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venly Jerusalem, I am already overcome with thine excellent beauties! O what must it be when put in full possession! And, even now, nothing hinders mé from feeding on the fattest of my comforts, but this thin and almost rent vail of mortality. Let it once be rent, as soon as it will, and I shall with unspeakable joy sustain all the stupendous blaze of thy unsullied glories.
I long, o I long to join yonder glories throng, vonder radiant church in the realms above ! I long to press into yonder bright assembly which by faith I see surrounding the eternal throne, that I might mingle my humble notes with their harmonious voices, and with them sing the praise of God and of the Lamb. Hasten thy peace, o ever tardy time ! Ye moments swiftly end your destined flight' Lord, shake my glass, that the sands may speedily pass through. But I see, holy and reverend is his name, that there remains but a few particles more in the life-end of my glass, and they will speedily be down, then face to face I shall see the glorious object of my supreme delight, and for ever offer up perfect adoration to him that loved me, and washed me in his dlood. With unspeakable delight I shall behold that glorious face which once was marred with shame and spitting. I shall behold him for myself, and not for another. These eyes which have so often turned aside after vanity, these very eyes shall in transport gaze on the King in his beauty, this tongue shall delight to praise him eternity along, and these hands, which once were the instruments of unrighteousness, shall cast at his majestic feet the glorious crown wherewith this worthless head shall soon be adorned. O happy, happy day, that brings home the longing exile, and lands the weary pilgrim upon the shore of rest, to be ever, ever with the Lord!
Fidelia finishing here, her friend again said to her -My dear sister, I rejoice with you, that the Lord is pleased to indulge you with such a measure of his sensible presence, on this, which otherwise would be a day of severe trial to you ; but the Redeemer's pre
sence makes even Death itself not only tolerable, but desirable and easy. But in the midst of your sensible enjoyments, you seem as if you had forgotten your three little children; tell me, Fidelia, have you no uneasiness at the thoughts of leaving them behind you, in a land of sin and sorrow? Would it not with submission to the divine will, be desirable to you to be spared to see them brought up to a capacity of doing for themselves?
To whom Fidelia replied : The Lord hath been a husband to the widow, and I am persuaded he will be a father to the fatherless, and an all-sufficient stay to the helpless orphan. My children are dear, but
my Saviour is infinitely dearer to me, and I have got such a taste of the grapes of the heavenly Canaan, that I cannot think of abiding on this wilderness side of Death. My heart is already gone over, O why do I tarry any longer behind ! but the Lord's time is the best Pray for me, my friends, that I may not offend the best of Beings by my impatience to be gone, but submissively wait for the dissolving moment. Then her friend tenderly rejoined : But have your companions in warfare no weight at all upon your mind? Can you with pleasure leave them in this inhospitable world ? She replied: Alas my friend, of what service can my presence be to a warfaring church? I can be of no use at all. But, I know that he who hath chosen, purchased, and sanctified it, will safely keep it, and every individual member of it, to the perfect day: for of all whom the Father hath given to the Mediator, he hath not lost, he will not Jose any thing, no, not the weakest, or the most contemptible; for all shall be gathered safe to his heavenly kingdom...
