Phoebe Palmer

Letters #17 - 26.

TO MR. K_____, TO MR. P_____.

No. XVII. — To Mr. K_____.

An impression confirmed — Religious joy — Temptation succeeds — Unwise inference — Holiness a state of character, not of emotion — The disciple with Jesus in the wilderness, and on the mount — The disciples on Tabor — The unwise request — The disciple as his Master — The crown coveted; not the cross.

DEAR SIR, — Your letter confirms what I said to Dr. P., on the evening after I parted with you. "Brother K_____ has, I believe, received the blessing of holiness, for my prayer has been turned to praise in his behalf." So I said to my husband, and this persuasion your letter verifies. You observe, "During that night, I awoke with a sweet, heavenly feeling, that I was the Lord's. I felt a
perfect assurance that I was wholly his, and my joy truly was unspeakable. I arose, and gave God thanks for his great mercy to me. After an hour or two, I fell asleep again; but, in the morning, these feelings had left me." Had your faith been wholly founded on the faithfulness of God, and not dependent on your feelings, you would not in any way have lost anchorage, as a consequence of this destitution of emotion.

But it was when on your homeward journey, at time to which you had looked forward as a season favorable for special communion, "when alone in the car," that you were called to endure the trial of your faith more fully. It was now, you say, that you "experienced a strange feeling of emptiness, or a
destitution of holiness." Why say "a destitution of holiness," unless you had consciously taken your offering from off the hallowed altar? If you still had power to keep all there — to continue in the same act of presenting all through Christ — you were just as truly in a state of holiness then, as when filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Holiness is a state in which all the redeemed powers are given up to God through Christ.

The follower of Jesus may as truly be with the Captain of his salvation, realizing close and holy fellowship when in communion with him, as the Man of sorrows, and permitted to know a fellowship with his sufferings; or, if possible, when driven with him into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan; or in any other conceivable state, where the disciple may in this world be as his Master: "Ye are they that have been with me in my temptations." In either of the states glanced at, may the lowly disciple be as truly conformed to the will and also to the image of his Saviour, as if permitted the enjoyment of holy fellowship with him on the mount of transfiguration, with every impulse or
feeling of the heart saying, "Lord, it is good for us to be here."

feeling were the principle commanding religious action, instead of calm, deliberate, steady faith, how often should we be led astray, even when in our most pious moods! Think of the disciples, who, from the impulse of exuberant, pious feeling, desired to have three tabernacles reared, in order that they might ever abide on the mount, alone with the Saviour and his heavenly visitants; unmindful that the work of the Redeemer in saving the world was not yet accomplished, neither the work to which they, as his disciples, were called, in establishing his kingdom. Imagine that the pious feelings with which they were at this time favored had formed the principle of action, what would have been the fate of a lost world?

A destitution of joyous emotion, then, is not destitution of holiness. On receiving an increase of faith, or of any other grace, we ought always to expect the trial of this faith, or whatever grace we may have received, to succeed. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan, immediately after being favored with special tokens of the approval of his heavenly Father. And ought not we, who have purposed to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, to expect to be carried through a process somewhat similar, after having received special tokens of divine approval? Thus it was with you, dear brother; and there are reasons, of which we shall know more when knowledge is made perfect, why it is that God permits Satan to assault so powerfully his chosen ones. It is blessed to know that the veracity of our covenant-keeping God is pledged that we shall not be tempted above that we are able. And it is enough for the servant that he be as his Lord. The violent assault of which you speak, which so quickly succeeded the strong consolation consequent on your faith, was not of forty days' continuance.

Consider the Apostle and High Priest of your profession, "forty days in the wilderness, and with the wild beasts." Did you
suffer, being tempted? Think of him: "For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." I am delighted with some remarks of an old writer, which have just met my eye. They are so precisely suited to your case that I might have substituted them in place of my own remarks, had I seen them sooner. Theophylact observes: "One grand end of our Saviour's temptation might be to teach us that when we have consecrated ourselves to God's service, and have been favored with peculiar marks of divine acceptance, and the consolations of his Spirit, we must expect temptations, and to teach us, by our Lord's example, how we may best and most effectually resist them, even by an unshaken faith, 1 Pet. v, 9; and by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. vi, 17." — Benson's Comment.

"We count them happy which endure." O may this happiness ever be yours! I do not mean to express a wish that you may be ever enduring the fires of temptation, but that you may endure as seeing the Invisible through whatever trials you may be called to pass, remembering that you "are appointed thereunto," and that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren. It is true, that but few covet the blessedness of that man that endureth temptation; though many eagerly aspire after the crown, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, hath promised to give unto such.

Yours, in Christian love.

No. XVIII. — To Mr. K_____.

Mr. K 's statement of his case — Questions — Mr. K 's resolution — Comparison — Inconsistency of Mr. K 's position — May the sanctification of the soul be achieved gradually? &c. — "God's word its own evidence" — Correspondence between faith and confession — "Have I lost my will?" — Answer — Illustrations — The obedient child — Abraham — The Savior — Family government — Ruling by love — Daily intercession — Household dedication — Restraint — Abraham's family — Joshua — Eli.

DEAR SIR, — After the violent assault of Satan, referred to in my last, you say: "Not being conscious of having offended, I was alarmed, and renewed my struggle; sometimes endeavoring to consecrate myself to God, and sometimes believing that the consecration had been made; until I finally concluded that I must and would believe I had given up all, and trust his blessed promise, and live a life of faith. From that time to this, I have endeavored so to live, and yet I am not able to say that the blessing is mine." I have quoted thus largely, in order that you may review your position. You finally concluded that you must and would live a life of faith.

Do you mean a life of faith on the Son of God? Have you indeed consecrated yourself wholly to him? And is your all now being presented to God,
through Christ, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world; and yet you cannot say that your sins are taken away; that you are cleansed from all unrighteousness — wholly sanctified? Surely you are not willing to assume the position, that a living sacrifice, presented to God through Christ, is not holy and acceptable? I know you would not intentionally undervalue the precious blood of the atoning Lamb, and yet your position assumes it.

