THE Vertuous Wife: OR, THE HOLY LIFE OF Mrs. ELIZABTH WALKER, Late Wife of A. Walker, D. D. some­time Rector of Fyfield in Essex.

Giving a modest and short Account of her Exemplary PIETY and CHARITY.

Published for the Glory of God, and pro­voking others to the like Graces and Vertues.

With some useful PAPERS and LETTERS writ by her on several Occasions.

London, Printed for N. R. and sold by J. Ro­binson, A. and J. Churchill, J. Taylor, and J. Wyat. 1694.

To the Honoured Friends of my late Dear Wife, for whose sake chiefly these things are Writ­ten.

Much honoured Christian Friends,

THough when I first set upon this Work, I design'd to thrust it forth into the World without any Address farther than the short Intro­duction with which I began it, yet when I had finished it I judged it not amiss to premise these few things following; partly by way of Advertisement, partly by way of Apology.

First by way of Advertisement.

1. That all I relate as hers, as writ­ten, or spoken, or done by her, were ex­actly hers, not feigned or pretended to [Page] be so. I have not writ her Life as the Roman Historians did the Lives of their Great Men and Heroes, made Speeches for them, and put Words into their Mouths, rather fit to be spoken by Men of their Figure and Character, than real­ly spoken by them.

But all that's Comma'd in the Margin is transcribed, verbatim, from her Wri­tings, which I have shew'd to many Witnesses, and am ready to shew to any Friend, who shall desire it. And what is related as spoken, is her Words, as near as my Memory could retain them, at so many Years distance; always the true sense and substance of what she spake; and which was oft heard by many, besides my self.

2. The things she wrote she could not have the least prospect they should ever see the publick light; and therefore did not dress them up, to appear with the best advantage she could have given them.

[Page]3. That she was a plain, private Wo­man, and conversed only with obscure Persons of low Degree, not to say, as contemptible as our selves, unless it were now and then, a day or two in a Year some Persons of Honour might vouchsafe her their Conversation, and therefore just Allowances are to be made, and too raised an Expectation ought not to be brought to the Perusal of what is offered; if it be usefull to Persons of her Level, it may suffice, and others ought to exceed her as much in their Improve­ments as they do in their Advantages to be improved, and their Opinions of themselves above her.

4. Though some Phrases occur in her Papers or Letters more than once, and may seem Tautologies now they are put so close together into one piece, yet had not the least shaddow of being so, being written at so many Years distance upon such different Occasions, and to divers Persons.

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[Page]5. Lastly, I pretend not to satisfie those who relish nothing but the flashes of frothy Wit, elegansie of Elaborate Periods, and a Chime of fine Words, and modish new Notions; but for so­lid, experienced Christians who desire to exercise themselves unto Godliness, and expect what may encourage and assist them thereto, I humbly hope they may meet an Entertainment which will not make repeated Perusal dis-agreeable to them, or think their Labour lost.

For Apology, I know it is better not to need any, than to be able to make the best.

Yet two Apologies seem needfull for my self, one for attempting the Work, the other for performing it no better.

For the first, some know, though I forbear to mention, what put me up­on the Resolution, and I think might be allowed as a fair Excuse.

Admitting it usefull, it must be done by my self, or the World have lost the Benefit of it.

And for the avoiding an Envidious Suspition, that I design my own Ho­nour behind the Curtain, and would slily steal a Reputation under Pretence of paying her Name a just Tribute of deserved Praise. I know the best way to break the dint of a Blow is to latch it, and meet it half-way, and I could more than almost spoil such Objections by preventing them, and making them as piquant and stinging as any would screw them up to be; but when all is done, there is no Fence against Ill-will, but obli­gingly to declare, I hope I shall meet with none, or unconcernedly, that I pi­ty and despise its feeble impotency; and if any will say, not so rudely as the Captain concerning the young Prophet sent to annoint Jehu, Wherefore came this mad Fellow? 2 Kings 9.11. Yet what means this vain Man to write the Life of his own Wife, and thereby in­sinuate, &c. Jehu's Answer for him shall suffice me for my self to you, (for, and to [Page] whom I write,) You know the Man and his Communication.

2. Why I have performed it no bet­ter? To which I reply first, if I have done it as well as I could, it is my Infelicity more than my Fault that it is performed no better.

3. That if I could have adorned it better, yet some Circumstances may ex­cuse its appearing as it doth.

The truth is I begun it in haste, and with some precipitancy, not foreseeing it would grow up into so great a Bulk or Length; and that I might dis­patch it quickly, began the Impression as soon as a Sheet was ready, and so was forced to keep pace with the Press, that I could not alter or correct a Line, nor lick the rudest Features into a better Shape, either for Method or Language, nor transcribe a Page, or add to the first flowings of my Thoughts or Pen. 'Tis said indeed, That Honey is the purest which flows of its own ac­cord, [Page] without pressing of the Combs, (yet even that needs clarifying;) but that Ink is the palest, and most faint, which swims at the Top, and is poured out without much shaking of the Bot­tle. If what I have written this hasty Treatise with be censured as such, I can­not help it now; I writ most of it at London, or Chelsy, and the whole in the midst of many Diversions; that it is in a great measure an heap, not only of first Thoughts, but of sudden ones.

And had I had opportunity of a strict review of the whole, some things I would have retrenched that are Minute, more I would have added very weighty, most might have been expressed more politely; yet, take it with all its disad­vantages, though it may be defective in the Ornamental part of its Dress, it is not so in the Substantial part of its Truth, which is more than the Ornament, the Life and Soul of History, and with the ordinary measure of Candour, which [Page] I reckon my self bound to allow to others when I read their Labours; this may pass in the Crowd, and prove nei­ther despicable nor useless, which is all that is begged or expected, and I pro­mise my self shall not be denied by you my much honoured Friends, to

Your very Humble Servant, Anthony Walker.

THE CONTENTS.

  • THE Introduction. pag. 3
  • SECT. I. Of her Birth and Parentage. pag. 5
    • An Account of her Book, out of which most is transcribed, concerning our selves and Children.
    • Time and Place of her Birth. pag. 9
    • Her Parents.
    • Her Father's early Prudence, and a strange over-ruling Providence, which brought him to be a Citizen, which was the spring and occasion of many consequent Mercies to her and others. pag. 10
    • The tenderness of her Spirit when a Child. pag. 13
    • A great fault she was guilty of when young, which was turned to her benefit in future Caution. pag. 14
    • Her Father's great Care of her, and Confidence in her. pag. 15
  • SECT. II. How she was first awakened to a deep Sense of Religion by Temptation. pag. 17
    • The first Onset by a blasphemous suggestion. pag. 18
    • How she overcame the Temptation to Atheism. pag. 19
    • Her long struggling with Temptation, and the first glimpse of Comfort. pag. 20
    • Kept half a Year by it without sleep, or very little. pag. 22
    • Means of her Recovery, and some gradual Relief; of which she hath an excellent Passage. pag. 24
    • [Page]Yet she suffered renewed Onsets. pag. 25
  • SECT. III. Of our Marriage; remarkable Passages concerning it. pag. 27
  • SECT. IV. Her Life in concise Epitome. pag. 30
  • SECT. V. How she spent a Day. pag. 32
    • Rose constantly at Four of the Clock. Spent two hours with God in secret.
    • An account of the rest till bed-time. pag. 41
  • SECT. VII. (For the number Six is omitted by the Printer) How she spent a Week. ibid.
    • Her exact circumspection, in sanctifying the Lord's Day. Her whole method in it, to Page 44
    • Monday Mornings Prayers for the Church of God, which she constantly observed with great Zeal and Charity, both for all the Foreign Churches and our own for many years, ever after she had been informed of that commendable Custom set up in so many Fa­milies quite through the Nation. ibid.
    • Constantly spent Friday, the Passion-day, in Fasting and Prayer; or if she foresaw Diversion unavoida­ble on that day, chose one before it. pag. 48
  • SECT. VIII. How she spent a Year: Where are set down the Heads of the following Sections. pag. 49
  • SECT. IX. Her Character as a Wife. pag. 51
    • —In time of Health, to Page 55
    • —In times of being Sick, to Page 61
  • SECT. X. Of her Lyings-in in Child-bearing. ibid.
  • SECT. XI. Of the Baptising our Children. Her very commendable Practice on that occasion. pag. 64
  • SECT. XII. Her Care of the Education of her Chil­dren. pag. 66 to pag. 82
    • I give no touch at the Particulars of this long Section, because I arnestly recommend the reading of the whole often over, as being very Exemplary and usefull.
  • [Page]SECT. XIII. Of monthly Sacraments. Her constant Communicating, and serious Preparation. pag. 82
  • SECT. XIV. Of her Writings. pag. 84
  • SECT. XV. Discreet management of her Family. pag. 86
  • SECT. XVI. Visitations by Sickness on our selves, or some of our Children. pag. 92 to pag. 115
  • This is so large, and hath so many exemplary passages of indefatigable Watchings, fervent Prayers, gra­tious Answers, humble Submission to God, that I leave them to the Reader's own Observation.
  • SECT. XVII. Renewed Assaults of her Enemy by Tem­ptation. pag. 115
    • The usual Seasons of which were Indispositions of Mind by Sorrow, or of Body by Sickness. pag. 116
  • Her Methods of Resisting,
    • 1. Conference with Experienced Christians.
    • 2. Reading suitable Books.
    • 3. Entring her solemn protest against them under her hand, in appeal to God, which you find, Page 119. with this Title, In time of Temptation writ by me Elizabeth Walker; followed with a most devout pathetick Prayer.
  • SECT. XVIII. Friends she used to pray for by name, and the form of Prayer in which. pag. 123
  • I name those in the Body of the Prayer, but omit to name them in the Margin, above Thirty Heads of Families, not being set down in order, according to their Qualities.
  • SECT. XIX. Some trying Calamities on the Nation, on Friends or Family, and signal Deliverance from Dangers. pag. 126
    • The great Plague, and the number that died. ibid.
    • The Fire, the number of Churches and Houses burnt. pag. 127
    • [Page]Other Afflictions on particular Friends. pag. 12 [...]
    • On our selves. pag. 129 to pag. 13 [...]
  • SECT. XX. Of our going to Tunbridge-Wells. ibid
    • My reasons of writing on it. How she made that plac [...] of Divertisment and Hurry, a place of Retirement an [...] Vacancy to Devotion. to pag. 14 [...]
  • SECT. XXI. Of keeping our Wedding-day, and Ente [...] tainment of our Friends. ibid
  • SECT. XXII. Of the Marriage of our only Daughter and her Death in Child-birth the same Year, yet leaving a Son. pag. 148. 'Tis no wonder she wrote so much of he [...] own, who used not to pass by what concerned others, [...] the Lady Mary Rich, and the Lady Essex Rich, the [...] Marriages, with a devout Prayer for each. pag. 149. Th [...] is a large Section, most transcribed from her own Papers, full of most excellent Devotion, and humble Sub­mission to God's smarty blow, to pag. 161. And then [...] most pathetick tenderness to the Dear Child. pag. 16 [...]
  • SECT. XXIII. Acts and Kinds of her great Charity ibid
    • An account how it might be call'd her Charity, though she were a Wife, and great Charity by which sh [...] gave, though all she had to give were, in truth, but little.
    • I allowed her what my small Estate would afford, all she gave of that was properly her own Charity, and mine also, in several respects, might properly be called her's, to pag. 171.
    • She gave considerably more every Year out of her allow­ance, than she spent upon herself.
    • She would buy Cloath from London by the whole piece to Clothe the Poor, cause strong Linsey-woolsey to be made, to give away; imploy the Poor who wanted Work; never buy any thing too cheap of the Poor Peo­ple, [Page] &c. was bountifull to her poor Relations. pag. 175
    • Yet never reproached her self or me, by a sordid garb but secured her own decency with great Prudence, while she relieved the Poor with great Charity. pag. 176
    • Her Charity in Pains was next to that of her Purse, in getting and using her skill in Physick and Chirurgery, and Women labouring with Child. pag. 180
    • Her forgiving Charity. pag. 181
    • Her Moderation towards them who were not of the same Communion. pag. 182 to pag. 185
  • SECT. XXIV. Of her care to promote God's Glory and the Salvation of Souls. pag. 185
  • SECT. XXV. Several Graces in which she was most Eminent. pag. 188. Knowledge, Faith, Charity, Patience, Sympathy with others, pity to the Poor Repentance. Reverential Fear of God, Love, Obedience, Sincerity, Modesty, Courage, Meekness, Contentedness, Thank­fulness, Tenderness of Conscience, Improvement of Time, Zeal, Humility. from pag. 188 to pag. 209
  • Her Sickness and Death. pag. 210
  • The APPENDIX. pag. 232
  • Directions to her Children concerning Prayer. pag. 214 to pag. 223
  • Some Heads of Prayer formed according to those Directi­ons pag. 224
  • Marks of a Regenerate Estate. pag. 229 to pag. 233
  • A Consolatory Letter written to the Right Honourable Isabella Countess of Radnor, upon the surprizing Death of her dearly-beloved Daughter, the Lady Essex Specot. pag. 234 to pag. 246
  • Another Consolatory Letter, written to a good Christian Friend under Trouble. pag. 246
  • An account of the Care she took of young Scholars which came to live in my Family, pag. 247. As it should be, though mis-printed pag. 227.
  • [Page]Two Letters, in part, which she wrote to one of them, to stir him up to Faithfulness in his Ministry. pag. 250
  • A good Letter to a Country Farmer, who Married her Kinswoman, which I hope may be usefull to all my plain Parishioners. pag. 258
  • A very large, but excellent Letter, writ to her dear Grand-Child, about two Months before she died, which I hope may be very usefull to young Gentlemen of the like Age. pag. 270
  • The Conclusion. pag. 296

It is not needfull to run over the whole, to amend the Mis-printings, which are not many, nor great. Prayers for Praises; Amnestry for Amnesty; revenerable for venerable; Glassock for Glascock, pag. 258. and a few like, are all I re­member, and some Mis-pointings.

THE HOLY LIFE OF Mrs Elizabeth Walker.

The INTRODUCTION.

I Am not so short sighted, as not to foresee the Censures I may expose my self to, by this Undertaking, especially if it fall into the Hands of such, as are prone to make sinister Interpretations of other Mens Actions, and receive with the left hand, what is most innocently offered with the right.

Yet considering it would be very ill becoming that endeared Affection I always bore to her living, and owe to her precious memory now God hath bereaved me of her, to baulk a Duty, and neglect an Office, which may be [Page 4] as usefull to others, as kind to her, upon such fears: I shall freely run that hazard, to per­petuate her Memory with just Honour, and deserved Praise; but principally to glorifie God for that abundant Grace vouchsafed to her, and to carry on that Work her Heart was so intensly set upon; that is, the promoting God's Interest in the World, and the good of Souls. That the Bushel of unkind silence, and sudden forgetfulness may not be whel­med over so burning and shining a Light, whose Heat and Lustre may warm and en­lighten others, though set upon so low a Candlestick, as my hasty Pen must place it on.

I willingly wave an obvious Preface, of the usefulness and efficacy of good Examples, to enlarge on which, it may elsewhere appear, I am not wholly unfurnished, because I de­sign the concisest brevity; and for the same reason I shall pass by what concerned her in all other regards, but those the Title Page sug­gests, or touch them no farther than seems necessary for decency and order's sake, to in­troduce what I mainly and indeed solely de­sign in this Essay, that those who read it, may more fully know of whom these things are spoken. To effect which, I shall begin with an Account of her Parentage and Birth, left under her own hand.

SECT. I. Of her Birth and Parentage.

BEfore the Transcribing of which, I shall premise thus much concerning her Pa­pers, from which I am chiefly furnished for this work. I sometimes coming into her Chamber, when she was Writing, she would slide her Book or Papers into the Drawer of the Table on which she wrote; and this having happened several times, she one day, on the like occasion, bespake me thus;

My Dear, let me beg one promise from thee; Which when I had assented to, having de­manded what it was, she replied, That I would never look into the Books and Papers in that Drawer, so long as she lived. So tender was she rather to improve her time well, than to have it known, even to my self, how well she spent it. Which promise, as she fully acquiesced in, was on my part most faithfully made good.

Since her Death, amongst her many most usefull, excellent, and pious Writings, I found a large Book in Octavo, of the best Paper she could buy, neatly bound, gilded, and ruled with red, provided for the use to which she so well imployed it.

On the second Page of which I find thus written; [Page 6] Elizabeth Walker her Book, all writ with my own hand, though the Character doth vary, I striving to write a little deeper, my sight growing weaker; I say, there is not one Syllable, which I have not writ with my own hand.’

In this Book, from the beginning at one end, in about two third parts of it, are writ­ten many excellent Instructions and religious Directions, for the use of her two Daughters, who were then living, to teach them how to serve God acceptably, and promote the Salva­tion of their Souls: Which I shall have occa­sion oft to refer to, and to transcribe many Passages out of it, in the sequel.

The other End bears this Title; ‘Some Memorials of God's Providences to my Husband, Self, and Children.’

Then she begins thus; My Husband was born, &c. and so gives a very exact Account of my Parentage, Family, Education, and many signal Mercies and Diliverances vouch­safed me before she knew me, of which she [Page 7] had informed her self at several times, by en­quiries of me, and Discourses with me, I suppose to inform our Children after us, That the Generation to come might know them, even the Children which should be born, who should a­rise and declare them to their Children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God; but keep his Commandments: As the Psalmist speaks, Psal. lxxviij. 6, 7. And after every one of them testifies the sense of a very pious gratefull Mind, in such Ex­pressions as these; Blessed be God for his Mercy to him then, and in his farther goodness to me therein—for which mercifull Providence I bless God—Blessed be God that upheld him in it, and delivered him from it, &c.

I can scarce obtain of my self to add more on this Head, yet begging the Candour of the Christian Reader, I will venture to sub­join the last Passage, which in this Paragraph concerns my self, because it savours no less of pious Gratitude to God, than most endearing kindness toward me.

‘When he was ready to commence Master of Arts, good Bishop Brownrigg commended him to worthy Doctor Gauden, to teach Mrs. Mary Lukenor, Dr. Gauden's Wife's Daughter, who was afterward the Wife of my Lord Townsend, and died Childless. Af­ter Three Years spent in that Imployment, [Page 8] and assisting Dr. Gauden in the Ministry at Bocken, my Dear came to be Houshold Chaplain to the good and noble Right Ho­nourable Robert Earl of Warwick, at Leez, where he received many Mercies; the chief to be esteemed, the Crown God was pleased to give to his Ministry, in the Conversion of the then Lady Mary Rich, since the Right Honourable Countess of Warwick: A most incomparable Woman in all Ornaments of Nature and Grace, and his most sincere and entire Friend, whom I beseech God in his infinite Goodness to preserve, and crown with all his Mercies.’

Excuse the pathos of a gratefull Mind, which cannot refrain crying out concerning these two holy Women. Never Man had better Friend than the one, or better Wife than the other. Blessed be my gracious God for his great Kind­ness to me in them both.

‘After Three Years continuance in that Family, upon the Death of Dr. Read, my Lord presented my Dear to Fyfield in Essex, a competent good Living and Subsistence, blessed be God for it. Good Lord crown his Ministry there, with the Success of the Conversion and Bringing in their Souls to the Obedience and Knowledge of Jesus Christ. Give him abundance of the Graces of thy Holy Spirit, and store his Heart with the [Page 9] Treasuries of thy heavenly Truths, and continue my Dear Husband a faithfull, pain­full, able Labourer in thy Vineyard.’

If what I have thus far touch'd may savour of any Vanity, the modesty of what I have past over may excuse the Errour, at least to them who may see the Original Manuscript.

Now to return to her of whom I write; she proceeds,

I was Born at London, in Bucklersbury, on Thursday the 12th. of July, in the Year of our Lord 1623, and Baptized the 20th. Day of the same Month. The Lord vouchsa­fing me a reception into the visible Church of Jesus Christ, when he most justly might have suffered no Eye to pity me, but have cast me out, to the loathing of my Person, in my original Defilement, and Stains of my sinfull Nature. But to my first admit­tance, good Lord, enable me to ascend, that being a Member of thy Church mili­tant here on Earth, I may attain to be one of thy Church triumphant in Heaven

My Dear Father was Mr. John Sadler, a very Eminent Citizen, and of a most gene­rous, loving, and charitable Disposition; and a most tender Father to me, and a kind Fa­ther-in-Law to my Husband. He was born at Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, where his Ancestors lived.

[Page 10]

My Grandfather had a good Estate in and about the Town. He was of a free and noble Spirit, which somewhat out-reach'd his Estate, but not given to any Debauchery I ever heard of.

My Father's Mother was a very wise, pious, and a good Woman, and lived and died a good Christian.

My Father had no Brother, but three Sisters, who were all eminently Wise and good Women, especially his youngest Sister, who married my Father's Partner in Trade; a religious good Man.

In process of time my Father was desired to change his single estate; accordingly a Match was provided for him, but he, by God's Providence, approved not of it.

His Father then provided him good Clothes, good Horse, and Money in his Purse, and sent him to make his Addresses to a Gentlewoman in that Country. But he considering well how difficult a married Condition was like to prove, his Father ha­ving reduced his Estate from about 400 l. a Year to 80. His own Prudence, but espe­cially God's good Providence over-ruling his mind, instead of going a Wooing he join'd himself to the Carrier, and came to London, where he had never been before, and sold his Horse in Smithfield; and having no Ac­quaintance [Page 11] in London to recommend him, or assist him, he went from Street to Street, and House to House, asking if they wanted an Apprentice; and though he met with many discouraging Scorns, and a thousand denials, he went on, till he light on Mr. Brokes bank, a Grocer in Bucklersbury; who though he long denied him, for want of Sure­ties for his Fidelity, and because the Mo­ney he had (but Ten Pounds) was so dis­proportionable to what he used to receive with Apprentices, yet upon his discreet ac­count he gave of himself, and the Motives which put him upon that Course, and pro­mise to compensate with diligent and faith­full Service, what ever else was short of his Expectation, he ventured to receive him upon Trial, in which he so well approved himself, that he accepted him into his Ser­vice, to which he bound him for Eight Years, to which he willingly submitted, though he was then full Twenty-one Years old; and there he served a faithfull and labo­rious Apprenticeship, but much liked of his Master and Mistress: And after served him Five Years Journey-man; they not being willing to part with him. In which time he had his Master's leave to Trade for him­self in Drugs and Tabacco, by which he left Grocery, and was by Trade a Druggist in [Page 12] London. And by that Profession God bless'd my dear Father with a very plentifull and good Estate, with which God gave him a bountifull Mind, and liberal Heart, to doe much good to his Relations, and others.

My Dear Mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Sadler, was the Daughter of Mr. Dackum, some­times Minister of Portsmouth. Also my Grandmother Dackum was a very wise and prudent Woman.

In my Infancy I was very sickly, and of a weakly Constitution. Blessed be God for the Love and Care of Parents and Friends in my Childhood Estate.

She was her Parents first Born, after Five Years Marriage, and despair of having Chil­dren, which rendred them exceeding tender of her; and yet was she well nigh starved at Nurse, at Lusam in Kent: For though her Parents sent so bountifully, besides the Nurses Wages, as might near maintain the Family, yet have they found the Meat they sent ready to stink, for want of dressing.

‘In my fuller Age I was of a pensive Na­ture God saw it good that I should bear the yoak in my Youth, but I did not consider the hand that put it on.’

‘When I was Young the Lord was pleased to deliver me from many Casualties.’ Af­ter naming them she always concludes with [Page 13] Praises—Blessed be his preventing Mercy— Blessed be God that preserved me in that dan­ger— And such like.

If St. Augustin's confessing of his robbing an Orchard be so much approved, why may not I touch so small a thing as I meet with here, which shews the tenderness of her Spirit?

‘When I was a Child, my Mother would send me where she less trusted my Sisters: In what I might fail, I cannot call to mind; but I remember she sent me where she kept her Apples; they suited my child­ish Appetite, I took one, I could not keep it, but thought I had stole it; I went back, unlock'd the Door, but with some regret laid down the Apple. Blessed be restraining Grace.

But I must pass over a great many things for brevity, which might be usefull unto o­thers, and are very pleasant to my self in rea­ding, for the savory sense of pious Gratitude which all along breaths in them; yet I will not hide the greatest fault I ever knew her guilty of, in my own observation, or find her charge her self with, either in her Book or Diary.

Having written many things which I pass by, and last concerning the burning of her Father's House, she thus proceeds. ‘About [Page 14] half a year after the Fire (which was when she was about Thirteen or Fourteen years old) my Father had a great fit of sickness, which held him a quarter of a year, and in great danger of Death: In which time of his sickness, I, poor wretched Crea­ture, through a sudden surprise and provo­cation, spoke a wicked word to a superior, of which my Father was informed, and most justly very angry with me. I being exceedingly afraid, and ashamed to confess what or to whom I had spoke, dreading my Father's displeasure, denyed it. Good Lord pardon this Transgression, with the aggravations of it. O Lord, I thank thee for thy patience, forbearance and long-sufferance extended to me. Thou mightest most justly have stopt my corrupt breath, and allowed me neither space nor time of Repentance. I beseech thee with this ab­horr'd provocation, forgive all my relative Sins. Good Lord pardon my Sins of Child­hood, Youth, riper Age, single estate, mar­ried condition, wheresoever, whensoever, against whomsoever committed; that they may not shame me in this world, nor con­found me before thee, when I shall appear at thy Tribunal.’

The abhorrency she had of this fault was so great, that I firmly believe she never know­ingly [Page 15] spake an untruth after to her dying day. So gracious, faithfull and able is our good God to bring Good out of Evil, and by setting home the smart of one Sin, to prevent the committing of the like for ever after.

After many passages of God's goodness and her Father's indulgent kindness to her, which I omit, I meet with this evidence of her Fa­ther's confidence in her Prudence and Inte­grity; ‘That keeping a petty Cash for him of an Hundred Pounds or more, he would not so much as read over the particulars charg'd, as disbursed for her self, but would say, 'Pray thee take at any time what thou needest: By which freedom, I bless God, I was not made lavish, but more sparing. Lord, I bless thee for the indulgent Care and Love of a Parent. How much more wilt thou give good things to them that ask thee? and no good thing wilt thou with­hold from them that walk uprightly.’

My Dear Father was very tender of me, and in time of the Civil Wars sent me to Ipswich for my safety, where I stay'd a Year and a Quarter; in which time a Gentleman of a good Estate in Land, and a Merchant by Profession, had a great Kindness for me, one whom, in the best of my thoughts, I did then approve; but in the extension of [Page 16] God's goodness to me, in preventing my future disappointment, as to things of this Life, by a strange over-ruling Providence my Father slighted that offer; two or three Years after the Gentleman decay'd in his Estate by great Losses at Sea.

About a Year after my return from Ipswich I went into Warwickshire, to Stratford, in both which places I acknowledge I did not improve that vacancy as I might to better Advantages, but squander'd it away vainly, and in idle Visits, not providing for Eter­nity with my time. Lord pardon my neglects.

Whilst here, a Gentleman of a very con­siderable Estate was very importunate with me for my liking; but though his Estate was a great Temptation to me, I could not fancy his Person. God's goodness reserving for me my best Choice.

Having thus run over with what brevity I could what is but Prefatory to my main design, and for that end been forced to omit many things well-worthy to have been taken notice of, I shall make nearer approaches to what I chiefly propounded to my self; which is, to represent, though in too faint Colours, the amiable Beauty of that resplendant Holi­ness and signal Chatity, with which the God of all Grace, to whom be all the Glory, vouch­safed to adorn this blessed Soul.

SECT. II. How she was first awakened to a deep sense of Re­ligion by Temptation.

AND because great and weighty Fabricks, require deep and strong Foundations, that they may stand firm and last; that God whose work is perfect, thought good to use that method towards her. He suffered her weary Soul to be dug deep and long, with sore and great Temptations. And as 'tis usually said, a Storm makes a Mariner, a Bat­tle a Soldier, and Temptation makes a Chri­stian. She was certainly an excellent Christi­an; and to render her such, she was long buf­feted with horrid satanical Suggestions, and blasphemous Temptations; which not only made her go mourning all the day long, but many Months and Years; and not only those fiery and envenomed Darts drank up her Spirits, but brought her Life to the gates of the Grave, and her distressed Soul to the gates of Hell.

I shall, for the comfort and support of o­thers who may fall into the like Distress, give the account of it, as set down by her own Pen, which may at least relieve them against one difficulty which oppressed her very heavily; that is, she thought her case to be singular, and [Page 18] that never any had been in the like condition; and one of the first glimpses of comfort which shone into her dark Soul, was from her good Aunt's acquainting her, that she had had ex­perience of the like Tryals.

When I had been at home about half a Year I grew Melancholy, occasioned by some discontent, which God was pleased to cure with a smart Corrosive, through suffering Satan to take advantage of that humour; which affliction swallowed up all my other troubles.

I going to Prayer, according to my usual custom, before I kneeled down, by an out­ward action of my Hand, which was in it self very innocent, and at that time not irreverent, farther than the Devil made it so, by cast­ing a blasphemous suggestion into my mind, which looked very hideously upon me: But, notwithstanding, I pray'd without farther molestation at that time. I cannot remem­ber what notice I took of the Temptation in my Prayer; but when I had ended my Pray­er, my Enemy fiercely assaulted me: I could neither see any thing, nor hear, or doe any thing, but evil Motions were forced into my mind; and though I besought the Lord, more than thrice, I could not be free from that affliction.

Sometimes, through my dark and cloudy [Page 19] fancy, I had temptations that there was no God, which was very vexatious to me. And I, impatient of it, desired to apprehend a God, all Vengeance and Terrour, rather than no God at all.

But the Lord was pleased to obviate that Temptation by my meditating on the Crea­tion. My Father much loved Flowers, and, as the Season of the Year would afford, al­ways had his Flower-Pots standing by him, where he sate writing in his Shop, but then were above in the Parlor window, to which I often went, to countermine my Temptati­on, in admiring the curious Works of the God of Nature. With others there was then in flower a Calcedon Iris, full of the impresses of God's curious workmanship, which the Lord was pleased to make use of to raise my poor heart and thoughts to the admiring and adoring of him. Blessed be God that that Temptation was not above my strength.

In the time of my extremity, I went to Mr. Watson, a good Man, Minister of Ste­phen's Walbrook, the Parish wherein we lived. To him I imparted somewhat of my trouble; he strove to comfort me; I found little ease with my burthen; it grew more heavy; I repented I had made my condition known.

I thought my estate to be singular, and that I should hear Books and Ballads cried [Page 20] of me about the streets; though I had not acquainted any with my trouble but only Mr. Watson.

My Father's Sister, my dear Aunt Quiney, a gratious good Woman, taking notice of my dejected Spirit, she way-laid me in my com­ing home from the Morning Exercise, then in our Parish. She surprized me with an inquisitive desire to know what I ailed; but I not readily informing her, she ask'd me if I were not troubled with Temptations. I mar­velled at the Question, and then acquainted her with my Affliction. She, from her own experience in the like case, advised me, which for the present was a refreshment to me; for before I was not acquainted with any in the like condition with my self.

Some little time after my dear Father, ta­king notice of me that I was not well, but not fully understanding what I ailed, sent for a Physician to me, Dr. Bathurst, who I hope was a good Man; but I was much trou­bled at his coming, though I knew my Fa­ther sent for him in his great care and love to me. The Physician came to me one Morn­ing before I was out of Bed; he perceived my Distemper to be most Dejectedness and Me­lancholly: With other talk, he discoursed very piously with me. I took the freedom to tell him, I thought I did not need a Physician, [Page 21] and with the expression of my respects, de­sired him to forbear coming to me; which the good Man did not take ill, but with good counsel left me.

It pleased the Lord sometimes to refresh me with those Words of the Psalmist, Why art thou cast down, O my Soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for thou shalt yet praise him, who is thy help, and health of thy countenance, and thy God. How sweet is this propriety, my God! Lord, where thou givest thy Self, thou givest All; and thou who hast shewed me great and sore troubles wilt revive me again. Thou hast brought up my Soul from the brink of Hell: Thou wilt keep me alive, that I shall not go down to the pit of Destruction.

I desired to go from home into the Coun­try to some private good Family, where I had no acquaintance; which when my Father knew, he readily granted my request. My good Aunt understanding my mind, she ac­quainted Mrs. Watson, our Minister's Wife, a good Woman, with my desire; by which means I went to her Father, Mr. John Beadle, an honest worthy good Man: He was Mi­nister of Banston in Essex.

My dear Father hired a Coaeh, and went with me to Mr. Beadle's, and with the ex­pression of his tender love, said to me, That [Page 22] I should not want any thing to doe me good, to the one half of his Estate. And he was very bountifull in the requital of my receipts in that Family. God's goodness to be ac­knowledged, my dear Mother then was very kind to me. I lived at Mr. Beadle's half a Year; where I had the fatherly Care, and Counsel, and Prayers of that good Man, with the great love of his Wife, a very good Wo­man, and very kind to me; and the manifesta­tions of the respects and care of their Chil­dren and Servants, in any thing that might tend to my satisfaction and comfort. The Lord requite it to them in spiritual Blessings, with the Mercies of this Life.

In my continuance at Mr. Beadle's the Lord afforded me, with other opportunities and helps, much time in reading and secret Prayer, which through Grace I strove to im­prove for spiritual advantage; and humbly hope, for the sake and merits of Christ, re­mains upon the file of God's Mercy, for ful­ler returns of Grace.

For half a Year I do not know that I slept, if I did it was very little; and yet I did not want either sleep or health. Blessed be God for his sustaining and supporting Arm.

If I desired any thing that was gratefull to my Appetite, when it was brought me I durst not make use of it, because I thought it [Page 23] to be the satisfaction of a base sensual Ap­petite.

I did eat very sparingly, which, with my much weeping, occasioned me some little inconvenience, which became habitual.

When I had been at Banston about four months (by God's providence for me) Mr. Beadle exchanged one Lord's-Day with Mr. Walker, then Chaplain to my Lord of War­wick, at Leez; the first time I saw my dear Husband.

When I had been at Banston half a Year my Father writ to me as to my coming home; to which I was inclinable, though my Father gave me my liberty: It was in my thoughts, that I was without natural af­fection.

Mr. Watson and his Wife being at Mr. Bea­dle's, and returning to London, I came home in company with them; enjoying more calm of Spirit than when I went from home, I bless God.

My Troubles wearing off more gradually, which, to my satisfaction I desired, if God had seen it good for me, might have been more signal in the discovery and manifestation of his favour, in my Victory and Conquest of my temptation.

It is not for me to prescribe or limit the Holy One of Israel. If I may take leave to [Page 24] beg and wait on him, in whom are all my fresh springs, for supply of Grace and Com­fort; if the Lord will give to me, his un­worthy Creature, in pence and half pence, what in bigger summs he sees fit to bestow on others, that my dependence may be con­tinually on him, I desire to be thankfull.

Lord, if thou wilt not subdue my Enemies at once, yet make them tributaries to thy Glory, and my spiritual advantage; that these Amorites may be hewers of Wood, and drawers of Water, usefull to me; that I may see my own deficiency, and thy strength in my weakness: For if thy presence goe not with me, I shall soon desert thy cause; and though I may be assaulted, let me not be overcome; but seeing the quarrel is thy own, Lord undertake for me in this my military life here, where there is no cessation of Arms; that I may war a good warfare, that those my Enemies which now affright me, I may see no more for ever: So grant Lord Jesus. Amen, Amen.

This minds me of that apposite passage in Dan. x. 10, 11. and very applicable to her Case, vers. 9. Daniel was asleep upon his face, with his face toward the ground; then vers. 10 And behold an hand touched me, which set me up­on my knees and the palms of my hands; and then, vers. 11. he saith to him, Stand upright. [Page 25] On which place I meet with this Note; The Lord doth not at once restore his Servants from their frailties, that they by gradual comforts may prize every drop of Mercy, beings not quickned all at once when they are mortified; but may be admo­nished by the remainders of fears and frailties, to keep their hearts humble, and in continual depen­dence upon God.

I shall have occasion more than once to touch this dolefull string again. 'Tis recorded of our Lord, that when he was Baptized, He was driven of the Spirit into the Wilderness to be tempted of the Devil, and being forty days tempted of him, St. Luke iv. 2. then ver. 13. When the Devil had ended all the temptations, he departed from him for a season. I would be cautiously tender of making comparisons to that Divine Pattern, yet we remember that St. Paul tells us, Rom. viij. 29. Whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the Image of his Son, that he might be the first-born amongst many Brethren. And the instance of the like­ness betwixt Christ and his Brethren is placed, Heb. ij. 18. in being tempted.

God restrain'd her Enemy, (as she always call'd the Devil both in Speech and Writing,) sometimes for shorter, sometimes for longer seasons. Sometimes she hardly stood her ground and kept the field; sometimes she so resisted as to make him fly; and sometimes, though [Page 26] more rarely, by the help of the God of Jacob, who taught her hands to war, and her fingers to fight in this spiritual Combat, (and whom she us'd to importune to carry on this War at his own charge, because the quarrel was his own,) she obtain'd signal and triumphant Victories, and in the sense of them was filled with joy un­speakable, and full of Glory; was more than con­querour, through him that loved her, Rom. viij. 37.

Yet even after these she would complain, that at some distance Beelzebub, the God of Flies, like that restless, impudent, and impor­tunate Creature, would return to Buz, yea, and attempt to blow her mind, especially if there were any sore place found to light on, any small remisness, or bodily infirmity, which abated her vigour to resist or keep him off. But I shall leave at present this more dark and cloudy Scene, and hasten to that which our gracious God of his infinite Goodness rendred so lightsome and comfortable to us both. Bles­sed be his Mercy for it.

SECT. III. Of our Marriage.

WHEN I had been from Mr. Beadle's half a year, and then at Home, my now dear Husband came to my Father's, and, as a consolatory Friend, gave me a visit. Some time after he came again and some Months having passed in more frequent Con­versation, God, having determined our mu­tual love and liking, did graciously, with the approbation of my Friends, consum­mate our choise in Marriage: For which good Providence I bless God.

I was married by Mr. Watson at Hammer­smith, on July 23, 1650. my Father and my Mother, with other Friends, went with me to Hammersmith. The morning was lowring, with small Rain, and very likely to be a wet day, which was uncomfortable, and much troubled me: But recollecting my self, my Thoughts suggested to me, what's matter for these Clouds, if the Sun of Righteous­ness shine through them upon us. I had not got to the Water-side, and into the Boat, but the Sun expelled the Clouds to my comfort; it broke forth and shined with that vigour and splendor, that to the best of my observa­tion, [Page 28] which had great impression upon me, I do not know that the Sun disappeared one moment that day, from the first time I saw it, to the going down of it, but was as clear and bright a day as ever my Eyes beheld. Thus God was pleased to condescend to my weak­ness. Thus far my dear Wife's Pen.

Let me take the freedom to subjoin. The first visit I made to her, with design to ob­tain her for my Wife, walking some time alone in her Father's Parlour, in which lay a fair Folio Bible on a Desk; I casually opened it, and the first verse I cast my eye upon was Prov. xix. 14. House and Riches are Inheritance of Fathers, and a prudent Wife is from the Lord, which I have many times comfortably reflect­ed on since. To which I'll add another good Omen; When I went to buy a Wedding-ring, the first which was offered to me had this Posie, Joined in one by Christ alone, which I liked so well, I looked no farther, and it fitted so exactly for the size, no care or art could have made it fitter. I am so far from putting any great stress on such little matters, that I can say with the Psalmist, I hate those who hold on superstitious vanities; yet let me with due thankfulness re­mark not the effect, but event and consequent. Our whole married Estate was like the light of the morning when the Sun riseth, even a morn­ing without Clouds, and as clear shining after [Page 29] Rain. And if ever Man was blest with a pru­dent Wife, I owe the depest acknowledgments to him that gave me that choice Mercy.

For though God sometimes did us the ho­nour to suffer his own Enemies to declare themselves ours, he oft convinc'd them, always restrain'd them, that they could not considera­bly hurt us. And when unkind Envy hath le­vell'd at us, it rather recoil'd than hit the mark. Blessed be our defence, and the God of our Mer­cies. And for the constancy of mutual Affection, if we sometimes differed in small matters, we never disagreed, or once closed our Eyes to sleep in Thirty nine years seven months in dis­content, or under dissatisfaction on either part. So graciously did he who joined our hands and hearts turn our Water into Wine, not only on our Marriage-day, but till the mournfull period of it. Blessed be his loving Kindness for it.

We were in great danger of a short conju­gal Society, as will appear from what next follows.

