At the Close of the Year
Let hearts and tongues unite,
And loud thanksgivings raise:
'Tis duty, mingled with delight,
To sing the Saviour's praise.
To him we owe our breath,
He took us from the womb,
Which else had shut us up in death,
And ... read more
Bitter and Sweet
1 Kindle, Saviour, in my heart,
A flame of love divine;
Hear, for mine I trust thou art,
And sure I would be thine;
If my soul has felt thy grace,
If to me thy name is known;
Why should trifles fill the place
Due to thyself al ... read more
Bodily Ills and Spiritual Health
Aug. 19, 1779.
My dear Friend,
Among the rest of temporal mercies, I would be thankful for pen, ink, and paper, and the convenience of the post, by which means we can waft a thought to a friend when we cannot get at him. My will has been good t ... read more
But for the Grace of God-Preaching in Prison
September 16, 1775.
When you receive this, I hope it will give you pleasure to think that, if the Lord be pleased to favour us with health, we shall all meet again in a few days. I have met with much kindness at London, and many comforts and mercies: ... read more
Christian Fellowship--Amusements--Walking in Darkness
My dear Miss,
The Lord brought us home in peace. My visit to **** was agreeable, and I shall often think of it with pleasure; though the deadness and dryness of my own spirit, a good part of the time I was there, proved a considerable a ... read more
Christian Humility--Christ's School--Friends
We are much obliged to you for your late visit; and I am glad to find that the Lord is pleased to give you some tokens of his presence when you are with us, because I hope it will encourage you to come again. I ought to be very thankful that our ... read more
Christ's Absences--Spiritual Experience
May 4, 1773
Methinks it is high time to ask you how you do, to thank you for your last letter, and to let you know, that though necessity makes me slack in writing, yet I can and do often think of you. My silence has been sometimes owing to want of ... read more
Comments on an Accident
September 4, 1777.
My Dear Sir,
---Poor little boy! it is mercy indeed that he recovered from such a formidable hurt. The Lord wounded, and the Lord healed. I ascribe, with you, what the world calls accident, to Him, and believe, that without His ... read more
Contrary Principles in the Believer
My dear Madam,
What can I say for myself, to let your obliging letter remain so long unanswered, when your kind solicitude for us induced you to write? I am ashamed of the delay, You would have heard from me immediately, had I been at home. But I have ... read more
Conviction of Sin--Awakening
August 14, 1770.
My Dear Sir,
Your letter did me good when I received it, at least, gave me much pleasure; and I think it has given me a lift while I have been just now reading it. I know not that I ever had those awful views of sin which you spea ... read more
Death--Academic Honours--Written Sermons
May 18, 1776.
Though I wished to hear from you sooner, I put a candid interpretation upon your silence; [I] was some[what] apprehensive for your health, but felt no disposition to anger. Let our correspondence be free from fetters. Write w ... read more
Dependence on Christ-God's Prescriptions
London, Aug. 19, 1775.
You see I am mindful of my promise; and glad should I be to write something that the Lord may be pleased to make a word in season. I went yesterday into the pulpit very dry and heartless. I seemed to have fixed upon a text, but ... read more
Dependence upon God--The Sense of Sin--Doubts
I may learn (only I am a sad dunce) by small and common incidents, as well as by some more striking and important turns in life, that it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. It is not for me to say, to-day or to-mor ... read more
Difficulties of the Ministry--Intimacy with Christ
January 16, 1775.
The death of a near relative called me from home in December, and a fortnight's absence threw me so far behind-hand in my course, that I deferred acknowledging your letter much longer than I intended. I now thank you fo ... read more
Disappointment--What is Necessary--God's Patience
August 17, 1767.
It is indeed natural to us to wish and to plan, and it is merciful in the Lord to disappoint our plans, and to cross our wishes. For we cannot be safe, much less happy, but in proportion as we are weaned from our own wills, and made s ... read more
It is well for those who are duly sensible of their own weakness and fallibility, and of the difficulties with which they are surrounded in life, that the Lord has promised to guide his people with his eye, and to cause them to hear a word b ... read more
Doubts and Fears--The Source of Assurance
Though I have the pleasure of hearing of you, and sending a remembrance from time to time, I am willing, by this opportunity, to direct a few lines to you, as a more express testimony of my sincere regard.
