Sept. 3, 1805.
Dearly beloved in the Lord,
THE contents of your last comforted me. God has promised to renew us in the spirit of our mind; that is, as I conceive, the labour, toil, and perpetual workings of the Mind, are called the spirit of it. Hence we read of the carnal mind, and the enmity that works in it; of the worldly mind, and the anxiety of that after worldly treasure; and of the vanity of the mind, it being defiled, and of its vain workings. But, when the Spirit renews it, and makes known the laws of the Spirit, which are written in the mind and the conscience, then we are said to have the mind of Christ respecting ourselves. Conscience at the bottom doing his office, the mind is obliged to attend to its dictates, and to meditate on his reproaches, or on his testimonies, while heavenly things in the mind bring life to the soul, and peace to the conscience. It is with the mind, as far as I am enabled to discern, that God is pleased to commune by his Spirit: and, as this faculty of the soul cleaves to, reclines on, and rests in God's word, dictates and counsels; so in proportion is the mind composed, fed for meditation, and entertained with fresh discoveries; as it is written, "I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me, and will save him, because he trusteth in me." Frequent reading and frequent prayer feed the mind, -and afford it matter to work on; and, as it works, dives, and plows into the mysteries of redemption, so it affords matter of wonder to the understanding, and matter for love to the affections. Hence Paul says, "So then with the mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." Meditation greatly encourages and strengthens faith; and a full persuasion in the mind is no less than the assurance of faith. - "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
I am not a little delighted with the contents of yours; nor have I been permitted to leave the throne without acknowledging the goodness of God to thee in my poor way, and with some degree of gratitude to him, which springs from his own love. For, to tell you the truth, I used to think that you did not come up to the standard of Christ; namely, that you had not arrived at that state which fixes and assures the heart, and consists in these four things. First, such a compliance with convictions, as for confession and prayer to move in concert with them. 2. To come out of the furnace with that submission to God's will, which sanctifies afflictions, and brings peace. 3. To be at a point of certainty about the goodness of your state. And 4. to delight in God and in his ways, which is called joying in God, (Rom. v. 11.) or the joy of hope.
Farewell! Grace and peace be with thee. So prays