Phoebe Palmer

Letters #27 - 37.


No. XXVII. — To Bishop and Mrs. H____.

Separated friends — The day of my espousals — Judge W , and Judge R — Happiness without holiness — A forty years' seeker obtains the blessing in a few hours — An evening on the camp ground — Struggles of a minister for holiness; his confession — The morning; doubt; profession; the witness — A member of his flock — Conversation — Full salvation in five minutes — Brother and sister B — "This now salvation" — A youth — Proposition — Decision — Self-denial — Sweet peace.

DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER H____. You say, "Direct your next to Cincinnati." How fast and how far you are receding from us! The thought is painful. At times I have almost wished that I did not love you so well; but in reality I am not sorry.

"Jesus, the corner-stone,
Did first our hearts unite;
And still he keeps our spirits one,
Who walk with him in white."

Ten years ago, on the 26th of July, Jesus became the all-absorbing object of my heart's adoration. September 28, 1827, was a memorable day. I am sure I shall thank the Lord throughout time and eternity that I ever saw it: but far, O how far more memorable, is the 26th of July, 1837, when Jesus became the Bridegroom of my soul, and condescended to enter into the bonds of an everlasting covenant with me! "Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all my days." "The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage." "Come and let us exalt the name of our God together."

Sister H____ says she is staying with Judge W____ of D___: the mention of it reminded me of Judge R____ of M____ whose family I visited some time since. Judge R____ was also a class-leader and a prominent member of the church at M____. He did not profess the enjoyment of the blessing of holiness. One day, after I had been urging the subject with earnestness, he replied: "O, sister P____, I am happy." For a moment I felt hurt, and, looking imploringly upon him, said, "Why, brother R___, imagine you had a child, to whom you had given a command, the observance of which was most important for his welfare and also for your honor as a parent. The child, though fully aware of your command, still goes on in disobedience. You remonstrate. He replies, 'O, I am happy.' Would you not wish your child were not quite so happy?" I shall never forget his looks; they spoke of shame-facedness before his heavenly Father; he had not a word to say in reply. Soon afterward he received the blessing of holiness. I have once or twice mentioned this, of late, at meetings where the people seemed contented to enjoy happiness without holiness.

At the Eastham camp meeting, I heard an interesting item in the experience of a minister who has enjoyed the blessing of holiness forty years past. Before receiving the blessing, he had often thought how much he wanted it. One day, on taking up "Law's Call to a Holy Life," his eye rested on these words: "Men are not holy, because they never really purpose to be holy." He thought, "Surely here is my case. I have never really brought the matter to a point, with a fixed purpose to be holy." He then made the resolve, and, if I remember right, in a few hours afterward was made a happy witness of full salvation.

I was at N___ campmeeting when I last wrote you. The evening of that day was interestingly spent. I was in quite a large and crowded tent, where the exercises were of a general character. As most present seemed to be professors, it was suggested, "Speak of holiness." I was not well, and an unusual prostration of body and mind had come over me, of which the enemy endeavored to take advantage, by causing an uncommon shrinking, perhaps I may say, of both flesh and spirit; but I thought of Mr. Wesley's Scriptural admonition, "Casting aside that enthusiastic doctrine, that we are not to do good unless our hearts are free to it." I promised the Lord, if he would help me to a word in season, that I would ever look back and say, "Is the hand of the Lord shortened?"

I spoke, and the power of the Lord was present, One, in an especial manner, was wrought upon, and cried out with a loud voice. When the people were called to the stand, this brother remained with several others, who seemed as though they could not leave the place. To my surprise, I found that the individual, who had been so signally brought out, was the minister of the people with whom I had been worshipping. He continued to struggle during the services from the stand, most of the time on his knees, and obtained a little light just toward the close. He was then taken to another tent, where it was somewhat more retired; but his people followed him. Here he disclosed the secret of the matter.

Amid many sighs and tears, he said, as nearly as I can remember, "O, my people, God has
humbled me before you. I have, as you know, now and then tried to preach holiness to you: conscious that I did not enjoy it myself, but fully purposed that you should not know it, I had hoped to get it in the privacy of my chamber. Today I had serious thoughts of returning home, to plead with God in secret for it: but God would net let me do this; he has brought me out, and humbled me before you. I must, I will be holy." While he was kneeling during the exercises from the stand, so unyielding had been the character of his unbelief, that I had, perhaps almost reprovingly, said, "You are a minister, and as a leader of your fleck you ought to be an example in faith, as well as in doctrine; and God doubtless means to bring you out as such." Alluding to this before his people, he observed, "The sister said I was a minister. Ah! this was the worst of all; but I deserved it." This was, I think, one of the most affecting scenes I ever witnessed, and it was made the means of awakening a deep and absorbing interest on the theme of holiness in the minds of his people.

I was obliged to leave the ground before the meeting closed, as I slept at a house a little distance from the encampment. On the morrow I returned at an early hour, as a love-feast was about being held. I had asked the Lord to direct my feet, and amid the multitude, at the entrance of a tent door, I met this minister, who, until the evening before, had been a stranger to me. I found him prepared to say that he
knew he had laid all upon the altar, but was not sure that he was wholly sanctified.

"How would it have been," said I, "with one in ancient time who had laid all upon the altar, in view of the divine declarations, 'The altar sanctifieth the gift,' 'Whatsoever
toucheth the altar shall be holy?' A friend meets this offerer on his return from the hallowed altar, after having, according to the best of his ability presented such sacrifices as the law required, and inquires, 'Is your gift sanctified? or is your offering holy, acceptable?' Imagine that the offerer had said, 'My offering is laid upon the holy altar, I know; but that it is wholly sanctified, I dare not say.' 'How dare you say otherwise?' replies the questioner. 'If God hath said, "The altar sanctifieth the gift," it surely is not left optional with yourself whether you will believe or not; it is presumptuous to doubt. You cannot dishonor God more than by doubting his word.'"

The brother at once saw that it would be a sin which would bring down the displeasure of God upon him, should he longer indulge a doubt, and resolved, on the authority of God's word, to make confession with the mouth. He hastened to the stand. Love-feast exercises had already commenced. As soon as opportunity presented, he came out most clearly in the confession, that he was wholly sanctified, throughout body, soul, and spirit. Great peace, quietness, and assurance, took possession of his heart, and he bids fair to be very zealous, clear-minded professor of the great salvation.

On the afternoon of the same day I asked a member of his flock, whether she was enjoying the blessing of holiness. The following conversation, as nearly as I can remember, ensued. She replied, "No." "When do you think God will be willing to give it to you?" "He would be willing to give it to me now, I think, if I were only willing to give up my unbelief." "Do you think unbelief to be sinful?" "Yes." "Do you expect to save yourself from this sin, or do you expect Christ to save you?" "O, Christ alone can save me." "Do you believe that Christ is willing to save you now, from this and from all your sins, and that he will do it if you will only now trust him for present salvation?" With much fervor, she answered, "Yes." "And will you now trust him to save you this moment from all sin? I do not ask what you will do tomorrow, or five minutes hence, for the future is in eternity, and at the expiration of that time you may be there also; all you want is present salvation, which can only be received by a present act on your part of entire reliance on Christ for it, and which will be continued just so long as this act of entire reliance on your part is persevered in. If you do not expect to save yourself in any degree, every moment you do not thus fully rely on Christ as a whole Saviour, you only make yourself more unworthy by the delay, for in not venturing wholly you grieve his Spirit."

"O I
will venture," she said. "That is not it. Do you now venture? Does Christ now save you from all your sins?" She fell on her knees, and cried out, "I am saved! Christ saves me now! 'My Redeemer from all sin, I will praise thee, I will praise thee.' "I left her rejoicing with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. I do not think more than five minutes were occupied in this conversation, and when I arrested the sister, I think she was concerned with some domestic arrangements in the tent. I mention this to say, How truly it is not according to the tears shed, nor the length of time spent in the pursuit, nor according to anything else, other than, "according to our faith it is done unto us!"

That evening God also gave me another signal victory of faith. A dear brother and sister B____, who seemed to take pleasure in showing us every kindness in their power, (we had not our own tent on the ground,) were neither of them in the enjoyment of full salvation. It seemed as if my gracious Lord said, "Ask what thou wilt, and it shall be done unto thee." Thou hast condescended to say, that "even a cup of cold water given to a disciple, in the name of a disciple, shall not lose its reward;" and now, I ask that this dear brother and sister may be abundantly rewarded, and let it be by their receiving the blessing of entire sanctification this night. It seemed too much, and human probabilities considered, intimations did not seem to favor my expectations, especially on the part of brother B____; but

"Faith, mighty faith, the promise seen
And looks to that alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries, It shall be done."

I do not think more than half an hour intervened before God gave me the desire of my heart relative to brother B____. He laid hold while I presented the simple way in which brother J____, of P____, received the blessing while I was conversing with him in the cars, which you may perhaps remember. After I had repeated just how brother J____ stepped over the bar of unbelief, brother B___ cried out,
"Jesus saves me now!" Praise the Lord. O, it seemed as if he could never cease talking about "this now salvation," as he called it. A clearer or more joyful witness of full salvation through faith I scarcely remember to have seen. His wife also, with another dear friend, for whom I was much interested, and greatly longed for, entered into the rest of faith before the close of the interview.

And now, what a recital of doings I have given my dear brother and sister H____, and yet I have scarcely commenced to say the many things of similar description I have witnessed within a few weeks past. I would stop, but there is one thing with which you will be so interested, that I am lure you would scarcely forgive me should I not add it to the list. Dear sister A____ is also rejoicing in possession of the peace of God. O, I am sure you will say, Praise the Lord. The degree of quietness and assurance attained was brought about so noiselessly, and was also so characteristic of herself, that I must give you a glance at this also.

