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careful never to engage in any pursuit, nor to indulge in any inclination, on which we cannot implore the divine blessing. Let this be to us a test of the lawfulness of every pleasure, assured that within these limits we may enjoy with thankfulness all the gifts which Providence has bound up in our lot.
I trust the pains I took to impress this, has not and never will be obliterated from your mind. By a confirmed habit of connecting ideas of happiness with the ideas of Him from whom all happiness proceeds, you will learn to turn from those illusive phantoms of delight, which so often prove snares to the careless and unwary.
May the prayers which I shall never cease to offer for the beloved children to whom I now address myself, find acceptance in his sight, who
knows knows the sincerity of the heart from which they proceed! May you all be protected by his providence, enlightened by his wisdom, and at length received into his glory! Adieu!
I Hope I do not vainly flatter myself in believing that my dear Lady Elizabeth will have so far penetrated into the scope of my arguments, as to perceive that prayer must, upon the principles I have endeavoured to unfold, be a certain means of improvement. The grace of God was never sought in vain. If we use the means, he will not fail to favour us with that divine assistance, which, though it admits not now of sensible demonstration, may no less certainly be depended upon, than when it appeared to the Israelites as a cloud by day and as a pillar of fire by night. Never, however, let it be forgotten, that the assistance of God is not now promised towards the attainment of temporal things. The promises of the Gospel are of a very different nature. It promises a blessing to those who mourn, to those who are persecuted and despised; a blessing to the poor and lowly in heart; a blessing to jthose who suffer for the sake of conscience. But these blessings are not to be conferred in the present state: they are to be conferred in the kingdom of Heaven. And that the sufferings of the present life might no longer be considered as any proof of the disapprobation of God, we are expressly informed, that it pleased him to make the Author of our salvation perfect through suffering. Were the change that took place in the nature of the promises revealed in the New Testament duly considered, it would not only reconcile us to the apparently dark dispensations of Providence, but teach us to rejoice in the firm assurance that all will work together for good to those who love God. 0
The rites instituted by Moses were all calculated to excite faith in the promises of God, as they were either memorials of the fulfilment of those which had already been accomplished,or types of those which were still the objects of hope and expectation. The rites appointed by JesusChrist were instituted for a similar purpose, and in every respect adapted to the end proposed. By them we are reminded how fully, how graciously all the promises made