‘When we were first married we lived the first Year at Croyden in Surry, with much love of the People, and with other Expres­sions of kindness, their great unwillingness to part with us, my Husband's Ministry be­ing very desirable to them. The very next week after I was married, there happened a contageous Disease at Croyden, occasioned by [Page 30] the Nastiness and Stench of the Prisoners, the Assizes being then kept there, of which Disease both the Judges, some of the Justices, and many Inhabitants died; my Husband preached at the Assize; he was both with the Prisoners and the Sick, yet God spared him for farther use for his Glory. He had some degree of the Disease, but, I bless God, it went off with Sweating, and some other helps, at my Father's House in London, from whence we were not then fully removed.’

SECT. IV. Her Life in a concise Epitome.

IF I may hitherto seem to any to have forgot my Text, I mean my Title Page, I beg their pardon, if they think I need it. I shall in what remains keep closer to it, and might draw her lively Effigies in Miniture, with a Scripture Pensil, and with few touches truly represent her Icon. Such as these, To her to live was Christ, and to die was gain. The life she lived in the flesh, she liv'd by the faith of the Son of God. Her life was hid with God in Christ. Her life was a continual Warfare against her rest­less Enemy. Her life was a course which she so ran, that she might obtain. Her life was a [Page 31] daily Meditation on Death, and serious pre­paration for it. Her life was to follow after peace with men, as much as in her lay, and holi­ness, that she might see God. Her life was the gainfull Trade, to sell all to purchase the Pearl of invaluable price, and buy that oil which might fill her vessel, and feed her trimmed lamp, to meet the bridegroom of her Soul. Her life was to be so employed, that when her Lord came, he might say to her, Well done good and faithful ser­vant, enter thou into thy master's joy. In a word, her life was to live Holily, that she might die Happily, like Enoch, to walk with God, that he might take her; to abide in Christ, and in her measure to walk as he also walked, to promote God's Interest in this World, that in the next, she might be ever with the Lord.

But this is to affirm, not to prove; and though I comfortably know all this to be most true, that's no Conviction to the incredulous World: I must therefore, and, God assisting, shall pro­duce my vouchers to satisfie others, and to ex­cite them, and assist them to be like her.

And a brief method occurs to my thoughts to accomplish this also; for our whole Life being Epitomized into twenty four Hours distinguish­ed into Light and Darkness, Day and Night, of which the longest Life is but a repetition; or at most into a Week, dividing its days betwixt God [Page 32] and our selves, what he allows us and what he reserves to himself. And at utmost into a Year (with what may occur in such a compass) comprehending Heat and Cold, Summer and Winter, and vicissitudes of Seasons which begin and end, and begin and end again, and circu­late over and over, till Breath and Time both cease together.

To describe one Day, one Week, one Year of her Life, who was so constant, even, stea­dy in her course, (I mean in kind and sub­stance, not in degrees and measures; for she grew in Grace, went from strength to strength, exceeding her self, forgetting what was behind,) were in some sort to describe her Life in Epi­tome. The following Day being parallel to that which went before, and the succeeding Week the copy of the precedent, only fairer written, and the like of Years.

SECT. V. How she spent a Day.

I Shall therefore first faithfully relate how she spent a Day; (that is, every Day.) She always rose early, and lived with the least sleep I ever knew, or heard of any. Her long and frequent weeping, and sleepless months [Page 33] in the Agonies of her Temptation, had made it easie to her to be satisfied with little Rest: But after she had ceased from Child-bearing, she constantly rose at four a Clock, Winter and Summer; I say constantly, when in Health; yea, sometimes when under Indisposition: When I say constantly, I do not deny but sometimes she might be prevailed with to lie till Six, or after, but then she at other times much oftner rose by Three, yea two in the Morning, which much more than equalled the account to say e­very day at Four: And yet her Heart was always up before her, when she awaked she was still with God, darting up Prayers and Praises to him who giveth his Beloved sleep. I confess I have oft kindly argued the case with her, to dissuade her, fearing it would prejudice her Health, urging that Mercy was required more than Sacrifice, that overdoing was undoing, and it might turn to disadvantage; then she would reply, ‘Good my Dear, grant me my liberty; 'tis the pleasure of my Life, when all is still and quiet, no di­sturbance or interruption, but a calm Sereni­ty, and silent Stilness, to enjoy my self;’ and when I have told her she shamed, and by her Practice upbraided my Sloth, who slept much longer, she would answer, ‘Thy Constituti­on will not bear it, and thou hast nothing to divert thee, but mayest be alone all day in thy Study, but my Family-Imployment and In­spection [Page 34] requires my care and attendance; and if I lose my Morning, and break my mea­sures, it renders me uneasie, and puts me in­to an huddle all the Day.’

When she had slightly slipt on her Cloaths, she would go softly into the Chamber, which she called the Chamber of her choise Mercies, and beloved retirement, and without calling of a Servant, kindle her own Fire, having Char­coal or Dry-wood laid ready, and so she spent two hours at least with God; and then at Six, or after, would she call her Maids, and duly hear one or both read a Chapter, then sit and read her self, till the Servants had had what was fit for them, which she despised not to do, to keep all in good order: Then would she inspect the ordering her Dairy, and put her humble hands to some part of the work; then direct prudently and plentifully for our own Table, and the Servants, and afterwards dress herself decently with small expence of time; then read, or work with her Needle, till Fami­ly-Prayer, when she would have all day-la­bourers about the House called in.

And if any took their work by the great, not for day wages, whose time was their own, not ours, she would out of her own allowance, or the Box, (I hope that Phrase is not unin­telligible to many Families, if it be, St. Paul's Expression of laying by, as God hath prosper'd [Page 35] them, may help them to understand it,) give them a Penny a day, as much as she thought they might have earned in the time of Family Duty, that they might not be robbed of their time, (God hating Robbery for an Offering,) nor grudge, or come unwillingly when called in; and the like satisfaction would she make them, if she gave them any diversion from the work they took by the Great, as our common Phrase is, without the least incroachment on their time, under pretence of the advantages the Fa­mily afforded them. At Dinner, which was the only set Meal she ordinarily made, she would hardly be prevailed with to drink more than one glass of Wine, or Sider, and never any Ale, or strong Beer, and eat moderately: In the Afternoon, if there were any Neighbours sick, she would visit them, and call on every poor Neighbour nigh going or coming, to counsel or encourage them, and as the Season of the Year required, prepare Medicines for the Fa­mily, the Poor, and Neighbourhood; distilled Waters, Syrups, Oils, Ointments, Salves, &c. or distribute them out, or apply them to those who needed, and for the rest, work with her Needle, read good Books, and order Family concerns, but chiefly the Education of her Chil­dren, of which more fully afterwards.

About Five she retired to her private De­votions, and, they finished, came to me, and [Page 36] brought the Children with her, whilst we had them, to be seriously exhorted and counselled alone, and then to Pray in secret; for the hap­py success of which good Custom, I have as much cause to bless God, and do it most hear­tily, as for any circumstance of my Life; and if any will deride and scorn it, I can say with Job, Mock on: If idle diversions yield them more comfort, I envy not their choice, much good may it doe them.

I learnt this Practice by reading the Life of holy Mr. Robert Bolton, more than forty years ago; and oh that these Papers might be blest to induce any to follow an Example set to me and them by so famous and so good a Man! To conclude and shut up this,

I will transcribe, and allusively apply the words, wherewith devout Bishop Hall concludes his Art of Divine Meditation.

Give me leave to complain with just Sorrow and Shame, that if there be any Christian Duty, whose o­mission is notoriously shameful, and prejudi­cial to the Souls of Professors, it is this of Meditation. This is the end God hath given us our Souls for, we mispend them if we use them not thus. How lamentable is it that we so imploy them, as if our faculty of dis­course served for nothing but our Earthly Pro­vision; as if our reasonable and Christian Minds were appointed for the slaves and [Page 37] drudges of this Body, only to be the Caterers and Cooks of our Appetite!

The World filleth us, yea, cloyeth us; we find our selves work enough to think, What have I got? What may I get more? What must I lay out? What must I leave for Posterity? How may I prevent the wrong of my Adversary? How may I return it? What answers shall I make to such Allegations? What entertainment shall I give to such Friends? What courses shall I take in such Suits? In what Pastime shall I sp [...]nd this Day? In what the next? What ad­vantage shall I reap by this Practice, what loss? What was said, answered, replied, done, fol­lowed?

Goodly thoughts, and fit for spiritual Minds! Say there were no other World, how could we spend our Cares otherwise? Unto this only Neglect let me ascribe the common­ness of that Laodicean temper of Men; or (if that be worse) of the dead coldness, which hath stricken the hearts of many, having left them nothing but the Bodies of Men, and Visors of Christians, to this only, they have not Meditated.

It is not more impossible to live without an Heart than to be devout without Meditation. Would God therefore my words could be in this (as the wise Man saith the words of the wise are) like unto Goads in the sides of eve­ry [Page 38] Reader to quicken him up out of this dull and lazy Security, to a chearful practice of this Divine Meditation. Let him curse me upon his Death-bed, if, looking back to the bestowing of his former times, he acknow­ledg not these Hours placed the most happily in his whole Life, if he then wish not he had worn out more days in so profitable a Work.

Let me have leave without offence to draw a Parallel, and make a short Application of this Passage, (though 'tis hard not to write a Satyr, and inlarge on such an occasion,) What is the reason why the Married state, which a Graci­ous God appointed, that Man and Wife might be meet helps to one another, not only in Sick­ness and in Health, and the joint concerns of this present life, but also, yea chiefly, to help each other to Heaven, by building up each other in their most holy Faith, as Heirs together of the Grace of Life, as St. Peter speaks, and training their Children up in the nurture and fear of God, as both the Scripture, and our Liturgy direct we should? What, I say, is the reason that this holy State so oft falls short of attaining this de­signed Blessing, and rather proves a Cross, yea a Curse? Is it not from the neglect of the fore intimated Practice and Duty?

Whence comes uneasiness in mutual Socie­ty, Discontents, Jealousies, Brawlings, Weari­ness [Page 39] of one another, to name no worse?

Come they not hence, from the neglect of God, and each others Souls and Spiritual Good? And because Men enterprize, and take in hand that honourable State unadvisedly, wantonly, and lightly, to satisfie their carnal Lusts and Appetites, as brute Beasts that have no un­derstanding, not soberly, advisedly, and in the Fear of God, (against which our Liturgy so gravely and Piously gives warning,) and con­tinue in it as bad, or worse, than they en­tred upon it, or at most respecting their secu­lar concerns, void of any serious Care of pro­moting God's Glory in the Eternal Salvation of each others Souls. If hundreds censure me for this, I am content to bear it, if but one couple in every Hundred will vouchsafe to imitate our Custom intimated above.

And if upon performing it with Sincerity and Seriousness themselves repent it, or God impute it to them as mispending time, let it be charged against me for seducing them from using it better, at the Day of Judgment.

She always allowed her Maids time to Pray alone, and would mind them of it till they were accustomed to it.

But to proceed to the finishing the Day. She would then eat a small piece of white Bread, with a draught of houshold Beer, and because we had long dis-used set Suppers, when [Page 40] we were alone she would always herself bring me up some small matter, and would not be intreated to send it by a Servant, because she would not lose the Pleasure and Satisfaction of expressing her tender and endear'd Affecti­on, the kind and thankful remembrance of which is the only cause of my mentioning so small a matter.

Then for an hour before Family Duty, she would Catechize the ignorant Servants, and teach them to read which could not; for often hiring Servants out of places where there wanted opportunity to teach the poor Children, and Catechize them, 'tis scarce to be believed how Ignorant many came, and yet I remember not any who stayed any time with us, who could not read competently well, and say both a Catechism which I find amongst her Pa­pers, with this Title, A short and easie Catechism which I used to teach my Children when they were very Young, suited to their Capacity: And also the Church Catechism, which she taught them when they had learnt the former, and she used to hire them to their own good, giving them Sixpence to accomplish the first Task, then a Shilling, and so on, promising them a Bible when they could use it, of which she gave many, and always new, and good ones, of double the Price she might have bought for. After Family Prayers, when [Page 41] she went up into her Chamber, whilst she un­drest herself, one of her Maids (and if one read not so well as the other, she that needed most to be perfected) read a Chapter, after which, committing her self to God, she went to Bed, and after short Ejaculatory Prayers for the Mercies of the Day, and Petitions for Protection from the Sins, Temptations, and Dangers of the Night, she betook herself to rest. And this is the shortest Epitome of her Life, which at the lowest size was a constant revolution of days thus spent with the fewest idle vacant spaces that humane frailty can keep free from, not to say none at all.

SECT. VII. How she spent a Week.

THE next abbreviation of her Life, is to give an account how she improved a Week; for though every Week contained seven so well managed Days, yet more occurred in every one, well worth observing.

To begin with the first day of the Week, or the Lord's Day, the Queen of days, the first-born of all the Children of time in her esteem, to which she accounted a double Por­tion to be due of religious observance, and most raised Devotion, and always paid it.

She was scrupulously sollicitous both of the Negative and Positive Duties she judged to be required on that day, both to prevent the vio­lation of that holy Rest, and to sanctifie it: I might subjoin a short Treatise of that Sub­ject, if I should collect and put together what I meet with from her own Pen concerning it in several places.

For the first, as she gave it the full dimensi­ons in early rising, so she would not suffer it to be intrench'd upon by any works, but of ab­solute Necessity and Mercy; ordered things so, that her Maids must never make a Cheese that day, and would seldom use the Coach to carry her to Church, except in extremity of way and weather; and though none gave freer welcome on other days, would forbear inviting any on that day, to prevent diversions; and if Friends sometimes came in, would, as soon as it was possible, without uncivil rudeness, with­draw into her Chamber. After Dinner, at which she especially eat sparingly on that day, to prevent drowsiness at Church. She constant­ly called all the Family together to hear them read the Scriptures, and if any Neighbour were sick within such distance as would not hin­der her timely attending publick Worship, would not fail to visit them, and all the day she practised her self what she oft advised others. Isa. 58.13. She turned away her foot [Page 43] from the Sabbath, from doing her pleasure on God's Holy Day, and called the Sabbath her delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and honoured him, not doing her own ways, nor finding her own plea­sure, nor speaking her own words, but delighted herself in the Lord, and in his Service.

For the positive Duties. Being early up, she spent as much time in dressing her Soul to meet God, and as little as was possible in a­dorning her Body to the Eyes of Men, though always with a grave and decent neatness. She always retained a profound Reverence for the Name and Presence of God, so that she was al­ways attentively devout, at Prayers and Ser­mons, to which she brought all her Servants with her, that they might not stay loitering idly at home, or by the way; and her Eye and Example would awe the ruder youth into be­coming Carriage, for which end she would sometimes rise up and look about her, with good effect.

After publick Worship finished, she would retire for a considerable time to recollect, and pray over the Sermons, and after finishing what was her custom on other days to doe. Be­sides the Servants reading every one a Chap­ter, when my weariness would not allow me to repeat the Sermons, she would desire my Curate to read some good Book, and oft would she do it her self. She read in the Family the [Page 44] Lord's Day the seven night before she died good part of Dr. Sherlock's Treatise of Death, and I must say, I remember not I ever heard Man or Woman exceed her in this kind: I confess with shame, I could not doe it so well; for tho' she altered not a Syllable of the Author's words, her Reading might be called a Reading, and giv­ing of the Sense; for tho' she read quick, she did it so smoothly and distinctly, and would place the Emphasis upon some word in every Sen­tence so intelligently, without any affected tone or vehement alteration of her Voice, that the change was scarce perceptible, (not so much as betwixt what we call flat and sharp in Mu­sick,) and yet would strangely facilitate the un­derstanding of the Sense to low Capacities, an infallible evidence of her clear understanding it herself.

After Family Prayer, spending some little time more than on other nights, in committing her self to God, she went to Bed, and adding to her usual Ejaculations Praises for the liberty of another Sabbath, Prayers for acceptance of the days Services, and pardon for the Iniquities of her holy things, she went to rest, and such were every Week's First-fruits.

On Monday Morning awaking with God, and having blown off the Ashes which veil'd the Embers, kindled by the ardent Fervour of the preceding days Devotions, she kindled [Page 45] them into an holy Flame, with which having offered up the daily Morning-Sacrifice, she next brought her Peace-offerings for the whole House of Israel. She had a very publick Spi­rit, and enlarged Heart, on which she always bore the concerns of Zion, and preferred Je­rusalem above her chief Joy. She stretched out her craving hands over the World, (as you'll find her express her self,) that the mighty God who calleth the Earth from the rising of the Sun, to the going down thereof, would shine out of Zion the perfection of Beauty, that he would pity them who sit in darkness, and the region and shadow of Death; that he would destroy Sa­tan's Kingdom, and set free those who are in bondage to it; that he would exalt the King­dom of his dear Son, till the little Stone cut out of the Mountain without Hands, might become a great Mountain and fill the whole World, and all the corners of it might see the Salvati­on of God; that he would effectually call out of Babylon his captivated People that yet are detained in it; that he would water abun­dantly with the fruitful Showers of his Grace all the Churches which his own Right-hand hath planted; and that he, with whom is plenty of Spirit, would pour it out abundantly, and furnish himself with fit Instruments to car­ry on the work of his own Glory, and Salva­tion of Souls; that he would give Pastors after [Page 46] his own Heart, who might feed his People with Knowledge and Ʋnderstanding; that they may be delivered from Ignorance, Error, Heresie, and all Ungodliness; that they may adorn the Gospel with such a Conversation as becomes it; that all over whom the Name of Christ is called might depart from Iniquity. Beseeching the Lord to pour out abundantly the true Spirit of the Gos­pel on all who made profession of it, with all its Operations and Graces; as a Spirit of Wisdom, Knowledge, and the Fear of God, of Faith and Holiness, Repentance, and uni­versal unreserved new Obedience, especially as an healing Spirit of Unity and Peace, mutu­al Forbearance, true Christian Charity, and Brotherly-Love, and as a mighty Spirit of Grace and Supplication, to obtain these Bles­sings for themselves and one another, for the Churches of the neighbouring Nations round about, by name; that God would give them one Heart, and one way; that the nick-names of Lutherans and Calvinists might be forgotten, and Ephraim and Judah might be one Stick in the Lord's Hand; especially for the distressed Protestants of France; that God would turn his Anger from them, cause them to be pitied by their Brethren, and effectually relieved; that God would shew them why he contended with them, help them to repent of whatever had provoked him to so heavy displeasure; that their [Page 47] dross being consumed in the furnace of Afflicti­on, he would chuse them to himself, break the Iron Yoak from off their Necks, bound on so close by the hand of proud and cruel persecuting Tyranny; that being fitted for it, they might once more be intrusted with their Civil and Re­ligious Liberties, and be gathered home from all the Countries into which they are scatter'd, to their own Land in Peace and Safety, and ne­ver forfeit it again.

But with more ardent Zeal, if more be pos­sible, did she pray for the Peace of our own Jerusalem, and wrestle with God to render these Nations fit for Mercy; for though she had a grateful sense of vouchsafed Deliverances, yet when hopes were gayest, and affairs most promising, she was full of Fears and Expecta­tions of impending and approaching Judg­ments; and would often, yea, very often say, (for out of the abundance of her Heart her Mouth spake) ‘That if we traced God's foot­steps in the Scriptures, he must change his usual methods, if he took not Vengeance of so provoking a Nation, which would not be healed; but in the midst of so many changes, would not be changed from open Profane­ness, mutual Hatreds, and scorning and op­posing serious Holiness, and solid Religion, and the power of Godliness.’ Good Lord a­vert from her survivors what she so reasonably [Page 48] feared, and thou hast freed her from the feeling of. The Righteous are taken away from the Evil to come. The rest of this Day she spent as others are described, and so the rest till Friday, the Weekly memorial of our Saviour's Passion. On this, after some necessary Family Affairs dispatch'd, she constantly retired, and spent it alone in religious Fasting: The House of Levy apart, and their Wives apart, Zach. xij. 13. And remembring who had blamed, exacting all their labours on a fasting Day, Isa. lviij. 3. she gave her Maids that day to work for them­selves, to read, or spend more time in Prayer, if they had hearts to doe it. And if she fore­saw any unavoidable diversion, as being from home, or Strangers to come to us, she would prudently prevent the loss of that Day, by chusing one before, which might afford her the best vacancy. And though I confess she usu­ally set but one day in a week apart, when I was at home, I have been, since her death, infor­med, both by those in my Family, and by her Diary, that in my absence she spent two, three, yea and more days in a week so. I add no more concerning her Week, but her awakened remembring on the last day of it, the approaching Sabbath, and solemn prepa­ring to meet the Lord of the Day, on that day of our Lord, whose presence I comfortably believe she now enjoys, in a continual Sab­bath, [Page 49] everlasting Rest. And this is the second Edition of her Life's Epitome, how she spent every Week.

SECT. VIII. How she spent a Year.

I Next proceed to give account how she us'd to spend a Year, in the larger Revolution whereof there occurred many things, which fell not within the narrower compass of a Day or Week; nor all precisely into that circle, (taken strictly and with rigour) yet are fairly reducible to that Head.

Many of her Years, which consisted of such Days and Weeks as above described, being fill'd up with her prudent, holy, submissive Deportment under, and godly Improvement she made, of such Circumstances and Condi­tions of Life, as these that follow, many year­ly, at least often.

  • 1. Her most endearing Affections, and ob­liging Observance, as a Wife, to my self.
  • 2. Her Lyings-in in Child-bearing.
  • 3. The Baptizing of our Children.
  • 4. Care and Methods of their Education.
  • 5. Monthly Sacraments.
  • 6. Of her Writings.
  • 7. Discreet Management of Family.
  • [Page 50]8. Visitations by Sickness on our selves, or Children, and some of their Deaths.
  • 9. Renewed assaults of her Enemy, by Tem­ptation.
  • 10. A Catalogue of her Friends she used to pray for.
  • 11
    • Some trying troubles on the Nation, on Friends, or Family.
    • Signal Deliverances from Dangers.
  • 12. Going to Tunbridge-Wells.
  • 13.
    • Keeping our Wedding-Day.
    • Entertainments of Friends.
  • 14.
    • Marriage of our onely Daughter.
    • Her death in Child-bed the same Year, yet leaving a Son.
  • 15. Acts, and kinds of her great Charity.
  • 16. Care to advance God's Glory, and Sal­vation of others.
  • 17. Several Graces in which she was most eminent.
  • 18. Her Character.

All which, If I should pursue, not in an historical Narrative of them, (that's neither my design nor business) but in her glorifying God in them, and making a spiritual Improve­ment and Advantage of them, and to teach others how to doe the like, I might write a Volume of them, from the wise, pertinent, and holy Memoirs her Pen hath left me, and my own observation and memory would sup­ply me with.

My greatest labour therefore here will be to contract, and I must leave out much of that which my own Judgment tells me (if my Affection do not greatly bribe and flatter me) might not only be passable, but very exem­plary and usefull.

I might have added more particulars, and set them in better order, and not blended, so promicuously together, Heavenly and Earthly, Spiritual and Secular Concerns. But it mat­ters not, they both come within the compass of my design, to shew how good she was in all relations and conditions; she was Mary and Martha both unto perfection, and acted Mar­tha's part with Mary's Spirit.

SECT. IX. Her Character as a Wife.

I Should be too ungratefull to her Memory, should I not begin with the endearing Af­fections, and obliging Observance she always paid me as an Husband; on which Subject it is impossible to exceed, or Hyperbolize, though Love should render so dull a Pen Eloquent, (if that be not an impossible supposition.)

Our mutual compellation was always, my Dear, not a word of coarse, or empty Com­pliment, [Page 52] but the sincere interpretation of the Language of our Hearts.

All my concerns were nearer to her than those which were immediately her own; were I in any sort afflicted, she would with Passion wish she could exempt me from it, by bearing it her self. Whatever toucht my Reputation, Peace, or Saftety, toucht her in the most sensible and tender part: I could give two most trying Instances of Envy and Malice, but I lay my Finger on both those Sores, that it may appear (blessed be God's Grace) I am guided by a better Spirit than to revive the memory of what we both so heartily forgave, and so oft and earnestly, jointly and severally, have begged of God both to forget and pardon unto those, who by their present Passions were hurried so far, as to afford us the tryal and exercise of Chri­stian Fortitude and Patience; and so meek, yea, generous a Charity, as I would not stand in need of from any Man, for all the World.

On both these occasions, how did she com­fort me, how did she counsel me to commit my innocent Cause to God; assuring me he would not fail to plead and defend it, and bring forth my Innocence as Light, and my Righte­ousness (in those particulars) as the Noon-day, telling me nothing could ever make her shrink or quail, but guilt of which, blessed be God, we comfortably knew there was not the least Spark to raise that Blasting Smoak.

How did she pray to God! (for she knew the Case would bear Appeals to him.) How did she write to, and sollicite Men! How did she walk, and ride, and repeat long Journeys beyond her Strength! Had not her Affections been both more strong and swift than Legs, or Horse, or Coach; and when a Gentleman had treated her less obligingly than by a messuage sent from himself, he had incouraged her to hope for, by her meekness of Wisdom, by her calm Replies, and by a convincing, prudent Letter which she wrote him, she obtained this acknowledgment from him, That she was a very good, yea, excel­lent Christian; but no more of these matters, let them be buried in her Grave, they'll not disturb her Rest, and I heartily pray, that when she shall rise to Glory, they may rise to no Man's Shame. Amen, Amen.

Next to the things of God, my Company was the delight and satisfaction of her Life, and when I went from home, she would im­portune my speediest return, and if she had a­ny Friend to visit, she would take the opportu­nity of my absence, that she might not be from me when at home; and if any Family affairs gave more trouble and bustle, she would not fail to have them finished whilst I was abroad, that there might be no molesting puther or noise in my Sight and Hearing; and as she of­ten told me, next to the pleasing God, her [Page 54] greatest Care was, that I might never be dis­pleased.

If passing the love of Women be a superlative Expression, hers was more than so, passing the love of most Women, that there was not a Man on Earth I had cause to envy as happier than my self, in that respect: She was a Wife according to my own Heart, and even exceed­ed the Character of such an one, as with most earnest Prayers I begged of God to vouchsafe to me, when I was inclined to enter on the Mar­riage State. In this God did abundantly for me, beyond what I could ask or think, and, as a good Friend who came to comfort me since I lost her, was pleased to phrase it, alluding to the Expression, Ezek. 20.6. Of God's giving the Land of Canaan to his People. God had spied out a Wife for me, and as we have some hun­dred times blest God for singling us out from all other Persons in the World, to be joined in that most near Relation, so I repeat those Praises with profoundest Gratitude, from the bottom of a most humble Heart.

She would often come into my Study to me, and when I have asked her what she would have, she would reply, ‘Nothing, My Dear, but to ask thee how thou dost, and see if thou wantest any thing; and then with an endearing Smile would say, Dost thou love me? to which when I replied, Most dearly; [Page 55] I know it abundantly, would she answer, to my Comfort, but I love to hear thee tell me so.’ And once when I was adding the rea­sons of my Love, and began first for Consci­ence, she stopt me e'er I could proceed, as she was very quick: ‘Ah my Dear, I allow Con­science to be an excellent Principle in all we doe, but like it worst in Conjugal Affection. I would have thee love me, not because thou must, but because thou wilt, not as a duty, but delight, we are prone to reluctate against what's imposed, but take Pleasure in what we chuse; so innocently witty would she be.’ They that have such Wives will easily pardon my fondness in this short Paragraph, and that all may doe it, I wish that no Man living had a worse; but I'll not offend the most sowre, or most squeemish, in like kind for the fu­ture.

As she was all the best of Wives could be in time of Health, so if God sent Sickness, more than is credible to any but Eye-witnesses.

It once pleased God to visit us with Sickness both together, she was taken first, my self in few days after, and both so ill, our death was expected by our selves and others; but God was pleased to spare us longer. I recovered first, and when I could leave my Bed, and creep into her Chamber, the sight of me was like Life from the Dead. She hath oft told me, she could not [Page 56] express what alteration it made in her, the joy so revived her Spirits, it helped to cure her.

There's not a Sickness nor imminent danger I escaped all the time we lived together, which she hath not recorded with most ardent Prayers, and signal Instances of God's gracious Answers of them, and most lively Praises, which might thaw a Heart of Ice into streams of devoutest Thankfulness; which even the fear of being prolix, can scarce restrain me from transcribing, but I will confine my self to one out of very many.

November 30. 1675. being Saturday my Dear Husband came from London, and not well with a Cold. The Lord's Day following he Preached both parts of the Day. Monday he took Ruffi's Pills, he grew very ill with his Cold, which was accompanied with a Fe­ver, and a Pleurisie. Tuesday Morning very early, I sent for Dr. Yardly, and Dr. Godfrey. On the Wednesday I sent to London for Dr. Walter Needham. My Dear Husband having Pains in his Side, was, by the appointment of his Physicians let-Blood three times.

After his third Bleeding, he had a very sick Night, but not sensible of his Illness; for when I asked him how he did, he said, pretty well, though to my apprehension he was very ill. He groan'd all Night, and very restless: when [Page 57] I raised him in his Bed, to take something to refresh him, he had tremblings, and a fum­bling in his Speech, and sometimes speak inco­herently, which made me fear he was a little delirous; these bad Symptoms gave me the fear of the sudden approach of Death. I again sent for Dr. Needham, who lovingly came again to us: These Colds, with Fe­vers, were then the Epidemical Disease both of City and Country, of which many died, by which distemper my Dear Husband was brought even to the Mouth of the Grave, from which God mercifully retrieved, and gave me him again.

Thus far the History of my Sickness, by her Pen, to which before I tran­scribe the Devotial Part, I must add from my own Memory to the Praise of God's Grace and Patience.

The third time of my Bleeding, was by my own peremptory Resolution, which I hardly obtained the other Physicians consent to, it be­ing the night before Dr. Needham came the second time but God, whose Mercy put it in­to my Mind, inclined them to consent to the Arguments I used for it, which were these, I told them my Pain continued in my Side, my Water as high and thick as ever, my Heat also, and dryness of my Mouth; I raised purulent and bloody Matter, and I bled at Nose, and urged, that Nature indicated thereby, what [Page 58] must relieve, and rising up in my Bed, I stretched out my left Arm, and humbly commit­ting my self and the Success to God, said, I would Bleed again. The Physicians then consent­ed, and proceeded to the Operation, and opening a Vein in my Left Arm, the Blood sprang out so abundantly, that they drew at least ten Ounces. After the closing the Orifice, being laid down again, My Dearest Dear, who had been all my Sickness my tenderest Nurse, my wakefull Watcher, and all, yea, more than could be wished, or expected, or possibly performed, without a spring of so strong and endearing Af­fection, to give and guide the Motion, be­came my Chaplain, if I may have leave to use such an Expression; and before the Sym­ptoms she hath mentioned arrived at their height, kneeled down by my Bed-side, and wrestled with God in Prayer, with such spiri­tual Fervency, and expressed herself so appo­sitely, so pertinently, so suitably, and with such holy Ardour poured out her Soul to God, as I never knew exceeded, if equalled, by the ablest Christian, or Minister, in all my Life. Surely if ever the promise of pouring out a Spi­rit of Grace and Supplication was signally made good, it was then made good to her, and the effects of it to me; for as she was a true Daughter of Abraham, an Israelitess indeed, she rose from her Knees a Female Israel; she [Page 59] prevailed with God, I fell into so great a Sweat as was scarce ever known; and though the Night was full of the Symptoms she names, which so afflicted, and affrighted her, yet she retained her Presence of Mind to assist me with holiest Words, and kindest Deeds: In the Morning Symptoms abated, and when Dr. Needham came, and had felt my Pulse, He told me he came directly from Dr. Willis, who dyed that day at Eleven a Clock of my Disease; but added, with a Smile, he would not have told me so but that my danger was past; and said, That under God, my last night's Bleeding and Sweating saved my Life, with­out which, humanely speaking, I could not have escaped; blessed be God, who put that Resolution into my Mind, and heard her ear­nest Prayers.

Now to return to her Pious gratefull Words.

I desire to bless God for every Circumstance of his Mercy in my Dear Husband's Sickness. The helps and love of Friends, the use of Physick, with other means, the constant and frequent Visits of Neighbour-Ministers, their Prayers for us, and of many other Friends, and good People in our behalf, to which I ascribe a great share of indulgent Mercy in sparing to me a little longer, my Dear Hus­band. God did not cast out the Prayer of the Afflicted, but in my Distress, when I cryed [Page 60] unto him, he graciously inclined his Ear unto me, and helped me.

Good Lord enable me with my yet conti­nued Mercy, mutually to acknowledge thy Kindness, and by an exemplary holy Life, to de­clare thy great Goodness to us; Building up each other in our most Holy Faith, as Heirs together of the Grace of Life: And this Mercy where­with thou yet intrusts me, Lord help me more to improve to my Spiritual Advantage, and continue him to length of Days, with the a­bundant Gifts and Graces of thy Holy Spirit, a choice and signal Instrument of thy Glory.

I bless thee for thy supporting Mercy in my Relative Duty, in my many sorrowfull Nights and Watchings; that when my Sleep de­parted from me, I still might make my Addresses to thee, who never slumberest, nor sleepest; for thou always seest the afflictions of thy People, and knowest their Sorrows, and wilt not despise them that seek thee; thou hast restored Comfort to me, and to my Mourners, praised be thy Mercy.

'Tis hard to pass-by her tenderness to me, of so recent Date as my last Year's Visitation, which held me so many Months, and brought me so low, and at length settled in my Right­hand, with such swelling and lameness, as took away its use, and under God, I owe the reco­very of it to her Skill, and Pains, and Kindness, [Page 61] by her frequent bathing, fomenting, and an­nointing of it, and preparing other, both in­ward and outward Medicines, so far to use my Pen, to pay this small tribute to her happy Me­mory.

SECT. X. Of her Lyings-Inn, in Child-bearing.

GOD was pleased to give her strength to go out her full time of eleven Children; six Sons, and five Daughters, besides some a­bortive, or untimely Births. And if ever Chil­dren were Baptized in their Mothers Belly, (excuse the Expression) doubtless hers were so; I mean solemnly Consecrated to God, with fer­vent, frequent Prayers, and wash'd in a Jordan of her Tears, who bore them as truly in her Heart as Womb.

I find all their Births recorded, with most savory and devout Reflections, tho' some with more Enlargement, as attended with more sig­nal Circumstances: I might transcribe them all, that the sweet Spirit of Praise, which breaths so fragrantly in every of them, might kindle and excite the like Temper in others, no In­cense being more gratefull to the Nostrils of that [Page 62] God, who saith, He that offereth Praise, glo­rifieth me; but I must contract.

The twelfth of July, 1651, God mercifully Deliver'd me of my first Child.

In 1652, I being big with-Child, had an high Fever, and was after a great and very hot fit delivered of a Daughter, Aug. 29. Being Lord's Day, between four and five in the Mor­ning, my Fever turned to an Ague, and held me ten Weeks, and brought me very low, yet God in his Mercy graciously spared me, and restored my Health, I bless him for it.

Feb. 5. 54. God delivered me of a third Child, our first Son.

God gave me a fourth Deliverance of a Daughter, still-born, Dec. 23. 55. I went my full time, and might have been ever big: Blessed be God that spared his unworthy Creature.

God gave me a gracious Deliverance of a fifth, a Son; May 15. 57.

God gave me a Mercifull Deliverance of a sixth Child, a Daughter; June 8. 58.

After a long, and hard Labour, continued three days, and three nights in great Extre­mity, all about me despairing of Life.

God mercifully Delivered me of a seventh Child, a Son; October 22. 59. which Mer­cy much affected my Dear Husband, and for which my Deliverance I most humbly Bless God.

I confess I never knew to what degree [Page 63] I loved her till that time, and never experi­enced such Raptures of Joy and Thankfullness, for any worldly Matter, as on that occasion; the Impression of which was so deep, that the re­membrance of it hath a pleasing relish, even to this Day.

‘God gave me a gracious Deliverance of an eighth Child, a Son, still-born, after an hard Labour; December the 11. 1660.’

‘In this Lying-in I fell into Melancholy, which much disturbed me with Vapours, and was very ill. It pleased God to suffer my old Enemy very impetuously to assault me, &c. But more of this when I touch the return of her Temptation.

God gave me Deliverance of a ninth Child, a Son; October 9. 1662.

God graciously gave me a speedy, and safe Deliverance of a tenth Child, a Daughter; November 14. 63. Of this Child more here­after.

God gave me a mercifull Deliverance in a difficult and hard Labour, my eleventh, and last Child, a Son still-born; May the first, 1665.

Lord, I bless thee for my manifold Deli­verances in these, and all my straits. I be­seech thee inable me to render unto thee sui­table returns of Praises and Thanksgivings.

Three of my Children were still-born, [Page 64] which, with the rest the Lord hath been pleased to take out of this Life, I humbly hope, and do believe, are now happy in Hea­ven, enjoying God to all Eternity.

SECT. XI. Of the Baptizing our Children.

‘THose of my Children whom God wa [...] pleased to admit by Baptism into his vi­sible Church on Earth, I can truly declare, and that without Hypocrisie, whatever may be my censure, that notwithstanding my pre­sent weakness in Childbed, I made it my Practice to importune God for a Blessing up­on his own Ordinance, fitting my self for those Addresses as I thought most suitable to Pray­er, by getting up out of my Bed; which I made haste to doe, as soon as the Company which went to Church with my Child, had quitted my Chamber, which was al­ways, and most to my Satisfaction, on the Lord's Day. Lord this is for my Comfort, and for which Practice I humbly bless thee, and for the liberty of all thy Holy Ordinances, and Priviledges by them.’

And blessed be that God, who styles himself a God hearing Prayer, that he suffered not his [Page 65] Face to be sought in vain, for all the Children who lived to any years of Knowledge, gave very comfortable Evidences of their living up to their Baptismal Covenant, as shall be ac­counted for when their Deaths are spoken of.

And upon this occasion of speaking of Bap­tism, it brings to my mind, (what I hope I may without Prejudice relate, to shew how im­partially I write of her,) what I have heard her argue concerning the use of the Cross, very mo­destly and prudently; she had indeed no Bi­gotry for the outward appendages of Religious Worship, yea, was fearfull many lost much of the Substance, by being over-fond of the Sha­dow. Yet would she not run into the contrary Extream, and she would say, she wondred so many good People took offence at the sign of the Cross; for said she, though I know the Papists superstitiously abuse it, and I fear some put more stress on it than they should, or is de­signed, or required by our Church; yet their abuse of it should not prejudice the use of it, as rightly understood; which, said she, I take not to be intended as any part of the Sacrament, nor to effect, or produce any thing in the Child which it would want without it, but to be a Memorial of our Saviour's Passion, and the Shame, and Pains he bore for us, and whatever may put us in mind of these, methinks should not be hardly thought on.

I should be partial here, should I forbear to add her declared dissatisfaction at the imposing the whole charge in the Administration of Bap­tism on the Susceptors, without including jointly, at least one of the Parents, for which, with other Reasons, she would rarely under­take the office of a God-mother, and when she did, own'd it as a Bond upon her Conscience, to be strictly discharged.

SECT. XII. Her Care of the Education of her Children.

NExt to their Baptism, properly follows her Prudent, Pious Care in the Edu­cation of her Children, that they might want no Accomplishments in this World, she could assist their attainment of; but especially to train them up in the true and early knowledge of Religion, and Nurture, and Fear of God.

And here I might write a Treatise larger than the whole Book, without borrowing from any, but only her Pen and Practice.

She considered Children as the nursery of Fa­milies, the Church, and Nation; and that Er­rors in their Education were hardly Corrected ever after; therefore she improved her utmost Diligence and Wisdom to teach them whilst [Page 67] young, the way in which they should walk, that when they were old they might not depart from it.

She accounted it not only an Indispensable Duty to be done, but an high Honour to be intrusted by God, with the care of bringing up a Child for him; and she did not more truly travail in pain of them to bring them forth, than she did to bring them up, that Christ might be formed in them.

Without Vanity, she was as compleatly qualified for this Performance as was possible to be desired or wished; she was Mistress of her Needle to that degree, that she would blame herself that she had spent so much time and industry, to attain it in Worsted, Silk, and finest Thread for Poynt; none exceeded her, though they earned their Living by it.

