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The Cruet Stand.

The Cruet Stand.

Select Pieces of Prose and Poetry,
With Anecdotes, Enigmas, Etc.

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Pieces of Prose and Poetry.


I SHALL not be very solicitous what judgment those may pass upon me, who are strangers to religion and the various ways of Divine Providence in reclaiming sinners, first by driving and then drawing them to himself, provided I can acquit myself to my own conscience, provided I have taken all possible care to write and speak for the future with sincerity and faithfulness, that I would wish to be done at my last moments, and with no other view than that of making such a full and ample acknowledgment of my great folly and guilt, as my conscience told me I ought to do, for having so long and shamefully imposed upon the world, as well as of God's singular goodness which inspired me with the design of amendment. Keeping steady in resolutions and change of life, have insensibly led me into a more regular way of thinking and acting; and, as true repentance begins in the change of the heart, and ends at the reformation of the sinner's life, I humbly hope that I have not been negligent in finding out and using the most effectual helps and means, nor failed of the divine blessing on them, which are promised to all sincere penitents. Though the fear I was in, lest too particular an account of them should be deemed, by the censorious, as ostentatious and pharisaical, hath obliged me to conceal a great number of them, which might perhaps have otherwise proved very encouraging to people in my condition; not doubting, to those who are sincere in their repentance and resolutions, the same Divine Providence will supply all the necessary helps and directions, as their case requires, even as he hath done with me. All I would add, by way of encouragement, to persons in my unhappy circumstances, (and worse or more dangerous no man could hardly be in than I was,) is not to let the greatness of their guilt, or the difficulties of the duty of repentance, deter, but rather invite him to the throne of mercy, through the merits of our Divine Redeemer; for how dark and gloomy soever the prospect of so extraordinary a change may appear at first, as everthing doth to those that are fled from the broad sunshine into some dark place; yet those thick and discouraging mists will gradually disappear, and every object that at first raised our fears will grow more hopeful and comfortable, when we call to mind that there is mercy sufficient in God, merits enough in


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