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lieve there never was a truer description given of the fall of man, as far as it could be conveyed from light received from the letter of the word, than he gave at that time: it made me tremble from head to foot. I believed the report; and clearly did he shew how fallen man was under the curse of the law, and, as such, obnoxious to the wrath of God; and conscience made the application by bearing this testimony, “Thou art the man.' He then treated largely on free grace, and salvation by Christ, and shewed that it was only for sinners that Christ died, and that this salvation became ours by believing. I shall not enlarge on his sermon, but tell you that these last tidings made my very heart leap for joy. I thought, yea I had not a doubt, but I was one of those that Christ died for, because I now saw myself a sinner. On this ground I commenced a believer; and I came from under the sermon with light on the whole plan of salvation, and as firm a confidence of my own personal interest therein as a poor creature could have. For two nights I could not close my eyes, my joys did rise so high; and all the free invitations and unconditional promises of the gospel kept flowing into my mind. I thought I was in a new world; the world was now nothing to me, and I wanted to die, that I might be out of it. I could not pay the least attention to any worldly affairs for three weeks. I once went to Mr. B , and told him how his ministry had been blessed to me, and we rejoiced together; and my wonderful conversion was blazed abroad far and near. I sat under his ministry, I think, about six years.
My joys at length were not quite so high. After the time mentioned above they began to abate, which I thought to be strange; but I went to my father, and told him how it was with me, and he told me that all those who were walking in the ways of God found it so, and I should only maintain and keep my comfort in a way of religion. Indeed he was a good nurse to me, and very high I was in his esteem, but not more so than he was in mine. I had no small share of joy, at seasons, for the space of a year and an half. About this time these words were brought suddenly to my mind, and that with power : “ And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.”. I was much perplexed at this, and thought what rod had I got to pass under ? And I thought I was safe enough in the bond of the covenant already. However, about six months after this I was visited with severe afflictions, which so weakened my tabernacle, and the faculties:of my soul, that at times I was incapable of thinking, contemplating, or any thing else. But this I conjectured to be the fulfilment of the first part of the foregoing promise which the Lord sent to me. From that time my joys declined; but my confidence still remained unshaken as to the reality of the work. At times I can recollect that there was something within
me that would whisper that all .was not right at the bottom. But this voice was soon hushed and smothered, by being attributed to other causes, viz. the devil and the power of unbelief, which I was taught to resist. Indeed, I had so many to build me up in this my confidence, that it was no wonder I stood my ground; and I had as high an opinion of myself as others had of me, which only fed my pride. Ilaving sat under the aforesaid instrument about six years, he left his charge to take another; and in his stead came the Rev. GT--. He was, to my view, as sound in the doctrines of the gospel as the other, and I much approved of his ministry, and sat under it, I think, about four years. At this time I married, and providence fixed my habitation in this place, where I sat under the ministry of
J M --, and was much delighted with the same; as he was not inferior to him I left. After some time I heard that Mr. Jenkins preached in a very singular way; but, as I heard he preached the doctrines of the gospel, I thought I'would go and hear him; for I assure you from these I never deviated in judgment, for all my religion lay in the belief of them. But I now know that my religion would not stand the fiery test. But sure, if it had been God's genuine work, it could not have been overthrown; for what he does is done for ever. But a stormy wind has rent this wall; and when it fell there was not left so much as one stone upon another that was not thrown down, (Sir! to think how many
that are called shepherds, and whole flocks under them, are resting short of the things that accompany salvation, is a sore trial to me. But I must leave this part of the Saviour's government with him who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working; but cannot get rid of my feelings for those who are so near to me. Adieu; and may God reward your kindness to the chiefest of all sinners. So prays
Yours in the hope of the gospel,
The King's Dale.
To PHILOMELA, in the King's Dale.
DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST,
Yours came safe to hand; and I have considered it, and I will by no means say that the Lord God of Israel had no hand in the work described in your narrative. But this I must confess, that evangelical repentance, which to my view is essential to salvation, is not in the account. The new wine was put into an old bottle; and, where this is the case, pride will burst the bottle, and the wine will run out, and the old bottle must perish. I mean, that your joys were not received into an humble, broken, and contrite heart. God hath promised to give us a new heart, as well as a new spirit; and, when the new wine is put into a new bottle, both are preserved. However, the stony heart shall be taken away, and it shall be destroyed, as well as the other parts of the body of sins, for our old man was crucified with Christ; and, under the operation of the Spirit's renewing power, the body of sins shall be put off.
Repentance is twofold, legal and evangelical. The former is extorted by fears, terror, and torment, and is always attended with hard thoughts of God, and self-pity. This is all the repentance that can be produced in us under the law, where we have nothing before our eyes but our own sins, and a sin-avenging God. Evangelical repentance is drawn forth and flows out under the sweet operations of pardoning love, and is attended with a believing view of him whom we have pierced, and with mourning for him; and this is accompanied with a justifying of God, and sympathising with and condoling a suffering Saviour, and with self-abhorrence; and so it is written, “From all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you; a new heart will I give unto you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and then ye shall remember your own evil ways, which were not good; and you shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities when I am paci