A Letter To A Brother In Christ – March 16th, 1830
March 16, 1830
My dear Brother,
I am happy to say that the sermon has been blessed by God in this neighbourhood, and consequently has made a very great stir. I received a letter from a poor man at some distance, thanking me for printing the sermon, as it has been a comfort to his soul and to others. Of course I shall have neither the praise of the unbelievers, nor their good wishes. The gospel is a fan that will separate the chaff from the wheat. The Pharisees and philosophers get but little hope from me, and will, therefore, seek more flattering preaching elsewhere. I am thankful to say the Lord enables me to be faithful; but it will avail nothing to assent to this or that doctrine, unless the Lord writes it on the heart. What is received in the flesh is all nothing, for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, nor can he know them; consequently a man must be born again of the Spirit to understand then. By nature there is no difference among us; we are all sprung from Adam, and Christ says, “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.” The Scriptures make no distinction in us; we are all vile sinners. “What then? are we better than they? no, in no wise.” (Romans 3:9)
The more you know of the truth in a spiritual way, the humbler you will be. To know the mysteries of the gospel it is necessary that you be taught of the Spirit, so as to divide the law and the gospel, and the flesh and the Spirit. Then you will understand the two covenants. Read your Bible frequently. The whole work of salvation is Christ’s, and Christ’s alone. It is to Him we owe all blessing, in Him all fullness dwells, and we are complete in Him. If you can understand and realise that, happy are you. Faith will not profit you without love to Christ and His people. He will then be precious to your soul, and you will rejoice in Him. You will see when the true light shines into your heart, that you are vile and sinful. You will say with the Bride, “..I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me.” (Songs 1:16) We must be taught of God, that we are not even able to think a good thought. We shall then give all the glory to God, and shall not then think that we can choose between good and evil. A child must be born before it receives milk, and so must man be born again before he can receive the sincere milk of the word.
Praying that grace, peace, and love may be multiplied,
I am yours most affectionately,