In speaking of the conformity of professors to the world, a few weeks since, she expressed her regret that there should be so much of it, especially in the church where she worshipped. "And A____, dear, why do you not set them an example on this point?" said I. "If I were a professor of religion, I should then feel it my duty to do so," she replied. "If you think it would be your duty then, it is your duty now; and I do not believe, if such are your views, that you will ever get into the enjoyment of religion till you do." "Well, it would be no cross for me," she observed. "You had better try it," said I. I had long believed that A____ knew something of the transforming power of religion on the heart, and that she only needed something to bring her out, by way of confession; but I little conjectured that this was to be the means. I had thought she possessed so much independence of mind, that the matter of dress was small concern with her.

She said nothing more, and I remembered no there of it, until two or three weeks after, when, on observing her little gaieties laid aside, I inquired the cause. She replied, "When you mentioned the matter to me I thought it would be no cross, and resolved on trying it. But twice, on going out, I heard persons behind me remarking, 'What a fool she makes herself!' 'What a pity!' and things to that effect, and I have indeed found that it was a cross. But I have had
sweet peace." Her decision, in other respects, is marked. Though we may not glory in the creature, yet it seems to me that we may have another S____, than whom a more decided follower of the Saviour I never knew.

And now, do you not think it quite time for me to close? How little I thought of such a letter when I commenced writing. I question whether I shall let Dr. P____ see it. Do you not think he ought to chide both for your sake and mine?

Yours, in the love and faith of the gospel.

No. XXVIII. — To Rev. T____ M____.

"Third Monday evening meetings" — Rev, Mr. C, — Our calling — Mrs. _____ — The testimony of a maid in Israel — Searching the Scriptures — "It is all here" — A pious visit — Interrogations — An object of great desire — Withstood by Satan — The vow — The assurance — "Let it be now" — Suggestion — The word — The victory — Delay — Trial — A hearty profession of full salvation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The identities here are easily discerned. This letter is addressed to Timothy Merritt, the original editor of the Guide to Christian Perfection (later the Guide to Holiness). The Professor and his wife are clearly Thomas C. Upham and Phœbe Lord Upham. My guess is that “sister L_____ is Phoebe Palmer’s sister, Sarah Worrall Lankford.]

YOUR very interesting letter of December 31st was received. It is with much pleasure I respond to the inquiries of our father in Christ. You have so long, and so ardently, devoted your life to the special promotion of holiness, that I do not wonder you now, standing, as you do, on the borders of your heavenly inheritance, feel like inquiring earnestly how the battle goes.

You desire to know how those meetings, which you established when in our city, are prospering. Let me tell you that I think the "Third Monday evening meetings promise more than to equal your most sanguine anticipations. Monday of last week was the time for our last regular meeting. The power of the Lord was present. A good number of clear-minded witnesses testified of the enjoyment of present salvation from all sin. The Rev. Mr. C., who had been unusually desirous of the blessing for two or three weeks previous, was at this meeting enlightened to discern his privileges in Christ Jesus more fully, and, with a heart flaming with fervor, he left the place. The next day, about noon, he began to venture on Christ, and at once felt the power of saving grace. On the evening of that day, at love-feast, he gave in a cheering testimony of the power of Christ to save. O it would indeed have been another drop which would have told most sweetly in our cup of bliss, had our dear father M. been permitted to witness the desire of his heart granted relative to these meetings! We sat together under the shadow of the Almighty, in heavenly places; while, as under the more immediate eye of Omniscience, with the Spirit of holiness brooding over us, one witness after another, in quick succession, and with holy delight, praised the beauty of holiness. The "Third Monday evening meeting" previous to this was held at the Forsyth-street Church: it was quite as satisfactory as the one just noted. Though you so dearly love the people of your early choice, and greatly desire their establishment in this grace, yet I know it is your belief that it was the design of the Head of the church, in raising us up as a people, that we should be as a light in a dark place, relative to the attainment of holiness in the present life; and when you hear that God has not been wholly unmindful of us in this our calling, I know it gives you abundant joy. And now let me give you matter for special thanksgiving, by referring to one of the witnesses, who gave in a delightful testimony of the power of our Lord and Saviour to "wash and keep us clean." She is the wife of Prof. ____, and for several months has been enjoying the witness, that the blood of Jesus cleanseth. She informs me that she takes the "Guide," and as she hails from your way, I have thought your pages might be enriched by her pen, as her experience is remarkably clear and instructive. It furnishes further assurance of the utility of meetings for testimony on the subject of holiness. This lady, as she has since told me, found herself under rather unlooked-for circumstances at a Methodist meeting, and, from a little maid in Israel, heard an unsophisticated testimony of the power of Christ to save from all sin. The testimony was from one who could say, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." Had the learned disquisitions of a theologian been brought to bear thus unexpectedly upon her mind, however truthful his position had been, Mrs. ____, not unacquainted with theological warfare, might have been better prepared for resistance; but
truth, unfettered by adornment, with the sharpness of the two-edged sword, penetrated her heart, and she left the place deeply conscious that a further work must be wrought in her heart before she could stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Conceiving that what she had heard was Bible truth, she set herself, as far as circumstances would permit, to searching the Scriptures, in order to assure her heart before God whether she might indeed expect salvation from all sin in this life; not for a moment doubting but that, if such were her privilege, the Lord would make it known to her through his word and bring her into the enjoyment of that state. For weeks she continued in this employ; while clearer light with every day shone upon the word, leading her to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. While passing through this process, her husband often pleasantly inquired, "Well, wife, how comes on Christian perfection now?" and as her confidence from her Biblical investigations gathered strength, she daily expressed her belief, her increasing belief, in the doctrine, until, with a full heart, and with her eye upon the word of God, she exclaimed, "O, husband, IT IS ALL HERE," As intimated, it was only for her to be assured that the Scriptures presented it as her privilege to be saved from all sin in this life, in order to enter upon the enjoyment of this blessed state. I think she said to me that she never thought of doubting, the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his promises at once to her, so soon as her faith was settled scripturally, as a preparation on her own part for this reliance. According to her faith it was done unto her. She no sooner found the doctrine in the Bible than she at once received the blessing in her heart.

But this is not all: I have something to relate relative to her distinguished husband, which will raise the note of praise yet higher. Ever since Mrs. ____'s mind became interested on the subject of holiness, he had been in an inquiring state. On the 24th of December, Mrs. ____ came to the Tuesday meeting, which she very much enjoyed. She afterward expressed a wish that her husband might be permitted to attend, during his visit to this city, which was of course acceded to.

On the intervening Thursday, Prof. and Mrs. ____, with some other Christian friends, supped at sister L____'s. It was truly a pious visit; and the interview I shall never forget. During the evening the Professor asked very many questions, involving some nice points, most evidently with the single aim to elicit light on the doctrine and experience of holiness. The enlightening and hallowing influences of the Holy Spirit seemed to be very present, both with the questioner and the questioned; and when, at the close of the lengthy interview, he was called upon to pray, in defiance of former prejudices in reference to females exercising before men, he called upon the female friend whom he had questioned during the evening to pray. She had heard of his views on this point, and the cross was heavy; but she saw that, in order to carry out the principles of holiness, no other way remained, and she led in prayer.

After her return home, until about midnight, she continued to plead for him with groanings unutterable. Her mind seemed to take within its comprehensive range how the entire sanctification of such mental energies as the Lord had bestowed upon him might promote the cause of holiness, when wholly enlisted. And she well knew that it was not possible for any one to live in the enjoyment of the blessing of sanctification, without feeling it as a consuming fire shut up in the bones, enlisting all the powers of body and mind in its promotion and with desires inexpressibly intense: did she long that an understanding acknowledged to be so clear in philosophical truth, might concentrate its energies in presenting to the world the principles of holiness; for well did she know that the more closely it was examined, the brighter it would shine. If time would permit I should love to tell you how Satan tried to withstand her, for it was a season of wrestling with principalities and powers, never to be forgotten; but I may not extend my communication on this point, further than to record a most solemn vow, which was uttered in this hour of extremity. "If thou wilt do this," said she, in her importunity, "I will, through thy grace, be more truly 'instant in season and out of season,' in urging the subject of holiness on persons of this description, and will henceforth regard the granting of this, my desire, as a
special subject of praise through time and eternity." The high and holy One at that moment condescended to assure her heart, that her prayer had in truth come up in remembrance before him. Had a voice from the highest heavens fallen upon her ear, saying, "Thy prayer has been heard, and thy vow shall be in perpetual remembrance before God, the desire of thy heart shall be granted;" she could not have been more confirmed in the persuasion that she should have the thing she had desired of God. Yet, though so fully assured that it should be granted, the bestowment was in prospective, and she retired to her couch so burdened for the bringing forth of her desire, that the whole night was spent in strugglings for deliverance; even when the bodily powers had yielded to broken slumbers, the spirit remained conscious in its unutterable groanings. Before morning dawned she was again in the attitude of a suppliant, and in her earnest implorings she said, "Let it be now, that he may have such perceptions of the way of faith, of its simplicity and power, as he never before had any conception of." It was suggested, "He is probably asleep, and it is inconsistent to ask that he may be so signally blessed just now, when his mind may not be in a state to receive the blessing." The response of her heart was, that whether he was now waking or sleeping, his spirit was doubtless in a state of preparation; for the power of the Holy Ghost, which had been operating on her heart, as if it were almost apart from herself, must have influenced his heart simultaneously, and still she cried, "Let it be just now." As ever, her heart fled to the blessed WORD for a foundation upon which to rest her faith, when yet again, as in former emergencies, she was enabled to say, "And this is the confidence that I have in thee, that if I ask anything according to thy will thou hearest me, and if I know that thou hearest me, whatsoever I ask, I know that I have the petition that I desire of thee." She laid hold, and kept steadfast hold on the promise implied in this wonderful portion of the word, and now began to say, "I have the petition I desired of thee," and prayer was turned to thanksgivings to God for the reception of the thing desired. Many temptations had she during that day to give up a faith which the enemy suggested was so venturesome. Hour after hour she waited the expected arrival of Professor ____ to announce the victory of faith, and as the moments succeeded each other, without bringing any sensible assurance of the effect of her faith in his behalf, the trial became more severe. She well knew that the blessing could not be enjoyed without exerting upon the mind a pervading and all-controlling influence, and "if you had not believed in vain," said the deceiver, "the object of your faith and prayers would have been moved to hasten to you with the confession of how great things the Lord had done for him." But the whole of that day passed, and it was not until near the close of another that she again saw Professor ____. The struggle which was endured in holding fast her confidence, two or three hours previous to seeing him, can never be forgotten. It was, indeed, terrible, but grace empowered her to endure. On seeing her the professor said, "At about such an hour yesterday morning I received such clear views of faith, of its simplicity and power, as I never before had a conception of. It was the full assurance of faith."

