the knowledge of himself, whom to know, to love, and to enjoy, is life eternal.

I cannot express the comfort that the word of God doth yield me, even now in my distress; so that I can say with the Psalmist, that thy word is better to me than thousands of gold and silver. What though the fig-tree should not blossom, neither should there be any fruit in the vine : if the labour of the olive shall fail; if the fields shall yield no meat ; if the flock shall be cut off from the fold ; if there be no herd in the stalls ; if dear relations and friends die; if husband and children are taken away; yet if thou canst rejoice in the Lord, und joy in the God of thy salvation ; if thou canst but say, that the Lord God is thy strength, thy portion, thy refuge, and thy deliverer, thou mayest be happy, whatever thy condition be in this world. If thy good God will but say, as unto Israel of old, in Isaiah xliii. 1. But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, and he that formed thee, Fear not, for I have re

deemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.

Lord, I know I am thine by creation, it was thou alone that formed me; I beg that I may be thine by redemption ; let me be effectually called. O blessed Lord, assure me that I am thine; and let me know that thou lovest me, though thou affictest me; that thou art not angry with me, though thou chastisest me sorely. There is much bitterness, let there be no wrath in this cup: give me some hopes thou wilt be with me when I pass through the water and through the fire.

Lord, if thou wilt be but with me, I will fear no evil: lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me, and then it will put more gladness into my heart than if I were possessed of all the good things in the world. Deal with me as thou usest to do to those that love thy name. Lord, I hope I love thee! Lord, I desire to love thee, and to be beloved by thy blessed Majesty; and then all the afflictions that I meet with will make

no breach between thyself and my poor soul. Thou art pleased to afflict me very sore; but I do not, I dare not, I will not say unto thee, What doest thou ? for thou givest no account of thy matters. It is my duty to submit, admire, not to quarrel at thy providences ; therefore with all humble submission, I ac. quiesce to thy sovereign will, saying, as my blessed Saviour, Not my will, but thine, O Lord, be done.


I am willing to recount some of those many mercies God hath been pleased to bestow upon me, to excite myself to thankfulness, and to encourage me still to trust in, and wait upon that good God, who hath bestowed so many mercies upon me, the least of which I am altogether unworthy of. I may say with David, While I live will I praise the Lord : I will sing praises to my God while I have any being ; to that God who hath bestowed my life, my health, my strength, my memory, my reason, my understanding, and all the blessings of this life upon me, and hath through grace given ine hopes of dwelling with himself in glory, when this miserable life shall be ended. O my soul, praise thou the Lord ; O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for


Remember the goodness of God to thee, from the very womb to this very day; nay, before thou hadst a being in this world, God was pleased to form thee, and write all thy members in a book ; or else what an imperfect creature might I have been, if there had been an eye, or an ear, or any part wanting? O that I could be truly thankful for these mercies ! I desire with thankfulness to remember the dealing of God to me in my infancy and childhood. How many dangers and accidents have I been liable and exposed to, and yet God hath been pleased to take care of me, and preserved me from innumerable mischiefs that have compassed me about.

I look upon it as no small blessing, that I was born of Christian, religious, and pious parents ; such as did truly fear God, and did what in them lay to instruct their posterity in early piety : they were those that frequently addressed themselves to the throne of grace, the benefit of whose prayers I hope to reap, both in life and death. I desire with thankfulness to own the goodness of God in taking care of me, and providing for me when I was left motherless in my tender age, when I was incapable of minding myself; yet then was God pleased to raise me up friends that were careful, kind, and tender of me; some of which did instruct me in the best things, and were very solicitous for the good of my poor soul; and did daily counsel, instruct, and admonish me to mind my Creator in the days of my youth, and to live continually as one that must one day give an account of all the good or evil done in the body. And that


« VorigeDoorgaan »