Phoebe Palmer



Letters #38 - 48.

TO REV. MR. H., TO REV MR. M., TO MISS S., TO MR. C., TO MRS. D., TO MRS. E., TO MR. K., TO MISS D., TO REV. MR. H., TO MR. C.




No. XXXVIII. — To Rev. Mr. H____.

Heaven's nobility incog — Views presented by the Spirit on the subject of confession — A sanctified soul hails from heaven - The force of the clause, "in earth as in heaven" — An angel on earth; his singleness of purpose; his heroic zeal — "My boast in the Lord."

WE have daily been expecting the return of brother W____, to forward the inclosed $10, which, though he is now absent from us, have been gained in part through his instrumentality; in answer to your request, for your friend, who though poor in this world, is, it seems, rich in faith. Heaven's nobility often goes incognito here on earth. It is an honor to be coveted to be counted meet

"After our lowly Lord to go,
And serve the heirs of heaven below."


And now, what cheer, dear brother? Is your blessed Saviour still in close companionship with you? Let me say, to the praise of his grace, that I have never proved his sustaining power more gloriously than of late. The significant passage, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God," has been apprehended in my recent experience so deeply, that language fails to express what I would say.

Some views which I received on the memorable hour, when I was permitted, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, to enter within the veil have recurred to my mind with much force within a few days. They were the communications of the Spirit, and, as such, I am sure will ever be useful to me. I do not remember ever to have mentioned them to you, and it has been urged upon my mind, that it may be well to present them to my beloved brother.

Just prior to the reception of these views, it had been suggested that I might be called to testify of this grace before hundreds and thousands. In view of this, it was proposed, "Can you do it?" I was startled at the thought! Not from an unwillingness to profess the blessing before an assembled universe, if such were the will of God concerning me; but the remembrance came up before me, of the many times I had resolved to confess Christ before men, and had failed by yielding to the plausible reasonings of the deceiver. "How possible to mistake duty!" with a variety of similar suggestions, would be urged, until the opportunity had passed, and when too late, my foe stood ready to taunt me with the victory he had gained. And now it was suggested, that this was the way I should lose the blessing, and you will not wonder that I was started at the thought,

I saw it was necessary that some principles should be established in my mind, relative to what might constitute duty on this point. The matter was resolved thus. On any occasion, when I had reason to believe that a declaration of what God had done for my soul might be helpful to my own spiritual interests, even though another might not be specially benefited, this should fix the duty relative to my own soul, and might have a bearing upon my neighbor also, inasmuch as I was but a part of the great body, and, for the ultimate good of the whole, it was needful that I should be in a healthful state.

You may at once perceive by analogy, how duty to my neighbor, in relation to confession, was made plain also. After perceiving what should constitute duty, I was enabled to resolve, that if it literally cost me my life to go forward, I would make that sacrifice rather than yield to the shrinkings of the flesh.

It was at this point that the Lord gave me to see more fully the nature of the blessed state upon which I had entered. I had said, "Into thy hands I commit my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." It was suggested, Had your spirit actually returned to the God who gave it, at the time you made this solemn surrender, and were it said, after having mingled for a little time in adoration with the burning spirits before the throne, You are now required to return for a little time to earth, to confess Christ before men, as a Saviour, able to save unto the uttermost, would you hesitate in declaring the object of your mission before hundreds and thousands?

I at once perceived that I would have no more to do with the world, so far as being influenced by its opinions, than would Gabriel, or any inhabitant of heaven who might be commissioned for the performance of a work on earth; and my burning spirit only needed an angel's wing to bear it through the habitable earth, to proclaim "full salvation through faith in the blood of the Lamb." I now apprehended in my experience the meaning of the prayer, "Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven." The beautiful words of our poet,—

"Let us, to perfect love restored,
Thine image here retrieve,
And, in the knowledge of our Lord,
The life of angels live,"—


had power and point in them. In experimental verity I now realized the truth of the Saviour's words: "Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you our of the world, therefore the world hateth you." How unreasonable did it appeal to expect sympathy from the world, Christ's avowed enemy. Let us conjecture, dear brother H____, what might be the sentiments that would inspire one of those angel spirits who have been centuries past doing the will of God in heaven. Were it said to such a one, You are commissioned by the will of your holy Sovereign to perform a mission to earth. It may require threescore and ten years of time, according to earthly computation, and while there, you must lay aside your angel wing, and your flaming spirit must be enshrined in just such a form as mortals wear, and to the various vicissitudes to which men are subject you must submit. He comes! But conceive the sentiments which inspire him to action. Is he influenced to be as much like the world as he may be, or does his ardor, in the performance of his work, reprove the world, and show a regardlessness of its smiles or frowns? And in relation to the reception of his message, has he not such an assurance that it is not his own, but the message of his Lord, as to make it his only concern to deliver it
faithfully, that he may, in the most expeditions manner, accomplish his great work? Think you not that the aspirations of his heaven-born soul might incline him to efforts far more ardent than the children of his world, or even some professed Christians, might think necessary?

And now, let me make my boast in the Lord, and say, Somewhat similar are the sentiments which have influenced my heart ever since I was enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, to set myself apart wholly for God. O what a deadness to the world do I continually realize! I have received the sentence of death in myself, that I should not trust in myself, but in Him that raiseth the dead, and I experimentally apprehend that he hath raised me to entire newness of life. I feel that I have but one work, and that is to do the will of my heavenly Father. Heaven is my
home. Christ is my Saviour. Exalted be his name for ever!

Yours, &c.




No. XXXIX. — To Rev. Mr. M_____.

Questions proposed — " What is the witness of the Spirit?" — Wesley's definition — "He that believeth hath the witness" — A promissory note — Ten years' experience — Whether we believe or not is matter of consciousness — "What are the evidences of entire sanctification?" — "The Spirit itself beareth witness" — "By what marks may we know that we are entirely sanctified?" — Sympathy with Christ — The mind of Christ — Continuous walking in Christ.

OUR beloved brother M.'s letter should not have remained so long unanswered had time permitted an earlier reply. You make several important inquiries which it would give me much pleasure to answer were my abilities equal to my wishes. Not that I regard the subjects of inquiry obscure, for to my mind they appear plain, but because, as one says, "it is hard to find words, in the language of men, to explain the deep things of God."

"What is the witness of the Spirit?" stands first in importance among your questions. In answer to this inquiry, Mr. Wesley says something like this, "It is an inward impression on the soul, whereby the Spirit of God immediately and directly witnesses to our spirit, that the grace which we have desired is imparted." With me, this witness has, I think, invariably been given the moment I have unwaveringly believed God. We have received of that Spirit whereby we know the things freely given to us of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit. In all my experience God has honored an implicit reliance on his word, and immediately on believing, my heart is ready to exclaim, "He that believeth, hath the witness in himself."

I cannot well conceive how it may be otherwise, than that the believing one should receive, and in conscious possession enjoy, the precise object which his faith has grasped.
According to our faith it is done unto us. "Said I not unto thee, If thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see the salvation of God?" Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If I may have so much confidence in the promissory note of a fellow-man, as to make it at once available for whatever articles I may need in food, raiment, &c., with how much stronger confidence may I say of the promissory notes of my heavenly Father, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen!" Christ says, "The words I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life." And where are the wonderful words thus endued with spirit and life to be found? Surely it were wisdom to know, for who would have the temerity to pronounce a faith resting on these lively oracles, a dead faith?

"Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring
Christ down from above; or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The WORD is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart;" here the WORD is used as being identical with Christ — the eternal Word speaking in person. Thus it is, that I apprehend, in resting upon the Word, I rest upon Christ as truly as though the Word were again made flesh and dwelt among us. These important truths, I trust, I have realized in my experience for more than ten years past, and it looks to me strangely incongruous for one to say, "I believe, and yet have not the witness in myself." This form of expression, or something similar to it, is not unusual with many sincere persons, who probably do not perceive the enormity of their fault. In our communications with each other, each is conscious whether he has confidence, and reposes unwaveringly, on the words of the other. How unreasonable then is the idea, that we now receive the communications of the Holy Spirit through the written word, and not have the witness, or, in other words, the internal consciousness that we do believe!

