July 17, 1807.
To the Son of my Vows greeting.
GRACE, mercy, and peace, be with my son, through our Lord Jesus, the darling of heaven, and the endless all of Zion. My outward man waxes old, but the new man has nothing to do with time; he is not of the earth, nor earthy. The incorruptible seed is of the second Adam, the quickening Spirit, the Lord from heaven. Out of his fulness all grace flows, and is the fruit of a second birth; and every grace has spiritual and divine life in it; hence called "the grace of life," which must and shall reign till a life of glory takes place. From this divine principle we are denominated sons, which is an everlasting name raised up in the dead soul, "an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." And this grace of life lies in quickening the soul, and giving it feeling, sensation, and motion towards God, and affections to him and the things of him; in removing the sting and sentence of death; in justification unto life; in a lively hope; and in faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. This divine nature is of the everlasting Father; and where this is, all such are the body of Christ, and members in particular. This is the inner man, the hidden man of the heart; and this poor wise child is better than the old and foolish king, that will no more be admonished; for out of prison he cometh to reign, whereas this that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. Find out that riddle, and attend to this new man; he is fed by reading, meditating, and prayer; by watchfulness upon the providence of God; by the atonement, sacrifice, and satisfaction of Christ; by his righteousness and intercession; by the light of God's countenance, and by the influences of his Holy Spirit. Such things feed this new man; and he grows and thrives wonderfully upon a tender and pure conscience; and will be strong or weak, bold or timorous, high or low, lively or dormant, active or listless, according as conscience is kept and attended to.
If a man, like Paul, exercise himself to keep a conscience void of offence, such God says walk with him in peace and equity; "holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience." But, if conscience be neglected, faith gets lame by doubting and fearing; and shame following such neglect, the soul gets shy at the mercy seat; and then that which is lame is turned out of the way, and not healed; and such are ready to halt; having sorrow continually before them. Such, if they are cheerful in company, are sad in solitude, for, "even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness."
Tender my love to your spouse, and all friends. Ever yours,
W. H. S.S.