June 10, 1807.
WHAT art thou about Where art thou? What is it thou art poring over and fretting at? Why so dejected and dismayed? Thy heart will never be better; heaven itself declares it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; and that every imagination of it is evil, and only evil. Thou foolish girl! God did not send his dear Son to mend or vamp up so vile, so filthy, so foul, so base a thing as that. He has opened and exposed it, and made its vile workings and base conceptions manifest; that thou mayest loathe it, and come out of all confidence in the flesh. God, my dear girl, has promised us a new creation; he creates in us a clean heart, and renews a right spirit; "This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. A new heart will I give them, and a new spirit will I put within them," &c. Love to Christ is what God sheds abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost; and this love is the new heart, or new affections, set upon new objects - namely, Christ, his truth, and his children. But then the vile, the corrupt, the carnal affections still remain, and are palmed on the old man; for this love, being new, makes the former old. Again, by a new heart is meant a purged, tender, honest, good, quiet and peaceable conscience. The stony heart is an evil, hardened conscience, said to be seared with a hot iron. An honest heart is an honest conscience, which does its duty, is faithful in its office, attends to its charge, acts with divine authority, turns a deaf ear to all carnal pleas, despises all dead works, takes no bribes, shuns partiality, and hates hypocrisy. He is to be a new conscience; and when furnished with peace, light, and the witness of God's spirit, he is one source of our joy; "My rejoicing is this, the testimony of a good conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost." This part of the new heart is the peaceable testimony of a man's conscience, which is influenced and impressed by the most Holy Spirit of the Almighty.
These things, my dear, are promised us in Christ, and God makes us new creatures in him. And, as these things are to be sought after, and God will be inquired of, that he may do these things for us, set thy heart on them; and look, watch, pray, and wait for them. God, by crossing, disappointing, provoking, and stirring up evil surmisings, suspicions, and jealousies, has softened, meekened, humbled and debased thy heart, and made conscience quick, tender, and sore, which runs, and discharges its grief, plague, bitterness, and sorrow, night and day. But this is not all that God has in store for us. No, bless his sweet name, there are better prospects behind the vail; a better treasure in the Holy Spirit's love; better tidings in the chief Shepherd's mouth; better fruits on the tree of life; and a more propitious countenance looking through the lattice.
Take heart, my dearly beloved and longed for; my joy and my crown, be of good cheer. Down with self, and come out of that den of dragons and court of owls; and then look to Jesus, and let us see what that will do. He says, "Look to me and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth, for I am God, and besides me there is no Saviour." And sure I am that he never balks the longing soul with an empty. and unmeaning call. My prayers have been put up for God to bless this.
Kind love to father and mother.
Q IN THE CORNER.