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You have also heard, that your Creator will judge the world which he has made; and that the day cometh, when 'great and small shall stand before him, Consider, my dear children, what a joy it will be to any of you in that day to be able to say—“I know the Judge. I have trusted in his promises. I have remembered him in my feeble prayers and endeavours; and now I know that he will remember me.”
Does such an one wish to ask, “ Will he remember me? Will he remember me, should I die while a poor little child—and that, among the millions who shall stand before Him in that great day?-Will He indeed remember mE ?”—Hear what he says, (and when you hear any thing from his word, say to yourself, “ At least THIS is certain") · They that feared the Lord, spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my Jewels : and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.'
That these truths may be written in every heart, God of his infinite mercy grant for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
PARISHIONERS OF CHOBHAM AND BISLEY,
London, Jan. 16th, 1801.
MY DEAR PARISHIONERS:
My sending an address to you at this time, is in consequence of a violent attack, which I lately received from my old and painful disorder while at Chobham, and which obliged me to return suddenly from a situation which I found so prejudicial in the winter season. This prevented my expressing to you more at large what I now briefly attempt by a letter.
Nothing could render me more happy while I was with you, than to find that a serious regard to true religion had taken place in some of your minds. I trust I can say, with the Apostle, 'I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth :: 3 John, 4.
It was, however, with some anxiety, that I received the information that some of you had lately held such meetings for private religious instruction, as well as devotion, as may eventually prove inconvenient. I have lived to see that sometimes unforeseen and dangerous consequences have followed the best intentions: and also that the safest way of preventing such consequences is to meet the wishes of such as are religiously disposed, as nearly as propriety will admit. It was the opinion, therefore, both of myself and my valuable Assistant, that it would be expedient for one of us to pre
side in any assembly of yourselves that should be thought necessary for your edification.
edification. We considered that this would be the most advantageous means for securing at once Unity, Harmony, and Truth,-points highly essential in a day like the present, in which divisions and heresies of all sorts are rending the Church of Christ, and exposing his religion to the contempt of its adversaries. We thought, therefore, that the pious purposes of your assembling together would be fully answered, in your attendance upon our family-worship and exposition of the Scriptures on the Sunday evening, and one other evening in the week. But I meant this only as a resource in that season of the year, in which it would prove dangerous to my health (and perhaps to some of yours) to attend in the evening at Church, as I used to do in the summer. I am glad also to commend your ready concurrence with us in this measure.
With respect to the Doctrines of Christianity, I need not repeat what I have so lately enlarged upon among you. I will, however, remind you, that, next to what the Scriptures present, the best view which I ever met with of those doctrines, is to be found in the Articles and Liturgy of our Church. But, to say nothing here of the dangerous errors of some who oppose them, I wish you to beware of that Narrowness of Mind, which is so readly to catch and cavil, at a few expressions in them. For such objectors, we are apt to turn aside to vain and unprofitable janglings, doating about questions, and strifes of words : whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, and evil surmisings: 1 Tim. vi. 4. Let us rather be thankful that we live under a Government, which maintains a Church built upon the sound and evangelical principles of our illustrious Reformers, and which they sealed with their blood.
There is, however, one point which I see reason to mention more particularly : I mean the Spirit or Temper of Christianity. This, I fear, has sometimes not been sufficiently attended to, by even those, who have shown great zeal for its doctrines. We should attend, not only to what Christ and his Apostles spoke and did, but also to the spirit and temper in which they spoke and acted. We should mark how they conducted themselves, not only towards their friends, but towards their most violent enemies. With what patience and forbearance, with what sobriety and charity, did they recommend their faith! "Ye are witnesses,' says one, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblameably we behaved ourselves :' 1 Thes. ii. 10. Therefore, whether as Masters or Servants, as Husbands or Wives, as Parents or Children, be careful not to fall into so gross a mistake as to think it sufficient if you merely learn and maintain the Doctrines of the Gospel : but see also that you study and imbibe its Spirit ; and that ye so set it forth in your tempers, dealings, and conversations, at home and abroad, that, with welldoing, ye may put to silence the foolishness of wicked men : 1 Pet. ii. 15.
Besides which, by being thus not only almost but altogether Christians, you will prevail and prosper in several other important respects.
1. You will glorify GOD: you will shame his adversaries : you will prove the truth of his word ; and be bis witnesses, that He still, by his Spirit, dwelleth with men on the earth.
2. You will edify your NEIGHBOUR, by showing him what Christianity is, and what it does for men. You will show what it is to be a real branch in the True Vine; and thereby every sincere inquirer after
truth will be convinced of the reality and excellence of your religion, and be induced to seek after it.
3. You will hereby best assist your MINISTERS in their labours. What they declare and describe, you will prove and exemplify: so that we shall be able to say of you, as the Apostle did of the Corinthians, Ye are our Epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men : 2 Cor. iii. 2.
4. You will be YOURSELVES blessed in the deed.
I mean to return to you as soon as the precarious state of my health permits; and then shall hope for an opportunity of discoursing on these things more largely. In the mean time, you shall have my earnest prayers for your daily advancement in true religion ; and I request yours for me, as the best return which you can make or I can receive.
Beloved, let us fear nothing in a right cause. Only, to use the Apostle's words, 'let your conversation,' or general conduct among men,' be as it becometh the gospel of Christ ; that, whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and in nothing terrified by your adversaries : which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God: Phil. i. 27, 28.
With respect to my Parishioners in general, I desire here to express my grateful acknowledgments of the numerous civilities which I have upon all occasions received from them : especially for their remarkable attention to the discourses delivered by me to them from the pulpit.
I have reason, however, to lament, that there are some in my parish, who lately appear not only to have