And for Houshould-Imployment, all that knew her, wondred she could so soon attain such universal Dexterity, and accomplished Skill in Country Affairs, being bred, and li­ving most of her time in the City; but she be­ing of very quick natural Parts, and close application of Mind to Business, soon made herself Mistress of whatever she set herself to, not only in what strictly concerned her Family-Inspection, to direct, and instruct her Maids, in Cookery, Brewing, Baking, Dairy, order­ing Linen, in which her neatness was curious, [Page 68] even to Excess, and the like: But in Physick, Chirurgery, to assist the Neighbours of the Parish, and some Miles about, which she per­formed Skillfully, Readily, and with great Success, as they acknowledge by their grief for her loss, and the Furniture of her Closet still will witness, which she left furnished better than many Country Shops; and also in Pre­serving, making all sorts of English Wines, Gooseberry, Curran, Cowslip, Quince, &c. and whatever else was curious, to entertain, and please her Friends of higher Rank, to whole Testimony I appeal, whether this is not less than might be truly said; and yet her Wis­dom (the true Wisdom of preferring Re­ligion above all these) remained with her; and all she knew, she was ambitious to infuse, and to transmit unto her Daughters, who did not abuse her Hopes, nor shame their Teacher.

I shall not insist on her Prudent Methods to accomplish them in the affairs of this Life, my Business being to make good Christians, not good House-wives, by her Example.

Her first Care was, to keep their Minds un­corrupted by Vanity or Pride, therefore kept them at home, not to save Charges, but avoid Inconveniences; and therefore that they might not want what she could not perform, enter­tained a French Dancing-Master in the House, and had a Writing, and Singing-Master come to them at fit Seasons.

How much, and how well they performed by their Needles, by the help of a well quali­fied Servant, but chiefly by their Mothers gui­dance, who taught both them and her, I wave the recounting of; because if it seemed not in­credible, I own it would be Impertinent, and it may be censured as Vanity.

But all this was by-Business, comparatively, her Work and Business was to cultivate their Minds, improve their Intellectuals, to season their tender Hearts with a due Sense of Reli­gion, that they might be glorious within, she having no desire so Pathetick, no Joy so great, as to see her Children walking in the Truth, and in the Love and Practice of Seri­ous Holiness.

To promote, and forward this, she taught them to Read as soon as they could pronounce their Letters, yea, before they could speak plain, and sowed the Seed of early Pious Know­ledge in their tender Minds, by a plain, fami­liar Catechism, suited to their Capacity, whilst very young, which I find among her Papers, that serious things might have the first Posses­sion of their Hearts; and would strictly charge the Servants not to tell them foolish Stories, or teach them idle Songs, which might tincture their Fancies with vain or hurtfull Imaginati­ons, and choak the good Seed of Pious Instru­ction, or draw them from it.

When they had attained the first, and smal­lest Sense of God, she would cause them to kneel down, and lift up their little Hands and Eyes to Heaven, (those humble Gestures being the silent Language of Natural Religion,) then would she dictate to them such easie words of Prayer, as were most level to their budding Reason: And when they arrived at four or five years old, she would teach them somewhat a larger Prayer, and cause them to go by them­selves, till they were accustomed to doe it of their own accord; and as they grew up, gave them directions concerning Prayer; of which I find a Treatise, which I would have called an excellent one, had it not been hers, so near­ly Related to me; of which, more e'er long.

When they could read tolerably well, she caused them to get by Heart choice Sentences of Scripture, then whole Psalms, and Chap­ters, which she oft called them to repeat, and gave them small pecuniary Rewards to encou­rage them, and that they might have somewhat of their own to give to the Poor; and when she gave Farthings or Victuals to travelling People at the Door, she would cause a Child to give it to them, to accustome them to be Charitable: And in this Pious, Maternal Care did she spend good part of every day, which should not have been omitted, when I gave account how she spent a Day and Week.

When they had learned the Church-Cate­chism, she would have them answer publickly, that the meaner sort might be ashamed not to send their Children, and the poor Children might be quickned, and encouraged by their Ex­ample and Company.

And having observed that many would read commendably in the Bible, where the Senten­ces are shorter, and the distinction of the Verses, and frequent use, much helped them, who could scarce doe it intelligibly in o­ther Books, where the Periods are longer, and not so well distinguished: She would give them other Books, and often hear them read them, and would make a prudent choice of Books of Instruction, and Devotion, and sometimes usefull Histories; as the Book of Martyrs, and Abbreviations of our English Chronicles, and Lives of Holy, Exemplary Persons, especially of those who were so while Young, that she might doe several things at once; both perfect their Reading, and in­form their Judgments, and inflame their Affe­ctions to an imitation of their early Piety.

She was also very Circumspect, not only to keep their Morals untainted from Pride, Im­modesty, Lying, Contempt of, or deriding others, for their natural Infirmities, telling Tales, or causing Debate, or Anger, and the like, shewing them the evil of those Courses; but [Page 72] also of their Gestures and Carriage, that they might contract no indecent Habitudes, or un­comely Postures, which might expose them to Contempt; but above all of this kind, pressing them to Cleanliness, and Neatness; intimating that it was a sign and evidence in some measure, of inward Purity, and would often tell them, that though all neat People were not good, yet, al­most all good People were neat, and that she had rather see an Hole in their Cloaths, than a Spot upon them.

I pass by her Diligence in Teaching them whetever might fit them for all Family-Im­ployments, in Pastry, and Seasoning, of which her Friends were use to say, her Hand was ne­ver out, causing them to transcribe her best Receipts for things which were curious, but especially for Medicines, with Directions how to use them, that if God had spared their Lives, they might have been as usefull in their Generation, as God vouchsafed her the Honour to be in hers.

But I must by an inforced Brevity deny my self the pleasure of recording more, lest by a seeming Prolixity I displease others, and hasten to finish this Section with transcribing what her dear Pen had prepared for her Children many years ago, and I never saw till I was bereaved of her.

‘For my Dear Children, Mrs. Margaret, and Mrs. Elizabeth Walker; A Collection of Scriptures, some to excite, and move to, &c. Then follows many Heads, under which they are ranked; but because the order is changed in the Book it self, I shall rather touch the order in which they are at large set down. Then she concludes (what I may call the Title-Page) with these words, Directed to each of them sin­gularly.

‘All which to the Glory of God I humbly beg may be to your Souls Advantage; so Prays with most earnest Request to God for thee, thy Ever Loving, whilst Living Mo­ther, Elizabeth Walker.

The first she begins with, bears this Title,

‘It is the Duty of Christians to pray fervent­ly and frequently, with Faith, with Humi­lity, with Sincerity, with Constancy, with Watchfulness, in the Spirit, with warmth and Life.’

Then she begins with a description of Pray­er, what it is, both as a means of Worship, whereby we honour, and give Glory to God, and a means of Grace, whereby we obtain Mercy and Help from him, and subjoins in seven large Pages whatever she conceived Expedient and usefull for its answering both those ends; all which she confirms with most apposite and proper Scriptures, and Examples. I thought [Page 74] to have abbreviated it here, but when I went about it, I could not find one Line to be omit­ted, as useless, or that might well be spared, therefore must wholly pass it by, or add it in­tirely in the Appendix, amongst some other Papers of hers.

The second Head is this. ‘It is the duty of those whom God blesseth with the good things of this Life, to supply the necessities of those who want them, which God's Word, as our Rule, abundantly expresseth; or, a Collection of Scriptures to excite to a liberal Distribution to the Necessity of the Poor; for with such Sacrifices God is well pleased.’

Then she adds three Pages of such Scriptures Judiciously chosen.

‘The third Head; Divers Scriptures which exhort to Meekness of Spirit: This contains six Pages.’

Then follows this single Page without Ti­tle, which I shall transcribe with my Pen, be­cause she did it so signally in her Practice, that it contains her Picture to the Life, and was to teach her Daughters what they should be.

Prov. 12.4. A Vertuous Woman is a Crown to her Husband; but she that maketh ashamed, is as Rottenness to his Bones.

Prov. 31.17. She looketh well to the ways of her Houshold, and cateth not the Bread of Idleness.

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She stretcheth forth her Hands to the Poor, yea, she reacheth forth her Hands to the needy.

She riseth also while it is yet Night, and gi­veth Meat to her Houshold.

Col. 3.18. Wives Submit your selves to your own Husbands, as is fit in the Lord.

Eph. 5.22. Wives submit your selves unto your own Husbands as unto the Lord; and the Wife see that she Reverence her Husband.

1 Pet. 3.1.—6. and ver. 3, 4, Likewise, ye Wives be in Subjection to your own Husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord.

Let not your adorning be platting of the Hair, wearing of Gold, or putting on of Apparel: But let it be the hidden Man of the Heart, in that which is not corruptible; even the Ornament of a meek, and quiet Spirit, which in the Sight of God is of great Price. Good Lord grant me this, with all the other Graces of thy Holy Spirit. Amen, Amen, Amen.

This last named Scripture was the Glass which she always drest herself by, with exem­plary, modest Decency, as became a grave, and holy Matron, and a Minister's Wife, as she would often urge as one reason of the plainness of her garb, which was never sordid, or negligent, though always in Black, never appeared abroad in any other Colour, so much as to a Knot or Ribbon: I with great Thankfulness acknow­ledge [Page 76] she was my Crown and Glory, and th [...] Heart of her Husband did safely trust in her.

The fourth Head which she Collected out o [...] the Scriptures for her Childrens use, is, ‘Th [...] Threatnings in God's Word he hath denounc' [...] against Sinners, to keep your Hearts in a [...] awfull Fear, that you neglect not God; remembring that as he has, and was, so he sti [...] is and will be Just, in the Punishment of th [...] Breach of his most Holy, and Righteous Commands, in observing of which, there is gre [...] Rewards. If his Wrath be kindled but a little who can abide it; but who knows the Power o [...] it? How then shall we be able to dwell wit [...] Everlasting Burnings, and devouring Fire▪ Stand in Awe therefore, and Sin not.

Then follow no less than forty nine Page [...] closely written, of God's severe Threatning [...] against Sin and Sinners in general, and the particular kinds of Sin, all exactly cited, as to th [...] Book, Chapter, and Verse. Oh, how richly di [...] the Word of God dwell in her! How did sh [...] Meditate in it Day and Night! That she coul [...] so readily turn to almost any place, only by he [...] own Memory and Observation; for she woul [...] sometimes, though seldom, come to me int [...] my Study, and say, Pray, My Dear, tell me wher [...] are such Words (repeating them) for I know no [...] how to find them by a Concordance, never having used one.

The fifth Head. The Promises for the Pardon of Sin, the faithful Sayings of God, worthy of all Acceptation. Jesus Christ came in­to the World to Save Sinners, yea, the chief of Sinners; in him all the Promises are, yea, and in him. Amen.

Then she begins with Gen. 3.15. He shall [...]ruise thy Head; a very comfortable Word to [...]er who had so many Conflicts with the Old [...]erpent, her Enemy, as she always called him. Then follows a choice Collection in ten Pages, which she concludes with, Rom. 10. For the [...]cripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him, shall [...]ot be ashamed.

The Sixth Head. The Promises to Perse­verance in Grace: God which begins a good Work in the Hearts of his People, will perfect it; for he works all our Works in us, and for us, and to him be the Glory, who is the Au­thor and Finisher, for we are kept by the Power of God through Faith unto Salvation.’

Then follow twenty nine Pages of such Promises.

The seventh Head. The Promises in Affli­ction for Support and Comfort. God doth not willingly grieve the Children of Men; there has no Temptation overtaken you, but such as is common. But God in his Faithfulness will not suffer it to be above Strength, but will with the Temptation also make a way to escape; for he [Page 78] knows our Frame, whereof we are made and will not contend for Ever.’ Then follo [...] twenty one Pages of these Promises, upo [...] Habak. 1.12. ‘Art not thou from Everlasting O Lord, my God, my Holy one, we shall not dy [...] She adds, Blessed be God for these Words, an [...] all his blessed Promises, for which a Reaso [...] will appear afterwards, when she shews wha [...] support they yielded her in an hour of Temptation; in the close she directs her Words [...] her Children, for whose use chiefly she ha [...] taken this Pains.

‘Having these great and precious Promise [...] cleanse your selves from all filthiness of Flesh, an [...] Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God▪ For Godliness hath the Promises of this Lif [...] and of the Life to come; therefore seek first t [...] Kingdom of Heaven, and its Righteousnes [...] and all these things shall be added unto you.’ The [...] concludes thus:

‘I intend not by this Collection of Promise [...] and Threatnings, transcrib'd out of Scripture, [...] take you off from the Historical, and precept [...] ry part of God's word, to which as nothing [...] to be added, so nothing is to be diminish'd fro [...] it; but only to get Wine and Oil near-hand these precious Cordials not far off, when mos [...] need of them; therefore I request and charg [...] your Conscientious Reading all the Truths o [...] God, revealed in your Bible, the Holy Scriptures.’

The eighth Head. ‘An abbreviation of Faith and Christian Principles, which (saith she) I have collected out of divers Au­thors; with some things of my own concepti­ons, as God helped my understanding.’ This contains eleven Pages, and is a very judicious, and usefull, and methodicall discourse; but be­cause she distinguisheth not between what was her own, and what she collected from others, I transcribe nothing out of it. She concludes it thus, ‘These Truths I do, with the best of my judgment, assent to; and beseech God to establish my heart in the firm belief of his Word. Good Lord let my Faith be sound, and saving also.’

The ninth Head I may call a Body of Divi­nity; which she gives no intimation whether it were collected from others, or of her own Composure, as she did in what went before; and therefore I have reason to think it was her own.

It begins with a description of God, as to his Essence, Persons and Attributes, then pro­ceeds to his works of Creation and Providence, &c. and proves, by apposite Scriptures, all she sets down. 'Tis very methodical and clear, in 44 Pages. If I have any judgment, an able Divine need not be ashamed to own it: and I think it would be no reproach to wish, That all could exceed it.

When she hath spoken of Death and the Resurrection, she adds, ‘Good Lord fit me for a dying hour: Bring me to it: In thy in­finite Mercy be with me in it, and carry me through it.’

And after three Pages, in which she de­scribes the happy estate of the Saints in Hea­ven, and ends with these words; ‘It is an eternal Happiness, which is the crown of our crown.’ She concludes the whole with Prayer.

‘Dear and blessed Lord, how unsearchable is thy Wisdom, Goodness, and unspeakable loving-kindness to poor Sinners! I beseech thee take off my affections to the transient things of this World; and wean my Heart from the Love of this present Life; for at thy right hand are rivers of Pleasures, and in thy Presence fullness of Joy, which no mortal Eye hath seen, nor Ear heard; neither can it enter into the Heart of Man, what thou hast prepared for those that love thee: for which blessed estate and rest, good Lord fit and pre­pare me, thy poor and most unworthy crea­ture: even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen, Amen.

The Tenth Head is marks of a regenerate Estate, by way of Question or Examination, Dost thou, &c. which she shuts up with this Prayer, after three Pages;

‘Blessed Lord, thou art good, and continu­ally dost good unto thy People. I beseech thee deliver me from a fluctuating and hesi­tating Mind, and help me, that I may, with full resolution, and fixation of Soul, cleave unto thee; that no lord, besides thee, may have Dominion or Rule over me; but that I may, with full purpose of Heart, chuse thy Ser­vice; which may obviate all the Temptati­ons of this World, either in the good things or bad things of it, or any thing which would stand in competition with thee, to allure me, or deterr and scare me from thee: Thy Ser­vice is perfect freedom; Lord help me to make that good choice. Amen.

The last Head is a very large and devout Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving; that as she had before, in the Theory, described Prayer, and given Directions how to render it accept­able to God, and prevalent with him; so she might exemplifie those Rules that her dear Children might be taught, both by Rule and Example, how to make their Addresses to the Throne of Grace, to honour God, and obtain Mercy to help in time of need.

I am sensible how long this Section, con­cerning her Care of her Childrens Education is; yet I might have easily made it twice as long; yea, 'twas hard to avoid so doing. I wish it may be exciting and usefull to any Wo­men, [Page 82] to stir them up to, and assist them in, the like diligence; that a Duty, the neglect of which is of so bad consequence both to Parents and Children, yea, to the Church and King­dom, may be more laid to heart, and wisely and conscientiously practised. Amen.

SECT. XIII. Of Monthly Sacraments.

I Take the Liberty to call them so, because that was the designed, stated return of them; though I confess, they were some­times deferred to five or six Weeks Revoluti­on, because our plain Country People in some more busie times had not the Vacancy, from their urgent, pressing Employments (as Har­vest) for Serious Preparation. She was a frequent, yea, constant Communicant; I re­member but one Sacrament in all the Years we lived together, from which she was ab­sent, and that was one of the Easter-Sa­craments, when she had Received the Lord's Day before.

She was always very Devout at the Cele­bration, and had an high Esteem of that Of­fice in the Liturgy, and her Preparation was always very Serious before; never omitted to spend one Day at least, in Ritirement, to Fast, and Pray, and examine herself, and humble her Soul before God, and most of the Week would be much alone, Reading the best Books of that Subject, of which she had many; or Reading them in the Family to prepare the Servants, and would often prompt and exhort others not to turn their Backs upon that Holy Feast, to which God himself so lovingly Invited them; and yet withal, cau­tion them, not to run to it Rashly, and without Consideration; that they might neither Starve themselves by neglecting that Food of their Souls, nor Surfeit on it, for the want of those Graces, upon the Exercise of which depends the Digestion of it, into wholsome and strength­ening Nourishment, and when she came Home, she would give Solemn Thanks, and beg of God to make her constant in the Cove­nant she had so signally renewed with him.

SECT. XIV. Of her Writings.

I Know not whether most to wonder at the quantity, or quality of her Writings; I find so many, and they all so wise and good, and the rather, because her Pen was the only thing at which she was slow, and the time spent in Devotion, and Family-Affairs was so much, that either of them might have exhausted all, had she not improved every Moment, and let none run to waste. She was exceeding Expe­ditious in whatever she took in Hand, and would dispatch a Business while another would be going about it; yet (which she would be­wail, but could not conquer) she was slow at Writing, beyond what was ordinary. She had been used from a Child to a kind of Set-Hand, and took off her Pen almost at every Let­ter, which put a great stop to her speed. She writ very streight, fair, and legibly for such a kind of Hand, yet was long about it; which notwithstanding, besides the large Book, of which so much before, she hath left many, both Books and Papers, Copies of good Letters, Meditations, and the like.

There is one endorsed thus, Contemplations on the 104 Psalm, 10th Verse.

In which, besides a large, Ingenious, and Pious Introduction, ‘shewing what led her to the following Thoughts (which was chiefly the consideration of God's unlimited Good­ness to all the Works of his Hands, as the great Benefactor of the whole Creation;’ (which she handsomly illustrates in four Pages,) contains 190 Pages of the largest Paper of Twelve-pence a Quire. Having set down the Words, He sendeth the Springs into the Valleys, which run among the Hills; she thus begins: ‘This Scri­pture hath a large Extent, it hath a double Blessing in it, Temporal and Spiritual Enjoy­ments; the one may be extracted, or drawn from the other, it affords the upper by the ne­ther Springs. The Valleys and Hills repre­sent two sorts of Men; the fruitful Valleys are the Character of good Men, the barren Hills are the Character of bad Men; both Temporal and Spiritual Blessings are given, at least tendered to both good and bad, but they are differently received;’ and so she proceeds to so great Enlargement, and by many more Allegories Piously to fill up near thirty Sheets close written, but I refrain giving a farther Taste.

There is also a large Meditation of a Bee caught in a Spider's Web, and assaulted by [Page 86] three Spiders successively after she had been dis-entangled once and again; to which she compares a Christian hamper'd in the Snares of Satan, and after some Freedom, yet again, and again molested by him; and very Piously, and Ingeniously runs the Parallel in many Particu­lars, in near two Sheets, which she concludes with a very devout Prayer, which respects her own afflicted, and vexatious Tryals, by renew­ed Temptations, which may be suitably touch­ed when I come to that Head: There is also a Treatise of the Grace of Humility, which was so much in her Heart and Practice. She describes it hath many Sentences about it, and there are Scriptures collected concerning it in loose Papers, but this was rather desir'd than fi­nished; abundance more there are, besides Co­pies of very good Letters, which I forbear to mention, because I intend to publish some of them in an Appendix.

SECT. XV. Discreet Management of her Family.

SHE oft, and very well considered of what Consequence it is to discharge the Duties incumbent upon us in the several Relations and Stations in which God's Providence is pleased to [Page 87] place us, and that not only the credit of Reli­gion in the Eyes of the World, but also the Power and Comfort of it in the Sight of God, and sense of our own Consciences hath great dependance on it, and that he or she cannot be a good Christian, who is not a good Husband, or Wife, Parent, Master, or Governess of a Family, and therefore much studied to know her Relative Duties, and to approve herself in the well discharging of them.

Therefore she oftener Read, and oftner thought of the thirty first Chapter of the Pro­verbs, and her Practice was as good a Com­ment as can be made upon the oeconomick Rules there given. She was, as I touch'd before, Martha and Mary both unto Perfection, yet al­ways acted Martha's Part with Mary's Spirit, (though Martha also was a good Woman;) she spiritualized her Worldly Businesses, behaved herself in her Family, as became one who was of the Family of the first-Born; made all her Imployments a Sacrifice, by performing them in obedience to God, whose Providence im­posed them on her, in setting her in a Station, in which they were required of her; not only submitted to them as Mortifications, (as is said of Marquess Renti, in the two years Drudgery, and Diversion he was content to undergo, in re­building the Seat of his Ancestors, because he esteemed himself called to it when he was the [Page 88] Head of his Family,) but with a willing Mind chearfully engaged in them, accounting all as done to God, which his Appointment made her Duty: For if the Maid-Servant may sweep the House to God, (as Mr. R. Bolton expresses himself) by considering it as a Duty, in the condition to which he calls her, how much more may the Mater-familias, the Mistress, go­vern it for him, while she hath an Eye to him who is the God of Order, and hath designed every one their Work, as well in the less, as in the larger Societies of Men.

But I have already insisted on so many things justly reducible to this Head, that I have pre­vented my self, especially considering the more weighty part of Family-Discipline relates to Persons, and the lighter only to Things; ha­ving said so much of her Care of her Children and Servants, the other Branch may be quickly dispatched, with slighter Touches.

What the Apostle saith of the Vessels in an House, some are to Honour, some to Disho­nour; I may allusively say of Affairs, some are more Honourable and Becoming, some more Mean and Base; to this latter sort she put not her Hand, as it was not fit or decent that she should; yet would she not disdain to inspect, and order those, to whom they did belong. And therefore, though she was neither her own Cook, or Dairy-Maid, yet was she al­ways [Page 89] Clerk of her little Kitchin, if I may so speak.

But whatever required more Art and Curio­sity, for the Closet or the Parlour, as Preser­ving, drawing Spirits in an Alembick, or cold Still, Pastry, Angelots, and other Cream-Cheeses, of which she made many, both for home Ex­pence, and to present to Friends, (and have been begged, and sent, at some hundred Miles distance,) they always past through her own neat and Skilfull Hands; especially since the Death of one, and Marriage of our other Daughter, on whom she imposed those Mat­ters, to perfect them by Practice, in what she had so accurately taught them.

So for all sorts of English Wines, and Sider, which when Friends have commended, (it may be too highly,) saying, I had constantly the best they ever drank; she would betwixt Jest and Earnest sometimes reply, His Sider! 'tis my Sider: I have all the Pains and Care, and he hath all the Praise who never meddles with it. To gratifie those whom such an Account may please, I will venture to set down her last Years Experiment. Having a good Plantation both of Redstreaks, which are the Herefordshire Si­der-Apple, and Gennet-moils, which are the Worcestershire, and make a Sider of a very dif­ferent Body, Colour, Gust, and Flavour. I desired they might be put into sundry Vessels [Page 90] after they were ground, and prest severally; but she came to me and said, My Dear, thou knowest not the trouble of drawing off so many Vessels, I'll make an Hogshead of them, putting both together. I left her to her Liberty, and it succeeded so well, all that taste it, say, they never drank so good.

But I have staid too long in the outward Court of her Secular Accomplishments, and Care, I will hasten out of it by a few Paces more. She was Careful without sollicitous Anxiety; Frugal without sordid Parsimony; Liberal, without squandring Profuseness; Laborious, without servile Drudgery; Decent, without vain Ostentation; Circumspect, without disquiet­ing Diffidence; Neat, without Niceness, would not sound ill if my haste would allow me to study Cadencies, and Truth would per­mit it; but I want a without to follow that E­pithet Neat; for if in any thing she knew no Bounds or Limits, it was in this; and she would often say, she envied Great Persons for nothing but the neatness of their Living, which a plain Country Family would not admit of.

I shall conclude this Section with some few of her oeconomick Axioms; such as these, a­mong many: Want nothing, but waste nothing. I hate a base, fordid Spirit, but I reckon it not such to spare well, what would be spent ill; what is spoil'd doth no body any good. When she laid by what [Page 91] was not at present beneficial, she would say, What is not useful now, may at another time be needed; and though she would not use the Pro­verb, Thrift is the fuel of Magnificence, that lofty Word sounding too big for her humble Mouth, and Mind, yet a Note or two lower she liked well, Honest Frugality is the Nurse of Decent Hospitality; and if we had not the most, her Prudence took care that what we had was u­sually of the best, at least made so by her well ordering it.

She was exceeding watchful to prevent dan­ger by Fire, and to that end, would see all raked up safe before she went to Bed, a small Negligence often losing what the greatest Dili­gence cannot recover.

But no Circumspection could be greater than what she constantly Exercised, to prevent both Extreams, of Quarrels betwixt Fellow-Ser­vants, or too great Familiarity betwixt Men and Maids, which might turn to worse Incon­veniences; and if she spied any uncivil, or wanton Gestures, she would severely reprehend them, and wisely and gravely admonish them of the Evil; telling them, that Modesty was a Womans Ornament, and Guard of Chastity, which would seldom or never be attempted, did not some lightness, or unwary Carriage embolden those who did assault it, and the Flames which scorched the Female-Honour, were mostly kindled by Sparks of their own striking.’

SECT. XVI. Visitations by Sicknesses on our selves or Children, and Death of some of them.

THough there was not one of these which she hath not Recorded, yet I shall touch but few of them, she being always the same under the like Dispensations, all of a Piece.

I am very sensible how little others are con­cerned to be acquainted with God's particular Dealings towards so private, and obscure Per­sons; yet her affectionate Tenderness, her de­vout Addresses to God, her Faith in dependance upon him, her meek Submission to him, her silent Acquiescence under them, and the Sup­ports God vouchsafed her in such Tryals, I think may be useful to other Women, Wives, and Mothers in like Tryals, which is the end for which I write the whole.

I have given one Instance of her Behaviour in one of my Sicknesses, and could add many more, in all which she manifested no less en­dearing Love to me, nor less fervent Addresses to God in time of my Danger, or Pious and en­larged Praises upon my Recovery.

December 1660. After Lying-in she had a long and sore Sickness, of which she thus writes:

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I acknowledge, to the Praise of God, that in this Sickness I had many Manifestations of the Love of God in his People, besides the very great Care, and most endearing Love of my Husband, so exceedingly exprest to me. Most were much concerned for me, and were great Sollicitors at the Throne of Grace in my behalf. I bless God that did not suffer my strong Enemy to Triumph over me, though he impetuously assaulted me; for greater is he that is for me, than he that is against me.

I remember that in this Sickness, which held me long, and brought me very low, that almost a quarter of a Year I had one or two to watch with me every Night, in which as in other long Sicknesses I was never un­provided, but had the continued readiness of Friends to me or mine in their Attendance and Help, for which I bless God. A plain Neighbour, a poor Woman, came to see me, and, with much Joy, seeing me out of my Bed, told me, she never awaked in the Night but she Prayed for me, and according to her plain Expression, said, that I had as many Prayers as if I were a Queen. Good Lord shower down the Blessing of Prayer upon my Soul.

God's good Providence has been such to me, that with other signal Mercies, I can­not chuse but express his kindness to me, in [Page 94] restraining the Smoaking of a Chimney, in a Chamber which was most convenient for me at my Lyings-in, and in times of Sickness; which at other times, when I have had little use of it, hath been very subject to Smoak, but then it never annoyed me, how fantastick this may seem to any; yet I bless God for it, who compasseth me about with loving Kind­ness, and tender Mercies.

My Daughter Margaret had a long Quartane Ague about the Year 1663. which held her three Quarters of a Year. We used several Medicines, but they proved ineffectual; but by God's Providence, a very holy good Man,— my very choice good Friend, a great support to me in my Afflictions, came to see us; and advised me to the use of Mat­thews's Pill. My good Friend help'd me to weigh out twenty Grains, for twice taking; which had so good effect, that after the first she took, she had not the least Symptom of a Fit; which before was very afflictive. I bless God for the Mercy; and verily believe, the benefit was more from the Prayers of the good Man, than from the Medicine, which hath been used oft by others, and not had the like success.

In the Year 1667. my Daughter Margaret had a most dangerous Fit, which exceeding­ly surprized me with great Fear. The more [Page 95] because my Husband was a Mile or two from home. She was suddenly taken with most violent Vomitting, viscous, green, and black Matter; and so sick withal, as if she would have died presently. She Vomited tough Flegm, like Grissels, with which I thought I saw digested Worms; which Matter I be­lieve was contracted by her long Quartane. We could not tell the certain occasion of her ilness; but feared, it might be the giving her some Mercurius Dulcis, which having been kept long, was grown Crude again. But whatever it was, we hope it contributed much to her future health, through the over­ruling Goodness of God; for the abundance of corrupt Matter which came away must needs have been very prejudicial to her, if it had been retained.

O Lord, I bless thee, who can'st, and dost bring Good out of those Evils which are most affrighting and disquieting to us. I beseech thee with this, and all other thy providential Dispensations to her, quicken and excite her to a thankfull Acknowledment of thy Mer­cies, in an Holy Life, and her future de­pendance and trust in thee.

Such devout and gratefull Improvements did this holy Woman constantly make, on all God's Providences towards her self and others: Which I humbly and heartily pray they may [Page 96] kindle in all who read them, in the like cir­cumstances, to themselves and theirs: which is the only reason of my transcribing them.

The next afflictive Providence I shall take notice of, having past by many, is the Sick­ness and Death of her Daughter Mary; which she sets down, more largely than usually, with the circumstances which attended it. I shall shorten it what I can, retaining the substance; because it may be usefull to provoke Children of the same Age to an early sense of Piety.

My sweet Child, and dearly beloved Daughter Mary, a sweet tender hearted obe­dient Child, of great Prudence, and early Piety, and exemplary Inclination to the knowledge of God, and concerns of a better Life; she fell suddenly ill of a Sore Throat, Jan. 17. 1669. and after four Days ilness, sweetly fell asleep in Jesus Christ, Jan. 21.

She was Six Years and a quarter old when she departed this Life. She was of a quick apprehension, an even temper, chearfull but serious; of a pretty presence, not bold but of an innocent confidence; a sweet compo­sure of Love and Humility; of such Gene­rosity she would not lye; I do not know that ever she spake an untruth; she was Religi­ous; she coveted the best things; much lov­ed her Books; and when she read got most of it by heart, Psalms, and divers Scriptures; [Page 97] which when rehearsed to others, she would repeat so sententiously, that thereby might be discovered the affections of her Heart and Soul in the love of God's Word.

Half a Year before she dyed she would scarce give her self the liberty of her meals, but would be taken down from Table, if she might, to get to her Book; and would by Can­dle-light sit reading by me an hour, some­times two by the Glass. She would be at­tentive at the reading the Scriptures in the Family, and ask her Sister the meaning of some Passages she understood not. She would constantly goe alone to Prayer. She told one of the Maids the Devil tempted her to Play at Prayers; but she had pray'd against him, and that he did not trouble her so much since.

She desired one of her Sisters to grant her a Request, and said, that she must not deny her: Which was, Not to refuse any good Counsel, when ever it was given her; but to accept of it from whom soever it came. Ano­ther time, being with her Sisters as they sate at Work; she told them, all those things would be dirt in Heaven: And it most con­cerned them to get their Sins Pardoned, and an Interest in Jesus Christ. Discoursing of the Vanity of this World, and Happiness of being Good, and fit for Heaven.

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As she had opportunity, she would fre­quently be giving good Counsel, with much Sweetness and Gravity.

If she were ill, she would strive to hide it, for fear of Grief to her Father and my self; saying, when we ask'd her how she did, Pretty well, I thank God. Four Days before she died, when the Maid went to help her up in the Morning, she told her she was very Sick; but God would doe her good by that Sickness, and she should love him the better for it.

In this last and short sickness, she had very serious apprehensions of Death. Said she should die, but was not afraid of Death: And desired she might die quietly, and without disturbance. The Physician desiring to give her a little Wine, ask'd her if she loved Sack? she answered, No. He desired her to take a little: She said she would if he pleased; but she did not love it to fuddle with. A few hours before she died, she desired to go to Bed, (out of which she had been taken by reason of the Flegm that troubled her,) and I being unwilling, she said, she would now go to Bed for adieu, and for all: Where she fell a sleep in Jesus; enfolded in the Arms of Everlasting Mercies. She resigned up her Soul with these, and the like Expressions, Lord let me come to thee, my Lord and my God: [Page 99] And, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit. I ac­knowledge the Words were given her, but she readily received them, and oft repeated though she could not speak but with diffi­culty; she had been so affable and winning to all, Rich and Poor, that many shed more Tears for her, than at the departure of their own Children; she was much desired in Life, and of all who knew her, much lamented at Death.

How partial soever this Relation may seem to any, and as from bribed Affection, yet I assert the Truth to God's Goodness, who hath ordained Praises in the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings, and hath, I humbly hope, now perfected the same in the Consummation of her Eternal Bliss, in the Fruition of himself to his Everlasting Praises.

I have hitherto in this Account left out many remarkable Passages for Brevity; let me obtain liberty to transcribe the rest of the Paragraph verbatim, word, for word, as her Pen left it.

Lord I bless thee that of Eleven, for whom I Praise thee, thou hast yet spared me two; I beseech thee, if it may consist with thy good Pleasure, continue them in this World, keeping them from the Evil of it, to a good Old-Age, choice Instruments of thy Glory. God Lord Sanctifie them with thy Grace and Holy-Spirit, and with an Indelible Character [Page 100] and Inscription, stamp thy own Image on them, that they may be thine by Grace and Adoption. Lord be thou their God and Porti­on. I beseech thee put them not off with a­ny thing less than thy self. Good Lord, I beg that thou wilt take a through and full Posses­sion of their Souls, and give them to retrieve my Errors by a more early knowing, serving, and loving of thee, and punish none of mine Iniquities with their Sins, but keep them blameless to thy Everlasting Kingdom, and bind up their Souls in the bundle of Eternal Life, Amen, Amen.

January 23. 1669. Was a day of Mercy to me in the midst of my Affliction, being Lord's Day, my sweet Mary lying then Dead with us in the House; the extremity of my Affection forced me into the Chamber where she then lay, a cold piece of Clay: I there poured out my Soul to God in Prayer, and from thence returned into to the Chamber of my signal Mercies I have received from God, who comforteth those who are cast down. Though he denied my vehement Desires, and wrest­lings with him in the time of her Sickness, for her longer continuance with me in this World, the Lord abundantly made up, and compen­sated my Loss.

I took my Bible, and my Intention was to Read in the New-Testament to allay my [Page 101] own Grief, with the dolorous Sufferings of my Saviour, but my Bible suddenly fell open in my Lap, and my Eye presently fixed upon Habbak. 1.12. which was powerfully set home upon my Heart, with great Comfort, and Refreshment, with full Measure running over, streams of Mercy, and Loving Kind­ness; yea [...] of tenderest Mercies flowing in­to my Soul; an Eternal God in exchange of a transient Comfort. The Lord tendered me himself, who is from Everlasting, with this Propriety; the Lord my God opposing his all-sufficient Righteousness against all my Un­righteousness, My Holy One, I should not Dye, but Live. Lord, how hast thou silenced my in­ordinate Passions, and Affections, in super­abundantly out-bidding all Creature-Comforts and Relations! I beseech thee enable me so to live here, that I may ever live with thee, where I shall sin no more, and Grief, Sor­row, and Sighing shall flee away.

The same Lord's Day in the Afternoon, my Daughter Elizabeth, (whom God gave me June 8. 1658.) to our great Satisfaction and Comfort, suddenly broke out into a Flood of Tears, and most Pathetical, Vehement De­sires after God, and his Grace; with Con­fession, and bewailing of her Sins with such sensible, and suitable Expressions, as shewed it came from her very Soul, which drew [Page 102] plenty of Tears of Love and Admiration from us all

O my God, how shall I love thee, how shall I Praise thee for this Grace, which I trust was the Work of thy Blessed Spirit! Good Lord confirm and establish the Thoughts of her Heart before thee for Ever.

This day was a Tragi-Comedy, if I may so speak; Bitterness turn'd into surprizing Sweet­ness; Weeping had continued for a Night, but Joy came in before the succeeding Morning, even Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory. I never remembred my Dear under such tran­sports of Spiritual Peace and Satisfaction, as from the Consolations of God, from the Ma­nifestations of his Love, which flowed into her Soul from that Scripture above-named; and I may truly say, the Impressions of it never wore wholly off, but even at many Years di­stance, the naming of those Words would re­new the Spiritual Relish she tasted in them, and the briny Tears for the natural Death of one very desirable Child, were swallowed up by the Tears of Gladness for the lively Sym­ptoms of the spiritual Birth of another, not less dear to us; The House was a Bokim, not one dry Eye; the Pathetick Earnestness with which the Child cried for Pardon, and supplies of Grace, enflamed and melted all that heard her, and the abundance of Tears she shed so [Page 103] freely, were like Water put into a Pump; it brought up even Buckets full from all that saw them: What would I not give for such ano­ther Evening?

I know there are too many in the World who will make these things the Subject of their Mirth and Scorn, and opening other Books much oftner than the Holy Bible would be more affected, with an auspicious Cut, or turning up a lucky Trump, than lighting on the divinest Promise in the Sacred Volumes, and will stigmatize such Impressions with the Contemptuous Brand of Enthusiasm; or at the mildest, slight them, as the Effects of warm'd Fancy: But let them alone, I'll not disturb their pleasing Dreams; yet, Wisdom is Justified of her Children, and though I will not presume to say, We speak Wisdom to them who are Perfect, and write such things for them who have their Senses Exercised, to discern and relish them. Yet I cannot but call to Mind how Petrus Ble­sensis endorsed his Treatise of the Love of God, Secretum meum mihi, My Secret to my self; and I hope this will meet with some Readers to whom it may not be as insipid, as the White of an Egg, to allude to Job's Expression; and for those who think it the cheapest and quickest way to ease their Minds, in their unacquainted­ness with such things, to ridicule them in o­thers, I say, Mock on.

I pass by, for Brevity-sake, many excellent Passages of most Exemplary Piety, in several Pages relating to the Occurrences of near three Year. Then follows,

In the beginning of September 1671. my Daughter Elizabeth had a great Fit of Sickness, which brought her very low, a Fever, with a Rhumatism; we had the Advice of eight or nine Physicians from London, and Chelmsford, and five upon the Place, &c.

My self watched many Nights with her, the time I could spare in my careful attendance on her, I spent in Prayers and Tears at the Throne of Grace in her behalf, from whence I had a Mercifull Return. One Night she rutled, and breathed short, which made me fear the approach of Death. I having by me Oil of Sweet-Almonds, new drawn, I desired to give her some of it, but was afraid to at­tempt it, and her Stomach did so nauseate what was given her, though in it self Plea­sant. I went from her into another Chamber, and earnestly besought God if he saw it good for her, to incline her to a willing taking of it. I brought her five or six Spoonfuls in a Sil­ver Cup, which she received of me without speaking one Word against it, and drank it off, without the least reluctancy or Regret. I do most heartily bless God who did not cast out my Prayer, the Oil caused her to [Page 105] Vomit much tough Flegm; and withal gen­tly Purged her, after which she recovered Health, I thank God.

Blessed God, I beseech thee enable her to render to thee suitable returns of Love and Obedience, that the residue, and remainder of her days here, may be in thy Fear, not to offend thee, but faithfully to serve thee, who didst remember and help her in her low E­state, that when thou shalt Consummate her Days on Earth, she may be ever with thee in thy Eternal Kingdom and Glory. Amen.

I shall conclude this Section with the Ac­count of her Carriage, and Demeanour in the last Sickness, and Death of this Dearly Beloved Child. I confess she is very large in what she writes of it, therefore I shall contract it what I can, though I find not an impertinent Line in so many Pages, and I hope it will not seem tedious, because it is so suitable to the End I design; which is to propound her Example of Motherly Affection, and Christian Submission to, and Holy Improvement of God's smarty Tryals. She thus begins:

‘I have now one of the saddest of God's Providences to record, which hath befallen me in the Comforts of this Life; I beseech God to sanctifie it to me, and those concern­ed with me.’ Then having at large related all the Circumstances of her Sickness, she pro­ceeds. [Page 107] ‘She was sixteen Years, three Months, and eleven Days old when she dyed. After fourteen Days Sickness of the Small-Pox, she changed her Corruptible State, I humbly hope, into Immortal Glory, where she shall never Sin, and the Effects of Sin shall be no more.’

