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XXXIII. To JOHN CLARK, a parishioner

LOVING BROTHER, — Hold fast Christ without wavering and contend for the faith, because Christ is not easily gotten nor kept. The lazy professor has put heaven as it were at the next door, and thinketh to fly up to heaven in his bed and in a night-dream; but, truly, that is not so easy a thing as most men believe. Christ Himself did sweat ere He wan this city, howbeit He was the freeborn heir. It is Christianity, my heart, to be sincere, unfeigned, honest and upright hearted before God, and to live and serve God, suppose there was not one man nor woman in all the world dwelling beside you, to eye you. Any little grace that ye have, see that it be sound and true.

Ye may put a difference betwixt you and reprobates, if ye have these marks. — 1. If ye prize Christ and His truth so as ye will sell all and buy Him; and suffer for it. 2. If the love of Christ keepeth you back from sinning, more than the law, or fear of hell. 3. If ye be humble, and deny your own will, wit, credit, ease, honor, the world, and the vanity and glory of it. 4. Your profession must not be barren and void of good works. 5. Ye must in all things aim at God’s honor; ye must eat, drink, sleep, buy, sell, sit, stand, speak, pray, read, and hear the word, with a heart-purpose that God may be honored. 6. Ye must show yourself an enemy to sin, and reprove the works of darkness, such as drunkenness, swearing, and lying, albeit the company should hate you for so doing. 7. Keep in mind the truth of God, that ye heard me teach, and have nothing to do with the corruptions and new guises entered into the house of God. 8. Make conscience of your calling, in covenants, in buying and selling. 9. Acquaint yourself with daily praying; commit all your ways and actions to God, by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving; and count not much of being mocked; for Christ Jesus was mocked before you.

Persuade yourself, that this is the way of peace and comfort which I now suffer for. I dare go to death and into eternity with it, though men may possibly see another way. Remember me in your prayers, and the state of this oppressed church. Grace be with you. Your soul’s well-wisher.


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