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under all the changes we may pass through in our pilgrimage, and ere long we shall see him as he is, and be with him for ever.

I am, my dear Friend,
Your affectionate and obliged,



MY DEAR SUFFERING FRIEND, I heartily sympathize with you, and I feel your distress to part with such a comfortable wife, the companion many years of your travail tribulation. How hard is it! What a struggle must have been between nature and grace, between affection to the creature, and submission to the creature's God! And now that she is gone, what must you still feel! When you lie down, and when you rise up; when you go out and come in; and when you sit down to every meal, still, still her place is empty. I think I can enter into your spirit, and take part in your heaviness and grief. But of what avail is the sympathy of friends, in comparison with his, who took our infirmities and bore our sickness? Wondrous grace! In all our afflictions, he is afflicted; and every member that suffers, our compassionate Head suffers with it! What a relief is this to me when thinking on Christian sufferers! I can do no more than pity and weep with them. But he, who is touched with the feeling of their infirmities, can effectually touch their hearts with a feeling of his consolations. Though he cause grief, yet has he compassion according to the multitude of his mercies; and when he takes away father or mother, wife or children, he will give of himself a hundredfold more, even in this life; whereby the poor soul is made to forget its poverty, and to remember its misery no more. 0! may our glorious High-priest make you to feel his tenderness in this holy quieting way! and let him come and sup with you, telling you that you are not alone, for he is with you, he will never leave you, nor forsake you. For my part, I cease not to pray, “ Jehovah, hear him in the day of trouble, and let the name of the God of Jacob defend him. Let him send help from his sanctuary, and strengthen him out of Zion." How necessary is the smallest trial; but how much more, when the trial is so great? And the more necessary, the more certainly will it be bestowed; for he is that brother who was born for adversity; who, “because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, himself also took part of the same, that he might be a merciful and faithful High-priest.” 0! that our trust and affection towards him bore some proportion to his affection and faithfulness towards us! what should we not do? what should we not suffer at his will ?

Upon the real or apprehended loss of friends, I feel in myself, what I suppose is too common, I feel my distress greatly aggravated by the foolish thought, that I am to live long behind them. Many years must I pass, many summers and winters, without these dear companions of my feeble steps. But, did I turn the thought the other way, saying they are gone before, and perhaps in a few months, or a few days, I shall follow them; how might this moderate my grief, and put me on the stretch to join them, and the general assembly and church of the first-born, who surround the throne of God and of the Lamb, who go no more out, but without wearying, serve him day and night in his temple. The time I hope shall come, when we shall meet never to part. Let me entreat you to take care of your health in your present circumstances. Your affectionate and obliged,



DEAR MADAM, I know you have met with many afflictions and triais, and must continue to do so as long as you remain in a frail body and a sinful world; but remember this is part of our dear Lord's legacy, and as such the sure portion of all his faithful followers; hereby our communion and conformity to him are maintained, and if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. Take courage, madam, yet a little while, and this imperfect state of things shall cease; neither sin nor sorrow shall find place in the heavenly world, but God himself, whom we so imperfectly serve, shall honour us before men and angels, distinguish us with a crown of life and glory, and wipe away all tears for ever from our eyes. A few sighs and struggles more, and all things shall become new, death shall be swallowed in life, and conflict terminate in everlasting victory and triumph. At present the Lord's way in his dispensations to us is wrapt up often in clouds and darkness; we know not what he does nor whither his discipline tends, but we shall know hereafter ; when the veil is taken away we shall see clearly that infinite wisdom and infinite love directed all our steps through this waste, howling wilderness; that no trial was unnecessary, nor any needful supply withheld.. And even here, faith when in exercise may discern much of the goodness and expediency of the troubles we feel ; all of them are little enough to wean us from a vain world, to quicken our desires after that kingdom which is prepared for us, and which all these things are preparing us for. Were it not for unbelief and self-will, we should find the most thorny paths of God's appointing to be paths of peace and pleasantness; and we should know that word is not in vain which commands us to be joyful in tribulaHas God par

tions. Are they not the effects and the tokens of God's special love, without which we should be destitute of one great evidence of our relation to him ? and do they not concur to work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory? Heb. xii. 5-12; 2 Cor. iv. 17. Was Moses, Job, David, Jeremiah, Paul, nay, was Christ himself exempt from them? Is he not, on the contrary, described as eminently a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs ? Was not his whole life, from the cradle to the cross, a continual series of sufferings? and did he not suffer for this among other ends, to sanctify and sweeten our sufferings, to take out the sting and change the very nature of affliction ? Let us not then be cast down, let us not even complain, but rather pray to be armed with the like mind, that we may resolutely take up and glory in our cross. The time is short ; from whence the apostle infers, let those who weep be as though they wept not. doned our sins, given us his word, his grace, his Son, his Spirit, his salvation? Has he promised to be with us in trouble, and in his good time to deliver us out of it? Has he told us that the hairs of our head are all numbered; that his everlasting arms are around us, and his eye and his heart continually upon us ? Let us therefore say with the psalmist, “We will not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains cast into the midst of the sea." Let us resolve with the prophet to rejoice in God, though every creature-comfort should fail, and every favourable appearance be withdrawn; for the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that put their trust in him.

Please to give our love to S. She has the best advice I can give, but the Lord alone can comfort and instruct to purpose. I think of her, I pray for her, and I trust he will in good time grant her deliverance; if not to make her very happy in life, yet to give her a comfortable dismission out of it, and an abundant entrance into his kingdom of joy and peace. There, I trust, we shall all meet to part no more. In the mean time, may the Lord give us a patient, thankful, and childlike resignation and acquiescence in his divine will, which is the highest attainment to which we can aspire in this life; preferable, in my judgment, to the power of speaking with the tongue of men and of angels, the working of miracles, or having understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge. This is the silent and secret way of peace, by which God leads those who are little in their own eyes to that sweet repose which many

who are known and esteemed in the world are little acquainted with.

I am, dear Madam, Your most affectionate and obliged friend and servant,




DEAR SIR, I truly commiserate your variegated calamity; and heartily wish I could suggest any thing which might be the means of administering some ease to


afflicted mind, and of assisting you to reap ample benefit from your distressed situation.

You well know that all afflictions of what kind soever proceed from God: “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.” Isa. xiv. 7. They spring not from the dust; are not the effects of a random chance, but the appointment of an all-wise, all-foreseeing God, who intends them all for the good of his creatures. This, I think, is the fundamental argument for resignation, and the grand source of comfort. This should be our first reflection, and ur sovereign support: He that gave me my being, and gave his own Son for my redemption, he has assigned me this suffering. What he ordains, who is-boundless love, must be good: what he ordains, who is unerring wisdom, must be proper.

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