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TO _______ _______

WHO is able to undergo the crosses and afflictions, either inward or outward, which befall those, whom God draws out of the spirit of this world and path of destruction, into the way of eternal rest and peace? Yet the Lord is able to uphold that which feels its weakness, and daily waits on him for support under the heaviness of the cross.

I know, dear heart, thy outward trials cannot but be sharp and bitter; and I know also, that the Lord is able to sustain thee under them, and cause thee to stand thy ground; that thou give not advantage to that spirit, which hereby would draw from the Lord, and from the way of life and happiness. Oh that thou couldst dwell in the knowledge and sense of this! even that the Lord beholds thy sufferings with an eye of pity; and is able not only to uphold thee under them, but also to do thee good by them; and to bring forth that life and wisdom in thee by means thereof, to which he will give dominion over that spirit which grieves and afflicts thee, in his due season. Therefore grieve not at thy lot, be not discontented, look not out at the hardness of thy condition; but when the storm and matters of vexation are sharp, look up to him who can give meekness and patience, can lift up thy head over all, and cause thy life to grow and be a gainer by all. If the Lord God did not help us by his mighty arm, how often should we fall and perish! and if the Lord God help thee proportionably to thy condition of affliction and distress, thou wilt have no cause to complain, but to bless his name. He is exceedingly good, and gracious, and tender-hearted, and doth not despise the afflictions of the afflicted, for his name's sake, in any kind.

This is in tender love towards thee, with breathings to my Father, that his pleasant plant may not be crushed in thee, by the foot of pride and violence; but may overgrow it, and flourish the more because of it.

From thy truly loving friend in the truth, and for the truth's sake,

I. P.