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second.” It may have been manner, or, if you please, it was the contrast between past and present feeling, so visible here, that produced so powerful an effect. Certain it is, the aggressor, without feeling himself repelled, was disarmed. His weapons were melted down; and his heart was melted with them. The brothers soon sustained a nearer relation to each other than ever, in the family of the Redeemer.

May we, my friend, always display less solicitude to fortify opinions of our own, however just they may be, than to extend the cause of Christ, by an example that shall be " a living epistle!" If there be a power on earth, of all others most adapted to disarm opposition to the truth of God, it is such a one as I have just presented to your sight; and such an example is likely to be visible in ourselves, in proportion as we study our own hearts, and look with intentness to the cross.

There is, sometimes, a species of negative opposition, if I may so call it, of which the Inquirer bitterly complains. I mean that of the apparent indifference of professors of religion to the state of his mind. Deepened anxiety may have supplanted any scruples of delicacy which had previously existed; he may have expected that sympathy which sorrow frequently claims; and, in his disappointment, he may imagine an utter

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unconcern in his behalf. I have already referred to the possibility of such a disappointment. But let me now add, that even this is conducive to the benefit of the sincere penitent. If it lead him to exclaim, “ No man careth for my soul!"if it overwhelm him with a renewed feeling of hopelessness, it may, and it will, more effectually unite, and concentrate, the powers of his mind in “ the Hope of Israel.” When it is remembered how nominal is the profession of

“ have a name to live;" and how even the zeal of the Christian may decline ; any such disappointment, painful as it is, can be no fair cause of discouragement. It is indeed melancholy to see that supineness, so much at variance with an active love of the Redeemer, in those from whom we should not have expected it; and at a time when it operates with such a repulsive power. But this has no necessary connexion with our own interests. A great matter is pending between God and our own souls; and nothing without should divert our attention a moment from it.

In concluding this Letter, I would observe that there is no inconsistency greater than that of relinquishing the pursuit of salvation, on account of any external circumstances which may be in the way.

To
suppose

that we are ever at liberty to wait, until “ a more convenient season

shall present fewer difficulties, is to imagine ourselves in an anomalous condition, in which we are at liberty to stand apart from the invitations of the gospel ; a condition in which enmity of heart to divine grace is legalized, the laws of God suspended, and their penalty withdrawn. The whole of this is implied, in the excuse which the sinner draws from the ordinary obstacles produced by his circumstances in life.

Never suffer yourself to pause for a single moment, to magnify obstacles that may be in your way. You can now form some affecting estimate of the value of the soul. Ask, then, of your own understanding, Can He who bids you to his mercy, frame for you a yoke so oppressive that you are obliged to decline it, even at the peril of the soul? Can He, whose holy word gives assurance to the sincere inquirer, that

his days so shall his strength be,” can He speak an invitation, well knowing that there are difficulties too serious to be within the possibility of removal? Is he capable of such mockery to the wants of a fallen creature? O, let us ever be careful that our suspicions do not impugn the honour and assail the majesty of Jehovah! Go freely to One who is able to take off the burden of your cares. Recollect that, whatever difficulties appear in your way, he who divided the waters of old can open a passage for you to the

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heavenly Canaan. In every apprehension, remember, “ there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

I am truly yours, &c.

45

LETTER III.

Sincerity diminishes difficulties.— Those of little real import

ance generally the most discouraging. — Impatience of disappointed expectations.-A fallacious complaint.— Its causes. The dread of increasing anxiety.—A most dangerous presumption. — Evils from natural buoyancy of feeling.–Difficulty from the doctrine of Election.-Inclina. tion and despair aid each other. - False pleas ;—“I am seeking,"_“I am waiting for a day of power,"_“I am waiting for God to do his part.”

MY DEAR SIR, SUFFER me to add a few words to some remarks in my last letter.

I will commence with a position which, to me, appears worthy of serious reflection; it is this; The temptations to which the awakened sinner is exposed are inconsiderable and weak, IN PROPORTION to the sincerity and earnestness with which he sets out. When his mind was entirely engrossed with wordliness, it seized with avidity on the most contemptible objections to evangelical truth; and the smallest of these might have been sufficient, at times, to satisfy an understanding vitiated by sensual habits, and a

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