Your final conclusion was, to live a life of faith on the Son of God; that is, a life of entire dependence upon his merits, trusting in him to purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. Far be it from you to say that you have trusted, without fully proving the faithfulness of God. With far less guilt might one in ancient times say, "I have laid all upon the hallowed altar, the altar that sanctifieth the gift, but cannot say that it is sanctified." Under these circumstances, both the word of God would be doubted and also the inherent virtues of that altar which God hath declared to be an altar most holy. This is the sin which is aimed at when Christ says, "Ye fools, and blind! for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar which sanctifieth the gift?"

You come to the Christian's altar. "We have an altar." Your final conclusion is that you have consecrated all upon this altar, which is Christ. In view of his sacrificial sufferings and death, should I ask whether there is virtue sufficient here to cleanse from all unrighteousness; to sanctify wholly; what would you say? I know you would tell me that the virtues of this most holy altar are amply sufficient for the cleansing of a world of polluted mortals. Allow me to remind you of your final conclusion; that is, to live a life of faith on the Son of God: if so, then it is upon this hallowed altar that you are now resting.

And now, my dear brother K____, if you will resolve to let your faith depend on the word of God, and not upon your uncertain feelings, your difficulties will all be at an end. This, I believe, will from this time be your experience. Shall I henceforth hear it said of brother K____ , "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God?"

You ask my opinion relative to the evidence of the blessing being received slowly, or perhaps at intervals. We can conceive of one, who, on being informed of a matter of great importance, at first but partially relies upon the word of his informant; until accumulated evidence of the veracity of his friend puts it beyond doubt, and he becomes established in assurance that the word of his friend is evidence sufficient. He then proceeds to inform others of the fact: and if asked what evidence he has of its being so, he gives the name of his friend, and exclaims, "This is authority sufficient; I have his word, and the
word of such a friend is its own evidence."

"God's word is its own evidence," said an excellent minister, who loves to live by faith on the Son of God. Here let me again remind brother K____ of his final conclusion, of which this forms a part, "I must and will believe that I have given up all, and trust in God's promise, and live a life of faith." Do you believe God's promise constitutes reliable ground for your faith?
Is his word evidence sufficient to rest your faith upon? If you have come to the point to rely upon it fully as the foundation of your hope, you will not hesitate in making confession with your mouth. If you are not willing to do this, it proves that your faith is yet defective; for you will speak with a confidence precisely proportionate with what you deem to be the authority and faithfulness of Him upon whose word you rely.

But do not forget that believing with the heart, and confessing with the mouth, stand closely connected, and "what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." To the degree you rely on the faithfulness of God, O hasten to make confession with the mouth of this your confidence; and to the degree you honor God, by reposing on his faithfulness, will God honor you, by conferring upon you the graces of his Holy Spirit in their rich plenitude. My dear brother, let me urge you to be instant in season and out of season, in the performance of this duty: if we meet no more in time, may we hail each other in the city of our God, and there joy to find our names enrolled among those who have been foremost among Christ's holy confessors on earth.

But I observe a clause of your letter, not before noticed, of which I would say a word. You say, "I fear I have a will of my own;" but of this you do not seem entirely confident. I am glad to observe your carefulness on this point. O may your conscience ever be

"Quick as the apple of an eye!"

But while endeavoring to ascertain the truth of this matter, do not forget that you have an enemy who day and night accuseth the saints before God. Would you indeed be willing to have your own will done, instead of the will of your heavenly Father? Imagine that the ruling of your destiny were, in any degree, taken out of the hand of God and placed at your own disposal, would you not be afraid to be intrusted with it, in any degree? If you would at once refer it all back to God, then the conclusion is evident; you have not a will of your own. But we may have natural shrinkings from certain forms of duty; yet if we do not yield to nature, it is still evident that the will of God predominates over our own will, and all is yet in obedience to Christ.

If a judicious parent require a child to do that to which his nature is strongly disinclined, and the child, fearful of grieving his father, yields, though nature still strongly shrinks, to what he knows to be the superior judgment of the father, the child is even more worthy of commendation, than if the requisition had not been painful to his nature. The love, obedience, and confidence of the child, have all by the act been tested, and exhibited in a manner calculated to move the heart of the father, quite beyond what it would have been had no such test been instituted.

If Abraham had been required to offer up Ishmael, instead of Isaac, would his faith and his obedience have been as thoroughly tested as they were? God said, "Take thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest." When the Lord said this, doubtless all the tender yearnings of the father for his only son were roused even to an unusual degree. God did not forget this, when he said, "Now I know that thou fearest me, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me."

The Saviour also, who possessed as truly the human as the divine nature, had a will which shrunk from suffering: "If it be possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." His will was obedient to the will of his Father. If, in our brother K____, the human will is subject to the divine will, then he may thank God and take courage.

You inquire relative to our management with our little family; but, as you perceive, the size of my sheet forbids my saying much on this subject in the present communication. We have deemed it important

"Never to take the harsher way,
When love may do the deed."

And we have endeavored to cherish in their young hearts that love and confidence which you observe. It is certainly far more desirable to rule by love than by fear, if such a thing may be. And it is my opinion that this may be done to a degree quite beyond what many parents imagine. God is love, and it is our earnest prayer that the atmosphere in which our children live and move may be that of love. We have dedicated our house to God, and believe that he hears our prayer when we ask that his presence may abide with us, so that every one that enters our dwelling may feel the hallowing influence of the Spirit of holiness.

Before the routine of domestic duty for the day commences, I feel it a blessed privilege to present each member of our household individually before God. After having presented myself, with all my interests, temporal and spiritual, afresh to him through Christ, I daily plead the promise, "I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy offspring." I try to claim the fulfillment of this promise, and believe myself successful.

We have dedicated our children to God with an intention of devoting them in some special manner to his service, and are endeavoring to have their moral and religious training all directed to this point — usefulness in the church of Christ. You may infer from this that it is needful that their natural inclinations should at times be crossed to meet this point. In reference to gay society, or conformity to the world in dress, and other respects, we should think it proper to exercise parental authority if there were occasion for it. We are looking for wisdom to train them in the way in which they should go, and not in a way from which it would be needful that they should depart, on becoming themselves self-denying followers of the Saviour.

