صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ly increased, will be productive of much improvement in knowledge and grace.

It has, from the first, been my intention and determination, to contribute some aid to your society, towards the accomplishment of this laudable design, by presenting to them some books, which I supposed would be particularly acceptable and useful to them. Accordingly, together with the books presented by Mr. Woodward, to your soeiety,* I have the pleasure of presenting to the society at the present time in my own name, the books mentioned in the subjoined list. [Here follows the list, amounting to upwards of $50.]

In the choice, and in the use of books, and in your religious exercises and in all your proceedings as a 80ciety and as individuals, may you be favoured with that wisdom which is profitable to direct, and with that all-sufficiency of grace, which will enable you, in all the instances of your conduct, « to do all to the glory of God” through Jesus Christ your Redeemer and Mediator.

To the guidance, the keeping, and the blessing of the great and gracious God, even our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I affectionately commend you ; and with all christian regards, and my constant prayers for your welfare and happiness, collectively and indi. vidually, in time and through eternity, I remain, Your sincere and cordial friend,

ISAAC S. KEITH:

* To the amount of $20.

[blocks in formation]

MY DEAR FRIEND,

Your welcome favour, of the 10th of May, I have received. It gave me a very peculiar pleasure. I cordially thank you for it; and I desire to be fervently thankful to the God of all grace, on account of his grace having been so exceedingly abundant towards you, as to enable you to fill your letter with a very pleasing detail of circumstances and events, most important to yourself, and deeply interesting to all your friends. The history of heroes and conquerors, of the revolutions of nations, and establishment of empires, that have filled the earth with fame and glory, shrinks into insignificance, in the view of an immortal soul, delivered by the Almighty Redeemer from the bondage of satan and the chains of sin ; and by the enlightening, new creating energy of the spirit of grace, emerging from darkness to ligbt, passing from death to life, and rising from self to God, and from earth to heaven.

Has such, my dear friend, been the great, the happy change, which you have experienced ? How reasonable, how pleasant, must you, so far at least as you have evidence of your being the subject of such a change, now feel the duty of thanksgiving and praise, while adoring gratitude prompts and constrains you to · say with the apostle, “By the grace of God I am what

I am.” Are you a christian indeed ? Such, I would

fondly hope you now are. And is there any interest, any honor, any happiness to which the renewed, sanctified heart can aspire, that is not included in the character and state of a christian ; while for such it is pro. vided, by the sure, well-ordered, everlasting covenant, of which Jesus is tbe blessed Mediator, that an all-sufficiency of grace, suited to every present necessity, shall be given; and that this grace shall be crowned with future eternal glory! How desirable, indeed, is that state of grace in which, as I trust, you now stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God! And how remarkable the method of the Lord's dealing with you, in order to bring you into this bappy state !

If you had been left to yourself, you, with the men of the world, would have chosen your portion in this life. With them you aspired to the honors of the world, you coveted its interests and prosperity; and if the world smiled, and you could repose on the bosom of your beloved family, enjoying, together with yourself, health and temporal comfort, you flattered your. self that your happiness would be complete. How this scene of fancied happiness would have soon terminated, I need not now remind you. Most mercifully have you been awakened from the pleasing, delusive dream, and taught " to seek superior bliss.” Your plans and prospects of ambition and of wealth, were disconcerted and disappointed ; and a darling child, that was be. coming more and more the idol of your heart, was removed to the bosom of your Lord, who says, “ Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." The hopes, also, which you were building on the ground of your own righteousness, soon fell before the power of sin, dwell

ing in you, and under the sentence of the law, applied by the Spirit, and coovincing you, that by no present or future obedience, or repentapce, or reformation, could you ever be justified before God.

“ All these things,” your sense and your reason were ready to exclain, “all these things are against me!” But God's thoughts are not our thougbts, nor are our ways his ways. “ For as the beavens are higher than the eartb, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts, sailb the Lord.” And accordingly, you have found the dispensations of his providence, which to you were trost obscore, perplexing, and distressing, accompanied by his sanctifying blessing, made to work together most effectvally for your good. Your favourite scbemes and hopes of worldly joy were broken, that you might be constrained to seek your all in God; and that your soul might be compelled to seek its rest in the Redeemer, who gives bis peace to all that come to bir believing, and trusting in his name, and a peace such as the world can neither give, nor take away.

Thus through the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, all those apparent adverse and threatening circumstances and events, under which your beart was in elined to be so restive and rebellious, bave been made instrumental to promote your bumiliation and repentance, to excite you to fly for refuge, to lay hold on the hope set before youi, in the Saviour of the guilty, the wretched, and the helpless, and have happily turned to the furtherance of your salvation. And now, wheo you see that like the blind, you were led in a way that you knew not, and in the right and best way to present peace and future joy, it may surely be most reasonably

[ocr errors]

expected of you, that with a lively gratitude you will -
acknowledge, that the Lord bath done all things well.
for you ; and that under an affecting sense of your ob-
ligations, you will be disposed to consecrate yourself,
and your all, to his service and glory, so that you may
live no longer to yourself, but entirely to the God of
your mercies and salvation. From the tenor of your
letter, I am led to hope and believe, that thus you are
disposed and resolved, through grace, henceforth to live
to the noblest and best of purposes, and worthy of the
profession and hopes of a christian.
. But still “you fear, that you are only deceiving your-
self with a name to live, while you may yet be dead;
because you have not felt such convictions of the guilt
and enormity of sin, as others appear to have done; and
yon do not feel that affection and zeal, which you
should do towards that blessed Saviour, who made such
an inexpressible sacrifice for perishing sinners.”

Such fears and such complaints, my dear friend, are sooner or later, and in a greater or less degree, generally experienced by real penitents and sincere believers. The more, indeed, they see and feel the evil of sin, the more sensible are they of the disproportion of their humiliations and sorrows, to the evil which they really lament and abhor; and the more clearly they perceive their infinite obligations to the dear Redeemer, to whom they are so deeply indebted, the more defective and unworthy do they think those returns of gratitude, love and obedience, with which they would honor him. And remember, that an eminent part of the trials of christians consists in the conflicts of remaining corruptions, with the principles of grace implanted, and living, and still growing in the new-born soul of the real

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »