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deed, it is our folly, and we have reason to be humbled in the dust upon the account of it ; not that I suppose there is any thing desirable in the unfeeling disposition of a stoic; no, such a temper is by no means the fruit of the Spirit; the soul who is really gospelized, is taught to wecp with those who weep; and if it is a gospel precept to sympathize with the afflictions of others, it is surely allowable to feel for one's own.... Jesus wept over his dear deceased Lazarus, and tenderly shared in the sorrows of two amiable sisters, who were lamenting the loss of a brother, who was, perhaps, dearer to them than their lives; we do not find that he chid their sorrow, but he did chide their unbelief. Afflictions, my dear madam, you are sensible, spring not out of the ground; they do not happen to us by chance, but are a valuable part of the saint's inheritance ; but though they are valuable and profitable, yet they are so exceedingly disagreeable to nature, so irksome and painful, that we are apt to start back, and would fain, if possible, be excused from accepting this part of our portion : alas, we are foolish children, but it is our mercy that we have a wise father, who will not study our humors, but will give us that which is most for our good : remember that you receive your afflictions by weight and measure ; there has nothing happened to you but what your heavenly father appointed for you, when he wrote your name in the lamb's book of life ; and then infinite wisdom, and infinite love, sat, as it were, in council, to contrive what should be most for your advantage in time and in eternity. O then, dry up your tears, and be no more sad, but rejoice, for you have abundant reason ;
look away from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards," Cant. iv. 3.
O, my friend, turn your eyes from your troubles, your difficulties and enemies, especially from those which are past, for they are gone forever, and with the future you have nothing to do: and what shall you behold? Indeed, there is a glorious prospect before you, O that you might be enabled to view it through the telescope of faith, and then I am sure it will cheer your spirits, be they sunk ever so low: what says the apostle, “Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," 2 Cor. iv. 17. There is light affliction for you here, but a weight of glory in reversion: have but a little patience, and sin and sorrow will be no more. Could you borrow the wings of a seraph, and ascend to the new Jerusalem, and there inquire of the white robed inhabitants, the spirits of just men made perfect, whether they, or any of them, arrived at those mansions of blessedness any other way than by the way of the cross, they would unanimously tell you, it was through much tribulation that they entered the kingdom of God. Why then should you be discouraged, who have the same Jehovah Jesus to be your guide through the wilderness, that they had ; the same exceeding great and precious promises, and the same inexhaustible riches of grace to support, to comfort and make you more than a conqueror through him who hath loved you? “ Fear not," says our divine master, " thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, yea, I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” O how safe and secure must you be then who have the right hand of omnipotence exerted in your defence ! surely you may say with the psalmist, “ Though the hills be removed, and the mountains carried into the sea, yet will I not be afraid :' indeed, you have no reason fear, for the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath you are his everlasting arms, Deut. xxxiii. 27. May these considerations, my dear Madam, in the hand of him whose office it is to comfort those who are cast down, afford you strong consolation, may the sun of righteousness arise and shine upon you, and with his delightful, joy-inspiring beams disperse the gloom which hangs upon your mind, and fill you with peace in believing....joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I beg your pardon for being so prolix, it is my usual fault; when I begin to scribble, I seldom know when to leave off; I wonder sometimes that my friends have patience with me; however, friendship can pardon the faults of a friend.
My father and brother unite with me in best wishes to you, Madam, and Mr. .......
.. ; we hope he got safe home on Tuesday night, and it will give us the greatest pleasures in the world to see you both in town, as soon as you please.
I am, my dear Madam, with the greatest respect,
MARIA DE FLEURY.
TO MISS J............ Y.
It being at the request of your honored father, that the first poem in this volume was written, and indeed, the whole published, I hope it will not be deemed an impropriety, if, before I conclude it, I beg leave to address a few lines to you.... You are young, my dear Miss, but you are not too young to be happy, you are not too young to die ; you are a young immortal. May you be soo deeply impressed with a sense of your true dignity, that all the gay, inchanting, deceitful pleasures of sin may appear in your view, what they really are in themselves, unworthy your pursuit; while the pleasures of true religion, the sublime enjoyments which a saving acquaintance with God in Christ Jesus, brings home to the soul, may rise high in your estimation, be your early choice, your first and last pursuit. Your dear parents, I am persuaded, can tell you from their own experience, what are the advantages of true, heart-felt religion, being made partakers of its blessings themselves; they can, and I doubt not but they do, recommend it to you as the one thing needful, and their prayers for you incessantly are, that the same distinguishing grace which has brought salvation to their hearts,
may be also bestowed upon you ; they wish you a , better portion than they can give you ; even, that Immanuel, the great God, our Saviour, may give himself to you, as your everlasting portion ; and when they shall see you enabled to devote yourself, your youth, your soul and body, your all, as your reasonable service to him, they will know that this is the case : this is their wish for you, and this is my wish for you ; may the great hearer of prayer, put his Amen to our wishes, and say, so be it....
When you read the first poem this volume contains, you will remember that I wrote it at the request of your father, and I am persuaded, that love to the divine Redeemer, and zeal for his truth, were the motives of that request; may your father's God be your God; may the great and glorious truths which this poem contains, be so revealed to your soul by the Spirit of truth, that Immanuel's name may become precious to you, be the most charming sound to your cars, and himself altogether lovely in your view; and if ever this is the case, which I hope and pray it may, you will possess greater riches, and sublimer happiness than the riches of Peru, or the empire of the world could give you....May the divine Spirit enable you, my dear Miss, to seek for these durable riches, and this sublime' happiness : if you seek them with your whole heart, you shall have them ; the Lord Jesus gives them freely to every one who is really and truly desirous to have them; and it is his peculiar delight to give them to those who seek them in the early part of life : he says, “ I love them that love me, and they that seek me early, shall find me," Prov. viii. 17.