"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged," is an admonition most important in family government. But I imagine that the sin of Eli is far more prevalent than that of undue family restraint. God said of faithful Abraham, "I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken." We observe by this, that the parental and household government of Abraham stood closely connected with the fulfillment of God's promises to him.

Firmness and love equally blended are most essential in family discipline. Courageous Joshua says, "I and my house will serve the Lord." "I have feared that some professors rather prefer that the cause of Christ should be wounded, than the feelings of their children and other members of their household. Thus was it with Eli. If expostulation and entreaty had been the only thing required, he does not seem to have been particularly deficient. Doubtless his sin was, that he did not, with faithful Abraham, command his children. You inquire about the religious state of our two younger children — whether they are Christians. I am not prepared to answer this question directly, and you see I have now almost filled another sheet.

In love, farewell.

No. XIX. — To Mr. K_____.

Remarkable visit of the Spirit — A new heart given to a little child — "I want to pray more" — An accusation of the tempter — Little W_____ — Infantile anticipation — Propriety.

DEAR SIR, — Were you not praying for us as a family the evening I parted with you? Soon after my return home, while at supper, an unusual sense of the divine presence came upon me, and a heaven of love and sweetness seemed to fill the house. Being later than usual for supper, all the members of my family, with the exception of my two youngest children, (who had retired for the night,) had gone to meeting. As I left the parlor and went up to my room, about eight o'clock, to my surprise I found our daughter still awake, and, at her earnest call, I went to her room. Her eyes looked as though she had for some time been weeping bitterly, but she was now smiling amid her tears. "O ma!" she exclaimed, "I have been asking God for a new heart, and he has given it to me." I questioned her, but could see no reason to doubt that the Lord had indeed visited her with his salvation. Among other things, she said, "But Satan told me something very naughty." She hesitated for a moment as though it were something that she hardly dared repeat, and then observed, "He said that I should never go to heaven; but I asked the Lord, and he told me if I loved and served him I should." She seemed very happy in the love of the Saviour, and as I observed before, the whole house seemed filled with a heaven of love.

Little W____ then called me to his room, and a divine influence seemed to be resting upon him also. "O ma!" said he, "I want to pray more than my own prayers." I remained some time instructing him in answer to his many inquiries, some of which surprised me much, inquiries which I knew must have been prompted by the direct influences of the Holy Spirit on his heart.

In consequence of not being home as early usual, I had not conversed with these little ones as I generally do, especially on Sabbath evenings. It was clear to my mind, therefore, that the feelings of my dear children had not been produced by any external influence.

The accuser had been suggesting, that in not being with them when they retired, I had neglected an obvious duty, for that which was questionable; but on finding them so unexpectedly receiving the gracious teachings of the Spirit, the Holy Comforter said to my heart,

"Fix on God's work thy steadfast eye,
So shall thy work be done."

I should not like to answer your question, that is, Are these children Christians? unhesitatingly. But I will say, that from their earliest existence we have given them up to God. We believe that the Lord in some special manner recognizes the surrender, and gives the more direct influences of the Holy Spirit as a consequence of their being set apart for his service.

They love to talk about spiritual things, and from the dawn of reason have manifested much interest, and sometimes deep emotions, while I conversed with them. A few months since, little W____ asked this question, "What is it to give my heart to God?" Bishop H____ was with us, and he took the child on his knee, and with most heavenly sweetness told him in a manner suited to his capacity
just what it was to give his heart to God, After which, W____, in a solemn and impressive manner, said, "I give my heart to Jesus Christ." This was a memorable period, and he since says that he has given his heart to God, and I would not dare say he has not done so. When he is asked, as is often the case with such little creatures, What do you intend to be? His almost invariable reply, whether to wordlings or others, is, "I mean to be a minister, if God will make me one."

We have set him apart for that work, with the prayerful desire that he may be called of God, as was Aaron. "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few." In view of the need of faithful laborers it seems most reasonable, and not unauthorized by the spirit of the word, that pious parents should thus set their children apart, not with an idea that they are to decide the matter, but to order their entire moral and religious training in such a manner as may best fit them for the service of the sanctuary; and then, if the thus consecrated one is not sure in after life that he is "moved by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel," he will, by pious culture, have been fitted for other work in the vineyard of the Lord.

But if a case should occur in which a person thus dedicated to the ministry should not be called, it would be unlike any case I have yet met with. In reference to little W____, we cannot help treasuring up in our hearts these indications that he has received something like a baptism into the Spirit, of what may be his work, and we take courage. This morning he said, "I wish I was in
'Exico, (Mexico;) they fight there!" I felt troubled at his saying what seemed so unlike himself; and chidingly said, "Why, W____, they are wicked there because they fight, and if they do not take care they will soon all go to the bad place together:" "I thought I might go and tell them that it is wicked to fight," he replied. On Sabbath morning a boy was crying "Sunday Morning News" past the door. W____ came to me with a saddened countenance and said, "Do you not think I had better run and tell him that it is wicked to sell papers on Sunday? it may be he does not know how wicked it is." This is but a specimen of the way in which he often talks. I think you will with us conclude, that God is not unmindful of the consecration which we have made of our children to his service. And it is because we think this a most important matter that I have so much at length answered your inquiries,

Yours, &c.

No. XX. — To Mr. K_____.

Faith receives Christ in all his offices — Distrustfulness — Illustration — A specific kind of unbelief pointed out — The Bible the voice of God to man — Reference to 2 Pet. i, 21 — Profession on the authority of the WORD urged — Waverings in faith sinful — Triumphs of Satan — Loss to the church — Slight notions of the sin of unbelief lamented.

DEAR SIR, — I had hoped that my dear brother K____ had counted the cost of living a life of faith on the Son of God; yes, of faith on the Son of God, and of faith on him in all his relations to you. He is your Prophet, Priest, and King. Remember, brother, Christ is not divided. If he is received at all, he must be received in all his offices. You cannot be saved by receiving him as your atoning Priest, while you reject him as your reigning Sovereign or your Prophet — your Teacher. You have faith in the efficacy of his atonement as Priest. You, doubtless, consent to his control as your King. But, brother, may the Spirit mightily convince you of the necessity of an unwavering trust in all his teachings! His "words are Spirit, And they are life."

