Phoebe Palmer

Letters #49 - 55.

TO MRS. _____, TO MRS. H., TO REV. MR. _____, TO REV. MR. M., TO MR. L., TO MRS. J., TO REV. MR. U.

No. XLIX. — To Mrs. ____.

Led by a right way — Domestic cares — A Mother's Trials — Tests of grace should be welcome — Predictions — Trials — Triumphs — Mrs. Susannah Wesley — Daughters of Sarah — The Wesley Family - Influence of American republicanism on American wives — Quotation from Mrs. W.'s biography — Apology.

YES, beloved, he hath, indeed, led us by a
right way. Only think of a Father infinite in goodness, wisdom, and love, leading forth his children, and in every strait which the fearful, disquieting career of life may present, saying,

"Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
And every care be gone."

"For I, the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee. Led by the hand of the infinitely wise, omnipotent Jehovah! How truly, then, may we encourage and confirm our hearts in the knowledge that we are in verity being led forth in the "right way." We have committed ourselves to his guidance, and none ever trusted in him and was confounded

Your beloved babe confines you mostly from those outward active services to which you have been accustomed, — services which you were permitted to see promotive of the kingdom of Christ, and in the performance of which, your own soul was also quickened in the heavenly way. Well, you do not need me to assure you that this is "the
right way" for you at the present time; your letter furnishes most conclusive testimony of your confidence in this particular.

One of your own sweet privileges is hereby granted, and you are thus permitted to test, and also to
exhibit the power of grace to sustain, in circumstances where thousands of pious mothers are placed, and where, alas! too many are prone to let go their hold on the provisions of grace. How many who have adorned the doctrine of God their Saviour, when free from the vexatious cares of a little family, have, when their quiet has been thus broken in upon in the order of Providence, become weak as others.

You are aware of the opinion which has obtained with a large class of house-keepers, as to the difficulty, and some might say, impossibility of maintaining unbroken peace, and unquenched zeal, amid the unceasing trial of patience, and untold vicissitudes, to which a mother is exposed in rearing a family.

More especially have I observed those possessed of a higher grade of mind, inclining to pursuits calculated to tell extensively on the world, exposed to severe mental conflicts on this point. And here I must indulge in sorrowing reflections — I have seen the mighty fall!

Now, beloved, can I doubt but that our God is bringing you forth by "the right way," when to the gaze of the world, and also to the knowledge of your own heart, you stand forth confessedly of the class alluded to. And will not my dear sister acknowledge herself signally blest, in being brought through the ordeal, maintaining unbroken peace, unabated zeal, and yet deeper devotedness to the service of her Redeemer.

"Yes," I hear you ask, "Is it not matter of rejoicing and thanksgiving, that we have the
privilege of testing the power of that grace which is so abundantly bestowed in time of need. With you, my dear sister, my whole heart responds, "Glory be to God for these tests." Not infrequently it is said, "If Mrs. ____ only had this and the other trial to endure, she might not so confidently affirm the sufficiency of grace under all circumstances." Similar expressions have been made relative to the unworthy one addressing you; and then when called to pass through trials of like nature, and grace has triumphed, observant lovers of Jesus have informed me of the sentiments expressed, which were before unknown to me, and then have I been constrained to say most exultantly indeed, "He hath led me forth by the right way."

How my admiration of the grace of God has been raised in contemplating the character of Mrs. Susannah Wesley. Surely here was an intellect of the highest order, which well fitted her to shine with no common luster either in the religious or literary world. She was endowed naturally with the most marked independence, originality, and correctness of thought, which capacitated her to act (under God) for herself beyond ordinary ability Yet, even an inspired Paul would not, I think, have hesitated in ranking her among the most favorite daughters of her who called her husband, lord.

Scarce would I dare breathe a thought that would reflect other than the highest honor on the memory of the father of the illustrious Wesley, yet I think there are few who have read the interesting history of the Wesley family, but will join me in saying that the husband's lordly prerogative was maintained quite to the bounds that Scriptural propriety might warrant, and perhaps a little beyond what the gallantry and republicanism of the present day would justify. Can we survey the character of Mrs. Wesley from a more elevated position than this? Had she contended the point of family jurisdiction, from a consciousness of her intellectual superiority, how disastrous had the consequences been to her own peace and the well-being of her family. Modern usage might possibly have sanctioned this. I have known the peace of an entire household shipwrecked here; and from what I have frequently observed, have feared that our republican principles may have affected our American wives somewhat unfavorably, inducing a forgetfulness of some express Scriptural injunctions on this point.

Mrs. Wesley's biographer says thus of her: "Notwithstanding she allotted two hours of the day for meditation and private prayer, no woman was ever more diligent in business, or attentive to family affairs than she. Remarkable for method and good arrangement, both in her studies and business, she saved much time and kept her mind free from perplexity. She had nineteen children! (think of the amount of physical suffering and care,) ten of whom at least grew up to be educated. This duty fell upon her; and it were scarcely possible that they should have had a better instructor."

Yet all this, with the advantages which wealth insures, might not by some be pronounced extraordinary excellence. But let it be remembered that this wonderful woman was often called to grapple with poverty and its attendant circumstances, and surely it will be said, though "many daughters have done virtuously, thou excellest them all."

And now, my dear sister will wonder at such long chapter on such an unlooked-for subject; and without intending the infliction, I may have taxed her, by gratifying my own feelings in tracing a character so amiable. You will surely imagine my health improved to admit of writing such a long letter. But though somewhat improved, yet it is still but seldom I dare take my pen, and when guilty of what my too careful husband might call the
ungracious act, I dare not continue its use but a little while at a time; yet I think I can as easily conclude this to be “the right way” for me at the present time, as I can conceive it to be "the right way" for you to write your excellent letter, "a line or two at a time, with your dear babe in your arms." That the Lord moved you to write as you did I cannot doubt, for I had been longing and praying for a letter from you, and when I received it I knelt and thanked the Father of mercies that his Spirit had induced you to write.

May He who has undertaken to lead us forth by a right way to the city of habitation, preserve us unto his heavenly kingdom, and after having been led forth through this changeful world by the right hand of omnipotent love, may we hail each other in the abode of ever-during rest; and may we also be permitted to greet each member of our beloved households in the city of our God.

Yours ever, in changeless love.

No. L. — To Mrs. H_____.

Wandering thoughts — Satanic resistance — A strong testimony in the midst of temptation — Satan defied — God tempted by questionings — A life of faith — The cost counted — Unwavering reliance — Fruits of faith — A precious gem — Shortness of time — Sudden death contemplated.

