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OF A MINISTER OF GOD'S WORD, LALE OF WEST
THOROCK, IN ESSEX.
THE Lord hath laid a gracious and a gentle visitation on me; I do acknowledge (with a thankful heart) that this weakness of body, this languishing of nature, these painful days and nights are from him: for misery cometh not out of the dust, neither doth affliction spring out of the earth, Job 5. 6. Ah (my friends) little do men think how much the great disturbances of sickness, how much the pains and infirmities of a decaying body, distract these blessed thoughts, . those sweet and happy meditations, which the troubled soul desires; the spirit is willing, but the
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fesh is weas; Lui less strengthen the inward man, and by no more upon this siniui berikan thou in mercy) shalt enable it to bear.
I am now verily persuaded, that God hath purposed to determine my days, his blessed will be done, even so, Lord Jesus come quickly:
He that looketh into his life past, that ransackcth his soul, and calleth to mind the sinful failings of his youth, will find it very hard and difficult to make his calling and election sure: I have earnestly desired to leave no corner of my soul unsearched, and I find myself to be a very great and wretched sinner, I have committed grievous sins, very grievous sins, such sins as are not fit to be named before God's saints; I have exa:nined my soul by each particular commandment, and I find myself guilty of the breach of all, and that in an high manner, especially considering
that weighty function God's providence hath called me unto: I have not only sinned against mine own soul, but against the souls of others too, when I have corrupted by my ill example, and that very often.
And now, when I look upon the glass of the law, and there see mine own vileness, I find God's justice, and mine own deserts, even ready to surprize and cast me down into the nethermost hell, and that most righteously.
But I see the goodness of a gracious God! I now come to lay hold upon the promises, but how? not without repentance, not presumingly; I apply them noti in a general, but a particular 'way; I do not only believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, hut I believe also that he died for my sins, and rose again for justification. God hath promised (and all his promises are yea and amon) that he will not forsake those which
trust in him, nay it hath bound himself unto it by an oath, by two immutable things which cannot fail, his truth and his holiness, Heb. 6. 18. and God hath said, that he which confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall find mercy, 1 John 1.9.
Nay, I can go yet a little further, to strengthen my assurance, that my peace is made with God; I every day and every hour, do pray unto my Saviour to intercede his Father for me; and if I implore him, he will intercede his Father; and if he intercede his Father, he cannot be denied.
.O my God, impute my sins to him, transfer bis righteousness to me, and then I know I shall appear a glorious soul before thee. AMEN.