I imagine you say, "Sister P____ has mistaken my position. It is not the word of God I distrust, It is myself. The language of my heart ever is,

"Lord, I believe thy every word,
Thy every premise, true."

And yet, brother, I think, on careful examination, you may find yourself in some degree given to distrustfulness. To the degree you are so, you dishonor God. If Christ, robed in human flesh, were now standing before you, repeating words of living truth in your ear, and should a distrustful look cloud your brow, or words betokening a hesitating faith fall upon the ear of the listening multitude, would not the Saviour's heart be pained, and his name be dishonored before the whole assembly?

But you may desire to know whether I can direct to one point where your faith in
God is defective. Perhaps I may discover to you more than one, if, through the Holy Spirit's influence, I be successful in placing before you what I think I perceive. You say, "Were I only sure I had given up all, I could at once believe, irrespective of frames and feelings. The promise, 'I will receive you,' I could at once claim as my own, and thus, in obedience to God, I should be empowered to cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit," One point, marking the defectiveness of your faith, is here. You labor prayerfully to be sincere, and then, just as well as you know how, you give yourself wholly up to God through Christ. After making this surrender, you ask if anything is kept back, that it may be clearly discovered. But, in answer to these intercessions, nothing further is revealed. Just here a promise meets you: "If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." Now, why do you not believe the word of the Lord? It is just the promise which you need at this point in your experience. God is now saying this to you, and you are doubting him, and by this he is dishonored. Yes, unbelief is a sin. If you conceived the word of God a sufficient foundation for your faith, and were not looking for some evidence apart from this, you would believe. "But is it not through the direct agency of the Holy Ghost that I must believe?" Yes; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; and you will, indeed, prove these words are spirit and life, as soon as you fully rely upon them. Yet, you will realize that the Holy Ghost hath given them a life-giving energy,—

"To him that in thy name believes,
Eternal life with thee is given;
Into himself he all receives,
Pardon, and holiness, and heaven,"

The Bible is the voice of God speaking to man. If holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, the words thus uttered are in verity the words of God, as though they were
heard sounding forth from the highest heavens. If they were heard, faith were no longer requisite. If this were the order of God, it would have been written, The just shall live by hearing, or something answerable thereunto. Or, if this were the better way for man in his present state, God had ordained it. But the holy apostle Peter, who had both heard this voice which came from heaven, and was also an eye-witness of his majesty, does not pronounce the indulgence of these senses the surest way for establishing the heart: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts, knowing this — first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

I note this most important passage, with the hope that you may, as in the presence of God, mark, learn, and inwardly digest; and from this time believe, when you comply with the conditions upon which the blessings which you need are promised, that they are
already yours. The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart. I will return to the point which I may seem to have left, but which, in truth, I have aimed at in the foregoing remarks. Now, should you believe, when you ask God to discover to you anything which may be unrevealed, that he fulfills his word to you; in your confessions before God and man, you would say, "Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am now wholly given up to God. I have laid all upon the altar." Were an inquirer to ask, "What authority have you for speaking so confidently of your state?" you would reply, "I have the authority of God's word. Upon this alone my confidence rests. I, in sincerity, have given myself wholly to him. I have the promise that he will receive me when I make the surrender; and I cannot now believe otherwise than that he does receive me, unless I doubt his word, and this were in itself sinful." "But, perhaps, there may be something undiscovered, which may mar your sacrifice, and render it unworthy the acceptance of God." "I am bound to believe that the Faithful and True fulfills his word to me; he cannot deny himself. I have asked, if there be anything withheld, or if in anything I be otherwise minded, that God will reveal even this unto me; and now it were, indeed, most dishonoring to God, for me to doubt his faithfulness in this respect." Just in proportion to your confidence in the faithfulness of God would be the strength of your testimony in your confessions of what he had done for you.

O if these doubtings and waverings were only regarded among professed believers as
sinful, as they are in reality before God, what a different state of experience would the church present! Satan, surely, is peculiarly successful in blinding the minds of multitudes who believe in the attainableness of the rest of faith, relative to the enormity of this sin. When one who has been brought out of the bondage of spiritual Egypt arrives at the borders of the promised land; if an enemy, perchance his last unvanquished foe, prevent his leaping over, even though but within one step of his long-sought rest, what a victory is gained! Shall an enemy, capable of detaining his victim for days, months, and even years, at this point, be thought of as an enemy of small moment? Shall a foe, possessed of power sufficient to keep hundreds among the ministry, who are sincerely endeavoring to gain the rest of faith, and thousands also among the laity, who, for years, have been uttering strong desires for its attainment, O shall such an enemy be regarded as a slight foe? But, alas! too well does Satan succeed in keeping the understanding of multitudes in comparative darkness, relative to the aggregate loss of the church in the holiness of her membership, through this form of unbelief.

Why do you not enter into the enjoyment of full salvation? asks the inquirer of one who would be a sincerely devoted follower of Christ. "I cannot say why," says the latter, "unless it be my unbelief. I have for a long time been seeking, and I know of nothing that I would not be willing to sacrifice for its attainment; and I conclude, that it can be only my unbelief which keeps me from the enjoyment of this my promised inheritance. I know that the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and also that God hath made it my duty to believe, and frequently I have almost made the venture, but again I waver!" So says the doubting one: as if it were comparatively a small matter to indulge in these vacillations of faith; and this, too, when it is the word of the unchangeable Jehovah which we claim the privilege of crediting or rejecting at our pleasure.

I have not yet finished what I would communicate on this subject, for my heart is indeed full, but circumstances render it inexpedient that I should write more at present. I will give you my thoughts more fully, soon.

Yours, &c.

No. XXI. — To Mr. K_____.

"Only unbelief — Ancient Israel — Borders of the promised land reached — Met and vanquished by an enemy — Who was it? — God dishonored by unbelief.

DEAR SIR — O how infinite in importance is the point which the arch deceiver gains by the little words "ONLY unbelief!" Here is just where for months past the enemy has gained a signal victory over my dear brother K____. Not only over yourself has he triumphed, but, according to your own acknowledgment, the precious cause of Christ has suffered loss, by your not being in the enjoyment of this blessing. You say, "I feel that if I had the blessing, the circumstances in which I am placed would be peculiarly favorable to my usefulness," How many might have believed through your testimony, had your unbelief been given up, when you gave up every other sin? Why was this exception persisted in? Surely, brother, you did not consider how derogatory to the character of God it is to doubt his word. Relative to the enormity of this sin, well may God complain of you and many others, as of ancient Israel, "My people doth not consider."

Let us, dear brother K____, for a moment glance at the nature and consequences of this sin. Think of Israel. God, with a high hand, and an outstretched arm, had brought them up out of the house of bondage. The Red Sea was safely passed by a miraculous interposition, and Israel looked on and beheld the destruction of his enemies, as they were overthrown by the power of the Highest. Gently, as a nurse cherisheth her children, were they led forth through the wilderness. One obstacle after another, most formidable in prospect, had been overcome by the power of God, until they had become fully instructed relative to the almightiness of his hand to deliver, when they arrive at the borders of the promised land. They have escaped their Egyptian task-masters. They have passed the Red Sea. The parched and howling wilderness, too, has been traversed, and the hosts of Israel stand at Kadesh Barnea ready to enter in triumph upon their long-sought rest.

Just here, they are met by a foe more formidable than the hosts of Pharaoh, more terrible than the sea or the desert. That foe subdued them and drove them back into that terrible wilderness, where they wandered till the bones of that whole generation were strewn bleaching on the sands. Who was that mighty foe of Israel? Paul tells us. "They entered not in because of unbelief" — "ONLY UNBELIEF."

Ah! when Israel discovered the consequence of this one act of unbelief; when they saw that they had thereby so greatly displeased God, that they were for ever debarred the privilege of entering that land, in prospect of which their journeyings had been commenced, and continued down to that point of time, when God sware that they should not enter into his rest; O, think you; that they were disposed to speak of unbelief as a light matter? As their doom was being accomplished, and they were, one after another, fast falling in the wilderness, do you imagine that they were prone to look back and say, O, it was
only unbelief?

Now, if Satan succeed in blinding our minds the formidableness of this enemy, O is not this indeed a mighty achievement? I need not say that the honor of God is as truly concerned in us his spiritual Israel; "being delivered out of the hand of our enemies that we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life;" as it was in the deliverance of his ancient people. How greatly was the name of God dishonored by the sin of Israel in their refusing to enter; and O how greatly is our heavenly Joshua, the Captain of our salvation, who hath undertaken to bring his redeemed people into this Canaan of rest, dishonored, when we by our unbelief refuse to enter!

Dear brother K____, be no more of a doubtful mind. Give up your waverings: "For he that wavereth is as a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed; for let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." "This is the command of God, that ye believe." Is it left optional with yourself whether you will obey this command? How presumptuous to doubt God! Resolve that you will do so no more. Be without variableness or shadow of turning in your purposes. To the degree you are otherwise, instability in experience will be your portion. "If ye will not believe,
surely ye shall not be established."

In Christian love, yours.

No. XXII. — To Mr. P_____.

Difficulties in the distance — Humility and decision — Divine protection — Daniel — Workers together with God — Witness of the Spirit — Distinction between faith and sight — Abraham; his patient faith — The wavering one.

DEAR SIR, — On looking at difficulties in the distance, now oft have travelers in the heavenly way exclaimed, "Who shall roll us away the stone?" when, on coming up to the dreaded point, they have found the stone already removed, and a risen Saviour ready to meet them with his comforting smile. Thus, my dear brother P., you found it relative to the long-dreaded difficulty, which was matter of such serious forebodings in your last.

"The day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." You, dear brother, are being led by the Spirit low into the valley of humility, and doubtless this is only permitted, that God may in due time exalt you. His word is pledged, that if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine. You, my brother, have decided at every sacrifice to
know, in order that you may do, the whole will of God. Through the energies of the Holy Spirit, which have been momentarily imparted, through the intercessions of Christ, you have, day and night, sleeping or waking, been sustained in the absorbing desire to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

To be thus kept amid so many opposing influences, is of itself a miracle. Imagine that the decree should pass the throne of Heaven, that you for five minutes should be left to the will of your enemies. An entire destitution of every gracious intention, or desire, would in a moment succeed. Desolation of body, mind, and estate, exceeding the desolations of Job, would be the immediate consequence. Limits, as you will remember, were, by the fiat of the Almighty, set to the power of Satan, when Job endured the trial of his faith. But for the present and continuous intercessions of your Saviour, inconceivable power would at once be given to Satan over body, mind, and estate. Yes, brother, you are "kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation;" and every moment you are thus kept, you may exultantly sing,

"I am a miracle of grace!"

How do you suppose Daniel felt when he stood among the lions? He well knew that if his God had not sent his angel to shut the mouths of the devourers, his doom had been inevitable. Do you not think he ever afterward regarded himself as a peculiar monument of the saving grace of God? But he was not in reality more so than you are; for the roaring lion, who seeketh whom he may devour, is ever prowling about your path, and every moment you are preserved, it is by the miraculous intervention of divine power.

Your letter was encouraging to my faith in your behalf. Yes, my brother, it is God that worketh in you. Even now, while you are reading this communication, our God, who hath said, "I am the Lord which doth sanctify you," is carrying on the sanctifying process in your heart. "But when shall I be enabled to testify, that I have the direct witness of the Spirit, that I am wholly sanctified? This I believe to be my privilege." Yes, brother, this I also believe to be your privilege, and this I am sure you will have the moment you
unwaveringly rely on the promises of your faithful God; for the Spirit bears testimony to the truth of the word, when with perfect confidence we rest upon it. It is true, that you may not have any sensible manifestation, by way of assuring you of the acceptance of your offering, as the immediate consequence of your faith. To the degree manifestations addressed to the senses are given, the necessity of faith is precluded; but it is written, "The just shall live by faith,” not by sight.

When the father of the faithful saw the heavenly fire descend, and with his natural eyes was beholding the consuming process, as the flame steadily ascended heavenward, was faith in any way necessary, by way of assuring him of the acceptance of his offering? Surely not; for open vision precluded that necessity. But this sensible assurance would not have been given, had not a continuous act of steady faith preceded it. Had he, after laying his offering upon the altar, removed it again from that hallowed shrine; had he, forgetful that he had need of patience, yielded to weariness, from watching the consecrated offering, and then began to indulge in questioning why the Lord should so long delay the expected token of acceptance; and then, turning his mind off from the faithfulness of God, indulged in various conjectures, expressive of unsteady faith; would Abraham, amid these waverings, have received anything from the hand of the Lord? Surely the appellation of the "father of the faithful" had not been given him; for in reference to the wavering one, our God hath said, "Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord."

O that my dear brother P____ may be an example to believers, in
faith and purity, as well as in doctrine!

Yours truly.

P. S. — I perceive that I have not fully answered your letter. Your numerous inquiries demand much more time than I can command at present but I will write from time to time, as circumstances may permit.

No. XXIII. — To Mr. P_____.

Premature application, of the promises — Not willing to be holy - Paul's concise statement of the way to holiness — Distinction between consecration and sanctification — Obedience must precede appropriating faith — Wickedness of removing a sacrifice from the altar — Thomas — The will; its language — Of one who gave up his will.

DEAR SIR, — I think many err by urging the promises upon those who have no right to them. It was only this morning that a friend observed to me, "I asked brother L____ how his mind stood, in relation to the subject of holiness. He acknowledged his need of the blessing, and said that he desired it.

"'Can you conceive of any reason why you do not receive it?"

"'I do not know, unless it is my

This friend then began to urge the promises upon him; but she soon found that he rather needed the threatenings which are denounced against those who are unwilling to be holy, as he soon afterward frankly intimated (and as though it were light matter) that he was not willing to consecrate all to God. This brother, then, according to his own concession, was not willing to be holy. How unsuccessful would have been the solicitude of his anxious friend, though she had continued hours longer in endeavoring to overcome his unbelief, by urging the promises upon him! It is my opinion, that a large amount of well-intended labor, in urging persons to lay hold upon the promises, is lost precisely in that way.

Paul, in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. vi, 17, 18, and chap. vii, 1, presents the way by which holiness may be attained, in the clearest and most concise manner. The question, "Is consecration entire sanctification?" is here also fully met. First in order stand the terms of the covenant, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." Next come the promises, "I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Here, then, is entire consecration, and immediately follow the promises, which, the moment the conditions are met, are given to the seeker, (and not one moment prior to this compliance,) and yet the apostle addresses the thus consecrated one, as not
yet cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit! But he admonishes the humble aspirant, as already in possession of the means by which he is to cleanse himself — not as though he were to accomplish this work unaided by the power of God. No. Having these promises, which the LORD JEHOVAH gave him the moment he made an entire consecration of himself, he is at once directed to the next step in order, which is to appropriate the promises; and from that point he goes on perfecting holiness in the fear of God. It is thus that the words of the Saviour, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth," are illustrated in the experience of the disciple.

Thus we see how obedience to the primary injunctions of the word must precede the act of appropriating faith. As has been before premised, the difficulty which most persons find in endeavoring to exercise that faith which appropriates the blessing, comes through the effort to believe,
before the steps which should precede it are taken. Suppose Abraham had tried to believe that his offering was "truly acceptable," before he had laid it upon the hallowed altar. How inconsistent! Imagine that he had even brought it within reach of the altar, and yet had not laid it upon that "most holy" place, would it have been sanctified? But, after it was once laid there, was it any more at the option of the offerer? No. It was no more at his disposal, than if it had been borne away by Gabriel, and laid upon the throne of the Eternal, the moment it touched that altar, by the virtue of which it was sanctified to God. If God saw fit, for the trial of his faith and patience, (and shall we say his honesty also?) that it should for a season remain, in order that these various graces might be tried, it was not for him to dictate. Had Abraham yielded to impatience, and again resumed the offering and appropriated it to his own use, it would have been a most sacrilegious act; for the offering was no more his own — no more in any possible way at his own disposal. Had he thought of it as otherwise than wholly sanctified, he would have greatly dishonored God by his want of faith in his word: "He that believeth not, maketh God a liar!"

But does an offerer at the Christian's altar really give up all, until he gives up his
unbelief? There are many who imagine that they have given up all, who still retain their own will, especially on this point — except they see signs and wonders they will not believe. With unbelieving Thomas they say, "Except I shall see" — thus and thus, according to some preconceived plan — "I will not believe." And thus it is, though willing, perhaps, to surrender everything else, they hold on to this point, "I will not believe, except —." The real position of such persons seems to be expressible as follows: Unless the high and holy One shall come down to meet my will, and give me the witness of this salvation, in a way to meet my own views, as to the manner of its reception, "I will not believe." What an egregious mistake is here! If it had been said, "If any man will do his own will, he shall know of the doctrine," then there were some hope of the will of such being met. But since Jesus hath said, "If any man will do HIS will, he shall know of the doctrine," no hope remains for the entire sanctification of such, until the will be surrendered.

This surrender of the will may, to some, seem a small matter; but to me it appears tremendously great. If a man resigns his will to another, the identity of that man is, in every important sense, lost. His words and actions are all expressive of the mind and will of the other, not of himself. Thus, when the will is wholly given up to God, that person will, in all the minutiae of life, in word and action, present a transcript of the mind and will of God.

An interesting case, corroborative of the sentiments just expressed, occurred at our house some time since. A lovely young brother, now in heaven, had said in the Tuesday afternoon meeting, "I do not obtain the blessing, and yet it seems to me I am willing to consecrate all." After the meeting had closed, I addressed him thus:—

"If I should tell what you have not given up, would you endeavor
now, in the strength of the Lord, to make the surrender?"

"I will."

"It is here. You, doubtless, give up all but your will, which requires something
besides the word of God as a foundation for your faith: 'Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.' But God says, No other sign shall be given you, than that which has already been given; that is, the Word of God. Are you now willing to rely upon that alone, and trust God to give whatever emotion he may judge best as the fruit of your faith?" He saw just where the difficulty had been — made the surrender of his will, and received the end of his faith, even the full salvation of his soul, and the witness of that salvation.

I cannot precisely see how one can believe, and yet not
know it. If this be a truth, I need further instruction on this point. I prefer the good old Scripture doctrine, "He that believeth hath the witness in himself."

