! Olney was the place once, London is the place now. 
Hither the Loid brought me, and here he is pleased to support 
Vol. IV. ^5 



434 TO MRS. c«*«. [Let. 1« 

me, and in some measure, (I trust,) to own me. I am satisded. 
Come, I hope I can make a good shift 'Without your woods, and 
bushes, and pastnrt s. What is the prosj^ect from the finest hill in 
Essex, compared with the prospect I have from St. Mary's pulpit f 
What is the singing of birds, compared with the singing our 
hymn aAer sermon on a Sunday evening f What the bleating of 
lambs, compared with the lispings of inquiring souls, who are 
seeking after Jesus! No, welcome noise, and dust, and smoka, 
so that we may but be favoured with his gracious presence in our 
hearts, houses, and ordinances. This will make all situations 
nearly alike, if we see the Lord's hand placing us in it, are enabled 
to do his will, and to set him before us, as our Lord and our Be- 
loved. You will please to present my good wishes to Mrs, B****, 
and likewise Miss D***, if she is with her. He, in whose pre- 
sence is life, whose loving-kindness is better than life, be with 
you all. Though we do not^see each other, we are not far a- 
sunder. The throne of grace is a centre, where thousands daily 
meet in spirit, and have real, though secret communion with each 
other. They eat of one bread, walk by one rule ; they have one 
Father and one home. There they will shortly meet, to part no 
more. They will shine, each one, like the sun. They will form 
a glorious constellation, millttp of suns shining together in their 
Lord's kingdom. How p||sMj is Satan when he can prevail to 
to set those at variance, who are in so many respects udited ! but 
such is his subtlety, and such their weakness, which he practises 
upon, that he has often prevailed thus. Sometimes he shuts them 
up so close within the paper walls of a denomination, that they 
cannot see an inch beyond the bounds of their own party. Some- 
times he holds his magical glass before their eyes, and when they 
thus view each other through the medium of prejudice^ they seem 
so mutually and so strangely metamorphosed, that perhaps botli 
leaders and people are shocked, disgusted, and terrified at the 
sight of those who are as near the Lord as themselves. Here and 
there one escapes the general delusion ; these wonder at the bus- 
tle around them, and endeavour to persuade the rest to peace, and 
love as becometh brethren, and perhaps are requited with the re- 
proaches of both sides, as neutrals, time-servers, and cowards. 
But these peace-makers are blessed, approved of God, and be- 
loved by all men who are in possession of their spiritual senses. 
Through mercy my dear madam, neither, you nor I are to be 
scared by such words as Methodist or Calvinist. We see there , 
is both wheat and chafi* among all parties^ and that they who 
love the Lord Jesus Christt are a people scattered abroad at thi^ 



Let. 2.] TO MRS. c***. 4»5 

time, as they, were in the apostles' days, 1 Pet. i. I. Wc 
are much a^sual. Accept- our cordial love. Shall I beg yoa 
to pray for me and mine P I know you will. 
Believe roe to be, 

Yoiir affectionate and obliged. 



LETTER II. 

JVbt. 27, 1784. 
Mt Dear Madam, 

What shall I say to the intelligence which Mr. C 

(judging rightly of our affection for you) was so kind as to bring 
me this morning ? May I not say, without sinning, that I am 
sorry, very sorry ? If 1 said otherwise I should be a hypocrite. 

If Mrs. or I coald have prevented it, you should not have 

fallen. Oar gracious Lord, who condescended to take our nature 
upon him, took it with all the feelings belonging to it which are 
not sinful. He was truly a man, and sympathised like a man 
with the afflictions of bis friends. Instead of sharply rebuking 
Mary and Martha for their tears wheu their brother died, he 
kindly wept with them, though he had determined to raise him 
again from the dead. I allow myself, therefore, to be sorry for 
your fall and hurt, and to feel a solicitude till 1 hear fqrther of 
you. Perhaps Mrs. B may favour me with a line of in- 