I think your experience is generally of the f ... read more
Doubts-- Christian Growth
June 20, 1776.
It would be both unkind and ungrateful in me to avail myself of any plea of business, for delaying the acknowledgment I owe you for your acceptable favour from-- which, though dated the 6th instant, I did not receive till the ... read more
Dying in the Lord
Nov. 27, 1778.
My dear Friend,
You are a better expositor of Scripture than of my speeches, if you really inferred from my last that I think you shall die soon. I cannot say positively you will not die soon, because life at all times is uncertain: h ... read more
The Lord, our salvation and light,
The guide of our strength and our days,
Has brought us together to-night,
A new Ebenezer to raise:
The year we have now passed through,
His goodness with blessings has crown'd,
Each morning his mercies were ... read more
August 20, 1776.
Though, in general, I think myself tolerably punctual when I can answer a letter in six or seven weeks after the receipt, yet I feel some pain for not having acknowledged yours sooner. A case like that which you have favour ... read more
Faith--Spiritual Knowledge--Seeking--True Repentance
December 8, 1775
My Dear Friend,
Are you willing I should still call you so, or are you quite weary of me? Your silence makes me suspect the latter. However, it is my part to fulfil my promise, and then leave the event to God. As I have but an imp ... read more
Faithfulness to Light Received--Resisting Sin
October 3, 1778.
You would have me tell you what are the best means to be used by a young person to prevent the world, with all its opening and ensnaring scenes, from drawing the heart aside from God. It is an important question: but I ... read more
Feelings vs. Spiritual Well-Being
January 11, 1777.
We all need, and at the seasons the Lord sees best, we all receive chastisement. I hope you likewise have reason to praise Him, for supporting, sanctifying, and delivering mercy. The cowardly flesh presently sinks under ... read more
Fellowship with Christ and Friends Contrasted
I am satisfied with your answer to my question: we are not proper judges of each other's circumstances; and I am in some measure weaned from judging hastily, that what would not be convenient for me must therefore necessarily be wrong for anothe ... read more
Godly Church Members
July 7, 1777
I have had a letter from your minister since his arrival at--. I hope he will be restored to you again before long, and that he and many of your place will rejoice long in each other. Those are favoured places which are blessed w ... read more
God's Love--Backsliding--London Grace
I found this morning among my unanswered letters one from you, but hope I left it among them by mistake. I am willing, however, to be on the sure side, and would rather write twice than be too long silent. I heard of your being laid on the bed of ... read more
Honouring God-Trusting His Methods
I promised you another letter; and now for the performance. If I had said it may be, or perhaps I will, you would be in suspense; but if I promise, then you expect that I will not disappoint you unless something should render it impossible for me to make ... read more
How Great is His Goodness!--The Journey to Heaven
May 28, 1775
You must not expect a long letter this morning; we are just going to Court, in hopes of seeing the King, for He has promised to meet us. We can say He is mindful of his promise; and yet it is not strange that though we are a ... read more
Illness--The Fast Day
Feb. 23, 1779.
My dear Friend,
On Saturday, and not before, I heard you had been ill. Had the news reached me sooner, I should have sent you a line sooner. I hope you will be able to inform me that you are now better, and that the Lord continues to ... read more
In the Lord's Service--Assurance--Our Shepherd
My dear Madam,
Your welfare I rejoice in; your warfare I understand something of. St. Paul describes his own case in few words, "Without were fightings, within were fears." Does not this comprehend all you would say? And how are you t ... read more
Interpreting the Bible
My Dear Friend,
Your letters are always welcome; the last doubly so, for being unexpected. If you never heard before of a line of your's being useful, I will tell you for once, that I get some pleasure and instruction whenever you wr ... read more
Joy and Peace in Believing
1. Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in his wings:
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after r ... read more
March, 1776. Dear Sir, I know not the length of your college terms, but hope this may come time enough to find you still resident. I shall not apologize for writing no sooner, because I leave other letters of much longer date unanswered that I may write s ... read more
Long Sermons--Loud Sermons--Itinerating
Sept. 10, 1777.