Yours, &c., in love.

No. XXIV. — To Mr. P_____.

Temptation as to the genuineness of faith — "Man-work" — Faith without works — "Workers together with God" — Queries about self-sanctification — Answers — Scriptural test — Exhortation.

DEAR SIR, — You seem to be afraid that there may be too much of your own works and doings in this way of receiving the blessing. Satan tempts you that your faith is a mere intellectual effort, and not that faith which is through the operation of the Spirit. If your faith produces such works as prove the leadings of the Holy Spirit, you need nothing more to settle your mind on this point. The effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance. Perhaps if the faith of believers in general were more intellectual, it might be more efficient in its operations. I do not desire to believe anything in such a way that I may not give a reason for my hope from the Bible. I hope you may have come to about the point in your heavenward journeyings where "wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times and strength of salvation."

"But is there not danger of being too much absorbed with man-work? I want to have the work of my salvation all Spirit-work, so that I may never in any degree walk by sparks of my own kindling." This then makes it all important that you should have a purely Scriptural experience, and not one merely conformable to what you witness in those who are alike fallible with yourself. Man stands intimately connected as a worker together with God in the work of his salvation.

Is not the more general fault of professors that of seeking to be justified by faith, without such works as God hath ordained, as the necessary prerequisites to an appropriating faith? I think by far the greater number of difficult cases that I meet with are of this description. "How can ye believe which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" When Paul said, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service," did he not mean that they, through the power of the Spirit, should bring the sacrifice, and lay it upon the altar? Would God have commanded this without giving power with the command for the performance of it? God will never do our part of the work, neither does he require that we should do his. It is God that worketh in us, but we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

"Was not Abraham, our father, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac, his son, upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect, and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." "But does not this savor too much of sanctifying ourselves, instead of recognizing the Holy Spirit as the sanctifier? I want to know, most assuredly, that I am sanctified through the Spirit."

Let me ask, brother, how were the first movings in your heart, prompting you to seek a state of holiness, induced? Was it not by the power of the
Spirit that you were incited to take the first step toward the attainment of this grace? And now, that you have for weeks past been sustained in a state of progression toward it, have you been enabled to go forward in your own might, or have you been empowered by the might of the Spirit for every progressive step? And when you were gradually brought to submit to what you felt to be an entire crucifixion of the flesh, I need not ask how you were brought to this point, for I am sure you will acknowledge the direct agency of the Holy Spirit. What abundant cause have you, my dear brother, to thank God and take courage.

In your last you acknowledged that you had been testing yourself in order to ascertain whether you were in truth led by the Spirit, and the result was, that you were enabled to settle the point incontrovertibly by the Scriptures, that you were indeed thus led, and consequently a child of God, and if a son, then an heir of God, and joint heir with Jesus Christ. In order that you may be brought into the enjoyment of all those high and holy privileges, which are already yours by the right of inheritance, the Holy Spirit has undertaken to teach and instruct you in the way in which you should go. Through the operations of the Spirit you are now brought to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling. O that you may now yield implicit obedience to the voice of the Spirit, while he may not testify of himself, but take of the things of the Father and of the Son, and reveal them unto you. Jesus, through his merits, now waits to present you to the Father, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Do you doubt? Behold him, as he

"Points to his side, and lifts his hands,
And shows that you are graven there."

I must now close; but permit me first to say, that "we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brother, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." Adieu.

Yours, &c.

No. XXV. — To Mr. P_____.

Baptism of the Spirit — The just shall live by faith — Witness of the Spirit — Answer delayed — Need of patience — My sister — Interview with Rev. T. Merritt — Confession — Steadfastness — Zeal.

DEAR SIR, — I learn by your letter, that you have not yet received the full baptism of the Holy Ghost. O that you, by the Spirit, may be sustained in a patient waiting! "For yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry." "Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." O, my beloved brother, may you not be of those that draw back! Did time permit, I could refer you to cases where individuals, after having been brought to the point where you now stand, have, through the tremendous assaults which Satan hath here made upon their faith, drawn back fearfully. May the Lord save you from the painful experience I have witnessed in others who have thus cast away their confidence!

Yet, though I would urge you to wait patiently, and with the resolve never to remove the offering from off the hallowed altar, I would also press the importance of looking momentarily, and with earnest wrestlings, for the witness of the Holy Spirit. It is your privilege to be filled with the Spirit, and with all the fruits of righteousness. We may conceive something of the
feelings of him whose faith we are admonished to follow, while he continued expecting and longing for the descent of the hallowed fire. The poet doubtless gives some idea of the state of his feelings when he says, —

"Restless, resign'd, for this I wait,"

But Abraham did not wait long; neither will you, if you remain steadfast in the faith. Yet you must not imagine that you are not gaining anything by this delay: "Knowing this, that the trial of your faith worketh patience; but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Even while lingering here, you may be strong in faith, giving glory to God.

You ask if I ever knew any one so long defamed at this point as you have been. Yes; I have known some who have been eminent examples in faith, in purity, and in doctrine, who, in like manner with yourself, have been called to endure the trial of their faith. One of these is my sister in the flesh, who in the enjoyment of this blessing was in Christ before me, and whose example and prayers have been very helpful in all my heavenward way. Her experience has been written, from which I will quote briefly.

After she had most solemnly and irrevocably resolved, in obedience to God, to "reckon herself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord," she waited about one week before she received any
sensible assurance of the fact, (to use your expressions,) "that she was thus dead, and thus alive." But she had counted the cost of living a life of faith, and was not to be moved from her steadfastness. While thus lingering with intense longings, the Spirit, through the medium of the written word, encouraged her faith greatly, by the continuous application of these words: "Blessed is she that believeth; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." She continued, though buffeted and variously tempted, steadfast and unmovable, until one day, occasion requiring that she should call on the Rev. T. Merritt, she said something expressive of her interest on the subject of holiness. "You enjoy that blessing, do you not, sister?" said Mr. M, She was startled at the inquiry, for she had not yet thought of confessing it, and soon replied, "I have dared to reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; but I do not know but that it may be presumption." "Why, sister, presumption lies in doubting God, not in believing him," he returned, She had now joined confession to her faith; it was not enough that with her heart she had believed, the order of God not being fully met, until she had made confession with her mouth; and now she was filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Throughout body, soul, and spirit, she felt the holy fire of divine love penetrating, as it were. her entire being. So great was the weight of glory which rested upon her for several days and nights in succession, that her mortal frame could not have long borne up under it, had not the Lord in a measure staid his hand. Ever since, her faith has been steady and active, inclining to ceaseless and well-directed efforts in promoting the cause of the Redeemer, rather than those fitful, and often misguided endeavors, which the habits of those present, whose efforts and faith are graduated by the state of their emotions. May our faith lead us to "go and do likewise."

