To the Rev. J. JENKINS.
My dearly beloved brother in Christ; my true yoke-fellow and companion in travail, and in the kingdom and patience of Christ: grace and peace be multiplied.
EVERY letter of thine confirms me more and more of the good work begun in thee. Thou art full of power, by the Spirit of God, to slew to Jacob his transgressions, and to Israel his sins. Thou art now a servant of Christ, and wilt never more be able to preach to please men. The offence of the cross has not ceased with thee now, but is revived. God Almighty bless thee, my dear brother. Go on, thou mighty man of valour, like a champion for God: stand like a brazen wall and an iron pillar. Thy face is like an adamant against the forehead of every daring rebel. God hath set thee to pluck up, to root up, and to throw down; yea, and to build and to plant. It is not thou that speakest, but the Spirit of thy Father that speaketh in thee; which, in the sinner's conscience, is not weak, but mighty. The word of God will mightily grow and prevail. His counsel shall stand; his pleasure shall be done: God will work, and none shall let it. Thou hast no more power over thine own heart or tongue now, in the pulpit, than I have over mine. Thou art now as God's mouth; his ambassador to personate him; and he is with thee as a mighty terrible one. In him thou art a tower and a fortress; set to know the people, and to try their ways. Thy pulpit is God's tribunal, and by thee God comes near to the sinner to judgment. Thou art made manifest in the sinner's conscience; and, like a watchman on his duty, findest, the sinner, takest the thief up, discoverest the disloyal and rebellious, and makest the sinners in Zion afraid; while fearfulness surprises the hypocrite. "Surely the wicked shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;" nor shall the people of Lewes have either dew or rain but according to thy word. They that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles have no rain; the cloud of witnesses distils no dew upon them; which is to be the plague of all that come not up to the feast of tabernacles: the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Be patient, my dear brother, and humble thyself under the mighty hand of God, and he shall exalt thee in due time. Thy faith has got a fast hold of the justice of God, of his truth, of his holiness, of his immutability, and of his terrible majesty; only lovingkindness and tender mercy are yet lacking in thy faith. Thou believest the law, the threatenings of the law, the dreadful fall of man, and all that the scriptures say of human depravity; and, ere long, faith will bring home, and bring in, the promise and the promised blessings. Thou art not yet come to that sacred spot where deliverance shall surely be wrought out. 'When their strength is all gone, I will appear; when they have nothing to pay with, they shall be forgiven; when they are last in their own eyes, they shall be first; when ready to perish, they shall come to the feast: when their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them.' To them that have no might he will increase strength; when there' is but a step between the sinner and death, life is at hand; when fast bound in affliction and iron, liberty cometh; when the snares of death and pains of hell encompass the soul, then God appears gracious and merciful. It is a cry from the belly of hell that enters the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Self-despair is the spot where deep calleth unto deep. The mercy-seat and self-despairing sinner are never far from each other. All that thou hast experienced, or mayest yet go through, will be found little enough to counterbalance thy future prosperity; and this thou wilt find when thou comest to return in the power of the Spirit, and the fame of Jenkins is spread abroad. The deep incisions made by the sword of the Spirit, and the various breaches made in thy broken heart, will only serve as so many outlets, hereafter to carry off the corruption that will appear under the swellings of pride and self-seeking, with which Satan will often ensnare thee. In future days thou wilt understand me perfectly. God is instructing thee with a strong hand, that thou mayest not say a confederacy to every one that is called a minister. He himself will arm and equip thee with grace in thy heart, and truth in thy mouth; and perishing sinners will find thee out without being decoyed by a popish robe, or a long band, and without being charmed or allured by a set of bagpipes or a box of whistles. Thou wilt as soon dare to become a popish priest as to set these snares within sight of the birds of paradise. It is needful that a minister of Jesus be well acquainted with the plague of the human heart, the severity of God, the spirituality of the law, the wiles of Satan, and the deceitfulness of sin; with the workings of unbelief; legal bondage, and the fears and torments that attend an awakened sinner. These things, when felt, make the sinner feel his need of Jesus; and a minister who has been in these fires can delineate the troubled soul, come home to his conscience, be acquainted with all his feelings, and will ever appear before the awakened mind as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Pay no regard to the letters that are sent you by ministers from London. The work is not yours, but God's; and what he has appointed for you to do, that you shall do, and no other shall. Your line is already chalked out, and your warfare is before you; and blessed be he that enlargeth Gad, and WO to him that straiteneth him.
Stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved; be valiant for truth; declare the whole counsel of God; and fear the face of no man. Adieu.