formation, if, as 1 apprehend, yon may not be able to write your- 
self. But now, to use the apostle's expression, *' I have spoken as 
a man," let me look at you in another point of view. The Liord, 
who by his grace has enabled you to devote and intrust yourself to 
him, has engaged, by his promise, to take care of you, and to 
keep you in all your ways. Under his protection you have been 
8afe a number of years ; and did he fail you at last? Far from it^: 
his eye was as directly upon you, bis arm as certainly with you 
when you fell, ns at any other moment of your life. Aqd you 
would no more have fallen, than the planets can fall from their 
orbits, without his permission and appointment. This event must 
work for your good, because he has promised 4hat all things 
shall. If I could assign no other reason for those dispensations 
to his children, which, upon the first impression, are apt to star- 
tle us, this ought to be a sufficient reason, not only to Mlence but 
to (satisfy us, that. It is the Lord. For, can infinite wisdom mis- 
take, or infinite goodness do any thing that is unkind f But I 
see other reasons why, in the present state of things, all things 
should appear as happening alike to all; and that his own people^ 



486 TO URS. c****. [jLet. S. 

who are ireed ffoin guilt and condemnatioo, and to .whom lie mad* 
Urns himself as be does not unto the world, should no^be therefore 
exempted from a share in any of the outward afflictions to which 
sin has rendered mankind liable. I can see many incpnveniences 
which would follow, if they who love the Lord were distinguish- 
ed from the world aroun^ them by a visible mark in their fore- 
heads. But if his providence universally preserved them from 
the calamities which others feel, so that it should be notorious, and 
generally known that their persons were always safe, and that do 
true believer ever suffered by falls, fires, broken bones, and the 
like ; such an exemption, in this calamitous state, would distin- 
guish and point them out, almost as plainly as if they were sor- 
roundH with a glory, as the apostles are sometimes represented 
in popish pictures. Besides, how should it be known that the 
Lord whom they serve can make them cheerful and comfortable, 
under those trials and sufferings which the flesh naturally shrinks 
at, unless they were now and then put into such circumstances. I 
imst, madam, you are of the same mind with -a good woman I 
heard of about thirty years ago. She was very aged, and very 
poor. One day, in attempting to cross the way in Wbitecbapel, 
a cart threw her down, and she broke her thigh. She was taken 
into a house, and many people were soon about her, exfHressing 
their concern ; but she said, ** I thank you for your pity ( but all 
b very well, and I hope I have not one bone in my body but is 
willing to be broken, if such be the Liord's will." What may be 
the issue of this fall as to yourself, I know not. It is a greater 
thing to heal a broken heart than a broken bone. So hmg as I 
hear that yon are alive, I shall probably feel a wish that you may 
live a little longer. I shall therefore commend yon to him to 
whom belong the issues from death, being assured that you are 
immortal till the appointed number of your sufferings and services 
shall be completed ; but if your fall should prove a means of has* 
lening your removal io the church triumphant, then, however I 
and your many friends may regret our own loss, we ought to re* 
Joice in your gain. As this may possibly be the event, though 
I am willing to hope otherwise, I take a sort of leave of you, beg- 
ging that while you do remain on this side Jordan, you will pray 
for me and mine, that we may have grdce to follow you while we 
live, and to follow you when we die, to that heavenly home, where 
the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest. 
Oh, madam, what a prospect awaits you ! 

Oh what hath Jesus bought for nic ; 

Before my ravisli'd eyes 
Rivers of Jife diune I see, 

And trees of Paradise ! 



Let. 3.] TO MBS* €*««». 43T 

I see a world of spiriu brighr. 

Who taste the pleasures there f 
They all are rob'd in spotless white, 

And oonqaering palms they bear. 

Ah, that robe, that crowiii those songs ! sorely it is unspeaka- 
hly better to depart aod to be with Jesus. ^ If he calls you, I must 
end will consent lo let you go ; but I shall miss you. If he is 
pleased to raise voo up, I shall rejoice to see you again. Mrs» 
N**** joins me in best love, and in our respects to Mrs. B****. 

I am, dear Madam, 
Your very affectionate and obliged servant. 



LETTER HI. 