‘She was a very Beautifull and Lovely Wo­man, &c. God gave her a good understanding, &c. And so having described her Body and Mind exactly, she corrects herself; ‘but thus to Characterize her may not suit my Pen: But I may acknowledge these Accomplish­ments to the Praise of God's Goodness.’

The ground of my Comfort is, her sweet Inclination to the things of God, and her Souls concerns, as to her eternal State, unto which she is gone unspotted, from the gross defilements of the World, and was Mercifully preserved from ever falling into any scandalous Sin, and is set out of the reach of Sin, Temptation, and Sor­rows, got into Harbour, off a Tempestuous Sea.

I bless God we have good hopes of her E­ternal Peace and Safety; for besides a blame­less Conversation, free from gross Enormities; she was very Conscientious in the Duties of Religion; she would always speak the Truth.

She was meek of Spirit, very humble and charitable to the Poor, and Pitifull, and would relieve them as far as she had wherewith to do it; she was very tender-hearted, fearfull of Sin, and of being found an Hypocrite.

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Besides Family-Prayers, she Worshipped God in private twice a Day in secret Prayer; in the Morning she read the Scriptures, and in the Afternoon spent an hour or more in reading good Books. She did exhort others to serious Pie­ty, and in time of Health, would be counselling, and advising the Servants privately to be Re­ligious, and to take heed of delaying, and put­ting off their Returns to God.

She had great Impressions on her Heart, as to the carefull observation of the Sabbath, and when she had made any digression with Worldly Discourse with others, she would make acknowledgment she had done amiss; a Sin lightly considered, and as little be­wailed.

'Then she relates the Impressions of Gods Spirit on her Heart when twelve Years old, (of which before;) and her Patient, and Pious Carriage in her Sickness three Years before this. Then proceeds,

She had also Experience of Spiritual Temptations, but resisted them with Abhorrence. In this her last Sickness she acquainted me with them; telling me, she had been much troubled with a wicked thing; I asked her what it was, she said she would not speak it for all the World, it made her fear lest she had committed the Sin against the Holy-Ghost. Poor Lamb! she kept this Trouble to her half a Year, only her Sister [Page 108] knew it, and oft see her sit and Weep most bitterly; but I humbly hope, God gave her strength against the Temptation, and quieted her Mind: After she revealed this Affliction, and better understood the nature of these Troubles, which as God enabled me I inform­ed her, and strove to Comfort her.

In the time of this last Sickness, she oft asked me to Pray with her; which when I performed, I was too absolute with God for her Life, all the time of her Sickness, with­out express Submission to his Will. The Lord pardon the Extremity of my Affection.

In this Sickness she was very tender-hearted, expressed herself very Understandingly, and Piously in Prayer, with other sweet and gra­cious Requests to God, she begged of the Lord, that the Infection of her Disease might spread no farther in the Family; which De­sires of hers the Lord heard, and granted. For which Preservation I do desire to be thankfull to the God of our Mercies, which in the midst of his just Judgments for my Sins, in this heavy stroak, shewed us much Compassion, in preventing our farther Cala­mity in that Disease.

The dear sweet Child oft said, She should die; yet saying, If the Lord pleased to spare her, she would labour with watchfulness to serve him better, and to amend all she had [Page 109] found amiss; desiring me to be her faithfull remembrancer.

She was troubled that sometimes she had lain in bed too long in the morning; especi­ally for being straitened for time on the Sab­bath Day, which caused her to slubber over those Duties which should have been better performed; bewail'd her unprofitableness, and promised, if she recovered this sickness, better to observe the Lord's Day.

To the Physician that attended her, in her sickness, she said, That he had many oppor­tunities in going to sick and death Beds, to mind him of Mortality, and though none should be excusable before God; yet they should be most inexcusable, that had such frequent warnings: Said, That in health was the fittest time to prepare for death, for in sickness she could do little more than con­sult her ease.

Dear Child, she one Morning desired to see her Father, and that she might see his Face; saying, She had now taken her leave of her dear Father's Face. But the Lord spared her a little longer, and she did see him again; and now I humbly hope she sees the face of her Father in Heaven.

Dear Child, she desired her Father and my self to forgive her, in what she had at any time offended us; saying, If the Lord saw [Page 110] it good to spare her, she hoped she should double her Diligence in her Care, that she should never grieve us in any thing. But this testimony, I bless God, I can give of her, Few Children exceeded her in dutiful loving Obedience to her Parents.

She express'd her self very affectionately and honourably of her Sister, and that she was sorry she had sometimes diverted her, by staying in her Closet when she would have been better employed.

Sweet Child, she was very tender spirited, and was troubled for several little things, which were very small or no Offence; and if she had done any thing amiss, would ask for­giveness.

She would sometimes say to me, my dear Mother, you cannot conceive what passes through my poor head, nor what your poor Child endures. And then she would bless God that what she suffered was not Hell, where the Damned had not a drop of water to cool their Tongue: And said, What is that I feel compared to the sufferings of my Savi­our, who under-went such torments to save Sinners?

Dear Lamb, she desired that what Money she had might be given in the Parish to some poor people whom she named; and that her dear Father would extend his Charity out [Page 111] of what he would have bestowed at her Bu­rial. Which was performed.

In the whole time of her sickness I was not from her but one night, not being well; the last night but one before she departed this Life; neither was I from her at any time, but when the pressing necessities of my frail Nature urged it for a little rest; and she was very glad when she saw me again, and would ex­press her loving Affections and Thankfulness to me for my Care of her. I had many sweet endearing expressions from her, of her Love and Duty. She said, If the Lord spare me I hope I shall do thus as I have promised: But if I die, my dear Mother, you will re­member what I now said to you; and I could be content to be a little Child again, that I might lie at your Breast and Bosom.

I have transcribed this long account, hoping it may be usefull to some young Gentlewomen, Daughters of my dear Wife's Christian Friends, or others into whose hands, their kindness, or God's Providence may put it. Now follows her exemplary Submission and Improvement.

She was exceeding desirable to us, for the loveliness of her Person, sweetness of her Disposition, readiness of her Obedience, quickness of her Parts, serious Inclina­tion to the ways of God, and many sweet and winning Qualities, which rendered her [Page 112] exceeding amiable, and very pleasant to all that knew her.

But it was the Lord, the sovereign Lord of us, and her, and all the world, whose she was much more than ours. God doth all things well, wisely, righteously, gratiously, and most faithfully.

The Lord was pleased to stir up great sym­pathy and tender Compassion in his People, with many Prayers for her in her sickness, and for us since; and though it pleased God to deny them for her longer continuance in this World, yet, blessed be God, we have great cause to hope in his Mercies, that those Prayers are not lost, but for the Sake, Me­rits, and Mediation of her Redeemer and Sa­viour Jesus Christ, are granted to an higher end in eternal Bliss.

Good Lord, sanctifie all our Afflictions to us, that we may bear them with meekness and submission, that they may not only be the Effects of thy Displeasure, but of thy a­dopting Love.

Good Lord, sanctifie this heavy Affliction to us, and shew me in particular why thou contendest with me: Therefore, besides thy Holy, Righteous, and Wise Providence, and Immutable Decree, which had determined her time, and the measure of her Days, which I desire humbly, and with all Submission to [Page 113] Adore and Acquisce in. Good Lord, give me to know and lay to heart the forfeiting Cause on my part, which mov'd thee to smite with so severe a stroke, in bereaving us of so desirable a Child, and so great a peace of the comfort of my Life in this World. Lord, pardon my Ingratitude for Mercies in­joyed, that I have not so improved them to thy glory, by a more carefull, circumspect, exemplary, holy Life. I beseech thee forgive my slackness in seasonable reproofs, admoni­tions, advice, and counsels to my Children or others. Although thou seest good to cut short my opportunities, yet help me better to improve what thou wilt still intrust me with, and forgive me all my neglects of my rela­tive Duty. I desire to own thy Righteous­ness, and that thou hast punished me less than my Iniquities deserve.

I bless thee that thou hast spared to me my dear Husband; I beseech thee mightily to furnish him with the Gifts and Graces of thy Spirit, and give him a long continuance in this Life, very instrumental to thy glory, the benefit and great advantage of thy Church and People, and at last full fruition of thy self in eternal Glory. Lord, I bless thee that thou still intrusts us Parents to a Child, I beseech thee bless this onely one, and inable us with much Wisdom and Diligence to ex­hort, [Page 114] instruct, and train up for thee, her thou hast yet spared to us. Good Lord bless her, and she shall be blessed: Bless her in Soul, with the plentifull Effusions of thy Holy Spirit, and all the Graces of it. Bless her Body with an healthfull Constitution, and Honour her with long Life in the ways of Righteousness: Suffer not her heart to be set on the gilded Vanities of this World, but grant her of the things of this Life, what thou thinkest good for her, and be thou her God and Portion; and when thou shalt con­clude her days on Earth, I beseech thee re­ceive her to thy heavenly Kingdom. Amen, Amen.

I am sensible of the length of the preceding Section, and will not make it longer by a need­less and useless Apology, needless to those who are acquainted with the actings of that sweet Spirit, that breathed so fragrantly in her, on such occasions; and useless to those who are not only Strangers, but Enemies to such a tem­per of Mind; and had it contained but twenty lines, would have esteemed it too long by fif­teen of them. I shall endeavour brevity in those which follow.

SECT. XVII. Renewed Assaults of her Enemy by Temptation.

THis was her almost constant trouble for many Years, which she used to call, emphatically, Her Affliction: For 'twas with her, one of his living Members, as with our Blessed Lord, her, and our Head, of whom I noted above, When the Devil had finished all his present Temptations, he departed from him for a season, which clearly intimates his returning to renew his Assaults. She sometimes had a breathing time vouchsafed her, by the gratious Restraints God laid upon her Enemy; but usu­ally not very long: for using to afford her the best Assistance that I could, I sometimes for some Weeks or Months have refrained to men­tion them, that I might not awaken the sleeping Lion; and she taking no notice of them, I have often said, I hope, my Dear, thou hast been now some good space free from thy Af­fliction. Alas! my Dear, would she reply with a deep sigh, I have kept silence, because I would not weary thee with my continual com­plaints. And other whiles would gratefully acknowledge God's goodness, in yielding her some Respite, some Calms and quiet Intervals. Yet after the Day God so strongly comforted [Page 116] her by Habakkuk i. 12. though I cannot say she was wholly free. I do not remember she ever complained of her Temptations being ei­ther too fierce or frequent, as they had been before, nor did she once mention them in her last Sickness. Blessed be God's goodness to her.

This cruel, but cowardly Enemy, usually made his fiercest Onsets when she was exer­cised with Indisposition of Mind or Body. I will give one Instance of each.

First, Under Indisposition of Mind with great Sorrow.

‘In the beginning of May, 1680. an Af­fliction befel me, my former Troubles re­turned upon me. A wound not healed brake forth with deep Trouble of Mind, much Afflicted with blasphemous Suggestions. The good Lord rebuke them, and with his All-sufficient Grace, cast out of my Soul what­ever may offend and provoke him to so se­vere a Scourge, which in my own strength I am not able to stand under, so unsupportable is the burthen: But the good Lord give me to see, that by the supporting Grace of his former Compassions, I am preserved from the poisonous infection of them. Satan taking advantage of my melancholy Disposition, growing upon me after the Death of my dearly beloved Child, Mrs. Margaret Cox, renewed these Assaults.’

And as in such Cases, the subtile malitious Enemy will follow his blow home, as far as he is suffered, and multiply every Molehill into a Mountain, as we speak Proverbially; so he endeavoured to increase her disquiet, by another very small Circumstance. For she pro­ceeds in her Complaint. ‘I had also a great damp and check on my earnest Endeavours to teach my little Boy his Book. He at little more than three Years old would read well in his Primmer, on a sudden he forsook it, not through any evil Disposition in him, I am not able to give an acccount of it; but it occa­sioned me much grief and trouble. But I bless God for his Mercy to me. Half a Year after I began a-new with him, and he hath with greater readiness to it, and love of it, learned much better than before.’ So indul­gently condescending was the divine Goodness, to relieve her suitably, and prevent the occa­sions her Enemy catch'd at to disturb her by.

Secondly, Under Indisposition of Body, by a long Sickness.

‘It pleased God to suffer my old Enemy im­petuously to assault me: This Visitation was very cloudy, which then I could not see through, nor apprehend God's Goodness, though he vouchsafed many discoveries of his Favour to me.’

I shall not multiply Passages of the same im­port, nor pursue all the Methods her Christian Prudence made use of for her support, as fre­quent Conference with my self, and some few choice Christian Friends, whom she much esteemed for their great Piety, experience in spiritual Matters, and prevalence with God in Prayer. She made no noise with her Troubles, revealed them but to few, and to those whom she judged fittest to counsel and comfort her, and sympathize with her in her Temptations, as having had Experience of the like, or been oft consulted by them who had. But her best Defence was to take to her self the whole Ar­mour of God, and her chief Refuge was to the Throne of Grace, to appeal to God who comforteth them who are cast down, and to wrestle with God for help in time of need, whom she used to importune to teach her hands to war, and her fingers to fight in her spiritual Warfare, and to carry on the War at his own Charge, because the Quarrel was his, and ma­naged against the grand Enemy of his Glory, as much as of her Peace,

I shall transcribe a Paper which I find En­dorsed thus:

In time of Temptation, writ by me Elizabeth Walker.

O Most holy, wise, powerfull, gratious, faithfull, unchangeable, and eternal God, I thy poor afflicted Creature, tossed on Waves and Billows of Sin and Tempta­tion, fly unto thee for Refuge in this Storm, begging of thee thy supporting Grace, help­ing me against the Assaults of my spiritual E­nemies, by what wile soever they invade my Soul, with abhorr'd impure Motions, vile and detestable Suggestions, which, through thy Grace, I loath, O blessed Lord, and enter my solemn Protest against them; Defiance and Detestation of them. Good God, I would not have an irreverent thought of thy sacred Being, incomprehensible and most excellent Perfection, and transcendent Glory, which I would, and do with my whole Heart, Soul, and all the Powers of my whole Man, with all integrity acknowledge and subscribe to with mine own Hand, to which, O Lord, I beg the Seal of thy Spirit, as a Witness to my Soul, that I am, in Christ Jesus, thy Child and Servant,

Elizabeth Walker.

Engaged I am, O Lord, by Covenant with thee in Baptism, to fight thy Battels, I be­seech thee put on me that whole and compleat Armour, that I may be able to resist my strong Enemies, which war against my Soul, and fight against thee. Blessed Lord, I de­sire to prostrate my self at thy Feet, in the deepest sense of my own Unworthiness, that thou shouldest look upon, and help such a Miscreant, and forlorn Sinner. But for his sake that never sinned, I beseech thee support me with thy compassionate Mercy to me a loathsome and defiled Sinner, and give me not over to spiritual Judgments, hardness of Heart, blindness of Mind, Impenitency, an evil Heart of Unbelief, departing from thee. Give me not up into the Hands of them that hate me, and would work my Ruine. I be­seech thee do not chuse my Delusions, lea­ving me to a deceivable Heart, to which I dare not trust, without the Guards of thy Holy Spirit. Leave me not, O God, to my own strength, in which I cannot doe the least good, and without thine shall fall into the greatest evils of Soul and Body, and sink to the bottom of the bottomless Pit of Sin and eternal Misery; from which, O God, I beseech thee let thy unfathomed Mercy in Christ Jesus speedily prevent me, and give a mortal stab to all my Corruptions, by what Course soever thou [Page 121] wilt take with me, only let me fall into thy Compassionate Hands. Good Lord bind up my Wounds, and heal my Putrifying Soars. I beseech thee forsake me not in the time of my older Age, when Strength faileth; and suffer not the defects of my Body to become the Sin of my Soul.

I beseech thee suffer no Tryal to be above my Strength; but Blessed Lord, thou that hast suffered being Tempted, make a way for me, that I may be able to bear it. I beseech thee lay that Hand on me thou tookest hold on Peter with, that I may not sink in the deep Waters, in which there is no standing. Good Lord suffer no Weapon formed against me to Prosper; but bring me up out of my Astonishments, and Confusions of Soul; though the Enemy break in like a Flood, let thy Holy Spirit in my Heart, lift up a Standard against him. Good Lord take a full Possession of my Soul, and suffer no Rival with thee; let me be guided, governed, and acted by thee. Good Lord let no Sin have Dominion over me. I beseech thee fill my Heart and Soul with the Graces of thy Bles­sed Spirit. Deep Reverentialness of thee, much Love, Fervour and Zeal for thy Glory, which I beseech thee cause to be ever very and ex­ceeding dear and precious to me, and suffer not the Envenomed Arrows of my Enemy [Page 122] to stick on me; but I beseech thee quench all those Fiery Darts, the Poison of them drinketh up my Spirits. Good Lord apply to my Soul that healing Balsam, made of the Blood of the Son of God; and with an Indelible Cha­racter let thy Law be written on my Heart, O Blessed God, Father, Saviour, Sanctifier. I beseech thee make this the transcript of my Soul, in an Holy Life, in Submission and O­bedience to thee in all things, with all possi­ble Adoration, Thanksgiving, and Praise un­to thee, O Lord, most due, in Heaven and on Earth, to which I say Amen, Amen, Amen.

She Read also all the good Books with in­tentest Diligence she could enquire out, or be informed of on this Subject, and wept Buckets of Tears to quench those Fiery Darts; which, though she had an Excellent Eye, brought her many Years since to the use of Spectacles, and caused her oft to use the Psalmist's Expression; My Eye is Consumed because of Grief, and wax­eth Old because of my Enemy. And would often Pray that her Bodily-Infirmities might not be her Souls Dis-advantages; and say, That though they were not her Sins, they were the Effects of them.

Thus was her Life a continual Warfare, in which she fought the good Fight of Faith, and was more than Conqueror through him that lo­ved her and helped her, and I am comfortably, [Page 123] upon good Grounds, persuaded, hath re­ceived a glorious Crown of Righteousness, from him whose Appearance she so heartily Loved, and so constantly and earnestly waited for. Her Warfare is accomplished, and she rests from these, and all her Labours; and as she overcame in his Strength who taught her Hands to War, and Fingers to Fight, and covered her Head in the Day of Battel; so to him be all the Glory, and Eternal Praises. Amen, Amen.

SECT. XVIII. Friends she used to Pray for.

I Subjoyn to the Precedent, an Account of a­nother Paper, which, as the last abovenamed, I found in a distinct Sheet, with this Title:

A Catalogue of Christian Friends, whom I desire in a peculiar manner to present in my poor Prayers to God, at the Throne of his Grace, and that God would doe for them, for Soul and Body above what I can ask.

Then follows this Prayer:

GRacious God, thou hast commanded to Pray for all Men, but especially for the Houshold of Faith. Lord thou never saidst Seek my Face in vain, but hast with great Con­descention [Page 124] and Encouragement Invited thy People to make their Addresses to thee, for themselves and others. And hast joyned with the Command, thy Promise to hear, and grant agreeable to thy Will what is best for us. Lord thou givest Liberally, and dost not upbraid, and wilt not send thy People away Empty, see­ing thou always hast it plentifully by thee. I come unto thee in the Name, and for the Sake and alone Righteousness, Merits, and Medi­ation of thy Son, and my alone Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the behalf of my Self, and Chri­stian Friends. Lord, I beg of thee for thy Church, and peculiar People, and by name present before thee, some known to me, my Christian Friends; them, and their Joynt-Relations. Good Lord shower down on them the Blessings of Prayer.

Gracious God I do beseech thee extend thy choicest Favours to my most near Relations, my Dear Husband, my Dear Grandson, his Father, and his Relations, with my other near Relations.

Good Lord be very gracious to our Neigh­bouring Ministry; Mr. Alchorne, Mr. Hub­lon, Mr. Loe, Mr. Arrowsmith, Doctor Fuller, Mr. Siday, with the rest. Lord give them the Plentifull Encrease of their La­bours, the ingrafting many Souls into thy Kingdom. And be very gracious to those who [Page 125] have known my Soul in Adversity, and have been earnest Petitioners in my behalf at thy Throne of Grace. Good Lord grant me the Blessing of Prayer, and requite them and theirs in Spiritual Blessings.

Good Lord, remember in much Mercy the Relations of my dear Deceased Friends. Be thou the God of the Widow, and the Father of the Fatherless Children.

Also any that ever asked my poor Prayers. Gracious God, though these I name, I stretch out my craving Hands over the World. I be­seech thee let thy most suitable Mercies reach them.

Good Lord be Merciful to this Town and People in a sound Conversion: Bless our Fa­mily with Soul-Mercies, and all our Ser­vants.

In the Margin are named about thirty Heads of Families, with their Relations, of almost all Ranks and Degrees; from Right-Honour­able, down to them of low Condition, for whom she had a peculiar Esteem, and endear'd Affection, who so far suffer with me, that they have lost a sincere Friend, and humble, earnest Intercessor at the Throne of Grace. I will use an Expression of her own Pen, touched a­bove on the like occasion.

I humbly hope these Prayers remain upon the File of God's Mercy. And I humbly, and [Page 126] heartitly beseech him they may be answered with Blessed Returns upon my self and mine, and upon all them and theirs, for whom they were sent up with so devout and commendable Charity and Zeal. Amen.

SECT. XIX. Some trying Calamities on the Nation, on Friends and Family, and signal Deliverances from Dangers.

AS she was none of those who regard not God's Works, nor the Operation of his Hands, but duly observed, and humbly adored his Providential Dispensations; so she cast them not behind her Back, but constantly Recorded them with Awakening, Pious Reflections up­on them, whether relating to the Nation, Friends, or Family. I shall scarcely mention one of twenty, only touch a few, one or two of a kind, as Instances and Examples to others, to provoke to Imitation.

‘About four years after King Charles the Second's coming into England, began the great Plague, May the 5th, 1665. of which died in and about London, 68592.’ (I think it should have been 98592, her Pen by an easie Mistake, pointing the first Figure upward, [Page 127] which should have been turned downward,) ‘as hath been Computed; besides great Multitudes in other Parts of the Kingdom.’

‘In the Year following was the Dreadful Fire, September the Second, which Consum'd and Burnt down Eighty nine Churches; and, as Account hath been given, 13200 Houses. Lord how manifold are thy Judgments! Give the Inhabitants of the Earth to learn Righte­ousness thereby.

If some might blame me, yet I believe some would have thanked me, had I added many more of these National Concerns, as a very brief Chronicle; especially with her usefull Refle­ctions. Whoso are Wise will consider these things, and they shall understand the Loving Kindness of the Lord; whoso doth his great and wonderfull Works, that they ought to be had in Remembrance. But for Brevity I refrain.

And as she took notice of publick Con­cerns, so did she also of what touched particu­lar Persons, especially her Friends; as for In­stance: January 13. 1672. God was pleased to suffer a sudden and lamentable Fire to Con­sume in a few hours a large House, the Habi­tation of a good Gentleman, our Friend and Neighbour, Mr. Luther of Miles's, three Miles distant from us, upon which she wrote a most kind and Christian Letter to him, of which I find the Copy.

She records the Deaths of many Friends, and always with a short Character of them, and useful Improvements. As for Instance:

April 12. 1678. It pleased God to take to himself the Most Excellent Lady, the Coun­tess of Warwick. She was Eminent in Reli­gion; a sound Christian in Knowledge and Practice; exceeding Charitable; did very much good; a very sincere and obliging Friend; very sweet in Disposition, and in Condescention to all; even to those much be­low her; she did excell both in Religion, and in all other commendable Vertues; she lived ve­ry desirable, and dyed much bewailed, as a deep Loss to her Relations, to the Neighbour­hood, to the Church, and People of God, to all that knew her, amongst whom, to my Dear Husband; to him she was a most entire Friend, and to my self.

Good Lord Sanctifie to us this heavy De­privation, the loss of our Honourable and most Endearing Friend. Lord make up the Breach, which for Extent is very wide; yet, not beyond the Bounds of thy Boundless Com­passion. Good Lord fill up to us, and all that share in this smarty touch of thy Hand, with full Supplies fetched beyond Creature-Enjoyments, more immediate from thy self in thy immutable Friendship, and never-dying Love and Favour, in that unchangeable Rock [Page 129] of Ages, Christ Jesus; which Lord vouchsafe to grant. Amen, Amen.

And having named several Deaths of other Friends, with true Characters of them, she concludes:

‘Good Lord Sanctifie to me these frequent Warnings of Mortality, and Death. I beseech thee fit me for my Departure out of this World.’

She mentions also three Eminent Deliverances from the Danger of Fire breaking out in our House, in which we inhabited, and one in ano­ther House of ours, in the Parish, which were prevented by signal Providences, which she sets down, and closes with most thankful Praises.

There's not an Eminent Danger, into which I fell, and out of which God's Mercy rescued me, which she remembers not, with Expressions which testifie a most Dear Affection to my self, and a most Pious and Devout Sense of God's Watchful Providence, and Comfort­able Instances of his Gratious Answers to her Prayers.

I shall touch but one or two out of very ma­ny.

August 1660. My Dear Husband co­ming from London, fell into the Hands of four Robbers, which prevented his coming Home that Day, which much troubled me, being Saturday Night, and being very Tempestu­ous [Page 130] with great Rains, Lightning, and Thun­der; but after some time spent by my self, the rest of my Family being in Bed, I powr'd out my Request to God in his behalf; my Heart being much quieted, I went to my Rest, where God gave me the Repose of the Night, and in the Morning brought home my Dear Husband, to our mutual Comfort, and his performing the work of that Day in God's own Service. Blessed be God.

He received no eminent Harm; but at­tempting to escape, one of the Thieves with a Club struck him on the side of his Head, but his Hat broke the Blow, that he had not much hurt, I bless God.

They took his Money, Watch, and Rings, but none of his Cloaths; and though the tender Mercies of the Wicked are cruel, God so over-ruled their usual harsh demeanour, that one of them pulled off one of his own Coats and wrapt it about him for some time, and set him under a Tree to shroud him from the Rain and Tempest. Blessed be God for his Preservation in this Danger.

Some Passages in the preceding Paragraph run so parallel with what we read, St. John 4.50. that I shall transcribe the Words, and then make an unforced and appposite Appli­cation of them to the purpose for which I pro­duce them, and allude to them. Then enquired [Page 131] he of them the Hour when he began to amend: And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh Hour the Fever left him; so the Father knew it was the same Hour in which Jesus said unto him, Thy Son Liveth; and himself Believed, and his whole House.

She intimates that, and when she powred out her Requests to God in my behalf, and that her Heart was much quieted, and she went to her Rest, and God gave her the Repose of the Night; and I know it was the same Hour in which I was delivered from those violent Men, and I do believe God heard her Prayer, and Bless him for it: And O that others would be­lieve him to be a God hearing Prayer, and would be encouraged to call earnestly upon him!

There follow after this more than twenty eminent Dangers by afflictive, trying Provi­dences, and very signal Deliverances from them. I'll touch but one of all these, (before I reach one at about thirty Years distance from what I last mentioned, (though all attended with Devout Reflections.

July 4. 1676. My Dear Husband was under some Indisposition of Health, he was Feverish, I feared he would have had a Fit of Sickness, which had very sorrowful, oppressive Impres­sions on me. My Dear Husband then made his Will,’(that is a new one, for I had made one many Years before,) ‘and read it to me, ex­prest [Page 132] his much Endearing Affections to me, in his great Love and Care of me, with so great a part of his Estate he gave to me for my Plentifull Susistence after his Decease. This Kindness I desire to acknowledge with Thank­fulness to God and my Dear Husband. Lord, I Bless thee for thy sparing Mercy in the re­paration of my Dear Husband's Health, which I beseech thee continue to length of Days in this Life, and when this shall be no more, Lord crown with thy exceeding Weight of Eternal Glory. Amen, Amen.

Since which, making another Will, I gave her my whole Estate Personal, and Real, (what designed for Charity, and a few Lega­cies excepted,) with power to sell any, or all my Lands, lest any un-foreseen Emergency should need extraordinary Supplies; but she earnestly intreated me to alter that Power of Selling, being abundantly satisfied to confine herself to the Personal Estate, and Revenue of the Land, which I gave her liberty to raise Money upon, to be repayed in some Years af­ter her Death, to make as sure as I could she should never want any thing which I was able to supply her with; which I mention to encou­rage Wives to deserve as well, and Husbands to compensate so well-deserving Wives.

What should have been immediately sub­joyned to my Escape from violent Men in 1660▪ [Page 133] because of the too great similitude between them, is my deliverance in 1685. I will not say from more unrighteous, yet I must say from those which are more inexcusable; for God himself seems to extenuate the Fault of them who in Necessity take from others, to satisfie their own Hunger, and pressing Wants; but I never read that either God, or any Man, (except those like them,) excused those who sin of Malicious Wickedness, and gain nothing, besides the filling up the Measure of their Ini­quities, but the satisfaction of their own spight­ful Malice; in troubling and afflicting others.

I will not transcribe what her Pen so large­ly, so truly, so piously sets down on this occa­sion, only the number of the Days, which I confess she calls the short Triumph of the — being exactly Ten, puts me in mind of Rev. 2.10. and if this fall into the Hands of any who made themselves Accessories, and guilty, post factum, by a snearing Pleasure they took in the wicked Oppression of the Innocent, I pray God give them Repentance.

And I think it is no harder to forgive them, than it was for Tertullian to glory in the Chri­stians behalf, that Nero was their first Persecu­tor; whom he, speaking in their Name, calls Damnationis nostrae Dedicatorem; It must needs be good which Nero persecutes. And we have a surer word, St. John 15.18, 19.

A great many more afflictive Dispensations the Divine Wisdom and Faithfulness saw good to exercise us with, to enforce us often to the Throne of Grace to obtain Mercy to help in time of need, and many most signal and sur­prizing Deliverances from them, did his Good­ness and Loving-kindness seasonably vouchsafe us from them, and most gracious Supports did his tender Compassions afford us under them, frequently bringing Meat out of the Eater, good out of evil, filling thereby our Hearts with his Love, and our Mouths with Songs of Praise and Thanksgivings to him, the Rock of our Salvation, and our Refuge in times of Trouble, and repeated Experiences of his rea­diness to pity and to succour us, raising up those hopes which make not ashamed. All which she records with so savoury a sense of God's Mercy, and such lively Expressions of most humble and holy Hallelujahs, as might inspire most serious Sentiments into the Rea­der; but I shall slide over them in silence, be­cause, as I hope many do not need those Sparks to kindle their gratitude into Flames; so many are of so prejudiced a frame of Spirit, that to use so base a word, as fitted to so base a temper of Mind, they would rather put them out, than suffer them to kindle into a blaze of Devotion, on so damp an Hearth as are the Hearts steep'd in impure noisome Lusts, not only destitute of [Page 135] all Sense of the Power of Godliness, but impla­cable Enemies to it, in all who own and love it.

SECT. XX. Of our going to Tunbridge-Wells.

THough it be known to many, that we most frequently went to Tunbridge-Wells from 1661, and after some Intermissions, al­most every Year till 1689. yet more may wonder why I write a Section of it here, to which this short Account might serve for an­swer. I doe it because I find so much concern­ing it under her Pen, who is the Subject and occasion of the whole. But that's not all, it is to shew how she behaved her self there, as well as with what Christian Frame of Spirit she at­tended God's Providence, in expectation of a Blessing from him who made the Fountains of Waters, and gave to them their usefull Proper­ties, and rendred them very beneficial to her. Many, 'tis true, go thither solely, or chiefly, to drink these Waters for their Health; but it is as true, many go thither for Pleasure and Diversion only; as many for a mixed reason including both; and to this last Rank belongs [Page 136] her going thither: But lest any should be sur­prized by this, I must Interpret my self.

She went thither to drink the Waters, which oft proved very advantageous to her, and that End was common to her, with many others; and she went for Divertisement and Pleasure, as many more; and this also was common to her with Hundreds, in Sound, but not in Sense or Meaning, and it may be was peculiar to her; and it is possible, few, if any, ever went so many years to Tunbridge-Wells on her design, and so impro­ved it as she did; for while too many place their divertisement in easing their Minds of the Cares of their ordinary Employments, and as a Car­naval, to gratifie their looser Fancies with freer Conversation, displaying their gawdy Bravery, Walking, Dancing, Gaming, not to speak so severely as to say, to drink Iniquity like Water, without numbering either Draughts or Glasses.

She went (I do not say at first with that Design, but when Use and Experience had taught her the opportunity and satisfaction of that Pra­ctice) as to a place of Privacy and Retirement, to be vacant to God, and her Spiritual Con­cernments, which I hope I shall evince to be unquestionably true, though it may seem a Pa­radox, and next to Impossible.

Let me introduce this Narrative, (to render it more Intelligible,) with the Examples of two [Page 137] Fathers (if I may so call them) of two very different Churches; Cardinal Bellarmine, and Mr. Isaac Ambrose. Bellarmine, as Scholars well know, was for many Years engaged, and as we speak Proverbially, over Head and Ears in deepest closest Studies, in Reading, and Disputing, and Publishing his Controversies; yet he reserved to himself a Month out of e­very Year, his Dear September, which he wholly spent in Devotion, in Contemplation, Prayer, and such like Holy Exercises, which immediately, and solely respected the purifying and perfecting his own Mind and Heart, and Saving of his Soul.

Mr. Isaac Ambrose, who was, I think, a Non-conformist Minister, though I cannot affirm it, whose Works have sold so well both in Quarto and Folio; his Prima, Media, ulti­ma, and his Looking unto Jesus; Printed first in a large Quarto Volume, and which was highly Commended to me by a very Learned Roman-Catholick, and the devoutest Man I ever knew of that Communion. This Mr. Isaac Ambrose, though he was indefatigably Painfull in his Ministry all the other parts of the Year for the Souls of others, yet in Autumn, for a Month, silenced or suspended himself, if I may so phrase it, which Month he spent most part in the Fields, and Solitary Woods, (Places like Southburrow, Canes,—or Mercers-Woods; [Page 138] like Culverden, Rusthall-Common, Cu­verly-Plain, or Fant-Hill, (this is Tunbridge-Wells Language,) and the Places adjacent to the Wells, which I have known almost a Wil­derness, though now become a kind of Penta­polis, an Heap of Cities joined in one, by such a Multitude of Commodious, Sumptuous Hou­ses.)

And in these lonesome solitary retreating Places, far from disturbing Noise, or distra­cting sight of Men, looking off all other Ob­jects, did he spend the days of this Month, loo­king steadily to Jesus, Conversing not so much as with Books (if I remember right what I read so many Years ago, and have not now by me to consult again) in Meditation, Contem­plation, Thinking, and with intensest, closest, most fixed Application of his Mind to unseen and Coelestial things.

And what these two sequestred Months were to the above-named Fathers in their several ways, was the Water-drinking Season to this good Daughter of the Church of England, an Advantage as conducive to her Soul's Health, and Vigour, from the still Waters of the Ʋp­per Springs, as those of the Nether Springs were to the relief of her Body.

'Tis fit I should account for what I say, which I will do when I have a little touched some Passages left by her own Pen, which speak [Page 139] the Pious Sense she had of God, as in all things, so in the Tunbridge Journeys; one or two Instances may suffice for this.

July 5. 1680. I went to London through the great Love and Care of my Dear Hus­band. In order to my going to Tunbridge-Wells to drink the Waters, I being not well, my Dear Husband, Self, and Maid-Servant with us, the Eighth of the said Month, through God's Merciful Providence we came safe to Tunbridge, and were well accommodated, and stayed drinking the Waters six Weeks, I hope with good Success; with other Mercies there received, 'twas not the least, that I there met with some of my choicest Friends: Blessed be God for that his Favour to me, and for all the rest. We came Home August 21. where we were very welcome to our Family, and Parish-Neighbours, with much Expression of Kindness, and found all well, Praised be God.

July 16.—81. My Dear Husband, with my Self, and Child, went from Home to go to Tunbridge-Wells on my Account, to drink the Waters; we lodged the first Night at Bromly, next Night at Tunbridge Town, not being certain of our Lodgings at the Wells. But the next Day through God's good Providence we were received and accommodated where we were the Year before. That Morning, 18. My Husband and self drank the Waters, [Page 140] and continued them twenty nine Days with good Success, Thanks be to God for all the Mercy of that Journey and Place. We re­turned August the 16th, and came home the 18th, found all well, blessed be God, and for Welcome of Neighbours and Friends.

Thus did she continually in all her ways acknowledge God. This taste is enough.

Now to confirm what I affirmed before, how she improved this Retreat and Retirement to Religious Purposes, I know it is one of the most common Rules given to, and received by Water-Drinkers, to relax their Thoughts, not to be Intent, or over Serious, not to Read, or to apply their Minds closely to any thing during the time that they stay; which Rule I fear is not so good as common, nor needfull to be ob­served, as easily believed through too much Propensity to Self-Indulgence; for I never knew the Waters more beneficial to any than to my Dear Wife, who never purchased the Success at the p [...]ce of losing so much Precious Time. But on the contrary, as that Month used to be at Home the most busie and interrupting time of all the Year, by reason of Harvest; and being Blest with Servants to whom we could and did intrust those Affairs, without sollici­tous Diffidence of their honest, prudent Care and Diligence; it was the quietest, and most sedate and calm Vacancy which fell within the [Page 141] twelve Months Circle, which she employed accordingly.

Being now free even from the moderate Cares of usual Inspection of her Family, she rose at her constant Hour, four a Clock, and spent two hours or thereabouts with God; then ha­ving begged a Blessing on them, about Six be­gan to drink her Waters, Walking, and Con­versing with serious Christian Friends, till she had finished that Day's Waters, and dined about one a Clock, and sat an hour after in Converse. The rest of the Day, which was here free from Domestick Cares and Inspection, and had no Diversion but receiving Visits, (which some Persons of Quality would condescend kindly to make her, and of which she would repay with Civility, as many in one day, as she re­ceived in four or five,) she improved in Devo­tion, Reading the Holy Scriptures, and other usefull Books, Meditation, and secret Prayer, and walking in a private commodious Walk, (which lay near our Lodgings,) which she much delight­ed in, and called her Walk, for the Convenience it afforded her, both for the Health of her Bo­dy, and Satisfaction of her Mind. Only she would appear once, or at the most twice in the whole Season, on the Greens on a Dancing Night, not so much by Inclination, as to avoid the Imputation of Moroseness and Affectation. Her Charity was also always very considerable [Page 142] at Tunbridge-Wells; where she obtained signal Mercy from God, she shewed Mercy for his sake to those she judged fit Objects of it; though she had but a shallow Purse, she had deep Com­passions, and I find above twenty Shillings in Money given in a Water-Season, besides Bibles and other good Books which she carried down with her, sent for to London, or bought there, to give away to poor People as often as she went.

The commodious Privacy of our Lodgings, (which we never changed, after we found the conveniency of them, for many Years,) contri­buted much to her undisturbed Retirement; for the House standing alone, out of the noise of Ranting Neighbours, and of no great Receipt, that we could usually fill it with our Friends, and so chuse our Company; we had little Mo­lestation by noise or hurry, or disagreeable Conversation which is not the least troublesome Grievance of that Place.

I know we were censured for the repu­ted meanness of our Lodgings, but though we had no obligation to please any but our selves in that Particular, yet for the Reasons mentio­ned, and many more, we would not have chan­ged them for any we knew of thrice the Week­ly Rent, though they had been offered us on e­qual terms we paid for ours; and therefore we used to send before-hand to secure them, my Dear using to say, She had rather not go, than be [Page 143] disappointed of them when she came thither. So dear was the advantage of so calm a Privacy to her in the midst of so great a Noise and Hurry, as usually attends that Place and Season.

SECT. XXI. Of the keeping our Wedding-Day, and Enter­tainment of Friends.

SO deep a Sense of the Divine Goodness (which singled us out from all other Per­sons in the World to be joyned together in that nearest Relation) had the mutual Satisfaction, and constant well-pleasedness with each others Society, imprest upon us, that our humblest and most hearty Praises for it were not only as a Drink-Offering, poured out upon every daily Sacrifice; but upon every annual Revolu­tion of the 23d of July, we doubled our solemn Thank-Offering to God, and rejoiced before him with (I'll for once step beyond the usual modesty of my Pen) a generous and noble Fe­stival Entertainment of our Right Honourable, and other much Honoured Friends, who oft vouchsafed us the Favour to rejoice with us, and I have had near thirty Bucks from Leez on that occasion, so well was our Day and Custom known and approved of.

And I have had many pleasant things said at my Table in our Innocent Mirth, of the fewness of those who could keep their Wedding-Day with so chearful, and so serious thankfulness; the very last, three Coroneted Heads, and others of best Quality, (next to Nobility,) honoured us with their Company, and numbered thirty nine Pyes in one Dish, made by the Hands which received a Wedding-Ring so many Years before, and seemed well pleased with the neat­ness and plenty of their Entertainment; but especially with the grateful acknowledgments we made to God, and one another, that his Mercies, and our Contentments, had much ex­ceeded the number of our Years.

