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concern me, if my scrawl escaped your hand; for, though but a scrawl, and that
imperfect, it nevertheless contained matters of the most serious consequence to me. Pray relieve my anxiety by as short an acknowledgement of it as you shall see fit, if that be in your power.
Our good minister, addressing us last Sabbath day from the 5th verse of the 36th Psalm, gave us much encouragement, by observing that, the faithfulness of a covenant-GOD reached into all the providential clouds that his people were called to pass under. Oh! what an unspeakable mercy to have a God to go to: I have found, and do still find it so; for in the darkest moments I am often made to rejoice in a persuasion that he is my Friend : and I would write and think of it to the glory of his great name, that in the midst of all my discouragements without, he has afforded me peace within by many choice opportunities, especially in private. Yes!
he has been a good God to me; and I would not doubt or distrust of his leading me by a right (though a rough and thorny) “way to a city of habitation.” I have often in my conversation with others been enabled, to dwell greatly on the proportion of strength the LORD is pleased to vouchsafe to his people under their trials; I have now found that I did not then follow cunningly devised fables ; for what I was then enabled to speak of (as they say) almost without book, I have since had verified in my own experience. Believe me to be, in great haste, Yours most affectionately,
Dec. 19, 1795. I am persuaded, my dear that you felt a pleasure in the contents of that
* Her marriage took place about a year before the date of this letter. See Diary.
letter which informed you of my safe and happy deliverance; and that you will not be less pleased in learning from my own hand of the continued kind dealings of the LORD with his truly unworthy and unprofitable servant. Oh! how can words express the pains and pleasures through which I have been brought! I can never indeed be sufficiently thankful for all that measure of health, strength, and spirits, with which I was favoured, even to the very last. Time surely can never erase from my mind the happy resignation and composure I then experienced. In this respect I was extraordinarily blessed indeed. I scarce ever knew, during the whole period, any variation from a steady, settled dependence on the mercy of the LORD; and this carried me above very many distressing and disquieting fears, with which I should otherwise have been harassed: but I was never better in health, nor so happy in mind. Then I believe I knew what it was to live by faith on the Son of God. Then I had sweet enjoyment in meditation and
prayer, the sweet savour of which is not yet gone. I could then look forward to the hour of nature's sorrow and distress with a tranquillity of mind that I can never express; nor indeed, now that it is past, can I realize, to the degree that I then experienced. How many mercies have I to be thankful for! My cup runneth over. I am sure, as it respects temporal blessings, I cannot, I do not wish to, be happier; so that I have too the great pleasure of a contented mind. Believe me truly, &c.'
On the Death of Mr.
December 6, 1797. How to write, or how indeed to forbear, I know not. Never did my pen drag so heavily, as in this, of all others, the most pain
ful service that ever devolved on me. What shall I, Oh what can I, say to you, my dear
-? What the LORD shall speak to me, that would I
and may it be a word in season to your afflicted soul, though there is nothing that I can write, but you know as well and better than myself. Yet, as I know you love me, I am sure you will accept in love the very feeble,' very affectionate efforts of my pen; while I
be enabled to drop one word of consolation to my dear distressed Our God moves in a mysterious way; but may we remember, that in all these his ways, however dark, distressing, and inexplicable, he is righteous, infinitely wise, and kind, when most he seems
Oh! but I know you are ready to say,
“ I could speak as you do, were my “ soul in your soul's stead.” But he has made a breach, which all the world cannot make up-mine eye shall no more see good, &c. But do, I pray you, my dear endea