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serious manner by religious considerations, you may conclude that the Holy Spirit is moving upon them. And can you not recollect many seasons, or at least some seasons, in which He has thus moved upon them? If so, consider how great a favor, how great an act of condescension it was on the part of God, thus to visit you. Had He sent an angel from heaven to warn you, you would have thought it a great favor. You would have been ready to ask, with surprise, why does the infinite, everlasting God, condescend to send an angel from heaven to promote our welfare? But for God to send His Spirit to move upon your minds, is a much greater favor, a much greater act of condescension, than it would be to send an angel to you. O then, how greatly ought you to love and thank him for such a favor, and how carefully should you cherish, how humbly should you yield to the motions of this heavenly visiter! Are you still favored with his visits? Does he still move, at times, upon your minds? If so, be careful, O be scrupulously careful, not to grieve Him, and cause Him to forsake you. But perhaps He has already withdrawn from you. If so, will you not implore His return? Will you not, after reading this, kneel down and say, Lord, I have ungratefully neglected and grieved thy good Spirit, and He has justly withdrawn from me. It would be just, should He never return to me. Yet in thy great mercy, let Him return, and again move upon my mind; let Him come and enlighten and sanctify me.' Let this be your daily urgent request."
To his Parents under various and accumulated afflictions:
"What a catalogue of trials does your letter contain. I am more and more convinced of what I have long suspected, that God tries his people, first, with inward, spiritual trials; and, then, when they have acquired some degree of experience, and faith has become strong, he visits them with outward afflictions.
"Dr. Owen says, that Heb. 12; 6, ought to be rendered, "whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth; yea, also, he severely chastiseth, above the ordinary measure, those sons whom he accepts, and peculiarly delights in."
If this rendering be correct,—and the Doctor certainly makes it appear so, my parents have reason to think themselves special favorites. Perhaps for a short time before death, God's people may be, in a measure, exempted from both inward and outward trials.
"I have tried to write, because your letter ought to be answered, and because I wished to write something consolatory under your afflictions; but I can only echo back your groans!"
To a Christian brother of rank and wealth:
"I have thought much of your situation, since I left you. It is but seldom that God gives one of his children so many temporal blessings, as he has given you. He has hitherto preserved you, and will, I trust, continue to preserve you, from the evils which attend a state of prosperity. But it is, as you are aware, a dangerous state, and calls for great watchfulness, and much prayer. You are, doubtless, conscious of many evil propensities working within; but they may work long, and produce much internal mischief, before their effects become external and visible to others. The effects of temporal prosperity upon the mind, resemble those of an unhealthy atmosphere upon the body. The constitution is gradually, and almost insensibly undermined and weakened; and yet no particular part can be pointed out, as the seat of the disease, for the poison is diffused through the whole system. Spiritual lassitude, the loss of spiritual appetite, and an indisposition to vigorous spiritual exertion, are some of the first perceptible symptoms, that the poison of prosperity is at work. When a man detects these symptoms in himself, it is time for him to be alarmed. If he delays a little longer, the disease will make such progress, as to render him insensible to his danger.-Were I placed in such a situation, I should be ruined in six months. Still, your situation is, in one respect, desirable. It is one, in which you may do much for the glory of God, and the promotion of his cause.'
To his revered Mother, on leaving her habitation, at the final dispersion of her family, August, 1824.