You speak of
wanderings in prayer. I am a sister in tribulation with you in this matter. But all I can do is to cast myself on Jesus, as a Saviour, to save me from cherishing them. He knows my integrity, and I dare to believe he pities me, when I repeatedly say before him, "I hate vain thoughts." And does not the fact that we so truly abhor them, assure us that they are only a class of those endless temptations from without, which so long as we are in an enemy's land, we may expect? I have thought that it is only because the enemy conceives he can perplex me more at present, with this mode of warfare, that he so long persists.

You also observed, that "when laboring with others, endeavoring to encourage, &c., you are so tried within." Can you expect otherwise than that Satan should withstand you, when you are endeavoring to do the work of your Master? The warfare is not so much against
you, as against the kingdom of Christ. He is at enmity with God, and to the degree you exert an influence in bringing souls under the reign of Christ, Satan will try to perplex, and in every possible way withstand you.

But, dear sister, did you not make use of too strong language in speaking of
"endless doubtings." You surely do not, in thus laboring with others, or in giving in your testimony, doubt whether you will be sustained? You labor for, and with others, because the Holy Spirit moves you to it. What other influence could move you to labor for the establishment of the kingdom of your Redeemer in the hearts of others? Satan, divided against himself, cannot stand.

You desire to be delivered from these, so that you may bear a "stronger testimony." I think I sometimes give in a
stronger testimony when tempted to doubt, than when all is quiet. If Satan could induce me to yield so far as to weaken my testimony, it would, on my part, be a partial closing in with his designs, and doubtless if he should succeed once, it would only embolden for an attack on every such occasion. So I make it a point, when most powerfully tempted, to speak most confidently. You may wonder, but I have proved the benefit of this course. At the Tuesday meeting two or three weeks since, I practiced on this principle precisely. The accuser for several days had been withstanding me at every point. He would fain have accused me in every word, thought, or action. Added to this, sensible assurances of the love of my Saviour were in a great measure withheld; and thus, with an indescribable sense of unworthiness, but with a consciousness of resting on Christ, I gave in a "stronger testimony" than usual. The feeling that possessed my soul was, that of defying Satan in the name of Christ; the enemy every moment saying that my state of grace did not warrant the testimony I had given. After I had finished, I felt such a conscious victory over the powers of darkness that my soul was filled with triumph. I afterward enjoyed blessed satisfaction in telling them, that the strong testimony I had given in was not founded on any state of feeling I at the time enjoyed, but because I knew I was by faith resting on the strong basis of the immutable word to sustain me in all I had said, and even in using much stronger language if it were possible.

You know Israel
tempted God, in saying, "Is the Lord with us or not?" Let us not tempt him by doubts, either in thought or expression. We cannot honor God more than by trusting him. Let us "trust in him and not be afraid." If we were continually possessed of sensible manifestations, should we have occasion to exercise our trust in God? Trust and faith seem to imply much the same thing, and neither favors the idea of long-continued sensible manifestations. You may remember that a part of your letter was in allusion to this subject.

When I set out to
live a life of faith on the Son of God, I counted the cost. I thought of the "father of the faithful," who "by faith journeyed, not knowing whither he went," and made up my mind that I would be contented to follow God blindfolded as long as I lived, if such were his requirement. I saw holiness to be a state of soul in which all the powers of body and mind were given up to God, and I perceived that the enjoyment of this state was in perfect consistency with extreme sorrow, as well as with exceeding great joy. Through grace I was enabled to say,

"Give joy or grief, give ease or pain,
Take life or friends away."

These were among my first expressions on entering upon this
state. It has often since been suggested that I gave myself up so fully to live a life of faith, that God had taken me at my word. And will you believe, the enemy sometimes tries to tempt me to be sorry for it. But he has never succeeded in causing me to regret it for one moment. But you would hardly conceive how often he tries to make me think my faith a mere intellectual knowledge. I meet him by saying, it is founded on principles laid down by the eternal Mind, and consequently immovable in faithfulness. God has promised such results as the fruits of faith. I trust him, and on the authority of his own word declare in strongest testimony his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises. The fruits of holiness follow — I dare not doubt it. A consuming zeal in the cause of God, which gathers within its grasp my whole being, is continually inspiring corresponding efforts. "My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, and the humble shall hear thereof and be glad." "One promise is worth more than a mountain of gold reaching to the heavens." How rich are we. Unto us are given exceeding great and precious promises. I found an inestimably precious gem a few days since, which, in view of what my temptations had been, was precisely in point. "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy time, and strength of salvation [salvations: margin]: the fear of the Lord is his treasure." Isa. xxxiii, 6. Satan seems to have mostly done with my intellectual faith since. I have, dear sister, through grace, a good hope of immortality and eternal life. Our hope of seeing each other is deferred. But as it is by our heavenly Father's appointment, our hearts are not sick. With us,

"This note above the rest does swell,
Our Jesus hath done all things well."

We are
sisters in the Lord, and our hearts an united for eternity, and as we are only to take in a small fraction of time here, we will rejoicingly say,

"No matter what cheer
"We meet with on earth; for eternity's

Time seems very short, and I have some thoughts I would like to express. But I see your affection, ate heart is too easily moved, and you well know how often people have impressions which are never realized, But I will say that a sudden departure from earth seems to me calculated to glorify God, just as much, if not more, than a protracted illness. And if either our beloved brother or sister were thus taken by surprise, and required to "open unto Him immediately," I should think of it as in the case of Emory. The church was then roused through the length and breadth of the land, to feel the solemn import of the words, "Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

I am trying to have my work "
all done up," and to do what my hand findeth to do, with my might. So many are comparatively easy without having on the white robe, that I have thought, if my being taken at a moment's warning would arouse the many for whom I have been interested to feel abidingly the importance of being ready, I would be willing to be laid a sacrifice upon the service of the faith of the church in this matter also. Shall we not strive with pen and voice, and in every possible way, to work while the day lasts?

Yours, as ever.

No. LI. — To Rev. Mr. _____.

The children of God are one in interest — Obligations vary according to relationships — Abraham's unheard-of path of duty — Remarkable requisition — Satan's subtleties — Just where light meets us — Willing is not doing — The appearance of evil — A questionable practice cripples faith — Crucifixion of the flesh required — David's sacrifice — God will help you — An old habit broken.

MY dear brother in Christ will be pleased to hear that his letter was rightly directed. So far from requiring an apology for writing to one of the children of your heavenly Father, it surely should rather require one for not doing so, if you were impressed that it might be serviceable to you. My mind is so fully possessed with the assurance, that all the children of God are members of one body, that I am not prone to conceive of separate interests.