The hour named was precisely the time the sister had claimed the blessing for him, and he also stated, that, during the hours of the night preceding this transition, his spirit had been under an unusual influence, and in wakefulness had been progressing toward that point of light and power upon which it had now entered. "O," said he, with intense ardor,
"faith hath power in it." He since delights in calling the state of blessedness upon which he has entered, "HOLINESS." Since his return home we have received a letter from him filled with assurances of his identity with the blessed theme of full salvation. He says, "On this point, namely, whether I love God fully, entirely, I can say, with the devoted Mrs. Rogers, Satan has ceased to tempt me and my soul is entirely at rest. If I am not mistaken, (and how can I be mistaken, when I have a consciousness of it as deep and as distinct as of my own existence?) my soul has panted after God until it has found him, and has entered into the inner sanctuary of the divine love." Relative to promoting the cause of holiness, he observes, "I feel as if I had nothing else to live for. I consider myself consecrated and pledged for ever." I have thought that some profitable communications for the "Guide" might be expected from either Professor ____ or his gifted lady. Such talents, consecrated and pledged to the promotion of holiness, may surely be expected, through the blessing of God, to tell advantageously on the cause; but I well know that brother M____ truly feels that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord." I have far exceeded the intended bounds of my letter, and were it not for the preciousness of my theme might fear I had wearied you. May your most enlarged desires for the sanctification of the church be granted, and may our dear father in Christ ever feel that the Head of the church is fulfilling the work of faith with power in his own heart, and experimentally apprehend that both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are ONE! Farewell, dearly beloved in Christ.

Yours, &c.

No. XXIX. — To Rev. Mr. K_____.

"The Guide" — E_____ street Church — One hundred witnesses — Revival — A local preacher — Long-continued efforts to obtain holiness — The sacrifice — The rest — Remark of Dr. — Sixty persons set apart for God — The camp prayer meeting — A passer-by arrested — A searching preacher — Revival in Baltimore — The work of God in A_____ street in 1831 — Morning meetings — Men and angels — Holiness the strength of the church — Satan's favorite instrument — A reproachful compliment — "And shall teach men so."

OUR Dear Brother K____ asks if I have read Miss Littlefield's Letters? I have not, but should like to see them. If they are in tract form, could you not inclose some copies in the package containing our numbers of the "Guide?"

There has been a glorious revival of the work of holiness in the E____ street Church. The minister stationed there called in this morning, and said, that at a love-feast held last night about one hundred testified clearly of the power of Christ to save from all sin. What a wonderful work, and all within a few months! I should have stated, that, besides this, several hundred have been converted within the same period. Perhaps there was never a stronger confirmation of the truth, "One shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight," than is furnished by the history of this revival.

I am quite acquainted with its commencement and progress, and if you think it calculated to exhibit the faithfulness of God, and also to furnish useful instruction relative to the order to be observed in promoting revivals, you are at liberty to make use of it as may best promote the cause to which you are devoted.

A brother belonging to this charge received the blessing of holiness at camp meeting last summer. He had been struggling for two or three years to obtain it; and if wrestling all night a number of times; if fasting till the body was so nearly brought down, as to leave but little probability that the health will again rally; or if humility so deep, that though a local preacher, he has presented himself for the prayers of the people with the seekers of salvation; if by any way other than by simple
faith the blessing were to be obtained; then this brother long since had gained it. But on passing a crowded tent one morning, he heard an humble disciple speak of the duty of believing God, after being assured that the sacrifice was upon the altar. She urged the present performance of this duty, by adverting to Abraham's sacrifice; maintaining that the offering was sanctified the moment it was laid upon the altar, and that to doubt it was to doubt the word of God. He now felt that it was his duty to believe, irrespective of frames and feelings, and also perceived that it was most important that he should enter into the bonds of an everlasting covenant with God, to be eternally given up to his service. The mode which had been presented he believed to be most Scriptural, and resolving at once to test it, he retired from the multitude, and in the sequestered wood again calmly surveyed the ground, and then most solemnly bound all upon the altar, and rested upon the word of God as an assurance of divine acceptance. He at once felt that he was founded upon the Rock of ages. Such a rest, after a tumult of years, can only be appreciated by those who, in like manner, have been driven about and tossed. His whole soul was at once filled with inexpressible longings that the church should see the duty of entire consecration and the simplicity of faith.

Dear Dr. _____ had said to him in my hearing, "If the church would only get good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, what would run over would be enough to convert the world." He seemed to be filled with faith and with the Holy Ghost at the time he said it but I must confess that the expression struck me as extravagant. But the next I heard of it was at a meeting on the ground, where this brother was talking among the people with whom he stood connected in church fellowship. With power and demonstration of the Spirit, he assured them of the truth of Dr. P.'s assertion. He desired to know how many would bind themselves together before God, and before each other, to consecrate themselves wholly to God, and not to rest till they should receive the witness that the offering was accepted. It was not long before about sixty had thus solemnly set themselves apart for God.

At the camp prayer meeting, held a short time after their return, a number of those who were seeking the witness of holiness were so ardent in their desires for the blessing, that they rushed forward to the altar when the invitation was given for those who desired the prayers of the congregation, and it was then that the power of God began to be manifested in an extraordinary manner. Sinners from all parts of the house were seen making their way toward the altar of prayer, and what may seem incredible, the power of the Highest seemed not only to rest upon all within the house, but upon those around it also. A person was passing by on business, when the awakening influences of the Spirit came down upon him, and turning into the church, he went forward to the altar crying for mercy. From this time the two branches of the work went on simultaneously. Numbers were wholly sanctified weekly, and scores were born into the kingdom of Christ. Some idea of what God hath wrought you may gather from the announcement at the beginning of this communication. This brother, with success somewhat similar, has labored at a number of places since. If I should give the characteristic mainly distinguishing his remarkable ministrations, I think it would be his uncompromising attitude, relative to an entire giving up of the world, and his earnest enforcement of the truth: "The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God."

I have received a letter from the Rev. Mr. M____, of Baltimore, informing us of an extraordinary work going on at the M____ street Church. This work also began with the church. Meetings had for some time been held on the morning of each day, for the special benefit of those who were seeking the blessing of entire sanctification.

Brother M____ says, that he has “heard about thirty consistent witnesses testify as one of these meetings of the power of Christ to save from all sin. Meetings have been held in both the body and basement of the church at one time. Out of one hundred and twenty penitents forward for prayers, forty have during one evening been converted. The work is truly wonderful."

It was thus also that the extraordinary revival in the A____ street Church, of 1831, commenced, during which, I think, over a thousand souls were converted.

Morning meetings for the special benefit of the members were held from ten to twelve. It was through the instrumentality of these morning meetings that many became strong to labor for God, and prepared not only to point awakened sinners to Christ, but to nurse them after they had been brought into the way, and to lead them by the power of the Spirit into green pastures and beside still waters.

We bid you God speed, dear brother. Yours is truly a high and holy calling; a work which an angel might covet. But let us remember that men may do what angels may not do. Witness the case of Cornelius: the angel was not commissioned to proclaim Christ to Cornelius, but only to direct to a human instrument, which God had raised up, to tell him what he ought to do. Thus in the blessed work of telling men how they ought to come to Christ as their Saviour to the uttermost God hath raised you up. We magnify the name of our Lord in your behalf. May he fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness in you, and the work of faith with power. You are engaged in a great work, and your subtil enemy is doubtless very busy in his inventions to perplex, or to bring you down from your work. We have reason to believe that he generally proportions his opposition to the magnitude of the work to be performed. Personal holiness is a mighty engine for pulling down the strongholds of Satan, and he doubtless in a variety of ways withstands you. While laboring to promote it, sometimes he employs as his instruments those who stand committed before the world as the servants of Christ. When the enemy can get such as these to come out against the doctrine of entire sanctification, or to hold the truth in unrighteousness relative to this subject, he answers his purpose more effectually than by instrumentalities known to be at his disposal. Satan doubtless directs his most poignant arrows to your heart through some such. "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do." "They did it ignorantly" is, however, an apology I fear which can hardly avail, in the case of many of these baptized opposers of holiness in the church; or if volunteered for them, truth would claim to add, "Of this they are
willingly ignorant."

Yet, in view of the rewards of eternity, how truly deplorable the state of those who oppose truth, whether ignorantly, or otherwise! There are many, both among the ministry and the laity, who apparently with but little idea of the magnitude of the sin, speak lightly of the subject of holiness, and of those who profess the enjoyment of the blessing. "O he is one of the sanctified ones," say they; as if God had not in verity
"set apart" the godly for himself. Such, on being questioned, may say that they are not opposed to holiness; but "the Lord knoweth them that are his." Their example goes toward weakening the force of truth. They do not profess to be living in the enjoyment of a state of holiness themselves, and in this they break not one of the least of God's commandments, but the first and great command, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength"—enjoining holiness of heart in its fullest sense. O how many professors there are of this class, who thus break the command themselves, and, by the force of their example, "teach men so!" If there were a possibility of such characters getting to heaven, surely they would be called least in the kingdom of heaven however dignified their ministerial calling or professions of piety may have been here on earth.

But, dear brother K., in view of the work in which you are engaged, how inspiring are the words of your divine Master, "But whosoever shall do and teach them, (these commandments,) the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Adieu, dear friend in Jesus.

No. XXX. — To Mrs. B_____.

Mark xi, 24 — 1 John v, 14, 15 — An illustration — Answers to prayer — "The faithful and true" — "In God will I praise his word" — The bank bill — The infidel minister — Faith and sense — The word personified — An end of the difficulty.

