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you holy as well as happy? and do you find his ways delightful to you? Is a day in his house sweeter to you than a thousand spent elsewhere? and do you desire to continue in his ways? Do you dread going back? and is it the ardent wish of your heart, that you may be kept by his power through faith unto salvation? If you can go with me thus far, I have no doubt but you will go with me a step farther, that is, to heaven; for the Lord who gives grace, gives glory also; none but the disciple indeed, can go thus far; mere professors know nothing of these things.
In the next place, how is it that disciples indeed continue in the word of Christ, and by so persevering, give evidence of what they are? Even because they are like the house that is founded upon a rock; the floods arise, and the winds blow, and the rain descends, but the house stands safe, because it is founded upon a rock; so the believer is built upon Christ; he is a sure foundation; and another reason is, because God the Holy Ghost has promised that he will abide with the christian forever, John xiv. 16. None but he who first made the christian, can keep him when made; it was God the Spirit first quickened you; had it not been for his almighty and gracious influence, you might have sat under the gospel a million of years, and remained dead in trespasses and sins; and I would wish you to remember and never forget, that even now you are not sufficient to think a good thought of yourselves; you cannot keep yourselves a moment from sin; you cannot overcome the world or the devil, but by the almighty power of the
Holy Ghost; if he has wrought divine faith in your hearts, remember you cannot exercise that faith, nor any other grace, but while under his influence; you can have no spiritual strength, no increase of grace, no divine consolation, but from him; therefore, prize him highly for he has promised to abide with you for ever it is only he can make his word powerful and profitable to you; therefore pray much for his presence and influence and teaching: seek him in all his ways, for we can do nothing spiritual without him; love the means of grace, use them diligently: he has promised to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, Luke xi. 13. "And," says the Lord, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly:" never be satisfied with present attainments, but seek after more. The promise is, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength," Isa. xl. 31. Search the scriptures, and carefully avoid all erroneous preachers and books; let the bible be your chief study; visit other good authors sometimes, but dwell with the word of God. You will find many spiritual enemies to encounter with; there is much contained under these three heads, the world, the flesh, and the devil; but remember, this is the victory, even our faith, 1 John v. 4. There is nothing can conquer sin and Satan, but faith and prayer; but faith and prayer assuredly will conquer, because Jesus Christ, who is the object of faith, is almighty to save, and has promised to save; he is always faithful to his engagements, and when faith lays hold of his power and faithfulness, and calls upon him to fulfil his word, this brings the very omnipotence of Jehovah to the be
liever's aid, and then sin and Satan fly before him, and the christian experiences the truth of that word, "to him that believeth, all things are possible," but yet remember the power is God's and not the christian's.... We do not always conquer, because we are slow of heart to believe the promises of God, and his power and faithfulness to fulfil them; for want of this, the christian is often worsted by his spiritual enemies, but notwithstanding this, he that is a disciple indeed, shall overcome at the last; he shall endure to the end, because he is kept by the mighty power of God, through faith unto salvation. God is glorified by the perseverance of his saints in holiness; and by so continuing in the good ways of God, they prove to the angels, and to devils, to good men, and bad men, that they are disciples indeed, and also get a good evidence to their own souls, that they are amongst the number of those of whom Christ says, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand," John x. 8. I could say a great deal more upon this subject, but having already exceeded the moderate bounds of a letter, shall postpone any further remarks till another opportunity, and shall conclude with observing, that they who know most of divine things in this world, know but little; they who are most kept by the power of God, have most reason to be thankful: by faith we stand, "but let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall," we are never safe but when we are nothing in our own eyes; when we are weak, then we are strong; when we are most sensible of our own weakness, then the power of Christ rests upon us. May you and I, then, my
dear friends, be very humble, very thankful; may we press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; may we be enabled to glorify him on earth, and may we meet in his kingdom to praise his name, and to ascribe salvation to God and the lamb, throughout the countless ages of eternity.
I am, my dear friends,
MARIA DE FLEURY.
TO MRS. B..........
MY DEAR MADAM,
It is with the greatest pleasure imaginable, that I sit down to fulfil my promise of writing to you the first opportunity; indeed, those whose hearts are united in the sacred bonds of friendship, find it a most agreeable privilege to be able to converse together, when distance of place puts a separation between them. I hope you are better in health and spirits, than when I saw you last. Ah, my dear friend, why do you give yourself up to sorrow and anxiety? Is it because you have no reason to rejoice? that must be impossible indeed, immoderate grief is both unreasonable and unprofitable, and therefore I cannot but blame you for indulging it; yet do not be angry with me, for though I blame you, it is, I assure you, with a heart which sincerely sympathizes with your affliction: I am not a stranger to trouble, I am not a stranger to grief; and I know, when carried to excess, it is dishonoring to God, and unprofitable to us...." Let not your hearts be troubled," said the compassionate Redeemer to his disconsolate disciples, when they were sinking under dreadful apprehensions of losing the presence of their best friend: but alas, how apt are our hearts to be troubled upon much slighter occasions; in