I was not at home when your letter reached the city of New York, but it was brought to me at this place. I hasten to reply, though not favored with facilities for writing, nor opportunity for maturing my thoughts as I might otherwise do.

Your case, dear brother, does not appear to me inexplicable. I have met with a number of cases somewhat similar. Not, indeed, in regard to the precise object to be given up, but where the power to exercise faith on proper principles has been withheld, until the object required had been surrendered. We cannot, in all cases, make duties one for the other, because our obligations vary from a variety of causes, being as diversified as are the positions in which we are providentially placed.

Abraham was called to sacrifice Isaac. He did not know at the time, why such an unheard-of duty was enjoined. It was enough that God had made the demand, But it won the design of God, that Abraham should stand out before all succeeding generations, as the father of the faithful — the friend of God. "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Over four thousand years, Abraham has been reaping the fruit of his obedience. He knows now why the sacrifice was required, and we should be willing to wait till the day of eternity reveals the wherefore, for this or the other requirement, assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right. Infinite wisdom can require nothing but what will be for the promotion of the divine glory, and for our ultimate good.

It was thus that I was required to sacrifice an object, which, at the time, I was not aware stood in any degree between God and my soul. As far as the state of my affections was concerned, I could see no reason why I should make the surrender. I had never even heard of any one under like circumstances, being called to a similar trial. Satan, on this ground, urged that this must be temptation. How he loves to carry out his deceptions, by transforming himself into an angel of light. If he can only succeed in causing us to pronounce upon the workings of the Spirit, as the workings of his own fiendish power, he is as well satisfied with the transformation, as though it were accomplished by any other process. But relative to the sacrifice to which I was called, the Holy Spirit suggested, Though Abraham did not know, when called to sacrifice his son Isaac, why such a requirement was made, yet he knows now; and are you willing to wait till you are an inhabitant of that world where knowledge is made perfect, in order to know why this sacrifice is required at your hands?

Praised be the Lord my strength, through whose power I had now come, not only to a
willingness to be holy, but to the decision, I will now be holy, and lay all upon the altar, though the sacrifice be dear as life itself. The surrender was made. Then, and not till then, did clear light beam upon my mind. All was not upon the altar till I came to this point. When I came to this, I was met, as usual, by the words, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine." "God is the Lord which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar." Psalm cxviii, 27.

We have no authority from the word of the Lord, to expect dear light,
until the sacrifice is bound to the altar. The clear beamings of the Sun of righteousness ever shine the same upon the King's highway; but it is not till the traveler arrives at the last point, and actually comes to Christ, and gives up the last vestige of sin and self, that he enters, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, into the holiest. Here the bright rays from the throne of the Eternal beam at once upon his soul, and the simplicity of the way of faith is discovered. The WORD, as you will remember, does not say, "If any man is willing to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine;" but, "If any man will do his will," &c. What a vast difference it would have made in ancient times, if those who were commanded to present the required sacrifices had contented themselves with a willingness to lay their offerings upon the altar, without ever actually coming to the point of making the surrender! It was not until their sacrifices touched the altar, that they were made holy. As well might they have kept them at the distance of a mile, as to have kept them within arm's-reach.

It is said of the way of holiness, "The
unclean shall not pass over it." If we are in the practice of that which is questionable, we must either become "fully persuaded," or come under condemnation. "He that doubteth, is damned." "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." The command, "Abstain from all appearance of evil," is equally binding with that which requires abstinence from evil itself. You speak of a habit in which you have indulged for many years which gives you uneasiness. Whatever may be thought of the necessity of using tobacco by some well-meaning people, we know the general voice of the deeply pious is against it. A profession of holiness, and a continuance in this practice, would subject many minds to questionings which would make your testimony less useful. "Could I enjoy a state of holiness, and yet indulge in this unseemly, and worse than useless, habit?" would be the inquiry with many a precious one for whom Christ died. Should your persistence in this habit make you less successful, as a minister, in presenting the claims of holiness, with but one individual, may you not conjecture that your Redeemer would look chidingly upon you in that day, when you will be called to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus?

I was about to say, I am glad you were not brought into a state of holiness while continuing in this practice. But I am reminded by referring to your letter, that you thought you were once in the enjoyment of this blessing, though this habit was not at the time relinquished. I hardly know what to say to this, only that "the time of this ignorance God winked at," &c. Your mind was not then as fully enlightened in relation to the harmfulness of this practice as it now is. And may not your
misgivings, even at the time, ultimately have crippled your faith in such a way as to prevent a firm hold on the blessing? To me it looks probable, that till this time you might have held fast your confidence, had it not been for this difficulty.

* * * O, I am sure you will thank God that he has thus, in answer to your oft-repeated petitions for
light, enabled you to perceive the object; and though the surrender may be crucifying to the flesh, yet with David you will say, "Neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing."

Yours, in Christian love.

No. LII. — To Rev. Mr. M_____.

Can persons who are sincerely pious be deceived? — Satan transforms himself — A visit from a fiend clothed in an angel garb imagined; he quotes Scripture — How Christ received such a one — Satan loves a shining mark — A sure method of finding him out — The Bible the only chart — Satan may answer petitions presented on wrong premises — Gracious assurances may be counterfeited.

How is it possible that so many sincerely pious persons should be deceived, may be asked? Did they not take
the book — the only book to guide poor erring men to heaven? Was not this their only chart? And did they not say, By this one and only sure guide we stand or fall? And also was not the Holy Spirit, which has been promised to guide into all truth, earnestly implored? How, after this careful, Bible-directed mode of procedure, can these mistakes be accounted for? And can we conceive otherwise, than that, after all the apparent failures, we must be mainly right?