I was glad to hear from you at last, not being willing to think myself forgotten. I supposed you were ill. It seems, by your account, that you are far from well: but I hope you are as well as you ought to be; that is, a ... read more
If the Lord affords health; if the weather be tolerable; if no unforeseen change takes place; if no company comes in upon me to-night, (which sometimes unexpectedly happens,) with these provisos, Mr. S**** and I have engaged ... read more
Man Honoured Above Angels
Now let us join with hearts and tongues,
And emulate the angels' songs;
Yea, sinners may address their King
In songs that angels cannot sing.
They praise the Lamb who once was slain;
But we can add a higher strain;
Not only say, "He suff ... read more
Marriage--Time is Short
April 13, 1776.
I am rather of the latest to present my congratulation to you and Mr. **** on your marriage, but I have not been unmindful of you. My heart has repeatedly wished you all that my pen can express,, that the new relation in ... read more
Medical Decisions--Providence and Health
June 3, 1777
It seems I must write something about the smallpox, but I know not well what: not having had it myself, I cannot judge how I should feel if I were actually exposed to it. I am not a professed advocate for inoculation; but if ... read more
Mercy to Sinners
October 27, 1778.
My dear Friend,
I have been witness to a great and important revolution this morning, which took place while the greatest part of the world was asleep. Like many state-revolutions, its first beginnings were almost undiscernible; bu ... read more
More than a Calvinist
To be enabled to form a clear, consistent, and comprehensive judgment of the truths revealed in the Scripture, is a great privilege; But they who possess it are exposed to the temptation of thinking too highly of themselves, and too meanly of others, esp ... read more
Of the Practical Influence of Faith
In the days before the telephone, letter writing was done far more frequently than it is today. Since it was the mode of long-distance communication, the writers were far more polished at it than we are. For an earnest Christian, a letter was an opportuni ... read more
When slumber seals our weary eyes,
The busy fancy wakeful keeps;
The scenes which then before us rise,
Prove something in us never sleeps.
2 As in another world we seem,
A new creation of our own,
All appears real, though a dream,
And all ... read more
One Thing Needed
I think you would hardly expect me to write if you knew how I am forced to live at London. However, I would have you believe I am as willing to write to you as you are to receive my letters. As a proof, I try to send you a few lines now, tho ... read more
One Thing Needful
August 28, 1779.
My dear Friend,
I want to hear how you are. I hope your complaint is not worse than when I saw you. I hope you are easier, and will soon find yourself able to move about again. I should be sorry, if, to the symptoms of the stone, yo ... read more
Our Good Shepherd
March 18, 1767.
I can truly say, that I bear you upon my heart and in my prayers. I have rejoiced to see the beginning of a good and gracious work in you; and I have confidence in the Lord Jesus, that He will carry it on and complete it; and that you ... read more
Our Sense of our Sin
Our experiences pretty much tally; they may be drawn out into sheets and quires, but the sum total may be comprised in a short sentence, "Our life is a warfare." For our encouragement the apostle calls it a good warfare. We are engaged i ... read more
by your flying letter from London, as well as by your more particular answer to my last, I judge that what I formerly wrote will answer no other end than to be a testimony of my fidelity and friendship. I am ready to think you were so far det ... read more
Praise for the Incarnation
Sweeter sounds than music knows
Charm me in Immanuel's name;
All her hopes my spirit owes
To his birth, and cross, and shame.
When he came, the angels sung,
"Glory be to God on high;"
Lord, unloose my stamm'ring tongue,
Who should lo ... read more
Prayer Answered by Crosses
1 I ask'd the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and ev'ry grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.
2 'Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust has answer'd pray'r;
But it has been in ... read more