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you think it would be if you lived to be the mother of a family, and to cleave to earth by the ties of many new relations, schemes of gain, or prospects of happiness?
3dly. Reflect, by your illness, the Lord, who forecasts for us, intimates long life would not be for his glory nor your happiness. I believe he takes many young people from the evil to come, and out of the way of those temptations or misfortunes which would have made them miserable in time and in eternity.
4thly. Your earthly father loves you much ;witness the hundreds of miles he has gone for the bare prospect of your health : but, iny dear, your heavenly Father loves you a thousand times better; and he is all wisdom, as well as all goodness. Allow, then, such a loving, gracious Father to chuse for you; and, if he chuses death, acquiesce, and say, as you can, Good is the will of the Lord, his choice must be best!
5thly. Weigh the finfulness of fin, both original and actual, and firmly believe the wages of fin is death. This will make you patiently accept the punishment; especially, if you consider, that Jesus Christ, by dying for us, has taken away the iting of death, and turned the grave into a passage to a blessed eternity.
6thly. Try, my dear, to get nearer to the dear Redeeiner. He hath delivered us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. * He hath quenched the wrath of God in his atoning blood. By his atoning blood, by his harmless life, and painful death, he has fatisfied all the demands of the law, and justice of God; by his resurrection he asserted the full discharge of all our fpiritual debts ; by his ascension into hea. ven, where he is gone to prepare us a place, he bas opened a way to 'endless glory. By his powerful in. tercession, and the merits of his blood, which plead continually for us, he keeps that way open ; and to encourage us, he assures us, He is the way, the truth and the life, and that, he who comes to him, he willin no wise cast out. He mildly offers relt to the heavy laden,
• Gal. iii. 9.
pardon to the guilty, strength to the feeble, and life to the dead. You know his words, I am the resurrection, and the life ; he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and he that liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die.
7thly. When you have considered your loft state, as a finner by nature, together with the greatness, the fulness, the freeness and suitableness of Christ's falvation, and when you have diligently viewed the glo. ries and charms of his person, believe in him. Without any ceremony, chuse him for your Physician, your Husband, and your King. Be not afraid to venture upon and trust in him ; cast yourself on him in frequent acts of reliance, and stay your soul on him by means of his promises. Pray much for faith, and be not afraid of accepting, uling, and thanking God for a little. The smoaking flax he will not quench; only pray hard, that he would blow it up into a blaze of light and love.
8thly. Beware of impatience, repining, and peevishness, which are the fins of sick people. Be gentle, easy to be pleased, and resigned as the bleeding Lamb of God. Wrong tempers indulged, grieve, if they do not quench, the Spirit.
9thly. Do not repine at being in a strange country, far from your friends ; and, if your going to France does not answer the end proposed to your body, it will answer a fpiritual end to your soul. God suffers the broken reeds of your acquaintance to be out of your reach, that you may not catch at them, and that you may, at once, cast your lonesome soul on the bosom of him, who fills heaven and earth.
10thly. In praying, reading, hearing any person read, and meditating, do not consult feeble, fainting, weary flesh and blood; for at this rate, death may find you idle and supine, instead of striving to 'enter in as the strait gate ; and when your fpirits and vigour fail, remember that the Lord is the ftrength of your life, and your portion for ever. O death, where is thy
fting? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Many pray hard for you, that you may acquit yourfelf living or dying, in ease or in pain, as a wise virgin, and as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; but, above all, Jesus, the Captain of your salvation, and the High Priest of your profession, intercedes mightily for you. Look to him, and be saved, even from the ends of France. To his pity, love, and power, I reconi. mend you. May he bless you, my dear friend-lift up the light of his countevance upon you, and give you peace and courage, repentance, faith, hope, and patient love, both now and evermore! I am your af, fectionate, sincere friend, and servant in Jefus, 1. F.
My very dear friend,
YOUR absence made me postpone thauking you for all the kindness you the wed me when at Bristol ; and, to lay me under still greater obligations, you have sent me a hamper full of wine, and broad cloth ; as if it were not enough to adorn and cover the outside, but you must also warm and nourish the inside of the body.