In answer to the question relative to the possibility of sincerely pious persons being deceived, I would say, To me it seems very possible. I now tread on ground where I would proceed with the most humble dependence upon Christ as my wisdom, and will endeavor through his grace to present no idea but what may be fully qualified by a reference to the "law and to the testimony." The arch deceiver is represented in the Scriptures as capable of transforming himself into an angel of light. I have such confidence in your piety, dear sir, and also in the Christian integrity of very many who have adhered to your views, that I fully believe you would turn away from the deceiver, if he should present himself in his native robe. How far would you be from receiving an opinion from one that you know to be a fiend of the lower regions! But would it not serve the interests of the prince of darkness, whose coming is in all
deceivableness, if he could get a sincere Christian, especially one of elevated piety and extensive usefulness, would he not, I ask, serve the interests of his kingdom by a corresponding extensiveness, it he could so transform himself as to appear truly as an angel of light, and thus get such a one engaged in carrying out his designs? Should the deceiver, thus clothed in light, rise up before us this moment, would not the first impression be, to regard him really as an angel from heaven? And then to cap the climax of deceivableness, if he should bring detached portions from the blessed word, as he did to our Saviour, and tell us, "It is written," how hastily we might be prompted to yield! But what would be wisdom in such a dilemma as this? The Saviour has set an example, just in point. He brings up the detached portions, and by the light of truth, symmetrically arranged, Satan is vanquished. From the example just presented, and from the history of the world, from Adam down to the present time, we are furnished with assurances that Satan

"Loves a shining mark;"

and that he should fix his eye on one so distinguished for piety and talent as the lamented and distinguished individual referred to in our last, is just what might have been expected; but that he should have succeeded with his deceptions, so far as to turn his eye off from the one direct path, and to divert his devoted heart and labors from the
one thing needful to those lesser matters of endless genealogies, &c., I confess not to be so easily accounted for.

"If such sincere persons may thus, with Bible in hand, be deceived, how can we come at any certain standard of truth?" may still be urged. This leads to a more explicit answer to the second question. David says, "Thy word is a lamp." It is the light that maketh manifest. We are admonished to believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God. And by what standard are we to try them? "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." It is only thus that a fiend of darkness, when
transformed, can be discerned from a true angel of light. It is by holding up this lamp, and with prayerful scrutiny drawing aside the assumed vestments, that we are enabled clearly to discover his deceptions.

In answer to the question, "Whether you did not take the Bible, as the one and only foundation of your faith," I answer, No. You
added thereunto, by making a faith necessary to salvation which could not be understood without the addition of human calculations. This, you know, is most expressly prohibited by the word: see Rev. xxii, 18, "If any man shall add unto these things," &c. You surely will not now say, that your peculiar views relative to the time of the second advent can be adduced from the Bible alone. In that blessed book, the way to heaven is set forth so plainly, that wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err. But who would ever have thought of arriving at your views from the simple word of God, without the aid of human calculations? You may say, what has been added in making up the sum of the advent faith has been gathered from accredited history, of which all may inform themselves, if they will only be at the pains to do so. And if they should do so, and come at your faith, would it be a faith made up from the Bible? As it is, our best historians and commentators differ as to the date of events, both ecclesiastical and profane; and if any one, or half dozen of them, had been permitted to add their calculations to the sacred text, what a Bible should we by this time have had? But have you not, in a sense, done this? And I think you can hardly conceive of the perplexities in which many sincere minds have been involved, in fruitless endeavors to bring out your faith from the Bible.

"But was not the guidance of the Spirit of truth earnestly implored in these investigations, and have not spiritual influences, which cannot be accounted for otherwise than from a supernatural source, given corroborative evidence of the propriety and truthfulness of the impressions thus gained?" These influences can only be accounted for from the fact, that one step aside from the direct line marked out in the chart to heaven is exceedingly perilous. There is but one way in which we can
rightfully claim answers to prayer, and this is directly on the ground of Bible truth. "This is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us." 1 John v, 14. Was it not straying from the direct line of the word, when you asked to know the precise time of the second advent? Were you not withheld admittance to the court of heaven by the word which says, "Secret things belong unto God; but those which are revealed, unto us and to our children." Should you still urge your way, you are still peremptorily warded off by the "sword of the Spirit." "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power."

Looking at the matter thus, I see not how a petition, relative to knowing the
precise time of the Saviour's advent, could be answered from the court of heaven; and being presented on wrong ground, might not the answer to the petition come from a wrong source? If the adversary of God and man can transform himself into an angel of light, quote Scripture to suit his purpose, &c., why may we not presume that he would be at pains to counterfeit gracious assurances? We read that the working of Satan is "with all power, and signs, and lying wonders;" and may not some extraordinary spiritual influences, which have been experienced relative to this subject, be accounted for thus?

Yours, sincerely.

No. LIII. — To Mr. L_____.

Witness of holiness lost — Unholy class leaders responsible for lowness of piety in the membership — The faithfulness of God proved when the blessing was lost — A light may be extinguished — Gifts derived from God must be diffused — Necessity of coming back — Promises may not be appropriated until the conditions are met — In what a state of holiness consists.

AND now, dear brother, I have been presenting you before God in the arms of faith and prayer. I very much regret that you have lost the witness of holiness. Do try, through the merits of your Saviour, to get so near the throne of light, that you may discover just how you lost the blessing. You know God hath said, "If in anything you be otherwise minded, he will reveal even this unto you." And will he not reveal that which so vastly concerns, not only your own eternal well-being, but also that of those intrusted to your care, those whom, by the great Shepherd's appointment, you are over in the Lord?

Can you, dear brother, urge the present attainment of holiness, with the same point, and power, upon the members of your class, as though you were in the enjoyment of the blessing? If not, may you not have their dwarfishness in religion, or even their backslidings, measurably to answer for. Do you, as their leader, expect them to go in advance of you in faith and practice? God called you out to occupy this prominent position. Did he intend to fix the eyes of others upon you thus, without empowering you to be an
example in experience as well as an instructor in word and doctrine? The sentiment dishonors God, and I am sure brother L____ will not indulge the thought, but will recognize the responsibility that rests upon him, not to give currency to it, in the minds of others, by his own example of deficiency in experience. I do not wish to upbraid one I so much respect and love, but if TRUTH reproves, surely you will not deem me unkind.

Of late my contemplations have been more than usually on the character of the Eternal, in his
unchangeableness and truth. I should love, dear brother, to lay open my whole heart to you on this subject. The immutable Jehovah has been teaching me gracious lessons, which, to the praise of his grace, are daily becoming more established into settled principles. I dare not do otherwise than let my "yea be yea, and my nay, nay." My mind is continually confirming in the assurance, that whatsoever is more than this, cometh of evil. Surely, brother, when we practice to the contrary, we exhibit that which is so unlike the character of God, that we greatly grieve and dishonor him.

You know the design of redemption is not fully answered unless the
image of God be restored to the soul. How unlike conformity to the eternally Faithful and True are we, if we are continually vacillating in our faith and purposes! With God there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. More than once has God given you the witness that you were wholly his. God was faithful. The very moment you laid all upon the altar, that moment the altar sanctified the gift. All, for some time previous to this, seemed laid upon the altar, with the exception of your will, which required signs and wonders; but your will was at last given up also. The sacrifice met the divine requirement, and was at once sanctified.