I RECEIVED your note of yesterday, in which you refer me to the interesting passage, Mark xi, 24. I respond with pleasure; but as my time is limited, I cannot hope to present you any very full exposition of my thoughts. The passage you refer to is in perfect keeping with 1 John v, 14, 15: "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that, we desired of him."

For illustration, let it be supposed that sister B____ is a dear friend from whom I expect great favors. The granting of these favors is conditioned. She has made known her
will, involving a variety of points, and then referring me to this, says, "Ask what you will, and if according to the principles laid down, I will grant it."

If I have perfect confidence in sister B____ after ascertaining whether what I desire can be granted in accordance with her will, I go with confidence, and present my petitions, believing that I receive them, because I have
your word, assuring me that I shall have them. If a friend, meeting me on my return from your presence, asks, "Have those petitions been granted?" I unhesitatingly answer, "Yes." "But I do not see the result," says the friend. "That does not make the case doubtful," I reply; "for sister B.'s word is as good as her bond, and I have her word, so you may rely upon it, just as firmly as though you saw me in actual possession of the thing desired."

The many gracious answers to prayer which I have received, on precisely the same principle, given in the illustration just presented, eternity will reveal to the praise of God. But I would not defer it till I have passed the bounds of time, to exhibit His
faithfulness. His name is "FAITHFUL and TRUE."

I love to testify, by my words and actions, before God, angels, and men; yes, and before infernals too, that I do
rely on the faithfulness of God. I am willing, if this be the will of God concerning me, to be brought into circumstances which may call forth an exhibition of my trust in God before a congregated universe. This, I believe, has been the spirit by which I have been actuated for several years past; I have had some thorough tests by outward circumstances, and inward exercises, and to the praise of God I say, I have not cast away my confidence, nor made shipwreck of faith.

We cannot honor God more than by trusting him neither can we dishonor him more than by doubting his word. David loved to praise the word of God. With him my heart often exclaims, "In God will I
praise his word!" Psalm lvi, 10. Upon no other subject does my heart labor for utterance as upon this, and never do I find language so utterly inadequate to express the views and emotions of my full heart, as when trying to present the Holy Scriptures as the WORD OF GOD. Should one express on this point all that language would convey, and this before congregated thousands, many of the company might indignantly respond, "Who does not believe the Bible to be the word of God?" And yet, dear sister B____, who does believe it?

It is a circumstance which does not seem to have arrested the attention of Christians generally, that a promise fully credited does in itself convey the thing promised. Thus a person owes you one hundred dollars. You call for payment, and he hands you a bill for that amount on "The ____ Bank." "Did Mr. A____ pay you the amount he owed you?" asks a friend. "Yes," you say, "and I have the money in my pocket." "Let us see it," continues the inquirer: whereupon you draw out the bill and read, "The President, Directors, and Co., of the _____ Bank, promise to pay, &c., one hundred dollars."

"Do you call that one hundred dollars?" rejoins your friend: "why, sir, it is only a promise of that amount." "True," say you; "but the paper of that institution is just the same with me as the gold." Here is
faith — faith that recognizes the thing promised in the promise.

How pleasing to the proprietors of a moneyed institution must such demonstrations be, of confidence reposed in their veracity! Does not the above illustration agree with, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that
by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature?" Thus it is that "faith is the substance of things hoped for."

Go where infidelity and skepticism are most deeply deplored, even to the ambassador for God, whose absorbing employ is to defend the Bible as the word of the Lord, and, with David, "in God to praise his word." Remind him of the requirement, "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord," and then ask, "Are you living in obedience to this command?" "No." "Why not?" "I cannot say why, unless it be my unbelief."
Unbelief! In what does he mean that he lacks confidence? Not in himself; for he will tell you at once that he does not expect any good thing from himself. Not in the ability of God to make him holy, for this he acknowledges.

Give him the oft-repeated direction, "Cast yourself wholly on Christ for salvation from all sin, and then claim the promise, 'I will receive you, and thus 'cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God,'" what would he say in reply? "What! must I rely upon the word of God without any other evidence?" As much as to say, "I do not conceive this to be a sufficient foundation for my faith to rest upon, and unless some external or internal communication apart from, or added to this, be given, I cannot believe that I receive the thing desired."

Does not this imply unbelief in the Scriptures, as the
voice of God? Were that voice audibly uttered, would it be doubted? What makes the difference? Infidelity! Skepticism! Doubting whether the written word be in reality the same as the voice of God. If that voice were heard it would be believed: it is not heard, therefore it is doubted. Can these doubting ones say with perfect truth, that they believe the BIBLE to be the WORD OF GOD? It is, therefore, I express my painful convictions, that the Scriptures are not generally received as the word of God. Faith is not sufficient without sense. "Except ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe," is a reproof as truly deserved now, as in the days of Christ. The Bible is the WORD OF GOD. The awful sublimity of this truth is strikingly exhibited in Rev. xix, 13: "His name is called The WORD OF GOD." Here the word is personified as Christ himself. Also John i, 1: "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was GOD." "He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my Word, hath One that judgeth him, the WORD that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day." In many other passages is the WORD OF GOD thus personified, as identical with God himself. In relying upon it, efficacious influences ought to be expected as confidently, as were healing influences from touching Christ when he was on earth; for in relying upon the word, we in verity rely upon Christ, and touch him as truly as though his bodily presence were with us, and we were permitted to lean upon him. But who believes the Bible to be the word of God? Does sister B____? Does brother B____? Lord help us to believe it; not as a "dead letter," but to apprehend it as SPIRIT and LIFE. Our difficulties about faith will all be at an end, when we believe the BIBLE to be the WORD OF GOD

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Yours, in the truth of the gospel.

No. XXXI. — To Mrs. B_____.

Presumption taken for faith — Doctrines abused — The assertion, "Believe that you have it, and you have it," not Scriptural — Importunate prayer unanswered — An unauthorized petitioner — The Pharisee — The seeker of sanctification — The lame and blind offered in sacrifice. The backslider's prayer — Divine direction sought in vain — Meddling with secret things — Why some parents cannot believe — Unholy hands lifted up.

MY DEAR SISTER IN JESUS, — Again I address you in further answer to your inquiry in relation to the text, "What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." In my former communication on this theme, the Lord blessed me with gracious refreshings from his word, while endeavoring to set forth his faithfulness. But the subject is so preeminently important, and so extensive in bearing, that I cannot feel satisfied without presenting some additional remarks, in order to a fuller illustration of my views.

There are conditions which must be carefully met; otherwise it is impossible really to believe that we receive. On this account, many who are continually asking and receive not, are disposed to regard this most precious passage as difficult to be understood. I have even heard those who have quoted it, as illustrative of the way in which the answer to their petitions had been apprehended, found fault with as not being orthodox.

I am aware that there are those who have wrested this, as they do other scriptures, to their own destruction. But shall we give up a potion from our Father's hand so replete with instruction simplifying the way of faith? Shall we give it up, I ask, because it has been abused? As well might we give up the doctrine of free grace, or salvation by faith; for Universalists have abused the former, and Antinomians the latter.

I have occasionally heard, with grief, the remark, from persons whom I have regarded as entirely sincere, "Only believe you have it, and you have got it." This has been said when there was apparently an entire unfitness in the individual addressed for the reception of such an exhortation. And then, the phraseology is not Scriptural, and is liable to a construction wholly unauthorized by the passage of which it claims to be a version.

But there are those who shrink from this text, imagining that their experience does not furnish corroborative testimony in favor of its truthfulness. They fix on some given point, relative to which frequent prayer has been made, and attempts to exercise faith long persisted in; but in fruitlessness of result they have turned despairingly away, conscious that the things desired had not been granted.

Such may, on examination, find that they started from a wrong point. The thing desired may have been in accordance with the will of God but the
petitioner may not have possessed the qualifications which, according to the principles of God's law, entitle him to a favorable hearing. As has been stated, a variety of points is here involved, a few of which only at present can be mentioned.

In the first place, if he has come for pardon, his spirit may be unhumbled. It is only to the humble and contrite that pardon has been promised. "He shall save the humble person;" "He saveth such as be of a contrite spirit;" "Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble;" "Because thou didst humble thyself," &c. The unhumbled Pharisee went away, perhaps delighting himself with the idea that his boastful service had been received as true homage. But did his believing it to be so make it really so? Had his service been accepted, then the faithful and true Witness had gone aside from his WORD; for by this he was assured that it was only "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit: and trembleth at my word."

Another asks for the purification of his nature "Can I doubt." says he, "whether it be in accordance with the will of God, that I should be 'sanctified throughout, body, soul, and spirit?' No; 'this is the will of God, even my sanctification.' Surely I may now ask, and believe that I receive." He asks, but does not receive. Why? Not because the petition is not in accordance with the will of God, but because there is an unwillingness in him to comply with the conditions upon which the blessing has been promised. He may be indulging in some practice which he has reason to believe inconsistent with the purification of his nature.

Sanctification implies a coming out from the world in such a sense as not to be governed by its opinions; a
crucifixion; a cutting off a right hand; a plucking out a right eye. The petitioner, though consciously unwilling to submit to the painful process, still, with strong cries and tears, urges his plea, and in his expostulations says, "Lord, hast thou not said, 'What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them?'" As well might they who came in the days of the prophet Malachi, with their polluted offerings, and covered the altar with tears, in their implorings for acceptance, have believed that God, contrary to the express declaration of his word, received the blind, lame, and sick, as acceptable sacrifice. Would their endeavors to believe that God did accept, have made it so? And yet who more desirous than they for the acceptance of their offerings?

The backslider in heart may come, asking for some less important good than his spiritual necessities demand. He asks, but does not receive, because he is unmindful of the condition,
"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." He does not abide in Christ, and therefore has no right to expect the answer on these premises. He "asks and receives not, because he asks amiss, that he may consume it upon his lusts."

