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have a prospect as Moses had ; but you inust die before you can reach it. Do not then mistake the nature of your inheritance. Abraham had no possession till his death ; he then began to take possession of the estate he had purchased, to show that the righteous hath hope in his death : this was the true meaning of the Cave of Macpelah, and the expectation of the faithful Patriarchs, who are buried in that cave, is worth all the riches of all the Jews upon earth, as I hope you will think when you come to die.
If Christ suffered on the Cross, the doctrine of the cross will ever be essential to his religion. There is one respect in which we are all Jews, for the natural man never did relish this doctrine of the Cross ; there is indeed nothing in the world he hates so much ; but it is your duty to pray that you may love it and bless it, for the cross must be taken up by every follower of Christ; and if it be the cure of sin and sorrow, and leads to heaven, keep it as your life, and regard not what men say of you for so doing; for the time will never come when your Saviour will not be rejected of the world: but think not the worse of him for that. Though like
Joseph, he was hated and sold, he is, “ gone before to preserve life,” and prepare a place for us.
If the hope that is set before you is great, so also is your danger. Your forefathers after all the promises they had received, and all the mighty works they had seen under Moses, left their carcases in the wilderness, and fell short of Canaan. This sinful world has all the temptations of Egypt, to seduce your affections from the living God; and may be remembered to your ruin as it was by your forefathers. They displeased God by an attachment to an outward religion: but no religion can be pleasing to him, without the religion of the heart, and an eye. that can discern spiritual things. Having now, by your reception of the Gospel, obtained the true key to the Law and the Prophets, you ought to see farther into them every day : to which end I would earnestly recommend unto you the diligent reading of the epistle to the Hebrews, in which their spiritual use is unfolded at large.
After what we have learned from St. Stephen, let us conclude with a prayer to Almighty God, that with the doctrine of that blessed Martyr, the light which shone upon his face may shine
inwardly upon our hearts: then shall we at length see what he did: we shall see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Amen.
N. B. The respectable persons, to whom the foregoing Letter is addressed, being a brother and his two sisters, were baptized, with true satisfaction and comfort to themselves and to their pastor, on Monday the 18th day of March, 1799, by the Rev. George Gaskin, D. D. Rector of Stoke. Newington, Middlesex, in the church of that parish, and were confirmed, on the Saturday following, by the Right Rev. Beilby, Lord Bishop of London, in the parish church of St. Andrew, Holborn.