I RECEIVED the simple and savoury, epistle of my ancient and venerable daughter Sarah, of blessed and everlasting memory. My soul travails for her, and she groans under my labour. There is no enchantment, there is no divination, against my ancient one: "blessed is she that believed." She, and the flock at G. attend me in all my prayers. I am very rheumatic, but hope, if I am spared, to see thy face once more, that my soul may bless thee before I die. Cast all thy cares and burdens upon Christ; the whole government is upon his shoulders. To grope and muddle in flesh and blood, is sticking in the miry clay, as David calls it: but my poor one rises up into the Spirit, and into Christ; and my soul with pleasure sees the brightness of thy rising. Hold all hearts, family, circumstances, and every thing else, friends and foes, in the hand of Christ; he is the heir of all things, the universal ruler of all; and every deceiver, and all the deceived, are his: and be sure to keep them here, and thou shalt surely see his hand, and admire his wise, mild, just, and propitious government. He will speak upon thine heart, and actuate thy mind with the living law of faith, which will exercise itself upon his presence and promises; upon his sacrifice and satisfaction; upon his dying love and rising power; upon his meditation and intercession; upon his providence going before us, and upon his grace within us; and by these means he will draw thy heart and affections after him, with a thousand lovely cords of omnipotent sweetness. And thou shalt -see it, admire it, and rejoice in it.
The Lord suffered thee long to lie as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit; as a wife of youth, refused by her husband. "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." And this I know, for thou art in my heart, held both in faith and affection, and my hope of thee is stedfast; knowing this, that, "as thou hast been partaker of the sufferings, so shall thou be also of the consolations;" and, as the former have abounded, so shall the latter also abound. God alone called me, and he has made choice of my mouth to call thee; and I have that love for thee and thine as is not to be found in nature, nor in all the corruption of it; because the salvation of thy soul is the only cause of the labour of my love, which constrains me to remember thee in every prayer of mine; and this is the bond of all perfectness. It knits the marriage knot between Christ and the soul, and makes them one spirit with the Lord. It is the quintessence of our obedience to God, and gives us an existence in him. It is the perfecting of our liberty, and makes us free indeed. It is the bond of the covenant, and is a perfecting of our enjoyment of all the blessings in it. It finishes the new birth and makes it clear, and casts out all doubts and fears about it. It is the crowning work of grace, and the perfecting of all real holiness: "God hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that , we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
My love to the Ragman, and the girls.