A sincerely disposed disciple of the Lord Jesus, feeling his need of divine guidance, asks wisdom; he then proceeds to the prosecution of the matter in hand, with much the same fearfulness and uncertainty that would have marked his course had he not asked divine direction. Though he asked in obedience to the will of his heavenly Father, yet his mind was not settled in the persuasion that wisdom from above would be given, to guide the affair to a heaven-directed conclusion. He may, perhaps, indulge a faint hope that all may be divinely ordered; but is the condition, implied in the tender of divine direction, met? He has not asked "in
faith, nothing wavering." "He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven of the wind and tossed; let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord."

Another asks, and receives not, because he asks for that which it is not needful he should have. Perhaps he asks for knowledge of things of which God hath said,
"It is not for you to know." "Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children." Notwithstanding these dissuasives, he continues to ask. He may believe that he receives; but does this belief make it so? You have heard of those of late who have acted on this assumption, and the disastrous result seems to intimate that Satan answered the petition.

Another says: "I have prayed long and earnestly, that my children may be induced to choose the path to eternal life.” Negligence, in training them up in the way they should go, may have marked the course of the parent. At the very time the petition is offered, those children may be indulging in practices of worldly conformity, from which the parent well knows they will have to depart, in order to get into the way to heaven. The reason why such cannot believe they receive when they pray, is but too evident.

But I might enlarge quite beyond the bounds of another sheet. The subject is prolific; beyond my power to present in detail. Suffice it to say, that the reason why very many petitioners ask, and receive not, may be inferred from 1 Tim. ii, 8 they do not "lift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." In the eye of Omniscience, purity of motive is wanting; such ask, and may
not believe that they receive what things soever they desire when they pray.

If opportunity should offer, it will give me pleasure to pursue this subject by way of telling you of some answers to prayer, received on precisely the principle laid down in the text, relative to which you have asked my views.

Yours, in love.

No. XXXII. — To the Members of the _____ Church.

The church is a family — Intercessions — Revival prevented — The sin of one man — A reproach to Christ — Social gatherings versus class meetings — A wonderful deception — The convicted — Cruel friends — "Who ruined that soul?" — God's decree nullified — A revival in God's order — Death busy and the church idle — "Curse ye Meroz."

DEARLY BELOVED, — I have no explanation to offer for my solicitude on your behalf, other than that I believe God has himself given me a care for you. "We have one Father, even God." Children of one household are one in interest. That interest is the honor of the parent, and the good of the united family.

In view of your low state for some time past, my heart has been moved to cry earnestly to the Lord for a revival of his work among you. In my importunate supplications I have consciously realized the help of the Spirit, and have felt a firm conviction that what I desired was in verity according go the will of God. Indeed. I could not be more abundantly assured of a readiness on the
part of God to work. But on becoming better acquainted with your state, by my recent visit, I am constrained to say, in faithfulness to you, and to the promise-keeping Lord whom I serve, that my prayers in your behalf have been hindered. I am convinced that God will not work in power among you, unless conditions are met on your part. I see agencies at work among you calculated to make your faith powerless, and to neutralize your prayers for a revival.

I well know that what I would say may not be applicable to all. When Israel was driven before his enemies, it was by the sin of
one man, yet was not the great body implicated in the eye of God? The Lord of hosts had promised to go out with their armies, and to subdue their enemies before them, and now his promise had, seemingly failed, for Israel had been smitten. O how greatly was his holy name dishonored among his enemies by this discomfiture! If you, beloved brethren and sisters, are not empowered to proclaim victory on the Lord's side, do you not see how the name of the Captain of your salvation may be reproached? He hath said, "How should one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up;" and if this promise is not fulfilled, do you not see how your inactivity may be the cause of triumph on the part of Satan?

While many among you are so absorbingly interested in a diversity of ways, as to prevent a regular attendance on your class and prayer meetings, and other stated means of grace, Satan is most busy. If you deem secular business, or meetings involving mainly secular interests, or the congratulations of friends, of more importance than an engagement to meet God at his house, can we wonder that he withholds the manifestations of his favor from you? Brethren, there is no neutral ground. It looks to me as if in every church seed were being sown, which will produce a harvest. Either the high and holy One, or the enemy of God and man, will quickly put in the sickle and reap.

By some it seems to be regarded as a matter of course, that the church should have its seasons of comparative inactivity. That this deception of Satan should have obtained to the extent it has, is wonderful. As before intimated, Satan in these times of declension is most
busily engaged. Now he sows his seed plentifully, and may we not conclude, that on some of these occasions when the church has been aroused to put forth its most gigantic efforts, she has scarcely more than undone the wrong perpetrated during her previous inactivity?

That the lack of manifest zeal furnishes material for Satan to work with, I know from my own observation. Let me relate a case. On one occasion, while I was endeavoring to urge upon a sinner his awful condition, in view of his momentary exposure to the wrath of God, the Holy Spirit applied the truth to his conscience, and fearfulness and trembling took hold upon him. I had been pleading earnestly for his awakening, and now my heart leaped in joyous anticipation of his speedy transition from the kingdom of darkness. But the pious may conceive, though language cannot express, the anguish of my heart, when he said, "I have a brother who is a minister, and I have sisters also who are professors of religion; they have never talked with me in this way, and I am sure if I thought that they were in the perilous state in which you say I am, I could not
rest day nor night without warning them." It was thus that Satan succeeded by the inactivity of these professors to quiet the conscience of this young man, who was possessed of talents for usefulness, which might have told on the salvation of scores of souls, but who, from the course which his convivial propensities inclined him to take, has probably finished his earthly career ere this. And upon whose skirts may his blood be found, when the Judge maketh inquisition?

I have seldom received more marked tokens of divine approval, with a deeper consciousness of the Spirit itself making intercession, than when pleading for a revival of the work of the Lord among you; but after a better knowledge of your state, my heart with yearning emotions said, My prayer
cannot now be answered. The people here are not now willing to have a revival by being workers together with God; and I well knew that in no other way could the petition be granted. Though the decree might have gone forth from the throne of God, you, brethren and sisters, may take upon yourselves the awful responsibility of making that decree null and void, by refusing to enter into the designs of God by being workers together with him. If you would have a revival, you must set yourselves apart to work and live for it. God works through human instrumentality, and if you would that he should work by you, you must put yourselves wholly in his hands — soul, body, and spirit — and then will your service be holy and acceptable. Then when you are individually instrumental in winning souls to Christ, how dear to your heart will be those who are newly brought into the fold; how deeply will you feel the importance, as nursing fathers and mothers, of leading the babes in Christ into the more excellent way; instructing them, by your example, to labor for the perishing around them! Were your prayers answered for a revival on other premises, it might result in little more than an ingathering of the names of such as would clog the chariot wheels of the Saviour.

But we must not forget that while the church lingers,
death is doing his work! One after another is leaving you. Are you ready to meet at the bar of God those of your congregation who may have died out of Christ? Are you prepared individually to say, that your skirts are clear of their blood?

"Unity is strength." If you would have a revival, the church must come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. It is not left optional with herself whether she will obey the call of God or not. It is possible to stand on worse than neutral ground. My heart shrinks from appearing to be denunciatory, yet I must say, that unless favored with the blessing of God, we have his curse, and a bitter curse has been pronounced on those who come not up to the help of the Lord. "Curse ye Meroz," said the angel of the Lord, "curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."

Your servant for Christ's sake

No. XXXIII. — To the Members of the _____ Church.

Neglect of the stated means — A remark of Mr. Wesley — An engagement to meet a friend — Who broke it? — One in three at class — What Thomas lost — All strong, and all at work — "Begin at my sanctuary" — Six left of three hundred — An estimate — Nursing fathers and mothers.

WERE I to mention what I have thought your characteristic deficiencies, I would place among the most prominent your neglect of the stated means of grace. If you regard the church organization, under which you have voluntarily placed yourselves, as a divine institution, you should of course regard its appointments as heaven-directed. Mr. Wesley says, "In all ordinary matters the voice of the church may be regarded as the voice of God." If so, then stated meetings, such as preaching, prayer, and class meetings, ought to be regarded as special seasons, at which the Lord Jesus has appointed to meet you. If such an appointment be slighted, does it not prove that you lightly estimate the presence of your Lord and Saviour?

Suppose a dear and influential friend to make arrangements for meeting you regularly, for the purpose of honoring and blessing you with his society: ever truthful, he comes at the hour specified, but does not find you there; often you are wholly absent; at other times you come quite after the hour specified. Would this conduct be calculated to assure your friend of your high regard for his friendship? If your repeated slights should move him to come to the decision no more to meet you, were the result other than might have been reasonably expected? and if an agreement to meet you should be thus broken, who would be the breaker of the engagement?

For a membership of three hundred not to number more than one hundred out on lecture or prayer-meeting evening exhibits a sad deficiency; yet, were you at your stated meetings to present even this proportion of your membership, it were more encouraging. Now can the Saviour believe that you as a people are greatly desiring the communications of his grace? Were the decree to pass his throne that on one of these stated occasions the Holy Spirit, in his reviving influences, should be poured out in unusual measure, how many of you would be as Thomas, who was absent when his Lord revealed himself to the other disciples!

O, if you really desire a general work of God in your midst, often be in waiting, as were the early disciples, and, with one accord in one place, look for the full baptism of the Holy Ghost. If thus strengthened with the might of the Spirit, you may confidently expect to be called out individually to work in the vineyard.

Less solicitude will then be felt about finely polished human instrumentalities, but a far more abiding reliance on the power of the Holy Ghost This full baptism may be regarded as the act of ordination on the part of God, by which he empowers his disciples with the might of his Spirit, in order that they may bring forth much fruit, and that their fruit may

The history of the church presents but little fruit of revivals where the order of God has not been observed. "And begin at my sanctuary," is the voice of God. The disciples were first baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, and then three thousand were converted in a day.

