Letters From Mr. Price to Thomas Goodwin
'As for trials of your own heart,' wrote Mr Price to him in
one of his letters, 'they are good for you; remember only this, that Christ in
whom you believe hath overcome for you, and he will overcome in you: the reason
is in 1 John iv. 4. And I say trials are good for you, because else you would
not know your own heart, nor that need of continual seeking unto God. But
without those trials your spirit would soon grow secure, which of all estates
belonging to those that fear God is most dangerous and most uncomfortable.
Therefore count it exceeding cause of joy, not of sorrow, when you are
exercised with any temptations, because they are tokens of your being in
Christ; which being in him Satan would disquiet, and carnal reason would call
in question. Yet stand fast in the liberty of Christ, maintain the work of
God's free love, which his good Spirit hath wrought in you. Say unto the Lord:
Lord, thou knowest I hate my former sinful course; it grieveth me I have been
so long such a stranger unto thee, my Father. Thou knowest now I desire to
believe in Jesus Christ, I desire to repent of my sins, and it is the desire of
my heart to do thy will in all things. Finding these things in your heart, cast
yourself upon the righteousness of Christ, and fear nothing; for God will be a
most merciful God in Christ unto you. Strive but a little while, and thou shalt
be crowned; even so, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.'
In another of his letters he thus wrote to him
'All your complaints are good, and will bring abundance of thankfulness in the end; for, mark it, in the Scripture, where the saints of God have complained for want of Christ, or any good thing from God in Christ, they have had ere long their hearts and tongues filled with thanksgivings and praise, Rom. vii. 24, 25. It is the surest state for our deceitful hearts to be kept in awe, and not to be as we would be, in perfection of grace. God knows the time when it will be best to fill us with his love, and to ravish us with his favour in Christ. In the meantime let us go on in faith, looking every moment for that day of gladness wherein Christ shall manifest a fuller sight of his blessed presence. I pray you fight it out valiantly by faith in Christ against base unbelief and proud humnility. I do assure you, and dare say it, you may by faith in Christ challenge great matters at God's hands, and he will take it well at your hands : yea, the more you can believe for yourself in Christ, the better it will be taken at the throne of grace. Now the Lord give you of his Spirit to help you in all things. The Lord keep your Spirit in Christ, full of faith and love to immortality.'
In another letter he thus wrote :- 'Your last complaint made in your letter of yourself is from spiritual insight of your unregenerate part. It is wholesome, for it being loathed and abbhorred, makes Christ in his righteousness and sanctification more glorious in your eyes daily. If this were not, pride and security would start up and undo you. Besides, I find you have great assistance from God in Christ. He ministers much light to you both of knowledge and comfort; and therefore you had need of some startling evils, to make you depend upon God's grace for the time to come, lest you should rest in that which is past. Let the Lord do what he will with our spirits, so he drive us from the liking ourselves in any sin, and make us long after Christ, to be found in him, and in los righteousness.'
In another he wrote thus:- 'Your letter is welcome to me, and your state also matter of rejoicing unto me, however it may seem unto you for the present. Know you not that the Lord is come to dwell in your heart, and now is purging you and refining you; that you may be a purer, and also a fitter temple for his Spirit to dwell in? All these things concerning the right framing of your spirit will not be done at once, but by little and little, as it shall please our gracious God in Christ to work for his own glory. Yet this you may have remaining ever unto you, as an evidence of God's everlasting love, that the marks of true chosen ones are imprinted upon you, and truly wrought within yon: for your eyes are opened to see yourself utterly lost; your heart is touched with a sense and feeling of your need of Christ. which is poverty of spirit; you hunger and thirst after Christ and his righteousness above all things; and it is the practice of your inward man to groan and sigh, to ask and seek for reconciliation with God in Christ. These things you have to comfort you against sin and Satan, and all the doubts of your own heart. Therefore when you fear that all is but hypocrisy, to fear is good and wholesome, but to think so is from the flesh, carnal reason, Satan, darkness, because it is against that truth which hath taken place in your heart, merely of God's free favour towards you in Jesus Christ. As for slips and falls, so long as your purpose is in all things to do the will of God, and to judge yourself for them, so soon as you find yourself faulty, fear nothing; for these will stick by you to humble you, and to make you loathe yourself the more, and to long after the holiness of your blessed Saviour which is imputed unto you for your holiness in the sight of God.'
It was thus this gracious minister of Christ, Mr Price, poured the balm of the gospel into his wounded soul, and God blessed it to heal and comfort it.
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