To the Rev. J. JENKINS.
DEARLY BE LOVED,
"ELECT, according to the foreknowledge of God," sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called: mercy and peace be with thee. As I am made manifest in your conscience, I can assure you that you are in my heart to live and die with you. The good work goes on within thee, and the work of an evangelist is going on without. Christ Jesus speaks by thee; he is in his chariot as the most mighty; and with his glory and majesty he rides prosperously. His sword is now on his thigh, and his arrows are sharp in the hearts of his enemies; many shall fall under him, and submit to him; and then truth, meekness, and righteousness, shall be administered, and the right hand of the Covenant Head shall teach the mystical body terrible things. "This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be spoken against." He is set on the holy hill of Zion. Some shall fall under him, and rise again; some shall stumble at him, and fall to rise no more, and they are such as speak against him: "For if they do these things in a green tree [of life], what shall be done in the dry?" in the vessels of wood, corrupt trees, wild olive branches, and withered boughs, gathered from their profession into the world's company? What shall be done in the dry? Why, "Tophet is ordained of old; for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large; the [funeral] pile thereof is fire and much wood." Pay no regard to these; fear not their fear, nor be afraid. God has set thee to root out, to pull down, to destroy, to throw down, to build, and to plant, Jer. i. 10.
There is a majesty in grace, whether in the bud or in the bloom. It buds in a contracted spirit, but blossoms in an enlarged heart. "Israel shall bud and blossom as the rose, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Thou art a stranger to that power and majesty which others at this time see in thee, and feel under thee. Wonderful execution is done, and that thou shalt know hereafter; therefore cast the bread of eternal life on the waters of confused multitudes, and thou shalt find it, in their confessions, after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight," the latter of which are not included in the number of perfection, and thus deliver thy soul as a faithful watchman, " for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth." If the cloud of witnesses be full of the water of life, they empty themselves with such drops of rain and dew as they have got; and, if the tree falls towards the south wind of the gospel or towards the north wind of the law, where the tree falls there it shall lie. He that observes every wind of doctrine shall not sow good seed; and he that regardeth every cloud without rain, and every well -without water, shall not reap, so as to gather fruit unto eternal life.
Go on, thou mighty man of valour: mighty in thy Saviour's might; and thou shalt deliver Israel. Plow up the fallow ground; discover the black, the dry, the stony, the thorny, and the barren soil. Lay the axe to the root; besiege, storm, demolish, and batter, the strong holds of Satan. Rip up, expose, and bring to light and to nought, every refuge of lies. Undermine their sandy foundations; and all the carnal ties and bonds of fellowship, union, or communion, that are not wrought by the Spirit, shall snap before thee, like Samson's bands and withes, when thou givest a shout as through wine: and depend upon this, that no man shall ever make thee glad, but the same that is made sorry by thee.
I wonder not that thou shouldest think thyself filled with devils. Satan has lost his fort-royal; his kingdom of darkness is discovered; the nail is rent; and the god of this world cannot blind thine eyes any longer. " Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear." Satan is attacked at the walls of Zion, and the sinners in Zion are afraid: fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites; no wonder, therefore, that the father of such falls like lightning. This is enough to make him smite thy house at all its four corners, and thy carcase with boils. But stronger is he that is in thee, than he that is in the world. Christ speaks by thee; and thou hast no more to do with the work now than I have. His word in thy hearers is not weak, but mighty. Thou art no more giving an uncertain nor a lifeless sound, Thou now standest in the truth, and canst do nothing against it, but for it. Thou art, and ever wilt be, consistent with thyself in doctrine, and in harmony and agreement with the oracles of God. Thou wilt detect thy hearers in all their guile, speak home to all their hearts, and be manifested in all their consciences; and beyond them, and before them, both in verity and power. Make no crutches, manufacture no 'kerchiefs, sew no pillows, heal no wounds slightly, prophesy no smooth things, sing no lovely songs, nor play pleasantly on any instrument but that which God has strung, Hab. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it out:" yea, "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell;" therefore spare not his soul for his crying. These proverbs speak unto us as to children, prefaced with the endearing appellation of My son,' &c. "Fret not thyself because of evil men." "Despise not the day of small things."A barley cake shall overthrow the tents of Midian and Kedar too; and, if thou breakest three hundred pitchers, all the lamps shall remain untouched, and they shall by thee receive damage in nothing.
Thy unbelief doth not at all stagger my faith in thy future deliverance. If thou believest me to be a prophet, then, "Believe in the Lord your God," says the king of Judah, "so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper," 2 Chron. xx. 20; for God will confirm the word of his servants, and perform the counsel of his messengers. Thou art filled with anxieties, to make thee earnest and zealous; and with doubtful disputations, to preach to perishing sinners, and that thou mayest appear to doubt of all their states. If buffeted by Satan, it is that thou mayest not be ignorant of his devices; and, if plagued with corruptions, it is to keep thee from crawling into the flesh. By all these means, and in all these things, thou art instructed; and thou wilt find that all the deep and lasting impressions God makes on thy soul will be little enough to keep pride down in thy future prosperity, and to enable thee to curb the various members of the old man.
As for thy old friends turning their backs, it is to let thee know that thou must stand alone; and, when thy future union to Christ takes place, they will sink into the dust of a balance, or the drop of a bucket. Pay no regard to being shut out of any pulpit. Thy work is all laid out by line, and no man shall perform what God has decreed for thee to do. No man can love thy ministry or cleave to it, without the will of God. It is he who reproves them that shall find favour in their eyes. Thou shalt fly thy kite, and they must hold the string. God's election reaches men's mouths and things. "God made choice of my mouth," says Peter. "Send men to Joppa," says God, "and call for Simon whose surname is Peter; lodged with one Simon [by name,] a tanner [by trade;] his house is by the sea-side." Let them rage; they shall never do Jenkins's work. God is fitting thee for great service; and will set thee as a tower and a fortress, to try their ways, to separate the vile from the precious, the chaff from the wheat, the wine from the water, the goats from the sheep, and the dross from the silver, that there may be a vessel for the finer, Adieu.
Thy brother in Christ, and companion in travail,