I may never forget some instances which have come under my special observation, calculated to confirm my mind in these views. A startling question presents, and my pen has lingered whether to give it the tangibility of words. It is this: Does not Satan gain by some church ingatherings? Let me instance. On one occasion, when in a stage-coach, about entering a place which two or three years precious had been favored with a gracious revival, the subject of religion was introduced to a gentleman sitting near me. "O, religion is a very good thing if people would only keep it when they get it," said he, in a very significant manner. I inquired his meaning, when he informed me that almost every one in that place had professed conversion but two or three years previously; and now scarce an individual of them could be found but had fallen away, and was worse than before. This relation pained me exceedingly, for I had expected to find the place as the garden of the Lord; and I well remembered the temptings of Satan, at the time the revival took place. I had been intimately acquainted with the minister under whose ministrations the revival occurred, and had once and again had earnest conversations with him relative to the order of God being observed; that
holiness in the ministry and membership was important as a foundation for a revival. When this extraordinary ingathering was announced to me as having been brought about under his ministrations, the enemy tauntingly suggested that the position I had taken was not to be relied upon, and that the minister in question (who had the reputation of being a revivalist) would be abundantly satisfied that this order, though he at the time acknowledged it to be scripturally correct, was by no means important. But I still hoped that the state of religion in the place might not be quite so disastrous as represented, and soon afterward called on the minister for further information. I was told that out of the two or three hundred names taken in at that time, he did not think there were now as many as half a dozen on the church record, and he was by no means certain that one remained steadfast. Probably there are but few such striking instances as this; but, alas, how often are scores of worldly minded professors enrolled on the church record during seasons of ingathering, who remain as weights, to retard Zion in her onward movements! One truly Christlike professor would do more for a church than a hundred of such professors; for it is of such that "one shall chase a thousand." It has been said, one sanctified may be counted upon as equivalent to a score converted. O may heaven speedily register scores of sanctified ones among the Church! then will you, as nursing fathers and mothers, receive to your embraces many who, by the power of the Spirit, have been born unto Zion. "Wherefore we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

Yours, in the faith and hope of the gospel.

No. XXXIV. — To _____.

Memoir of Mrs. — The common people — Good news — A commanding post — Ability equal to duty — Our calling as a church — "The high doctrines of our creed" — Mysteries — A popular young minister — Mr. Wesley's last advice — How others regard us — A dilemma — Professor — Disappointment — A Presbyterian's opinion of a Methodist congregation — "What do ye more than others."

DEAR BROTHER, — We thank you for your early attention to our communication of July 4th. * * * * * * As to the publication in question I trust the only desire of her friends in regard to it, is to furnish yet another example of the power of grace to transform in heart and in life. If yet another may be taken from the walks of ordinary Christian life, and added to the list of Jesus' witnesses of full salvation, I stand ready to do all in my power to serve the religious community.

Closer observations may perhaps convince me of a mistake, but at present I see not why a Memoir of Mrs. _____ may not company with a Carvosso or a Rogers, though possibly of inferior intrinsic interest to those very special examples of the power of grace. Should it not be an object of ambition with us to furnish example and admonition for the
common people? We may be instructed on this point by an observation of St. Mark touching the Saviour's ministrations: "The common people heard him gladly."

We frequently receive communications from our mutual friends, Bishop and Mrs. _____. In one of her late communications, Mrs. _____ says, "Dr. _____ is now in the enjoyment of the witness of holiness." This has been a subject of continuous thanksgivings to God in your behalf. We rejoice in view of the bliss upon which you have entered: "For we who believe do enter into rest." We know that your heart has so
long been desiring the rest of perfect faith, and we have been so long in prayerful solicitude for this object, that our hearts are indeed rejoiced. But though we greatly desired this because of our love to you, and our earnest wish for your personal happiness and safety, yet we may say that our desires were much more enlarged in view of your position in the church, and the responsibility, which, by virtue of this position, is laid upon you. We are prone to feel that this commanding post has not been assigned you by the mere will of man, but by the will of God; and though our solicitude might move us to tremble for you while we hear you say, "Who is sufficient for these things?" yet we well know that the Head of the church has not called you to a position which he will not empower you to sustain in all its various demands. To say otherwise would imply a belief that his ways are not perfect. Such an expression or thought were indeed impious.

That the church may be presented to Christ "without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing," should surely be an object of primary interest with us as a people. Our responsibilities before God relative to the doctrine of Christian holiness are tremendous. The specific object for which the Wesleys were thrust out was "to raise a holy people." A dispensation of the gospel has been committed to us, and we stand forth marshaled before the world, under the banner, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD."

I would not be captious, but will you excuse me while I venture a few thoughts which were suggested by your last very interesting letter? Speaking of two very distinguished ministers, you say, "I could wish that
such would preach the high doctrines of our creed: I sometimes regret the efforts made by inferior skill and low experience to proclaim these holy mysteries." I confess, dear doctor, the expression, "high doctrines of cur creed," and "mysteries," elicited my jealousy. Does not the expression, "high doctrine," intimate something above ordinary attainment, as though the doctrine of holiness were something beyond the reach of the mass of professors? Your words, I fear, give but about a truthful exposition of the views generally entertained on this subject. But in view of the position in which we stand to this doctrine, is it well that we should look upon it as among the "mysteries" of our holy religion? Is it not because it is regarded in this light by very many of our ministers, that it is not a matter of more general experience among the laity? Yet though your position may be truthful in the estimation of the church at large, and especially with the majority of the ministry, I am obliged to question its utility. This may look like temerity, but the harmful tendencies of the course are so apparent to my own mind, that I dare not be silent.

And yet I do not wonder that you should shrink from the ministrations of men of low experience and inferior skill. I have myself been placed in circumstances to sympathize with you herein. Some time since I heard a very popular young minister, who to my surprise took this as the theme of his discourse. But it was very evident that he could not say with Wesley, Fletcher, or Fisk, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." He afterward questioned me as to my views of the discourse. I dared not do otherwise than point at deficiencies. He pleaded, by way of apology, that he had so many engagements, that he really had not time to look into these deeper things of God — these high and holy "mysteries." Does this comport well with Mr. Wesley's last advice in relation to this our distinguishing doctrine? It reads thus: "Therefore, all our preachers should make a point of preaching perfection to believers
constantly, strongly, and explicitly; and all our preachers should mind this one thing, and continually agonize for it." If this sacred charge had been kept, we had doubtless had scores of witnesses where we now have one, Then had we better fulfilled the designs of God in raising us up as a people. Indeed, it is by this doctrine of holiness that we have been mainly distinguished from other denominations. Besides, our close Identification with this doctrine is the aspect in which, as I have often had occasion to observe, other denominations mainly regard us. I have known numbers of those who had been sincerely opposed to the doctrine of Christian perfection, who, on resolving to become Bible Christians, have found that holiness is a Bible doctrine. On perceiving this, their minds have at once been turned to us. Now, dear brother, what shall we do? If this grace be held up as an attainment, so high that but few even among the ministry enjoy it, where shall we direct these inquirers? I do not ask this question as though it were a merely supposable dilemma.

Such cases are more frequent than those who stand high in our church councils imagine. Would that it were not so: for were our responsibility in regard to this doctrine fully perceived by those in authority, then the note of alarm might be heard throughout our borders. To assure you that my solicitude is not needless, let me instance two or three cases in point:

Professor _____, of whose deep interest in the doctrine of Christian holiness you are fully aware, came to this city earnestly desiring to know the way of the Lord more perfectly. The first point of attraction was the M. E. ____; imagining that the enjoyment of the witness of holiness was the general experience of our ministers, he expected here to elicit much light and a ready response to his feelings. But he soon found, that though holiness was our distinguishing doctrine as a people, neither our ministry nor membership were generally distinguished by living in the enjoyment of it, as he had fondly anticipated, and with deep regret he mentioned his disappointment to us. What could we say? — for surely this was calculated to paralyze his own efforts in the pursuit of it.

At another time, a gentleman belonging, to the Presbyterian Church had become so desirous of the blessing of full salvation, that the members of his own denomination had already begun to look at him as somewhat Methodistical. One evening he stepped into the church where I was worshipping. It was during a season of revival, and much ardor was manifested. As he stood overlooking the large congregation, he said earnestly, "I suppose all here enjoy the blessing of holiness." I cannot tell you how my heart was pained. And think how formidable the attempt at a reply. What would you have said, dear Dr. _____? Running my eye over the assembled multitude, I could not see one in fifty who professed to be living in the enjoyment of that state. But is the state of our congregations, generally, more encouraging even than this?

What does it avail that we hold this as a high doctrine of our creed? The fact of doing so but increases our obligations an hundred fold. It is the servant who knows his Lord's will, and does it not, that is to be beaten with many stripes. Unless we have witnesses to substantiate our theory, what do we more than others?

"Ah, what avails superior light!"

That there are so few comparatively among the membership who profess to enjoy the blessing may be attributed to the fact, that there is so little explicit and experimental testimony among the ministry on this point. Our dear brother is placed in a position to "begin at the sanctuary." You may remember that when you were so ill, that you entertained but little hope of ever again engaging in active service, we even then indulged the expectation that God might raise you up for the special purpose of arousing the ministry on this all-important topic. But where shall I stop? I fear I may weary you, and hasten to an item of business upon which we have been desired to address you.

* * * * * * *

Adieu, dear brother; pray for us that "God may fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness in us and the work of faith with power."

Yours, &c.

No. XXXV. — To Mr. J_____.

Disposition of property — Inequalities of human condition — Responsibility graduated by possession — Prudent foresight recommended by Solomon — Of those who heap together riches — Comparative liberality — Censoriousness — "Are rich men required to give up all?" — Community of goods — A debate.

DEAR BROTHER J____ asks to know my views in regard to the disposal of property. This is a subject so comprehensive in bearing, that it is not without earnestly imploring wisdom from above, that I venture to give my thoughts upon it.

"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts." Nothing can be more evident than this fact, viz.: that God is the Giver, whatever variety may appear in the distribution of his gifts. That God should dispense earthly good with a hand, seemingly, so unequal, is subject at which skeptics have caviled. But when we remember that the great Master of the household is training subjects in this world for immortality and eternal life hereafter, and, to prove the fidelity of each, has placed at his disposal given amount of his goods that he may on his return receive his own with
usury, the difficulty is solved.

