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and he that is sound in faith, is a fellow of that society that is divinely and eternally royal, 1 Peter ii. 9; Rev. v. 10.

Ahimaaz. I perceive thou art a man of humour, as well as a man of grace, and certainly have a competent measure of natural abilities, as well as a profound experience; this I think appears plain to any observer; and as God has been pleased to send both into a ministerial channel, I believe they will appear much to his own honour, the good of his people, and to the confusion of the enemies of his cause.

Cushi. What I am, I am by creation and grace; you may discover me better than I can discover myself. But be assured of this, that there never were five pounds laid out upon me for human polishing since I have been in the world; nor is my deficiency in human learning any impediment in the way of usefulness. If God the Holy Ghost prepares a man's heart, and takes possession of it, he will create the fruit of the lip also, and give that man a mouth and wisdom that all his adversaries shall never be able to gainsay or resist. And for my part I have often thought that human learning has robbed God of one half of the glory that is due to him. I have read Cave's Lives of the Fathers till my heart has heaved at the work to see how the creature has been exalted. The leading account of every character is the piety of their ancestors; just as if grace was hereditary: secondly, their aptness to outstrip all others in

human learning: thirdly, their mortifying their bodies in a cave; just as if the devil and the old man of sin was not to be found in a cave, as well as in a city. And as for the Holy Ghost, he is hardly mentioned, though there is no such thing as mortifying any one deed of the flesh, to good purpose, but through him, Rom. viii. 13; and if grace be mentioned in that book, it is slightly touched just at the conclusion of a narrative.

Calamy's Life of Baxter is just such another rotten jumble of human excellency. The Holy Ghost is the regenerator, the renewer, and the ornamentor of every real Christian; and if he be not glorified by us, we shall surely be debased by him; "for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed," 1 Sam. ii. 30; or, as the Saviour says, "Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted," Matt. xxiii. 13.

Ahimaaz. It is right, certainly, that God in all things should be glorified through Jesus Christ. But allowances, my brother, must be made: some Christians have been drawn altogether by love, without any convictions at all; these, not feeling the plague of their hearts, nor the awful arrest of divine justice, will remain of a legal tincture, and their language is far from being pure. These are not properly evangelized; they are not brought off from all confidence in the flesh, consequently they will not savour so sweet of the dear Redeemer as those who have been chased by the terrors of

law and justice to embrace him as their only re fuge, and lay hold of him as the only hope set before them.

Cushi. God is a free agent, and will work on his people as it pleaseth him: but to be converted without repentance; to be born again without soul travail; to be forgiven without being convinced we have nothing to pay; to be healed without feeling our sickness; and to be saved before we find ourselves lost, is a mystery to me, and must remain so.

That God often begins to allure a soul by gospel promises I do not deny; but such generally find travail, and sickness too, before they arrive at God's tabernacle, or dwell on his holy hill. I have observed some persons, who have had their sharpest struggles with law and conscience, even on their death beds; and the very pains of death have hastened the pains of their spiritual birth, so that the birth of their souls just preceded the death of their bodies. Such have gone to glory, full fraught with the cordials of divine consolation. This I think agrees with the gospel sense of this text: "But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord, in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship, shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south. gate, shall go forth by the way of the north gate; he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby

he came in, but shall go forth over against it,” Ezek. xlvi. 9. And although some, as you observe, are very legal, and savour too much of the flesh, yet I believe, if they belong to God, that he will permit their fleshly confidence so often to deceive them, that they will be led to feel after him, who makes his strength perfect in our weakness; and as his blessed arm is made bare to them, they will be careful to speak to the honour of him whose power they feel; thus he turns to the people a pure language.

Ahimaaz. I have formerly observed several things which you have mentioned; and while you have been speaking they have occurred fresh to my mind; but I have not been so strict an observer of the works of God, and of the blessed teaching of the Holy Spirit, as you have, which is both my sin and my loss; as speaketh the Psalmist, "Whoso is wise and will observe those things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord," Psalm cvii. 43; and the more the loving-kindness of the Lord is seen, the more is the faith of a believer increased and encouraged. And sometimes God permits an unbeliever to be forcibly struck with real convictions, while he beholds the visible hand of God in supporting and bringing his own children out of difficulties, as the Queen of Sheba was struck at Solomon's wisdom; their false hopes give way, and their language is like that of the Psalmist, "I

had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living," Psalm xxvii. 13.

Cushi. The man that watches the dealings of God with him, both in providence and grace, he shall find the Lord's promise daily verified; “I will," says God, "make all my goodness pass before thee." Such watchful souls shall see many an obstacle removed, many a precious promise turned up, many an intricate providence made straight, many a knotty experience unriddled, many an enemy entangled in his own counsel, many a hint dropped for faith to catch, many a glorious beam to direct his steps, and many a sweet drop of divine consolation will be poured as an oil on his soul, which will dissolve the stubborn heart, and divinely sweeten and soften every unruly faculty: Thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord, and with favour will he compass him as with a shield, Psalm v. 12.

The penitential moan of Adam, as pathetic Milton paints it, is worth the notice of every tender-hearted Christian:

This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd
His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd
Presence divine, and to my sons relate,

On this mount he appear'd, under this tree
Stood visible, among these pines his voice

I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd:

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