Feb. 25, 1785. 
Mt Daar Madam, 

AccoBAiNo to strict propriety, I should address myself to Mrs. 
B^^**, having an obliging letter of hers to acknowledge. But 
the account Mr. C^** lately gave me of your health, deter- 
mines me to beg her excuse, and to wj'ite to you, not knowing 
how long you may be within the reach of the post. I cannot 
flatter myself that you will continue a great while in this poor' 
world, or that I can reasonably expect to see you again. The 
comfort is, that though Christian friendship is very pleasing, and 
Christian conference be very profitable when rightly managed, 
yet we are not necessary to each other. We are absolutely de^ 
pendent upon the Lord, but not necessarily dependent upon any 
creatures. They smile upon us when be bids them ; they do us 
good when he sends them, but they cannot benefit us without 
him; and, on Uie other hand, he can well supply their absence or 
inability, and do every tiling for us without them. Though I sei* 
dom saw yon when you were in London, yet it gave me pleasure 
to think 1 might expect to see you now and then. Wljen you 
are gone to heaven this pleasure will fail — I shall sec j'ou no more 
here ; 1 shall miss you ; aod in a little while I hope we shall meet 
again there. But where is heaven ? Is it an immense distance 
beyond the fixed stars ? Have our ideds ofiSpace any thing to do 
with it i^ Is not heaven oflen upon earth in proportion as the, pre« 
sence of God is felt ? was not the apostle caught up thither, though 
he knew not whether he was in the.bp'ly or not, aod cousequent- 
ly was not s^ie that he had changed his place? Is there not joy 
in heaven over one sinner that repenteth ? Perhaps the redeemed 
of the Lord, as well as his angels, are. nearer to us than we are. 
aware. Perhaps they see us, though we see not them. Perhaps 



438 ro VBS. c«Hrii* [Let. ». 

nothing but this veil of flesh and blood prevents us from seeing 
them likewise. However, on oar part the barrier is impenetra- 
ble ! O the wonders that wi)! break in upon our mind, when death 
shall open the barrier to us ! What shall we then see ? It is sufli- 
cient for us at present to know that we shall see Jesus. We shall 
see him as he is, and we shall be like him. The circumstances of 
the heavenly state, if I may so speak, are hidden from us ; but 
this which constitutes the essence of it, we can form some faint 
apprehension of from our present experience. All that deserves 
the name of happiness here, consists of such conceptions of Jesas, 
and such measuresof conformity to him, as are attainable while 
in a mortal and defiled nature. But we see him only as in a 
glass, darkly and in part, but when that which is perfect arrives, 
that which is in part shall be done away. We shall be all eye, 
all ear, all activity, in the communications of his love, and in the 
celebration of his praise. Here we are almost upon a level with 
worms ; there we shall rise to an equality with angels. In some 
respects our privilege will be superior to theirs. Angels cannot 
sing the song of the redeemed, nor claim so near a relation to 
Him that sitteth upon the throne. Are not these things worth dy- 
ing for ; I congratulate you, roadain ; you have almost finislied 
your course ; and he who has enabled you to keep the faith, and 
to fight the good fight, will shortly give you the conqueror's 
crown, prepared for you, and for ail who love his appearing. 
They are many crowns, and yet one. The blessings of the other 
world are not like the weaUh of this world, which is diminished 
in proportion to the numbers among whom it is divided. There 
each one shall possess the whole ; as here we enjoy the light of 
the sun, though millions enjoy it with us, as fully as we could if 
there were none upon earth but ourselves to see it. You will like- 
wise soon be removed from all evil. You are going where pain, 
and sickness, and sorrow, and temptation, and sin have no place. 
Where, your eyes and your heart will be no more grieved with the 
wickedness of the world, where uo one will.ask you, with a taunt^ 
What is thy beloved more than another beloved ? In a word, 
where death shall be swallowed up in life, and where the misera- 
ble effects of our fall from God shall be no more perceived, than 
we can perceive a stom'e that is sunk in the midst of the mighty 
ocean. I do not ask nor expect you to write an answer. I 
see you too weak, to wish to impose such a task upon yon. I on- 
ly beg that while you st^y, below, you will remember me and 
mine in prayer. Mrs. N sends her affectionate remem- 
brance with miue. 

Believe me to be 
Your sincere friend and obliged servant. 



EXTRACTED FROM 

PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS. 




J 



FROM THE 

THEOLOGICAL MISCELLANY* 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND IN TROUBLE. 

