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other. Riches, and honours, as tempting as tlrey appear to the greatest votaries when well, yet in sickness, if they are accompanied with their usual train of visiters, instead of doing us good by gratifying our ambition, they help to foment the disorder, without ever producing a cure.

As crowned heads are no more exempt from the sword of the destroying angel, than the poorest beggars, how little ought we to value grandeur, which can give us no assistance in our extremities. A down będ is not a better in. surer of sleep in such a case, than a heap of straw; and a king that groans under the agonies of an incurable disease, is soon made sensible that it takes its commission from a higher power than his.

Sickness multiplies all our grievances; and the weakness of the body has such an effect upon the mind, that it sinks under those troubles that would not move it at another time; but our judgment decaying with us, we shall 100 soon find its place occupied by wild chimeras of our own fancy, and startle every moment at giants of our own invention; every hasty word affrights, and every whisper gives us an alarm; nay, sometimes we are so unjust as to charge our best friends with want of love and respect, when they have toiled about us, to a degree that we cannot mention without blushing at our own ingratitude; and when the want of ability to help ourselves, forces us to become burdensome to others, instead of excusing the trouble, we are too apt to increase their uneasiness by continual fretting: This is the common method which the sick use to afflict and confuse the brain.• Mourning over our misery is indeed so very natural, that of ourselves we cannot forbear it, though we know it leads us to doubt of the goodness of that God, whose mercies are daily new unto us.

Adisturbed conscience iscertainlythe worstcircumstance thatcan befalla sick person, and I heartily beg of God to keep you, and all others, from falling into it; that we may never have the least distrust of our salvation through Jesus Christ, nor presume groundlessly upon his merits, without lamenting and forsaking our sins. But your life hitherto has been so strictly pious, that I do not in the least apprehend you want a suinmons from-me to look up to him who is the author and finisher of your faith, and to call on him in all your distresses. But it is with the greatest pleasure I hear of your unfeigned devotion, even in the midst of your severe afflictions, and that you have retained your usual sincerity of mind, under all your grievous tortures, without repining at the will of your heavenly Father, who has so ordered that the road to Canaan should be through the wilderness.

All this sedate frame of yours being considered, it may seem impertinent in me to trouble you, but I have been insensibly led into it from the remembrance of unhappy events to which I was lately witness; I mean some who instead of submitting patiently to the hand of God, were so totally lost to all sense of duty, as to call the Almighty unjust. I hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing you, andam,

Your sincere friend.

LETTER CXXXVIII. From a lady to her friend, who had buried her husband.

My dear friend, IMPUTE not my silence to any want, but the excess of

kindness which makes me too much a partner in your sorrow, to find words at all suitable to the share I hare with you in it. If, therefore, I am, the last in condoling, I do most faithfully assure you, that it is not insensibility, but the highest degree of love and tenderness that occasionit. The grief that is least iş soonest expressed, and perhaps the morenoise it makes, the less mischief is sustained by it. Had I been unconcerned, my thoughts and pen might have been more free, though I could not have said any thing sufficient to stem so violent á tide as your just lamentations. I might have of fered some poor reasons against other women's afflicting themselves so much, which I should be ashamed to mention to you, having been a witness how far your husband's love and merits excelled the best of men lever met with; and I am so sensible of your reciprocal affection, that I know the power of God only can support you under such a separation, which I believe was more terrible than death itself. But, my dear friend, your sorrow is not as one without hope. Use your ulmost endeavours 10 submit to the hand of ihe Almighty, with as much resignation in this as you did in your own distemper, though that only assaulted your body while this pierces your heari. You must remember, that it was the same merciful God that gave you him, who has now taken him to himself; and in the midst of your afflic

tions, bless God for sparing you so long for the sake of your children. I hope you will consider that this parting is to his inexpressible advantage, and has removed him from a transitory and imperfect, to an everlasting happiness, whither, I doubt not, you are daily preparing to follow him ; and since it has pleased God to deny you the further assistance of such an example and counsellor, he will abundantly recompense that loss, by a greater measure of his grace, to carry you through those trials and temptations to which you are daily exposed, unless you neglect to implore his help, by giving up yourself to such melancholy as must discompose your faculties, while it weakens your natural constituiion. If the saints in heaven are acquainted with what happens in this lower world, they must disapprove of such a conduct as leads them to contend with their greatest benefactor and best friend. Shall the thing formed say to its Maker, why hast thou done so ? the time is fast approaching, when you, being freed from all entanglements with the sublunary world, must visit those regions where you will again see your beloved spouse, in a state never to be interrupted, never to have an end. The miseries of this world must have an end,' and so must our mourning. 'This I have learned even from heathen sages, that all violent pains are short, and but of transitory duration. But we Christians are obliged to consider affliction in a quite different light, as the chastisement of our heavenly Father, whose beneficence is his darling attribute.