"What is the evidence of entire sanctification?" is another inquiry. How might an offerer at the Jewish altar arrive at an evidence that his offering was sanctified? In the first place, God had explicitly made known just the sacrifice required, and the manner in which it should be presented. If the offerer had complied with these requirements, he, of course, knew that he had done so, or in other words, had the testimony of his own spirit to assure him of this fact. In immediate connection with this, the witness of the Holy Spirit Is given as a consequence of relying upon the faithfulness of God. The moment his offering was laid upon the altar, he had the
evidence of God's word that his offering was sanctified. "But is there not an evidence apart from the WORD?” The Holy Spirit always speaks to my heart by the word, and when I believe it, let me again say, that I at once experimentally apprehend, as Christ hath said, "that his words are spirit and life." David says, "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." If the word were only looked upon in the light which emanates from it, the exclamation would never again be heard, "What believe with no other evidence than the word!" If the word is given as identical with Christ himself, the same as though his living voice were sounding in our ear, then we who believe it may with strong confidence exclaim, "He that believeth hath the witness in himself!" "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit," &c.

And yet another inquiry: "By what marks may we
know that we are sanctified?" I am endeavoring to meet your questions in the order in which they stand in your letter, but the foregoing infers that we now have the testimony of our own spirit, and also the Spirit bearing witness with ours that we are wholly sanctified. We were brought into this state by reposing all upon Christ. If we abide in Christ, we shall walk even as he walked. Our sympathies will be blended with his. The prayer,

"My spirit to Calvary bear,
To suffer and triumph with thee,"


will be answered in our experience. We shall as truly submit to be with Jesus as the man of sorrows, in labors abundant for the salvation of the perishing, as on the mount, beholding his excellent glory. But where might I cease in enumerating the marks by which we may knew that we are wholly sanctified? "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus," is perhaps as marked a characteristic as can be given. If we have the mind which was in Christ, it will induce a life which will correspond, in a degree, with what his was when on earth. Such a life may, in return, bring upon us trials which will
mark our onward progress, much in the same way as was His when on earth; for, "In the world ye shall have tribulation."

The beginning of my confidence has generally been as the light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way in which my heart has become divinely assured, has not been by
sudden disclosures of truth, or extraordinary internal or external manifestations, but generally, by a solemn conviction that God cannot be unfaithful. He cannot deny himself; but, as the immutable Jehovah, is ever bound by the law of his nature to fulfill his promises to the trusting one. The rest of my soul has been, not in extraordinary emotion, but "in quietness and assurance." "Knowledge and stability shall be the strength of thy times." So saith the Spirit by the prophet Isaiah, and these words happily exhibit what my experience has been. "We who believe de enter into rest;" yet it is not enough that I, by a definite act of faith entered. That act was but one of the many successive acts by which I am accomplishing my passage to the skies: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, The just shall live by faith." The work of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, seems, to my apprehension, to have been equally blended, both in bringing me into this state and in my sustainment since I have entered. Of the Spirit it is said, "He shall not speak of himself," and his silent operations on the heart may not always at once be discerned as distinct from the testimony of our own spirit. Yet we should ever bear in mind, that whatever revelations of the Father or the Son are made to the believing heart, they are all the work of the Holy Spirit.

It is thus, my dear brother, I am enabled to rejoice in the conscious operations of the Holy Spirit on my heart. In receiving the Bible as the voice of the Spirit, I take the glorious revelations therein set forth as revelations made by the Spirit, to exhibit God the Father and the Son to my believing soul. The ineffable glories of the Father and the Son could never in any degree have been apprehended, had not the Spirit taken of the things of God and revealed them; and it is thus, my beloved brother, that we through the eternal Spirit are brought into communion and fellowship with the Father and the Son. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you! Amen.

Your sister in Jesus.




No. XL. — To Miss S_____.

The divine image borne and reflected — The doctrine of entire sancification at conversion considered — It is anti-Wesleyan — Unscriptural — Christians urged to go on to perfection — Desires for holiness the result not of backslidings, but of an active and growing faith — Humiliating confession of an errorist.

* * * * * Brother and Sister _____ are now with us. They desire me to present their warmest Christian regards. We feel it to be a great privilege to enjoy the society of these precious disciples of the Lord Jesus. They bear the divine impress so truly, that it tells with great sweetness and power on the entire circle in which they move. How often, in beholding these burning and shining lights, have I ejaculated,—

"Jesus, let all thy lovers shine,
Illustrious as the sun,
And bright with borrow'd rays divine
Their glorious circuit run."


You speak of your friend, a minister who is promulgating the opinion, that a soul justified, is also, and at the same time, fully sanctified, That the soul is partially sanctified when brought into state of adoption, is, I believe, scripturally correct. But, on the contrary, the notion that at the moment of adoption the entire sanctification of body, soul, and spirit, is accomplished, is, I believe, dangerous heresy. Dangerous, inasmuch as it induces the Lord's redeemed ones to stop short of the prize of their high calling.

You and I profess to be Wesleyan in our views and you know Mr. Wesley took much pains to arrest this unscriptural doctrine, which began to develop itself in his day. I say unscriptural, because it cannot be legitimately drawn from the Bible. Its partisans affirm that it may, but with no more truth than other dogmas of the day are said to be thus deduced.

Paul was writing to his Christian
brethren, when, presenting to their view the promises of conformity to the divine image, he says, "Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord." Would the apostle have urged them to the attainment of a state of entire holiness, were they already in the enjoyment of it? Surely they had not yet cleansed themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, when he thus exhorted them.

On another occasion Paul addresses his brethren thus: "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." Here then were babes in Christ, for inspiration acknowledges their adoption, but yet they could not be addressed as wholly spiritual. In view of their many unsanctified doings, they had merited the reproofs of the apostle The significant question, "Are ye not carnal?" seems to leave room for the conjecture that some even in that day might have had an impression that they were wholly spiritual, as a concomitant of their adoption. Paul seemingly presents their wrong doing as a proof that they were not wholly sanctified, and, in the manner above stated, urges them on to the attainment of that state.

The same apostle, in writing to the Thessalonians, in affectionate acknowledgment of their spiritual condition — children of his heavenly Father — says, "We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus." Now, mark the command to which first and special reference is here made:
"This is the will of God, even your sanctification." If already wholly sanctified, why this solemn declaration?

In closing up his epistle, he again reminds them of his absorbing desire for their entire sanctification by the prayer — "The very God of peace sanctify you
wholly; and I pray God that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that hath called you, who also will do it."

Had Paul been disposed to urge upon his brethren, the views advocated by the minister you have mentioned, he might have said, My brethren, beloved in the Lord, when you were first brought nigh by the blood of Jesus, and freely justified by his grace, then ye were no more in any degree carnal, but were wholly sanctified, throughout spirit, soul, and body. If by your subsequent daily, yet nearer, approaches to the Sun of righteousness, any remains of the carnal mind be discovered, it is because you have either fallen from grace, or, what is more probable, have been mistaken in thinking yourselves converted at all; for if you were ever truly converted, you were at the same time wholly sanctified.

I have spoken of this unscriptural, anti-Wesleyan doctrine as dangerous heresy; and would not either of the foregoing alternatives be calculated to tell disastrously on the soul convinced of the necessity of entire sanctification? To yield to the impression that he had fallen from grace, and that the enemy which had been entirely expelled had been permitted to re-enter, were only calculated to move him to seek for a reinstatement in his former condition; whereas his true state is that of increased proximity to the Sun of righteousness, and the heavenly radiations have only been permitted to penetrate his soul in order that the discovered deficiencies may be fully removed by the all-cleansing power of his Saviour. Thus, such as God hath not grieved would be grieved, and instead of being encouraged to an onward course, from the conviction that he had been gaining a more thorough knowledge of his necessities, by drawing nearer to God, he is driven back to first principles, laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.

On the other hand, if the light revealing the remains of the carnal mind be resisted by submitting to the wrong teaching of men, rather than the oracles of God, the consequences would be yet more disastrous than the former alternative. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Could Satan devise a scheme better suited to his purpose of getting the soul partially or wholly under his control, than to induce us to wrap ourselves in the persuasion that sin is all destroyed, while the remains of corruption are still working within? No wonder that he so often transforms himself into an angel of light, by getting ministers, and now and then other good persons, to help him by their sophistry in defending this doctrine. I have myself witnessed singular incongruities in theory and practice with some who, with an exhibition of unhallowed zeal, have defended these views, while, It the same time, and by their own confession, then experience and theory were contradicting each other. It was said to one of these on one occasion, "Brother, are you living in a state of justification?" "Yes," was the reply. "And have you the evidence that you are wholly sanctified?' "No."

This is a subject on which I feel much interest for with much pain I have witnessed its baneful effects. I had intended to say more, but will write you soon again.

As ever, in love.




No. XLI. — To Miss S_____.