To this you have added a kind, but melancholy let. ter from Dover. Melancholy I say, as well as kind, by the account it gives of the worldliness of our Proteitant brethren abroad, and oť the little hope you have of seeing your daughter again. My reason for not answering it immediately was the hope of fending by fome friends going to Bristol ; and now, I have the opportunity of telling you, without farther delay, that you should have a little mercy on your friends, in not loading them with such burdens of beneficence. How would you like to be loaded with kindnesses you could not return? Were it nut for a little of that grace, which makes us not only willing, but happy to be nothing, to be obliged and dependant, your present would make ine quite miserable. But the mountains of divine mercy, which press down my soul, have inured me to bear the hills of brotherly kindness.
I submit to be clothed and nourished by you, as your fervants arc, without having the happiness of fer. ving you. To yield to this is as hard to friendship, as. to fubinit to be faved by free grace, without one scrap of our own righteousness. However, we are allowed, both in religion and friendship, to ease ourselves by thanks and prayers, till we have an opportunity of doing it by actions. I thank you then, my dear friend, and pray to God, that you may receive his benefits as I do yours! Your broad cloth can lap me round two or three times ; but the mantle of divine love, the precious fine robe of Jesus's righteousness, can cover - your soul a thousand times. The cloth, fine and
good as it is, will not keep out a hard shower ; but that garment of salvation will keep out even a shower of brimstone and fire. Your cloth will wear out, but that fine linen, the righteousness of the saints, will appear with a finer lustre the more it is worn. The moth may fret your present, or the tailor may spoil it' in cutting ; but the present, which Jesus has made you, is out of the reach of the spoiler, and ready for present wear; nor is there any fear of cutting it out wrong ; for it is feamless, woven from the top throughcut, with the white unbroken warp of thirty-three years perfect obedience, and the red weft of his agony and sufferings unto death.
Now, my dear friend, let me beseech you to accept of this heavenly present, as I accept of your earthly one. I did not send you one farthing to purchase it ; it came unfought, unasked, unexpected, as the Seed of the woman ; and it came just as I was sending a tailor to buy me some cloth for a new coat ; immediately I Itopt hiin, and I hope when you next see me, it will be in your present.-Now let Jesus see you in his. Walk in white, adorn his gospel, while he beautifies you with the garment of salvation. Accept it freely ; wear no more the old rusty coat of nature and self, righteousness,mfend no more to liave it patched, * inake your boast of an unbought fuit, and love to wear the livery of Jesus. You will then love to do his work; it will be your meat and drink to do it; and that you may be vigorous in doing it, as I Mall take a little of your wine for my stomach's fake, take you a good deal of the wine of the kingdom for your soul's fake. Every promise of the gospel is a bottle, a cask that has a spring within, and can never be drawn out. But draw the cork of unbelief, and drink abundantly, O beloved, nor be afraid of intoxication; and if an inflammation follows, it will only be that of divine love.
I beg you will be more free with the heavenly wine, than I have been with the earthly, which you fent me. I have not tasted it yet, but whose fault is it? Not yours certainly, but mine. If you do not drink daily fpiritual health out of the cup of salvation, whose fault is it? Not Jesus's, but yours; for he gives you his righteousness to cover your nakedness, and the confolations of his Spirit to cheer and invigorate your soul. Accept and use. Wear, drink, and live to God. That you may heartily and constantly do this, is my fincere prayer for you and yours ; especially your poor daughter, whom I trust you have resigned into the hands of him, to whom the is nearer than to you. The wife Difpofer of all things knows what is best for her. The hairs of her head, much more the days of her life, are all numbered. The Lord often deftroys the body; that the soul may be saved ; and if this is the case here, as one may reasonably hope, you will not say unto the Lord, What doest thou? But fay with the father, who lost two sons in one day, It is the Lord, let him do whatsoever he pleaseth ; or with him, who lost ten children at, one stroke, The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away, and blessed be the name of the Lord. Adiey. I. F.
- Mr. Fletcher's generous friend had kindly requested him not to send his coat to be patched; bence this ingenious and affectionate reply.