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« Therefore (my dear heart) be thankful, for (before “ God I write it) you have great cause. Ah, my Joyce, “ how happy is the stay wherein you are ? Verily you
are even in the blessed state of God's children; for they
mourn, and do not you so ?. And that not for worldly “ weal, but for spiritual riches, faith, hope, charity, &c. “ Do you not hunger and thirst for righteousness? And “ I pray you, saith not Christ, who cannot lie, that happy “ are such? How should God wipe away the tears from “ your eyes in heaven, if now on earth ye shed no tears ? “ How could heaven be a place of rest if on earth ye “ find it? How could ye desire to be at home, if in your
journey you found no grief? How could you so often “ call upon God, and talk with him, as I know you do, “ if your enemy should sleep all the day long? How « should you elsewhere be made like unto Christ, I mean “ in joy, if in sorrow you sobbed not with him? If you “ will have joy and felicity, you must first needs feel “ sorrow and misery. If you will go to heaven, you “ must sail by hell. If you would embrace Christ in his “ robes, you must not think scorn of him in his rags. “ }f you would sit at Christ's table in his kingdom, you “ must first abide with him in his temptations. If you “ will drink of his cup of glory, forsake not his cup of "ig ominy.
“ Can the head corner-stone be rejected, and the other « more base stones in God's building be in this world set « by ? You are one of his lively stones ; be content there“ fore to be hewn and snagged at, that you might be made 6 more meet to be joined to your fellows which suffer " with you Satan's snatches, the world's wounds, con"empt of conscience, and threats of the flesh, where
through they are enforced to cry, Oh wretches that we ware, who shall deliver us? You are of God's corn, " fear not therefore the flail, the fan, millstone, nor oven. “ You are one of Christ's lambs, look therefore to be
fleeced, haled at, and even slain.
“ If you were a market-sheep, you should go in more “ fat and grassie pasture. If you were for the fair, you ~ should be stall-fed, and want no weal. But because
you are of God's own occupying, therefore “ posture on the bare common, abiding the storms and “ tempests that will fall. Happy, and twice happy are you (my dear sister) that God now haleth you whither would you might come whither
would. " Suffer a little and be still. Let Satan rage against you,
se let the world cry out, let your conscience accuse you, 65 let the law load you and press you down, yet shall “ they not prevail, for Christ is Emmanuel, that is, God < with us. If God be with us, who can be against us? «« The Lord is with you ; your Father cannot forget you ;
your Spouse loveth you. If the waves and surges arise, “ cry with Peter, Lord, I perish; and he will put out « his hand and help you. Cast out your anchor of hope, " and it will not cease for the stormy surges, till it take o hold on the rock of God's truth and mercy.
6. Think not that he who hath given you so many " things corporally, as inductions of spiritual and hea« venly mercit's, and that without your deserts or desire, “ can deny you any spiritual comfort, desiring it. For 6 if he give to desire, he will give you to have and en“joy the thing desired. The desire to have, and the “ going about to ask, ought to certify your conscience, « that they be his earnest of the thing which, you asking, - he will give you ; yea, before you ask, and whilst you 'ss are about to ask, he will grant
the same, as Isaiah saith, “ to his glory and your eternal consolation. He that “ spared not his own Son for you, will not, nor cannot " think any thing too good for you, my heartily beloved.
“ If he had not chosen you, (as most certainly he hath) “ he would not have so called you ; he would never have «s justified you; he would never have so glorified you « with his gracious gifts, which I know, praised be his “ name therefore ; he would never have so exercised your « faith with temptations, as he hath done and doth; if 6 (I say) he had not chosen you. If he hath chosen you “ (as doubtless, dear heart, he hath done in Christ, for « in you I have seen his earnest, and before me and to " me you could not deny it, I know both where and “ when) if, I say, he hath chosen you, then neither can
you, nor ever shall you perish : For if you fall, he putos teth under his hand. You shall not lie still; so care“ ful is Christ your keeper over you. Never was mother “ so mindful over her child, as he is over you. And “ hath not he always been so ?
“ Speak, woman, when did he finally forget you? “ And will he now, trow you, in your most need do “ otherwise, you calling upon him, and desiring to please « him ? Ah (my Joyce) think you God to be mutable ? • Is he a changeling? Doth not he love to the end them « whom he loveth? Are not his gifts and calling such, so that he cannot repent him of them ? For else were he
“ no God. If you should perish, then wanted he power; “ for I am certain his will towards you is not to be “ doubted of. Hath not the Spirit, which is the Spirit " of truth, told you so ? And will you now hearken with 66 Eve to the lying spirit which would have you not to “ despair (no, he goeth more craftily to work, howbeit " to that end, if you should give ear unto it, which God
forbid) but to doubt and stand in a mammering, and so should you never truly love God, but serve him of
a servile fear, lest he should cast you off for your un56 worthiness and unthankfulness; as though your thank“ fulness or worthiness were any cause with God, why w he hath chosen you, or will finally keep you.
“Ah mine own dear heart, Christ only, Christ only, “ and his mercy and truth. In him is the ca “ election. This Christ, this mercy, this truth of God, “ remaineth for ever, is certain for
for ever. " If an angel from heaven should tell you the contrary, 46 accursed be he. Your thankfulness and worthiness are “ fruits and effects of your election ; they are no causes. “ These fruits and effects, shall be so much more fruitful 66 and effectual, by how much you waver not.
