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July 14 , 2008

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners


Children, Grace be with you. Amen. I being taken from you in presence, and so tied up that I cannot perform that duty, that from God doth lie upon me to you-ward, for your farther edifying and building up in faith and holiness, etc., yet that you may see my soul hath fatherly care and desire after your spiritual and everlasting welfare, I now once again, as before, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, so now from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards (Song iv. 8), do look yet after you all, greatly longing to see your safe arrival into THE desired Haven. I thank God upon every remembrance of you; and rejoice, even while I stick between the teeth of the lion in the wilderness, that the grace and mercy, and knowledge of Christ our Saviour, which God hath bestowed upon you, with abundance of faith and love; your hungerings and thirstings after farther acquaintance with the Father, in the Son; your tenderness of heart, your trembling at sin, your sober and holy deportment also, before both God and men, is a great refreshment to me; For ye are our glory and joy. 1 Thess. ii. 20. I have sent you here enclosed, a drop of that honey that I have taken out of the carcase of a lion. Judg. xiv. 5-8. I have eaten thereof myself, and am much refreshed thereby. (Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them, we shall find a nest of honey within them.) The Philistines understand me not. It is something of a relation of the work of God upon my soul, even from the very first, till now, wherein you may perceive my castings down, and risings up: for He woundeth, and His hands make whole. It is written in the Scripture, Isa. xxxviii. 19, The father to the children shall make known Thy truth. Yea, it was for this reason I lay so long at Sinai, Lev. iv. 10, 11, to see the fire, and the cloud, and the darkness, that I might fear the Lord all the days of my life upon earth, and tell of His wondrous works to my children
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