Mr. Wesley's views — The author's habit of mind — Evidence of justification previous to entire sanctification — Movement of the denominations toward the unity of the faith — Tuesday meeting — A charming sight — Quotations from Wesley — Experience of David — The apostles — A cloud of witnesses — Caleb and Joshua — The danger of refusing to go on to perfection.

* * * * * Your own experience furnishes such conclusive testimony relative to the two states, justification and sanctification, that I do not wonder at the solicitude you express in reference to ministers who so recklessly controvert this point. I very much venerate the opinions of Mr. Wesley, the founder of Methodism, under God. But I am so constituted, that it seems to be a habit which the law of my nature demands, to analyze sentiments let them come from whom they may, before I can really receive them as my own. Thus I seemed to be turned away from all mere human opinions, previous to entering into a state of justification. In like manner, yet with more distinctness, prior to apprehending the state of sanctification, was I turned away from human helps, "to the law and to the testimony." I have already informed you of the clear witness of justification which preceded my entering into the enjoyment of holiness, and the distinctness of my perceptions relative to my absolute need of that state. And then, on being led by the Spirit through the blood of the everlasting covenant into the holiest, you know something of the manner in which the Holy Spirit took of the things of God and revealed them unto me. I could just as well doubt my existence this moment, as to doubt my own justification some time previous to being brought into a state of sanctification. This I know was brought about by the teachings of the Spirit
through the word, for every progressive step, as you may remember, was distinctly directed by the waymarks laid down in the word of God.

It is now no small satisfaction for me to know, that the views received, by thus carefully testing every onward movement by the law and the testimony, are so fully in accordance with Mr. Wesley's views of Bible truth. The more I search the Scriptures, the more I am confirmed in the belief that Wesley was a man eminently taught of God, and “mighty in the Scriptures.” The deeply devoted of all denominations seem to be verging toward that point, "the unity of the faith," where the watchmen see eye to eye. Should it not be cause of gratitude with those who adhere to Mr. Wesley's expositions of Bible truth, that as the watchmen in Zion approach the point of union in view, they seem more and more to appreciate the Wesleyan theology?

I know these sentiments might seem egotistic, should they fall under the eye of some. But I think I may be permitted to speak with a degree of assurance. Perhaps few have had better opportunity to judge on this subject than myself. Though your stay in our city was short, yet, by your visits at our house, and your attendance on the Tuesday afternoon meetings, it is easy for you to imagine the ground on which the watchmen may see eye to eye — the point at which we may arrive, where we may find ourselves "in the unity of the faith." It is a usual thing for ministers of different denominations to meet with us on the common ground of holiness. Here we may say,—

"Even now we speak and think the same,
And cordially agree,
United all in Jesus' name,
In perfect harmony."


I have observed at one meeting, side by side, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregationalist, Moravian, and Methodist brethren, united in sentiment, heaven beaming in their countenances, sitting under the banner of love, breathing the atmosphere of heaven.

But I have digressed. I began with the intention of responding to what has been said of those ministers among us who maintain that they are one in doctrine with Mr. Wesley on this point, that when justified we are at the same time fully sanctified. Mr. Wesley cannot be made to favor these views without greatly distorting his words.

I have just been at pains to get his precise words on this subject:— "From what has been said we may easily learn the mischievousness of that opinion, that we are
wholly sanctified when we are justified; that our hearts are then cleansed from all sin. It is true, we are then delivered, as was observed before, from the dominion of outward sin, and at the same time the power of inward sin is so broken, that we need no longer follow, or be led by it; but it is by no means true, that inward sin is then totally destroyed, that the root of pride, self-will, anger, and love of the world, is then taken out of the heart, or that the carnal mind, and the heart, bent to backslidings, are entirely extirpated And to think the contrary, is not, as some suppose, a harmless mistake. No; it does immense harm; it entirely blocks up the way to any further change: for it is manifest, 'They that are whole do not need a physician, but they that are sick' If, therefore, we think we are quite made whole already, there is no room to seek any further healing. On this supposition it is absurd to expect a further deliverance from sin, whether gradual or instantaneous."

Mr. Wesley, in another place, goes on to bring other arguments against this "new and unscriptural doctrine," as he terms it, which I may not now take room to transcribe, at the close of which, he says, "I cannot, therefore, by any means receive the assertion that there is no sin in a believer from the moment he is justified. First, because it is contrary to the whole tenor of Scripture. Secondly, because it is contrary to the experience of the children of God. Thirdly, because it is absolutely new, never heard of in the world till yesterday. And lastly, because it is naturally attended with the most fatal consequences; not only grieving those whom God hath not grieved, but perhaps dragging them into everlasting perdition." I have quoted largely, but you may not have his Works at hand, and as I believe I have not read the portion here given myself for years, I have been glad of the opportunity of again refreshing my own mind Had I known that my views of Scripture on this point so nearly accorded in word with his, I might before have given his in place of my own.

These views accord with the religious experience of men of all ages. After David had said, "He hath brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay," he further said, "And
established my goings. Doubtless this establishing grace was given in answer to the prayer, "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin:" "Create in me a clean heart, O God." Previous to the day of Pentecost the disciples could dispute among themselves which should be the greatest; and Thomas could not believe unless he saw signs and wonders. Various other wrong doings exhibited the remains of carnality among them. After the full baptism of the Holy Ghost was given, strifes, cowardice, and unbelief, were put away, and in entire devotion to the service of Christ, they gave themselves up to the work of establishing his kingdom on earth. Unequivocal demonstration was given that the old leaven was purged out.

What a great cloud of witnesses has since arisen! By the word of their testimony, and the blood of the Lamb, they have overcome. Thousands of living witnesses could now be adduced of the attainableness of this state. But O how important it is that those who have entered this rest should be explicit in their testimony! It was not only through the "blood of the Lamb," but by the
"word of their testimony," that they of whom the Revelator spake overcame.

I am reminded of Caleb and Joshua, who, after having spied out the good land, gave in "the word of their testimony" thus: "We are well able to go up and possess the good land." Had only a few more of the spies added their voice to the weight of Caleb and Joshua's testimony, is it probable that the Israelites would have yielded to their doubts, whether God would bring them into the land which he had promised, saying, "Go up and possess it?"

Ah, little do those who are not adding their voice to the testimony, "We are well able," &c., think how the cause may be suffering through their deficiency. The carcasses of those who fell in the wilderness furnish a faint resemblance of the many thousands who have been brought out of spiritual Egypt, and are now commanded to go up and possess

"The land of rest from inbred sin,
The land of perfect holiness;"


but who, because of unbelief, refuse to go up. Alas for the thousands who fall or have fallen in the wilderness! I sometimes fear that the blood of many of these may be found on the skirts of old professors, who, though they may have spied out the good land, do nevertheless by their own experience virtually say, "We are not able to go up and possess it."

Mr. Wesley, in his sermon,
"Let us go on unto perfection," says, "That the doing of this is a point of the utmost importance:" the apostle intimates in the next words, "This will we do, if God permit." For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and have fallen away, to renew them again to repentance." As if he had said, If we do not "go on to perfection," we are in the utmost danger of falling away. "And if we do fall away, it is impossible (that is, exceedingly hard) to renew us again to repentance."

I have indeed written a long letter, but you are so critically and also responsibly circumstanced with respect to the topics presented, that I will not apologize.

Your devoted friend.





No. XLII. — To Mr. C_____.

The willing and obedient — Profession and practice — The cross — "I will guide thee by mine eye" — Lessons of experience — The importance of immediate action in the use of present grace — A temptation not to speak definitely yielded to — Sad effects — Reproved, but not rejected — God doth not afflict willingly — Holiness may be forfeited by neglect — A strange testimony — Reply — Acknowledgment — Lingering in duty — Its consequences — Views of personal obligation.


YOU say that you know you must be willing and obedient, if you would eat the good of the land. I have thought, my dear brother C., that the Lord had taken much pains to teach you this lesson, but has not your experience taught you, that it is one thing to receive a lesson, and quite another thing to retain it? My heart assures me, my precious brother, that you are sincere before God; and as you have earnestly asked my advice, I am sure you wish me to be candid.

