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€ 86 A Friendly Correspondence between an Unitctrian . and a Calmnist .
which he has promised to bestow openly upon such as seek him . * This Teward will consist in the graces of his holy spirit , which are love , joy and peace , long-suffering and gentlenees . f Those who observe our lives and conversations will judge of the degree in which we bear those fruits . I am
truly sensible of my barrenness , and deeply lament the defects of my character . The sense of these defects serves to close my lips and to impair my usefulness . I sincerely hope that your experience may enable you to win many souls to righteousness , and that you may shine like the sun in the kingdom of heaven * I .
* God is the judge whether we actually do pray unreservedly for a full conviction of the evil of sin . —We shall know in the next world , t Here again conviction of and feeling for the evil of sin is put away because it
is distressing . It is always put away and not suffered to abide a minute , if we c&n help it . The evil of sin , as our people understand it , principally consists in its being opposed to God ; and not in our suffering as the consequence of it .
All your arguments seem to me to spring from one source , namely , God ' s not having given you a thorough conviction of the evil of sin . —1 am quite sure you will not obtain that conviction but %
his gift—I entertain awful apprehensions of such teaching . May the Lord grant me his grace , so that I may be emboldened to pray for a full discovery of the awful realities of the eternal state ! "I
consider , that from motives of self-love ., and throughi our natural blindness , We are apt to underrate the evil of sin—that it is even salutary to contemplate the predicament so obnoxious to you , that we may be enabled to have a > most hearty quarrel with sin , and be prepared for and actually obtain all those delightful awl
glorious things which you anticipate , and which cannot be fully and purely realized through any other medium , I have witnessed inexpressibly awful mistakes and delusions in these matters - When sin is not duly appreciated , pleasing experiences terminate in unspeakable anguish aud disappointment . Such is the unsearchable deceitfulness of the human heart . It is
blindness and deadness not to perceive what the scripture says of the , evil of
sin-[ To be cGticHiCjled in the next Number . ]
abound . * There is a time for all things . —God turnath man to destruction , aad again he says , Return , ye chiMren of men . f Mercy rejoices vyer judgment , &c . I must reserve for another opportunity an explication of the text oa which you lay so much stress .
7- Tke case df the children marks indeed the severity of the law , and should render parents , who live under the gospel dispensation , deeply sensible of the superior privileges which they enjoy . ]; Death , however , is the
common lot of mankind ; and probably the form of death , as judicially administered , does not inflict more pain than is experienced by those who die in their beds- I cannot bring myself to think that the parents who were the executioners of their
offending offspring , had any suspicion that they were thus rendered the instruments of consigning them to endless misery . § A great and useful purpose was intended in thus manifesting the determination of God to cut off those
whose evil example tended to corrupt ^ nd degrade a people whom he had selected as the depositaries of his law , and as the instruments of reforming the world . They have for a while
been superseded in this office by the Gentiles ; but they shall eventually be restored to it under happier circumstances , " and so all Israel || shall be -saved . "
8 . I do not deem it consistent with the modesty enjoined by our Saviour , to talk about , far less to boast ^ f of private devotions . This is the only answer you will ever receive from me to
questions as to prayer . Whether or not we make a proper or pious use of the privilege of communing with the Father of Spirits , vvho seeth in secret , will be manifested by the rewards
* Iu a time-state . -f At the resurrection . 1 1 cannot admit this explanation ; I dare not . § We do not know to the contrary . || 1 leave with God what is meant by Israel . of
^ f Boast what A confessed backwardness to pray lor a full conviction of sin .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1824, page 686, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2530/page/46/