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it lead me to glorify thee, to acknowledge that Thou art the only fource of the happiness of man. .
O most merciful God! I return thee thanks for every source of joy and comfort which thou haft opened to us to soften the evils of life. With what goodness thou throwest a veil over the future evils which are to happen! while, on the contrary, thou givest a distinct view of the blessings designed us. Without hope the earth would be a vale of misery, and our lives a series of sorrow and pain. But thou hast given us hope, as an agreeable compa. nion through our pilgrimage. When all around us is gloomy, it opens for us a chearful profpe&t of futurity, which revives, and enables us to walk with content through the sorrowful paths of life. How often, O heavenly Father! haft thou raised my dejected heart, and strengthened my courage when ready to fail me! I bless thee for every ray of light which has animated my soul; for every blessing received, and for all those hereafter reserved for me. What words, indeed, can express the great hopes I may indulge as a Chriftian! Praised be thy mercy, O divine Redeemer! which has entitled me to expect a felicity, not confined within the narrow limits of this life. Praise be to thee for the blessed hope thou hast given us of eternity. What would this life be without it! What would be the happiness of this world, if we could not enjoy the delightful prospect of everlasting life, of eternal happi. ness! Since we have this glorious hope, ought we not to reckon as nothing the evils of this world? What matter how long and severe the winter of our lives ? Let us hope for spring. Let us await the renewal and perfection of existence in the world to come.
An extract of a Letter from a Gentleman at Kerss, near Stock
holm, in Sweden, O&tober 17, 1795, to his Friend at London. I Stayed two months with my brother at his country feat : afterTwards I went to live here for some time with my aunts, the fifters of my deceased mother : They are four unmarried ladies, who live together in retirement: They are dead to the world, and alive only to Christ. I remember to have spoken to you of them while I was in England. In their house I received the first im. pression of the good Word of God. This WORD is now all my ftudy, and all my entertainment; I have mostly left reading all other books of instruction, and keep close to the Word of God; particularly the New Testament; that blefled Book and Inimitable! Though I know much of it by heart, yet the perusal of it is alway fresh to my mind. I often find new light in passages, which I have read ever so often before.--.I have a great deal increafed my knowledge in the Greek; reading mostly the original Gospels in that tongue. Ah! my dear friend, what are immense riches, compared with the profusion of good things our heavenly
L & T T E R S.
145 Father has given to our souls in this life-giving Word, through the Holy Spirit. We are still far from knowing how to reach and use all the Treasures that are to be found in that Book. The Holy Spirit enlighten us. That is the only aid to be depended upon ; and therein we understand, no more than what is given to us : and though the most unworthy, and the most wretched of creatures in myself, yet the Grace of our deareit Lord Jesus, has abounded unto me. He came into the world to save fingers, that is my confidence. Through him we have access by faith to God, and we rejoice in hope of nothing less than the Glory of God, that fadeth not. Be ye imitators of Christ.-.-01 may I practice benevolence to all around me! Let my ability, like the fruitful river-waters, refresh the weary, support the fainting, heal the wounded, and give verdure to the barren soul! Though absorbed in such indulgences; never, o never permit this foul, which thou hast created for thyself, O Father of Spirits ! to think itself at rest, till it shall find itself, sweetly composed in thy Bosom ! Your letter, and rich poem, which you stile “ The effusions of Divine Love," tend to affect and animate me, to this pitch. You solemnly ling;
" Then make my heart of love divine the Throne,
Or furnace kindled by thy love alone.
And fill my soul with chastest love."
" Whate’er I see, as mirror bright,
Refleêts my lover to my sight :
As steps to the Creator's praise.”
- " Thy face, To view : then join’d with thee above
Shall I myself pass into Love." Fail not to communicate with, &c. &c.
MR. FLET CH E R's LETTERS. .
To Mrs. THORNTO N. . My dear Friend,
1777. VOU should have heard from me, if some times want of
1 spirits to hold a pen, and for some days, want of paper, had not stood in the way of my inclination. Now I have paper, and a degree of strength, how can I employ both better, than in trying to fulfil with my pen the great cominandment, which con, Vol. XIX. March, 1796.
tains my duty to God and my neighbour ? But what can a pen do here? It can juit te stify what my heart feels :-That no words can describe, what I owe to my heavenly Benefactor, to my earthly friends, and to you in particular, who have had so much patience as to stand by me, and bear a share in my burdens, for so many months at home and abroad.
What shall I say? Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gifts ;
for Jefus ;--for the Spirit of Jesus;- for the members of Jesus's myftical body; and in particular am I bound to return thanks for those, who have ministered, and still do minister to my wants, and hare in my infirmities. Your meek humility forbids my faying, that among the many, who, for Christ's fake, have debased themselves so far, as to take up my cross with me, and help me to bear it after my Lord, you itand in the first rank, and the first fruits of my gratitude are due to you. Simon of Cyrene bore our Lord's cross by compulsion : You have borne that of the most unworthy of his servants without compulsion: and now, what shall I render?-A silent tear whispers, I can render nothing. Alay the merciful, faithful God, who has promised, that a cup of cold water given to the least of his followers shall not lose its reward, ---may that omnipotent God, who fees you in all the states of weakness, which await you between the present moment and the hour of death, give you all, that can make your life comfor, table, your trials tolerable, your death triumphant, and your eternity glorious !
What I ask for you, I also peculiarly beg for your dear brother and fifter, who have vouchsafed to bind so dry, fo insignificant (I had almost said, fo rotten) a stick as myself, in the bundle of that love, wish which they embrace the poor, the lame, the helpless, the loathsome, and those, who have iheir sores without, as Laza. rus, or within, as I. May we all be found bound up together in the bundle of Life, Light, and Love, with our Lord! And when he shall make up his jewels, may you all thine among bis dia. . monds of the finest water and the first magnitude !