Permit me, then, to say, that grace, I think, has done much for you. I see no reason to conclude, that you have been mistaken as to your state, in conceiving it to be one of consecration to God; but yet I have observed, what, by some, might be deemed discrepancies between your conduct and profession, which may retard your own progress and also hinder your success in testifying of Christ as your full Saviour. Let me instance. Not long since you were asked to take part in the exercises of a meeting where your services were really required. It was evident that there was not another present to take your place, but you yielded to the shrinking of the flesh, and declined before several who do not profess to be wholly sanctified, saying. "I do not feel free to it." Here was one professing to be wholly sanctified, unwilling to perform duty rendered obvious by the providence of God; and how could those not professing the blessing reconcile the conduct and the profession? If the thoughts of most present had been uttered, doubtless the response of many hearts had been, "What do ye more than others?" I must confess that, though fully aware of the sincerity of brother C., yet I could not but feel that a profession carried out thus was hardly to be desired.

Imagine that the Saviour, when about to bear the cross up the hill of Calvary for you, had yielded to the shrinkings of nature, and said, "I do not feel free to it." You have given yourself up to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth; but I need not say to you, that you cannot do this, unless you take up your cross
daily and follow after him. The warfare is against the world, the flesh, and Satan. Doubtless every successive day of our pilgrimage will present "something still to do or bear," from which the flesh may shrink; but shall we yield? If so, we are the servants of him whom we obey. But I am persuaded better things of brother C., though I thus speak.

I am thankful that your heavenly Father reproved you on the occasion referred to. In his great love he sometimes permits us to be convinced, by painful experience, of our errors. We who are parents take pains to instruct our children, in order that they may gradually come to a knowledge of the various duties of life, and after having once clearly assured them of a duty, we expect them to act accordingly. We do not
condemn a child for not knowing, but if he disobeys subsequently to his being convinced of duty, then condemnation follows. Now, dear brother, in more instances than the one referred to, have I feared that you would come under condemnation. Your Lord and Master says, "I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." How quiet and gentle his sway! It is true, he holds the reins which are to guide us through all the vicissitudes of life, and its various duties; yet they are held by the hand of infinite wisdom and love; and the silken cord, which holds us in the way, is a bond of love. I heard one, who is now eminent for the holiness and usefulness of her life, say, on her first entrance upon the way, "I resolved to obey every intimation of the Holy Spirit, even the faintest of them." Richly does her experience prove the faithfulness of God. "The willing and the obedient shall eat the good of the land."

If I were to be guided by the eye of another, what constant watchfulness were necessary; but if my inmost heart were wholly possessed with the idea, that, to turn my attention off from that eye of light, were to leave me, perhaps in one moment, to take a step which might end in darkness, misery, and death; whereas, on the other hand, obedience to its dictates were only submitting to what was, in the highest degree, necessary for my well-being — O that were bliss indeed! What a privilege to be guided by an eye whose every motion is dictated by love — infinite LOVE! Please turn to the thirty second Psalm. and read from the eighth verse to the close. How evident it is, that our heavenly Father would have us obey the
gentle monitions of his Spirit! "Be not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle." How our hearts yearn in love over a child who exhibits ceaseless desire to know and obey our wishes! Such a child may my dear brother C. ever be.

I am endeavoring to be willing and obedient; yet, it is by painful experience that I have occasionally learned some useful lessons. I will attempt to give you a glance at the way a few of these were learned; and I think the relation may help to expose the devices of Satan. A few days after I first received the witness of holiness, I was at a meeting where there was a number of persons deeply agonized in spirit for the salvation of God. Some were groaning for justifying grace, and others for full redemption. O, thought I, if there were only some one here to talk about the simple way of salvation by faith! "Why do you not do it?" was suggested. O, thought I, it would require a
special commission to undertake a duty so formidable; for among the suppliants for full salvation were one or more ministers, and other persons of influence. I was at a camp meeting, and I hastened to a retired place, that I might, without interruption, inquire of God. But I had scarcely knelt before I received the gentle chidings of the Spirit thus: "Did you not, in supplicating guidance for the day, ask that you might be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding?" &c. When you asked, did you not believe that you received the thing you desired? Why then did you not let your conduct correspond with your faith, by acting promptly? Before I called, God had answered, and I hastened back to the meeting; but it was only to learn that my omission had frustrated the design of God; for I had scarcely reached the place before the meeting was closed, preparatory to public exercises from the stand. I felt so deeply mortified that Satan should thus have robbed me of this opportunity for usefulness, that I believe I have not needed a repetition of the lesson.

A short time after this I was at a love-feast. My heart was rejoicing in the blessedness of full salvation; and the privilege of sounding it abroad to the ends of the earth would, indeed, have been blissful. It was presented, You have mentioned it before in this church; and, perhaps, the most here have heard your experience on this point; and here are others who profess to enjoy this blessing yet they do not speak so
definitely nor so often on that subject, and it will appear more humble to be more reserved. I concluded I would not speak definitely of enjoying the blessing, but would leave it to be inferred. I rose to testify, but felt no liberty. I was startled, said but little, and sat down. I thought, Can it be that it was not my duty to speak? No, that duty was clear. If the Lord required the testimony, why did he not help me, was the next question? I inquired the cause. My Saviour was most graciously near and precious, and truly did I feel that he did not condemn me: but, in love he assured me, that I had chosen my own way to speak, therefore I had no right to expect the special help of the Holy Spirit. I was pained indeed. I saw that I had not honored God as I might have done; yet the transgression had not been willful; but it surely was one which needed the atonement of Christ; and had it not been every moment available, impurity, sufficient to banish my soul from his presence, had been contracted: yet I still felt that I loved God with all my heart; that I still kept all upon the altar, and, consequently, could still say, The blood of Jesus cleanseth. To the praise of God I believe I may say, that Satan has never again had the advantage of me on this point.

I would urge the importance of looking well to the things which we have gained. A lesson once learned should ever be retained. We as parents would feel ourselves grieved and dishonored by a child who is ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge which we desire to impart. Our heavenly Father is intent on teaching us the lesson of his grace, and if we will not learn otherwise than by
painful experience, his love may move him to treat us accordingly. Yet in all our afflictions he is afflicted; and shall we move the heart of infinite love to painful correctives, in order to make and keep us right? It is because the bowels of compassion are yearning toward us, that he says, "Be not as the horse or as the mule." O may our dear brother C. be guided most peacefully, and gently, in every heavenward step, by the eye of LOVE!

In other cases than the one in question, have I observed your proneness to shrink from the cross. In this you say your heavenly Father reproved you; and, doubtless, he has before reproved you. It is my impression, that the next time you do thus, he will remove the light of his countenance, and you will be numbered among the many who once enjoyed the blessing of holiness, and have lost it. Think of the position in which Israel would have stood, if after they had once, by the power of God, entered upon their promised inheritance, they had been driven back again into the wilderness by their enemies. What cause of triumph would this have been to their foes, and how dishonoring to themselves and to their God! O what a struggle with the powers of darkness had my dear brother before entering this his rightful inheritance, and shall his enemies yet again prevail, and drive him back? Jesus, Captain of our salvation, forbid it! Sooner cut short thy work in righteousness, and take him to thyself in heaven.

I have yet a little room on my sheet, and there are other lessons which with me have been somewhat painfully learned; and, as they involve points about which we have conversed, I will mention them briefly. I told you that the Lord had assured me, that it was not for me to wait for
impelling influences, but rather to act from the dictates of a sanctified judgment, (and if we render up mind, memory, and will, every moment, to Christ, are we not to believe he sanctifies all these powers?) We may often be required to act with promptness where the circumstances will not admit of delay. The promptings of the Spirit may often suggest, as was said to David, "Do what is in thy heart, for the Lord is with thee;" or with Joshua, when he was lying on his face, and it was said, "Up, for Israel hath sinned."

I was present at a meeting for testimony on holiness, where, after it had for some time progressed most profitably, an influential individual arose and said, among other inexplicable things, "When I experienced religion I was as happy as I could live; but afterward, when my mind became interested on the subject of sanctification, I lost all my enjoyment, and have never regained it since." I had expected much from the meeting, but, for a moment, all seemed lost. Several ministers were present, and I earnestly hoped some might defend the precious doctrine of holiness from the aspersion which had been implied; but they were silent. I had been solicited to be present, to help forward the exercises of the meeting, and the enemy tauntingly suggested, If you reply by way of reproving this brother, it will look as if you were indeed willing to be a teacher among teachers. But shall any one be left to conceive, from such high authority, (for the one who had spoken was a minister,) that as soon as they really resolve on obedience to the command, "Be ye holy," they are to lose all their enjoyment in religion? I could not abide the thought, and said, If others will not do their duty, by taking sides with God, they must settle it before God for themselves; it is the Lord's most precious truth which suffers, and he can use this feeble instrument in its defense.