You continued to prove the faithfulness of God. So long as you kept all upon the altar, the promised results followed. Yes, you were
sanctified. And when you lost the blessing, you also proved the faithfulness of the Lord Jehovah. You were warranted from his word in anticipating just the loss you sustained. It was the necessary result of the course you pursued. To use your own language, you became "cautious in professing the blessing." You ceased to pour out to others, and to the degree you did so, God ceased to pour into your own soul. You know it is said, "Give, and it shall be given you." Now when you ceased to comply with the condition, by withholding from those around you the testimony of the great salvation God had imparted — yes, hid the righteousness of God within your heart — and did not with David abundantly utter the memory of his great goodness — ceased to declare it, as you will remember you at first resolved on doing, to the great congregation, why wonder that to just the degree you indulged in this, your evidence should become darkened? And when at last, as you acknowledge, you ceased to speak of it at all — hid your light altogether under a bushel — why wonder that it should be extinguished? Was it not just what you might have expected? How could God have been unchangeable in his purpose, and have awarded you a different experience?

You say you "could not have told at the time, nor have you been able to discover since, the occasion of your declension." If I have judged correctly, you lost it by degrees, in precisely the ratio you became cautious in professing it. And this doubtless is the way in which hundreds lose the blessing. God does not impart his blessings to us for our own exclusive enjoyment. It is his design that we should be vessels sanctified to his use, through which he may communicate to the perishing around us the knowledge of his great salvation It was his purpose that you should have been used as a channel, through which should flow out to the greatest possible number a knowledge of full salvation — a redemption from all iniquity. Only see how you have disappointed the expectations of his mercy. And what a loser you have been! How many stars might you have had in the crown of your rejoicing, had you persevered!

Now brother, you see the point from which you have wandered. The changeableness has been wholly on your own part. Will you not come directly back? This may be humbling to your spirit, but I am sure you will have to come to this decision. You need not expect any more light until you make use of that which you already have. Come, brother, let those who are following your faith, know that you apprehend Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever. Lay all upon the altar just now, resolved that you will now believe upon the bare declaration that God has given in his word. Here is a solid foundation. Heaven and earth shall pass away before one jot or tittle shall fail. Resting thus upon God's eternal truth as the only foundation of your faith — irrespective of frames and feelings, your goings will become established. And thus in your degree, you will be continually deriving power to perfect holiness. Do you observe that it is present grace that flows out to you on condition of a
present act on your part? God will not perform your part of the work, but gives you the power. He worketh in you to will, and now he requires that you should do his good pleasure. I need not say that he stands ready and infinitely desirous for the performance of the work now. You hear him saying, "Come, for all things are now ready." Do not forget that it is a present salvation received momentarily from above. In view of the conditions being complied with on your part, He says. "I will receive you." Comply, and then you have a right to lay hold upon the promise; and upon the bare authority of the immutable Word it is your duty to say, "Thou dost receive me." The blood of Jesus cleanseth from all unrighteousness. O dear brother, leave your feelings out of the question, and now begin to live, not for an hour, or a day; but begin to live a life of faith on the Son of God, for the just shall live by faith; and I pray you no more proportion faith to feeling, for here has been your error. Joy, peace, love, &c., are the fruits of faith, and must necessarily follow, not precede. Surely my dear brother will not regard it as optional with himself whether he will live in the enjoyment of this salvation or not. If holiness is a state of soul in which all the powers of the body and mind are wholly given up to God, the duty of living in the possession of it is most obvious. And this consideration will — yes, must settle the matter with you. Now, to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Yours, in the fellowship of the gospel.

No. LIV. — To Mrs. J_____.

Responsibility of parents in regard to the salvation of their children — A memorable struggle — The Spirit's intercession — Prayer answered — Parents should resolve on the salvation of their children — Children under sentence of death — A child born of the Spirit — Young converts may be holy — An interesting disciple — Remarks of a minister.

MY BELOVED SISTER, — Yours of August 24th was received yesterday. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Next in importance to the happiness of knowing that we have been elected unto eternal life through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, is the knowledge that our children are walking in the truth. Truly may we unite with the beloved apostle and say, "I have no greater joy."

The responsibility of parents, in regard to the salvation of their children, seems to be so nearly allied to what our obligations are in relation to the salvation of our own souls, that the connecting link scarcely stands dissevered in my mind. The promises are to the righteous and their seed. I have had seasons of deep and earnest solicitude in wrestling with God for the salvation of my own soul, yet these, I think, but lightly compare with the unutterable travail I have at times endured, since I have been a mother, for the salvation of my children. One of these occasions I may never forget through time or eternity.

I had said, "I will not let thee go," resolved rather to die in the contest than to yield the point. For months my soul had been burdened, and Satan had seemingly been permitted to withstand me more successfully on this than any other subject. And strange to tell, on every other point the throne of grace seemed more accessible than on this. I think I may say, that the resolve now was "death or victory." So intense was the agony of my spirit, that my physical nature could not have endured the struggle much longer, and it was not until several days had elapsed that my health regained its former tone. Shall I say that I felt that heaven could hardly be a state of bliss for me, if the offspring of my body were doomed to everlasting burnings? With Moses, I seemed almost constrained to say, "If thou wilt not, blot my name out of thy book." Why this remarkable trial of my faith and patience was endured, I perhaps may never know in time; for, for several hours the saddest part of my cup was that I seemed left to struggle alone. It was only a little before deliverance came, that I said, If I have the help of the Holy Spirit, let me have some apprehension of it, where upon I received an indescribable view of how the Spirit
itself had been making intercession during all the hours of that memorable day before the throne, in behalf of my child. O what a consciousness was given, that the Holy Spirit had made my heart its abode, and that the Lord was making me the instrument in the salvation of the child. From that moment faith seemed almost changed to sight, and so assured was I, that it was the Spirit itself that maketh intercession, that my own identity seemed for the time in a manner lost, and I could only think of myself as an instrument, given up wholly through the power of the Spirit to God.

It seems to me, as if no truly pious parent need ever be disheartened in view of the ultimate salvation of his children, if the resolution, that they shall be saved, be determinately persisted in. This resolve must, of course, include the purpose that every earthly consideration shall be subservient to this object. I fully believe if I had been less importunate, or less persevering on the occasion referred to, that I should not have prevailed with Israel's God; for, as I have intimated, he did not seem to regard my prayer, but rather to say, "Let me alone." Had Jacob's courage failed one half hour before the blessing came, would he have been called Israel? But we had better go limping all our days, or die in struggles for the salvation of our children, rather than that they should dwell with everlasting burnings. How pious parents can enjoy life, and go on as happily as though all is well, while their children are under the
sentence of death, is surprising. Were their children under the sentence of temporal death, from having broken the laws of their country, would we expect to see these parents enjoying life, and as much at ease as though all were well? Such parents would be thought destitute of natural affection. And how can God and angels look upon parents, who are comparatively at ease, while their children are under a sentence, which, without an hour's warning, may be executed, and their offspring doomed to a fate more fearful than the death of the body a million times told! Have such parents faith in God? Do they believe that the sinner is condemned already?