Yours affectionately.

No. XXVI. — To Mr. P_____

Mr. P.'s singular statement of his case — Conclusions questioned — Illustration — The effect of my faith in Mr. P — Witness of the Spirit — "The Spirit speaketh expressly" — The Bible the voice of the Spirit — The blessing apprehended in the promise — Faith in a dark hour — Resignation.

DEAR SIR, — I am hardly disposed to say that you can really and fully believe, and yet not be in possession of "either joy, peace, or even satisfaction." Either your statement of your case does not convey to my mind a correct view of your mental state, or your faith must be in some manner deficient. You say that you now "reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." If you do thus reckon yourself dead unto sin, and alive unto God, then you in reality now know that you are dead unto sin, and alive unto God. Can you be assured of this fact, and in verity rest in the knowledge that you are even now free from the law of sin and death, and at this moment one with Christ your living Head, and yet not even feel satisfaction in this blessed state?

There may be such a thing as to
think me believe, or to hope we do so, and yet not in reality give the hearty and entire assent of the mind. To believe God, and yet not to know that we believe, is morally impossible. It cannot be otherwise than that "he that believeth hath the witness in himself." Let me give an illustration. Brother P____ has a father who is a minister of the gospel. You write me word that your father deceased yesterday morning at five o'clock, in the triumphs of faith. You add, "Please have this inserted in the Advocate." I believe your word as heartily as though your living voice had sounded in my ear, and the fruit of my faith is at once manifest. My heart is touched, and in my eyes gather the sympathetic tears. My husband enters, and, in haste to enlist yet another sharer in your sorrow, I say, "Brother P___'s father is dead; he died thus," &c. He now wishes you to make an announcement of the fact in the Advocate. He believes, without a thought of doing otherwise, in consequence of the confession I have made of my faith in you, and perhaps, without even looking at your letter, goes to the Advocate office, showing the effect of his faith in you, even though his knowledge of your word had reached him through a second person.

Here are faith and its fruits, inducing a confession which is to tell upon the hearts of hundreds; for the wide-spread circulation of a public journal will bear it to the hearts of multitudes to whom he has ministered, producing, perhaps, corresponding effects on each, and all this is the result of my faith in your
written word.

Had I not had an internal conviction that what you had written was in verity so, that is, the witness in myself that I believed you, would I have taken such a responsibility upon myself as to have authorized this announcement? Yet in all this I have not been in anywise unmindful of the fact that
"the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit," testifying to the truth of the word. This must ever be the case. It would involve strange and irreconcilable contradictions, such as would greatly dishonor the God of the Bible, to say otherwise. But is not the entire voice of the Scriptures the voice of the Holy Spirit? Never was there a more incontrovertible truth uttered than this. In the presence of God, angels, men, and devils, I would fearlessly utter it. Myriad of men in all ages have, in reliance on this fact, been sanctified through the "belief of the truth," and are now enjoying the fruit of their faith in that world of glory of which the Spirit speaks through the Scriptures. Devils also rely on facts revealed in the Bible as the voice of the Spirit, and their faith also produces effects, for they believe and tremble. To me it seems wonderful that this fact, namely, that the Scriptures are expressly the voice of the Spirit, should be so little felt, though so generally acknowledged. Paul, referring Timothy to some Scriptural assertions, says, "The Spirit speaketh expressly on this wise," &c. Yet if one is admonished to rely upon the written word as in verity the voice of God, the answer may be with surprise returned, "What, believe without any other evidence than the word of God!" O when will the truth fully obtain among professors, that "prophecy came not of old time by the will of man, but holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost!"

Let me tell you, my dear brother, to the praise of the God of the Bible, that in my experience I find
faith always brings power. I apprehend the lively oracles as the words of the living God, and to me the Bible is not a "dead letter," but spirit and life. When I kneel in my devotions before the Lord of heaven and earth, I spread out before me that WORD, by which he hath said I am to be judged at the last day; and conscious that it is only the Spirit which indited the Scriptures that can give them life-giving energy, I wait only on God, humbly believing that

"God is his own interpreter,
Add he will make it plain."

Every promise of God, as one hath said, is worth more than a mountain of gold. I search as for hidden treasure, to know what promises are suited to my condition, knowing that such are given to me, because Christ hath purchased them for me, and all the promises of God in him
are yea and amen. The designs of God are frustrated, and his name dishonored, if I refuse to call them mine, and to claim the proffered benefits, after being by the Spirit brought to sustain this character, in answer to the intercessions of Jesus.

I am endeavoring to trust in the Lord at all times, and under all circumstances. To the glory of his name I will say, that I believe I have been enabled to confide as unwaveringly, under dark dispensations, as under those more light and joyous. If all were light, then there had been no tests of faith. But it has not been so. I thank the Lord that some of the most instructive lessons I ever received have been painfully acquired. I do not remember to have been brought through one trial, however contradictory circumstances may have appeared, but that I have been enabled to rest in the assurance, that "all things work together for good to them that love God." I fully believe that my covenant-keeping God will keep that which I have committed to him unto the perfect day. But I would not dare choose the way in which I am to be kept; this I leave to God; with a sure trust and confidence that he will lead me through just such

"Trials, in number, measure, weight,"

as will best show forth his praise, by exhibiting his power to sustain. Even so, Lord Jesus. Amen.

At the end of life's journey may I, with the spirits of the just made perfect, meet my dear brother P____. Though we have never seen each other in the flesh, yet, doubtless, there we shall meet as kindred spirits — ay, even as children of one Father, in our Father's house.

Yours, as ever.