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there are two tombs erected since I lived there, and I believe both are full, and one was opening the very day that I was there for the reception of another branch of the family. I thought of David's words; " For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be," Psal. xxxvii. 10. No more scoffing, mocking, and ridiculing religion; "The extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressor is consumed out of the land," Isai. xvi. 4: while the slave, the drudge, the servant of servants, is still in possession of double life, and delighting himself in the Almighty.
The slaughter-house at Kingston upon Thames, where the commandment came to me with its convicting and condemning power; where my sin revived and came fresh to light; when the awful curse came home, and the yoke of bondage came on; when guilt and wrath formed a junction; where heart and flesh failed, and all legal hopes gave up the ghost: this place I have never visited since. I have visited all my Bethels, but not the barren wilderness; that dry and thirsty land I wish to see no more. I have often looked: at the house, but it is too much like Jonah's bed in the bottom of the sea, which he calls the belly of hell: the poor apostles did not exult because they had found Moses, but because they had found the Messiah. I looked at the nursery in Hampton Wick, where I wrought during a great part
of mine affliction; this was something like the house of Dagon, where Samson made sport. The agitations of my mind, and the continual motions of my limbs, to keep the conceptions of sin from passing into words, gave my fellow-labourers no small entertainment.
I conclude that I have now taken my last farewell of all these sacred spots; I get old, and am looking forward in hope of the better country, and that city which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God. Of late I have been ill with a bilious disorder, and, to tell you the truth, I have seldom been much indulged in bodily afflictions, as some are; but in this last fit my mind was wholly engaged for several days with the greatest and most sublime subject in all the bible; my views were capacious, clear, harmonious, and very instructing and confirming; and when I got out again I found my cruse full, the spring became a flowing brook, but it was emptied by three discourses on the following words; "That they also may be one in us," John xvii. 21. I learn that afflictions empty the vessel of self; the dross dissolves in the fire, and the tin is consumed, and a perceptible fulness flows in and springs up, and thirsty souls always fare best when the head is anointed with oil, and the cup runneth over, Psal. xxiii. 5; for all that runneth over is dispersed abroad, and is intended to revive, exhilarate, and make verdant by watering the heavenly crop, hence called "The times of refreshing
from the presence of the Lord." But this I perceive also, that however the old man may be mortified, put off and denied; and however the dross and tin may be purged and subdued, insomuch that the soul becomes dead to every motion of it, and loathes and abhors the body of this death; yet it revives again, and loses in a great measure its deformity and unsightliness, and soon assumes an air of gaiety: this must be one of the masterpieces of him who can transform himself into an angel of light.
The Canaanites will dwell in this land; and by these old inhabitants I understand very wicked men; and that corrupt nature which constitutes them such, is, in all its malignity and evil nature, in every member of Christ's mystical body, while in a state militant: hence the most enlarged soul is but a prisoner of hope, for the iniquity of his heels still compasses him about, though he has no just cause to fear, even in the day of evil, Psal. xlix. 5. But against all hope founded in nature and in reason, we must hope, with an expectation founded in grace and truth; "That which is born of the flesh is flesh :" and, "This I say, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: neither doth corruption inherit incorruption," 1 Cor. xv. 50. But "That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit;" and every grace, every fruit of the Spirit is an incorruptible seed, that lives and abides for ever. My old companion; my honest, faithful, and affectionate friend, adieu. W. H. S. S.
To Mr. M.
To My beloved brother in the Lord, greeting.
YOURS came to hand, and I thank you for it, as I am always glad to hear how the poor family of the Lord do; for my part I am but poorly with a cold and the rheumatism in my head, which for some time has tried me not a little. Cough and shortness of breath have rendered my little cabin almost unbearable. These things often make drill, field days, reviews, the camp, and the field of action, irksome, and make me cringe and think of winter quarters, dismission from service, the king's letter, or an honourable pension: but instead of this am obliged to keep on, although I confess that at times my heart sinks upon a Sunday morning, as soon as the drum beats, at the thoughts of mounting guard, or doing duty at the Palace. However, the Captain of our salvation is often better to me than all my fears, and brings me sometimes through with such a high hand as to make me a wonder to myself, though at the same time I have thought that I had scarcely strength to sit upright, even on the baggage-waggon; at this momentary, timely, much-needed but undeserved and unexpected aid and assistance, I have much
wondered, and have gone on as if in the first campaign; but no sooner is it over but I dream of the surgery, or the hospital; and if I do in any measure survive this, still nothing suits me or charms me like that pleasing sound of 'Go to bed, Tom;' and when I obtain this I am often interrupted with dreams or visions of a rout, or halt, or march, or a call to arms. Sometimes I fancy I am pursued, and my road so slippery that I cannot stand; at other times I am called to action without either arms or ammunition: sometimes I fancy my station on the forlorn hope, the most perilous station of all the besiegers; at other times I am giving the word of command, but alas, I am dumb; and when I order others to march I myself. wish to retreat. Lately I have been erecting the King's standard; I have been waving the banner, and beating up like one on a recruiting party; delivering the king's speech; promising new clothes, a large bounty, present pay, good quarters, invaluable and invincible accoutrements, certain victory, infinite spoils, and eternal honour; and at the same time my wicked heart rebelling, and giving the lie to every word that my mouth has uttered. I often find, at this work, that I vainly suppose that not a few recruits have volunteered their services, and have seemed to join the young troops; but soon after, when I expect them at rollcall, one half are missing some complaining of too much drill, and others of the difficulty of learning the manual exercise: and often in this