April 13, 1812.
I BLESS, honour, and extol, the God of my forefathers in the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for making me fruitful in my old age, which shews that my God is upright; for there are still sons born to Naomi in Bethlehem. Our place is much crowded, without the help of schools, organs, bagpipes, or singing men and singing women. The silver trumpet sounded by a free-born citizen of Zion, the harp of God, and the heart in tune by grace, make the best melody in the ears of the Lord God of sabaoth. My soul blesses him for having kept me from superstition, human inventions, voluntary humility, will-worship, and all gaudy show in the flesh; which is setting the ark on a new cart, and drawing it by beasts. The Lord's goodly horse in the battle is Judah, or Jew inwardly; and his state equipage is the chariot of his willing people: in this he rides with his sword girt upon his thigh; the girdle is faithfulness; his sword is his word; his bow is the tongue of his servants; his arrows are his reproofs; his sceptre is the ministry of the Spirit; his throne the affections of his people; and his loyal subjects, and the glory they ascribe to him, are his crown. This is our King, and these are the ensigns of his royalty. The ark was the type of all this, and Ezekiel's vision the antitype of the ark; and Christ, and the church under the gospel, the life, soul, and substance of all vision. And what call have we for a new cart, when poor sinners are so eagerly opening their hearts to receive him? And what call for oxen, when we have sanctified priests, whose shoulders are already bowed to carry both him and his cross, if he will but condescend to ride? Nor need we the arm of Uzzah, seeing the Spirit of the living creature is in the wheels.
Oh! what weights, fetters, and swaddling bands! what hoods and wails, webs, rust, and rubbish, have carnal men clogged the cause of God with! when every poor perishing sinner, who obtains a manifestation of Christ in his heart, knows that he receives at once all the religion that he wants for time and eternity. This was my case; God revealed his Son in me that I might preach him among the Gentiles; and I find that infinite wisdom needs no architect, omnipotence knows no obstruction. My enemies all call me an original; ' and I am sure that the religion of former days is better than theirs, and I believe that I have inquired wisely concerning this. The old outcry of Antinomian' is worn thread-bare, and the other scare-bird, called a bad spirit,' has no effect on the birds of Paradise, who flock like doves to their windows.
"They that honour me (says God) I will honour." God's darling Son is our sole delight; and the Father loveth us because we have loved him. It was the good hand of our God that burnt us out of the old chapel. We were to be no longer hid in a corner, nor kept in the back ground, but to go forth and shew ourselves; and we now seem a wonder to all about us, and a wonder to ourselves. The kingdom stands among us in the power of God; and it increases and enlarges on its own proper basis; while we see that all human pomp, intended to imitate it, and worldly policy used in the supply of it, visibly wither, fade, and' decay; and so shall every worldly maxim; for "the kingdom of God stands in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." And, as sure as I am a sinner, the empire of the devil is now propped up, varnished, and set off and supported, by the sacred names of ministers, gospel, grace of God, and the name of Jesus; for these names are all they have. But, as for the ministers of the Spirit, a regenerated family, and that gospel which is the power of God to salvation, these are not easy to be found.
Our united love to Mrs. B. and yourself concludes me
Your affectionate friend,