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TOKEN FOR MOURNERS
ADVICE OF CHRIST
BEWAILING THE DEATH OP HER DEAR AND
BY JOHN FLAVEL.
PRINTED FOR THOMAS NELSON
THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY.
Dear Friend, The double tie of Nature and Grace, besides the many endearing passages that for many years have linked our affections so intimately, cannot but beget in me a tender sympathy with you under all your troubles; and make me say of every affliction which befalls you, Half mine. I find it is with our affections, as with the strings of musical instruments exactly set in unison, if one be touched the other trembles, though it be at some distance.
It is not my design to exasperate your troubles, but to heal them; and for that purpose have I sent you these papers, which I hope may be of use to you and many others in your condition, since they are the after-fruits of my own troubles ; things that I have not commended to you from another hand, but which I have, in some measure, proved and tasted in my own trials.
I have only a few things to desire for and from you, and,
1. That you will not be too hasty to get off the yoke which God hath put upon your neck. Desire not to be delivered from your sorrows one moment before God's time. Let patience have its perfect work; that comfort, which comes in God's way and season, may remain and do you good.
2. I desire, that though you and your afflictions had a sad meeting, yet you and they may have a comfortable parting. If they effect that upon your hearts which God sent them for, I doubt not but you will give them a fair testimony when they go off. How sweet is it to hear the afflicted soul say, when God is loosing his bands, It is good for me that I have been afflicted !
3. I heartily wish that these searching afflictions may make the most satisfying discoveries, that you may now see more of the evil of sin, the vanity of the creature, and the fulness of Christ. Afflictions put the soul upon searching and trying its way.
6 Blessed is the man whom God chasteneth, and teacheth out of his law,” Psa. xciv. 12.
4. I wish that all the love and delight
you bestowed upon your little one, may now be placed to your greater advantage upon Jesus Christ; and that the stream of your affection to him may be so much the stronger, as there are now fewer channels for it to be divided into.
5. That you may be strengthened with all might in the inner man to all patience, that the peace of God may keep your hearts and minds. Labour to attain to a meek submission to the rod of your Father. The soul grows wise by sitting still and quiet under the rod.
Lastly, My heart's desire and prayer to God for you is, that you may die daily to all visible enjoyments, and by these frequent converses with death in your family, you may be prepared for your own change and dissolution when it shall
Our dear parents are gone, our lovely and desirable children are gone, our bosom relations, that were as our own souls, are gone. And do not all these warningknocks at our doors acquaint us, that we must prepare to follow shortly after them?
O that by these things our own death might be both more easy and familiar to us! The oftener it visits us, the better we