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VII. To LADY KENMURE

MADAM, — I would not omit the opportunity of remembering your Ladyship, still harping upon that string, which in our whole lifetime is never too often touched upon (nor is our lesson well enough learned), that there is a necessity of advancing in the way to the kingdom of God, of the contempt of the world, of denying ourself and bearing of our Lord’s cross, which is no less needful for us than daily food. And among many marks that we are on this journey, and under sail toward heaven, this is one, when the love of God so filleth our hearts, that we forget to love, and care not much for the having, or wanting of, other things. For this cause God’s bairns take well with spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves that they have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (Heb. 10.34). That day that the earth and the works therein shall be burned with fire (II Pet. 3.10), your hidden hope and your life shall appear. And therefore, since ye have not now many years to your endless eternity, and know not how soon the sky above your head will rive, and the Son of man will be seen in the clouds of heaven, what better and wiser course can ye take, than to think that your one foot is here, and your other foot in the life to come, and to leave off loving, desiring, or grieving, for the wants that shall be made up when your Lord and ye shall meet. Then shall ye rejoice ‘with joy unspeakable and full of glory — and your joy shall no one take from you.’ It is enough that the Lord has promised you great things; only let the time of bestowing them be His own. It is not for us to set an hour-glass to the Creator of time. It will be; for God has said it, bide His harvest. His day is better than your day; He putteth not the hook in the corn, till it be ripe and full-eared. The great Angel of the Covenant bear you company, till the trumpet shall sound, and the voice of the archangel awaken the dead.

Ye shall find it your only happiness, under whatsoever thing disturbeth and crosseth the peace of your mind in this life, to love nothing for itself, but only God for Himself. Our love to Him should not begin on earth as it shall be in heaven; for the bride taketh not, by a thousand degrees, so much delight in her wedding garments as she does in her bridegroom; so we, in the life to come, howbeit clothed with glory as with a robe, shall not be so much affected with the glory that goeth about us, as with the Bridegroom’s joyful face and presence. Madam, if ye can win to this here, the field is won.

Fearing to be tedious to you, I break off here, commending you (as I trust to do while I live), your person, ways, burdens, and all that concerneth you, to that Almighty who is able to bear you and your burdens. I still remember you to Him who will cause you one day to laugh.

ANWOTH, Jan. 14, 1632

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