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EXTRACTS FROM HIS CORRESPONDENCE DURING A PART OF
1815 AND 1819, INCLUSIVE.
In the following extracts of my brother's letters to me, we discover much of that pious ardour and true devotion which is indeed the richest cordial to surviving friends.
In his letter of December 5th and 12th, 1815, he ob
“ Dear Thomas :- The more obstacles, the more energy, should be your motto. Then all difficulties will vanish.
“As to the reading Society, my opinion is, Go on with it, and let God take care of the consequences. If you can get the young ladies to associate for this purpose, it will be their meeting, not your's. Do you, however, forward it all in your power—it will do good. Possibly your terms of admission are rather strong, because some young ladies, anxious to know the truth, may not have gone so far as strong conviction, and yet would reap benefit from the Society, and be brought forward by it. I think by this, you may test any one as fit to be a member, viz : if she is willing to join with her companions in praying.
“In a society formed in Winchester, they now are reading Milner's Church History. There are only eight members of that society.
“ Commit your cause to God, and he will take care of it.” “ Calm and deep devotion is that recommended by the Bible, not boisterous and confused."- “Keep me informed of all the circumstances occurring from time to time, fully. Mrs. H. and family may, I hope, prove burning and shining lights, and great pillars to you, from sanctified affliction.
" I have just conversed with a young lady who is a member of the Reading Society of Winchester. She informs me, one of their regulations is, there shall be no conversation at the meeting, except on religious subjects. “ As ever, your's,
B. ALLEN, JR."
“CHARLESTOWN, January 20th, 1816. “ My Brother :-Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be enabled to stand. Courageously meet every assault of satan, but let that courage be your Master's, not your
Let it be through grace, diligently sought for. Remember the promise, my grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is made perfect through weakness. Always keep your spiritual armour on: valiantly fight every day of your existence, and when you die, be sure to die sword in hand. According to thy day shall thy strength be. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I am with thee: I am thy shield and exceeding great reward. Stronger is he that is for you, than they who are against you. Pray without ceasing-never forget that
• Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright.' “ Stand firm as an anvil continually struck. Adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour by meekness, by patience, by longsuffering, by charity. This will be the best answer to your foes; the best support to your friends. God by his grace can make you strong to overcome. Do not, then, I again beseech
you, do not intermit continual prayer. Lie at the foot of the throne of grace. Study the Scriptures much. Be diligent in all the necessary preparations for more extenside usefulness, and may the God of grace ever support you by his omnipotent power, and crown you at last with the crown of victory, through Christ, the captain of our warfare, “Prays your affectionate brother,
“B. ALLEN, JR. “ H. joins me in love to you.”
"January 26th, 1816. “My Dear Brother :-I am afraid you take too much notice of opposition. Depend upon it, the more notice you take of it, the more determined it will be. Had you kept on with the Reading Society at first, regardless of the clamour of satan's deluded followers, opposition to it would by this time have been dead. For surely no one thing could be more reasonable than for a number of young ladies to meet together for the purpose of reading religious books. You had better never have thought of the Reading Society, than to have given it up when opposed. Opposition was by that emboldened. No wonder it destroyed your prayer-meetings : no wonder it now threatens you with something else. You must meet it, and meet it boldly in the strength of your Master. It may rail, it may storm; but eventually, it will die, for stronger is He that is for you than they who are against you.
“ Be careful and prayerful in the plans that you select for the glory of your Master; but when once you select one and announce it, carry it on, though all the principali. ties and powers oppose. Suppose you were even to fall a martyr; glorious, glorious indeed would be your crown of victory: attendant Seraphim would, with acclamation, waft you to the mansions eternal. While, then, with all gentle. ness, meekness, and humility, you adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour, let nothing divert you from the course of duty. What else can be expected but opposition from a world of wickedness! The more active you are, the more will satan oppose. But you must fight, by the arms spiri
tual, the good fight of faith. Can that be a warfare which affords no blows? Can he be a Christian who sees no persecution ? For my part, I hope to have enemies, for if I have none I fear I do not my duty. Is the disciple above his Master, and the servant above his Lord ? Dei Gratia • Triumpho, morte tam vita,' be your motto: and remember, when you engage in the course of duty, Jesus your Master will fight by your side: your feet shall rest upon the rock of ages, and over you shall wave the banner of your God.
“My brother, 1 tremble, however, lest through the strength of old Adam, you get not the right spirit. Be then sure, I repeat, to have the graces of your Master. Have the wisdom of the serpent, and the harmlessness of the dove. But be sure also, like Paul, not to count your life dear unto yourself, that you may finish your course with joy. My brother, to God I commit you; may stars be many in your crown of rejoicing, and may your people become zealous for the Lord of Hoşts. “Your's, prayerfully and affectionately,
B. ALLEN, JR.”
“ February 17th. “ Your last letter, my brother, has filled me with alarm. My wish concerning you, is to see you distinguished for usefulness as a minister of the everlasting covenant, with your mind stored with knowledge. I wish to behold you taking your station among the defenders of the faith, ready alike, in the might of your Master, to meet and to conquer every temporal and spiritual foe.
“But now your heart is fixed on that which must interfere with your progress in the attainment of knowledge, and perhaps give a death-blow to your usefulness. How can you, just in the threshold of your studies, as you are, expect to go on in them, with any prospect of success, if overwhelmed with the cares of a family? How can you expect, even studies aside, to support a family? Your salary small, and that not of certain continuance, you cannot meet its wants. Wait till you are ordained, then you may calculate that a support will await you. You will plunge into the midst of difficulties, without the means of travelling through them. Providence evidently points to you your duty. It has given you enough, comfortably to provide for your individual wants, in order that you may in peace pursue that course of study necessary to your usefulness. If your heart be, (through want of watchfulness,) now set on that which threatens to jeopardize your usefulness as a minister of the Gospel, make it a subject of fervent prayer, that you may be rescued from the temptation, and enabled to gain strength equal to your day. At a suitable time, when you are permanently settled, I should desire to see you the partner of a believer in Christ. But now, do not be so precipitate.”
“ I have feared whether my last letter may not nurse too much of the stern in your conduct with your people. Be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. With meekness meet those who oppose themselves. Remember, as our Saviour deals with us, his perverse disciples, so must we deal with the perverse of our people, with gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering. Study your holy Master's character, and pray that his grace may help you to imitate his perfections. Be firm, but mild. Rashly engage in no one thing. Take counsel; be prayerful; then decide; then pursue, but with meekness. “ Affectionately, your's,
B. ALLEN, JR."
« March 15tb. My brother, remember the spirit of the Gospel is love. Be then kindly affectioned, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. Never lose your temper. Always be careful “what spirit you are of.' Study much the character of your Master, and be a wrestling Jacob and pre