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attention turned to them, and, as might naturally have been expected, was anxious to have the opinion of her friend Miss Hill upon them. This Miss Hill gave, in her usual frank and kind manner, as follows:

November 16. 1765. My heart and thoughts, my very dear friend, have been much with you during your journey; and were it not for the reflection that you have a merciful God, whose watchful eye is ever over you, to keep you from all evil, my uneasiness on your account would have been abundantly heightened, as in your last letter you mention being afflicted with great doubts and terrors. This is far from being an uncommon complaint; and I believe there are few truly brought out of the captivity of sin and Satan, who have not at times experienced the same or similar distress. When this great adversary sees his kingdom likely to be overthrown in the heart of any one, he never fails, cither by force or fraud, to attempt to regain it. But the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Captain of their salvation, ever has, and ever shall most undoubtedly enable them to come off more than conquerors. With respect to the doctrine of the new birth, on which you ask my opinion, it is plainly taught by our Lord in his discourse to Nicodemus, when be says, . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' The sipner, in his natural state, has unquestionably in God, life, motion, and animal being; but he is not conscious of his presence, and is an entire stranger to those influences of the Holy Spirit which nourish the divine life in the new creature. The things of God which are so continually present to the souls of the children of God, make no impression on his mind. God speaketh to him by his word and his providences; he calleth him, but he heareth not his voice. Christ offers himself to him as the bread from heaven, but he tastes not how good the Lord is. God would manifest himself to him, but the eyes of his understanding are so darkened, that he cannot discover him. He is, in fact, as the apostle Paul expresses it, • alienated from the life of God through the ignorance which is in him. He may, however, at times have some serious thoughts and affections; he may occasionally feel some good desires, and make some faint efforts to turn to God; but his heart being yet attached to this world, his spiritual senses not being yet exercised, he is not able to behold the Sun of Righteousness, for he is not yet born of God. Whatever peculiar circumstances may attend such a change as is implied in being born again, there is every reason to believe that none can have truly experienced it, and yet remain entirely ignorant that such a change has been effected. The sinner, in fact, is no sooner born of God, than he feels the presence of God, and becomes capable of discerning spiritual objects. God no longer calls to him in vain; he hears, he knows the voice of God, he draws near to God, he tastes the good word of God, and the joys of the world to come. In short, his spiritual senses are all in action; the veil is taken off from his eyes; the things of the Spirit of God are no longer foolishness to him; he receives them, he comprehends them; he feels the peace which passeth all understanding; the love of God is shed abroad in his heart; and living in love, and knowing that God is love, he knows also that he is born of God, and that he dwelleth in God, and God in him. Having suggested these few hints respecting the doctrine of regeneration, I shall now proceed to say a word or two,


which may, by the blessing of God, be of use to you towards repelling those fiery darts with which Satan frequently attacks believers, bringing them under doubts and fears respecting their interest in Christ, and the reality of their regeneration. The great deceiver (who, like a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour) may possibly take advantage of the weakness of your body, and thereby bring you under many distressing fears. But, my dear friend, the God of truth has declared, that he cannot hurt you; for in that Christ himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Keep this text constantly in your view; I know of none more strengthening or comforting; it has often been blessed to me in like circumstances. Our dear Redeemer, in his sufferings, seemed to be cast off by his Father, when, in bitter agony, he cried out, · My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And yet, even then, he obtained a glorious victory over the powers of darkness. The Israel of God, his spiritual children, through bim, likewise, are more than conquerors, although they may sometimes be tempted to think that God has cast them off, and suffer most severely by particular conflicts. God, however, is in these circumstances often most near to them, and thus exercises the strength of their love towards him, and tries their faith and patience. A lively faith in the divine promises will convince us, not only that the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly, but that it is also the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom. When, therefore, my dear friend, you feel the force of temptation, and you are assaulted with doubts, fears, and terrors, (than which nothing can be more burdensome to a real Christian), do not fail to exercise faith on the Son of God; consider his triumphs on the


cross; and remember, that all he did, and all he suffered, were for you. Lay hold on him as your only and all-sufficient Saviour, then shall he be to you, as Isaiah expresses it, chap. xxxii. v. 2. • As an hidingplace from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.' When Christians are distressed with convictions of sin, as David was, or fatigued with the troubles of this world, as Elijah, they find that in Christ, in his undertaking, his promises, and his consolations, which revives them, and keeps them from fainting; they who are weary and heavy laden, do indeed find rest in Christ. All the precious privileges of the new covenant are purchased by his blood, and communicated by his Spirit. How sweet are the promises to a believing soul! How delightful the knowledge of pardon, the assurance of God's love, the joys of the Holy Ghost, the hopes of eternal life, and the present earnests and foretastes of it, to those who have their spiritual senses exercised. If the pleasures of sin are hateful to us, divine consolations shall be sweet to our taste, sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. Now if Satan attempt to destroy your comfort, by suggesting that you must do so and so, and be this and be that, repel his temptation, by calling to your remembrance, that Christ has paid the whole debt, even to the uttermost farthing; and that in him you have a fulness of pardon, peace, wisdom, strength, righteousness, and salvation, all treasured up for you. O blessed free grace of God! O blessed be his name, for Jesus Christ! What a gift! and for whom ? for sinners ! for me and for you, my dear dear friend, to whom I am now writing. What says the everlasting God? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Can God lie? Can we have a better foundation to build upon than his promise and oath? O then, may we ever cast all our burden upon the Lord, seeing we are thus encouraged, and invited to do so, and lean on the beloved of our souls, and upon the promises of God in him. This will bear us up under all troubles, and fortify us against all temptations, for the Lord Jesus is our strength and our Redeemer. You complain of weakness, see then in whom you have strength, strength sufficient for you in every time of need; for, saith the Scripture, · As · thy day is, so shall thy strength be. God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.' My dear friend, lay up these gracious words of promise in your heart as your richest treasure, and confide in them as your surest support, counting nothing so certain as what God has said. While his children can live upon this fixed dependance on the Saviour's grace, all things shall work together for their good. The abiding sense of our own weakness will keep us dependant upon Jesus, and anxious to receive out of his fulness, so that the more we feel of our utter helplessness, the stronger we shall grow, because we shall live more upon him; which illustrates that seeming paradox of the apostle's, " When I am weak, then I am strong;" when I am most sensible of my own weakness, then am I strong in the Lord, bis strength is then perfected in me. According to the express testimony of the Scriptures, it is faith that brings peace and resignation to the soul; • Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' And again, • Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.' The conscience being first awakened to see its own defilement, and

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