I spoke; and the Lord not only took care of his truth, but he took care of my influence in the minds of those present, as I plainly saw afterward. The next day, the individual who had spoken so questionably came to me, and with tears acknowledged that he had permitted his mind to get into great darkness on that point. He seemed very sincere in his resolves that he would seek till he obtained the blessing.

It was only during the ensuing week that I was again present, under similar circumstances, at a meeting held quite remote from the one just referred to. A minister had said at the opening of the meeting, "Sister _____ is with us, and will instruct us in the way of holiness." The enemy made this a source of some temptation to me, but the way of the Lord seemed to be preparing for a baptism of the Spirit, when an illiterate man, seemingly of boisterous habits, began to tell of an experience made up of signs and wonders. After telling of great ecstasies, he concluded by saying, with much emphasis, "Brethren and sisters, if you are happy you are holy." I longed, for the sake of the cause, that some one would set him right; but said the enemy, "If you should attempt to do it, they would certainly think that you thought yourself capable of instructing them." The Spirit said, "Stand up in defense of truth: did not God take care of your influence, last week, under similar circumstances, and will he not do it now?" I lingered, saying in my heart, The views which this person has presented are so palpably wrong, that any discerning individual may discover their falsity; and thus I reasoned, neither really decided not to speak in defense of truth, nor fully resolved that I would do so, until the gracious influence, which had before prevailed, seemed to be withdrawn from the meeting, and I saw that I had grieved the Spirit of holiness. Never since that time have I dared to be otherwise than fearless in the defense of truth. I do not judge others; to their own Master they stand or fall, but my duty is plain. I have given up my
reputation to God; and I cannot consistently make a profession of being wholly given up to the service of Christ, or of having received his Spirit, without standing out faithfully in defense of the blessed doctrines of the gospel, and manifesting that spirit, by a corresponding sympathy, when his cause suffers.

The Lord help us to "look to ourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward," and may we ever be found perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Yours, in the fellowship of the Spirit.


No. XLIII. — To Mrs. D_____.

Establishing grace — God's worthies — Few excel — Instability — Unlike God — Let your yea be yea, and your nay nay — The seal of the Spirit — Our Father's testament — Spiritual ambition — Ann Cutler.


O IT is indeed a good thing, my sister, that the heart be
established in grace. If God himself hath pronounced it a good thing, surely it must be preeminently good. How confirming it is to the pious heart to look upon one who, year after year, pursues the even tenor of his way with undaunted step! God has his worthies, even in the present day, and the eye of my mind is just now resting with inexpressible delight on some of those of whom the world is not worthy. I have beheld them while the fires of tribulation have burned hotly around them, and yet,

"Like Moses' bush,
They flourish unconsumed in fire."

And again have I beheld them; and the world, the flesh, and Satan, in close array, would fain have triumphed over them, but thus far have they overcome by the word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb, and, still strong in faith, they endure as seeing Him who is invisible. It is not wise to say, "The former days were better than these."

But yet in view of the extensive provisions of grace, taken in connection with the inspiring fact, that "God is no respecter of persons," how shall the number of those who excel!

The King's highway: now narrow is the road,
How few there be that find it: yet the abode
Of God — the Christian's home — lies at its end,
And none can reach the goal but they who bend
With purpose all unyielding — steady, true,
And step undaunted, though all hell pursue.


Instability is an evil of far greater magnitude than is generally apprehended. It is composed of elements which are wholly unlike what God loves. As well might an attempt be made to unite Christ and Belial, as to unite an unstable soul enduringly to "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever."

For the honor of the cause of God, I have greatly desired that the evil of instability might be looked upon with the abhorrence which it merits. To the degree a thing is unlike God, it must be hateful in his sight. With the immutable Jehovah there is neither variableness nor
shadow of turning. Yet, alas! how unlike God are many who profess to have received his nature! Their career is but a continual exhibition of variableness and turning. On one occasion you may find them flaming with ardor in the cause of Christ, and seemingly dead to the vanities of earth, and again, perhaps, in a few short months, they are found spiritless and worldly. And many there are of a higher grade of experience, who sadly mistake the mark here. How often, in view of the firm foundation laid for their faith, have they said before God, "I will believe!' "I do believe!" But when called to endure the trim of their faith, they are variable, and turn away from the believer's only resting place, forgetful that their yea should be yea, and their nay nay, with God. Ever do such find that "whatsoever is more than this cometh of evil." “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel," was said of one in ancient time, and alas for the cause of holiness, that the experience of so many should illustrate the melancholy prediction!

I wonder why the
sealing of the Spirit is not oftener an object of special faith and entreaty? The Scriptures present it as the privilege of the believer: "After that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," Eph. i, 3. And again, as though those addressed had already received the seal, it is said, "Grieve not the Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Paul surely had received it, or he had not said, "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I adore the God of my salvation, by whose grace I was moved to plead for the sealing of the Holy Spirit. The Bible presented it as my privilege, and this was enough to inspire my faith in pleading for it. Never did I more consciously realize that the Spirit itself maketh intercession, than when groaning before God for this establishing grace. It was the Holy Spirit that placed it distinctly before my mind, as a privilege included in the believer's inheritance.

The believer's
inheritance! How glorious! How wonderful the privileges purchased by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! all of which are now made over to every child of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. When an earthly parent leaves his last will and testament, setting forth in specific terms the inheritance bequeathed, how minutely does each inheritor examine the document in order to ascertain the extent and validity of his claims! If fearful that his own judgment may be defective, he eagerly inquires of those who are skilled in law, until assured that all the privileges granted by virtue of his father's will are fully apprehended. Why are not the children of our heavenly Father more ambitious to secure their rights? Truly, the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. It was said of Ann Cutler, a worthy of Wesley's time, that it was her daily practice to search the Scriptures with earnest prayer, in order to ascertain just what it was her privilege to expect, and after being assured of the will of God concerning her, she made it a point never to rest until the promised blessing was hers. What an inspiring example! May the Lord help us to do likewise.

Yours, &c.





No. XLIV. — To Mrs. E_____.

Disappointment — Our recent interview — Sad change — Fault-finding versus prayer — Ministers need encouragement — "Our minister is not popular" — Harmful effects — Speaking evil of ministers — A false light — Confession — A stumbling block — "Touch not mine anointed" — A family regulation with respect to the reputation of ministers.


MY beloved sister and myself were both somewhat disappointed on the occasion of our recent interview. But I hope, my dear E_____ has learned to regard all her disappointments as emphatically God's appointments. If so, obedience to the command, "In everything give thanks," has become one of your most pleasant duties.

But I fear that this may not be your state before God. You were
unhappy last evening, and not only your words but your very looks expressed unhappiness. The interview previous to that of last evening, which I remember to have had with you, was spent in conversation on the all-important subject of "HOLINESS TO THE LORD." That theme stood absorbingly before you, and seemed to be engraven on all your intentions. Instead of being much concerned about self, and ways and means for the bringing about the consummation of your own wishes, you were mostly concerned in the establishment of the pure and peaceable kingdom of Christ in the hearts of those with whom you communed.

Do I mistake, when I say, I fear that it is not altogether with you as in years past? I believe that my beloved sister wishes to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, and if so, she will bear with me while I breathe aloud thoughts and fears which have oppressed my heart concerning her. Has not the deceiver, as an angel of light, beguiled you by his sophistries? By turning the eye of your mind so intently upon what you deem to be the failings of your minister, has he not succeeded in turning your attention away from "the beam that is in thine own eye?" Had the time which has been spent by yourself, and a number of your friends, in perhaps
prayerless talking and thinking about your minister, been spent in seasons of fasting and prayer for the holiness of his life, and the success of his ministrations, he might by this time not only have been eminent as an example in faith, in purity, and in doctrine, but yourself and your friends, standing prominent as you do in the church, might have been greatly instrumental in promoting its purification and prosperity.

The day of eternity only can reveal what loss yourself, and friends, and also your minister, and the cause generally, has sustained by this disaffection which you have manifested toward your minister and his administration. Instead of holding up his hands, which surely, by the ordinary duties of his responsible station must need support, you and your friends have added greatly to this accumulated weight. How, O how can this course appear in the sight of the meek, lowly, loving Saviour, who hath said, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ?"

"But," say you, "we think him deficient in piety, and though he seems to preach well, yet he has other faults; he is not generally popular, and to us his ministrations are not profitable." Now, my dear sister, had yourself and friends first went to Jesus, as did his disciples of old, and told him all, had you done this without even mentioning your dissatisfaction to one another, I have little doubt but you would have had one of the most prosperous conference years you ever enjoyed.

