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and fortune ; and the embarrassments of husband, children, and high relations. Yet her soul gloriously surmounted all—and triumphed over every impediment in her spiritual race.—Be roused by her example, and encouraged by her victory—God is the same God yesterday, to-day and for ever.—What he gave her he
theeGo thou and do likewise.
you thought there were omissions of import
ance in the former narration of my wretched and uncommon Life, I willingly comply with your desire, in giving you a more circumstantial relation; tho' the labour seems rather painful, as I cannot use much study or reflection. My earnest wish is to paint in true colours to your view, the goodness of God to me, and the blackness of
my own ingratitude—but this is impossible; numberless little circumstances have escaped my memory, and you are unwilling I should give you a minute account of my sins. I shall however try to leave as few faults as possible, and depend on your assurances, * of keeping it from the public, and of destroying it, when your soul hath drawn those spiritual advantages therefrom, which God intended, B
As she advances in the work, she seems as if she thought it might be made public.
and for which purpose I am willing to sacrifice all things, being fully persuaded of his designs towards you, as well for the sanctification of others, as yourself.
But let me assure you, this is not attained, save thro' pain, weariness, and labour; and a path that will wonderfully disappoint your expectations ; however, provided you be fully convinced, that it is on the NOTHING in man that God establishes his greatest works, you will be in part guarded against disappointment or surprize. It should seem, as tho' he destroyed that he might build; for when he is about to rear his sacred temple in us, he first totally razes that vain and pompous edifice, which human art and power had erected, and from its horrible ruins, a new structure is formed, by his power only.
Oh that you could comprehend the depth of this mystery, and conceive the secrets of the conduct of God, revealed to Babes; but hid from the wise and great of this world, who think themselves the Lord's counsellors, and capable of investigating his procedures, and suppose they have attained that divine wisdom bidden from the eyes of all living, in Self, and in their own works and kept close from the fowls of the air ; from those, who by a lively genius and elevated faculties mount up to heaven, and think to comprehend the height and depth and length and breadth of God.
This divine wisdom is unknown, even to those who pass
in the world for persons extraordinary in illumination and knowledge. To whom then is she known, and who can tell us any tidings concerning her? Destruction and Death assure us, that they have heard with their ears of her fame and reIt is then in dying to all things, and in þeing truly lost to their concerns, to pass on forward into God, and exist only in Him, that we attain to some knowledge of the true wisdom. Oh how little are her ways known, and her dealings with her most chosen servants! Scarce do we discover any thing thereof, but surprised at the dissimilitude betwixt the truth we thus discover, and our former ideas of it, we cry out with St. Paul, Oh the depth of the knowledge and wisdom of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. He judgeth not of things as men do, who call good evil and evil good, and account that as righteousness which is abominable in his sight, and which according to the Prophet, he regards no more than filthy rags. He will enter into strict judgment with these Self-righteous, and they shall, like the Pharisees, be rather subjects of his wrath, than objects of his love, or inheritors of his rewards ; doth not Christ himself assure us, that 56 except our righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And which of us even approach them in righteousness: or if we live in the practise of virtues, tho' much inferior to their's, are we not tenfold more Ostentatious ? who is not pleased to behold himself righteous in his own eyes, and in the eyes of others? or who is it doubts that such righteousness is sufficient to please God ? yet we may see the indignation of our Lord, and his fore-runner manifested against such. He who was the perfect pattern of tenderness and meekness, yet such as flowed from the depth of the heart, and not that affected meekness, which under the form of a dove, hides the hawk's heart; He appears severe only to these self-righteous, and publicly dishonoured them: in what strange colours does he represent them, while he beholds the poor sinner with