To Philomela, of the King's Dale
BELOVED of God, thine epistle came safe to band. The tidings are good; and God appears faithful, true, good, gracious, merciful, loving, kind, and tender; mindful of his covenant, and pitiful to self-lost, self-condemned, and self-despairing sinners. The bitterness of death is past, the sackcloth is put off, and the best robe is put on. He hath loosed "the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." The strong hold of Satan is demolished, the prison of unbelief has yielded up its prisoner of hope, and she that sat in darkness shews herself. Wonderful is the resurrection of the soul under the Spirit's quickening and comforting operations. When a sense of divine wrath, the intolerable burden of guilt, the spirit of heaviness, begin to be removed from off the soul; when despondency, dejection, and terrible apprehensions, begin to subside; the mind sweetly ascends, and every captivated and enraptured thought ascends with it. Attracting love from above draws the affections to the right hand of the Majesty on high; while faith deals with dying love and all-atoning blood, hope casts her anchor within the veil; when charity casts out every let and hindrance, together with every rival, and paves the way for the best Beloved to yield to an undissolved union, to knit the marriage knot, and become one spirit with the dear-bought soul. O wonder of wonders! Adieu.