Cricklewood, March 1, 1809.
To my dear Friend, greeting.
YOUR epistle and its contents came to hand, and I thank you for it. This cold winter has been attended with continual rheumatic pains in my old tabernacle. But, blessed be the Lord God, he does not forget the seed of his dear Son, nor the rainbow of his covenant. His promise of life is fulfilled in us, and his bow remains a faithful witness in the heavens - that he will no more deluge the world, nor drown his children in destruction and perdition; both which are confirmed by oath; and this oath is for confirmation, to put an end to all strife between us and carnal reason, and between faith and unbelief; that the heirs of promise "may have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope God hath set before them." And blessed be God for evermore for such rich and noble security, which makes the promise of life sure to all the seed. How are we encompassed with the benignity, and with the divine provision, of bur God God the Father loving us, because we are enabled , to love and believe in his dear Son; Christ in the holy place ever living to make intercession for us; and the Holy Spirit in us helping our infirmities, and making intercession for us also, according to the will of God. And, for my part, I know not which is the greatest wonder of these three - the Father's everlasting love to us, his choice of us, and good-will of purpose and of promise in Christ; - the incarnation of Christ, and his finished salvation for us; - or the inhabitation of the Holy Ghost, and his regenerating and renewing work in us. These are most wonderful things to me, and were settled and ordained before the world unto our glory. But the last of these three is the nearest to us; the two former being already completed, immutably fixed, and sure and steadfast for ever. But our concern lies chiefly with the Spirit's work. We must make our calling sure; election and redemption being as sure as heaven can make them. Nor can the logic or cavils of Satan gain any credit with us against these. But against the Holy 'Spirit and his work in us; against our sonship, our faith and interest in these things, he labours with all his might.
Besides, in heaven Satan has no allies, though he has a large party of the disaffected in our hearts; I mean darkness, enmity, evil lusts, and unbelief. Hence the need of our attention to the Spirit's work, especially to him as the Spirit of adoption. He makes our sonship manifest by believing; "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." He cries, Abba, father, in us, when his cry and our faith agree: he bears his witness to our adoption, and makes conscience also bear the same testimony: he seals us with the fullest assurance, and anoints us with a joy that springs from love. My hands getting weak, and shaking, I have got my dame to copy this.
W. H. S.S.