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consolatory truth, That time is but the prelude to eternity ; that this life is on. ly a state of probation. I would therefore entreat them to support themselves in this state of probation, than they may participate the happiness of virtue ; I would calm their sorrows, by elevating their minds towards infinity, that they might support the miseries of a mo. ment; for God never did, never will, and never can, abandon innocence and virtue. None of the ills that terrify and torment mankind, can ever destroy the peace of those who love and fear God; they are all eye to admire his garden of nature; all ear to listen to his still small voice, which is always calling them to their own happiness ; all gratitude to acknowledge the benedictions of a kind providence. In order to induce them to receive afflictions from the hand of God as blessings in disguise, and to love him beneath his frown, as well as beneath his smile, (seeing it is all intended for their good) I would give them a sketch of my simple experience; as facts are al. ways more convincing than speculative reasonings. Calamity has, therefore, been a great blessing to me; because, by it I have been stimulated to look from false man, to the true God; to be instructed in the truth. I have learned by my own miseries, always to pity, and relieve the miserable, and to look forward to death as a pleasing sleep, which will end them all. I sought truth with singleness of heart, and I did not seek it in vain; and I have learned, that in order to preserve it pure, it must be deposited in a pure heart; for when the eve is evil, the light within us is turned to darkness. Every good man finds an unerring guide, and a faithful monitor ; in his heart, while it is single and full of gratitude; he feels and finds Deity in his soul, both in power, intelligence and goodness; he, therefore, has nothing to do, but love, adore and trust him, without any disputation. This is the simple truth, which always was and always will be invalidated, by the mil, lions who live in the opposite error.
Embrace then, cordially embrace truth, O ye children of calamity! with grateful honest hearts, and ye shall find rest to your souls: and enjoy that heavenly peace, which the children of error are
totally unacquainted with. ' * The only place of safety for even the
virtuous, is the vale of humility : man was made for humility, and humility was made for man. The real humble man is instructed in the truth, by the immediate inspiration of the spirit of truth; not by words which are soon forgotten, but by an instantaneous communication of itself. Althougb I shall be laughed at by the literati, for what they will in their wisdom be pleased to call my foolish rhapsody, yet I will tell those who are fools in their own estimation, some of the simple lessons I have learned, by an immediate communication of the divine spirit of truth. About four years ago while wrapped up in a cloud of grief, and ready to sink into despair under the ponderous weight of my calamity, I happened to see a
spider* entangling, to destroy a strug. gling fly; I had compassion on the insect, and with a small stick drove the spider away, and disentangled the fly, which exaltingly adjusted its wings, and flew away. Immediately this spontaneous thought struck my mind, viz. Have you, a miserable child of corruption, bad compassion upon, and delivered the helpless fly from the snares of its enemy, and will not God deliver you from the snares of the devil, and from your present difficulties? I immediately answered the interrogation, (and tranquility sprung up in my soul) with the words, Most assuredly he will..
I could mention a number of such anecdotes, but the above will suffice to shew, that from the most insignificant instances in life, we may gain the most
*The supercilious pedagogue will view these sim. plo incidents, no doubt with sovereign contempt. Lit. Ne does he think, that God accomplishes the greatest ends by the most simple means, that no flesh might boast in his sight. And little does he think that he must become a fool, before he can be wise unto salvation, and that God confounds the sons of vanity, by the foolish things of this world.
important manifestations of truth, and the greatest consolation. Of all the auxiliaries of hell, none are more destructive to humanity, than unbelief; how blessed therefore is the means, however simple, which delivers us from its influence; and no way can man more effectually dishonour God, than by countenancing error, and rejecting the truth. Hence I am so earnestly endeavouring, to eradicate from the minds of the miserable, the barrier whicb precludes them from participating the most pleasurable gratification; I mean the false apprehensions they have of God, and the works of creation.
I can but lament my inability to do justice to this subject. However, God, who frequently confounds the wisdom of the wise men of this world, by the most simple argumentation of those who are fools in their own esteem, perhaps will bless my weak endeavours for his glory, and the relief of the miserable.
If my capacity and limits would al. low it, gladly would I point out the harmony, beauty and beneficence of