GOD has undeceived you; and I am more than sure that God's elect shall never be finally deceived. This has been my prop and my stay for many years in the Lord's work. As Satan is sure to send his bellman to cry me down, go where I may, this in reason's eye vexes and dejects me. But when faith considers that God made choice of Peter's mouth, that by him the Gentiles should hear the word and believe; and knowing that God works, and none can let it; that his election ordains, fixes, furnishes, and appoints, the mouth that is to bear the tidings to every chosen vessel; these lift me above Satan's schemes, and above his sounding bell. As soon as a man comes over to God's truth, to God's family, and into God's ways, the scriptures become his counsellors, his encouragement, and his support.
You tell me in yours that you are unhappy, yet you see what is wanting; and you see where your former minister stands, and what is wanting in him, as clear as the sun at noon day. If this be true, then hear what the Almighty -says to you, "And, though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers." Read carefully, and consider well, Isaiah xxx. 19-21. The people (meaning the elect) shall dwell in Zion. Zion is God's church, Isaiah li. 16. Jerusalem is God's covenant, Gal. iv. 24, 25, 26. Zion at Jerusalem is God's church in covenant with himself. God promises to he gracious to sinners at the voice of their cry, and to wipe away their tears of sorrow. Matters, both within and without, being adverse, or running contrary, and these being uppermost in the mind, and always before our eyes, are called sorrowful meat, the bread of adversity, or bread of murmurs; while the boiling of inbred corruption, the overwhelming floods of guilt, and Satan's rage, are called waters of affliction. Now, though God gives his people this provision, "yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers." May I not say, that at this time this scripture is fulfilled in your eyes and ears.
If a preacher stands in the flesh, in the letter, in bondage, in presumption, in himself, in human invention, in superstition; or if at ease in Zion, settled upon his lees, or in voluntary humility; he is hid to a convinced soul; such a preacher is ignorant of the furnace of affliction, of the cross, and of the path of tribulation; and a lost soul sees not where he is, being in a corner; not opening the gates, nor on the highway, casting up the road that leads to God, Isaiah lxii. 10. He is not raising the vallies, nor lowering the hills, Isaiah xl. 4. He is not on the walls of salvation, Isaiah lxii. 6; nor proclaiming upon the house top. But one that stands in Christ, without confidence in the flesh; if he stands in faith, in peace, in the liberty of the gospel, in the righteousness of Christ, in the power and presence of God, and in the light of the Spirit; he that stands in these things, and describes them, and the manner in which he obtained them, their blessed effects, and his own former wretched state while destitute of them, is a man that will be seen by the convinced sinner, and he will be felt too. But God goes on further, by saying, "and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left," Isaiah xxx: 21. This word behind is the voice of the Lord to a chosen vessel, when following a leader that causes him to err. And, as such souls are bewildered and distressed, they follow every lo here and lo there, which is turning to the right and to the left. But the Lord calls them back to himself by the voice of his Spirit; for he is the way to the Father, and the way of life.
You may see in these passages how the scriptures open, encourage, and fulfil, to convince sinners; for in them God speaks to such as you, and in you they are verified. It is true that calling on God with the lips, while the heart is far from him, is but mockery: but a soul in trouble about his immortal state is not a mocker. "Call upon me in the time of trouble," is God's command. Read Zee. xii. 9. Psalm 1. 15.
W. H. S. S.