At other Feasts, in which we often Enter­tained our Worthy Friends, and Loving Neigh­bours, though it was our joint Charge, yet it was usually her sole Care and Trouble; and when I have asked her what she would have, though sometimes she would tell me, yet other whiles she would reply, I pray thee let me alone, trouble not thy self; let me but know whom thou Invitest, and leave the rest to me; I'll be thy War­rant, there shall not want what is sufficient and convenient.

But some may say, to what purpose was this waste? Why was not this rather given to the Poor? (But rememember it was Judas Iscariot who asked that like Question.) And [Page 145] others may object, St. Luke 14.12, 13. When thou makest a Dinner or Supper, call not thy Friends nor thy Brethren, nor thy Kinsmen, nor thy Rich Neighbours, lest they also bid the again, and a Recompence be made thee: But when thou makest a Feast, call the Poor, the Maimed, the Lame, the Blind, and thou shalt be Blessed, &c.

To which let me make this modest and true Reply: She did all this in Effect. For she provided so liberally, (and for that very End,) that there was more left when all our Guests and their Attendents, and our own Servants, and La­bourers about the House (who were all called in) were satisfied, than was Spent, and Eat. And usually more than, in a stingy Niggard's Hand, would have maintained a bigger Family than ours at least a Fortnight. All, or most of which she distributed so liberally the following Days, that she feasted more poor Families with the Remainders, than Persons at the first fur­nishing the Table.

And the next Morning after a Feast, she had always store of Patients, for the forwardest would disguise their Errand, and send a big Girl with a Glass or Gally-Pot, to pray her to send her somewhat for a Pain of the Stomach, or some such like Infirmity; to whom she would merrily answer, I know her Disease, keep your Glass; and would cause her Maid to bring a good Platter full of Victuals, and bid the [Page 146] Messenger tell her Mother, She would have her take that, and it would not fail to cure the Pain at her Stomach. And those who came not of their own accord, she would send for, or send them their Dose of the like Physick; having before distributed it into as many Heaps as she designed to feast Families; and I never saw her more pleasant upon any occasion; for she fed the Poor with more delight than she Eat her own meals. So true is that Saying of that great Advocate for Charity, the Reverend Doctor Hamand; No Sensuality is so great as this, to give.

And this was not the only Feasting them, but every Christmass all were Invited, Rich and Poor; and she would encourage them to bring all their Children, and provided a Table for them by themselves; and when their Parents would excuse their bringing them; she would say, Trouble not your selves, I love to see this little Fry; they are as welcome as your selves, though you be very welcome. I write not this as if it was fit for the Great ones, to tarnish, and stain their Husband's Dignity, by condescending to like Familiarity with them of low Degree, but to be a Pattern to such mean Folks as we, who stand on the same low and humble Level, who, I dare secure them, will lose neither Love nor Honour by it.

I shall conclude this Section with a few Words, to shew how Providence prevented, that this kind Custom dyed not before her. Last Christmass, not to spare my Purse, but my Dear Wife's Pains and Trouble, I told her we had now continued this Custom a great while, and that I thought it too burthensome to her; a Dinner signified not much to the Rich, and for the Poor I would take Care they should be no losers. She at present seem'd well plea­sed with what I said, and acquiesced in it. But upon second Thoughts she said, My Dear, I thank thee for thy Tenderness to me, to prevent my Trou­ble; but I am rather willing to undergo it, were it greater, than to discontinue a Practice so long used constantly, and thereby occasion any mis-in­terpretation, as if it proceeded from Parsimony, or abatement of Kindness; therefore I intreat thee let us continue to doe as we have hitherto done Yearly, only let us try to have all in two Days we used to have in three; and if our House will not contain them all at twice, to some of the poorest I will send double as much as they could have eaten here. And so it was agreed, and performed, and so her last Christmass was as kind and Charita­ble as those of former Years.

SECT. XXII. Of the Marriage of our onely Daughter, and her Death in Childbirth the same Year, yet leaving a Son.

IT is not to be wondred at, that she should write so many Pages of this Come-Trage­dy (as I called another Providence mentioned before, a Trage-Comedy) whose Pious Kind­ness was so mindful in Holy Prayers and Prai­ses, not of her self alone, but of her Honour­ed Friends. I shall touch but one or two for Instance, and I cannot single out any more sui­table than of those Right Honourable Ladies, whose sweet Condescension not only vouch­safed to give this our Dear Daughter frequently their kindest and familiar Conversation, but borrowed, and desired hers almost whole Sum­mers divers Years. Concerning these young Ladies thus her Pen speaks:

The Lady Ann, the Lady Mary, and the Lady Essex Rich had a Pious Education, under [...]he tender Care of the Right Honourable the Countess of Warwick, their Aunt, whose great Care of them, and Kindness and Love to them, supplied and over-shot the measures of what could be expressed to them by the tenderest Mother. Of two of their Marri­ages she writes thus:

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December the 11th, 1673. The Vertuous and Right Honourable the Lady Mary Rich was Married to Mr. Henry St. John, the El­dest Son of Sir Walter St. John, a Pious, good Family, and an ancient Barronet, and great Estate. Blessed Lord thou hast abun­dantly enriched them with the Blessings of the Nether Springs, full streams in the good things of this Life, let it not be their all, but turn these Waters into Wine; give them the Bles­sings of the Ʋpper Springs, the plentifull Ef­fusions of thy Spirit flowing into their Hearts and Souls, that they may build up each other in their most Holy Faith, as Heirs together of the Grace of Life.

June 16. 1674. The Honourable Lady Essex Rich was Married to Mr. Daniel Finch, Eldest Son to his Father, then Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England. Good Lord give them the Blessings of thy Right-hand, and continue to them the Blessings of thy Left-hand also. But let not their Portion be only in this Life; let thine own Prerogative have the Supremacy in their Hearts, and accelerate and quicken them to thy Service, that Glorify­ing thee on Earth, they may be in Everlasting Glory with thee in Heaven. Amen, Amen.

I will mention no more like Instances, and humbly beg Pardon if I have been too bold in touching these.

I now come to the Title of this Section, and shall add nothing of my own, only tran­scribe, and that with Abbreviation, what her Pious Pen hath left me; not that one Word need to be retrenched upon other accounts, but only to avoid Prolixity.

January 17. 1675. My Dear Husband, and my Dear Child Margaret Walker, went to Lon­don, in reference to our great Concern, her Marriage, our onely one, so dear to us. She was Married February the 1st, 1675. to Mr. John Cox, Barrister of Grays-Inn. His Father lived at Coggshall; his Relations very honest good People, and very well to live in the World. God hath graciously provided for her a loving Husband, a sober Person, and I hope, a good Man. God consummated their Choice by Mr. Gifford, a worthy good Man, Minister of St. Dunstan's in the East, in London; whither she was accompanied by the Right Honourable the Countess of War­wick, with the chief of the Family, from Warwick-House, and with many other mani­festations of Kindness God shined upon her, and in all respects gave her a comfortable Day.’ I draw the Curtain of a modest, &c. over the rest, lest the Thankfulness of her who was so truly humble, should incurr the unkind cen­sure or suspicion of Vanity, and concluding what I have omitted, with these Words: ‘And [Page 151] with many other Favours God hath honoured them.’ She proceeds:

Lord, I desire to own thy Goodness, as the Fountain Head from whence flows all Good, to be enjoyed in the things of this Life and concerns of a better, and more endura­ble Estate for their Souls advantage.

For which, I beseech thee give them a ca­pacious Heart to know, love, serve, and en­joy thy self, and vouchsafe them of the good things of this World, what thou seest con­venient for them, and help them to be con­tented to be without what in mercy thou de­niest them.

Good Lord keep both them and theirs in­offensive in this World; and when they shall go hence, and be no more in this Life, Lord grant that where thou art they may be also, in Eternal Glory. Amen, Amen.

Thus far the pleasant and more lightsome part: Now fol­lows what's more dark, and dolefull.

I have now a very smarty, afflictive Dis­pensation from God to record, very pressing by his afflictive Hand on us.

I acknowledge, very deservedly for my Sins the Lord hath taken from us out of this Life our onely One, the most dearly Belo­ved Daughter, and Child of my choice A [...] fections, Mrs. Margaret Cox; she was m [...] ried February the first, 1675. The 19th [...] [Page 152] November following she was Delivered of a Son, Lord's Day seven a Clock in the Morn­ing. She continued pretty well two or three Days; Tuesday following sickned of a Fever, and dyed December the 5th, 1675. But God in the midst of his just Judgments remembred his Mercy to us, hath spared the little one to us, Blessed be God for it, and received the Mo­therless Babe into Covenant with himself by Baptism. I Bless God he is the Son of good Parents, his Father a very sober and a good Man, his dear deceased Mother was a fine, lovely, handsome, well accomplished Wo­man, both in Nature and Grace, to God's Praise I do make my Acknowledgments, let it have no other Censure. She was of a quick Ap­prehension, modest, humble, discreet, and of a good Judgment, and well fitted for Fa­mily-Government and Imployment. She had a sweet amicable Deportment, and gracefull Behaviour; these Endowments through God's Kindness to her, rendred her very desirable to all that knew her.

God was pleased to give her much Honour and Esteem in this World, with which she re­tained a lowly Mind, with much sweet obli­ging Kindness to all acquainted with her. She was very Friendly to the meaner sort, ve­ry kind and charitable to poor People, to whom she had a very compassionate Heart, and [Page 153] bountifull Hand in relieving of them, which she did with great Privacy, though God hath been pleased since her Death to make it known by them in their Acknowledgments, and be­wailing their loss of her. I bless God she lived very desirable, and dyed much lamented; she was a very loving, dutifull Child to her Parents, a very endearing Wife to her Hus­band, and very sweet in all her Relations; she was very acceptable to all her Husband's Kindred, by whom the loss of her was much bewailed. God was pleased to make her married condition very Satisfactory to herself, and all concerned; and though God was pleased to conclude it in so short a time, taking her out of this Life scarce eleven Months from her Marriage, which was accompanied with great Joy and Kindness of Friends; yet God filled it with the close crouded manifesta­tions of his Love and Favour to her; yea, her whole Life, from her Cradle to her Grave, to which she went with much Decency and Ho­nour, and which is much more valuable, un­blemished, free from the gross defilements of this World. The Lord was pleased to fit her for himself by a tender crazy Constitution of Body, she was much afflicted with Head-Ach, and other Illness, which she bore with much quietness and submission under God's Hand, by which he led her to the consideration of a better Life.

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About four Years of Age, on days of Pray­er and Fasting, she would sit by me the whole Day, and at Prayer hold up her little Hands, which in her riper Age, with continuance from her Childhood, she performed more un­derstandingly.

She was constant in Religious Duties, con­versant in God's Word, the Holy Bible; which whilst she was a Child she oft read through, and got much Scripture by Heart. Also read many good Authors, several good Books her Dear Father or my self commended to her, which Practice she did not decline, neither be­fore nor since her Marriage. She constantly, at least twice a Day, made her Addresses to the Throne of Grace in Prayer.

When she was very young she would give an account of a Sermon, and repeat most of the Particulars, or Heads of it; and as she was religiously habituated from her Childhood, I do humbly hope, God confirmed her by his Grace to Perseverance in the Ways of God.

She would excite others, not only in her own Practice, but by her Counsels as to their Souls Concerns.

Amongst other her good Advices, as her Dear Husband since her Death hath informed me, she said to him; 'That she did not que­stion but he Prayed alone before he had her, and said, so did she; and desired him to con­tinue [Page 155] the same, that one Prayer might not be lost by their Joint-Prayer, which they u­sed once a day, going together alone to seek God, besides publick and Family-Worship. They oft said, that nothing should more o­blige them to each other, than their mutual Love to each others Souls, in their helping one another in their way to Heaven. I bless God for his signal kindness to her in him so near and dear to her; not only making them one Flesh, but one Soul, and both one Spirit in himself.

In the time of her Travail, and following Sickness, she was very Meek and Patient, as in all her former Sicknesses, and Pain: The Disease took her Head, which deprived her of her Understanding; but I bless God, that so guarded her Tongue, that she did not dis­honour him. The Lord was pleased to give her some little relaxation of her Disease, in which Intervals she exprest her self Pi­ously: And desired of her Relations the carefull and good Education of her Child; said she had oft begged of God in the behalf of her Relations by Marriage, and for those who were not disposed of, that God would fix them so, as might be their best ad­vantage both for Soul and Body, and desired there might continue a Loving Respect be­tween both Families; which I do beseech God to preserve.

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Her Disease did not give her leave to express herself, as otherwise she might have done, much more to God's Glory, and the Comfort of her Friends. But Blessed be God for his Grace bestowed on her, that her Evidences for her Eternal Happiness were not to seek upon her Dying-Bed, but were in the safe Hand of our Saviour, and sealed with the Signet of God's Right-hand, with an indeli­ble Character and Inscription of God's Holy Image and Law on her Heart, by his Holy Spirit, as a Title to those Eternal Mansions of Glory purchased for her with the precious Blood of her dear Redeemer, Jesus Christ; in which Blessed Estate I humbly hope she is, in the Everlasting Fruition, and Enjoyment of God, his Elect Angels, and those Blessed Spirits of the Just made perfect. Her Flesh also shall rest in hope of a glorious Resurrection; when Mortality shall be swallowed up of Im­mortality, God will joyn Soul and Body in an indissoluble Union with himself, in that a­bundant Entrance, into the Everlasting King­dom of our Lord Jesus Christ; so shall she be for ever with her Lord in thy Eternal Praises. In which Persuasion, good Lord quiet my Heart, that I may acquiesce in thy unerring Wisdom. Good Lord scatter the Foggs and Mists of my unruly Passions, that hinder the sight and view of thy reconciled Face, and Favour to me. I [Page 157] beseech thee Pardon my Sins and Offences, which have provoked thee to this manifesta­tion of thy displeasure against us, bereaving us of our Children, that of eleven none re­mains; and of this, the loss more grievous than any of the rest, though they, with her, through thy Kindness very desirable to us, but she our last, one and all. Lord, shouldst thou take my Forfeitures, how destitute should I be, not only of Children, but of all thy sustaining Mercies, and above all, in the ir­reparable loss of thy self, who art abundantly better to me than Sons and Daughters.

Good Lord sanctifie to me this Dispensati­on, and help me to find out the accursed thing which provoked thee to smite with so heavy a Blow. I beseech thee, with this correcting Hand beat off the busie Flies of Sin and Tem­ptation, that they may not corrupt my Soul. Good Lord cleanse me from all filthiness of Flesh, and Spirit, that I may perfect Holiness in thy Fear, run with Patience the Race thou hast yet set before me, finish my Course in thy Service, and conclude my Life in this World to thy Glory, in the Salvation of my Soul, for Christ's Sake.

Lord, as for my self; I beg of thee to be very Gracious to those related to us by the Marriage of our Dear Child; though thou hast loosed the Knot that so nearly joyned our [Page 158] Families, I beseech thee do not untie those Affections that should continue Mutual Love. Good Lord let that dear Chid she hath left behind her, cement and joyn our Hearts in joynt Thankfulness unto thee, and unite us one to another. Lord, give them thy choice Favours in Jesus Christ, pardon of Sin, with the Graces of thy Holy Spirit, and order and dispose for the best whatever may concern them and theirs, as to a happy tendency to their well-being in this World, and attaining of thy self in endless Glory.

I beseech thee be very gracious unto him whom thou hadst united so nearly to her in a sweet Conjugal Relation: Lord, I have sin­ned, and he also suffered. Good Lord, let all Grace abound to him in all concerns in this Life, and for a better; and let her gain be his great Advantage, joyning his Heart more closely to thy self.

Good Lord bless that single Posterity of his and ours, left of her who was his dear Wife, and our dearly Beloved Child. I beseech thee be his God in Covenant with him; and, Lord, give him the Efficacy of his Baptism, that he may be thine by Grace and Adoption. I beseech thee take full and early Possession of his Heart. Good Lord keep out the Vanities and Follies of Childhood, and Youth, that while he is Young he may be a Beloved Disci­ple [Page 159] of Jesus Christ. If thou seest it good to continue him in this Life, I beseech thee grant that he may in his dear Mothers room Honour God in this World, with an exempla­ry, holy Life, a choice Instrument of thy Glo­ry. Good Lord, charge thy Providence with him in the whole course of his Life, and make up all Relations to him in thy self: Graciously support him in, and through this World. Good Lord preserve him from the Soul-ruin­ing Evils of it, and when thou wilt take him hence, I beseech thee receive him to thy self, in thy Everlasting Kingdom, in the full Frui­tion of God in Glory.

Lord, though thou was pleased to clip off so great a piece of the Comfort of my Life in this World, denying my Vehement Desires and Requests, with the many Prayers of thy People, and our Christian Friends, for the lon­ger stay of our Dear Child with us in this World; yet thou art not the less a God hearing Prayer, but hast heard, and granted to an higher End, not here on Earth with us, but in Heaven with thee, received in the Arms of Everlasting Mercies, to which Blessed Estate I beseech thee bring me, and those Relatives very dear to me. Good Lord sanctifie to us this Chastening Hand; and though thou cut­test off the Streams, my Comforts of this Life, let not my Soul be as a parched Heath, [Page 160] that receives no good, but draw me to thy self, the Fountain of durable Mercies; give me those Living Waters from the Wells of thy Salvation, the Light of thy Countenance, with thy reconciled Face and Favour, those Rivers that make glad the City of God. Good Lord vouchsafe me the sweet refreshing gales and incomes of thy Spirit, and with thy Grace conduct me off these ruff Seas of Sins and Sorrows, to my desired Haven and Port, in those Eternal Mansions of Glory, where all in thee shall meet with full Enjoyments of God, and one another, with sweet acclamations of Thankfulness and Praises to thee our God, for Ever, for Ever. Amen, Amen, Amen.

I have transcribed this long Paragraph, with­out altering, or changing the order of a Word; if some may account it tedious, who either have not been exercised with such Tryals, or have o­ther shorter and cheaper ways to relieve them­selves against them, let them use their own Methods, without censuring, or despising hers. This was her Heart's Ease when she was over­whelmed, pouring out her Complaints to God in secret was her best Anodine; but I hope it will need no Apology with most, and if it doth with any, I'll not run the risque of losing my Labour by attempting it, where the Suc­cess is so doubtfull and unpromising.

I shall venture to enlarge this Section a little farther, for three Reasons; First, To shew the ardour of her Zeal for the Spiritual good of this Child, so exceeding dear to her, which may be an Instructive Example to some Mo­thers or Grand-mothers to stir up the like to­wards their Descendants, as nearly Related to them as this Child to her. Secondly, Because I foresee I shall not in the Body of this Book have much farther occasion to trouble the Rea­der with any long transcripts out of her Wri­tings, what remains being designed for the Appendix, which will be entirely her own. Lastly, To imprint upon the Child due Senti­ments of Gratitude to God and her.

I meet with many Expressions of most Pa­thetick Tenderness towards this dear Child, who now, next to my self, was the Center, in which all the lines of her strong Affections terminated.

July 14. 1679. Our dear sweet Child went to Coggshall to his Father's House, the Lord preserve him from all Evil, and Bless him, and comfortably restore him to us again. A­bout a quarter of a Year after he returned well to us again: Blessed be God for it.

We went four Miles from Home to visit a Friend; our dear Child was preserved in an apparent Danger. The hinder Wheel of the Coach was very like to have borne him down, [Page 162] and gone over him, as he was going into the Coach, the Horses being disturbed by a strange Horse, went away; but through God's preventing Goodness I had a quick ap­prehension of the danger. I suddenly pulled him away: Blessed be our good God for this Deliverance of our dear Child; he had no harm, the Wheel durtied his Hat and Coat; good Lord help me to live thy Praises, who art the God of our Mercies.

Some may say these are small Matters, but I say they are no small Evidences of a very thankfull sense of God's Mercies, and will leave them inexcusa­ble who are not thankfull for greater.

In the Year 1682. God was pleased to put me in fear of the speedy dissolution of our dear­ly beloved Grand-child. He was in a lan­guishing, consumptive condition, with other symptoms of the Disease: His Breath was very short; had lost his Appetite; he looked very Pale; was very Lean; which imprest on my Thoughts that God would take him from me. To his Righteous Will I laboured to submit, but God was pleased to reverse the Sentence, with a Blessing on means used; the Prescriptions of Dr. H. whom we sent for from London to him, and with my own great Care of him, he recovered Strength, to God's Blessing I ascribe the Praise, who did not cast out my Petition. Good Lord, let this pledge [Page 163] of thy compassionating Mercy to me, streng­then my Faith in the grant of my more Ear­nest Request, that I may assure my self, a­greeable to thy Will, of his Sanctification. I beseech thee season his tender Mind with the savoury Knowledge of thy Blessed self. Lord, I do not ask of thee the Excesses and great things of this World; not Earth, but Hea­ven, thy Blessed self: I beseech thee put him not off with any thing less than thy self. No Lord, I beg thou wilt with-hold the gran­deur of this Life from him, farther than thou wilt give him an Heart to lay it out to the best advantage of thy Glory on Earth, the pro­curing a better Estate in Heaven, those Ever­lasting Mansions, where are durable Riches, an Eternal weight of Glory, purchased with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, which good Lord grant unto him. Amen, Amen, Amen.

June 19. 1688. My dear Grand-Child es­caped, by God's gracious Providence, a very terrible Danger of being Wounded, or sud­den Death, (which danger she describes) had not God's watchfull Compassion interposed, I cannot express the terrible Consequence which might have happened. I am not able to recount thy multiplied Mercies in delivering us from present Dangers, and many we know not of. For this, and all, good Lord, accept [Page 164] as I would render them, from a Heart sensi­ble of thy Mercies, my most gratefull Ac­knowledgments; and in consideration of this, I beseech thee make deep Impressions on the Heart of my poor Child, and us his Parents concerned for him, that he and we may live thy Praises. Amen, Amen.

I will satisfie my self with the Perusal of the rest, and not trouble the Reader by transcribing more, though all improved to Holy Purposes, and the Reflections made with such warm Ex­pressions, as I conceive might be very apt to kindle the Flames of Devoutest Thankfulness in those who read them, no words being more likely to affect the Hearts of others than those which so evidently proceed from the Hearts of those who Speak or Write them, and feel what they ut­ter; according to the Advice good Bishop Felton used to give his Chaplains (of which the Ex­cellent Bishop Brownwrig was sometime one) to steep their Sermons in their Hearts before they Preached them.

SECT. XXIII. Acts and Kinds of her great Charity.

THough the Title-page gives this Section a Right and Claim to one moiety of the whole I write concerning her; yet, I would have it interpreted with some grains of Allow­ance; for, alass! how could any thing she gave be called her Charity, who was a Wife? or how could it be called great, when all we both possessed, had the whole been given, could not in rigour bear that Epithete. I will there­fore account for both in a few words. First therefore, though a Wife, she had a freedom of my little All, where I was Cajus, she was tru­ly Caia, according to the old Roman Phrase; she had free access to whatever I was Master of, so abundantly was I satisfied in her Integrity and Prudence; (and to touch so small a thing as a Testimony of her wise Care, and our mu­tual Confidence to avoid the clog of many Keys, she contrived to have five Locks open with one Key, and had two made, one for each of us, that upon no occasion of the others Absence, either of us might be shut out from what was kept under them; and so for a few other Locks she provided double Keys, one of which she kept, the other hung up in my Stu­dy.) [Page 166] Now when any object of Charity offered it self, she would, serve the occasion, as she al­so did for her own Expence out of my Store; but would after, always tell me to a Penny what she took, which I have, times without number, not only excused her from, but almost chid her for; but she would not be perswaded to mend that Fault, so tender was she. Where­upon I told her, I would ease us both of that need­less and uneasie Trouble, by allowing her a fixed certain Sum, that she might have no shaddow of a Scruple left in using of it as she pleased.

I may indeed be ashamed to name it, and it had been a niggardly, and indecent Proporti­on, had I had more than one competent Living; but being as it was, she would have no more; only said merrily, My Friend, this shall not de­barr me of my former Freedom; which on my part it never did, though on her part never was made use of. The Summ was the rents of a small Farm of Nineteen Pound a Year, which was always called hers, and I used to call her my Landlady chearfully, when I duly paid her Nine Pound, ten Shillings on the half-years day, and some little Perquisites about the Yard, more than were spent in the Family, which were also her Propriety, and which might together amount to about Twenty two, or Twenty three Pound a Year in the whole. Out of which she cloathed herself very decently, [Page 167] and many Poor, very warmly, and did much other good, as I shall convinsingly evidence in what follows. So true is the Saying, Nullum numen doest si sit Prudentia, Wise Contrivance will supply all other Defects. And as an ob­serving Gentlewoman said, She never knew any had the Art so perfectly as Mrs. Walker, of ma­king a little shew a great deal, or going a great way. This small Pittance being absolutely her own, her scrupulous Tenderness was freed from giving me account what she did with it, and I from the irksome trouble of receiving it; and what she spared out of it was properly her own Charity.

Now, though to give more than her whole Allowance, would be a lean and starvling Charity from those who have more than they know well what to do with; yet, our graci­ous Lord, the most unexceptionable Judge of these Matters, tells us, the poor Widdow's two Mites was more than the bulky Summs which the Rich cast into the Treasuries of God out of their Abundance, who rather squander their Su­perfluities than retrench from their Necessities, to help the wants of the Indigent; (though I wish there were not too few even of such Squanderers.) And the Holy Apostle tells us, If there be a willing Mind it is accepted according to what a Man hath, and not according to what he hath not, 2 Cor. 8.12. And I bear her Re­cord, [Page 168] that to her Power, yea, beyond her Power, she was always willing and ready to communicate to the Wants of others; for how strait soever her Ability might be, she was not straitned in her own Bowels.

And though what she did from her own al­lowance was in strictest Sence her Charity on­ly, yet this only was not all her Charity; for she having a joint Interest in what was mine, she was sharer with me in the disposing or re­taining of it; and I can with Truth and Com­fort testifie, she never disswaded me from giving, often encouraged me to give, and would say to me on such occasions, My Dear, I think none of our Estate laid out so well as what is laid out so, nor any part kept so safe as what is deposited in God's Hand, and committed to his keeping.

But this is not all, she would be over-bal­lanced against her own Inclination, if there were Charity in the case. She was not more averse from any thing than the enlarging our Family, loved to have it as small as might be, that it might be still and private, free from di­sturbing Noise, and distracting Diversions, which unavoidably attend the increased numbers in an House; yet, was chearfully content when Cha­rity opened the Door, made the Fire and the Bed. As in the Case of Dr. Tongue, whom we entertained so many Months; and Monsieur Barnaby Gennays, who was sent to me but for [Page 169] four Weeks, and left to my sole Charge (five Pounds only allowed towards his admitting into St. John's Colledge in Cambridge,) for six whole Years; two in my Family to be Cloathed, Fed, and Taught, till fitted for the University, and four there, till he had his Degree of Batchellor; and yet she never repined or grudged the Cost; yea, took daily Pains to hear him read English, and teach him to pronounce it right. I'll touch no more Instances, lest I be suspected to borrow my own Praise under the disguise of paying hers, only adding the last, which is not liable to that suspition, because it rather tends as much to my own Reproach as to her Honour. My Curate dying in my Family of a Consum­ption, and other Infirmities, September last, which had occasioned to us both much Charge and Trouble, and who had been attended with as kind Diligence and Care as if he had been our own Child. After some little time I told her that I would forbear taking a young Man, at least for the present, into the Family, because the publick Charges were so great; and I thank­ed God I was able to perform my Work my self, to whch she presently replied: ‘Nay, My Dear, whatever thou sparest in, spare it not in that. Thou never keptest them for thy own Ease, but for their Benefit, to train them up to be fit for God's Service, and usefull in the Church, and seeing they have all proved so well, and [Page 170] been so well preferred and provided for, and so approved of in their Ministry, continue to do as thou hast done so successfully so many Years; there is as much need still, as ever, of so assisting Young-Men, and let not that Pra­ctice cease, the reason of which is not ceased.’ I yielded, took her wise and honest Advice, and wrote immediately to a worthy Friend in Cambridge, who provided me one whose Cha­racter answered my Desires. But his Mind al­tered since my Wife's Death, by prospect of Preferment in the Colledge, and I wish he may never have cause to repent it, by being worse disposed of. And if so mean, and so obscure a Person as my self may have leave to speak out, and declare my Sentiments in this Affair, with­out imputation of Vanity, or Offence to my Betters; if every Minister of my Ability, (not to say of double to mine,) would please to take a poor Schollar into his House as soon as they have commenced Batchellors in Arts, and then are forced to leave the Colledge very raw, be­cause they can no longer have subsistence as Si­zers, and would lend or give them Books, di­rect them in the reading them, and assist and inspect their Studies, (to say no more) there would not so many young Students be at loss for Maintenance, and be forced so Callow, and Pin-feather'd, (I borrow that Expression from my Dear, which she was often heard by others, [Page 171] as well as by my self, to use,) and like young Par­tridges, to run with the Shell upon their Heads; and to get Bread, be constrained to under­take the teaching others, what themselves have so imperfectly learned.

But to return to what was properly and purely her own, the acts of her Charity were more than the kinds, and both as many as she met with Objects that wanted it, both in giving and forgiving, and both proportioned to the Necessities of those who needed; that before her Rent-day came, she was often near, or quite exhausted; and would pleasantly tell me; Thou must expect no hoard of Money when I am Dead, for I am almost Bankrupt. Then I would tell her, I would supply, or if she would, advance some part before-hand; which I never remember she accepted more than once, three Pounds.

She used, as soon as she had taken her Al­lowance, to separate nine Shillings six pence out of it, into her poor Man's Box, to be ready for smaller common Charities. But though this was her first Quota, this was far from being all; for I find twenty six Pound, three Shillings, Four-pence set down in two Years given away; besides what she might forget, or omit, though some small part I confess was rather Courtesie than strictly Charity, as given to Friends, Ser­vants, or the like. And she would give liberal [Page 172] Summs; I find twice five Pounds, ten Shil­lings given to the French Protestants, for whom she had a great Compassion, one year after ano­ther; and I have been informed by an Ho­nourable Lady that she left five Guineys at a time with her for their Relief; but it may be these might be the same, and I would not make it more than it was in Truth.

She also gave twenty Shillings a time to the Briefs, for both French and Irish Sufferers, and other Guineys at a time I find set down in her Paper, and know of by other means. Also, ten Shillings, five Shillings, and very oft, Half-Crowns. I find also twenty Shillings in a Year given at Tunbridge-Wells, which she distributed to the Poor in smaller Pieces, Shillings, Six-pences, and Farthings, besides the Books she gave.

But besides what she gave in Money, she both bought good Cloth to cloath poor Wo­men and Children; the day but one before she sickned, she enquired of the Taylor what poor Children he had made the last Cloaths for, that she might order the rest, which then remained in the House to some other. And a little before she bought that whole Piece of Cloth from London, she caused Wool to be spun, and strong Linsy-Woolsy to be made, to supply many poor Childrens wants; and she was as carefull of their Bellies as their Backs; to feed the one, [Page 173] as warm the other, as wants no Proof nor Instance. She used also to buy Primmers, Psalters, Testaments, Bibles to give away, and other good Books, Crook's Guide especially, to give to poor Children and Families. She much delighted and abounded in that kind of Chari­ty, giving usefull Books; and before she was prevented by settling a School to teach all the Poor, that not a Boy or Girl in all the Parish, but may be taught to read perfectly, unless it be their own, or Parents fault, she used to pay for the Schooling of poor Children.

And being put together, it amounted to a pretty considerable Summ; what she yearly gave to poor Women when with-Child, not only old Linnen, but a good new Blanket every Ly­ing-in, which was so customary and constant, that it was almost claimable as a due Debt; and not only the Parish poor Women, but some Borderers have been Partakers of it. And I have been told already by one in that conditi­on, Now her Mistress is dead she must come to me, so unwilling they are to let so known a Custom dye with her; with which freedom, as I was not offended, so I discourage not o­thers from making use of the like. She would be also ready to supply the Poor with Work when she heard they wanted, though she had no present need or use of what they wrought in, and sometimes gave it away, and so made [Page 174] at once a double Charity; yet, would never take advantage of their Necessity, to make them work the Cheaper. And she had learned a commendable Rule of her Father when she was young, which was, Never to buy too good a Penny-worth of poor People, or higgle too much with them; which she would do with others, and would buy very prudently, of which I could give a pleasant Instance; but never forgot her Father's Rule in Practice.

I esteem it no reproach to her Memory to acknowledge that some of her Relations were fallen into a mean and low condition; especially seeing they had fair and decent Portions left them, equal, or very near what I at first received with her; and although their straits were the effect of their own Folly and Indis­cretion, which might have been a plausible Ex­cuse for neglecting them, yet, she rather pit­tied than upbraided them, and was very kind and liberal in relieving them and theirs; and as a Testimony that she was not weary of well-doing, I confess I have forty Shillings in my Hand she gave me in her Health, to be sent to one of them, which was not done, for want of opportunity to return it to her at North-Allerton; but, God willing, shall be done by the first op­portunity I can meet with to do it safely. I mention no more of this kind, but her excess of Thankfulness, wherewith she over-payed [Page 175] me for any thing I did for any related to her; always telling me on such occasions it was a trouble to her that any of hers should be bur­then some; and, I thank God, I never reckoned it a burthen, because she always owned it as a Testimony of my Endearing Love to herself.

This I think sufficient for the account of her Money-Charities, though I believe several have sliped my Memory; upon the whole, ta­king one Year with another, she did not fall short of that Excellent Lady, the Countess of Warwick's Proportion, (or quota pars,) which was so wondred at when I first acquainted the World with it, the third part of her separate Maintenance separated to Pious Uses. But, if we may compare small Summs with great, Mites and Sheakles, with Pounds and Talents, the Charity of this little Woman was so great, she gave more than half away; and out of her twenty two, or twenty three Pound a Year, seldom expended ten on herself; I believe some Years not above seven, or eight, and gave away the rest.

But lest the endeavour of my Quill, which is to perswade other Women to be Charitable by her Examples, should prove like throwing Feathers against the Wind, be blown back in the Face of him who throws them, and not reach them at whom they are thrown, (I speak of Women of her Rank and Size, not [Page 176] of those who prune themselves with the sick Feathers of their Husband's Estates, as Eloquent and Pious Mr. Shute, checked the gawdy Excesses of the moderate and modest Days in which he Preached,) and be rendred unsuccessfull by their Fears, that such supplying others, will make them moult what is otherwise necessary to maintain that Port and Decency which be­comes their Quality and Station. Let me assure them, by her Experience, they are more affraid than needs; a moderate Summ prudently mana­ged, will answer both designs; that Body may be dressed neat and fine, and its Hands may be open and munificent, in which there dwells a discreet Mind, and a charitable Heart.

I dare appeal to Persons of the best Qua­lity, who often honoured her with free ad­mittance to their Conversation; yea, to the Female-Criticks of Tunbridge-Wells, and Walks; the severest, (the Court its self not excepted,) if she ever appeared in a sordid or contemptible garb, she was not garish or flaunting, she despised and hated that, but all the ornamental Part was as good as any of her Condition wore; it is true, she bought not often, but she bought the best, and kept them so neatly, they always shewed like new, and she was not concerned or a­shamed to be seen more than once or twice in the same Dress, and she had an Art to dis­guise what was the same, to look like quite [Page 177] another thing. I know I am beside the Cushi­on, and should be much ashamed of what I write were not my honest Design my just Apo­logy: Which is, if it be possible, to remove one of the most obstinate Objections which hin­ders Female-Charity, (though not in all;) they fear it is inconsistent with their appearing so fine and trim, as is expected, without a great Fund, or a Spring as quick as Tun­bridge-Wells, which yields Waters sufficient, and to spare for all that come. But repress your Fears, silence your Excuses, what has been done may be done again; a small Root in a good Soil, will spread to admiration in Branches, and in Fruits; a large Heart will pick a great deal out of a narrow Purse. Hers was a faint Spring, yet it let no Channel be dry, not to say filled them all. I am confident, if others would set their Hearts as God inclined hers, they would equal, or exceed her; and my hearty desire, that they may so do, both in Work and Recompence, I hope will excuse what I write, to help, yea, to press and push them forward.

Next to the Charity of her Purse was that of her Pains and Kindness, of her getting and improving Skill to assist the infirm and indis­posed by inward Sicknesses, and outward Wounds and Sores: She had a competent good measure of Knowledge both in Physick and Chy­rurgery, which she attained with no small In­dustry [Page 178] and Labour, and increased by Experi­ence. Her first and main stock she acquired from a Brother-in-Law, a very able Doctor of the London College, who Married her Si­ster, and was very freely communicative, who wrote her many Receipts, and directed her what methods to proceed in for most common Diseases, into which her poor Neighbours might be incident; and she was very inquisi­tive of other Doctors, and had many English Books, Riverius, Culpepper, Bonettus, &c. which she read, not to say studied. And good store of Vomits, Purges, Sudorificks, Cordials, Pecto­rals, almost all kind of Syrups, strong and simple distilled Waters, several Quarts of which she left (yea Gallons of them she used most,) which it is pity should be lost. These cost some Money, but more Pains and Labour to prepare them; and as much variety for Chy­rurgery Ointments, Oils, Salves, Sear-cloths, &c. and she pretended more to the latter than to the former, and had been very inquisitive to inform herself by Men and Books; and as she was very ready to help, so she had been of­ten very successfull in both.

Many, 'tis possible, might exceed her in what follows, whom I know not of, but none ever equalled her, that came within my Observation, in the obliging Charity, to put forth her utmost Ability and Strength in assisting the Sick, and [Page 179] Infirm; not the meanest Neighbour whom she would not visit and help in such Circumstances; administer to them what in her Judgment she thought most proper for them, and not only direct how to use what she brought them, but stay with them, or come again to see the Operation or Success; and she confined not this Kindness to the limits of the Parish, but would extend it to some distance. I will take the freedom to give one Instance, because the Reverend Person, for, and to whom she per­formed it, in thankfull Acknowledgment ever after, used (both while she lived, and since she dyed) to call her his Nurse.

A Neigbouring Minister having a long and dangerous Sickness, when upon a Visit made him, she took notice, that (as she feared) he wanted Persons of Experience about him, (ha­ving before lost his Wife, and his Physicians by reason of distance could not be long or often with him,) she daily went to him for many days, at near two Miles distance, and staid with him most part of the Days. I affirm not that she watched with him any Night, (but I am sure she hath done so elsewhere, and per­fectly remember when, and where,) because it hath slipped my Memory; and though she was so modest as not to assume much to her­self, I have heard her say, She thought God made her Instrumental, not only to the speedier [Page 180] recovery of his Health, but preservation of his Life.

Another object of her Painfull Charity (which I the rather name because our Litany expres­ly reckons it amongst the objects of our de­voutest Prayers,) was, Women Labouring with Child, whom she would rise at any hour of the Night to go too, and carry with her what might be usefull to them, having good Skill, and store of Medicines always ready by her for such occasions; and there was scarcely ever any difficulty in that case round about, but recourse was made to her, both for Advice and Medicines; and, if might be with Con­venience, for her Presence, which was always very acceptable and comfortable to the distres­sed Women when the distance was such that she could afford it.

I might write well near as much of her for­giving as her giving Charity; for, though the objects and occasions of exercising this Grace were not so many and so frequent as those of the other; yet, what they wanted in number, was made up abundantly in Weight and Mea­sure, under which pressures and provocations, she behaved herself as became the Daughter of him who was Dumb before the Shearers, and opened not his Mouth. She would not recom­pence Evil for Evil, nor answer reviling with reviling; but committed her Cause to him who Judgeth Righteously, knowing it was for his [Page 181] sake she was so despitefully used, and thought it not strange, that seeing the Master of the House was called Beelzebub, those of his Houshold should [...]e called so too. She had well studied our Sa­viour's Sermon on the Mount, and considered that Passage especially, (for she reckons the Practice of that Lesson amongst the signs of a Regenerate State,) St. Matth. 5.44. I say to you, Love your Enemies; Bless them that Curse you; Do good to them that hate you; Pray for them that despitefully use you, and Persecute you; that [...]e may be the Children of your Father which is in Heaven.