I do not wonder that you so greatly rejoice that your beloved J____ has been born of the Spirit. Our hearts respond with yours in the exclamation, "Glory to God in the highest." May he be "steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord." Either for the youthful disciple, or for the more mature Christian, this is an important admonition. In about the same measure we abound in labor for the salvation of those around as, God dispenses blessings to our souls. "He that watereth, shall be watered also himself." If dear J____ has fixed his aim on being a decided follower of the Saviour, I hope he is expecting a daily cross. It may perhaps be a cross from which the flesh may shrink, to tell his young friends what great things the Lord has done for him; but in doing this, his own soul will be greatly strengthened, and he will at once begin to be a preacher of righteousness. May my dear friend commence at once to gather stars for the crown of his rejoicing!

I hope, dear J___, will bear in mind that young converts may be holy. I witnessed an encouraging exemplification of this on Tuesday. An intelligent lady, who experienced religion about four weeks since, was at our afternoon meeting. Her husband and herself were both skeptical, and, at the time of her conversion, grace made a wonderful transformation. By the permission of her husband, she at once commenced family prayer, and also other religious duties, such as asking a blessing at meals, laying aside her gay and costly apparel, &c. The pious minister who was instrumental in her conversion, loved holiness, and took pains to instruct this interesting disciple in the way. He gave her the "Way of Holiness," and other books also were sent to her; but one book she had which eclipsed all others: for this, she said, was full of holiness. This book was the BIBLE. She had been telling me how she felt, while endeavoring to sustain the family altar in the presence of her husband. I said, in return, "What you now want to enable you to bear up triumphantly amid these trials, is the blessing of holiness." This she was disposed to acknowledge, but soon said, "Why is it that so many professors seem to know so little about this blessing? I told an aged minister my feelings in reference to it, and he said, I was yet too young in experience to expect the blessing."

I assured her that it was not with the example nor the opinions of men that she had to do, and recalled her acknowledgment that the Bible was full of requisitions to be holy, and for the moment the tempter seemed silenced, when she brought up the experience of an aged brother which had been given in during the meeting; which experience went to say, that he had been forty-seven years a full believer in the doctrine of holiness, and though he had sincerely and earnestly coveted the attainment, he had not yet received the desire of his heart. "Why," she continued, "should others be so long in arriving at this point, if I may gain it so soon?" "And why were the Israelites forty years in arriving at a point which might have been reached in eleven days? Was it not because of their unbelief? More than eleven days have passed since you were brought out of spiritual Egypt, and surely you will not limit the Holy One of Israel, and provoke him to send you back to wander in the wilderness. You have come up to the borders of the promised land. Will you not now step over into

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

With looks expressive of unutterable desire, she said, "I believe the Lord will bring me in." "When do you think he will bring you in?" "I do not know, but I think it will not be long." "He has assured you of his willingness to save you this moment, and it is sinful to doubt either his ability or his willingness to save you now. Do you believe that God would be faithful to his word, if you should now venture body, soul, and spirit, wholly and for ever upon Christ?" "I believe he would." "Will you begin to trust him, and by a continuous act rely momentarily on your Saviour for salvation from all sin? The poet says,—

"But is it possible that I
Should live and sin no more?
Lord, if on thee I dare rely,
The faith shall bring the power."

Now you would not dare dishonor your Saviour so much as not to believe that he would save yon from sin this and every succeeding moment, if you would trust him." Her faith gathered strength, and she said, "I know he would save, and I will trust him." "Why should you not believe that he is saving you, if you are now relying upon him for full salvation? If you are being saved it is because Christ is saving you; and do you not feel that you are this moment saved, and can you not say,—

"Thou from sin dost save me now,
And thou wilt save me evermore?"

With emotion she said, "Bless the Lord, I am saved."

A gracious baptism of the Spirit was given, and in the full assurance of faith she cried out, "O I am sanctified; glory be to God!" A little band of devoted ones had lingered with us after the close of the meeting, and we fell upon our knees and ascribed glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is no respecter of persons; what he has done for one, he is willing to do for another. If J____'s mother received the witness of holiness, when she was but little over ten years old, so clearly, that she has never since doubted that she was then made the partaker of this precious grace why may not J____, thus early in his Christian life, set out to receive the full impress of the Holy Spirit? A minister of deep and enlightened piety, in exhorting the friends at the Tuesday meeting, said, That from careful observation, he had become settled in the conviction, that by far the most successful time to urge the attainment of holiness, was when the mind was tender from its first reception of regenerating grace. Now, said he, is the time to give it the mold, before the young affections have learned to be truant, and the mind has become used to parley with the tempter, and yield to his suggestions.

Present my regards to brother J____ and all the members composing your pleasant family circle.

Your ever devoted sister.

No. LV. — To Rev. Mr. U_____.

Of the act of faith — Humiliating perceptions — Shrinkings from a profession of holiness — The direct path — A ceaseless sacrifice — The key which opens the door — What is the act of faith? — Terms of the covenant — Faith, not works, the ground of acceptance — The blessedness of purity — Why do some receive the blessing sooner than others who are equally sincere? — How example may hinder — How the blessing may be obtained — Tears of desire shed, yet a willingness to be holy not attained.

CHRISTMAS Day was rendered memorable by my receiving more definite and confirmed views of the precise act of faith, which brings present salvation from all sin.

These views were preceded by an uncommon humiliation of spirit. During the day a temptation to hastiness was continually pressing upon me, and as the tempter had an object to act upon, the suggestion was, that I had, more or less, yielded to its influence. On examination, I could not bring the conviction that I had offended, and consequently did not feel condemnation; yet I was most deeply humbled, under a sense of my unworthiness. While confessing my want of higher degrees of holiness, and lamenting this before the Lord, I was led to question how it was, that I had been enabled to hold fast the beginning of my confidence, and continually witness that the blood of Jesus cleanseth.

