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may be sure to fetch it. He sits not to censure, but to learn; yet speculation and knowledge is the least drift of his labour; nothing is his own but what he practiseth. Is he invited to God's feast? he hates to come in a foul and slovenly dress; but trims up his soul, so as may be fit for a heavenly guest. Neither doth he leave his appetite at home cloyed with the world, but brings a sharp appetite with him; and so feeds as if he meant to live for ever. All earthly delicacies are unsavoury to him, in respect of that celestial manna. Shortly; he so eats and drinks as one that sees himself set at table with God and his angels, and rises and departs full of his Saviour; and in the strength of that meal walks vigorously and cheerfully on towards his glory. Finally, as he well knows that he lives, and moves, and hath his being in God, so he refers his life, motions, and being wholly to God; so acting all things as if God did them by him ; so using all things as one that enjoys God in them; and, in the mean time, so walking on earth, that he doth in a sort carry his heaven with him.
SONGS IN THE NIGHT;
CHEERFULNESS UNDER AFFLICTION.
To my dear and worthily respected friend, Mr. G. H. I THANK you for your comfortable letter, which came to me as a seasonable cordial after a strong potion. It is true, I have been no niggard of my good counsels to others in this kind, yet now could not but have need enough of it myself; so I have known experienced physicians, in their sickness, to call for their neighbour doctor's advice, and to make use of his prescription rather than their own. Although also I have not been altogether negligent in the speedy endeavour of my own cure, as you will see by this enclosed meditation.
Indeed, it pleased my God lately, as you well know, to exercise me with a double affliction at once-pain of body, and grief of mind for the sickness and death of my dear consort. I struggled with both, as I might: and, by God's mercy, attained to a meek and humble submission to that just and gracious hand, and a quiet composedness of thoughts; but yet methought I found myself wanting in that comfortable into the mouths of thy servants in the night of their tribulation, are so exquisitely harmonious, as that thine angels rejoice to hear them, and disdain not to match them with their hallelujahs in heaven. Could there be a more gloomy night than that which thy servants Paul and Silas spent in the gaol of Thyatira? Acts xvi. Prisons are at the best darksome, it being one part of the punishment of offenders, to be debarred of the benefit of the light. But this, to make it more sad, was the inner prison, the dungeon of that woeful gaol; where yet they are not allowed the liberty either to move or stand, but have their hands manacled, and their feet fast locked in the stocks. There lie thy two precious servants in little-ease, their backs smarting with their late merciless stripes, their legs galled with their pinching restraint; when in their midnight thou gavest them songs of such sweetness and power, that the very earth and stones of their prison did move, and as it were dance at that melody; the doors fly open, the fetters fall off, the keeper trembles, the whole house is filled with affright and amazement. Their fel. low prisoners, whose durance had been accustomed to nothing but sighs and moans, wondered to hear such music in their cold cells at midnight: but when they felt their irons shaken off, and the bolts burst, and the doors seeming to invite them to a sudden liberty, how were they astonished to think of the power of that heavenly charm, which had wrought so miraculous a change!