Give the immortal love of a dying woman to our fellow church-members, and tell them from me, that it is the last request of their dying friend, that they live at a greater distance from the world. There is, alas ! too much, by far too much likeness betwixt the precious children of God and the children of the world. Some of them, in a manner very unbecoming, court the santastical honours, and others seem too eagerly to thirst after the perishing unsatisfactory riches of this transitory and delusive world, which, if they could obtain, would all lose their beauty on a dying day. : 0! a dying day gives us clear views of things, and exceedingly diminishes the value of gold and silver. Bid them, therefore, behold the profits and honours of this world with death-bed eyes, then they will readily declare that all is: vanity. And others of our friends there are, who but too much delight in the vain and empty pleasures of the flesh, which at best are no more than anærial dream. But, O! tell them from me, that the honours of life are lighter than. chaff, and will all be driven away when Christ comes with his fan in his hand, thoroughly to purge his floor ; then my friends, they will appear lighter than nothing, and altogether vanity. Othat they could be persuaded, that gold and silver is one of the most dangerous burdens that a Christian possibly can carry; the love of money is the root of all evil. They will never repent when they come to a death-bed, that they are not rich, and cannot leave fortunes for their children. Tell them, that if the Almighty, in his wisdom, sees that riches are for their good, he will, in his benevolence, bestow them without their immoderate care, or without injuring their minds in the least. O! let Christians beware of accounting gain to be godliness. Tell them from me, that the pursuit of worldly pleasure is the certain way to dishonour their God, and destroy the peace of their own souls. O persuade them, as Christians, to seek the things which come from above, where the blessed Jesus sitteth at the right hand of God. Let them know, that, conformity to the vain customs of itbe world, is highly injurious to the cause and interest of Christ, and has a natural tendency to harden poor sinners in their rebellion against God. When they come to a death-bed, as I am now, all those names of honour, the applause of mankind, and all the comfort which springs from the possession of riches, will vanish away as empty vapours and smoke. Verily, all things here below are vanity. The divine religion of the ever-loving and ever-lovely Jesus is the one thing needful: the only thing that will yield satisfaction on a dying day.
Fidelia having exhausted her strength, remained a considerable time silent, and Veratio turned himself toward me, and said.
Now, Novitio, this is divine religion with a wit. ness! Here are riches in the midst of poverty; health in the midst of sickness; joy in the midst of pain ; and glory rising out of misery. What an exalted soul is this! How much of heaven is now let down into this blessed Cottage ! How glorious ! how excellent is thy religion, O thou amiable Saviour of mankind! Blessed is he, the life of whose soul is the only begotten of the Father!
Know, my friend, that Fidelia was daughter to a worthy tradesman named Philalethes, one who was a constant lover and a punctual observer of truth, as all that dealt with him would readily testify. Philalethes was parent to a numerous offspring, whom he carefully instructed in the principles of religion. As soon as his tender infants began to lisp forth their innocent and child-like pratlings, he used to deal with them as rational creatures, and studied to impress their minds with a sense of the greatness and omnipresence of God; particularly of the purity of his nature, and his utter aversion to sin. It was his constant custom to maintain regularly, at a certain hour twice a day, the worship of God in his family, at which he took care that no business, however urgent, should hinder the attendance of either children or servants, accounting it his honour, as he found it his pleasure, to go before his family in the worship of their Maker. And well Ķnowing that the Almighty delighteth more in the gates of Zion than in all the dwellings of Jacob, he carefully led his whole family duly to attend the public worship of God, during which he accustomed his children, from their youngest years, to a decent and becoming gravity in the house of prayer. He suffered no part of the holy Sabbath to be devoted to vain amusement or worldly business ; the morning thereof was chiefly employed in divine worship, and in putting his family in mind of the solemnity of the sanctuary-service which they were to enter upon; and in the evening his care was to improve the sermons which they had heard, and administer suitable instructions to the various branches of his family, according to their several capacities. He greatly consided in that word of promise, “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs xxii. 6. And although he perfectly knew that he could not give them grace, he believed it his duty to inure them to the form of religion. Encouraged by the promise, and well knowing that human endeavours avail but little without divine influence, he was a fervent wrestler * with God for the blessing, and had the pleasure of seeing that his endeavours and prayers were not in vain: as his family, even from their younger years, were properly restrained from the fashionable vices which corrupt our youth, and were perfect strangers to the brilliance of a ball
, and the irreligious entertainment of a theatre. In the disposal of his children in marriage, he was not so careful about worldly advantages, as he was strictly nice in his enquries, whether there was a likeness in their natural disposition, the visible appearance of real grace in the soul, and a harmony in their religious sentiments; for he well knew, that unless husband and wife are of the same opinion, both with regard to doctrine and manner of worship, there is but little prospect of that union which is so essential to mutual happiness. Fidelia he married to a worthy young man of but a small fortune, whose name was Fidelio, a mechanical tradesman, who in their younger years sustained such losses in trade, as reduced him to the necessity of supporting his family by the labour of his hands; and no labour he thought too hard to