I felt that I had not deceived myself, and could appeal to the Searcher of hearts that it was not merely a blessing in name that had been gloried in, but an actual realization of his saving and cleansing power. Yes, thought I, in verity I do know, that the blood of Jesus cleanseth. — cleanseth now! With feelings which even the recollections of that hour reproduce, causing tears of grateful joy, I could say with Paul, "To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given." Yet, for reasons almost indefinable, but which perhaps cannot be more fully expressed than by saying, the appearance (in the eyes of some) of assuming, by professing this blessing, a higher state of experience than many others whose piety I so much venerate, and especially some of Christ's beloved ambassadors, whom in love I highly esteem for their work's sake, I felt a shrinking tenderness of spirit, relative to the testimony I had given before the world on this point. And yet I realized that the vows of God were upon me, and woe is me if I do not profess this blessing, and urge its attainableness on others. And must I continue to urge its reasonableness, even though it may assume the appearance of taking higher ground in the Christian walk? I felt that I could weep, and even now do weep at the thought. But the plain, direct path, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, still presented its track, lit up by the rays of divine truth, as luminously as ever. The way was not to be mistaken. I saw what would be the result of a willful turning, either to the right hand or to the left. it was a blessed thought that I had given my influence into the hands of the Lord, and could unhesitatingly leave it there, and know that
duty was mine, and events the Lord's. I also most deeply felt that it was not because I was more worthy than others, that I had been enabled, for years past, to bear testimony to the possibility of having in the enjoyment of the witness that the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all unrighteousness.

But I would not assume the ground, that I have not trespassed in thought, word, or deed, since that time. No. But in this, through grace, I will glory, — I have not, since the memorable hour that witnessed the entire consecration of all my powers, taken myself from off the altar, but have ceaselessly endeavored to present a living sacrifice of body, soul, and spirit. Since that period, I have not felt as if any of these redeemed powers were for one moment at my disposal. When duty has been presented, however much nature may have shrunk from the requisition, I have been enabled to act upon the principle, that I have given myself irrevocably to God. Though life might be the forfeiture, I have estimated the favor of my God better than life. Neither have I, since that period, knowingly transgressed.

Yet, I do not take this as the precise ground of my confidence; but this state of soul, in conjunction with an act of faith, which as a key opens the door, and brings the soul into the actual possession of full and complete redemption, is that which I have been enabled to render continually available, and by this I have been permitted to enter into that state of light and liberty which is spoken of 1 John i, 7.

But what is this act of faith which brings the soul into the enjoyment of full salvation? By the help of the Lord I will state it, as also the way by which I continue its exercise. I saw that God had erected an altar, whereunto I was commanded to come with faith, nothing doubting. And still further, that he did not require that I should believe, without a thorough foundation for my faith. Perhaps I cannot better explain, than by adverting to what my expectations would be, if a will, which I knew to be in every possible way legally executed, were placed in my hands, and I authorized, from undoubted authority, in believing myself the rightful heir of an inheritance. Would I hesitate in availing myself of its provisions, and think it mysterious that I was to come into possession by merely believing the validity of the document? And yet the knowledge of the fact, without the act of taking possession, would leave it just as unavailable for my present necessities, as though there were no such inheritance for me.

Thus I saw that God had declared it his will, even my sanctification, and that he had also rendered that will very explicit by the command, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, touch not the unclean thing," conjoined with the declaration, "I will receive you." In view of this declaration of my heavenly Father, had I any reason to doubt that it was his will, even my sanctification? What then remained for me, but, through the strength of grace, to "come out and be separate?" With this requisition I was enabled to comply. Would it not have been strangely inconsistent, after having come to this point, not to have believed that God would accept? And did it require any extraordinary effort of faith to believe that I was indeed one of his covenant people? It was thus, therefore, in the simplicity of my heart, I was ready to exclaim, Why, it is hardly of faith, but rather of knowledge; it is so easy. It is all here. I have given myself wholly to God. He has accepted the offering, and sealed me irrevocably his. And would it not be strange, and in effect doing great dishonor to the faithful Jehovah, by an intimation of inconsistency, if, when he had required the entire surrender, and enabled me to comply, I were not to believe he would be true to his own part of the engagement?

But to get at the more definite answer that presented itself in reply to the inquiry, how I, so unworthy, was permitted to be clear in the enjoyment of this blessing, when there were so many whose piety I held in such high esteem who were not? The only explanation I could give was this: I have faith in God, and believe fully in the validity and feasibility of the plan devised by infinite wisdom, by which the polluted may be cleansed.

The plan, in perfect consistency with the nature of its Author, is unalterable. The devotion that might induce its possessor to pass through the flames, or to weep tears of blood, cannot produce an alteration or the least swerving from the principles laid down. By the right of purchase, God demands, and beseeches, that we present our bodies a living sacrifice. We present the offering, and are cleansed. We continue to present it, and continue to be cleansed. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, with garments newly dipped in blood, is continually present before the throne; and it is but to know that we lay all upon the altar, and believe in the infinitely meritorious efficacy of his blood, in order to realize, with all the blood-washed company, that we

"Every moment have
The merit of his death."

It is then, and only then, that we can fully mingle in song with the spirits of the just made perfect around the throne. Who does not feel the impotency of human language, when the full soul endeavors to bring out in words the transcendent blessedness of conscious purity: when the spirit exultantly joins with the redeemed in the song, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory, and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen!" And yet there are those who are appropriating this language, from a blessed knowledge of its glorious import. But alas! there are those also, who, by the will of their heavenly Father, have an equal claim in the covenant of grace: those who have expressed joyous confidence in the declaration, "God is no respecter of persons;" yea, those even whose energy of spirit in the cause of their God would lead them to pass through fire and water,

"Into that wealthy place,"

who do not feel that they have yet been brought to possess

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

O! why is it thus? Would that my heart were as a mirror, to reflect, in living characters, the answer that its deep emotions dictate to the inquiry. May the Spirit of holiness communicate the answer to every sincere, inquiring Christian, while I attempt a reply.

There are, as has been said, certain unalterable requisitions laid down by the immutable Jehovah. With God there is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning." His requirements cannot be varied or set aside, however sincere or devoted the inquirer. These individuals have, doubtless, again and again, brought their all to the altar, but, in so doing, they have not firmly believed that God would be true, and, at the moment they presented, accept the offering at their hands. They well know it to be the sacrifice that he requires: Rom. xii. 1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." And that they could not even have brought the offering without his assistance: John xv, 5, "For without me ye can do nothing." But they hesitate to believe, because they do not feel that he has accepted, before they have dared to venture upon the veracity of his word. He has required the sacrifice, and has positively affirmed that he will accept: 2 Cor. vi, 17, "Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I WILL RECEIVE YOU." He has given the ability to bring it to the foot of the cross, and yet they will not believe that he does receive, merely because some state of feeling, which has been pictured to the mind, does not immediately follow.

