I THANK you. kindly for the little shelves, and for your kind epistle. Am in hopes my book will answer your expectation, and accomplish many of your dreams and visions. If you find the same frames, views, melting sensations, flows of gratitude, and heavenly flights, in reading as I have in writing it, thou wilt know what it is to see eye to eye with the watchmen of Zion, and to put on charity, the bond of all perfectness, which runs through the whole fraternity of God, and binds the monuments of mercy to the head stone of the corner. I perceive, by thine epistle, that thou gettest on, and art increasingly enriched by the Lord in knowledge, in observation, in judgment, in light, and in utterance. For all which God give thee a thankful heart, as it becomes the just to be thankful, and with praise and thanksgiving. God is well pleased.
These are some of the simple sacrifices which are to be performed with the abundance of grace, and the sweet oblation of our merciful and faithful High Priest, Christ Jesus. To this end is all grace communicated to us, that it may flow back again to the glory of God.
And, as different sacrifices are required, so different frames are given. The sacrifice of a broken heart God will not despise; and it is by reproofs, rebukes, and reproach, that the heart is broken. Troubles are intended to drive us to prayer; "Call upon me in the time of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." And again, "Is any afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry; let him sing psalms." Our incomes, my dear sister, are intended to furnish us, that these simple, but acceptable, sacrifices may be daily offered, that the intercourse between God and us may be kept open, and a holy familiarity be kept up. So discoveries of his love, and revivals of his work, as well as the leadings of his providence and his goodness, that passes before us daily, are to furnish us with praises, with thank-offerings, and with humble acknowledgments of his goodness, faithfulness, and truth, in his promises.
These things, my sister, should be observed and attended to; for herein is our heavenly Father glorified, that we may bring forth good fruit; and these are his own returns, the returns of his love and grace; the revenues of the King of kings, and the fruits of his own implanted grace: and, when God's children are led by the Spirit into it, are constant at it, make conscience of it, and shun vain company, which grieves the Holy Spirit, and unfits us for It; it becomes the delight of their souls, and is no less than walking with God.
Pray tender my kind love and respects to the Captain, to the Doctor and his Dame; and you will much oblige,
Yours in Christ,
W. H. S. S.