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Selection from his Letters
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LXXI. To LADY ARDROSS

MADAM, — Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. It has seemed good (as I hear) to Him, who has appointed bounds for the number of our months, to gather in a sheaf of ripe corn (in the death of your Christian mother) into His garner. She is now above the winter, with a little change of place, not of a Savior; only she enjoyeth Him now without messages, and in His own immediate presence, from whom she heard by letters and messengers before.

I grant, death to her is a very new thing, but heaven was prepared of old. And Christ (as enjoyed in His highest throne, and as loaded with glory, and incomparably exalted above men and angels, having such a heavenly circle of glorified spirits above, compassing the throne with a song) is to her a new thing; but so new as the first summer rose, or the first-fruits of that heavenly field, or as a new paradise to a traveler, broken and worn out of breath with the sad occurrences of a long and dirty way.

You easily judge, Madam, what a large recompense is made to all her service, her walking with God, and her sorrows, with the first cast of the soul’s eye upon the shining and admirably beautiful face of the Lamb, that is in the midst of that fair and white army that is there; and with the first draught and taste of the fountain of life, fresh and new at the well-head.

And now she sitteth for eternity mail-free, in a very considerable land, which has more than four summers in the year. Oh, what spring-time is there! Even the smelling of the odors of that great and eternally blooming Rose of Sharon for ever and ever! What a singing life is there! There is not a dumb bird in all that large field; but all sing and breathe out heaven, joy, glory, dominion to the high Prince of that new-found land. And, verily, the land is the sweeter that Jesus Christ paid so dear a rent for it. And He is the glory of the land: all which, I hope, does not so much mitigate and allay your grief for her part (though truly this should seem sufficient), as the unerring expectation of the dawning of that day upon yourself, and the hope you have of the fruition of that same King and kingdom to your own soul. Certainly the hope of it, when things look so dark-like on both kingdoms, must be an exceedingly great quickening to languishing spirits, who are far from home while we are here. What misery, to have both a bad way all the day, and no hope of lodging at night! But He has taken up your lodging for you.

I can say no more now; but I pray that the very God of peace may establish your heart to the end.

LONDON, Feb. 24, 1646

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