And, to confess her Weakness, I am perswa­ded she thought it as true a sign of a sincere Christian to love an Enemy, though a bad Man, for the natural Image of God remaining in him, as some do, to hate a Friend, though a good Man, for the renewed Image of God which appears in him: If her Opinion be an Errour, I hope it is on the Right-hand, and so may escape being reputed an Heresie. But I remember I am writing of Forgiving Charity, and I would not give occasion to start such a Question as I once heard started by a Gentle­man after a lashing Sermon, Preached on a Text of Mercy. He said in Droll, 'Twas a Sermon of Mercy; but the question is, whether it were a Mercifull Sermon. — Sed motos praestat componere fluctus, Peace, and be still unruly Pas­sions. [Page 182] What hath added to her Crown o [...] Glory, as I am confident her Carriage in such rancounters did, should be taken by th [...] better Handle, esteemed favours for the Issue [...] rather than injuries for the Design. When Bee [...] fight, the throwing dust upon them, it is said, will puiet them: She is dead, and her Dus [...] shall for ever extinguish all Resentments, and let them be buried in an Eternal Amnestry.

Had she lived, or I wrote of her in another Age, one thing more might have been added to the List of, or brought up the Rear of her Charity; that is, the temper of her Mind and Carriage towards those who were not altoge­ther of her Size and Dimensions, nor cast ex­actly in her Mould. I confess, she was one of the old-fashion'd Christians, who thought her Heavenly Father's Example an Authentick Warrant for her Imitation, of whom whosoever feareth God, and working Righteousness, is accepted. And though Vertues and Vices change their names, and grow unmodish and obsolete, like Garbs and Words, yet old Wine relished best to her Pallate, which so many spit out as soon as taste, and cry, it is vapid or eager. Some per­haps may wonder that so wise a Man as St. Paul should not only allow Moderation to be commendable, but enjoyn it as a Duty, and press it by the Medium of the Day of the Lord draw­ing near; Let you Moderation be known unto all [Page 183] Men, the Lord is at hand. When now his co­ming is sixteen hundred Years nearer, most Men are as many Miles more distant from Modera­tion than when he wrote. But I must acknow­ledge, how much soever it may lessen her in the Esteem of any, that she had a Latitude (not in her Conversation, for she always walked in the Narrow Way) in her Judgment, about lit­tle indifferent Matters. (Oh, how Diametrical­ly opposite are some in both!) She observed there were Men of all Complexions, and Blacks and Tawnys, as well as Whites, were Descendants of the first Adam, and so she hoped those of different Perswasions might be ingrafted into the Second Adam; and therefore thought Job's Words Canonical to this Day; Why Persecute we him, seeing the Root of the Matter is found in him?

She did not think all, that in a few things dissented from the Communion in which she lived, such rank Heathens; that if she heard a Man name them without setting a stigma­tizing Brand upon them, like the bigotted Jews of St. Paul, upon the meer naming of the Gen­tiles, Acts 22.22. She should cry out, Away with such a Fellow from the Earth; for it is not fit that he should Live.

It is a true and weighty Saying, worthy our Remembrance and Imitation, That the prime Object of God's Love is his Dear Son, and next [Page 184] to that, the Image of his Son where-ever he finds it. And she wrote after this Copy, she loved the Lord Jesus in Sincerity; she loved the Lord her God with all her Heart, and all her Soul, with all her Might, and all her Strength; and her Neighbour as herself. She would speak evil of no Man; do evil to no Man, but did all the good she could, as she had opportunity; espe­cially to the Houshold of Faith. And though she loved the whole World with a love of Benevo­lence, she loved those chosen out of the World with a Love of Complacency. She had a pecu­liar Esteem of, and Affection for God's People: Her choice delight was in the Saints, and those who excelled in Vertue.

She was not ashamed to be accounted their Sister whom Christ was not ashamed to call his Brethren; the Profession, but much more the power of Godliness was so far from being terminus Diminuens, an abatement of her value and kindness, that it much endeared those to her in whom she found it, and fastened those Bonds more strongly which had been tyed by Nature, Neighbourhood, or Friendly Con­versation. I excuse not the length of this Se­ction, it being not easy to write too much of that of which she never thought she practi­sed enough; though she had, as it were, habi­tuated it into her Constitution, it being as the Element in which she lived.

SECT. XXIV. Of her Care to advance God's Glory, and the Sal­vation of Souls.

I have so far prevented my self in both those in what I have already written of her, that scarce any thing remains to be farther added anew concerning them; and I confess it seems to my self somewhat improper to make a distinct Section of what is the Subject of the whole. The Care to promote those was as the Spinal Marrow in the Body; yea, as the Soul, which animated the whole; as the Pith which ascends from the Root of a Tree through the Trunk to every Branch and Twig. She set the Lord continu­ally before her, had respect to him in all her Thoughts, and Words, and Actions, and re­veered his Presence in all her Natural, Moral, Civil and Religious Performances. Seeing him that was Invisible, that nothing might escape from her which would provoke or dishonour him who is of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity, she yielded the Throne of her Heart to God; and whether she spake or wrote to others, or Prayed for them, she exhorted, or entreated, that the Interest of God's Glory might be upper­most, obtain the Supremacy, and nothing be its Rival, or stand in competition with it. Such [Page 186] Expressions frequently occurring in many of the Passages above related and transcribed from her Papers; and for the promoting the Salvati­on of others, she remembred and practised our Saviour's Counsel to St. Peter; Thou, when thou art Converted strengthen thy Brethren. I have given account above of her indefatigable Care, and zealous Diligence in instructing Children, Servants, Neighbours; and it is unreasonable to conclude I have little to say on this Head, because I will not say over again what I had so fully said before. Her Converse was generally very Serious, Savory, Edifying; few have come to see me since she dyed who have not told me how frequently and faithfully she used to give them good Advice and Exhor­tations to be sincerely Religious; and indeed, she was endowed with an extraordinary mea­sure of Courage, Prudence, Faithfulness, to give necessary, free, kind and seasonable Reproofs, Admonition, and Instructions, and would not suffer Sin to be upon their Souls whom she had any opportunity to rescue from it; at least, would use her best Endeavours to effect so good a Work, and would speak so home and plainly to them who needed it, that I confess I have sometimes thought she rather exceeded, and have between our selves intimated so much to her, to which she would wisely, and with just Apology reply; My Dear, we must deal [Page 187] freely, and speak home in such Cases, not mince the Matter and speak slightly, it will not be minded if we do, and as good never a whit as never the better; it is well if all we can say will effect what it is said for; and if they be not convinced both of their own Errour, and our Good-will, and made to feel what we speak by our plain and faithfull Ear­nestness, all the rest is lost to them and us; they'll be no better for it, and we shall not have the comfort of discharging the part and duty of true Christian Friendship.’ And she had often good success; but once above other times, so eminent and signal, I can hardly for­bear to relate it, and I have heard her more than once or twice make mention of it with Thankfulness and Comfort, and as a good en­couragement to do the like. She had a very a­wakened Sense, and deep impressions on her Mind of that Estate which is on the other side of Death, and was full fraught with Love and Pity to Immortal Souls, and would do all she could to the saving of her own and others, and therefore accounted all kindest offices not worth the name of true Friendship, which stopped short, and reached not to, at least, had not a fair tendency towards the Eternal Salvation of her Friends.

SECT. XXV. Several Graces in which she was most Eminent.

I Have cause to repent those hasty Thoughts set down before, page the 50th, as Heads to be touched more fully, by which I have made my self Debtor to the Reader's Expecta­tion, to write somewhat of the Title of this Section; for when I set my Thoughts to single out in the Prospect of them all, which shined with the greatest Lustre, all were so fair and bright I am at a loss on which to fix the Preference: For I may say of her with Modesty and Truth, what St. Gregory Nazian­zen saith of his Sister Gorgonia with wonder, That she excelled in all Vertues; and St. Jerome of Nepotian, that he was so Eminent in all Gra­ces as if he had excelled but in some one alone. She was compleat in Christ, had taken to herself the whole Armour of God; not an almost-Chri­stian, but throughly furnished to every good Word and Work. And as God had preserved her, that though she was assaulted by many Buffetting Temptations, she was not overcome by them, and that no Iniquity had Dominion over her, to Reign in her Mortal Body, or Immortal Soul to blot her Name or Profession with any Scandalous Offence; so every Grace of the [Page 189] Spirit, with all which she was very plenteously adorned, exerted its self with Vigour, was not raked up in faint and lazy Habits.

Her Knowledge in which the New Man is re­newed, and without which the Wise Man tells us, the Heart cannot be good, was clear, solid, and indeed Masculine, beyond the Proportion of her Sex and Degree, as may appear by all she wrote; and she would discourse and argue very knowingly, and with sound Judgment upon any Point of Divinity, as occasion offer­ed. The Oil which fed this Lamp was her much Reading good Books, but especially the Holy Scriptures, in which she meditated Day and Night; and if the Saying be true, a good Textuary is a good Divine, she might have some pretence to that Character; for though I will not say (what is said of Apollos) she was mighty in the Scriptures; yet, I may say truly, the word of Christ dwelt richly in her; and if David's delight in the Law of God made him Wiser than the Ancient, yea, than his Teach­ers, she might be near as Wise as some of them, considering that her Knowledge was not meer­ly Notional and Swimming in her Brain, but Experimental and Practical. She felt and tasted, yea, liv'd the Truths she knew; and teaching her Children the grounds of Religion, grounded herself more deeply in them.

Her Faith was strong, by which she gave Glory to God; not an Airy Fancy, but a firm Perswasion, built upon the Rock of Ages. She knew whom she had Believed; it may appear what Mettle that Shield was made of, by the many Fiery Darts of the Devil so impetuously thrown at her, and so incessantly for many Years, and so successfully, and so triumphant­ly quenched by it.

Her Charity, that greatest of Graces, the ve­ry Bond of Perfection, the Crown of all the other, and which covers a Multitude of Sins, that Bud or Blossom of Glory which shall be full Blown, and arrive at maturity in Heaven, where it shall never fade or fail; it was so fer­vent and fruitfull, (as may appear by what I have so truly written of it in a distinct Section,) that I dare appeal even to the most uncharita­ble and prejudiced Ill-will, if it were not Emi­nent, to Superlative Degree and Measure.

For her Patience, which met with so many, and so smarty Tryals both from God and Men, yet had its perfect Work, and by it she possessed her Soul in submiss and silent Acquiescence, charging herself Humbly and Wisely, but never charging God frowardly and foolishly; meekly complaining to him, never peevishly complain­ing of him.

Her Sympathy with others, in their suffer­ings and sorrows, was as signal as her Patience [Page 191] in her own. And as she had very tender and strong Affections, her usual saying was, great Affection, great Affliction: And that they who had many Friends, must needs have many Sor­rows; because they must share with them all, in their Troubles and Crosses. She had well learnt that Apostolical Lesson, to Mourn with them that Mourn, and bear others burthens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ; as I find her more than once express her self, in Consolatory Let­ters, many of which she wrote to her distressed Friends, under calamitous Providences; and would tell them, she would willingly put un­der her Shoulder to ease the pressure of their loads, they groaned under: And would often from her own Experience declare, That she judged the Griefs of others to be the biggest part of our uneasie disquietings in this Life. But no Afflictions were so pungent, and enter­ed so deep into her pious tender heart, as those of the Church of God; and the tyranous Per­secutions on those who suffered for the Gospel of Christ, and for his sake were killed all the day long, and counted as Sheep for the slaughter: As the Hungarian, French and Peidmount Prote­stants.

Her Pity to the Poor was very great, not only in the cases touch'd before, but in her care to rescue from present and eternal Ruine, those who were desperately running into both. [Page 192] To this end, she ventured to take up several Beggar-boys and Girls at the Door; and after cleansing them from their nastiness, receiving them into the House, of which some proved well, and she obtain'd the end she aimed at; but more untractable, and deceived her Ex­pectation and Desires: yet this did not discou­rage her. I shall give one Instance, which will hardly meet with its paralell.

And, as in many more like cases, she ex­ceeded most others, so in this she out-did her self. About three or four Years since, there came a forlorn Creature begging to the Door; a Girl of about Thirteen Years old, in such a loathsome pickle, as may stain my Ink to write, and turn the stomachs of the Nice to read it; almost eat up with Scabs and Ver­mine; and as ignorant of God and Christ, as if she had been born and bred in Lapland or Ja­pan, and scarce Rags to cover her; yet this blunted neither the point nor edge of her Com­passion, but rather whetted and sharpned both. When she had ask'd her many Questions, both of her miserable Condition and Religion; of the latter of which she knew not one syllable; but that her Christian Name was Mary, her Sir-name was Bun. The case seemed so despa­rate, it almost posed and put her Pity to a Plunge what to do to rescue her from the very Brink and Precipice of Temporal and Eternal [Page 193] Ruine; but while she was Eating what she sent her warm, being well nigh starved, she considered what might be done; she feared, if she dismissed her so, her Ruine was next to inevitable, and not to prevent that to her Pow­er, she judged inconsistent with the Love of God dwelling in her Heart. She then resolved, not on the shortest, but the safest Course, having engaged her to promise to be honest, humble, thankfull, and a good Girl if she could be re­covered. She ordered clean Straw to be laid in an Out-House, where she lodged, and fed her, until she procured a Charitable Neighbour to strip her, cut off her Hair, and wash her; for it was not possible to cleanse her otherwise; she also provided old Cloths to keep her sweet and warm; then she used means to cure her Itch, and when some Months had perfectly recruited her, and made her like another Crea­ture, she cloathed her new, took her into the House, taught her the Catechism, to read, and do somewhat in the Family which might fit her for a Service, and prevailed with a Rich Farmer who had Married one of our Maids, to take her Apprentice, promising to cloath her well. She wrote a large and excellent Letter to perswade him, besides discoursing with him.

He consented, received her upon Trial; but when she was to be legally Bound, that the latter Years of her Apprenticeship might com­pensate [Page 194] the unprofitableness of the first, a new difficulty arose; none could bind her validly but her Father, or the Parish from whence she came; many Messages, and one or two special Messengers were sent, but all in vain. What should she do more, she resolves to go herself, orders the Coach to be ready to carry her the next Day, intreated me to go with her as far as North-Hall, twenty Miles distant, a trouble­some Journey cross the County. We came to Sir William Lemmon's, because the Girl told us her Father work'd constantly with him; it was our unhappiness that Worthy Person was from Home; and though we found the Girls Father, no words could make the least Impres­sion on him, or extort other answer from him but, That she was a naughty Girl; He would neither meddle or make with her; We might do what we would; not so much as once I thank you for all your Cost and Trouble. We left him, found another chief Man of the Pa­rish; but the Over-seer for the Poor being ab­sent, nothing could be farther done at present; only the Person we last spoke with seemed sen­sible of the Matter, promised to take effectual course that the Girl should be duly Bound to the good Master provided for her; but after tedious waiting and expecting, and nothing done, we were forced to send her back with Horse and Man to the Place from whence she [Page 195] came, only with this difference, She was in good Plight, and well Cloathed, and taught somewhat, who, when we took her up, was one of the forlornest, miserable Objects I ever saw. And if this will not prove the Pity of this good Woman to be a little above the ordi­nary Pitch and Size, I must confess I have mis-titled this Section, and own she was Emi­nent in no Grace at all. I hope naming Persons and Places will give none offence: I conceiv'd it necessary to make it evident I write not Romance, but matter of Fact, and unquesti­onable Truth.

For her Repentance, it was her daily Business to renew it, and approve it to be sincere; as if she had thought herself as Tertullian wrote, Born for nothing else but ad agendum poe­nitentiam, To do Penance, or Repent. She was a great Weeper, (though innocently Chear­full in Conversation when she liked her Com­ [...]any.) I am perswaded she shed more Tears [...] especially in the time of her Temptati­ [...]n) to prevent Sin, and in Praying against it, [...]han some Hundreds ever did to bewail it when [...]ommitted; and she was frequent in keeping [...]olemn private days of Fasting and Humiliati­on, as was hinted when I shewed how she [...]pent a Week, pag. 48.

Her Reverential Fear of God was very re­markable; she could not endure to hear Sa­cred [Page 196] things spoken of with lightness, much less with scorn and ridicule. If any had heard a Story of the Prophaneness of any other, and went about the telling of it, she would put forth both her Hands, as thrusting him away, or move them to her Ears as if she would stop them, and cry out, I pray tell no such Stories in my Hearing; and if they desisted not, would hasten away. These Holy Impressions were first rooted in her by the Practice and Example of Mr. Martin (who published Bishop Brown­rig's Sermons,) whom she frequently heard when young; whom I have often heard her mention with Honour, as a Person who al­ways spake of God with profoundest Reveren­tial Awe she ever heard any Man, and grew up more and more in, and after the time of her long and sore Temptations by Blasphemous Suggestions, lest her Enemy should take ad­vantage by any Prophane Word spoken in her hearing to tincture her Mind with any Thought or Notion unsuitable to the most adorable Di­vine Perfections.

Yet this great and solemn Reverence she al­ways retained towards God and Christ; not­withstanding, I must acknowledge she u­sed not to bow at the sound and mention of the Name of the most Holy Jesus.

Her Love of God was as raised and fervent as her Fear of him was submiss and calm. [Page 197] She was a Terrestrial Seraphim; this Grace was always flaming; all her Sacrifices were offered up with Divine Fire, upon an Altar not built of hewen Stone, but of Earth or unpolished Stones, upon which no Tool had been lifted up (if I may allude to that passage of the Law,) which might pollute it; I mean, an Heart profoundly humble. As the Glory of God was the End she always propounded to her­self, and his revealed Will was the Rule and Measure of all she said or did; so the Love of God was the Spring and Principle from whence all was derived and flowed; as the Hart panted after the Water-Brooks, so her Heart panted after God. Her Soul was a-thirst for God; the Living God; crying with David's Pathos, When shall I appear in the Presence of God. She loved God for himself, and all she loved besides, she loved for his Sake, and the more of him she found in any thing or Person, the more dearly did she love it.

And because she knew meer Pretenders are but God's Flatterers, they only who intend what the Profess, are God's Friends; as Maximus Ty­rius, a Heathen Philosopher, could observe; and she had learned from a greater and better Master, who bids us, If we love him keep his Commandments.

Her Obedience was very uniform, universal, unreserved, constant; she did not pick and [Page 198] chuse, but that she might not be ashamed, had respect to all God's Commandments. She did not cull out cheap and easy Duties, and draw back her Hand from touching what seemed more burthensome and heavy; but what was God's Will Commanding, was her Will Obeying; and what was his Providential Will in ordering and disposing, was hers in approving and submitting, without regret and murmur. And for Sins, she dealt not with them as Saul with the Amalekites Cattle, slay, mortifie only the lean and refuse, and spare the fat ones, abstain from such as had no bait of Pleasure or Pro­fit to bribe her, not to pass Sentence against them, but shut her Eyes against such Bribes; she kept herself from her own Iniquities, would not taste the least Morsel of forbidden Fruit, seemed it never so pleasant to the Eye, or liquo­rish to the Taste; in a word, The Law of God was written on her Heart, and her Life and Con­versation were a Counter-part and Transcript of it.

My thoughts of her Vertues bringing to my Mind the remembrance of other good Wo­men, and amongst them Huldah the Prophetess, in whose time the Law was found, (the Copy of which had been lost in the Evil Days be­fore Josiah,) almost transported me to write what others would call (and I would not deny to border on it,) an extravagant Hyperbole; [Page 199] that if the Law had beed lost with us, it might have been renewed and copied out from her Life and Practice.

Her Sincerity was very Eminent, she hated Guile and Hypocrisie with a perfect Hatred; how oft hath her Pen left it written, and her Heart and Tongue uttered it an hundred times more, Let Integrity and Ʋprightness preserve me. She would not, could not disguise and act a Part; her Conversation was in Simplicity and Godly Sincerity; she knew God could not be mocked, and she dreaded the Thoughts of do­ing it; and she was of so generous a Temper she scorned to deceive Men, and she feared ex­ceedingly to deceive herself; and therefore was often searching and trying herself, and ways putting herself into the Balance of the Sanctuary, and crying to God in David's Lan­guage: Lord, search me and try me, and see if there be any way of Wickedness left in me, and lead me in the Way Everlasting.

I will join her Modesty to her Sincerity, because there is no greater Impudency than to be an Hypocrite, who cunningly hides (to escape the reproach of open Wickedness) from the Eyes of Men, what, with Atheistical Bold­ness, he is neither affraid nor ashamed to display before those Eyes which are as a Flame of Fire, from which nothing can be hid, and as easily will detect it as earnestly detest it, and severely avenge it.

Her Modesty, (which you heard before she called the Womans Ornament,) was so unde­flowred, that she loathed in others what had the slightest appearance of staining or tarnish­ing that orient Beauty and adorning Comeliness, and which she strove to plant in her Daughters, as the fairest Flower in that Garden, which she cultivated with her best Industry; and for her­self, I can, and do give her this true Testimony; I never heard a Word proceed from her Mouth of unpure defiling Sound or Sence, or of least tendency to either. Her Garb and Dress, her Carriage and Gestures, and her whole Conver­sation were all of a Piece with her Communi­cation, which was always Savoury; Seasoned with Salt that it might Minister Grace to them who heard it.

I confess, I reckon neither a slattering fordid­ness in Dress, nor Pusillanimity to speak out in reproving Sin or Sinners as occasion required, any branches of Modesty, (as I fear some do) in respect of Garb or Words, for I have shewed before, both how exact her Neatness, and how great her Courage was, to make and keep her Faithfull to the Interest of God and Souls. The Righteous is bold as a Lyon, and so was she.

But this hindred not her Meekness, she was as meek as a Lamb in her own Cause, though bold as a Lion in the Cause of God; no true [Page 201] Vertues interferre, or are inconsistent; I could prove this by Instance. She indeed was quick, and prone to be hasty, this was, if any, the Sin of her Constitution; but, aware of it, she doubled her Guards to prevent a Breach upon her weak Side. She had gathered more than five Pages of apposite Scriptures which exhort to meekness of Spirit, as I touched before, page 74.

The third of which is Psal. 18.23. I was also upright before him, and kept my self from mine eniquity. Which I conclude she did upon that account, because she found herself liable to be surprized by that Infirmity of her Natu­ral Temper, Hastiness, the contrary to Meekness; those Sins being most properly called our own which proceed from our Constitution, Callings, and prevailing Custom. And the next is, Job 13.31. If I did despise the cause of my Man-Servant, or my Maid-Servant when they contended with me. Which she set down to keep her from being angry without hearing their Excuses, if they had any, to extenuate a Fault, or not beyond Proportion to it, if they had none; and many or her Servants, as well as my self, can witness, if she had exceeded in her Reproofs or Chiding, she would chide herself more than she had done them, and pray them to forgive her; so much more willing was she to bear Shame than Guilt. She proceeds; Cease from [Page 202] anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thy self in any wise to do evil, Psal. 37.18. And next, A froward heart shall depart from me. But I shut the Book, or I should with transcribing and re­marking fill a Sheet, and weary my Reader.

She was a very discreet, wise, and prudent Woman, and of a good Judgment; she was indeed, sometimes pretty positive, stiff, tena­cions and adhesive to her Sentiments; which I have gently reproved, as being a little over­weaning and too well conceited of her own Wisdom, which I remember with great regret; but clear her, and confess my own Errour with­out any regretting what I now do therein; for I must acknowledge that the Event for the most part proved, she was in the right, and persisted not out of Humour, but because her Opinion was well grounded, and fixed upon good Reason.

She was an excellent Proficient in satisfied Acquiescence, and had learned the Art of Con­tentment to Perfection; she had attained to a Ne plus ultra, in the things of this Life; she did not only not desire, but was afraid of be­ing greater or richer in this World than God had vouchsafed to make us; she chose to fol­low, not to lead, or dictate to the Motions of Divine Providence, and she knew my Mind so well, she needed not to do it when we were a­lone; but she hath often said before many Wit­nesses what I am about to relate.

When many Friends who knew her Hu­mour would be saying, I would be shortly so or so preferred; I suppose in Merriment ra­ther than that they really thought so; she would reply, and intreat them to hold their Peace, saying, Such Discourse was very un­acceptable to her; and lest their vain Breath should Infect me, (though I thank God, whose Sacred Name I would not use in vain, I never found my self susceptive of that Infection,) she would drop such preventing Physick: ‘What can we desire that we want? What have they who have so many Preferments more than we, but a greater Account to give at the Day of Judgment? We have enough to answer all the ends of Necessity and Decency, and some­what to spare for Charity; we know not what it is to be in straits, and often lend, when others who have so much more are forced to borrow. It is a low and easie thing in our Circumstances to be content, it is too cheap a Return for our Enjoyments; it concerns us to be highly thankfull, the Good Lord make us so: And therefore I pray find some other Dis­course, and leave this idle and unwelcome Twattle.’ So freely would she speak when they had teazed and warmed her, not to say vexed her, with their impertinent Har­rangs.

And indeed she was very thankfull; what a sweet Spirit of Praise breaths in all I have transcribed from her Papers? and she did tru­ly abound in this Grace. She had well learned the Apostle's Lesson, In all things to give thanks: she blessed the Lord at all times, his Praise was continually in her Mouth. She seldom enter­prized any thing without Prayer, and as sel­dom finished it without Praise; comparatively, she esteemed Praise much more excellent than Prayer, not only as it is more like the Imploy­ment of the Holy Angels, and the Spirits of Just Men made perfect, but as it is less selfish, and hath a more immediate aspect upon God; our own Necessities constrain us to cry to God for Relief, and the worst Men will Pray, yea, and make Vows when they are in fear, but on­ly good Men will return to pay their acknow­ledgments when their turn is served; all the ten Lepers cryed for Mercy, but where are the nine? there was but one of them found to render Thanks. St. Gregory the Great gives this Reason why, of all the holy Men of God mentioned in the Sacred Oracles, David only is called the Man after God's own Heart: Because he wrote the Book of Psalms, those Divine Praises. Praise is so agreeable to the Heart of God, (he that offereth Praise, glorifieth me;) that the Man of Praise is the Man after God's own Heart; and this good Woman hath left this [Page 205] comfortable Evidence, and ground of hope be­hind her, that she is gone to the place where Eternity will be spent in endless Hallelujahs, and Songs of Thanksgivings, who did so an­ticipate that State and Work whilst here below. She hath left sixteen whole Pages of one form of Thanksgiving, which she begins thus:

‘Lord what shall I render to thee for all thy unspeakable Benefits in thy Mercies to me! I beseech thee in the remembrance of them, let thy Holy Spirit excite and stir up in my Heart a thankfull Acknowledgment. Lord, I bless thee for thy self, in whom all Per­fection is Eternal and Unchangeable, an Ever­living and Immortal God, filled with all a­dorable Excellency, the Author and Original of all things, the first Principle of all good, who art most amiable to an Intellectual Eye, most adequate and proportionable, most sui­table to Immortal Beings. Thou Lord, art the Felicity and Bliss of Souls, &c. And so she proceeds sixteen whole Pages without any vain Tautologies, only beginning the several Para­graphs with Lord I bless thee, or the like, (this is written the most curiously of any thing I yet have found of hers) and continues to the End with most raised Fervours of Holy Prai­ses; I can scarce forbear to say, with flowing streams of sweet and Pious Eloquence.

I will venture my Reader's Candour to ex­cuse my adding the last Lines.

‘I bless thee for the hopes I have of a glo­rious Resurrection when thou wilt be glori­fied in thy Saints; thou wilt say to the North give up, and to the South, keep not back; that thy Sons may be brought from far, and thy Daughters from the ends of the Earth; and all as Faithfull Depositories shall restore to thee at that universal Jubilee; then shall my Dust arise and Praise thee. I bless thee for thy Kingdom, afree Donation and Inheritance of thy Saints; there shall be no pricking Briar, or grieving Thorn, when I shall neither fin nor sorrow any more, but for ever be in the Exaltation of Eternal Bliss, where thy Angels, Cherubims, and Seraphims adore and worship thee with the highest fervour of Zeal and Love, and where my Soul shall shine in its full Strength in thy Everlasting Praises. Amen, Amen, Amen.

And there is not one Line less warm and savoury in all the other than are this Beginning and Conclusion of it.

The time would fail me to recount and reckon up all the other Graces in which she was Emi­nent, and to blazon their Lustre, and reflect their Brightness. The tenderness of her Conscience, which was very remarkable, as I could Evi­dence in many Particulars; this Pulse of her Soul beat very quick, but withall was very even and uniform, she used not to strain at Gnats, [Page 207] and swallow Cammels. Her Rule was in dubious Cases, always to chuse the safest to the best of her Judgment, not to consult with Flesh and Blood, and be swayed by the Advice they suggested, to do nothing rashly, but with due and prudent Deliberation. She was affraid of Sin, as Sin, and therefore of all Sin, and would abstain from all appearance of Evil. Though she was not such a Stoick as to esteem all Sins e­qual, yet she esteemed none in it self little, be­cause there is no little God to sin against; no little Law to be despised; no little Heaven to be lost; no little Hell to be endured: But an Almighty God, a Royal Law, an Heaven of un­conceivable Glory, and an Hell of endless and easeless Torments were concerned in all, and it renders the least Sin in its own Nature, a very great one to venture on it boldly against the light and dictates of Conscience.

Her Care to improve that Inch of precious Time on which so vast an Eternity depends, was very signal. She squandered not an Hour, scarce suffered a Moment to run waste; she used, she knew no Games, nor needed other to relax or recreate her Spirits but vicissitude and variety of commendable Imployment; the change of Business sufficiently relieved her, when she was weary of one, she counted it a Refreshment to set upon another. As a Tra­veller who sometimes Rides and sometimes [Page 208] Walks, but still proceeds, continues his Jour­ney, changes his Posture, but not his Design; and few ever made Religion their Business more intently, and with fewer Interruptions.

Her publick Spiritedness should not be for­gotten, the concerns of the Nation, especially of the Church, lay very near her Heart: She preferred Jerusalem before her chief Joy.

I will wrap up this Section with two which were diffused and spread over all the rest. Her Zeal and her Humility.

Zeal is not so properly a distinct peculiar Grace, as the Cream and Flower of them all, the Oil which swims upon the waters of the San­ctuary, the Varnish which both preserves them from fading, and gives a shining, advantage­ous Lustre to all the Colours with which the lively Picture of the new Creature is drawn; not a distinct piece of the Divine Armour, but the Edge and Keenness, the Furbishing and Brightness, both of offensive and defensive Arms.

Her Zeal was very vigorous and lively; she knew not what it was to be dull and sluggish: Whatever her Hand found to do, she did it with all her Might; and Nature, which too often is the remora of Grace, in her was a nimble and useful Hand-maid to it. She had an agile active Body, Spare and Lean, feared to be Fat; say­ing, She hated to be clogged with a foggy bulk [Page 225] of Flesh, and of a vivacious sprightly Soul, and these streams being in the right Channel Whafted her as Wind and Tide, to her desi­red Port and Harbour, that she was never be­calmed or Wind-bound, but Sailed amain, and kept on her Course with swiftest Expedition, till she had finished it with Safety, and with Joy; not that I ascribe it solely or chiefly to these, but principally to the Divine Gales of the Holy Spirit of God, so freely and plenteously vouchsafed to her; that Wind which Bloweth where it listeth: And for ever Blessed be his Goodness which so often filled her Sails.

Lastly, She was cloathed with Humility, as the Apostle counsels; this I might call her Dust-gown, for the aptness of the Allusion, but it hung not so loose about her, but was girded on with the Girdle of Truth about her Loins; she wore it constantly, no dress was more becoming her­self or others in her Account; she studied to bring it into Fashion by her Example and Ad­vice; she bought several of Mr. W. A's Trea­tises of that Subject to give to Friends; those who received them will attest it; and I hinted before she had made preparations to write a Tractate of it. Amongst other things she had to say of it, she had prepared this Encomium, That it is the Foundation that gives Stability, the Strength which gives Security, the Orna­ment that reflects Beauty, and the Completion [Page 210] which gives the finishing stroaks to all other Graces.

I shall not, after all this, need to draw her Character distinctly; if I do any thing in that it shall be added in the close of all.

I am now arrived at my Mournfull Heavy Loss, and her much waited for, and desired Gain, and great Advantage, her much bewailed Death, to prepare for which had been her dai­ly work for many Years, which happened Fe­bruary the 23d, this present Year 1690.

Her Sickness was short, but blessed be God her great Work was not then to do. She began to complain Wednesday Noon, but dined with me; took her Bed that Afternoon with design to sweat with a Dose of the Lady Kent's Pow­der, but could not sweat. I sent for Dr. Yard­ly early Thursday Morning, a Vein was opened, other Administrations ordered, which seemed to succeed so well, that we had scarce any ap­prehensions of Danger. She sate up four hours Saturday, till seven at Night, and thought her­self, and so did we, refreshed and better by it; but a complicated Disease, a Rheumatism, Erysipelas, and Peripneumonia, by God's Wise and Holy Righteous Ordering prevailed a­gainst her Strength and our Hopes. And on the Lord's Day she passed to her dearest Lord, and the well-beloved Bridegroom of her Soul, to begin that Eternal Sabbath which shall ne­ver [Page 211] be interrupted nor cease. She spake not much in her Sickness, hindred by the shortness of her Breath, and swelling of her Face. What she did was suitable to her Holy Life, and I believe God hid from her as well as us, the near approach of her Death, in Mercy to us all. One of the last Words she spake to me was before my going to Church; A short Pray­er my Dear before thou goest.

She was Buried February the 27th follow­ing with that decency which is fitter for others to relate than my self, and now she sleeps in Jesus, who, by his Burial perfumed and warm­ed that Bed of the Grave for all his Members, where we leave her in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection when her Dust shall rise to praise him.

AN APPENDIX: Containing some few of the Directions she wrote for her Childrens Instruction, mentioned Sect. 12. And some few Letters written by her.

I Desire it may be remembred she wrote these, not for grown and experienced Chri­stians, who might be fitter to instruct her than be assisted by her, much less with the least Prospect they should ever be published or seen by many Eyes; my own never saw them till hers were closed; but I hope may be useful for young ones and Beginners, and as such I recommend them to her Friends to com­municate to their Children, if they think good, and have not given them better of their own; and therefore it is not just to measure her Abilities by the scantling of this Perfor­mance, but to consider the End to which it was designed, to suit the Capacities, and assist [Page 214] the tender Minds of those for whom they were written, when I guess they might be about twelve, or fourteen years of Age; for one of them died at sixteen; and with this equitable Allowance I hope they may be very passable, if not commendable and usefull.

For my Dear Children, Mrs. Margaret and Elizabeth Walker.

IT is the duty of Christians to Pray fervent­ly and frequently, with Faith, with Hu­mility, with Sincerity, with Constancy, with watchfulness, in the Spirit, with Warmth and Life.

Prayer is a means whereby we give Wor­ship to God, giving him the Glory of all his adorable Perfections.

Prayer is the Soul's Motion to God; Desire and Expectation are the Soul of Prayer.

Prayer is a knocking at the Door of God's Grace and Mercy in Christ for all manner of Sup­plies you stand in need of.

Prayer is a Wrestling with God; the Lord is willing to forgive, ready to hear and help, yet he delighteth to have his Strength tryed, Gen. 32.24, 25.

The work of Prayer is not so much to lift up the Hands, and Eyes, and Voice, as to lift up the Heart and Soul.

In Prayer is required extensiveness and in­tensiveness of Mind, and Heart, with Impor­tunity, which consisteth in a frequent renew­ing of our Suits to God, notwithstanding all discouragements, with a patient waiting for returns of Grace.

Prayer must be a Premeditated Work, as to the Sins to be confessed, the Wants expressed, the Mercies acknowledged; but especially to have right apprehensions of the Purity, Maje­sty, Immensity, All-sufficiency, Fidelity, and Bounty of the Lord, to whom you Pray; with Faith in his Promises and Providences, and his Almightiness to supply your Wants in the things of this Life, and the Life to come.

Be much with God in Secret Prayer, and let not the fire of the Spirit, and Holy Zeal be wanting in any Duty, which, in the Hearts of God's People send out Holy Vapours of fragrant spiritual Desires and Requests to God, Vials full of Odours, which are the Prayers of the Saints, Rev. 5.8. compared to sweet In­cense, Mal. 1.11. How near are the Saints thus exercised to Jesus Christ? There is but a step, as it were, between them and Heaven. What precious answers of Grace receive they oftentimes from the Oracle of God.

You will do well to observe the fittest Sea­son for Secret Prayer; though a Christian is to Pray at all times, yet at sometimes more especi­ally; when we meet with any new Occurrence of Providence, every fresh dispensation of Pro­vidence is a prompt to Prayer, as when any Affliction befalls us, Jam. 5.13.

So when any fresh Mercy is received, it is a fit season to go aside, and to acknowledge God's Goodness, and our own Ʋnworthiness, 2 Sam. 7.18. When you find the Spirit of God moving upon your Soul, exciting you to the Duty, Cant. 2.10. your Hearts should answer again, Thy Face Lord will I seek, Psal. 27.5.

When you find your Heart in a settled and composed Frame; then also is a fit season for se­cret Prayer. When, as David's, your Heart is fixed, not disturbed with any Secular Business.

The Morning also is a fit Season for Secret Prayer, the Mind is most composed, and trou­bled with fewest Diversions. (See her Pra­ctise, Sect. 5. pag. 33.

It were well to be with God as soon as you awake, to offer up to him the first-Fruits of e­very Day; this was, with others, David's man­ner, Psal. 5.3.139.3.

The Evening also is a fit Season for Secret Prayer, Psal. 55.17. not only to begin, but to conclude the Day with God: Sleep not till you have begged his Pardon for your Sins com­mitted, [Page 233] and Praised him for the Mercies re­ceived that Day.

When you go about any Holy Duty, set by all Worldly Occasions; say to them as Abra­ham did to his Young-men, Stay you here while I go aside and Worship God, Gen. 22.5.

Do not ordinarily go to Prayer when your Anger is stirred, and your Mind full of Pertur­bation, 1 Tim. 2.8. lest you offer up the Sa­crifice of a Fool, 1 Kings 19.11, 12. and speak unadvisedly with your Lips.

Do not actually engage in Prayer when you are inclined to Sleep and Drowsiness; you must be wakefull when you Pray, if you would watch unto Prayer.

Also allot, and set out a due Proportion of Time for the Duty of Prayer; a slighty hud­dled Prayer is a blind Sacrifice; carlessness in Prayer, breedeth and feedeth Inconstancy, and In­stability in Prayer.

Slightiness in Prayer is an inlet to delusive Fancies, and is a fore-runner of Apostacy, if not seasonably reduced: Such Religious Per­formances go out like the Snuff of a Candle.

It is not enough to chuse a fit time, but you must allow sufficient time to Pray: If you are straitned in your Time, you will be straitned in your Prayer.

Also a great help in the well-performance of the Duty of Secret Prayer, is to take Pains with your Heart by Meditation.

As the offering of sweet Incense was pre­pared and compounded of many costly Mate­rials, Exod. 30.34. so is a Spiritual Prayer, not rudely and confusedly, but deliberately, ad­visedly, preparedly, and very particularly pre­sented before the Lord.

It is usually from want of preparation you find such deadness and indisposedness in Prayer; a heedfull and deliberate reading of the Holy Scriptures before Prayer, is also a great help for the well-performing of the Duty.

A farther help in the duty of Prayer, is to have right conceptions of God, conceive of him as he is, and as he hath revealed himself in his Word to be; an Omnipresent God, Psal. 139. that he is really, though not visibly, present in all Places, and in that Place where you are Praying; that he sees your Heart. Whenever you set about this, or any Holy Duty, set God before your Eyes, and represent him under the Notion of an Omnipresent, all-seeing God.

Conceive of God as one full of Majesty and Greatness, infinitely above any of his Creatures: This Apprehension may much both quicken us, and awe us in Prayer.

Conceive of God as one that is exceeding Gracious, and Plenteous in Mercy to all that call upon him.

To apprehend God in his Greatness, doth stir up Fear and Godly Reverence; to apprehend [Page 219] God in his Goodness, doth stir up Faith and Ho­ly Boldness.

Conceive of God in Prayer as one God, not divided in Essence, yet distinguished into three Persons; the Father, the Son, and Spirit, all concurring to the Prayers of Believers, and have a different office about them; there is the Fa­ther Hearing, the Son Interceeding, the Spirit helping our Infirmities.

Conceive of God not absolutely but in Christ. God in himself is a consuming Fire, Heb. 12. But in Christ he is a Mercifull Father; there is no coming unto God but by Jesus Christ, Heb. 7.25.

Entertain, and maintain very honourable Thoughts of the Duty of Prayer it self, this will both move you to the Duty, and much quicken you in the Duty.

What the Psalmist says of the City of God, Psal. 87.3. that may be said of the duty of Prayer, Great and Glorious things are spoken of it.