Do you think that your expressions of dissatisfaction have in any way improved the piety of your minister? Have they tended toward making him more generally popular? Or have they made his ministrations more profitable to yourselves? If none of these important results have been attained, then there is every reason why you should take shame and confusion of face to yourselves.

But let me tell you, that there are humble, holy souls, in church fellowship with you, who have found the word of life, as dispensed by your minister, precious food. While you have been scattering here and there and gathering nothing, and are now almost starving, for your very looks say, "O my leanness, my leanness!" these have been feeding richly on the dainties of heaven. O what have you lost, and what has the precious cause of Christ lost, by your turning out of the highway into this by-path, and alas for those who have followed you through these delusions of Satan!

I say "these delusions of Satan," for, truly, as an angel of
light, has the deceiver decoyed you into this path. If, in your imagination, light beams upon it, beware; it is the glare of the fires of perdition, and it will lead you, if you persist, and those who follow you, eventually to the point whence it emanates.

I see no way to get back upon the right track, but to acknowledge your error, and return. "It we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to for give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "Make confession!" "Why, this would be coming down from the position in which I have stood, and my influence would thereby be injured, and my attitude be less favorable for usefulness than formerly." No, my sister, you have put a stumbling block in the way of the people, and in their sight you will have to return and take it up, that they may see that you have pursued a course which it would be dangerous for them to follow. And then the Lord may reinstate you among the leading spirits of his sacramental hosts, otherwise it were not safe to follow you.

I do not mean by my remarks to intimate that your minister is faultless. I should, on the contrary, think that his demeanor may, in some respects, be reprehensible. But, as ministers are of like passions with ourselves, should we not, in sympathy with the spirit of the Saviour, be touched with the feeling of their infirmities? The chosen ambassadors of Christ, those who have been called, as was Aaron, must be peculiarly dear to the heart of the Saviour. Their influence stands inseparably identified with the promotion of his kingdom, and whoever touches the influence of these chosen ones, touches the heart of Christ. But must we not speak, in order that evils may be corrected? No, not unless you have taken the case to Christ
first, and told him all the matter in all its bearings. And then, if after much prayer, and close communion with the Head of the church, he requires, for the well-being of the church, that the matter be brought out, let it be done with much prayerful caution and with a single eye to the glory of God, and not for the redress of a mere personal grievance.

Personal grievances should, in most cases, be taken
only to God and to the individual concerned. Husband and I make it a point not to mention little matters we hear of this kind, even in our family, and often we do not mention them to each other. "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm," stands prominent among our family regulations. In common with others, I sometimes see things in ministers, which, for the honor of Christ's precious cause, I could wish were otherwise, but the more my heart is troubled, the more constantly and earnestly do I keep the matter before God. Among the greatest victories I have ever gained, have been the curing of these evils in this noiseless manner. I have left no room on my sheet for apologies, in view of this plain dealing.

Yours, in Christian love.





No. XLV. — To Mr. K_____.

Solicitude — A twenty years' seeker — The longer and the shorter way — Remarkable experience in the steam cars — A meeting established for the promotion of holiness — How holiness sustains in the hour of trial, exemplified — The difference between willingness and obedience — A quotation from Mr. Wesley.

YOUR omission to write, lest my reply should make an unnecessary draft upon my time, has cost me more time in perplexing inquiries after the reasons of your strange silence, than would have been consumed in a long response.

I have felt most affectionately and prayerfully solicitous for your spiritual welfare. I hoped thus ere this your goings had been established in the way of holiness. I am sure, dear brother, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, you would have done it. But now, when it is only to cease your endeavors to save yourself, and by an act of faith cast yourself wholly on Christ, believing that he
fulfills his promises to you, you shrink, and linger, just at the base of the fountain, unwilling to make the venture. My dear brother, why do you not now

"Plunge into the purple flood,
And rise in all the life of God?"


By waiting thus you grieve your Saviour, for you ought long since to have been a witness of the full power of saving grace. This you may prove at any moment when you will, with your whole heart, trust in Christ as your present Saviour.

A beloved brother, who, for many years, had been earnestly longing for the witness of holiness, said to me, "I think I have not as deep and painful conviction on this subject as I ought to have, preparatory to the immediate reception of it. Mr. Wesley says, that often deeper and more painful conviction precedes it, than is experienced previous to justification." In return I observed "If all the deep feeling and earnestness of desire which you have felt during the past twenty years were gathered up within the compass of a few weeks, or a few days, would not the amount be great indeed?" He readily acknowledged it would. "Imagine," said I, "that you were to die within two minutes, what would you do?" With much solemnity he said, "I would cast myself upon the merits of my
Saviour!" "Do you think he would save you from all your sins?" "I believe he would." "What! without any more conviction?" With emotion he acknowledged the conclusion to which he had brought himself, and yielded the point. He has since made the venture, and cast himself believingly on Christ, resolved to rest upon the authority of the word of God, as the evidence of his entire acceptance. As an able minister of the New Testament, he is now, in turn, proclaiming to others the excellency of that Word, upon which, as an immovable foundation, his faith is based.

I regret that you are not redeeming the time relative to this subject. If you were clear in the experience of this grace, how much more successful might you be in your endeavors to help others into its enjoyment! You say you now perceive, that you had reason to conclude you were in the enjoyment of the blessing at the time referred to in your last. Then why did you not at once, on perceiving this, again resume the confidence which you had cast away. If you have not yet resumed it, why may you not do so this moment? It is wonderful how the adversary gets the advantage of some, by keeping them lingering on the borders of the promised land, while others, at a tingle bound, leap over, and then exultantly gather its fruits, and tell of its blessedness to others.

Let me tell of one who was not twenty years in getting into the way. He had, for some time previous, known the joys of pardoned sin. But he had not been much in communion with those, whose absorbing employ was to "praise the beauty of holiness," and on being thrown into the company of such, his heart became greatly enamored with its beauties, and earnestly did he long to enter upon its enjoyment. Just in this simple manner he obtained the desire of his heart. We were about to respond to an invitation to visit his residence, in order to spend a little season in communing on the subject; and while on the way in the steam cars, I said, "Brother J., are you sinning
now?" "No, I believe I am not." "How are you saved from sin?" "I do not know, unless Christ saves me." "Do you think he would save you another moment, if you should continue to rely upon him?" "I believe he would." "Will you do it?" "By the help of the Lord, I will." And that help was granted. He continued, with every moment, to gather fresh strength. I soon said, "I will not ask you what you will do tomorrow, nor what you will do five minutes hence; but, if you should now have the opportunity, would you be willing to say, Jesus now saves me from all sin: 'For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation?' "By the help of the Lord, I will." He was an influential man, and both Presbyterian and Methodist ministers were in habits of intimacy at his house. That afternoon, I have reason to believe, that numbers were made acquainted with his interest on the subject. He shortly afterward established a meeting at his house for the promotion of holiness, ministers of different denominations have there met, with members of their charge, and ever since it has been kept up for the diffusion of light, and the edification of the lovers of holiness. Yesterday he visited us. He seems to be most truly going on from strength to strength, evidencing the power of Christ as a full Saviour before the world, amid the toils and perils of an extensive business.

Several weeks after he thus began to rest upon Jesus to
save him under every diversity of circumstances, he was aroused one night to behold his extensive printing establishment in flames. He had had a similar calamity some time previous, which made this seem doubly disastrous. But the Saviour even here assured him, that there might be reasons why it were not better for him to lay up treasure on earth, and with sweet placidity of mind he was enabled, while yet beholding the devouring element, to sink down more closely into the bosom of love, with the inspiring assurance: "All things work together for good to them that love God."

Dear brother, why will you not
now rest upon Christ to save you? If you do not expect to save yourself in any degree, but depend wholly on the merits of Christ for salvation, why should you not this moment begin to trust him, to cleanse you from all your uncleanness. He now says to you, "I will, be thou clean;" but you do not manifest your willingness to be made clean, until you cast yourself as you are upon Christ, believing that he now fulfills his promises to you. You can no more be saved the present moment for the future than you can breathe for the future. You grieve the Holy Spirit while you stay away, and instead of getting a greater fitness, are every moment rendering yourself more unworthy; inasmuch as the Spirit has, for months past, been urging you to the open fountain, and Christ has been saying, "Come, for all things are now ready." Months since, you ought to have added your testimony to those who are already cleansed, and kept clean, and with them have said, "We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Ghost whom God hath given to them that obey him."