“ Therefore (my dearly beloved) arise, and remember “ from whence you are fallen. You have a shepherd “ who never slumbereth nor sleepeth ; no man nor devil
can pull you out of his hands. Night and day he com“ mandeth his angels to keep you. Have you forgotten “ what I read to you out of the Psalm, The Lord is my “ shepherd, I can want nothing. Do you not know that 66 God spared Noah in the ark on the outside, so that he « could not get out? So hath he done to you (my good “ sister) so hath he done to you. Ten thousand shall fall “ on your right hand, and twenty thousand on your left “ hand, yet no evil shall touch you. Say boldly there“ fore, Many a time from my youth up have they fought " against me, but they have not prevailed; no, nor never " shall prevail; for the Lord is round about his people. " And who are the people of God, but such as hope in “ him ? Happy are they that hope in the Lord, and you
are one of those, my dear heart, for I am assured you “ have hoped in the Lord; I have your words to shew “ most manifestly, and I know they were written un“ feignedly. Indeed not to say, that even before God “ you have simply confessed to me, and that oftentimes so rio less. And if once you had this hope, as you doubt166 less had it, though now you feel it not, yet shall you 5 feel it again : For the anger of the Lord lasteth but a “ moment, but his mercy lasteth for ever.
Tell me (my « dear heart) who hath so weakened you ? Surely not “ a persuasion which came from him who called you. « For why should you waver, and be so heavy hearted? “ Whom look you on? On yourself ? On your worthi“ ness? On your thankfulness ? On that which God re" quireth of you ; as faith, hope, love, fear, joy, &c.? ~ Then can you not but waver indeed : For what have “ you as God requireth ? Believe you, hope you, love you,
&c. as much as you should do ? No, no, nor ever “ can in this life. Ah, my dearly beloved, have you so « soon forgotten that which ever should be had in me“ mory? Namely, that when you would and should be o certain and quiet in conscience, then should your faith « burst throughout all things not only that you have in
you, or else are in heaven, earth or hell, until it come « to Christ crucified, and the eternal sweet mercies and “ goodness of God in Christ ? Here, here is the resting “ place; here is your Spouse's bed; creep into it, and in
your arms of faith embrace him: Bewail your weak“ ness, unworthiness, your diffidence, &c. and you shall “ see he will turn to you. What said I, you shall see? “ Nay, I should have said, you shall feel he will turn to you.
You know that Moses, when he went to the 66 mount to talk with God, he entered into a dark cloud ;
and Helias had his face covered when God pased by. os Both these dear friends of God heard of God, but they “ saw him not; but you would be preferred before theme " See now (my dear heart) how covetous you are. Ah « be thankful, be thankful. But God be praised, your " covetousness is Moses's covetousness. Well, with him you
shall be satisfied : But when ? Forsooth when he “ shall appear. Here is not the time of seeing, but as it " were in a glass. Isaac was deceived, because he was o not content with hearing only.
“ Therefore to make an end of these many words, “ wherewith I fear me I do but trouble you from better “ exercises ; inasmuch as you are indeed the child of God, “ elect in Christ before the beginning of all times; inasas much as you are given to the custody of Christ, as one 6 of God's most precious jewels; inasmuch as Christ is 66 faithful, and hitherto hath all power, so that you shall “ never perish, no, one hair of your head shall not be os lost: I beseech you,
pray you, I desire you, I crave 4 at your hands with all my very heart; I ask of you with “ hand, pen, tongue and mind, in Christ, through Christ, « for Christ, for his name, blood, mercies, power and “ truth's sake, (my most entirely beloved sister) that you, “ admit no doubting of God's final mercies towards
you, s howsoever you feel for yourself; but to complain to “ God, and crave of him, as of your tender and dear “father, all things; and in that time which shall be « most opportune, you shall find and feel far above that
your heart or the heart of any creature can conceive, " to your eternal joy. Amen, Amen, Amen.
~ The good Spirit of God always keep us as his dear children
i may he comfort you, as I desire to be com« forted, my dearly beloved, for evermore. Amen. " I break
thus abruptly, because our common prayer « time calleth me. The peace of Christ dwell in both 66 our hearts for ever. Amen.
“ As for the report of W. Po. if it be as you hear,
you must prepare to bear it. It is written on heaven's “ door, Do well, and hear evil. Be content therefore to " hear whatsoever the enemy shall imagine to blot you “ withal. God's Holy Spirit always comfort and keep " you. Amen, Amen. This eight of August, by him " that in the Lord desireth to you, as well and as much
felicity as to his own heart.
His last letter to his Mother, a little before he was burned. GOD's mercy and peace in Christ, be more and more
perceived of us. Amen. “ My most dear mother, in the bowels of Christ, I “ heartily pray and beseech you to be thankful for me o unto God, who thus now taketh me unto himself : “I die not, my good mother, as a thief, a murderer, an " adulterer, &c. but I die as á witness of Christ, his gos" pel and verity, which hitherto I have confessed (I thank « God) as well by preaching, as by imprisonment; and “ now even presently I shall most willingly confirm the " same by fire. I acknowledge that God most justly might “ take me hence simply for my sins (which are many, “ great, and grievous : But the Lord for his mercy in “ Christ, hath pardoned them all, I hope) but now dear “ mother, he taketh me hence by this death, as a con“ fessor and witness, that the religion taught by Christ « Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles, is God's truth. “ The prelates do persecute in me Christ whom they hate, " and his truth which they may not abide, because their “ works are evil, and may not abide the truth and light,