The experience of many might be portrayed by what would have been the conduct of Abraham, if, after having brought the offering required by God, he had concluded, instead of remaining by the altar, driving away the fowls from polluting the sacrifice, he had reasoned thus: "The fire of heaven does not descend as I had anticipated; and though I well know that God has required that I should lay this sacrifice upon the altar, yet why does he not consume it? Why is my faith thus tried, and I constrained thus long to
wait, preserving this hallowed offering from the touch of pollution? And who can determine how long may be required to linger in this disheartening suspense? Already the sun begins to retire; a horror of darkness comes over me: surely there must have been some mistaken views in my perceptions of the manner of this requirement," &c.

Not so with him, who, in all succeeding generations, has been termed the "father of the faithful." No; his enlightened perceptions of the immutable nature of him who had promised, forbade views so dishonoring to God. We shrink from the supposition of what would have been the inevitable consequence, had he practiced, as many Christians do, under this dispensation of light. And yet we hear them speak of their unbelief, with a seeming complacency, much as though it were an unavoidable evil.

O that all who are seeking this blessing were fully aware of the sinful inconsistency of this unbelief! If Abraham had been guilty of even this one supposed act of distrustfulness, would he have been placed so prominently before us, as the father of the faithful? And yet the Christian, with a clear revelation of the will of God continually open before him, is, day after day, practicing upon the same principles of unbelief. The younger Christian looks to the example of those older in profession; the member, to the class leader; and the class leader to one whose faith he has been divinely admonished to follow; and each deems himself in a manner excusable from the example of the others. The mention of this reminds me of the dilemma of a devoted individual not long since. She was but a lamb of the fold, and young in the experience of the blessing of holiness. Returning from a meeting one evening, where her beloved pastor, in the recital of his experience, had said, that he did not enjoy the witness of holiness, she remarked, in distressing perplexity, "Can it be that I enjoy this blessing when Mr. _____ does not?" It was a well-circumstanced temptation; and the enemy made it the means of nearly robbing her of her confidence, though grace eventually triumphed.

But is it of small account to be destitute of that faith whereby we may be enabled, momentarily, to realize the entire consecration, and purification, of body, soul, and spirit? Is it a small thing to keep back any part of that price which so sacredly belongs to God? And just as truly may it be kept back by the fearfulness of unbelief, as from an unwillingness to comply with any other requirement. Upon such as do not esteem it a subject of momentous interest, may the Holy Spirit impress the force of that solemn truth, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." But to such as are waiting at the foot of the cross, feeling that the excellency of the knowledge of this grace is better than life, I would say, You will find it in this exercise.

Bring the offering of all your redeemed powers; not only
to the altar, but, through Almighty grace, lay the sacrifice upon the altar. Do not delay, because nature shrinks from making the surrender now. Now is God's time: 2 Cor. vi, 2, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." The acceptance of the gift does not depend upon the worthiness of the offerer, or the greatness of the gift, but upon the sanctity of the ALTAR: Matt. xxiii, 19, "For whether is greater, the gift, or the altar which sanctifieth the gift?" It is by virtue of the altar upon which the offering is laid that the gift is sanctified: Exod. xxix, 37, "And it shall be an altar most holy; whatsoever toucheth the ALTAR shall be holy." CHRIST IS THE CHRISTIAN'S ALTAR. Lay body, soul, and spirit, upon his merits. Let the sacrifice be a living one. Rom. xii, 1. Remember, that it is not left optional with yourself whether you will believe. "This is the command of God, that ye believe." Believe steadfastly that the blood of Jesus cleanseth. Not that it can, or that it will, but that it cleanseth now. Covenant with God, that you will believe this, his revealed truth, whether your feelings warrant the belief or not. The just shall live by faith. Be willing to live by the moment. You cannot breathe today for the morrow, neither can you believe now for any future period. Bear in mind that Christ is a Saviour, and the salvation which you receive must be in the present tense, and of course must be received momentarily from above. Ask the Lord to write upon your heart the deep spiritual meaning of the expression, "a living sacrifice:" the blood of Jesus cleanseth: for though you may live days, months, and years, in the possession of this faith, you will find no other way than that of living by the moment; and though you were the veriest sinner that ever existed, or were the accumulated guilt of the whole world laid upon your head, such is the all-sufficiency of the atonement, that it is but to place yourself upon this altar, that sanctifieth the gift, and you must be cleansed. The crimson stream, unbounded in its efficacy, is ever flowing.

Reject the simple way of faith, and the most violent efforts of body or mind — rivers of tears, or the devotion of a martyr — will not bring you to the point.
"One act of faith will do more for you than twenty years' hard toiling without it." You cannot receive the full efficacy of the atonement, apart from this faith; neither can you recommend it so successfully to others; and the debt of gratitude you owe the purchaser demands that you be a witness of his power to save unto the uttermost. If you live short of full salvation, you may, perhaps, at the last moment of life, cast yourself upon the infinite merit of the atonement, and be saved; but O, what a risk do you run, and what an infinite loser will you be, if you leave the reception of this grace till the hour of death!

It is this implicit trusting in God, with a resolute determination not to proportion
faith to feeling; believing, if he permit your faith to be tried, by a seeming delay, it is only that you may be accounted worthy of being a more victorious example of its power; which will produce a fixedness of purpose, and an established state of experience, beyond expression glorious. Look well to the terms. Holiness and sanctification most expressively signify the state intended. You cannot consistently expect it, until you make up your mind to live in the continuous act of unreserved consecration. Consequently, you cannot believe that there is an entire acceptance on the part of God, until you come to this point, even though you were as desirous, and should shed as many tears, by way of imploring the acceptance of your sacrifice, as did the ancient Jews, who covered the Lord's altar with tears, until he became weary, and regarded not the offering any more. (See Malachi ii, 13.) It is unreasonable not to live in the entire and continuous surrender of soul, body, and spirit, to God. All are already his, by the right of redemption. If you withhold aught, you keep back part of the price. It is, therefore, unreasonable not to be holy. O then enter at once into the bonds of a covenant never to be broken, to be wholly the Lord's! Count the cost fully, and then lay the offering upon the altar. While you present it, the blood of Jesus cleanseth. In the strength of Omnipotence venture now, and you will find, what you had thought to be the mystery of faith, simplified.

Yours, in the bonds of perfect love.