I would not seem causelessly to upbraid a dear brother for whom I feel so affectionately desirous, but I am sure, if you linger after this hour, that the Saviour will upbraid you for
your unbelief. It is not only the willing, but the obedient, that shall eat the good of the land, that is, they who show their willingness by their obedience. Your child may assure you of his willingness to obey your commands, but how lightly would these repeated assurances tell on your heart, unless he demonstrate it by doing what you require. Your mere willingness to believe will not itself bring you into

"The land of rest from inbred sin,
The land of perfect holiness."


If Israel had for a long time stood upon the borders of their promised inheritance, continually saying in obedience to the command, "Go over and possess the good land," "We are
willing, and stand here all ready to go over;" — would this expression of willingness have brought them any nearer the point? Rather, would not their lingering have grieved their gracious God, who had led them through the wilderness, and brought them to this point, just in order that they might now enter in? O may our dear brother never be doomed to wander back into the wilderness of unbelief!

Mr. Wesley says, "Certainly you may look for it now, if you believe it is by faith. And by this token you may know whether you seek it by faith or by works. If by works you want something to be done
first, before you are sanctified. You think I must first be, or do thus or thus. Then you are seeking it by works unto this day. If you seek it by faith, you must expect it as you are; and if as you are, then expect it NOW. It is of importance to observe that there is an inseparable connection between these three things. Expect it by faith. Expect it as you are. Expect it now. To allow one is to allow them all. Do you believe that we are sanctified by faith? Be true then to your principle, and look for the blessing just as you are, neither better nor worse, as a poor sinner that has still nothing to pay, nothing to plead, but 'Christ died.' And if you look for it as you are, then expect it now. Stay for nothing, why should you? Christ is ready and he is all you want." In another place, he adds, "To this confidence, that God is both able and willing to do it now, there needs to be added one thing more, a divine evidence and conviction that he doeth it. In that hour it is done, God says to the inmost soul, 'According to thy faith be it done unto thee!' Then the soul is pure from every spot of sin; it is clear from all unrighteousness. The believer then experiences the deep meaning of these solemn words, 'If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his son, cleanseth us from all unrighteousness.'"

I hope my long letter may not prevent you from writing quickly in return, if it at all consist with your other duties. If your usage of Henry Clay, as a correspondent, is given as a sample of what I may expect from you, I shall regret it. I love to receive long letters, but I think I shall never again presume to send so long a talk as this in return. I so much desire to hear that you have entered into the rest of faith, that I am prone to forget myself while urging you on this point. The last experience in the "Riches of Grace," is from the pen of Mrs. Professor U____, of B___k, Maine. There is also another in that work to which I would refer you, on page 115, experience 19; you will find it also in the Guide, vol. 3, page 8. This is the experience of my beloved sister, Mrs. L____, the reading of which, I think, may be confirming to your faith. My dear husband, and all the members of my family still remember you most affectionately. My Christian salutations to Mrs. K____.

Yours, &c.





No. XLVI. — To Miss D_____.

A little child learning to walk — The Divine Sympathy proportioned to our feebleness — "I will hold thy right hand" — Shrinkings from duty — "I have ordained you" — The weak made strong — " Worldly Christians!" — A light in the world.

YOUR note came to hand, and has been cause of thanksgiving to the God of all grace, who hath made such great grace abound toward you. As you have received the Lord Jesus to the full salvation of your soul, I have been longing to hear how you have been enabled to walk in him.

You speak of yourself as a little child coming to its parent, just learning to walk. Sweet and inspiring thoughts present themselves to my mind, in viewing this as your state. I regard my sister as having entered upon the road, which, by the fiat of the Lord of the way,
"shall be called, The way of holiness." He who hath cast it up for the express purpose that the redeemed of the Lord may walk therein, is with her every moment, guarding every step, and assuring her in every strait, "I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee." The little child just learning to walk, commands more of the careful attentions of the parent, than one who, by previous training, has attained a firm gait. The love and ceaseless attentions of your Saviour are bestowed upon you, just in the proportion that your feebleness demands.

You are not favored with the companionship of many friends, who are walking in the highway, and you feel your loneliness. But O, what are earthly companions and loves, compared with the companionship and love of such a Friend as your Jesus purposes to be. Keep close to his side, and you will ever hear him saying to you, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

"But why do I grasp him with a trembling hand?" you ask. Let me in reply again refer you to the precious words: "I the Lord will hold thy right hand." While your trembling hand is held in the firm, unyielding grasp of the Almighty, need you fear? Commune with your Saviour upon this question. and he will assure you that
his strength is your strength. He knows the weakness of your flesh, but does he love you less because you cleave to him tremblingly. No! rather does he look upon you with yet greater tenderness, while he compassionately says, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." When prone to sing,

"I hold thee with a trembling hand,"


may you ever be constrained to add,

"He holds me with his mighty hand,"


“Aye, he encompasseth my entire being within the hollow of his hand."

"Why do I feel it a cross to declare what he has done for me," you inquire. Expect a
daily cross. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." In reference to some duties, even sanctified humanity may shrink; but if the human will is subject to the divine will, and submissively says, "Not my will but thine be done," I do not see way this does not imply a perfect state of the affections. I hope my dear sister will ever, through grace, "Cast aside that enthusiastic doctrine, that we are not to do good, unless our hearts are free to it." With David, may you ever be disposed to call upon all that fear the Lord, and tell what great things he hath done for your soul.

And now, my dear sister, do not be startled, when I tell you that you have been
ordained for a great work. Not by the imposition of mortal hands, or a call from man. No, Christ, the great Head of the church, hath chosen you, "and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit." O my sister, yours is indeed a high and holy calling. Alas for you, if you are not found faithful to the trust committed!

But you have much to encourage you. Why should you not bear much fruit? "It is God that worketh in you." You are ONE with Him, who of God is made unto us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption. O how mighty may you be as an instrument in the hand of God! "He holds you by the right hand, and with you, though but a worm, he may thrash a mountain."

How powerless, and even unseemly, were the instruments through which the walls of Jericho fell. Had the combined force of the mighty of the earth been called into requisition, for the accomplishment of this enterprise, then the excellency of the power might have been ascribed to men, not to God. And now our God will not give his glory to another. When he intends that the strong citadel which sin has raised in the hearts of men should be assailed, if he chooses instruments as impotent or as unlooked-for, as were those rams' horns, we will not question his wisdom. Let us not say, What doest thou? but, without reasoning, resign ourselves into his hands.

In regard to the individuals to whom you have referred, I could but exclaim, O how strong and high is the barrier which renders the hearts of some, who profess love to the Saviour, impervious to the light, respecting the doctrine of salvation from all sin. May we not fear, that in many instances, it is because "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not?"

Worldly-minded Christians! Does not the expression imply an agreement between Christ and Belial? an agreement which the Scriptures most strongly deny. Yet, alas! in what a variety of ways is the friendship of this world courted, by some who profess union with Christ. Should it be said to such, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of this World is enmity with God; whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God," they would be amazed; yet this passage exhibits the true state of worldly professors toward God.

May you, my beloved friend, keep your garments unspotted. Amid a crooked and perverse generation, may you shine as a light in the world. If this prayer is answered in your experience, your daily walk and conversation will be a reproof to such professors as would join in affinity with the world. Expect persecution from such. "If ye will live godly in Christ Jesus, ye shall suffer persecution;" therefore make up your mind to this, and may God give you great courage, and ever, through sustaining grace, may you be

"Bold to take up, firm to sustain,
The consecrated cross."


Your sister in Christ.





No. XLVII. — To Rev. Mr. H_____
.

Specified wants; presented, supplied, doubted — The inference — The great exchange; a man given and a God received — "Was God unfaithful?" — Mr. H 's statement of his experience — A precise answer to a specific request — Confession delayed; urged — Witnesses of perfect love needed in the ministry.

BROTHER H____ kindly, permits me to ask questions, or present truth, in any form, and I gratefully avail myself of the privilege.

A picture presents itself to my mind. Brother H____ has a son, whom he much loves. The boy has been in perilous circumstances, and comes to his father hungry, thirsty, and
all want. His heart has been abundantly assured, from a knowledge of your nature and the resources at your command to gratify the promptings of your benevolent wishes, that he has but to come and present his case, to have all his need supplied. He has heard his father say, "Ask what you will, my son, and it shall be given you." Thus, at your bidding, he begins to specify his wants, and says, "Father, I am thirsty, give me water." The request is answered; he drinks, and at once feels precisely the effect anticipated.

