Obrazy na stronie

many is not followed by a suitable practice ; but the morality which is not built on this foundation is spurious, and nothing but mistake and delusion as to the point of acceptance with God. Christ cannot be idle or unfruitful, and does his own works in every soul where he comes, and he will not suffer any kind of working to be set up against himself, or pleaded for our righteousness, which he only is.

“ I have the most sincere wishes for the health and happiness of yourself and Mrs. Pownall, and am, dear sir,

“ Your very affectionate,
" And most humble servant,


The next letters are intended to guard his friend against turning aside from the profession of serious piety, through dread of the sneers of the world. Mr. Adam well knew that a man might have courage to stand before the cannon's mouth, who had not moral courage to bear the reproach of the cross of Christ. He had also some fear, lest his friend should build his hopes of salvation upon a wrong foundation, upon his own works instead of Christ, and Christ alone.

“Wintringham, Feb. 23rd, 1774. “ Dear Sir, “I perceive by your letter, and especially by the conclusion of it, which by this time you may have forgotten, that you will be entitled to the name of Methodist ; and if I bid you God speed, do not mis

I do not wish you to be in connexion

take me.

with them, any more than myself; but the truth is, we have at present only two sorts of persons among us, Methodists, or no Methodists, all who are in earnest in religion, and step a little out of the common road of an empty profession, being ranked with the former. Go on, in spite of reproach, and fear nothing but the deceitfulness of your own heart.

" In all the conversations I have had with you, you seem to ascribe something more to works than I do; I verily believe with a good meaning ; and possibly the difference between us, if

any, may be more in words than in reality.

“ Valeant quantùm valere possunt."

(let them effect what they can ;) but my


persuasion is, that no degree of sanctification, without that poverty of spirit, and true knowledge of ourselves, which anchors the soul upon Christ as our all, will be sufficient for us, to enable us to challenge God, or face death.

My dear sir, I wish you well from my very heart; but what shall I say concerning your state of health? You know it is your cure; the finger pointing out your road to heaven, and that release from suffering would be as much as your soul is worth. In everything we see God; in pain and sickness we feel him, and may be sure that he is come near to us upon some gracious design. Aye, and the infirmities under which I labour, are often suggesting this thought to me, and yet, alas ! I have a full conviction of still greater infirmity within, in not being duly thankful for the mercy of correction.



We may know much, have many philosophical scraps at our fingers' ends, and think a hundred fine things; but the power is in another hand. See the necessity of prayer, namely, the cry of the heart for help, and the excellency of that religion, which prescribes prayer, and lays so great a stress upon it. I, who am just writing in my seventy-second year, find, by experience, that I could as soon think and resolve the disease out of my body, as the disease of sin out of my heart; and if I could do everything for myself, I had rather that God should do it, as it would be a token and proof of his love and favourable presence with me.

To his grace and might I commend

you, and am, with my respectful compliments to Mrs. Pownall, dear sir,

“ Your most affectionate
" and humble servant,


" P.S. Venn’s ‘Mistakes in Religion exposed' is worth your reading, though, perhaps, you will think him, as I do now and then, too much of a Calvinist.

"T. ADAM.”

The following letter to the same is very affecting, and will find a response in the breast of those Christians who have been called to bear the awfully sudden death of an endeared friend. It also shows that Mr. Adam, at the age of seventy-two years, was alive to all the tender emotions of friendship. The lady, whose death it records, was the sister-inlaw of Mr. Adam. She was godmother to the

editor's eldest sister, who still speaks of her affectionate kindness to her, and the shock she felt, on hearing of her death.


“ Wintringham, July 28th, 1774. “Dear Sir, “Much ado to bring the will of God and the will of man together. On Tuesday, May 31st, I went to York, and the Friday following, my amiable, sweet-tempered friend and companion, Sister Cooke, died. She was well, to all appearance, at dinner, but soon after complained of a pain in her stomach, laid down, and in less than three hours was found dead. I must tell you the truth :-though I am depending upon, and I hope in some measure experience, a divine support, the sudden death of a person, too much my idol, is severely felt. Happy will it be for me, if I take occasion from it to die to the world, and live more, I should say solely, to God. St. Austin's prayer shall be yours and mine: · Domine, Deus meus, da cordi meo te desiderare; desiderando quærere ; quærendo invenire ; inveniendo amare; amando mala mea redimere; redempta non iterare.'

“O Lord, my God! give to my heart the power to desire thee; in desiring thee, to seek thee; in seeking thee, to find thee; in finding thee, to love thee; in loving thee, to find a cure for my sins, and when I have so done, not to repeat them.'

The sentiments of your letter correspond nearly with mine. I verily believe that the dispute between real Christians is chiefly in words; and I heartily wish there was no controversy among them but this,- who should most recommend and adorn their profession, by a well-tempered zeal and gospel walk. As to the value of works, I am persuaded that we think and speak much too highly of them ; ascribing more to them than their due, and giving ourselves credit for a perfection which we have not. As to my own, I am so far from placing any confidence in them, that I am really frightened at them; and I find, also, that I am directed by infallible authority to a better ground of trust, and to a righteousness exactly suited to my case, I will venture to say the case of every man,--there I fix my foot.

“I shall be extremely glad to see you and Mrs. Pownall here, whenever you please to do me the favour, and wishing you both health and happiness,

“I remain, dear sir,
“ Your very affectionate, humble servant,

"THOMAS Adam."

The next letter shows how slow the mind is in parting with a specious error; and the great difficulty of bringing men to despair of obtaining salvation, in whole, or in part, by the works of the law. Mr. Adam was careful to maintain good works, but he was very fearful lest they should be substituted for faith in Christ, instead of being done to evidence our gratitude for




“ Barton, Nov. 18th, 1774.

" Dear Sir, “I know not whether you and I have yet settled

« PoprzedniaDalej »