To some he has given, with but a small portion of this world's goods, much humble faith, and patient endurance. These, if they occupy faithfully till the Lord come, will, in the truest sense of the word. be of
heaven's nobility. "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom?" Those to whom he has intrusted much of earthly good, he has made the servants of his chosen ones; intending, if we "occupy till he come," faithfully, that we shall not be spiritually poor, but "rich in good works, being ready to distribute, willing to communicate."

Yet I daily feel that it is not a small thing that a man be found faithful. In reference to property, as well as other means of doing good, God will surely require his own, with usury. How will it be with those intrusted with a large portion of this world's goods, who are hoarding it up, while the interests of Christ's kingdom are making loud and incessant demands?

"But," it is said, "if none should lay up for seasons of emergency, how disastrously might sudden bereavements, such as are continually occurring, by death, or unlooked-for reverses, operate?" A prudent foresight may not be scripturally condemned; it is rather approved: see Prov. vi, 8. The example of the ant, who provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest, is presented, by way of reproof, to those who are prone to improvidence. But this furnishes no plea for those to whom it may be said, "Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten; your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire: ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." I often fear that this passage may be applicable to some rich men of the present day, who name the name of Christ.

As I am more or less engaged, in several benevolent schemes, I must say that, as a whole, I have found persons in ordinary circumstances much more disposed to give, according to their ability, than the rich. The moral impropriety of this is apparent, and a reference to the Scriptures shows it to be palpably wrong. Paul says, "Let every one lay by him in store
as God hath prospered him:" and no duty, on any point, can be more clearly demonstrated than this, viz.: that it is a duty to give according to the ability which God has given. For a man, then, who is worth $20,000 to give no more than one worth $1,000, other things being equal, is absolutely sinful. This may seem severe; but if it be absolutely sinful to disobey God, then he who does not give according to his ability, or, in other words, as God hath prospered him, is guilty of disobedience.

I hope I may not seem to favor that destroyer of Christian unity,
censoriousness, which is not infrequently indulged by a class of persons who would unChristianize everything they cannot bring down to their own level.

From the early ages of the world there have been different classes in community. Abraham, who was eminently the friend of God, was
rich. From his history, we may conclude that the position in the society in which he moved was commanding. David, the man after God's own heart, was a king, and of course was surrounded with the trappings of royalty. The devout meditations and the inspired hymns of the Psalmist, which furnish such precious food for the humble, holy soul, were many of them, doubtless, written in a king's palace. It would be well for those who are disposed to condemn such as have been raised, in the order of God, to a position somewhat above themselves, to remember this.

Joseph of Arimathea, the rich disciple, went and
craved the body of Jesus, though the other disciples had forsaken him in his hour of greatest peril. Joseph was not ashamed to avow himself a disciple now, though adherence to his Lord exposed him to contumely and scorn. Duties would not have been laid down, regulating the conduct of the poor and rich — of masters and servants-were not such duties recognized by God.

I was not long since in a little company, where the unity of the Spirit was marred by a little conversation, which ran about thus. The case of a deeply pious minister, who was reputed to be rich, was mentioned. A Christian brother remarked, by way of reference to this minister, that if the same kind of religion prevailed at the present day, as prevailed in the days of the apostles, the same effect would be produced; that is, we should have
"all things common." A friend, who greatly valued the Christian character of the minister in question, observed, that he was yearly, by his benevolent operations, consuming more than the interest of his money, and if the principal were expended, his ability to do good in this way must cease. This did not satisfy, and a censorious spirit, which ever seems to possess some infectious quality, was communicated to a friend present, who said, that she "never could understand how an individual could have the spirit of his Master, and yet see the heathen perishing, without giving up all he possessed." The minister's friend endeavored to maintain, by way of argument in his defense, that if the principal were expended, his present mode of doing good to thousands must cease, and that he could not, therefore, as a faithful steward, give up the entire of his property for present expenditures, but the brother who, perhaps, had never possessed means calculated to test his own fidelity on this point, remained unyielding in the opinion, that if the principles of holiness prevailed, a community of interests would be the result. These views being very confidently expressed, bore heavily on a deeply devoted person present, who was possessed of more means than either of the former, and who, doubtless, was far more liberal than those who, by their opinion, had condemned her. And thus the interview ended.

It is because I have known several cases where the unity of the spirit has been so sadly marred by similar views, that I have taken time to present this subject more fully. It is true, I cannot well apprehend a state of holiness, as otherwise than comprehending all with which we stand connected. The idea of being wholly the Lord's, and yet withholding our property from his control, implies an utter inconsistency.

Yours truly.

No. XXXVI. — To Mr. J_____

A stumbling block. — " One hundred dollars instead of six" — The wealthy father and his two sons — Jacob's vow — Large income for the Lord's treasury — A broken vow — Obstacle to religious prosperity — Tests of fidelity — David's view of liberality — Systematic mode of giving — The tenth devoted — "Giveth and yet increaseth" — Missionaries.

DEAR BROTHER J____. It is because some seem to practice on the principle that they may be wholly the Lord's, and yet not exhibit the fruits of holiness in relation to giving, that the good way has often been evil spoken of. The eye of my mind is now resting on one who is said to be worth about $100,000. The amount he expends in benevolent operations does not probably exceed $100 per ann.; whereas, if he should but give the tenth, as was required under the Jewish dispensation, he would put at least $600 into the Lord's treasury yearly. But why should a follower of Christ, "who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich" — why should such a one wish to hold so large an amount of his Lord's goods in his hands, while souls, for whom his Saviour died, are perishing in ignorance and want? I can assure you, brother J____, I would not be willing that my Lord should come and find me with so much of his goods hoarded up.

I was acquainted with two individuals, professors, of very dissimilar character, who have both gone to their account. The first died probably worth about 80 or $100,000, leaving his property to two unconverted sons, one of whom soon disposed of his portion by careless expenditures, making it of little account either to himself or others. His brother concluded that it were better not to risk his share in the chances of business, and consequently hoards it up, and is leading a life of
idleness. Thus, what might have been expended by the father in laying up treasure in heaven, by spreading the light of the glorious gospel, is being spent by these sons, (who were spoiled by youthful indulgences,) in that which has been telling only to their hurt. In view of the reckonings of eternity, when such fathers shall be called to render an account of their stewardship, does it look desirable to die rich?

The case of the other friend differs widely. He commenced his business career with a solemn resolve to acknowledge God in all his ways. With the patriarch Jacob, he took upon himself a solemn vow,
"Of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee." He also resolved, that he would never be what the world might term a rich man. Though at first he was often in straits, yet he had much to assure him that his vow was not unrecognized by God. He once related to me the following:—

Calling one morning, as he went to his office, on a poor member of Christ's family, he found her unexpectedly destitute. He had but one dollar in his pocket, and he hesitated whether he could with propriety give it, but believing that she needed it more than himself, he gave it. During that day he made sixty dollars, and so sure was he that God had rendered him sixty-fold, that the enemy urged upon him afterward the singular temptation, that it would seem like bribing God to restore unto him sixty-fold, should he still persist in calling on the poor before engaging in the business of the day. During some portions of his life he was so greatly prospered of God, that, in fulfillment of his vow, he was enabled to put into the Lord's treasury several thousands yearly. He on one occasion related to me the ease of a young friend, a member of his Bible class, who, by his advice, was induced to take upon himself the same sacred vow. This friend, at the time of his engagement, had a mother and sister under his care, and was receiving a salary of about $300. He devoted the tenth, and was enabled to live comfortably. The next year his salary was raised to $500. He still adhered to his vow, and abounded, of course, in yet greater comforts at home. His employers continued to increase his salary, until it amounted to $1200 per annum. He had for some time been uneasy from the idea that he was giving too much — more than persons, in his circumstances, generally gave, &c. Mentioning this to his friend and adviser, he observed, that he thought he ought to lay up more, as his mother was getting old. At last he yielded to the tempter, and actually ceased, to perform his vow. He soon made "shipwreck of faith and a good conscience." Mr. ____ continued faithfully to render unto the Lord according to his ability, until called to give an account of his stewardship.

I am sure that the day of eternity will reveal much sin lying at the door of the church on account of her deficiencies in giving. If men could behold the causes of spiritual leanness as God sees them, they would doubtless discover in this sin of covetousness the chief obstacle to the religious prosperity of thousands. "He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly." "God loveth the cheerful giver." The Dispenser of all good could say, Be ye warmed and be ye clothed, to every destitute being throughout the world, or could feed them by the hand of angels, as Elijah was fed, if it were not to test the fidelity of those to whom he has intrusted a sufficiency to meet this object. In like manner might every benevolent operation of the day, for the diffusion of light and truth, be sustained by means and influences wholly supernatural, if it were not that our gracious Lord has designed that we be workers together with him. But surely the ability to give ought to make us humble. With David we might say, "Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort?
for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." David apprehends a principle of giving which is not enough thought of, in the words, Shall I sacrifice that Which "doth cost me nothing?"

I knew a husband and wife who commenced life with good ordinary prospects. They had not fixed their calculations on being rich. When objects of benevolence presented, they generally gave in about an equal measure with the circle in which they moved, which was often composed of persons of much larger means than themselves. They, perhaps, never really thought that they gave too much. Still, when in the act of giving, the luxury of doing good might at times have been a little lessened by the thought, "Can I do this, and yet be just toward all men?"

