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effects that followed. You had your commission from God to strengthen the weak hands, and to confirm the feeble knees; for my soul was refreshed; and I received a confidence at that time that God would appear for me; nor did I ever sink so low afterwards; and it was about a month after this that God was pleased to appear and deliver my soul. You said unto me, “You shall not die in the pit, for in the pit I know you are.' I shall never forget this interview, nor the effects of it, as long as I have an existence.
When the Lord saw that my strength was gone, and that there was none shut up or left, then he graciously appeared for me, and made the ministry of his excellency, by which I was alarmed and pulled down, the means of bringing me forth into the light and liberty of the children of God. The sermon was preached from these words : “ Thou hast chastened me sore, but thou hast not given me over unto death.” The Lord wrought faith in my heart, by that discourse, to believe in the dear Redeemer; and faith brought such joy into my soul as a stranger intermeddleth not with. I could now say, with David, that God had turned my mourning into dancing, and had taken off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. And I really think, wḥen I get to glory, that I shall sing the loudest of redeeming love and sovereign grace of any there. I must adopt, as my own, the language of Mr. Hart:
That sinners, black as hell, by Christ
Are say'd, I know full well;
And I'm as black as hell.
I have sent you more than I intended when I sat down to write. But I believe every fact was brought to my mind by that blessed Spirit under whose operations they were wrought in my soul. Therefore I did not think that I should do right if I suppressed any part. I hope the homely dress in which it appears will not obscure it, so as to make it unintelligible. I believe you will find it out, as you have travelled the same path before I was brought into it. I present it to you with this request, that I may have an interest in your prayers, that the Lord would perfect that which is still lacking in my faith, and continue to work in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure; that I may be helped to deny self, and to take up the cross daily. And inay the Lord long spare you to be useful in his vineyard, that you may daily see the fruit of your labours in espousing souls to Christ; which shall appear the crown of your joy and rejoicing in the great day, when you shall say, “Here am I and the children which thou hast given me.” This is the humble and earnest prayer of
The King's Dale.
TO PHILOMELA, in the King's Dale.
As I have heard that thou wast long in a profession before it pleased God, by the mouth of his herald, to pull thee down and renew thee, I should like, if it be not too great a favour, to know how that first work began. I know that God's work is perfect, and that nothing can be added to it, or taken from it; and that God doth it that men may fear before him. But sometimes the work hath small beginnings, and goes on almost imperceptibly, the impressions not being deep, as in Job and Hezekiah, who, after a long profession, were led into awful discoveries of their own depravity, and who afterwards were favoured with more conspicuous deliverances, and with brighter views of God's great salvation, and of their interest in it. I should like to know whether you had any sight or sense of the plague of your own heart, the natural hardness and impenitency of it, the infidelity, the rebellion, and carnal enmity of it; and if you were exercised with legal bondage, the wrath of God, and the terrors of a broken law; the fear of death, and the torments which attend it; all of which the saints in the Bible complain much about. And, indeed, how can
those be made free who are insensible of their bonds, or those need the physician who are not sick? or those be reconciled who never felt their enmity? or those receive the love of God who have neither fear nor torment to cast out? No small number who stand high in their profession are ignorant of all these things; and sure I am that the office and appointment of Christ doth not reach them, for he was not sent to feed the full, to heal the whole, to support the strong, nor to call the righteous. He was sent to bind up the broken-hearted, to open the prison to those that were bound, &c. They tell us that they were drawn by love; but all that God loves he rebukes and chastens, and scourges every son whom he receiveth; and declares that those who have no chastisement are bastards and not sons. A reply to this will greatly oblige,
Your willing servant in Christ,
TO NOCTUA AURITA, in the Desert.
DEARLY BELOVED FRIEND AND BROTHER
IN THE LORD JESUS,
1 RECEIVED your kind epistle, and do most sincerely thank you for the same, and shall comply with your request, for I feel a pleasure in so doing; and should I give too much scope to my pen, I hope you will pardon it. To proceed. My parents being professors of religion, I was early brought to attend on the word preached, under the Rev. D-B- He being a Calvinist dissenter, and I believe he preached the doctrines of the gospel clearly, I sat under him till I was in my twentieth year ; but it was from constraint, and not out of any love to it. But during all these years I attained to no degree of knowledge of the doctrines I heard; and I believe that the heathens, who never saw a bible nor heard the word, could not be more blind and ignorant than I was.
But, at the end of this period of time, one Lord's day Mr. B--preached from these words, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help.” As he went on treating of the first part, I found my attention drawn to it, and saw that I was interested in the subject; and I do be