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therefore to your self; and be not too much dejected with the wicked solicitations of a known enemy: For the redresie whereof (as I have not been unacquainted with the like causes of complaints) let me prescribe you a double rcmedy;Refolution, and Prayer.
In the first place take up strong resolutions not to give hecd or care to these unrcasonable motions;resolve' rather to icorne and contemn them upon their first intimation, as nut worthy of a particular answer; For certainly holding chat with them and fad agitations, and arguing of them, as thoughts meer to receive a satisfaction, drawes on their more troublesome importunity; whereas if they were fleighted, and disdainfully turn d off upon their first glimple, they would go away ashamed. Whensoever therefore any such suggestions offer themselves unto you, think with your self: I know whence this comes, it is Satans ; let hini cake it whose it is, I will not meddle with it; say but in your Saviours words, Avoid Satan; and divert your thoughts to lome holy and profitable subject, and these temptations will by Gods grace loon vanish.
In the second place, apply your self to the remedy of that cholen Vessel, who when he was buffeted by the messenger of Saran, had recourse to the throne of Grace, and bescughe God chrise, (that is frequently, that he might depart away from him : Whenfoever you shall be thus troubled, do you by a suddain e jaculation raise up your heart to God; and beseech him to rebuke that evil one, and do not fo much care to answer the Temptation, as to implore the aid of him, who can take off the tempter ar pleasure ; who hath an hook in the noftrils of that Leviathan. Certainly those evil thoughts cannot be more swift-winged then our prayers may be, nor so prevalent to our vexation as our prayers Thall be for our rescue. Be therefore fervent and affidious in them, and my foul for yours the enemy shall have no power to harme you. As for your doubt of receiving the blessed Sacrament because of these misconceived blasphemies, it falls alone by what I have already said ; The blafphemics (if they were such) are Satans not yours ; Why should you not do your self good, because he would do you a mi chief : In Gods name go on to defie that cvil one ; and let him take his wickednefse to himself; and do you goé with cheerfullnesse and good courage to that Holy' Table : as there and thence ex peating to receive new strength against all his afsaules : Neither doubt I but that our good God will so blesse unto you. this institution of his own, together with your prayers and Resolutions, that you shall be soon and fully freed from those hatefull guests ; and Comforcably injoy him and Your self which I shall also gladly second with my prayers for you ( though unknown) as who am
T is not for me to examine the Grounds of your affliction,
which as they shall come to be scanned by greater judg. menrs, so in the mean time have doubtleife received bəth a Verdict and sentence from your own heart : and
if this act were in my power I can much becter suffer with my Friend then judge him. But however either partial or rigorous the conccits of others may be, be sure I beseech you that you receive fronı your own bolome a free and juft doom on all your actions; after all the censures of others, thence muft proceed either your peace or torment : But what do I undertake to teach him that is already in the School of God and under that divine ferule hath learned more then
by all the Theorical counsels of prosperity. Surely I cannot but professe that I know not whether I were more sorry for the desert of your durance, or glad of such fruit thereof as mine cyes end cars witnessed from you. But one Sabaoth is paft fince my meditations were occasioned to fixe themselves upon the gain which Gods children make of their sins, the practise whereof Irejoyced co see conconcurr in you with my speculation, and indeed it is one of the wonders of Gods mercy and providence that those wounds wherewith Satan hopes to kill the Soul,chrough the wise and gratious ordination of God, serve to healit.
We faint Souldiers should never fight so valliantly, if it were not for the indignation at our foil. There are corruptions that may lurk secretly in a corner of the Soul unknown,unseen ; till the shame
ef a notorious evil send us to search and ransacke ; if buc a spot light upon our cloke we regard it not, buc if through our neglect or the violence of a blast it fall into the mire, then we wash and scoure it.
As we use therefore to say there cannot be better phyfick to a cholerick body chen a seasonable Ague, so may I lay safely there can be nothing fo advantageous to a lecure heart, as to be finfick; for hereby he who before fel in overpleasing himself, begins to displease himself at his fall : Fire never ascends to high as when it is beaten back with a cool blast: Water that runs in a smooth level with an insensible declination (though an heavy body) yet if it fall low it rises high again : Much forgiven causech much love; neither had the penitent made an cwer of her eyes, and a towel of her hair for Chrifts feer if she had not found her self more faulty then her neighbours : Had not Peter thrice denyed, he had noc béen graced with thar threefold question of his Saviours love; it is an harth but a true word, Gods Children have cause to blesse him for nothing more then for their fins : Ifthar all-wisc providence have thought good to raise up even your forgotten fins in your face to shame you before men, thcre cannot be a greater argument of his mercy ;This blushing thall avoid eternal confusion : Envy not at the felicity of the closely or gloriously guilty ; who have at once firm foreheads, and four bofomes; vaunting therefore of their innocence because they can have no accusers, like wicked harlots who because they were delivered without a midwife, and have made away their stolen birth, go currant ftill for maids ; nothing can be more miserable then a finners prosperity; this argues himn bound over in Gods juft decree to ancverlasting vengeance, wo be to them that laugh here, for they shall peep anel gnah: Happy is that shame that shall end in glory.
And if the wisdome of that just judge of the world shall think fit to strip you of your worldly wealth and ourward estate, acknowledg his mercy and your gain in this loss; he saw this camels bunch kepe you out of the needles eye; he saw these bels too heavy for chac high flight to which he intended you ; now shall vou begin to be truely rich when you can injoy the poffeffor of Heaven and Earth; when there base rivals are shut out of doors God shall have
your whole heart ; who were not himself,if he were not all-fufficient.
Neither let it lye too heavy upon your heart that your hopefull Sops shall inherit nothing from you but shame and dishonoar ; why
are you in jurious to your self and those you love, your repentance fhalí fcoffe upon them more blessings then your fin hath loft ; lec pofterity say they were the sons of a penitent Father ; this ftain is wafhe off with your tears and their vertue: and for their provision, (if the worst fall) The Earth is the Lords and the fulness thereof, imagine them born tonorhing; we that are more Rich in Children then cftate hope well of those vessels whom we can put forth wel rigged, & well balla At thuugh not wealthy laden:How sensibly do you now find that wealth doth not confift in getting much, but well; and that contentment doth not lye in the cofer but in the breast ; laftly that all treasures are drosse to a good conscience.
For your self ; If you be pent up within four wals, and barred both of Sungnd Men; make God yours and you cannot complain of restraint,
or solitude : No prison is too straight for his presence ; Heaven it self would be a prison without him ; your serious repentance may win that Society which makes the very Angels blessed; this is the way to make him your comforter, your companion, in whose presence is the fulness of joy.
Shordly, let your thoughts be altogether such as may beseem a man nor unwillingly weaned from this world, and careful only to speed happily in another ; We your poor friends can answer the kinde refpe&ts of your prosperity no otherwise then with our prayers for the best use of your affigion ; which shall not be wanting from your crue and sorrowful wel-willer