I ask — "Did your father give you water?" Should he, with perhaps a saddened countenance, reply, "I do not know; I only know that it was
water I wanted." "But did not your father assure you, that he would give just what you asked; and does not the effect answer your anticipations?" "Yes, my system is indeed greatly invigorated, but yet I cannot determine — it may be something else."

"But your father knew that you needed water, and it was because he saw your need, and had a plentiful supply, that he told you, you should have it, if you asked for it; and how can you reconcile the conduct of your father with truth? Does the general hearing of his conduct toward you warrant this
want of confidence? Do you not know that you cast a shade upon the character of your father, by indulging in this mode of reasoning? The paternal love — ability — or fidelity, of your father, seems to be involved." Which of the three would you have me question?

Your son looks toward me reproachfully, and thinks me unkind, and yet I know not how, from his statement of his case, to arrive at other conclusions; and however much he may be pained, he alone is responsible for the untrue, or unkind thoughts I may entertain of his father.

Brother H____'s spirit was all athirst for the fountain of life and purity. His heavenly Father had given him to see the image of his Saviour
infinitely desirable. The conditions upon which it was to be received, were set before you, and your spirit complied. The Holy Spirit urged you to take the image of your Saviour, assuring you that He had taken yours. You made the exchange — "gave him your sin, and took his purity — gave him your shame, and took his honor — gave him your helplessness, and took his strength gave him your death, and took his everlasting life." Yes, you made the exchange.

It was not in your own strength, that you were enabled to exchange your own vile image for the blessed likeness of your Saviour. But you
did, through grace, do it, and here was fidelity on your part. Was God unfaithful in the performance of his part of the engagement? How can it be other. wise, if the position which you occupy be correct? If the want of fidelity on the part of God is not implied in the attitude in which you stand, I do not apprehend your experience, and must wait to be further informed.

Now, dear brother, do you not think this position inconsistent? "Does it not intimate a
fault on the part of your Saviour?" And yet your whole heart is saying, "I have no fault to find with my Saviour," his name is "Faithful and True." You have acknowledged, that at the moment you made the "exchange" — the surrender of self, He was at once true to the performance of his part of the engagement. To use your own words, "His omnipotent hand was laid upon me — I felt it not only outwardly but inwardly — it pressed upon my whole being, and diffused all through and through it a sin-consuming, holy energy. As it passed downward, my heart, as well as my head, was conscious of the presence of this soul-cleansing energy, under which I fell to the floor, and, in joyful surprise, at the moment cried out with a loud voice. Still the hand of power wrought within and without, and wherever it moved, it seemed to leave the impress of the Saviour's image."

Now, brother, was God
true and faithful?

Your own confession has thrown the want of fidelity on
yourself, and here I know you would have it rest. But will you, by word, thought, or look, in the future be instrumental in cherishing, in my one heart, the impression that your heavenly Father, after having induced you to specify your wants, might possibly have given something else in place of that he had caused you to ask for? I think the lessons in doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, contained in the first paragraph of the 11th chapter of Luke, meets your vase precisely.

A specific request is here made, the friend wanted
three loaves. Because of his importunity, his friend rises, and gives as many as he needs. And then the Saviour says, "Ask and it shall be given you, &c. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or, if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? or, if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?"

You know, dear brother, that your heavenly Father gave just the blessing you asked for, and your error has been in not confessing with your lips his
faithfulness in fulfilling his promises. Your heart has believed, but your lips have not fully, freely, and habitually made confession. And thus your part of the work has been left in part unfulfilled. Do you not think, brother, that the time past should suffice? Would not God have been much more honored through your instrumentality, had you not refrained your lips, but fully and freely declared with David, to the great congregation, the faithfulness of your God? O! no longer hide, in any degree, his righteousness within your heart; redeem the time, and be assured, that the more you hold up the light that God has kindled, the more gloriously will your own soul become illuminated.

A very holy man once said, he felt it his duly to confess to the
outside of what he enjoyed — assured that it not only honored God, but humbled the creature. And, dear brother, I know you will find it so in your own experience. I think you must begin to feel that you have been kept back from more open confession, by a well-circumstanced device of the enemy of God, of holiness, of your soul; and, if you continue longer thus, will not the enemy secure a partial triumph? Are you as strongly empowered to serve the cause of holiness, and honor your Saviour, who has imparted his image to you, as if you were enabled to declare at all times, unhesitatingly, that he sanctifies and saves you fully?

An encouraging thought presents itself. You know it is said that the wrath of our enemies shall praise him. Now, brother, should you not take pains to give publicity to your failure, in not confessing more specifically the great work that God has wrought for you? Your testimony might reach, and bring out many more among the dear brethren in the ministry, similarly conditioned with yourself — and surely this would not be a small service to the church.

You know how much the cause requires witnesses among the
ministry; witnesses "that speak of that they know, and testify of that they have seen," and for want of such testimony, the work is less prosperous among the people than it would otherwise be. You know the Word directs us for example in faith and practice to the ministry, "whose faith follow" — "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth."

If such is the responsible attitude in which God's ambassadors stand, surely Jesus says, more appealingly to them than to us, "Ye are my witnesses;" and the account of their stewardship, when called to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, may be found to be vastly less satisfactory, from the very fact that the testimony of their own experience had not been more fully brought out before the people.

Faithfully yours.




No. XLVIII. — To Mr. C_____
.

Impelled to activity by the Word — An enthusiastic doctrine — A nice point — Quietism — Abraham pleading for Sodom — Moses pleading for Israel — Christ in the person of his saints.

IN answer to your inquiry I will say, I do not think I have less faith in praying for the unconverted than formerly. "If so," you ask, "how has it been nourished and retained?" I answer, not generally by what may in one sense be termed impelling influences, but from the obvious requirements of the WORD, "Be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord;" — "Instant in season, out of season;" — with kindred passages implying the utmost vigilance, and requiring the most skillful management in the employment of talents intrusted for usefulness. Otherwise, how can we, as faithful stewards, return his own with usury?

Mr. Wesley, in accordance with these Scripture enjoinments, says in his rules for the Methodist Societies, "Casting aside that enthusiastic doctrine, that we are not to do good unless our hearts are free to it." The greater the good to be accomplished, the more powerful and subtle will be the dissuasives which Satan will interpose. It is the will of God that sinners should be saved, and that the most energetic and unremitting efforts should be made in warning, entreating, and even compelling them to close in with the offers of mercy. So when we pray for the unconverted, whether we feel like it or not. we may have this confidence, that we ask that which is according to the will of God, and divine influences will descend upon them in answer to the prayer of faith, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear — it is thus that we are workers together with God — a sweet savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish. The manner, then, in which I have been enabled through grace to retain and nourish this "sympathy with Christ," is by continuing to labor with him in saving the souls for whom his most precious blood was shed; and this I endeavor to do on the same principle upon which I would perform other duties, and oftentimes amid the shrinkings of nature and powerful temptations to unbelief. Perhaps you say, Is it not the Spirit that makes intercession, and can I, without this moving of the Divinity within me, present acceptable prayer? This is a nice point, and only by comparing Scripture with Scripture can we resolve the matter. Had Abraham been disposed to lean toward Quietism, he had been less importunate in pleading for the Sodomites, and possibly righteous Lot might not have been delivered, yet God did not reprove him for unsubmissiveness. God had declared his purpose to Moses, and rebellious Israel was doomed to destruction; had Moses carried out the principles of the sect referred to, and calmly awaited the event in fancied submission, may we not presume that the sentence of divine justice would have been fulfilled? But was it not the Spirit of the divine Intercessor working mightily within Moses, that thus moved him to importune for the forgiveness of the rebels? Just so Justice may doom the sinner, but the WORD assures us, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." And notwithstanding the many exceeding great and precious promises given unto us, yet God hath declared, "For these things will I be inquired of by the house of Israel."

"The life of God in the soul of man," is said to be the sum of religion. "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." If Christ is our life, will not our lives be an exhibition of what his was when here below? His whole life was one continuous effort for the salvation of man, and to the degree we partake of his nature, we will exhibit before the world what he was when on earth. It is thus I am ever prone to measure my own attainments in grace. It is blessed indeed to sink into the will of God; but in order to know that we are in his will, we need a revelation of it, so that me may measure ourselves by its standard. This revelation we have fully exhibited in the life of Christ, and now it is for us to sink down "into the purple flood, then shall we rise molded in his image, and present a glorious pattern, before men, of
conformity to the will of God."

Yours truly.