The Doctor to his beloved Friend sendeth greeting.
I ALMOST long to see you; but this cold, unfavourable weather, and these cold easterly winds, disagree with my lungs, and cause a thickness and shortness in my breath, so that I am afraid to venture into the country. But there is a better country, a more enduring substance; and both the sun and wind of that country differ much from the sun and wind of this. The Sun of Righteousness never goes down, and the south wind never abates. It is the south wind that blows on the spouse's garden, and makes the spices to flow out. Faith goes forth and attends prayer, and exercises itself upon her own Father and his fullness. Hope watches, waits, and expects her welcome return; when Love embraces the supply, and sends up her grateful acknowledgments to her most bountiful supplier and provider. "Awake, O north wind! and come, thou south! blow upon my garden, that the spices may flow out," and send up their spicy fragrance and odoriferous perfumes as a sweet-smelling savour to our God.
God delights in his own implanted graces, and takes notice of every grace and fruit that his Spirit produces. "The fear of the Lord is his treasure." He "takes pleasure in them that fear him, in them that hope in his mercy." - Faith also. - "Well done, good and faithful servant." Love. - "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high because he hath known my name." Humility. - God dwells with the humble and contrite heart. Meekness. - "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly." "The meek will he guide in judgment; the meek will he teach his way." Self-loathing. - "You shall loathe yourselves in your own sight when I am pacified towards you." Submission. - "He repented and went," and did the will of his father.
These, my beloved, are the Lord's own plantation; upon these the heavenly gales blow; upon these the showers of blessings fall; upon these the dew of heaven distils, under which the dead sinner and the drooping saint revive. "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs." This makes the saint a sweet savour unto God, as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed; and, as the word of God is to illuminate and instruct, to reprove and rebuke, to correct and to direct, to revive and comfort, to strengthen and encourage, to animate and support the saint, when preached in its -native purity and simplicity, so the grace of God within agrees with the joyful sound without; these bound and rebound, echo or reflect, and move in concert together. God's truth in his promises is the joyful sound, when grace in its operations and exercises dances and keeps pace with it.
W. H. S. S.