You may read of wonderfull effects of Faith; the effects and fruits of Prayer are as many and great. Heb. 11. It hath obtained Promises, subdued Kingdoms, turned away Enemies; it hath raised the Dead, stopp'd the Sun's Course; yea made it go back; it hath opened Prison-Doors, and unlocked Secrets; it hath opened Heaven, and shut it again, with much Reverence be it [Page 236] spoken; it hath laid hold upon God himself, and put him to a mercifull Retreat, when he hath been marching in Anger against Persons or Peo­ple. God speaks as if his Hands were held and tied up by Prayer: Let me go, saith he to Jacob; and, Let me alone, saith he to Moses; as if the Lord would indent with Moses, and offer him a Composition to hold his Peace, Exod. 32.10.

Wonderfull is that passage, Isa. 45.11. if read right, God says, Concerning the Works of my Hands command ye me.

The prevalency of fervent Prayer is very great, it prevails much with God, Jam. 5.15, 16. Keep your Hearts close to the duty, and suffer them not to stray or wander, a straying Heart must needs be a straitned Heart in Prayer.

If you would have your Heart enlivened, and enlarged in Prayer, remember to repell every vain Thought that comes in to your disturbance; resist it, and call in help from Heaven against it.

Let the guilt of no one Sin lie upon your Conscience, that will clog, disquiet, and check your Spirit in Prayer.

It is not amiss to observe a method in Prayer, especially when you Pray with others, (as she would sometimes do, when both my self and Curate were absent, rather than Family-Wor­ship should be wholly omitted) though not [Page 237] tyed to Words, but confused Repetitions and disorderly Digressions dis-affect those that join with you.

(Though some prophane Scorners may mock and snear at this, what real Evil scorn-worthy is there in it, for a serious, holy Mother to instruct her Daughters aforehand, to Pray with their Maids and Children, if God had spared them, and given them those Relations? I wish no Mothers would give their Children Counsels or Examples more liable to Exception.)

Chuse such a Place to Pray in as is most con­venient, where you may not be disturbed by noise in your Ears, nor be diverted by any Ob­ject before your Eyes; shut also the Door lest the Wind of Vain-glory get in thereat. Mat. 6.5, 6.

Be much in the use of Ejaculatory Prayer, which is a short, yet serious, lifting up the Soul in desires to God. Gen. 43.14, 49.18. Neh. 2.4. 2 Sam. 15.31. Luk. 23.42. John 12.27.

Ejaculatory Prayer is a special means to keep our Hearts very Spiritual and Savoury when often in Heaven; it is a special means to fit them for more solemn and continued Prayer.

You may find this way of Praying very fam [...]r with the best of Men; yea, with Christ himself.

Also remember to set their Examples before your Eyes, who have performed the Duty of Prayer, with life-enlargement and importunity. See Gen. 32.24. Matth. 26.26.39. Heb. 5.7. Hos. 12.3. Examples sway us sometimes more than any Rules or Precepts.

For farther Encouragement to this Duty of Prayer, consult with many other Promises: That of our Saviour's, where he saith, Matth. 21.22. Whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. And in John 14.13, 14. Whatsoever you shall ask in my Name I will doe it. If ye shall ask any thing in my Name I will doe it. And Matth. 7.7, 8. Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, find­eth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be o­pened.

Call upon me, and I will answer thee; and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not, Jer. 33.3.

Jam. 5.15. The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be for­given him.—The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved, Rom. 10.3.

If any man want Wisdom, let him ask of God, [Page 223] who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the Sea, driven with the Wind, and tossed.

Thus she concludes, it may seem somewhat abruptly, I can give no reason, and will not guess; only the unwritten Paper which re­mains may seem to imply, she designed more. This is just the fortyeth part of what she had written for her Childrens use, being 6 Pages in her Book, of Twelve score; so that I have enough, if I would enlarge, to tire my self, and satisfie, not to say, clog, my Readers. But I will consult my own ease, and theirs, in ad­ding little more of what an account is given, Sect. 12. under Eleven or Twelve distinct Heads.

I confess, I am tempted to add the Example to the Rule, I mean the large Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving, each containing 16 Pages. But I'll forbear, only as I toucht a few Lines of the beginning and end of the Thanksgiving before.

So I shall give a little taste of this Prayer which she begins thus.

‘Good Lord, give me to know thee, who passest all Knowledge, and though I cannot comprehend thee in the perfection and full­ness of thy Glory, yet vouchsafe to give me [Page 240] to apprehend thee, in thy Love and pardoning Mercy to me a poor miserable Sinner; who in my first Being was invested with an happy and righteous Estate, from which, O Lord, in my first Original, I soon declined, &c. And so proceeds most humbly to acknowledge the guilt and pollution of Original Sin, as I think, yea know, most Orthodoxly. If our Bibles, our Articles, our Homilies, yea our Liturgy, be more Orthodox than Socinus, and those Ephra­mites who lisp his Sibboleth, because they can­not, or will not, pronounce aright the Shib­boleth of the Church of England's good old Do­ctrine.

Then she proceeds to a large Confession of actual Sin, both of Omission and Commission a­gainst both Tables. Acknowledging the deme­rit of them, proceeds to sue out the Pardon of them in these words.

‘O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my Sins are not hid from thee, I beseech thee pardon my Iniquities, and blot out my Transgressions, though they be as a thick Cloud. Good Lord, wash me from my Impu­rities in that Fountain set open for Sin and for Ʋncleanness, the precious Blood of Jesus Christ which is not only able to expiate my guilt, but to cleanse me from all my filthiness, that through his stripes I may be healed, and clean­sed from all my Original and Actual Defile­ments, [Page 225] &c. Having enlarged upon this, she proceeds to pay for Sanctification and Inherent Righteousness, that she may be a new Creature in Christ Jesus; then most fully and earnestly against Temptation; then for the Assistance of the Spirit to render all God's Ordinances, and the means of Grace effectual; then for growth in Grace; for Comfort; for an Heavenly frame of Heart and Life; for assurance and manifesta­tion of God's Love to her; then for Wisdom to consider her latter End, and to be helped in that Spiritual Arithmetick, so to number her Days as to apply her Heart to true Wisdom; then that God would fit and prepare her for her Dissolution, that when her days shall be con­summated on Earth, her Corruptible may put on Incorruption, and her Mortal put on Immortality. Then she concludes with these Words:

Then shall Death, my last Enemy, be van­quished and swallowed up in Victory, and from thy unworthy Creature Everlasting Praises shall be rendred unto thee, through Jesus Christ that giveth me the Victory, for thou hast redeemed my Soul from the Power of the Grave. I beseech thee receive me into thy E­ternal Kingdom and Glory, that neither Death nor Life, things present, nor things to come may be able to separate me from thy Love, O God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord.

Then she proceeds to Pray for the Church, of which a taste was given in her Monday-morning Prayers, Sect. 7. pag. 45. ‘Gracious Lord, the Mercies I ask of thee for my own Soul, I ear­nestly beg of thee for thy Church and Peo­ple.’ Blessed Lord, Thou hast made the Earth by thy Power, established the World by thy Wis­dom, and stretched out the Heavens by thy Discre­tion; thy Arm is not shortned that thou canst not Save. Good Lord take care of Zion, build up the Walls of Jerusalem, that in Zion there may be Deliverance, and Holiness in thy House; let the Mountain of thy House be established in the top of the Mountains; be thou a Wall of Fire round about, and her Glory in the midst thereof, —But I forgot my self, 'tis hard to stop my Pen. Then, I beseech thee especially for the Land of my Nativity, the Nation of which I am a sinfull Member, — here is a large Para­graph. The next is for the World; Give thy Gospel a free and glorious Passage through the World. Good Lord pity those that sit in the region and shaddow of Death. — Then, I beseech thee be mercifull to all the Sons and Daugh­ters of Sorrow, and Affliction,— the Disconsolate, the Sick, those who contend with Poverty, Im­prisonment, Reproach, Disgrace. — Then for them who suffer Persecution for the Truth: Then for her Relations. I confess, I am al­most ashamed that I have thus mangled so ex­cellent [Page 227] a Prayer, so Piously, so Judiciously, in such suitable Scripture Phrase and Language. I think it had been better to have tran­scribed the whole, or let it quite alone; but her Friends may command a Copy of it if they please. Having finished her Intercessions for others, she returns to conclude with renewed Petitions for herself, which I will venture to set down.

Good Lord, be the God and Portion of me thy unworthy Creature, and of those so dear unto me; give me a Relation to thee, an Affi­ance in thee, and a Dependance upon thee, that in all my concerns I may come to thee, in whom are all my fresh Springs, the riches of free Grace to poor Sinners, and treasuries of Mercies, pur­chased with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee with-hold not thy tender Mer­cies from me, but give me of that hidden Man­na, the sweet refreshing Incomes of thy Holy Spirit into my Soul, and when my Heart is overwhelmed, I beseech thee lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for thou hast been a shelter to me. Lord be thou a strong Tower to me, to which I may continually resort; for whom have I in Heaven but thee? And if I know any thing of my own Heart, there is none compara­tive on Earth that I desire besides thee; thou art my God, besides thee there is no Saviour. I be­seech thee guide me with thy Counsel, and when [Page 228] I shall go hence and be no more in this World I beseech thee receive me into thy Glory.

Then follows the Thanksgiving, full as large as the Form of Prayer, and, if it may be, more Spiritual, raised, and Divinely Savoury; but I will not repeat the Errour, to mangle it, and set down so Imperfect Pieces, and spoil its Beauty, but signifie to her Friends, that I shall freely allow them to read the Original, which is fairly legible, or if they think it worth the while, to Copy it out, or at more leisure to Print some few Copies of it, and others of her usefull Papers, if desired, which I omit at present for fear of swelling this into too great a Bulk, though I am sure several of them equal, or rather exceed any thing I have now Published of hers.

MARKS OF A Regenerate Estate.

I add this because it is concise, and will not take up much Room or Time. Giving her Children Directions how to examine and try the Estate of their Souls towards God.

DO you consent to the Law of God, that it is true, and Righteous?

Have you perceived your self Sentenced to Death by it; being condemned and convinced of your natural, undone Condition?

Have you seen the utter Insufficiency of every Creature, either to be in its self your Happi­ness, or the means of curing this your Misery, and making you happy again in God?

Have you been convinced that your Happiness is only in God as the End, and in Christ as the way to him, and the End also, as he is one with [Page 230] the Father; and perceivest thou that thou must be brought to God by Christ, or Eternally Perish?

Have you seen hereupon an absolute necessity of your enjoying Christ, and the full sufficiency that is in him to do for you whatsoever your Condition requireth, by reason of the fullness of his Satisfaction, the greatness of his Power, and Dignity of his Person, and the freeness and Indefiniteness of his Promises?

Have you discovered the excellency of this Pearl to be worth the selling all to buy it?

Hath this been joined with some Sen­sibility, as the Conviction of a Man that thirst­eth, of the worth of Drink; and not been on­ly a change in Opinion, produced by Reading, or Education, as a bare notion in the Under­standing?

Is there an abhorring of all Sin, though your Flesh do tempt you to it?

Have both your Sin and Misery been a Bur­then to your Soul, and if you could not weep, yet could you heartily groan under the unsup­portable weight of both?

Have you renounced the hidden and unfruit­full works of Darkness, having no fellowship with them, but with Courage and Zeal for God re­prove them?

Do you labour to be Holy in all parts of your Conversation, watching over your ways at all times, and in all Companies?

[Page 231]

Do you make Conscience of the least of God's Commands as well as the greatest, avoiding idle Words, and vain Jesting; abhorring all reproachfull Speeches, as well as violent A­ctions?

Do you love, and esteem, and labour for the powerfull Preaching of the Word above all Earthly Treasures?

Do you Honour and highly account of the truly Godly, and delight in the Company of such as sincerely fear God above all others, esteem­ing them the excellent of the Earth?

Are you carefull of the Sanctification of the Sabbath, neither daring to violate that Holy Rest by Labour, nor to neglect the Holy Duties belonging to God's Service, publick or pri­vate?

Do you not love the World, neither the things of the World, but heartily desire and love the things that concern a better Life, and so do in some measure love the Appearance of Jesus Christ?

Can you forgive your Enemies, are you easily entreated, desirous of Peace, and to do good to them that despitefully use you?

Do you set up a daily course of serving God, and that with your Family too, if you have any; and renouncing your own Righteous­ness, trust only to the Merits of Jesus Christ?

[Page 232]

Have you turned all your Idols out of your Heart, so that the Creature hath no more the Sovereignty, but is now a Servant to God, and Jesus Christ?

Do you accept of Christ as your only Saviour, and expect your Justification, Recovery, and Everlasting Happiness from him alone?

Do you also take him for your Lord and King, and are his Laws the most powerfull Com­manders of your Life and Soul?

Do his Laws prevail against the Commands of the Flesh, of Satan, and the greatest on Earth that shall countermand?

And against the greatest Interest of your Cre­dit, Profit, Pleasure or Life, so that your Con­science, Soul, Body, Life, is directly subject to Christ alone?

Hath he the Highest Room in your Heart, and Affections, so that though you cannot love him as you would, yet nothing else is loved so much?

Have you made an Hearty Covenant with him, and delivered up your self accordingly to him, to be his for Ever without Re­serve?

Do you take your self for his and not your own; is it your utmost Care, and watchfull En­deavour that you may be found faithfull in his Covenant, and though you fall into Sin, you would not renounce your Bargain, nor change [Page 233] your Lord, nor give up your self to any other Government for all the World?

And if this be truly your Case, you are one of God's Children and People, and as sure as God's Promises are true, there is an happy and blessed Estate for you; only see that you abide in Christ, and continue to the End, for if any draw back, his Soul will have no pleasure in them.

Then she concludes with the Prayer set down above, page 81.

For the Right Honourable Isabella Coun­tess of Radnor.

This was written to her Ladiship, as a Con­solatory Letter upon the surprizing Death of her dearly-beloved Daughter the Lady Essex Specot.

Ever Honoured good Madam,

I Do truly Sympathize with your Ladiship, in your great Sorrows under God's affli­cting Hand, taking from your Ladiship a very dearly Beloved, and desirable Child. She was very deservedly so; and to all acquainted with her, she was a very sweet amicable Friend; she lived very desired and she hath died la­mented. She was not affected with distant Pride, a Spirit hated of God, and all good Peo­ple. Dear Lady Essex, She was of a sweet, cour­teous, affable disposition, very winning in her lo­ving condescention. I am sensible of my own loss, who had a share of her favour, much more of your Ladiship's, to whom she was so near and dear. Good Madam, would I could help to alle­viate your Sorrows, I would put to my Shoul­der to help bear your burthen, which is to ful­fill the Law of Christ. But it is not in created Beings farther than God will use them Instru­mentally. [Page 235] But above, in the great Creator, in Him is all supply of Grace and Comfort; God is a present help in the needfull time of trouble, an approved Friend, that will not fail you in what you go unto him for, agreeable to his Will; which assuredly is the best. There­fore, Good Madam, retain kind thoughts of God; he hath not cast away your Prayers, nor rejected the Prayers of Friends for you, though God did not see it good dear Lady Essex should stay longer with you in this World, he hath done better for her and you: God hath gran­ted to a higher end, he hath taken her to him­self in Heaven, from thence, Good Madam, you would not have her to return into a trou­blesom World; it is fit to acquiesce in God's most wise Dispose, He knew what was best for her and you, and to keep silence before the Lord, because he hath done it; whatever se­cond cause he might use as Instrumental; yet it was the Lord, the Sovereign Lord of her and us, who doth all things well. Good Madam, What you cannot see now you may know here­after, if not in this Life; of all in it you shall have clear Manifestations in Heaven; that all Dispensations in this World, were for the best for you; the most I can do is to pity your Ladiship with my poor worthless Prayers, in themselves they are so: But I would beg of God to uphold you in the Arms of his Mercy, [Page 236] that you may not sink under any Tryal, and that your Affliction, which at present may be grie­vous, may appear not to be the Wound of an Enemy, but the Chastisement of a loving Father, who deals with you, as with his Children, in his adopting Love to you in Faithfulness. God corrects his People, in his distinguishing Love from those which shall never see his Face with comfort. Good Madam, I know you do desire to be in subjection to the Father of Spirits. The Lord will be King, let the People be ne­ver so impatient; God will not grieve nor cor­rect for his own pleasure, but for his Childrens profit, that they may live. God's own Vine­yard needs pruning as well as manuring, that the Branches thereof may not waste too much of the Life, and Spirits, and Affections in worldly Satisfactions. Good Madam, God hath taken away a Branch, dear Lady Essex, she is not withered but transplanted, for his own plea­sure and delight, that the Fruits of your Love to God may more appear in your willing Re­signation of her, who was so dear to you, not offering unto God that which costs you nought. Good Madam, You shall sustain no loss, God will reimburse, and this Breach his Hand hath made he will fill up and repair at his own Charge. He will, in exchange for a Daughter, bestow on you his only Son, and build you a House better than Leah and Rachel did Ja­cob's: [Page 237] God will give you a Name, better than of Sons and Daughters, and make you one of his First-born in Heaven. God took it excee­ding well that Abraham did not with-hold his beloved Isaac from him; and for his ready com­pliance in what God required of him, he had God's Promise, That in blessing he would bless him. Good Madam, God hath more Blessings than one; when God proved Abraham, he gave him back again his Isaac, whom he loved, and promised, that in him all the Nations of the Earth should be blessed; of which Promise, Good Madam, you do partake, with an addi­tional Favour, God having ransomed dear Lady Essex out of a troublesome World, with a better Sacrifice than that he then provided for Isaac, a Ram caught in a Thicket, with which Isaac was redeemed, unto a transient Life. Dear Lady Essex, she is redeemed by Jesus Christ, unto eternal Life. Good Madam, What cause of complaint? Dear Lady Essex is freed from the many temptations she might have met with in this World. Isaac's prolonged Life found it so in his unsetled Condition, he met with Affliction in his Posterity, with other Troubles of this Life; the World is unquiet like the tumbling Ocean; dear Lady Essex she hath found a resting Place, got off the rough Seas of Sins and Sorrows, God hath placed her in the serene Region above; God knew what [Page 238] Sail she was able to bear in worldly Prosperity or Adversity; he hath taken her from the boi­sterous Winds that might have disturbed the Coast of her even walking with God; God hath steer'd her Course; dear Lady Essex, she is got safe to Harbour, from the windy Storms and Tempests of this World. God took Enoch in the midst of his days, as they then lived in that Age; he walked with God; therefore God took him: I do humbly hope so did she. God bestowed on her a very sweet disposition, which I hope God made susceptive of the best impres­sion. The best people want their grains of allow­ance. Good Madam, Do not drive your Com­forters far from you, God preserved dear Lady Essex from the great Soul-wasting Sins, from all gross Enormities; God kept her from ever falling into any scandalous Sins, she is gone unspotted out of the World. Good Madam, better is a good Child dead, than a wicked Child living. Good Madam, I am more than con­tent God hath disposed of all mine, I hope through Grace they are safe; but I have found much affection much affliction. Though Mary had chose the best part, assured and confirmed to her by Christ's own Word, should never be taken from her; yet her Eyes were so filled with tears at the Death of her Lord, that she could not see Christ. The two Angels that sate in Christ's Sepulchre, could not pacifie [Page 239] her grief, nor slue her tears, till Christ dried her Eyes with that loving Rebuke, Why weepest thou? Then she said, Raboni, and made him Master of her Passion. God hath placed all the affections of humane Nature for great advantage, if kept in the right Chanel, bounded with his Grace; that of Grief, though for Sin, which hath the greatest use of it, and needs the highest and fullest Tides, God would not have it swell beyond the Bank of his Mer­cy: If God would have his People easie to be entreated, himself will not be inexorable, or hard to be intreated, as good People are prone to think in time of Affliction; neither should they be unjust to God and themselves, deny­ing the Grace God hath bestowed on them. It is best to judge our selves, but not unjustly. Good Madam, Do not misconstrue God in his Dispensations to you. Afflictions are oft more for Trial than Correction, but how ready is God to receive repenting returning Sinners? the Arms of his Mercy are open to embrace them, and to cover their Imperfections with his best Robe, sent by his Son from the great Wardrobe of Heaven; Christ's Righteousness imputed to them, and inherent in them, adorning of them with the Graces of his Spirit, rendring them acceptable to their spiritual Spouse, Christ Jesus. He is the good Shepherd which laid down his life for his sheep. If he send Af­flictions, [Page 240] they are not to worry, but to bring his People nearer to himself. If God put his People into the Fornace, it is to purifie them, not to consume them. Good Madam, when you are tried, that you may come forth as Gold, a meet Vessel for God's own use in the fuller Measures of Heaven. Though God hath taken from you the Delight of your Eye, Dear Lady Essex, he will not take away him­self, but dissipate and scatter your grief with the Light of his Countenance, which is bet­ter than Life. God knows our Frame, and will debate in Measure. He will not stir up all his Displeasure, but will stay his rough Wind in the day of his East-Wind, that no Tem­ptation may be above your Strength. Good Madam, fain would I comfort you, but I know your own Thoughts can better suggest to you than I, where you may find Grace to help in a time of need. God's Promises are supports for the most afflicted Condition, with them, Good Madam, they teaching you, you may by the Art of Divine Chimistry, extract and draw from Afflictions the refreshing Cordials of the Love of God, by his sweet composure of them in his Love and Faithfullness to you, you may get from the most unpleasant bitter Po­tion, a healing Medicine, you may get Meat out of the Eater; God will make all subser­vient to his People, though in their own na­ture [Page 241] contrary, like Elisha's Ravens, which were Birds of prey, to bring the Prophet bread and meat: By the over-ruling goodness of God, Afflictions bring God's Children meat to eat, the World knows not of; and those Afflictions that look most terrible and most affrighting, great in Stature, like unto the Philistine's Champion, that did so terrifie the Israelites. Good Madam, You may as David did, over­come with that smooth white Stone St John speaks of, wherein is that new name written, which none can read but they that have it. In that Stone it is written, Be of good chear, your Sins are forgiven. It was the Custom of the Romans to which St. John alludes, they gave a white Stone to those their Law acquitted, and a black Stone to those their Law condemned; this white Stone St. John speaks of, is that Stone cut out of the mountain without hands, Christ Jesus. Good Madam, On this Rock you may build safe and sure, that if the boisterous Winds of Af­fliction beat vehemently upon you, you may be able to stand in the day of your Visita­tion. If God should suffer Afflictions, like unto St. Paul's, which he call'd, Deaths oft, they may be to you as they were to him, they were lifts unto his greater degrees of Glory, which made him to call them Light Afflictions, that lasted but for a moment, and that they shall work for God's People an exceeding and [Page 242] eternal weight of Glory. Good Madam, As the Afflictions of this Life shall not last long, so the Prosperity of this World is but short also; they are but Pageantry Delights, that pass away, and leave Dissatisfaction behind them; but God would not have his Peoples Spirits always flag, they have their intervals in the day of Prospe­rity to rejoyce, but in the day of Adversity to consider; God having set the one over against the other, and both on the Wing of Time, which many drive away, not considering a dependant Life, which of it self flies away so fast; the things of this World, and Life also, they do make haste to give up their Accompts to God; for a short work will the Lord make on the Earth, and finish his Work in Righ­teousness. He will say to the North, Give up; and to the South, keep not back: bring my Sons from far, and my Daughters from the ends of the Earth, and all shall as faithfull Depositors re­store to God; yea, every one shall give an ac­count of himself to God; and if God sudden­ly call for them, they hasten their speed, and swiftly fly away, as an Eagle towards Heaven. Good Madam, You have experienced it; dear Lady Essex, she hath taken her flight from all mutations of this Life, and is gone to God, whose she was, that lent her you but for a time. She is not lost, but restored again, where she is in an unalterable and happy Estate. Good [Page 243] Madam, What cause of complaint? Do not ac­count her gain your loss, the most and best she could have enjoy'd of the Blessings of this Life, Relations, Friends, Pleasures, Riches, all pro­mised well in her Marriage, but all uncertain; but is now in a fixt, uninterruptable, more bles­sed Condition, to which nothing in this World hath any proportion; and the most splendid things of this Life comparatively, are but shin­ing Glow-worms, which must have the advan­tage of the disappearing Sun for their glimmering Beauty. Who would chuse Candle-light rather than the clear light of the bright Sun. Dear Lady Essex, she hath the sweet smiles of God's reconciled Face, which shine on her by the Sun of Righteousness, Christ Jesus, the Bride­groom of her Soul, and is with her best Rela­tions, God and Angels, and is one of that bles­sed number of his Triumphant Saints made perfect in endless Glory never more to die: She hath passed the dark Valley, and is got safe to her Inheritance in the highest Heavens, purchased for her by an invaluable Price, bought for her by her best Beloved Jesus Christ. Good Madam, Why do you greive? You would not have her back again into a Sin-defiling-World, where the happiest Estate or condition is intermix'd with intervening troubles, accom­panied with sorrows, which would have been as jointly yours as hers, from which God hath [Page 244] freed you both. Good Madam, Believe God means you no ill, he doth sometimes by one great Affliction, free his People from many, that might be greater than that, which God onely can foresee; sometimes a large Orifice ef­fects the perfectest Cure, and the bitterest Potion the best Health. Good Madam, chearfully take the Cup your heavenly Father hath put into your Hand; of this relation you can receive no hurt. Christ hath told his People, That through many tribulations, they shall enter into the King­dom of Heaven; be not afraid of your way, it is no untrodden path, the best of Men have gone that way: God hath one Son without sin, none without suffering: If Suffering abound, your Consolation shall superabound; that being made Conformable by suffering, you may be more fitted for greater degrees of Glory. Good Madam, If God sees fit to lengthen out your Days, it is to give you more work, to exercise those Gifts he hath given you, to improve for his use and your own advantage; your Love, Patience, and Submission to him, with the rest of the Graces of his Spirit, he hath bestowed on you, let them have their perfect Work; and be not grieved that he hath given dear Lady Essex a less task than your self. Good Madam, Run with patience the race that is set before you, fi­nishing your work in well-doing, unto which God will afford you his assisting Grace. God [Page 245] will not deal with you as Pharaoh's Task-Ma­sters over the Children of Israel, they would give no straw and yet required the full tale of brick; God will afford you his strength, and extricate your difficulties; his Providences shall comply with you, and his Grace assist you; in your hardest work he will put to his helping hand. God will order the whole Series and Frame of this World for his Peoples best advantage; then, when all have acted a part, God will take down the Stage of this World by the hand of undistinguishable Eternity. Then, Good Ma­dam, a past Errour cannot be retrieved, when Time and Place in this World is taken away. A little while the longest Life is so, but he will come, and will not tarry; when his Peoples work is done, he will bring his reward with him, and acquit them from all the troubles of this Life, and receive them where there is no pricking Briar, nor grieving Thorn; Sin, Sor­row, and Sighing shall flee away; then, Good Madam, in endless Joy you shall meet again dear Lady Essex, never to part, but shall be for ever with her, the rest of the blessed Saints and Angels, and all in an indissolvable union with God, and Christ, in eternal Glory. Amen, Amen. Good Madam, It is the Prayer of your singular good Ladiship's Obedient Servant,

Elizabeth Walker.

I beseech you, Good Ma­dam, excuse the trouble of a long Letter.

Another Consolatory Letter, written to a good Christian Friend under Trouble.

Good Friend,

I Have had troublesome solicitous thoughts, of what I did not well understand at par­ting, when I last saw you, therefore I desire to be farther informed, how it is like to be with you. But however it may be in this present Life, when it concludes, it shall be well; your comfort is, It will be well with the Righteous, of which number you are as­suredly; One of those exercised with God's discriminating Character of Adoption, and Son­ship: Affliction's his preparatory work upon his People, to fit them for a better Estate; that should encourage, because it will compensate and reward God's Faithfull Ones, for all their suffe­rings for his sake, with an eternal weight of Glory, which, if their Enemies well under­stood, they would in pure Enmity be less in­jurious to them. As to this World, if the Death of God's Saints be pretious to him, so are their Sufferings considerable; though he bear with his, and their Enemies for a time. Fel­low-Creatures, through Fear or Cowardise, may forsake and desert, but God will not. You know whose Case it was, but he had the [Page 227] strongest Party on his side, the Lord stood by him, he will not forsake his own Inheritance, but his Truth shall be their Shield and Buckler; so tender is he of them; he would not have their Thoughts disturbed with anxious Solli­citousness. And that his People should be con­tinually dependant on himself, he sets no Pe­riod, but promises a continual supply of Grace, giving in that Hour that which will make them Justifiable before their Adversaries, which they shall not be able to gain-say with the ver­dict of Truth. The Lord fortifie his People for any Tryal he sees fit to call them to, that I may be one of those found Faithfull, Dear Sir, I beg your Prayers for me, who am

your truly Loving, and Affectionate Friend, Elizabeth Walker.

Part of two Letters written to a young Minister who had lived several Years in my House, and was well preferred from thence to stir him up to Faithfulness in his Ministry, and may be usefull to other such.

It may not be unseasonable or unusefull here to take notice what singular Care she would take of the young Scholars which came to live in my Family; who, though when they were first received, (bringing more Learning [Page 248] than Religion from the University;) for sometime would seem a little uneasie, and be rather shy of her, and undervalue her pious and strict Example, and weighty, serious Counsels for their Morals, and God's Service; yet after a while had a very great Respect for her, and loved and honoured her, as if she had been their Mother. I own it as a great Mer­cy, it was so with them all who staid any time with us, but shall instance only in the last, who, though at first seemed to be possessed with a greater prejudice, yea averseness, than his Predecessors, yet before one Year was out, was more than convinced of his Errour, and daily increased in his value of her, and defe­rence he paid her; and when towards the end of the third Year his Consumption pre­vailed so as to threaten his Life; and she de­claring her concern for him, and how much she was troubled, he should come to die with us. He with a very Pathetick Gratitude cried out, O blessed be God that I ever knew this Family! I know I must die somewhere, and if God would give me my Choice, I had ra­ther die here than in any place in all the World.

I will not presume to commend her Con­duct towards such young men from any thing but the good Success; and for the sake of that I'll briefly touch it. Her Method was not to be always harping on the same String; not to [Page 249] be constantly pressing them with an affected tyring Importunity, which like the falls of Ni­lus, rather makes Men Deaf than open their Ears to Discipline; her Rules were short, but her Example long; her Advices few, but Wise and Home; her Reproofs fewer, but Seasonable and Grave; but the Copy of an holy, diligent, serious Conversation was never wanting. A small number of wholesome Counsels well exempli­fied, prevails more than a long Series of starched and studied Aphorisms, confuted by his Life, whose Head conceived them, and Mouth dictated them. She rarely spake to them directly, and in the second Person, and never but when the occasi­on was fair, and the necessity urgent, fre­quently what concerns them as of a third Person, and it is observable that many times a glancing Blow, and a Side-Wind cuts deeper, and fills the Sails better than a downright Stroke, or a Wind directly in the Stern. I remember some of her Prudent Rules, but because there are so very few to be assisted by them, and it is possible none into whose Hands these Papers may fall, they would but vanish into idle Spe­culations, with which I will not trouble my unconcerned Reader. And she was not only kind and carefull of their good whilst in our House, but continued her Prayers for them, and good Counsel to them when removed from us; wit­ness the following Letters.

Good Mr. Ph.

I Do assure you my Affections have not been froze, though my Ink hath this cold Sea­son, which may help make an Apology for a bad Scribe; but I now return you my ac­knowledgments for your kind Letter I have received. Good Mr. Ph. I heartily desire to ap­prove my self your true Friend, and would not be wanting in any thing you may expect from me, whenever opportunity may afford the Tryal. Especially, I shall endeavour you may not meet with disappointment in that you set so great an estimate and value on; my poor Prayers, Oh that they were more worth! that not only you, but with my self, the Church, and People of God might have some Benefit by God's Assistance and Acceptance of my small Mite, which I would, as my All, cast into that great Stock and Bank committed to the sure Hand and Improvement of our Great Factor and Mediator, Jesus Christ, who affords great Returns, to which Intercourse is given more than his People can ask or think; therefore, my good Friend, afford me your Remembrance at the Throne of Grace, at which be frequent and fervent; but I need not excite you to so advan­tageous a Duty, by which you may obtain so much for your self and others. The pressing Necessities of the Church of God at home and [Page 251] abroad, cry aloud for Intercessors to prevent the Judgments we have cause to fear, and may justly feel. Oh! be one of those who meet God with humble, earnest Supplication, which may help ward off the Blow which may fall heavy on the Churches. God will set his Mark on the Mourners in Zion, and will hide them in the Day of his fierce Anger, that the destroying Angel shall not hurt them. I have much wondred at the diverting of Judgments, but I fear the longer God bears with, and the higher his Hand is lifted up, the more weigh­ty will it be when it falls. But to with­hold it, Pray, Pray; the fervent Prayer of the Righteous prevails much, oft puts God to a Mercifull Retreat, when in his provoked An­ger he is going forth against a Nation, or People. Oh! but they must be clean Hands that lay hold on him, that is, of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity. Good Mr. Ph. be­ware of warping from the streight Rule of God's Word, by which every Man's Work must be tried, it will be your best Preservation in Evil times, if God should call you out to bear Witness to his Truth, which to decline, may cause God to lead you forth with the workers of Iniquity; therefore the Psalmist Prays, that Integrity and Ʋprightness may preserve him; the Ʋpright are God's Delight. I remember the Inscription on Abraham's Shield was Ʋp­rightness, [Page 252] to which was annexed, against all Fears that might shake his Faith; God, that can compensate and make up all that his Peo­ple can lose or suffer for him in this World, promised that he would not only be his Shield, but his exceeding great Reward; which Pro­mise Moses eyed, on good Consideration ma­king the best choice, to acquit Courtly Plea­sures and Preferments; he well knew they would last but for a short Season; he took his Happy Lot with God's People, to suffer Affli­ction rather than Sin. Happy he! though he passed through a barren Wilderness, in which God often proves his People, whether they will be content to wave the things of this Life to possess a better Inheritance than an Earthly Canaan, those durable Riches prepared for those who are accounted Worthy; of which Blessed Number good Lord grant, good Mr. Ph. you may be found.

Then after twenty Lines of a Business which concerned himself, written with much Wis­dom, Kindness, and Faithfulness, which I pass over, She proceeds:

I am sure I do heartily desire your Welfare in this Life, and Godliness being sought in the first place, the good things of this World, as may be good for you, may be added to you. The Promises are conditional; 'tis a hard thing to be a good Christian, not easie to be a good [Page 253] Minister, which not to be, are the worst of Men, and will find the severest Account for their own and others Souls, over whom God hath placed them Watchmen, and O­ver-seers of the Flock of Christ, for which Work I am persuaded, the Grace of God bestowed upon you, shall not be in vain. My Friend, excuse this Freedom I have used to you from Plenary Affection, I confess it Impertinent to suggest to you who are so much more knowing and conversant with Books, especially that which excells all others, the Holy Scriptures, from which you may be furnished to every good Work for Doctrine and Life. I have sent you a Book more worthy your acceptance for the Author's sake than mine; I commend him to you as a Pattern of a strict holy Life, so conformable to our Savi­our's, he was always doing good; read, look on him, and doe likewise. I am sensible of the Trouble given you by a long Letter, therefore no more, but to subscribe my self as indeed I am, good Mr. Ph.

Your truly Loving and Affectionate Friend, Elizabeth Walker.

A Second Letter to the same Person.

Of which I will omit much, to prevent be­ing tedious, and I fear this concluding Paragraph may seem too long.

My good Friend Mr. Ph.

I Truly would, as may be acceptable, and my capacity reach, not be wanting in real Friendship; the like very gratefull to me. The reminds of a future Estate, which is the greatest concern we have to mind in this Life: which if neglected, the Errour cannot be re­trieved. Oh how vigilant should I be! my Enemy is so. One Soul is more worth, in the Estimation of our Saviour, than the whole World; the price hath made the purchase so. Oh! that I could better improve my little remain­ing time, the Talent my Lord hath intrusted me with, that I may not be idle or worse, found in the works of darkness. He that had least was accountable, therefore shall not I be ex­cusable from my little measure. As the Eyes of Servants are to their Masters, for their Work as well as Wages, so must mine be to him, for his Assistance and Help, that of his own he may receive: But where God gives much, he requires the more. Good Mr. Ph. God [Page 255] hath committed to your trust more than to a private Capacity, in Abilities and Advantages, placed you a Steward over his Houshold; you are strictly required to be Faithfull. Be so, that God may reward and crown your La­bours in his Service, with that that far excells the fading Diadems of this World, which puts a Lye in our right-hand, promiseth its pro­stitutes more than it hath to give. Be not deceived, it is Vanity and Lyes, your Work is Wages. It was our Saviour's Meat and Drink. He told his Disciples so, when he was about his Father's Work, not only in his publick Ministry, in which he was constant, but also as a pattern left you, He was always doing good.

Though he met with hard and rough usage from Men, expect the like; it is no untrodden Path; but for Encouragement, if for Righ­teousness sake, Your's is the Kingdom of Heaven. What can be given in Exchange? The more you doe or suffer, the greater your reward. The Blessings of this Life are not excluded, let God's Work have the preheminence, the first place in your Heart and Practice, and, as may be good for you, they shall be added to you. I observe from the last Chapter of Saint John, our Saviour's great care for his Disciples at his parting with them. As they lacked no­thing whilst he was with them, as themselves [Page 256] on that question had confest; so then our Sa­viour, to strengthen their Faith in their De­pendence on him, he before had promised to be with them to the end of the World; and rather than they should want, our Saviour works a Miracle; but with the provision, he gives but one single Invitation, Come and dine; as if he would intimate, he had greater things to bestow on them, more than the Meat that perisheth, the Bread of eternal Life; and as they had freely received, so he would have them freely give. For which purpose our Sa­viour singles out Peter, not so much to mind him of a former unkindness, but more ear­nestly to engage his watchfull diligence for the future. Peter, (not as exclusive of the rest, but he as a representative of the rest,) our Saviour, instead of one Invitation to dine, adds a threefold Injunction, to feed his Sheep and his Lambs.

You have put your hand to God's Plough, good Mr. Ph. let not the flattery or fear of Men make you warp from the streight Rule of God's Word. You know the most and worst that they can doe, and with the same re­solution make the Apostles choice, Acts 20.24. He that will put the evil day from him, may soonest fall by the evil of the day; and instead of finding may loose this and eter­nal Life. The evil of Sin will produce much worse than present Sufferings.

If God call you forth as he did the Mar­tyrs with their Flood, to give testimony to the Truth, even those Sufferings they esteemed light for the Hope set before them, an Eter­nal Weight of Glory; at the greatest length, our Lives are not long in this Word. Death spares none, not the greatest Monarchs; a great Man is fallen in our Israel, our late Sovereign.

I have very valuable Thoughts of you; you will not despise small things, which gives me this Presumption. I know you have greater Motives from God's Exiting Grace in you to quicken you to, and assist you in your Master's Work than my narrow Scant­ling can afford; happy they that so do; they shall neither be ashamed nor affraid when their Rec­koning-day comes, of which happy number Lord grant you to be. I am, good Mr. Ph.

Your Assured, Well-wishing Friend, Elizabeth Walker.

I publish the following Letter, because I in­tend to give the Book to my plain Parishoners; most of whom stand upon the same Level, with him to whom it was written. Persons of higher Rank may pass it by, or give it to their plain Country Tenants.

I thought to have given an account how one of her Sister's Daughters came to be in so low a Condition, whose Father might have given every Child more than a Thousand Pound, had he continued the Diligence which he used for several Years, after his Marriage with her Sister, and the fair Portion he had with her; but as she was not ashamed of her Condition, no more am I; and, as things were, 'tis well she had an Aunt to assist her, to match with a sober, industrious Man, and their joint Stock enable them to manage a Farm of about Fifty Pounds a Year, on which they hitherto have, and I hope will continue to live com­fortably and contentedly.

