Church Street, Paddington, Jan. 25, 1793.
My dearly beloved Brother C.
I HAVE heard by Tommy B. that thou art sick, but I hope that this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby. - I have been for some days confined to my room through a violent cold, but am at present getting better, blessed be God for it. These clay tenements, Brother C. are dropping through; the inhabitants are only tenants at will, suffering the good pleasure of the landlord: but, if the earthly house of these tabernacles were dissolved, we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; where the inhabitants shall no more say I am sick, for the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. These buildings were finished from the beginning; they were prepared a second time, by the appearance of Jesus in his mediatorial office; there "I go to prepare a place for you;" and Christ is now in full possession of the glorious mansions: in our names, and in. our nature, he appears in the presence of God for us, and we are raised up, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; and are, as considered in him, without fault before the throne; being complete in our head, accepted in the beloved, and blessed with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God sees no sin in that Jacob, nor perverseness in that Israel, that stands complete in him, who is the head of all principality and of all power; from whom distils every drop of joy, every beam of hope, every refreshing and reviving cordial, and every replenishing shower of heavenly grace. "He shall come down as showers upon the mown grass, and as rain that waters the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish, and the abundance of peace so long as the moon endures." This, my brother, is the stone which is set at naught of so many builders, whom the Father has made the headstone of the corner; who by his eternal love cements and holds both the family of heaven and earth together. Under this sovereign head of all divine influence the Psalmist took up his refuge, till every calamity was overpast: he is our hiding-place, our resting-place, and our dwelling-place in all generations. "Put ye on, therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk in him;" walk in his strength, leaning upon his arm; walk in his righteousness, and in that peace which he has made by the blood of his cross; walk in the liberty that he has proclaimed, and in that love that he has revealed; walk in the faith that he is the author of, and in the light of his countenance. Such souls walk in Christ, and they walk with Christ.
The potsherds are at this time very busy, striving with the potsherds of the earth. Wars, and rumours of wars, are begun; commotions and insurrections are hatching, both at home and. abroad. Some speak evil of the dignities of heaven, and others of the dignities of the earth. The baser sort are for handling the reins of government; and many are so involved in politics, as to forget and neglect their business. Whether all these are the beginning of sorrows, I cannot determine; but this I know, that Jesus reigns, and his throne and kingdom will never be given up to another; though I have some fears that I shall live to see London an Aceldama; the bowels of Britain are sadly convulsed.
I hope Providence will make thy bed in this thy sickness, and give thee patience and submission to the sovereign will of God, who does all things well; and, although afflictions are not joyous but grievous, yet they serve as purging draughts, and do yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness in those that are exercised thereby. God hath chosen us in. the furnace of affliction, and promises to take away our dross and tin, and to make us more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. - Tender my respects to Mrs. C.; the same to Miss, and to all friends; while I remain, dear Brother, your companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Christ,