One day the wife said, "Husband, let us have some systematic mode of giving. Suppose we fix on the tenth." "I think we give more than that now," he replied. "But everything," said the wife, "with which our heavenly Father has to do, is systematical; such beautiful order and symmetry. pervade all his works, that we may well believe

'Order is heaven's first law'

and we can easily give more afterward if needful;" and a conclusion was made that the
tenth should be sacredly devoted. The result was, that they immediately found that the Lord's treasury was more fully replenished. Not a reasonable demand, when, as faithful stewards, they had a right to believe they ought to give, but could be in a moment met: not from their own treasury — no, it was only for them to dart a prayer to heaven, and say, "My heavenly Father, does this object meet thine approval?" and all was at once settled. A fact in connection with this mode of giving should be stated. Though they gave more than formerly yet their means increased, so that they soon became possessed of a competency sufficient to meet ordinary emergencies. But they still maintained their former views relative to laying up treasures in earth. I have heard them say, "We never intend to be rich." If so, should they continue to prosper, I think it may not be long before they will be able to devote a fifth, and so on, until the whole be offered up to God. And why should not tradesmen, merchants, or professional men, as assiduously endeavor to prosecute a business with an intention of devoting its proceeds wholly toward promoting the interests of the Redeemer? I wonder why the Christian world does not furnish more examples of this kind. I have heard that such may be found who are thus manifesting their devotedness to Christ. Yet, do even such exhibit as much devotedness as the missionary, who not only sacrifices all his time, but often also health, friends, and all the dear delights of ripe society?

In love, &c.

No. XXXVII. — To Rev. _____.

"Why cannot I believe?" — Plain dealing — An elevated position in the church — How attained — Our reputation belongs to God — Expulsions from the ministry — "Why insist on terms?" — A resolve to stand or fall with truth — Ashamed of Christ's words — The sin of ignorance — Acknowledgment — Objection to Scripture phraseology — Paul's conduct — Reputation — Not resigned to Christ — "How can ye believe?" — Fellowship with Him who made him self of no reputation — Christ's benediction on the outcast.

REV. SIR, — My mind has been prayerfully interested for you ever since our first interview. I rejoice that your mind has become so powerfully influenced relative to the privilege of the believer. What more important theme than that of salvation from sin in the present life! Unless we are redeemed from all iniquity, and, as witnesses for Christ, live in the enjoyment of that state, the purpose for which Christ was manifest in the flesh remains unaccomplished. And how wonderful, with the Bible as the acknowledged standard of our faith and practice, that the doctrine of holiness, or entire sanctification, should have become a matter of controversy!

Yet, with those who love the truth in sincerity, and who consult the lively oracles for themselves, instead of following the
traditions of men, this glorious doctrine will not long remain questionable. I am, indeed, most happy to know that your scruples have at length been wholly removed. But yet you say, that you do not experimentally know of this doctrine. You, for some time past, have greatly desired this enjoyment, but why you are not enabled to believe and receive the end of your faith, with you yet remains inexplicable. I am happy to hear you say that the hindrance, whatever it may be, is with yourself, for you judge Him faithful who hath promised, who also will do it, as soon as you comply with the conditions upon which it is promised. I have conversed with many, who, to my mind, seemed to be on similar ground with yourself, and perceive what I imagine may hinder your faith from laying hold on the promises. I believe you wish plain dealing, and that as you have no fault to find with your Saviour, you would gladly know where the fault may be.

I know you will give God all the glory, when I allude to the fact, that you occupy a commanding position in the Christian world. In the order of Providence, you have influence with prominent men in the ministry and the laity, who are opposed, some of them violently, to the doctrine of salvation from all sin in the present life. By your pen also, you are favorably known in the literature of the day, and thus stand before the Christian community of Europe and America as a theologian of sincere, earnest, and enlightened piety. Now, should I ask you how this commanding position was attained, in looking back upon every step which you have ascended, you would acknowledge the helpful Spirit of grace, and with humility and gratitude you would ascribe to God, glory in the highest. Then you know that your reputation already belongs to God. Have you rendered, or are you now rendering, it back to Him? Let me, as in the pretense of the high and holy One, solemnly urge your prayerful examination of yourself on this point, for
here I think you may find the difficulty. Is it your intention that the avowal of your belief in this doctrine shall be coextensive with your influence? You now in blameless reputation stand enranked with men who have thrust from their midst those who were, and are now, experimental witnesses of the attainment of holiness. The blamelessness of their lives, and their increased zeal and success in winning souls to Christ, were fully and freely admitted by the brethren who refused them church fellowship. "But your doctrine! That is what we do not like." "Holiness, sanctification, or Christian perfection — these are terms which we do not approve. Renounce them, and you are still one with us, and together we will fight against sin, the world, and Satan. Refuse, and we use the awful power delegated to us by the Head of the church, and we not only thrust you from our ranks, but we depose you from the Christian ministry, and henceforth you are to us as a heathen man and a publican."

And why could not these dear brethren accede to your wishes, and call the state into which the Saviour had brought them, a state of "consecration," or "the assurance of faith," instead of sanctification or holiness? Because, the doctrine of entire sanctification and holiness is set forth as you acknowledge you have found it, clear as noon-day, in the Bible, and they had in reality given themselves up to be as their Master, even "of no reputation," and they had also fully purposed to stand or to be thrust out with the truth. JESUS, THE WAY AND THE TRUTH, was with them, and when you thrust them out because they were not ashamed of Christ and his WORDS before this adulterous generation, did not the Saviour say to the hearts of those of you who had thus proved that you were ashamed of his words, "Of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed before his Father and the holy angels?"

In the judgment of Christian charity it may doubtless be said of some of them, "Brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it:" but does this make repentance and confession less necessary?
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." If the condition be not complied with, that is confession, the first point in the process is not met, and of course forgiveness and cleansing cannot follow. Eternal consequences hang upon your prompt compliance with this condition. Is the purification of the heart by faith a light matter, when God hath said, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord?"

I am aware that it is a doctrine of your creed as a people, that salvation from all sin may not be expected until the hour of the soul's dismission from the body; but you have frankly acknowledged, in social intercourse with friends who have embraced the same views of truth as yourself, that the Bible does not authorize this creed. The Sun of righteousness has risen upon your heart, and you see and feel that you must be saved from sin, and in the daily epistle of your life and conversation exhibit the power of Christ to save. Yet, should the Lord bring you into this state of salvation, you are not willing to come out and confess it in Scriptural words. "Why, when these words are so objectionable," you ask, "should I be required to use them? May I not live in a state of entire devotion to God, and profess the assurance of faith, and entire consecration to the service of Christ, without using the objectionable words, holiness or sanctification, and thus save my reputation, that I may be more extensively useful?" No! for then would the offense of the cross have ceased. And the very idea seems to imply, that you were to be in some way the gainer by being ashamed of the words of Christ. "But does not Paul speak of being all things all men, that he might gain come?" As well might Paul have maintained his rank among the persecutors of his Lord, after he had ceased his hostilities, from a persuasion that if he should lose his reputation with them, he might remove himself from a position in which he might be useful to them.

Whereas, the very fact of his having been in reputation among the Jews, "having sat at the feet of Gamaliel and been taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, being zealous toward God, and persecuting this way unto death;" was a very commanding reason why he should come out, when convinced of his error, as a zealous promoter of truth, and endeavor that his influence and zeal in defense of the truth should be coextensive with what they had been in defense of error. I would not intimate that you have persecuted this way: what your former course may have been is not known to me, but this I know, that you now feel not only a union in doctrinal sentiment, but a sweet cleaving of Spirit to those who profess to enjoy this grace. But so careful are you of your reputation, that even in this you are seemingly afraid of being brought out. Why all this, if your reputation were not dearer to your heart than TRUTH? O, be no more ashamed of Christ and
his words. Has he given you honor? Lay this thy gift also upon the altar; and if you value your hope of eternal life, O think not more of the gift than of the altar upon which your gift is sacrificed, and by which it is sanctified. How soon may the gift which is not used in promoting the divine glory be withdrawn from you! You may in sincerity have thought that you were living in a state of entire consecration; but unless you have laid your reputation, as well as everything else, upon the altar, you are not thus living before God. To be candid, from the first interview I had with you, I have believed this to be the difficulty in the way of your exercising that faith which brings into the enjoyment of present salvation from sin. If a Jew had brought to the altar a sacrifice which he knew to be in any degree imperfect, would he have any authority from the word of the Lord for believing it holy, acceptable? Imagine that he had lingered long at the altar in most earnest desire for the reception of his gift, would the God of the altar have been moved, because of his importunity, to accept and seal the blemished offering? As well might we imagine that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ could deny himself, and that with him were variableness and turning. "How can ye believe which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"

The mention of this passage reminds me of a dear friend, who for years stood about in the same experience and belief as yourself. I may also say, that he was a minister in good repute in your communion. One day, after he had been speaking of the many years he had been a believer in the doctrine of holiness, and of his earnest desires for the blessing, &c., I said, "How can you account for this, brother, that you should with so much sincerity and earnestness have been seeking the blessing for years without obtaining it?" He quickly replied, "that just so soon as he was willing to give up that honor which cometh from the world, and to seek that honor which cometh from God
only, he found it perfectly easy to believe." Will my dear friend try this short and easy way? O give up your reputation! Consent to a fellowship with Him who "made himself of no reputation:" "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, and resolve, if need be, to follow his example of patient endurance. Be willing, in obedience to the command of the high and holy One, to "sanctify the Lord God in your heart, and let him be your fear and your dread." Come out, and be separate in verity and in profession, touch not the unclean thing, and then the promise at once meets you, "I will receive you." But be assured, on the authority of God's word, that you will not be able to believe with the heart, until you are willing to make confession with the mouth, The purpose of God in making us the receivers of his grace, is that we may be its dispensers also. "Give, and it shall be given you."

If all of your denomination who are in heart believers in the attainment of holiness as a doctrine of the Bible, should stand out fearlessly in the defense of truth, what a revolution might be produced! Perhaps it is only for you to come out with an avowal of your views, in order to bring others to the point who are standing in about the same position as yourself. If you have more influence than some others, for this talent, which might be so favorably used on this subject, you are responsible.

The churches are gradually coming to the light. It is my earnest prayer that the Lord may raise up instruments in the denomination to which you belong, to hold up this precious light. How do you know but it maybe the design of God to assign you a prominent place among those instruments, so that you may say rejoicingly,—

"And I enjoy the glorious shame,
The scandal of the cross"

The Lord save you from declining this honor, if It be his will concerning you. But should it be given you in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on his name, but also to suffer for his sake, way not glory in this your inheritance? Your Saviour hath said, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, and leap for joy, for great is your reward in heaven, for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."

Yours, &c.