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has left me a filly dove without an heart, as you warned me of in a former letter ; and I am going mourning without the sun. He has hid himself with a cloud in his anger, and my soul is melted because of trouble. He has taken the bag of money with him, and there seems to be a famine in the land, and I am in want. As you observe, the bare remembrance of those past seasons wherein I lived under his shadow, is only an aggravation of my misery. I well know now, and that by bitter experience, the truth of your former predictions, much of them having been fulfilled during these two months paft; and none but God himself could have supported me in the perilous path I am called to walk in. I have becn brought to low as almost to cast away my confidence; though, in my joys, I have said, numbers of times, I was sure I should never be shaken with respect to my state. But this language is purged from me by very sharp strokes. Indeed, I have sometimes a little light given me, from the word, that the path I am brought into is the path of tribulation that leads to the kingdom; and a little light God has given me lately by a very particular dream. God full instructs me by dreams and visions of the night. Some part of it is now fulfilling, and some part remains to be fulfilled; and much does God lead me to watch his hand, which is with me at this time. It would carry me far beyond the limits of a letter to give you a particular account of God's
dealing with me; and perhaps it is God's will that I should keep his dealings with me to myself. I am sure I have wished a thousand times lately I had never opened my mouth to any one about the work of God with me. I know it has involved me in many snares. However, nothing teaches like experience. I have been a little strengthened by those words in Job xxvi. 2, 3, wherein he says of God, “ How hast thou helped him that is without power? How savest thou the arm that hath no strength ? How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is ?" I am brought most sensibly to feel my want of help, power, strength, and wisdom; and I never fo faw before my need of Christ in his office as a counsellor; and it strengthened me a little that he is styled by the prophet the Wonderful Counsellor. I think never did a poor soul stand more in need of his help, in all his offices and characters, than I do at this present time. Those lines of Mr. Hart's are ruly applicable to me:
Weaker than the bruised reed,
I hope ftill to be favoured with an interest in your prayers, that I may be kept, guided, and directed in all spiritual wisdon, knowledge, and understanding, and preserved unto his heavenly
kingdom; and may the best of spiritual blessings continually be vouchsafed to you, is the prayer
Your truly affectionate sister
in the bonds of the gospel,
The King's Dale.
TO PHILOMELA, in the King's Dale.
I am still kept looking out at my study window, with my heart not a little set on my intended journey to the King's dale. But my weak state of body, and the long, miserable, wet season, not a little discourages me. I long to see and know how you all go on. I am just like an old hen, which hath got more chickens than she can cover with her feathers; for my thoughts are all over the nation, and I am always afraid of the hawks and kites. But this is indulging fear where no fear is; for under his feathers his children lhall trust; his truth shall be their shield and
buckler. buckler. I want to see the King's herald; for, if I do not see nor hear from him every four or five days, all is not right. 0, when shall that happy time arrive, and that blessed mansion be inhabited, where “ the inhabitant shall no more say, I am fick !” where those dismal changes from cold to hot, from dry to wet, fhall be no more; nor the soul be clogged any more with this worst of burdens, a crazy tabernacle, and a body of death. I sit, and fret, and grieve, to see the weather so bad, and myself so weak and fecble; my thoughts can fly, but I am still in the study. What a sensible. weight is the body to a soul enlarged! The one is all over heaven, earth, and hell; and the other quite immoveable; always incapable, more or less, of executing the soul's inventions. The elephant and the greyhound, the dove and the fwine, never were more unequally matched than a body of flesh and blood, and a soul born from above. I decree many things, but they are not established unto me; I purpose, but my purposes are broken off. “ To will is present with me, but how to per. form that which is good I find not.” It is a blessing that God works in us to will, seeing he often accepts the will for the deed, as he did the will of Abraham at the offering of Isaac, and the goodwill of David respecting building the temple. But it is a grief to me that so excellent a couple should ever be absent from each other. Willing and doing are not always hand in hand. The former is
generally found, but the latter is not. To will is present, says Paul, but not the doing. Perhaps the reason may be this: the devil cannot hinder us from willing, but he often hinders us from doing. “ I was coming once and again,” says Paul, “ but Satan hindered.” Again: I can will without the body, but the body is often wanted in performing; and, like Pharaoh's wheels, draws heavily, when the soul, like the chariot of Aminadib, or like Jehu, drives furiously. O this frail tabernacle, this busy devil, and this wretched law in the members ! I must conclude in this strait between two; and these two make me often waddle. I am ready to halt, and my. forrows are continually before me.