You want posibly to know, how I go on. Though I am not worth a line, I shall obserye, to the glory of my patient, merciful Preserver, and Redeemer, that I am kept in sweet peace, and am looking for the triumphant joy of my Lord, and for the fulness expressed in these words, which sweetly filled the fleepless hours of last night :...
“ Drawn,.--and redeemed,.--and scald,
I bless the One and Three;
To all eternity.” With respect to my body, I sleep less, and spit more blood than I did, when you were here: nor can I bear the least trot of an easy horse. If this continues many days, instead of thinking to go and see my friends on the Continent, I fall turn my steps to
my earthly home, to be ready to lay my bones in my church-yard : and in fuch a.case, I shall put you in mind of your kind promise, that you would do to the last the office of a guardian angel, --- hold up my hands in my last conflict, and close my eyes, when it is over. Two of my parishioners came to convey me safe home, and had persuaded me to go with them in a post. chaise; but I had so bad a night before the day I was to set out, that I gave it up. My prospects and ways are shut up, so that I have nothing to look at but Jesus and the grave. May I so look at them, as to live in him, my resurrection and life; and die in all the meekness and holiness of my Lordand my all! I humbly request a continued interest. in your fervent prayers, that I may be found completely ready, when my Lord's messenger shall come for my soul. Adieu my dear friend. God bless and reward you. I am, your most affeca tionate friend and brother,
..J. F. The Right Hon. Lady MARY FÍTZGERALD. · Honoured and dear Madam, "Madeley, O&t. 21, 1777 THE honour of your. Christian letter humbles me, and the
1 idea of your taking half a dozen steps, much more that of your taking a journey to consult so mean a creature, lays me in the dust. My brothers and sisters invite me to breathe once more my natal air, and the physicians recommend to me a journey to the Continent. I wait for the last intimations of Providence to determine me to go. If I do, I shall, probably, pass through London, and in that case, I could have ihe honour of waiting upon you. I say, probably, because I shall only follow my friend, and a serious family, which goes to spend the winter in the South of France, or in Spain: and I do not yet know, whether they design to embark at Dover, or at some port in the West of England. They have all taken a journey, and at their return, I shall know their determination, and be able to fix the time, when I might have it in my power to wait upon you, Madam, either at your house, or at our dear friend's in St. James's Place,
With respect to the hints you drop in your letter, concerning your external circumstances, I find it upon my heart, to say, Abide in the state in which you have been called, till Providence makes a way for you to escape out of what may be contrary to your new taste. Your cross has changed its nature with your heart; and we may, in some cases, be called to take up a worldly as well as a heavenly cross. Joseph and Moses did so once in Egypt, El her in Sula, Daniel in Babylon, John the Baptist at Herod's court, and our Lord in the house of the rich Pharisee. Some great end, to yourself, or to others, may be answered by patiently bearing your worldly cross, till it be taken from you, or you are removed from under it. Continue to make it matter of earnest prayer to know the will of God concerning you; and whilft your eye watches the motions of the providential cloud, and your heart
Gofalaton; and rejo ro's, with the fymon, and tell the
liftens for the Lord's call, endeavour to keep voor will as an even balance at his feet, that the least grain of intimation...clear inti. mation from him, and the least diftinét touch of the hand of Providence, may turn the scale either way, without resistance on your part. Being thus fully persuaded, you will do and suffer all, with the liberty and courage of faith.
You have been afflicted, as well as dear Mrs. G. Mrs. L. and myself. May our maladies yield the peaceable fruits of righteous. ness.-- complete deadness to the world, and increased faith in the mercy, love, and power of Him, who supports under the greatest trials, and can make our extremity of weakness, an opportunity of displaying the freeness of his grace, and the greatness of his power. Give my duty and thanks to them, and tell them, that I falute then under the cross, with the sympathy of a companion in tribulation; and rejoice at the thought of doing it, where the cross shall be exchanged for the crown. In the mean time, let us glory in the cross of our common Head; and firmly believe, that he is exalted to give us whatever is best for us, in life, in death, and for ever.
I have taken ihe bark for some days, and it seems to have been blessed to the removal of my spirting blood. Time will decide, whether it be a real removal, or only a suspension of that symptom, Either will prove a blessing, as his will is our happiness. To live fingly to God, the best method is to defire it in meekness; to spread the defire in caietness before him who inspireth it ; to offer him now all we have and are, as we con; and to open our mouth of expectation wide, that he may either fill it with good things, with all his fulness, or that he may try our patience, and teach us to know our total heiples nefs. With respect to the weeping frame of repentance, and the joyous one of faith, they are both good alternately ; but the ladier is the better of the two, because it enables us to do, and suffer, and praise, which honours Chrift more : both are happily mixed. May they be so in you, Madam, and in your url orihy and obliged servant,
J. F. To the Rev. Dr. CONYERS.Hon. and Dear Sir, Macon in Burgundy, May 18, 1778. I Left orders with a friend to send you a little book, called The 1 Reconciation; in which I endeavour to bring nearer the children of God, wbo are divided about their partial views of divine truths. I do not know whether that tract has in any degree, answered its defign; but I believe truth can be reconciled with itself, and the candid children of God one with another.
that some abler hand, and more loving heart, would undertake 10 mend my plan, if it be worth mending, or draw one more agreeable to the word of God! My eyes are upon fou, dear Sir, and those who are like minded with you, for ihis work; disap. point me noi of my bope, Stand forth, and wake way for ree