My Dear Madam, 

The letter we received yesterday from Mr. ****, has given 
us some painful feelings for you both. He says you are lower in 
your spirits than usual. By this time, I hope, the Lord hath raised 
your spirits again : I wonder not that they sometimes droop* 
Vour part is trying and solitary, aflbrdins many handles, which 
the encfmy, if permitted, knows how to take hold of. The pres- 
sure of your troubles is further aggravated by their long continu- 
ance* It is one thing to stand tolei*ably in a skirmish, when it is 
but a brush and away, like a hasty shower in a summer's day, 
which presently leaves us in full possession of the the sun' again : 
it is quite a different thing to endure patiently, when a trial lasts, 
not for days or months, but from year to year, when expectation 
seems to fail, and all our scouts return to tell us, there is no per- 
ceptible abatement of the waters. 

But is this the way to raise your spirits ? Instead of giving you 
sal-volatile as I designed, I had almost mistaken the vial. Let 
us try again. Ay, tnis is it. Read this inscription, '^ As sorrow- 
ful, yet always rejoicing." No wonder that we are often sorrow- 
ing in such a world as this ; but to be always rejoicing, though in 
the midst of tribulation, this may seem strange ; but it is no more 
strange than true. When 1 want witness to this truth in open 
court, I may confidently subpoena you to confirm it. 

They who would always rejoice, must derive their joy from 
a source which is invariably the same ; in other words, from 
Jesus. Oh, that name ! what a person, what an office, what a 
love, what a life, what a death, does it recal to our minds ! Come, 
madam, let us leave our troubles to themselves for a while, and 
let us walk to Golgatha, and there take a view of his. We stop, 
as we are going, at Gethsemane, for it is not a step out of the 
road. There he lies, bleeding, though not wounded, or, if wound- 
ed, it is by an invisible, and almighty hand. Now I begin to see 
what sin has done. Now let me bring my sorrows, and compare, 
measure, and weigh them, against the sorrows of my Saviour f 
Foolish attempt I to weieh a mote against a mountain, against the 
universe ! Thus far we nave attained already^ and aim to say. 

Vol. IV. 5« 



442 A LETTER TO A FRIEND IN TROUBLE. 

Now let our pains be nil forgot, 

Our hearts fM> more repine ! 
Our sufferings are nol worth a thought, 

When, Lord, coinparM with thine. 

We are still more confirmed at our next station. Now wc arc 
at the foot of the cross. Behold the M;ui ! attend to his groans ; 
contemplate his wounds. Now let us sit down here a while and 
weep for our crosses, if we can. For our crosses ! Nay, rather 
let us weep for our sins, which brought the Son of God into such 
distress. Agreed. 1 feel that we, not Fie, deserved to be cruci- 
fied, and to be utterly forsaken. But this is not all : bis death 
not only shows our desert, but seals our pardon. For a fuller 
proof, let us take another station. Now we are at his tomb. But 
the stone is rolled away. He is not here. lie is risen. The 
debt is paid, and the surety discharged. Not here ! where then 
is He ? Look up ! Methinks the clouds part, and glory breaks 
through — Behold a throne ! What a transition ? He who hung 
upon the cross, is seated upon the throne ! Hark ! he speaks ! 
May every word sink deep into your heart and mine ! He says, 
'* I know your sorrows, yea, I appoint them ; they are tokens of 
my love ; it is thus I call you to the honour of following me. See 
a place prepared for you near to myself! Fear none of these things 
be thou faithful unto death, and Twill give thee a crown of life.*' 
It is enoiigh, Lord. Now then let us compute, let us calculate 
again. These scales are the balances of the sanctuary. Let us 
put in our trials and griefs on one side. What an alteration ! I 
thou£;ht them lately very heavy : now I find them light; the scale 
hardly turns with them. But how shiill we manage to pit in the 
weight on the other side ? It is heavy in:Jeed : an exceeding, eternal 
weight of glory. It is beyond my grasp and power. No matter. 
Comparison is needless. I see, with the <;lance of an eye, there is no 

rroportion. 1 am content. I am satisfied. I am ashamed. Have 
been so long mourning, and is this all the cause ? Well, if the 
flesh will grieve, it shall grieve by itself. The Spirit, the Lord 
enabling me, shall rejoice, yea, it does. From this moment I wipe 
a way my tears, and torbld them to flow ; or, if 1 must weep, they 
shall be tears of gratitude, love, and joy ! The bitter is sweet; the 
medicine is food. But the cloud closes. I can no longer see 
what I lately saw. However, / have ieen it. I know it is there. 
He ever liveth, full of compassion and care, to plead for me 
above, to manage for me below. He is mine, and ! am his ; 
therefore all is well. 

