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by faith in a promising God, even for her's and her children's daily sustenance, which I assure you is far from being the easiest part of the exercise of faith.
Distressed Fidelia used to comfort herself in reflecting upon the regard which Jehovah has expressed towards the poor and needy, and especially his declaring himself “ to be a husband to the widow, a father to the fatherless, and a stay to the helpless orphan; and thus she was wont to reflect within herself:” The glorious God, who hath seen it meet to take away my husband, hath graciously promised to be a husband to me himself, and if he will be my husband, as he hath said, he will surely act the part of the best of husbands. The husband's part is to direct, defend, and provide for his spouse ; and all this the Lord hath promised he will do for the widow who trusts in him. This is agreeable to the tenor of the promises in general, and, in particular, to that salutary word on which he has caused me to hope, where he hath declared himself a sun and a shield to his people. Here is light to lead and direct, here is heat to influence and quicken me in all my languor, and here is a shield for safety, a shield of protection from all enemies, outward and inward; he addeth, I will give grace to support under, and to sanctify afflictions; and, when the work is finished, he says, I will give glory. This life is indeed a life of infinite wants, but here is provision made for them all; for it is added, “ I will withhold no good thing.” This is an ample provision made for all my necessities.Great as they are, the grace of the promise is infinitely greater. Here is consolatory supply for the most desolate widow. I will therefore trust in the Lord and not be afraid ; and, so trusting, I shall never be confounded, nor shall my hope be put to shame. This is the ground of all my confidence ; he encourages the boldness of the weak, the poor, and needy; but abhors the timidity of the unbelieving. None are ever condemned for trusting in the Lord with a holy boldness, in proportion to their necessities; my necessities are great, therefore, O Lord, may my trust in Thee be strong.
It was thus she communed with her own heart, in profitable reflections upon the promises of God. She was likewise accustomed early to tell her children, that now they had no natural father, to provide for and dispose of them; but that God had declared himself « the Father of the fatherless," and she hoped that He would be a father to them. Earnestly did she recommend them to the grace and protection of the Divine Shepherd, who bears the lambs on his arm, and nourisheth them in his bosom. She prayed, and she hoped that God would be the guardian of their infant years, train them up in his own fear, nurture, and admonition, provide for them things necessary, and dispose of them to the glory both of his providence and grace. Thus her daily prayers were unto the Lord, and to him were all her cares committed; nothing doubting, but in the unbounded beneficence of his nature, he would take special care both of her and her's.
She lived in a constant reliance on the providence and promises of God, and was never disappointed, notwithstanding her faith was frequently tried as with fire; and now she is dying, could I paint to you the holy joys of her elevated soul, if you were possessed of all the wealth of the Indies, Novitio, you would willingly part with it, if it were possible that you could exchange your condition for such as her’s. An explicit narration of Fidelia's experience, would be of more use to the church of Christ, than the voluminous, elaborate works of many learned doctors, who have not had the same experience; for there hath been more religion in one week of her life, than in thirty years preaching of some who are called masters in Israel. And now, Novitio, that you may know that God is not ashamed of the meanest of his saints, I have a mind, once more, to give you a view of the immaterial world; thereby you will see, that the angels of God do not despise her because of her poverty