If the dissolution of the righteous is to exempt them from labour, thoagh our temporal interest makes us eager to detain them longer with us, yet the sense of what they enjoy in heaven, must be a great means ofabating our grief: some, indeed, have so little comfort in this world, that they are ready to say with Job of old, “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;. which long for death and it cometh not, and dig for it more than for hid treasures; which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they can find the grave?”

Your most flattering hopes could not, in the course of nature, have been many years longer gratified with his company; therefore you must not spend the remainder of your days in mourning, but being fully convinced of the vanity of every thing mortal, let us submit to every alteration as the servants of God, who has graciously promised to lay no more upon us than wecan bear. That you may experience

that mercy to assist you in this trial of your faith and patience, is the sincere prayer of, Dear madam,

Your ever affectionate friend.

LETTER CXXXIX. From a gentleman to his friend, in distressed circunrstances,

who had endeavoured to conceal his poverty. Dear Sir, IA AM extremely concerned to find you have so ill an opini

on of me as to hide your misfortunes, and let me hear of them from another hand. I know not how lo interpret your conduct, as it makes me fear you never esteemed iny friendship, if you could imagine that any alteration in your circumstances should ever be able to change my love. I had a different opinion of our mutual obligations to each other, and should have thought it an injury to your generous nalure had I concealed any thing concerning myself from you, though it might have lessened me in your esteem. I hoped, till now, you had put the sime confidence in me, who had nothing to recommend me to your favour, but plain sincerity of soul; and whose sole design was to promote the happiness of my friend.

I dare not quarrel with you now, lest you should consi. der me as taking the advantage of you in your present dis-tress, and induce you to break off a correspondence as dear to me as ever; and this leads me to say something of real friendship in general. Real friendship is not confined 10 any station in life; it is common in the meanest cottage, and has even sometimes been found in the palace : simplicity of manners, and integrity in all our actions, naturally lead us to expect sincerity in the conduct of ihose with 'whom we are any way connected. The imperfections incident to human nature are so numerous, that we are solicitous of finding some person to wlu.m we can unbosom our minds, and lay open the inmost recesses of our hearts. A real friend, in orcier to preserve ilie character he has assumed, will, in the first place, endeavour to discharge every duty incumbent upon him to all his fellow-creatures. But still there is something wanting; and although we may be philanthropists in general, yet we like to place our affections on one particular object.

Why, my friend, any suspicion of my sincerity? why did you conceal your distress from me: friendship is of loo sam

cred a nature to be trifled with, and the man who does not act consistent with his professions, prostitutes that amiable appellation. No mental reservation can be used in friendship; for whenever that happens there is some doubt of sincerity, which, for the most päri, ends either in a total indiference, or which is infinitely worse, an absolute ha. tred. I am sorry to say, that there are few people who either know or value the blessings of friendsbip: if they did, they would not, upon every frivolous occasion, find fault will the conduct of their fellow-crea!ures.

At present, my dear friend, let my purse (however empty) be at your service, but let it never be more open than my heart. Conceal nothing from me, and all I have is yours. We were once friends, letus only remain so. Let me hear an account from you of your present crcumstances, and my last shilling shall be spent in your service. Let the sincerity of my friendship be estimated only according to my actions, and if il shall appear that I have acted incon-sistent with the sacred name of friendship, let me be fur ever blotted out of your memory.

Iam, sir, your sincere well-wisher.

LETTER CXL.

From a gentleman lately returned from his travels, to his

friend, concerning loyalty. Dear Sir, IT is very natural for the most curious travellers,

after having spent some time abroad, to return with joy to their own country; but much more pleasant to me, who did not go out of it by my own choice, but impelled by necessity.

When I returned, I hoped to find a general tranquillity among all ranks of people, and the animosities which subsisted when I went abroad, buried in perpetual oblivion. But I was strangely amazed to find the same spirit of mur. muring as before. In one place the ministry are said to be seeking the loaves and the fishes, and the patriots are endeavouring to dispossess them, with no other view than to obtain their places. In another place we are told, that the ministers are a set of abandoned debauchees; and when the courtiers return the compliment to the patriots, the answer is, that a man may be an abandoned villain, a scandal to human nature, and yet a lover of his country. If you ask

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