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My very dear friend, -

I shall enter upon another subject wherein thy thoughts and my our own to run exactly alike [concerning the times and the threatening of danger from our enemies - ed.], for I believe the sins of the people in this nations (England -pds) are ripe for a stroke of judgment, which, though it hath long been diverted, and merciful Providence hath waited long over the people, yet will assuredly come, and I fear on many as a thief in the night when they little expect. For indeed the people in common, for the crown of the head even to the foot, show but little thoughtfulness, but go on to gratify their own vicious inclinations in all manner of sports and vanity, so that I believe there will come a terrible, amazing and very trying day, wherein He that sits on high will plead with all flesh as in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will lay low the haughtiness of men, and punish the people for their pride and rebellion and forgetfulness of Him and of His many undeserved mercies. And yet I am fully of thy mind that all the trials will turn out to the glorifying of the great Name who alone is worthy, and to the enlarging and brightening His true church, which distinguishing Providence will manifest in that day, when the sword of the Almighty shall be within, separating between a man and his loves, etc. and also the sword of man without. The weighty sense of these things having laid on my mind hath often brought me low, but I am of late more cheerful under some assurance of preservation to the true people of God, who he can and will keep as in the hollow of his hand, I long to hear often from thee, and an with sincere love thy affectionate friend,