I BELIEVE that this unusually cold weather is no more friendly to my friend's gout than it is to my rheumatism. I have had more of those pains this month than I had during all the other part of the winter. A complex creature, however, made up of three men, must expect changes. The outward man decays, the inward man has some renewings, and the old man is a plague to both. He never sweats nor tires, nor ever fears or faints; but works without intermission, striving for the mastery, and calling for obedience; and is dotingly fond of lenity, indulgence, gratification, and a mantle of corrupt charity. This, however, I can see in the Lord's light - that the outward man is the work of God's hands, given to Christ, and is by no means to be lost, but raised up at the last day. The new man is the new creation, created in Christ Jesus, and must both live and reign.
The old man has the devil for his sire, and was begotten on Eve's mind by faith in a lie, of which Satan is the father; and the conception is enmity, seated in a carnal mind. With this fleshly mind the law of sin is loved. "It is not subject to the law of God, nor can be;" but to the law of sin alone. This is the root, from which malice, hatred, envy, rebellion, and stubbornness, all spring. And, as for the root of the new man, it is love.
The clearest and fullest account of these two principles, that I have yet discovered, is in Exodus xx. 5, 6; where you will find internal hatred, and love in the spirit, to be the two principles, the two roots, and the two real earnests of hell and of heaven. One was completed in the Jews when Christ pronounced these words, "They have seen and hated both me and my father;" and the other will be completed when, as Christ says, they shall be made perfect in one - in one Spirit, in one principle, in one crowning grace; and that is to be made perfect in love. And these two principles become mature and ripe, and fill each vessel, the vessels of mercy and those of wrath. The one is filled, fitted, and ripened, by hating the saints, and the power of God in them; the other by loving the children of God, and the pure gospel of Christ. In the former, the Jews filled up the measure of their fathers, and by the latter the saints passed from death unto life. Envy in the adversaries is the evident token of perdition; and to be hated for love is an evident token of salvation, and that of God. And these are the two places for the two vessels, heaven and hell, in a saint's compass.
But I must conclude this subject, and turn to myself; concluding that, if this sharp weather lasts much longer, I must send to Lewes, and engage some of his Excellency's mourners. Read Jeremiah ix. 17, 18, where you have a sweet account of these sympathizing souls. Farewell
Grace and truth be with us.
W. H. S. S.