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field. All this, dear children, is well known to your mother, who was my comfortable companion in many of my tribulations, and I acquaint you with them, that ye may be encouraged to follow the Lord fully through good report and bad report, were it even as through the swellings of Jordan. I must own, as I have mourned for Zion in the day of her distress, so I have been comforted in Jerusalem, and have sucked and been satisfied with the breasts of their consolations, and much delighted with the abundance of her glory; and I can sincerely declare, that nothing so much reconciled my heart to my seventy-three years' pilgrimage through this wilderness, as my concern for Zion did, for my witness is in heaven and my record on high, that I could give him no rest day nor night till he would make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. And now when I am bidding an everlasting adieu to every thing below, it is the grief of my soul to see error and profaneness coming in upon Zion like a flood. Nevertheless this is my comfort, that the “gates of hell shall never prevail against her," and that it is not possible that the elect should be for ever deceived ; all the divine perfections are engaged for the Church purchased with Christ's blood, and therefore I know he will arise and have mercy upon Zion, when the time, the set time to favour her is come, and into his hands I commend her, into whose hands I am soon to commend my spirit.
6thly, I beseech you be much in prayer to God, who is the hearer of prayer, and rely wholly on Christ for assistance and acceptance; whatever others do, see that you and your houses serve the Lord. I have told you how the Lord hath frequently prepared my heart, and bowed down his ear to hear, on purpose to encourage you in the same exercise.
7thly, When any of your souls is cast down and disquieted within you, through a sense of indwelling sin or the hiding of God's face, I advise you to guard against a speedy razing of the foundation : rather trust in God that ye shall yet praise him, and let the following particulars be your grounds of comfort :
1. Though ye be verily guilty, ye have without known guile filed
to the city of refuge, and given your consent that Christ should be yours on his own terms, Heb. vi. 18.
2. His covenant is well ordered, everlasting, and sure, and Christ is the surety of it, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.
3. Plead his promise as Jacob did of old, Gen. xxxii. 12, “ And thou sayest, I will surely do thee good;" and say with the Psalmist, Psalm cxxx. 5, “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope."
4. Plead his mercy, Psalm cxxx. 4, “For there is forgiveness with him," and in the 7th verse, “ Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption."
5. Plead upon the former displays of his mercy to others in former ages, in like circumstances with you, as in Psalm lxxxv. 2, “Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.” See also Psalm cv. 43, 44, 45 verses.
6. Encourage yourselves even in this, that it is a great mercy it is no worse with you. Lam. iii. 22, “ It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.”
7. Draw comfort also from this, that though he chasten his people in time, he will not cast off for ever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion, according to the multitude of his mercies, Lam. iii. 31, 32; see also 1 Kings xi. 39.
8. The Lord allows you to cry unto him from the ends of the earth, when your heart is overwhelmed, “and there is a Rock he can lead you to that is higher than you," Psalm lxi. 2 ; lxxxvi. 7.
9. Though iniquities, as ye must confess, prevail against you, “yet the Lord will purge away your transgressions,” Psalm lxv. 3; Psalm cxxx. 3, 4. When ye can say, that ye count yourselves wretched and miserable, because of prevailing corruption, and groan, being burdened on the account of it, the Comforter that can relieve your soul is not far from you; he will turn again and have compassion, and subdue your iniquity, and will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea; “ he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy,” Micah vii. 18, 19.
10. Remember former kindness, even the days and years of Rom. viii. 16. How ravishing will it be to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord !” Matth. xxv. 21. O study to be found in Christ, clothed with his righteousness, and give all diligence to make your calling and election sure; and so an abundant entrance will be ministered to you into the heavenly kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If once you know in whom you have believed, then may you cheerfully shake hands with cold death, and cry with the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 1,“We know that when the earthly house of our tabernacle shall be dissolved, we have a building of God, & house not made with hands, which will be eternal in the heavens ;" and with Job, xix. 25, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.” And why may not we, who have that blessed hope, cry out with holy boldness, “O death, where is thy sting ?” “Even so, Amen, come, come quickly, Lord Jesus."
Dear children, my last advice to you is, see that ye study perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord—be ye holy, as He who has called you is holy, in all manner of conversation, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord; and every one that hath the wellgrounded hope of seeing God as he is must purify himself as he is pure. Pray much, then, for the Spirit of holiness, and for your encouragement, remember that sanctification is promised to the Lord's people, and therefore they may as their privilege, and should as their duty, go daily to God by prayer and seek it. That it is promised is plain from Ezek. xxxvi., from the 25th verse to the 32d, as also Micah vii. 19, and Rom. vi. 14. Yea, it is not only promised, but it is a part of Christ's purchase to his people, as you may see, Tit. ii. 14; Heb. x. 10; Eph. v. 25, 26, 27; John xvü. 19; 1 Cor. i. 30; Col. i. 22; 1 John ïïi. 3; 1 Peter i. 18, 19.
Having then such great and precious promises, see that, in dependance on the Spirit of Christ, ye cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. May then the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God with dying breath, your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.