Cousin Robert Glassock,

YOU have not a Friend that more truly desires your Welfare than my self, and shall be most affectionately glad of your well-being in this present World, but, I hope, I should much more rejoyce in your certain and assured Interest in a better Life; I desire you [Page 259] may obtain both of God, who is the giver of all good. I beseech you, that you may, to ap­ply your self to that direct Rule, and guidance of God's Word, which counsels you to seek the Kingdom of God, with his Righteousness, in the first place, and then you have the Promise of him that is both faithfull and able to perform his Word, That the things of this life shall be added unto you, as an additional to your future Happiness; to which, if you could gain the Wealth of the whole World, 'twould be but like picking up of Straws and Pebbles, com­pared to that Blessed Estate; for any thing in Exchange, he will make a bad Bargain that ventures the loss of his Soul. It was the say­ing of a good Man, that gave a right Judg­ment, That the whole Turkish Empire was but a Crust the Master of the House threw to the Dog: How then shall not God, the Lord of the whole Universe, provide for them of his own Family, that are Heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven? I request you let it appear to whom you belong, shew it by your Christian Pro­fession in the whole Course of your Life, to which your Baptism hath engaged you, with the Inscription of God's Law, which get writ with an indelible Character, by the Finger of his Spirit upon your Heart; by the use of God's Word you may acquaint your self in your Bible. There God gave his Command­ments [Page 260] in few and plain words, that the mean­est Capacity might understand and remember them. A great part of the Bible is an Expo­sition of them. You can read, it is your Mer­cy, improve that Talent to your Master's use. You cannot doe his Will, except you know it: Therefore, as God's Word directs you, so ob­serve to doe his Will, that you may have regard unto all his Commandments; in keeping of them there is great reward. Therefore mind the Precepts, and put them into practice; heed the threatnings against whom, and for what, that they may deterr and affright you from the way of Sin, that you may avoid the end of Punishment. Take notice of the Promises and value them as they are worth; make them yours by fervent and frequent Prayer, and fulfilling the Conditions of them. This I do earnestly request of you, and the same of your Wife, and that you will Pray together and a-part, that you may be Heirs together of eternal Life. Set up religious Worship in your little Family, the smalness of your Family will not excuse the neglect. God, as he doth re­quire it, he will regard; where there is but Two or Three, he hath promised to be with them. I beseech you do not deferr in any known Duty, least disuse give you more diffi­culty to future performance. Habitual Cu­stoms are most prevalent. But to quicken you [Page 261] to this Duty, consider for the default of it God's threatning, Jeremiah 10. the last. I pray you take that Counsel, 1 Chron. 28.9. Not to be so bad as others, is a step to a good Life. But he that goes no farther, will fall short of eter­nal Life. I have so good thoughts of you, your disposition is not to the Debaucheries and Vices of some; but negative Righteousness is not enough. With other religious Duties, I have already mentioned, I most earnestly press you to a strict Observation of the Lord's Day. San­ctifie God's Seventh Day, and he will Bless your Six Days Labour. It will also be a good Hedge, not onely to secure your eternal State, but all that God may bless you with in this World: See the two last Verses of the 58. Isa. Read the whole Chapter, it may be very pro­fitable to excite you; but, I beseech you, do not violate that Holy Rest, by unnecessary Em­ployments in worldly Affairs, nor spend that Day in Idleness or Sleeping, more than you would in the other Six Days. Do not sacri­legiously rob God of his Worship in any part of his Day, do not divert by vain talk, but give every proportion of time the Duties it requires. Be not like those that were weary of the Sab­both, Amos 8.5. See likewise Malachi 1st. and 3d. Mark the extent of the Fourth Com­mandment, it doth not only require Masters of Families, but reacheth all under their Charge; [Page 262] their care is required, as well for their Souls as their Bodies, or else there is no difference made of them from their Cattle; therefore you must by your inspection over them, and example, ex­cite them to their Duty to God and their Sal­vation, as well as your Service, giving them Instruction, Catechising; endeavouring their Reformation by restraints, reproofs, and en­couragements; for these neglects many Masters and Parents will have a sad account to give to God: Therefore, I beseech you, resolve, as you find for your Example, Joshua 24.15. For your encouragement to so good a work, read the last of Daniel the 3d. verse. So to doe, to your great comfort, will be a good Evidence you have chose that good part that shall never be taken from you. It is the whole Duty of Man to love God, and keep his Command­ments; it was that Test by which Christ would try his Disciples and Followers. He also saith, Why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not things I command you? On that Question asked our Saviour, Which was the great Com­mandment of the Law? you may find a brief Exposition and Account given, Matth. 22. from the 36 to the 40 verse. From thence observe how dependant the Second Table of the Com­mandments is on the First Table; in few words to help our forgetfulness, you are to have both sincere Love to God, and to Love your Neigh­bour [Page 263] as your self; the neglect of the first, oc­casions a breach of the second: If you break one Link of that golden Chain, you will vio­late the whole Chain. Mens Actions would be more just and regular, would they do as they would Men should do unto them. I have no bad Opinion of you, caution is no unkind­ness. To keep a good Conscience will afford you a continual Feast, a Feast affords more than bare necessity needs; for no good thing will God with-hold from them that walk up­rightly. The Just Man walks in his Integrity, by which he entails a Blessing on his Posterity; but by Unrighteousness Men gain to themselves, and leave a Curse to Succession: Our Saviour tells such, If they are not faithfull in the things of this World, they shall not have the true Riches. To be Just, affords great Serenity of Mind, it gives not only a good, but a quiet Conscience also, and what you have of this World you shall have it with God's Love as well as his leave; all this I press you to, cannot be understood to take you off from your Praise-worthy In­dustry in your secular Calling, nor to slacken your Hand from Labour, I would not bring you under that prohibition of the Apostle, you may find 2 Thes. the 3d. and the 10th. I know God hath said it, That in the sweat of the Brow Man shall eat Bread. Many Scri­ptures I could cite you for this purpose, but I [Page 264] know you need no prompt; I am satisfied and need not urge your diligent Care for a com­fortable subsistence in this World, of which if you have not the most, you have not the least; however it is the Blessing of God that maketh Rich, therefore when your Hand is on your Plough, let your Eye be up to Heaven, and if God should afford you that Blessing, where­with to give rather than to receive, be willing to relieve them that are in want, by which Charity you may gain Treasure in Heaven, and the greater Encrease on Earth. Read the 3d. verse of the 37th. Psalm, also 25. Matth. from the 32d. to the last verse of that Chapter, it is a very profitable excitation. Our Saviour in that Chapter quickens to a watchfull care and diligence for a Departure out of this World by the Parable of the ten Virgins, from which we have a caution from the foolish Virgins, not to deferr our preparations for another World, lest through sloath we be surprized, as they were, and the Door of everlasting Life shut against us, to our irrecoverable loss. Time is precious; that which is gone cannot be brought back; that which is to come can­not be assured ours; only that that is present, which quickly slips from us, is ours for our greatest work, the Salvation of our Souls, to which all other is but by-Business; for which purpose God hath intrusted us with several [Page 265] Gifts and opportunities, as so many Talents, to occupy with to our Master's use, till he come and call to a reckoning; then none shall be excusable. He that had but one, was call'd to an account with a heavy Doom, for not improving that▪ God hath, with other Bles­sings, bestowed on you a good Understanding, in your allowable worldly Affairs, and he will expect from you by the same measure, of which I think you have not the least given unto you; your Understanding, your Will, your Memo­ry, your Affections, all the Faculties of your Soul and Body, your Time, all that God in­trusts you with, are so many Talents or Instru­ments allowed you for to work with, which will be your own gain. God will reward your Labour of Love. He hath with his own Glory twisted your Interest, and to which also he will afford you his gracious assistance, if you seek it as it may be had in those ways I have already hinted unto you. God is not like the Aegyptian Task-masters to the Chil­dren of Israel, who required the full Tale of Brick, but would afford no Straw; God is not extream to mark what unwilling­ly is done amiss; you cannot go about your Indispensable Work too soon, many have too late, as the foolish Virgins did: Hell is paved with good purposes. In the Law the first ripe Fruits were required, and the Young [Page 266] without blemish must be brought to God in Sacrifice; do not give the World and its Va­nity the prime of your Strength, and Time, and put off God with the dregs of decrepid feeble Age; remember the youngest Disci­ple was the Beloved Disciple; be not asha­med to own your Master, wear his Live­ry in a Christian Profession and Practice of an unblameable Life, that you may not ei­ther be a shame to, or ashamed of Religion, lest he be ashamed of you when you would give all the World, if it were in your pur­chase, to be owned by him; he is great as well as good, and will not be mocked with a defective Sacrifice. See Malachi the first Chap­ter, and the eighth Verse. Do not care if wicked Men should scorn and reproach you; how inconsiderable will it be to you if you con­sider the recompence of Reward; see Matth. 5. the eleventh and twelfth Verses, and do not take up Religion as an uneasie Task; you have not only a good Master, but his Work is so; Christ's Yoak is easie, it will not gaul, as Sin will the Conscience. I request you read with good observation the 119th Psalm, and see there what vallue the Psalmist had for God's Commandments, his Word, his Precepts, his Statutes, his Testimonies, his Laws, which you may find frequently mentioned in that Psalm. He saith, That the Law of God's Mouth [Page 267] was better unto him than thousands of Gold and Silver, and that he counted it in all things to be right; therefore he took God's Testimonies as an Heritage for ever, and a place of Defence. God is called a Refuge, a hiding-place, a strong Tower; but for whom? the Righteous, they run unto it and are safe; great Peace have they that love God's Law, and nothing shall of­fend them: the direction of God's Word will not only be your safety in troublesome times, but your Counsellor also in common Ca­lamities; and you may, as Luther used, read the 46 Psalm, and bid your Enemies doe their worst; if God give them leave to kill the Bo­dy, it is the most, they can doe no more; if you are not on Earth you may be in Heaven; be not affraid of a Man that shall dye, but take our Saviour's Counsel, fear him that can cast Soul and Body into Hell; seek Righte­ousness, it may be you shall be hid in the Day of the Lord's fierce Anger, which we have cause to fear is hastning to this sinfull Nation. God's Law writ on your Heart and Life may be as the Scarlet Thread that was bound in the Window of Rahab's House, which preserved her from Destruction; or as the Blood of the Paschal Lamb, which marked the Houses of the Children of Israel, that the destroying Angel touched not their Dwellings with a­ny of the Plagues of Egypt; however, for [Page 268] your greatest safety, take heed and avoid any indirect or unlawfull means to obtain or pre­serve a Momentary Life, which is as uncer­tain as short, and so provoke God to lead you forth with the workers of Iniquity, and so your Redemption may cease for ever, and then a great Ransome cannot recover you; therefore at any rate purchase the Truth, and fell it not, to which choice the Lord grant you Wisdom, and Preserve you, both by his Grace under his Protection unto his Heavenly King­dom, giving you the Blessings of this Life also, and prepare you both for that good Life to come, that when this shall be no more, he may receive you with that happy Saying, Well done; and reward you with Eternal Glory.

I am sensible of the length of my Letter, but hope it will not be tedious to you; some­thing more I would say, though of a much less Concern, but as a true Friend I would not omit any thing that might render me so, but would caution you with better Argu­ments than mine, you may have from unde­niable Wisdom which is not to be despised, and warn you of what some have smarted for, being Sureties for other Men. I would sooner pay a Debt than be bound for any. See Prov. 6.1, 2. Also Chap. 11.15. the same Author tells you, That he that hateth Surety­ship [Page 269] is sure on these Considerations. I request you, you will not be in Bonds to any but to me, by Promise that you will never be Bound for any Man.

In all I have requested of you, if you have not from your self or some other Friend bet­ter Advice, let this Letter be my Substitute, review it sometimes, and afford it a kind Reception of Friendship from me, who am your well-wishing Friend, ready in any Kind­ness to express my self,

Your truly Loving Aunt, Elizabeth Walker.

A Letter of prudent, pious Counsels, writ­ten to her dear Grand-child, then at Felsted-School, about two Months be­fore she Dyed,

which I publish to pre­serve it for his use; and because I hope it may be also usefull to some other Youths of the like Age, and Quality. This was the last large Letter she ever wrote.

Dear Johnny,

I Have some time since received a Letter from Mrs. Bribrist, much to my Satis­faction, and I hope is thy due Commendation, she hath been pleased to give me of thee; do not forfeit the same by neglect to perform, in thy commendable good Behaviour as hitherto; but always render suitable to any good thoughts of thee from herself or others; and as helps thereto, be guided by the advice and counsel of thy Friends. Never forget thy Dear Grand­father's oft Counsels when thou wast at home, and since in several good Letters, with them make good use of this also.

Dear Johnny, I would not be wanting to thee as far as I am able to express. I advise in these following Counsels: Be modest, hum­ble, and obedient to thy Governours and Su­periours [Page 271] in that Place; be always advised by them that are able, and wish thee well; it is better, more ease and safety, to be governed than to govern. Lean not to thine own Ʋnder­standing. The Wise Man saith, Seest thou a Man Wise in his own Eyes, there is more hope of a Fool than of him. Dear Johnny, Thou art not destitute of good Friends where thou art, ready to shew thee Kindness; thy Master Glascock, of whom be very respective and ob­servant, performing all Exercises he gives thee, as may be Praise-worthy; also Mrs. Woodroof, Mrs. Boteler, they are thine and our kind Friends, I do not exclude Mrs. Robarts.

Dear Johnny, Let none have cause with shame for, or of thee, to retract their Com­mendations of thee; make the Word of God the Rule of thy Life; let it be thy chief Coun­sellor; let thy Reputation have a good Bot­tom, an honest Heart, free from guile and hy­pocrisie, being founded on the Scriptures, fix­ed on the the Rock of Ages, Christ Jesus, that by the winds of Worldly Prosperity, Ho­nour, or Applause, it may never overturn; neither by Adversity, Affliction, or any trou­ble thou mayest fall into.

Dear Johnny, All things but God are mu­table and full of change, there is the day of Adversity as well as Prosperity; God hath set the one over against the other; make sure [Page 272] thy best and unalterable Estate, in which will be no change nor alteration, but happy once and for ever, to that higher End make thy Learning, and all other things, subservient. Improve all opportunities for thy well-being in this World, but most for thy Spiritual best Advantage; give all dilligence, attend at Wis­dom's Posts; Wisdom is the principal thing, its Price is far above Rubies, fine Gold can­not equal it, nothing can be compared to it; search for it as for hid Treasure in the ho­ly Scriptures, there thou mayest find the Pearl of so great Price that the World cannot purchase it, and it is worth the selling all to have it. Let not this Price, be put into thy Hand, and thou have no Heart to it; but let it be said of thee as St. Paul said of Timothy, That from a Child he had known the Holy Scriptures; they will make thee Wise unto Salvation, and will help thee in all Relative Duties, in well discharging of which, consists much of the Power and Honour of Reli­gion.

Mind the Precepts; let them be the guide of all thy Thoughts, and Words, and Acti­ons; doe all God's Commandments, in keep­ing of them there is great Reward.

Take notice of all the Threatnings, that thou mayest avoid the evil of Sin, and the Punishment due to the Commission of it: [Page 273] Heed the Promises, they are full of the Love of God in Christ; let them constrain thee to a circumspect, watchfull, holy Life, in per­forming the conditions of them. Dear John­ny, get God's Just and Righteous Law writ upon the two Tables of thy Heart and Pra­ctice, with his own Finger, the Holy Spirit, that thou mayst receive the Truth in the Love of it, being renewed in the spirit of thy mind. He that is in Christ is a new Creature; and he that hath not the Spirit of Christ, is none of his. It is the one thing necessary to serve God, and save thy Soul, chuse that good part that may never be taken from thee.

Dear Johnny, Let no day pass, if in health, without reading the Scriptures, one or two Chapters in the Old-Testament, the like in the New-Testament, read with intention of Mind, and so hear the good Word of God in publick; and as God hath commanded, keep Holy the Sabbath-Day, do not violate that Holy Rest with Play, Recreation, vain Talk, Sleep, or Idleness, or omitting any Duty it requires. Eat moderately, that Fumes from a full Stomach may not cloud thy Intellectual Performances; withdraw from that Com­pany, and those Objects which may hinder thee from thinking on the Sermons, or any other Religious Duty; in them exercise thy self, and if God ever give thee opportunity, [Page 274] be helpfull unto others in the like, for their Spiritual Advantage, that all within thy Pow­er may serve the Lord; hearing the good Word of God, reading it; Meditation, Pray­er, and Praises to God are the Duties of the Sabbath-Day; spend no part of that in Visi­ting, except to the Sick and Afflicted, and allow it not to be done to thee by others; sequester thy self from them, and all World­ly Discourse, but endeavour to keep that one Day in seven, like the Angels and Saints in Heaven, who serve and do not cease. The Se­venth Day is God's Tribute out of the Week; he hath allowed thee Six for thy secular Con­cerns, out of them bring thy free-will Offer­ing, sometime for thy Spiritual Advantage, for which the Sabbath affords much, and up­on the due observation of it, is assured from God to his People, a communication not on­ly of Spiritual Blessings, but of Temporal Blessings also. Read the latter part of Isa. 58. Let no part of the Sabbath day slip without some Improvement for thy best concern, for which also, every day must be accounted for.

The Sabbath is an Hedge and Fence to all Religion, if that be broken down, there will enter all disorders of Life which Men are prone to; to prevent which, God seems to guard the fourth Commandment with the Authority of the three foregoing, placing it [Page 275] in the midst, and the fifth Commandment next on the other side, bearing the Sword of the Civil Magistrate; and by God's own appoint­ment, Numb. 15.35. Moses caused the Man gathering Sticks on the Sabbath-Day, to be put to Death. Dear Johnny, be affraid of the Powers, though Men be remiss to punish the Breakers of God's Laws, yet himself bear­eth not the Sword in vain. Do not gather the Sticks of a mis-spent Sabbath, a Day, on which God hath set a special Remark, a Remember, to keep it Holy; the great neglect and contempt of this Duty, makes it more necessary to be prest more earnestly.

Keep all God's Commandments, to break one link of the Ten violates the whole Chain, Jam. 2.10. Keep it intire, have respect to all God's Precepts in the latitude of them, do not wander from them in the by-paths of a sinfull Life, they are better than thousands of Gold and Silver; they were of such a concern to David, that he begs of God an Holy Com­pulsion; make me to know thy Precepts, Sta­tutes and Commandments. And Moses useth this Excitation to the Children of Israel for their observing God's Law. Thou shalt keep the Commandments of the Lord thy God, for they are for thy good, Deut. 10.13. and 11.18. Therefore shalt thou lay them up in thy Heart, and in thy Soul, and doe and teach [Page 276] them. Dear Johnny, this doe thy self, and as far as it may be in thy Power, excite others in the same Duty, that thou and they, with Joshua's Resolution, may serve the Lord, Jos. 24.15. Own God in this World as thou wouldst have him own thee hereafter. Some glory in their Shame; be not thou ashamed of thy Glory, be not ashamed of the Profession of Religion: Christ hath said, He that is asha­med of me before Men, of him will I be asha­med before my Father and his Holy Angels.

Dear Johnny, God hath been very good to thee, thou hast lacked nothing good for thee, but God hath provided well for thee; do not ill requite the Lord by the neglect of any known Duty, or doing any thing contrary to the Law of God. Sin is a very ungrateful thing; do not provoke him to withdraw his Lo­ving Kindness from thee for Soul or Body. Woe if God depart. What is said of a Tale-bearer? That he separates near Friends; the same will Sin do, if not watched against; it will sepa­rate between God and thy Soul, and will bring an Evil Report to God with worse Ef­fect than Joseph of his Brethren to their Fa­ther, and will be of worse Consequence than stripping Joseph of his Coat, not only the external Blessings of this Life, but it will deprive thee of all Internal Comforts, God's favourable Countenance, which is better than [Page 277] Life, and exclude from his Comfortable Pre­sence for ever. Sin put the Flaming Sword into the Angel's Hand to debarr our first Pa­rents from the Tree of Life; divested and stripped them, and all their Posterity, of their Original Righteousness, and left them and their sinfull Off-spring naked, exposed to all the Af­flictions and Miseries of this Life, and under God's Displeasure, to their Eternal Ruine, had not Free Grace recovered that lapsed Estate; Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ.

Dear Johnny, That thou mayest know that thou art one of those whom he so loved, ma­nifest thy Love to him by that Test that Christ put to his Disciples; If ye love me keep my Commandments. Love is a reflective Act; if thou lovest God according to this Discrimination, thou mayest know that he lo­veth thee, and gave himself for thee, and hath chosen thee one of his peculiar People, zealous of good Works; therefore if Sinners intice thee, consent thou not; go not with them, lest thou learn their ways and get a blot unto thy Soul. Let God's Law be the prohibition of every Evil Way; set it with its drawn Sword against all Irregularities of Life, that it may be unto thee as the Angel in Paradise, to defend in thee the Tree of Life, that no ill Practice, with the evil Consequences of it, may touch thee.

Dear Johnny, Shew thy Love to God by thy Love to his People, and poor Members of Christ. Christ saith, Hereby shall Men know that ye are my Disciples, that ye love one another. God requires the duties of the se­cond Table of the Law as well as the first, and Christ gives a concise and full account of both; he being asked which was the first and great Commandment? saith, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart with all thy Mind, with all thy Soul, and with all thy Strength; the second is like the first, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self. On this brief Account Christ put so great a stress, he said, On these hang all the Law and the Prophets. And St. James saith 28. If ye fulfill the Royal Law, according to the Scriptures, thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self; which God requires not in Word only, but in Deed also, relieving their Necessities; if any be na­ked or destitute of daily Food, to feed and cloath them; to say depart in Peace, and give them not those things needfull to the Body, it will not profit; therefore with-hold not good from them to whom it is due, if it be in the Power of thy Hand to doe it; it is a more blessed thing to give than to receive. He that gives to the Poor shall not lack, but he that hideth his Eyes shall have many a Curse. Do not say I have but little now to give, but I will give hereaf­ter; [Page 279] remember the poor Woman's Mite was more in Christ's Esteem than those who had of their abundance cast into the Treasury.

Dear Johnny, It may be something might be spared from unnecessary Expence, buying Fruit, or the like, of which too much may be prejudicial to thy Health, and may be laid out to a better account. Do not give grudg­ingly, by constraint, lest it be as the Lame or Blind, which was not to be brought to God; like Cain's Sacrifice which he brought with an un­willing mind, not acceptable to God: Let the ob­ject stir up thy Compassion that thou mayst not give too sparingly; God loves a chearfull giver.

Dear Johnny, He that gives to the Poor lends to the Lord; he that makes all Grace to abound will repay thee in temporal and spiritual Bles­sings, good Measure, shaken, and pressed together, and running over, shall be given to thee; God hath given many Promises to the Charitable: to hint but a few, The Lord will deliver him in time of Trouble, and will not deliver him to the Will of his Enemies. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he shall be Blessed upon the Earth. The Lord will strengthen him up­on the Bed of Languishing; he will make all his Bed in his Sickness, Psal. 41. For thy Encou­ragement read Isaiah 58. Yield Obedience to God's Command. He hath said, Deut. 7. If there be among you a poor Man, thou shalt not har­den [Page 280] thy Heart, not shut thy Hand against thy poor Brother; thou shalt shurely give unto him, and thy Heart shall not be grieved when thou gi­vest unto him; but thou shalt open thy Hand wide unto thy poor, and to thy needy; for, for this thing shall the Lord bless thee in all thou puttest thy Hand unto.

Dear Johnny, Thou art also bound by an obligatory Promise to thy Grandfather and to me; we have sometimes given thee Money for this Purpose, to inure thee betimes to be Cha­ritable, that something of it thou mightest give unto the Poor, as thou hast promised, a Penny in every Shilling, it is but a little; do not withold that, lest it become an accursed thing to thee, like Achan's wedge of Gold, at the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. This duty of Charity, in right performance of it, will be a distinguishing Character of those who shall stand at Christ's Right-hand from those who shall stand at his Left-hand, whose Hands were as strait as their Hearts were hard; they would have no Pity on the Poor, therefore they shall find none. But Christ will say unto them, Depart, ye Cursed, into Everlast­ing Fire, prepared for the Devil and his An­gels, with that Infernal Company.

But those at Christ's right-hand, which fed the hungry, cloathed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned, which Christ will take as done [Page 281] unto himself, he will reward with the Kingdom of Heaven. Dear Johnny, Make thee friends of the Mammon of this World, that when this Life fails, thou mayst be received into everlasting Habitations.

Dear Johnny, As God may bless thee with the things of this World, let not thy little at present be the measure of greater plenty; He that sows sparingly, shall reap spearingly; but he that sows bountifully, shall reap bountifully, not only in this Life, but in that to come. There are degrees of Glory in Heaven, the better here, the happier hereafter, though not of merit, but of Grace. God will pass by the Imperfections of his People, which cleave to their best performance.

Dear Johnny, With other religious Duties, continue thy custom of private Prayer, at least twice a day, Morning and Evening, besides publick and family Prayer. Ejaculatory Prayer is also of great Benefit; it is short, but holy De­sires, lifting up thy heart to God: Let them be thy last thoughts before sleep, that God may give thee, as his Beloved, sleep; the like as soon as thou wakest in the Morning, before more solemn Prayer, and with both render him Praise for the Mercy thou liest down in peace, and risest in safety, always under God's Pro­tection. These holy Desires may be oft sent to Heaven, and bring thee Blessings the World [Page 281] cannot give, and will defend thee from the Sin and Vanity of it, keeping thy heart in a good frame; they may be as the Angels ascending and descending upon Jacob's Ladder, where God is above it, ready to receive thee, that thy return to secular Employment may be sanctified and blest; that God may, by thy holy wrestlings with him, as he did Jacob, bless thee in thy way to Canaan, and New Jerusalem above: And in thy more lengthened Prayer, with thy own necessities, and receipts from God, re­member the Church and People of God, as need requires, with Prayers and Praises. Go to God with filial Fear, and holy Reverence of Body and Mind. God is in Heaven by his Greatness, Superiority, and Majesty; thou on Earth in Weakness and Indigency. Bring thy wants to his all-sufficient Fullness, and im­mense Goodness, ready, able, willing to supply all thy Necessities; beg thee pardon of thy Sins, and what thou needest, for the sake, merits, and ever-prevaling Intercession of Jesus Christ. Ask, that thou mayst receive his holy Spirit, as the Seal of his Love to thee. With the imputed Righteousness of Christ, reconciling thee to God. Beg that thou mayst also have an inhe­rent Righteousness from him, renewing thee in the Spirit of thy Mind, into his Image, that thou mayst become one with him, his Law being writ on thy Heart, that he may guide [Page 282] thee by his Counsel in this troublesome World, that no temptation may be above thy strength. These things ask, with thy daily Bread, which implies the supply of all the necessities of hu­mane Nature, and be not desirous of more than God sees good for thee; and for all the Receipts, for Soul and Body, be thankfull; forget not to render Praises to God, for what he bestows on thy self, and others.

Forget not Zion; pray for the peace of Je­rusalem, they shall prosper that love her. Pray for the Conversion of Enemies, that the Kingdom of Satan may fall, and the Kingdom of Christ be exalted, that the Gospel may con­tinue where it is, and sent where it is not, and received in the Love of it through the World. Pray for all afflicted, as their case requires, and with thy Prayers and Praises, give thanks to God, for the prime Fountain of all his Mercies, Christ Jesus.

In particular, thou mayst mention at the Throne of Grace, what Christ hath done and suffered for humble contrite Sinners. Labour and beg for such a frame of Spirit, such God not despise.

Express thy thankfulness for what Christ hath instituted and ordained in his Church, for the Benefit and good of his People. Thou mayst in particular express, with Prayers and Praises, That all may be applicatory to [Page 284] thy self. These are short hints, thou mayst enlarge, God giving thee his Spirit of Grace and Supplication.

Let not vain Thoughts mingle with religi­ous Duties; beware of those wandring Va­grants; do not take such Company with thee, when thou drawest near to God, in any Re­ligious performance; lest it be like offering strange fire, provoke God rather to consume than bless thee; but keep off those busie Flies, they may not corrupt thy Sacrifice. Say to all di­sturbing Thoughts as Abraham said to his Ser­vants, when he went to the Mount to Sacri­fice, Stay you here below, till I go to Worship God. Fervent Prayer is very prevalent with God; of it may be said what is said of Faith, which is a justifying Grace, without which it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Good works are the Life of Faith, being well performed for matter and manner; without which Faith is Dead, and God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; as the body with­out the spirit is dead, so without works faith is dead also; St. James 2. The great things a lively Faith hath done, fervent Prayer hath done the same. The little Book I sent thee, was thy dear Mother's, it is a good Discourse of Prayer. Dear Johnny, let thy Prayers and Praises, with [Page 285] the sweet Incense of thy Love to God be of­fered to him on the golden Altar of an humble and sincere Heart, in the mediation of Jesus Christ; and put no religious Duty off with that foolish, idle Excuse, I have not time, lest thou, as the foolish Virgins were, be unfur­nish'd of Oil for the Lamp of thy Christian Pro­fession; and for thy neglect, shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven.

If Time for Play, Recreation, Eating, Slee­ping, or the like, a due proportion of Time may be gained from them for thy best, there­fore thy most concern, those indispensable Du­ties, on which thy eternal welfare so much de­pends; the neglect of them may be thy ine­vitable Ruine in this Life, and that to come; for Godliness hath the promise of both: There­fore seek the Kingdom of Heaven in the first place, and the things of this present Life shall be added to thee, as may be good for thee.

The things of this World compared to God and Heaven are but Straws and Pibbles. St. Paul calls them dross; and Luther said, The whole Turkish Empire is but a Crust God throws to the Dog. God hath provided better things for those that love and seek him. In this world is our preparatory Life for our future Estate. I have oft said to thee, That all Men are about this great Business, but in a different way to a different end. Good Men prepare for Heaven, [Page 286] and Wicked Men prepare for Hell; therefore avoid the broad-way of a sinfull Life which leads to Destruction, chuse that way which, compa­ratively, few find, the way of an holy Life; the end of which, is Peace, which the World can­not give.

Dear Johnny, Do not deferr thy great con­cern, to serve God and save thy Soul, more worth than Ten thousand Worlds. Many much younger than thee have set about this great work. Thou hast oft read Mr. Smythies's Book of the Benefit of early Piety; also thou hast had a civil and religious Education, and many more Prayers than thou art Days old.

Thy dear Grandfather's Care, Counsel and Prayers; mine have not been wanting, as far as able to perform, in my care and love of thee; let them not condemn thee, but labour to answer the end of them, that thou mayst not disappoint God and us, to thy own detri­ment and loss. Dear Johnny, where much is given, the more will be required; Time is pre­cious, use all lawfull Industry and Diligence for thy well being in this World, and make all subservient for a better to come. Thou knowest not how long God may continue thy Friends to thee, (She was not continued three Months;) nay, thy own Life is uncertain; all things in this World are so, and there is no retrieving an Errour on the other side of [Page 287] Death. Do not procrastinate, take the wise Man's Counsel, what thy hand findeth to doe, doe it with all thy might, which inferrs speed and diligence, for the obtaining inter­nal and external Blessings. Deferring made St. Augusting cry out, Too late, too late, Lord, did I love thee.

Dear Johnny, Do not put God off with a decrepid Love, and the chill Spirits of old age, and bodily Infirmity, by which the operative Faculties of thy Soul, through the organical Powers of the Body, may be obstructed with defect, and impeded with the ill Habits and Customs of Sin. Avoid this Danger, give to God the vigour and strength of thy Life; let it be without blemish. By God's appointment, the young was brought to him in Sacrifice. Do thou as Righteous Abel; give to God thy first­lings, thy first Love, and suffer no Rival or Competitour with it; it was the Test Christ put to his Disciples, If ye love me, keep my Commandments. Dear Johnny, I used to mind thee, St. John, thy own name, let him be thy Example in thy Love to God; he was the youngest Disciple, most eminent in Christ's Love. He was called the Disciple whom Jesus loved.

Dear Johnny, Be not taken with the Gauds and Vanities of this World, in any of the pro­fers of it; they will bite like an Adder, and [Page 288] sting like a Serpent, if they draw thy Heart from God. Be not deceived by them, they will put a lye in thy right-hand, promising more than they can give. Be not affected with vain Glory, it is but a Puff of breath, soon exhaled, and will vanish from thee: Yea, so are all the things of this World, for the duration of them.

Remember thy Baptismal Covenant with God, thou didst promise to forsake the Pomps and Vanities of this World, the Devil and all his Works, and sinfull Appetites to them. I was a Witness to this Engagement, and one of thy Sureties. Dear Johnny, let thy Baptismal Vow, through Grace, preserve thy Morals untainted. Let none be corrupted by thy ill Example, and be not thou infected by the evil manners of others.

Speak no obscene or scurrilous Language, and abhor the Company of those that doe so; Evil Communication corrupts good Manners. If thou commit an Errour, do not hide it with that, that is more base. Truth is a generous thing, and will better cover a mistake, than that that is contrary to it. Keep thy heart with all keepings; out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, the product of which are evil Words and Actions. Dear Johnny, fear to be one of that number which did not like to retain God in their Knowledge; and God gave them up to their [Page 289] own Lusts to be filled with all Ʋnrighteousness; Covenant-breakers, Thieves, Adulterers, Drun­kards, Lyars, Covetous, Ʋnmercifull, &c. From these and all Soul-wasting Sins let thy Baptis­mal Engagement preserve thee; for they that doe such things shall not inherit the King­dom of Heaven. Dear Johnny, keep thy way and Life clean, by taking heed thereto according to the Word of God, and thy Promise in Bap­tism.

Be very humble, better it is to be of an humble Spirit with the lowly, than to divide the Spoil with the Proud. Prov. 16.19. By Humility and the Fear of the Lord is Wis­dom. Do not intrude into unknown Com­pany, nor meddle with that thou needest not be concerned in; it may be of ill con­sequence. The Wise Man saith, He that pas­seth by and meddleth with Strife not belonging to him, is like one that taketh a Dog by the Ears, Prov. 26. which he may sooner doe, than extricate himself from the following Evil.

Dear Johnny, I do farther advise thee with remote Counsel, which at present may not concern thee, but hereafter may be usefull to thee; I may quickly be incapa­citated by Death, and write no more, nor advise thee. Therefore be not thou one of them that strike Hands, or of them that are Sure­ties [Page 290] for debts, Prov. 11.15. If thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast striken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth: thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend; but he that hateth suretiship is sure. And the wise Man farther adviseth therefore, De­liver thy self as the bird from the fowler. And my request is, that thou never wilt be in Bonds for, or to any, but to me by promise, that thou never wilt be bound to, or for any Man, on no account whatsoever.

Dear Johnny, If God be pleas'd to continue thee sometime in this World, and bestow on thee this World's goods, use them wisely. Do not abuse them by profuse, expensive, prodi­gality; make not God's Bounty instrumental to his Dishonour, nor Fuel to feed any Lusts, lest what Divine Mercy gave thee for thy good, become to thee a trap, and occasion of falling. On the other extream, avoid sordid living and covetousness, which God abhorreth, and hath branded with the mark of all Evil. The brutish Prodigal came to eat Husks with Swine, and the other may as bad. There is that with-holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth only to penury; as Self-murther is the least excusa­ble, because most unnatural, so Self-robbers are the severeliest punished, being daily their own Executioners.

Whatever Talent God may intrust thee with, Health, Riches, Honour, worldly Prosperity, Wisdom, L [...]rning, improve all for God, thy own best Advantage, and the good of o­thers.

Dear Johnny, Let all thy Deportment be with Wisdom, flashy wit is the froth of somewhat called Wisdom.

In all things, so far as may consist with thy best part, and well-being in this World, render thy self desirable to humane Society; take no­tice of any Civility shew'd thee, with suitable returns of Friendship; be courteous, kind, affable, of courteous and obliging behaviour. a morose churlish Humour is like Nabal, of no better esteem than a Son of Belial.

Dear Johnny, Doe nothing that looks despi­cably, childish, foolish, pidling with thy fin­gers, picking thy buttons, going with thy hands in thy pockets, or the like. I pray thee do none of these unbecoming actions. I love to see thee Gentile; keep thy Hands and Clothes clean; think of what I have sometimes said to thee, All cleanly people are not good, but there are few good people but are cleanly. I do not strictly place Religion in external accom­plishments, but that that is decent, is not only allowable, but commanded. Our Bodies are the Temples of the Holy Ghost, therefore due honour is to be given to them, without Pride or Ex­cess. [Page 292] In time of the Old Law, all outward Impurity was to be avoided. God commanded, by Moses, the Children of Israel not to touch any uncleanness, nor suffer their Camps to be defiled therewith, but to cleanse it away; and not to have performed those Duties in externals, would have brought them under greater defilements by Disobedience to God's Commands. In the new-Testament St. Paul writes to the Philip­pians 4.8. of both external and internal Purity; Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, (thou mayst read in the Margin, or revenerable) if there be any vertue, if there be any praise, think on these things.

I would have thee always wear Gloves, but when it is not convenient; gratifie my Desire, I am willing to bestow them on thee, they will not hinder thy Writing if the Fingers be short or cut. Dear Johnny, Thou shalt not want them or any thing else thy Dear Grandfather, or my self can help thee to, good for thee, conditionally thou wilt not dis-oblige us. Sit, stand, and go upright that thou mayest not grow a-wry, or full Shoul­dred; it will trouble me much to see thee Crooked.

Dear Johnny, One thing more of concern I mind thee of, in which I much desire thy [Page 293] Care, Pronunciation, in which a Deficiency may be injurious to thee, when thou canst less help it than now thou mayest by thy sea­sonable Care. Endeavour to speak plain, clear and true, pronounce the last Syllable di­stinctly (and do not drown it) of any Word; English requires it, and so may Latin and o­ther Languages as much; an Oratour to which thou art designed, should speak good Sense, Rhetorick, and Intelligibly. Get no ill affected tone in Speech, and be not over talka­tive. The Wise Man saith, The talk of the Lips tends only to Penury, and in the multitude of Words there wanteth not Sin, but he that refraineth his Lips is Wise; indeed Words with Wisdom fitly spoken, are like Apples of Gold, in Pictures of Silver. Dear Johnny, I desire thy accomplishments as may render thee lovely to Men, but more to God. Let this latter part of my Letter be observed, but especially the former, and foregoing part of it, and let not the length of either be tedious unto thee; an idle Discourse, though much longer, may be pleasant to an ill Mind, but I have better thoughts of thee. I know nothing I have writ, my Love to thee might have spared; thou hast had several good Letters from thy Dear Grandfather, therefore the less need of this; but with his, I desire that this may be usefull to thee when neither [Page 294] he nor I can write or advise thee; all things in this Life are uncertain, Life is so. The World passeth away and the things of it, but he that doth the Will of God shall abide for ever. All things on this side Eternity are on the wing of Time, they hasten away to their fixed Estate. Dear Johnny, Time is precious, let it not be ill spent, but improved for thy well-being in this World, but let all tend to attain and secure thy Eternal Happiness, which hath great de­pendance on thy manner of Living in this World, and there is no retrieving an Errour on the other side of Death, in time is thy time; that that is past cannot be recalled; that to come cannot be assured; that present is onely thine, and will not tarry; let it not unprofitably slide from thee. Acknowledge God in all thy ways, and he will guide thy Path that none of thy steps shall slide; and when God takes thy Earthly Parents and Friends from thee, thy Heavenly Father will take care of thee. Therefore Dear Johnny, acquaint thy self with God, and serve him with a perfect Heart, and with a willing Mind, for the Lord searcheth all Hearts, and understands all the Imaginations of the Thoughts; if thou seekest him he will be found of thee, but if thou forsakest him, he will cast thee off for ever, 1 Chron. 28.9.

This Scripture thy Dear Grandfather hath oft minded thee of, I do the same; let mine, [Page 295] with his Counsels, and the Word of God, be to thee as a threefold Cord, not to be broken, but let them bind thy Obedience to God's Righteous Law; there will be no greater joy to thy Dear Grandfather and my self than to see thee walking in the Truth. Dear Johnny, It is my earnest Request that God will direct, guide, counsel and conduct thee in, and through this troublesome sinfull World, Sin hath made it so. The Good Lord give thee his preventing Grace, bless thee with Spiritual and Tempo­ral Blessings, and when God will take thee out of this World, receive thee to those Coele­stial Habititions in Eternal Mansions of Glory prepared for them that love him, and keep his Commandments; of which happy number I beg God will make thee, after length of Days in this Life, preparatory for the fuller frui­tion and enjoyment of God, and of thy dearest Frinds, with all the for-ever Blessed Saints and Angels in that unchangeable Blessed E­sta [...]e in Heaven, which make sure of.

Dear Johnny, This is my request to thee, a [...]d Prayer to God for thee, I am,

Thy truly Loving, and very Affectionate Grand-mother, Elizabeth Walker.

I shall add no more of her Pious Papers, nor give any farther Character of her Person, or exemplary Life; than the Book presents, sup­posing nothing can leave a more savoury relish on the Godly Wise, or be fitter to conclude such a Work, which is designed to render them so who read it, than this plain, but prudent, honest Letter, written so providentially, so im­mediately before her Death, that it may be cal­led her last, or dying Words, which usually leave the deepest and most lasting Impressions, and that with so strong and endearing tender Af­fections, with so undisguised and native Sim­plicity, without Art or pretence to Learning, or any other acquired Abilities than wise obser­vation, and an Holy Heart; and as it performs more than could be expected from the Writer, I humbly beseech God it may effect ever be­yond what might be ordinarily hoped for in the young Reader, especially the dear Child to, and for whom she wrote it. Amen, Amen.

FINIS.

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