MY DEAR MOTHER,
"I was a little surprised, when you were with us, to hear you say nothing of the unpleasantness of being obliged, at your age, to remove far from the place where you had spent so many years. It seemed to me, that such a removal must involve many circumstances, which would be very disagreeable, and even painful. But as you said little or nothing on the subject, I concluded that it did not appear equally unpleasant to you. It seems from your letter, however, that the time of trial had not then arrived; and that you have since been troubled about your removal as I expected you would be. I am glad to find that the trial has now lost something of its bitterness, and that you feel reconciled to go where Providence calls. You have some illustrious examples among God's ancient servants, to encourage and instruct you. Abraham, called to leave his country and his father's house,-and Jacob, obliged in his old age to go down into Egypt, had trials harder, probbably, than yours, though of the same nature. But they went, and God went with them; and he will go with you; doubt it not. On the other hand, see how he dealt with his enemies. "Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel; therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his scent is not changed." You have not been at ease from your youth, and you have been emptied from vessel to vessel; and you are now to be emptied again from one vessel to another. And surely this is better than to be treated like Moab, and possess his character. Besides, as God said to Jacob in his old age, "Fear not to go down into Egypt," so he says to you, Fear not to go wherever I call; for my presence shall go with you. I hope you feel no anxieties of a pecuniary nature. While one of your children has any thing, you will not want. But why do I say this? Rather let me say, The Lord is your Shepherd, and while he possesses any thing, you shall not want. Poor ***** too, will be taken care of. As to ********, I can only say, once more, leave him with his Master. He knows what to do with him, and he will do all things well. he chooses rather that ******** should suffer, he will overrule all his sufferings for good. Only pray for him, and then leave him.
"I preached yesterday on this passage, "Though he will not give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth." This, as well as the parable of the unjust judge, evidently teaches, that importunate prayer will prevail, when nothing else can. A man may pray ten times, and be denied; and yet, by praying ten times more, obtain the blessing. Had the Syro-Phonecian ceased, after making three applications to Christ, she would have gone away empty; but by applying once more, she obtained all that she asked.
"It has been a time of trial with me, as well as with you, since we parted. I have been reduced lower in point of health than on any former occasion. For four weeks I was unable to preach, and doubted whether I should ever preach more. But this was all my trial and I was kept very quiet. My sermon on Be still," &c. followed me, and God in mercy inclined me to be still. My people urged me very strongly to make a voyage to Europe, and offered to supply the pulpit and pay all my expenses. But though I should like well enough to see Europe, I could not feel any freedom to go. I did not like to have so much expense lavished upon me, nor did I know how to lose se much time as such a voyage would require. I am now better, and have been able to preach the three last Sabbaths. But I seem to preach in vain. There is no noise nor shaking among the dry bones, and even of the church I may almost say, There is no breath in them. But I am kept from impatience, and am not quite discouraged. As I know how desirous you feel that your children should love each other, I would tell you, if I could, how much I love E. I loved her much before her last visit, and she endeared herself still more to us during that visit. I believe too that I love my brothers pretty well. Do tell them $0. What you say respecting the complaints of ministers, who visit us, I have heard before. I do not wonder at it. They have some reason to complain. But the reason of our apparent coldness is what you suppose it to be. Pressed down to the very dust, as I usually am, I cannot always dress my countenance in smiles, nor prevent it from expressing my sufferings. Hence I am unpopular among ministers. It is a trial, but I cannot help it."
His private character. His affections and demeanor, as a husband, father, master, friend. His gratitude, economy, generosity. His temper of mind under injuries.
It is not every character, that will bear a close inspection. The more intimately some men are viewed, the less veneration and respect are felt for them. This is true of some in elevated stations, and possessing no small share of public confidence. Even the church presents this anomaly. A man may bear a saint-like visage abroad, and yet be a very fiend in his own family; may put on meekness and devotion in a worshipping assembly, while he is the haughty tyrant of his wife and children; may preach self-denial and condescension, and yet carry it lordly towards the inmates of his own dwelling,-making them the ministers of his will and pleasure, or else embittering their existence by his savage temper and unreasonable complaints.
Professional men, whose public duties are very numerous and urgent, are liable to fail in many of those minute regards, which contribute so much to heighten the
"Of Paradise, which has survived the fall."
With the prevailing desire and purpose to yield to every claim its due consideration, they are in danger of thinking that they do well, if they are only indifferent to those of the least imposing description which originate in their domestic relations; that they are not only excusable, but disinterested and praiseworthy, in neglecting, from devotion to the public welfare, the ten thousand little attentions to a wife's comfort and children's instruction and enjoyment, which, though each requires but a moment's time, and, taken singly, scarcely deserves specification, constitute, in the aggregate, the principal part of domestic felicity. But a man's circumstances must be very peculiar,