I hope this little walk will do ns both good. We have seen 
wonderful things to-day ! Wonderful in themselves, and wonder- 
ful in their cflScacy to compose our spirits, and to make us willing 
to suffer on. Blessed be God for his unspeakable gift.' 



ON TfiS OOTERNMEKT OF TBS TONOUX. 44S 

Havingwritten thus far, I made a digression to the Jews^ syna- 
gogue. Though born and bred in London, I was never there be? 
lore. On my return 1 may say, Blessed be God not only for the 
gift of his Son, but for the gift of his Spirit ! What a gross dark-* 
ness overwhelms that unhappy people ! With the holy Scriptures 
in their hands, how utterly are they ignorant of their true mean- 
ing ! And what multitudes of professed christians, who can pity or 
smile at their superstitions, are equally though differently mis- 
taken ! Hence we have another argument for thankful submission. 
Supposing our life could have passed without a single trial, yet if 
we had lived and died ignorant of God and of ourselves, our hap- 
piness, preferable to that of the most afBicted, would have been 
but like the poor marks of distinction paid to a state-criminal of 
rank, who is attended to the place of execution with a parade not 
allowed to the vulgar, but must undergo the same punishment 
when he comes thither. How trivial is such a pre-eminence *. 
What do all past pleasures and advantages now avail the world- 
ling who died this morning ? What is the believer, who died this 
morning, the worse now for the trials which he met within his path 
to glory ? Quite the reverse ; he now sees thdt they were directed 
and adjusted to promote and secure his progress, and to shield 
him from still greater evils, to which he was otherwise exposed. 
Let us abide by the conclusion, which our judgment assures us he 
now makes. It will appear as plain and self-evident to us like- 
wise, when we shall be called to take possession of our lot in the 
inheritance of the saints in light. 

If you have lately been in conflict with the enemy, 1 hope this 
will find you praising the Lord for a new victory. If under bod- 
ily indisposition, I hope his gracious hands have already brought 
you health and cure, accompanied with a further discovery of the 
abundance of peace and truth. 

I am, Madam, 

Your aflcctionate, 

OMICRON. 



THOUGHTS ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE. 

There is, perhaps, no one test or proof of the reality of a work 
of grace upon the heart, more simple, clear, and infallible, than the 
general tenour of our lansuage and conversation ; for our Lord's 
aphorism is of certain and universal application, that ^^ out of the 
abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.'' To the same pur- 
pose the apostle James proposes to all, who make profession ot 
the Gospel, a searching criterion of their sincerity, when he says, 



444 ON THfi GOITEENMENT OF THE TONGUE. 

<' If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridlelh not hii 
tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.'' 
This passage should not be thought a hard sayinc, for it stands in 
the Bible ; but because it stan%ls in the Bible, and forms a part of 
the rule by which the characters and states of ail men will be finally 
determined, there is reason to fear that it will be found a hard say- 
ing at last, by too many who name the name of Christ. A few 
thoughts upon this important subject can never be unseasonable. 

It IS not the restraint of the neart the apostle requires. He 
knew, that though it be our duty to watch against the first rising 
motions of evil within, and to be humbled for them, it is not in oor 
power wholly to prevent them ; but he supposes that the gr^ce 
of God in a true believer will check the evils of the heart, and 
prevent them from breaking out by the tongue. 

Nor is the restraint of the tongue to be taken so strictly, as if a 
believer was never liable to speak unadvisedly. Job and Jere- 
miah cursed the day of their birth ; and Peter not only denied his 
Lord, but denied him with oaths and execrations. I allow it pos- 
sible that th^best of men, in an unguarded hour, and through the 
pressure of some sudden and violent temptation or provocation, 
may occasionally act or speak unsuitably to their habitual charac- 
ter. But I think the apostle must mean thus much at least, that 
when grace is in the neart, it will so regulate and control the 
tongue, that it shall not customarily offend ; and that without some 
evidence of such a regulation, we are not bound to acknowledge 
anjr man to be a Christian, however splendid his profession may 
be in other respects. Nav, I think we may further say o