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30/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To Isaac Harrison – March 31st, 1843

My dear friend, Isaac Harrison

I am glad that I did not go to Leicester this last visit in vain. I felt encouraged by the good attendance all the times I preached, and the great attention shown by the people. I felt also some little liberty, and had ground to hope that the Lord was with me of a truth.

I believe I can say I delivered my conscience, whether men would hear or forbear to hear, and did not use flattering words. The result must be left with God, who works all things after the counsel of His own will. He alone can bless His own word. In these God-dishonoring days, when “truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter” doors, hearts, or chapels, it is a mercy to have an ear to hear, a conscience to feel, and a heart to embrace and love God’s simple saving truth. Too few in our day can move along without being flattered at every step.

Remove from hundreds their carnal motives, which keep them moving on in a profession, and they would stop as certainly as a locomotive would were all supply of steam cut off. And this seems to me the miserable office of many ministers — to keep their people moving along, by flattering them under various forms. Faithful and yet kind and affectionate dealing with their consciences is little thought of. So that when such people come to hear other ministers who speak to their consciences, they stand amazed at the novelty of the sound, and, if rotten at heart, kick and rebel against the unwelcome truth.

As Job says, “They rebel against the light” (24:13). And the Lord says they hate the light (John 3:20). I have been surprised so many would come to hear their death sentence read; but it was so in the time of the apostles (Acts 7:44). And I believe faithful preaching will draw a congregation where unfaithful will not. “Wisdom is justified of her children.”

Kind remembrances to your sisters and the friends.
Yours sincerely, for truth’s sake,
J. C. P.

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