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TO THE CHOSEN OF GOD AND ESPOUSED
ΤΟ CHRIST AT MARGARET STREET
IT is now between four and five years since I entered into your Ladyship's service, in the capacity of a footman. I must confess I have often been delighted when I walked before your Grace's chair to the King's palace, with the lamp of salvation in my
hand. But more delighted to see your Ladyship content to make a good hearty meal of a plain dish, of unbegotten and eternal divinity-I mean God the Father's endless love; and as I know your Ladyship’s constitution to be delicate, I hope at my return to bring your Ladyship a little savoury meat such as your soul loveth, that you may bless me before I die.
Indeed, Madam, we live in a day when many servants occasion the death of their mistresses by secret and slow poison, infecting the waters of life, so that many die of the waters because they are made bitter. This bane is wrapped up in an infernal planet which some years ago fell from heaven, and now it is spreading its baneful influence upon the rivers, namely, the river of peace, the river of comfort, and the river of life. It likewise falls into the fountains of waters, the fountains of the Father's Deity, Jer. ii. 13; and into the glorious well of salvation, the infinite Divinity of Christ, John, iv. 14. The Atheist denies the fountain; the Arian denies the well; and the Antinomian denies the rivers. The name of the star is called Wormwood. Bitterness of soul and eternal death is the portion of that man that receives the mixture, Rev. viii. 10, 11. The Lord deliver your soul from this gall of bitterness. It is true, bread eaten in secret is pleasant, and stolen waters are sweet, even to those from whom heaven witholds its boun ty ; but the wise know the dead are there, and that all who attend that banquet are in the depths of hell, Prov. ix. 17, 18.
I hope God will enable me to taste every dish before it comes upon your Ladyship’s table, that you may see me stagger before you swoon in the streets. These Gentlemen are pre
ludes to a spiritual famine, they will make empty the soul of the hungry, and cause the drink of the thirsty to fail, Isa. xxxii. 6. I have further to tell your Grace, that I have had an opportunity of speaking to, and seeing of, your Royal Husband since I came here. He hath taken his stately steps to Gainsborough. He was clad in crimson, and had his sword by his side, going forth conquering and to conquer. I petitioned his, most excellent Majesty on behalf of your Grace, and obtained leave to send you the following particulars.
First, That you often speak to him in private, for it is in secret he will give you his love.
Secondly, He desires you will be constantly at the head of the table, which is your proper place; and not let your seat be empty, nor yet come running in when others have half
Thirdly, He desires you will not gad abroad to see the concubines of the land, lest some of the enemies of your husband defile you; for he said it was she that tarried at home should divide the spoil.
Fourthly, He desires you will always appear before him in your wedding garment, and with the ring with the white stone in it; a little ointment on your head, and some of the powders of the merchants in your hair, together with a little frankincense and myrrh, for he said he was fond of odours, Song, iii, 6; so I found he would have his homely dame dressed Queen-fashion at last.
Fifthly, He bid me tell you not to go to bed at night and shut the door, till you have kindly invited him in, lest he be forced to walk without till his hair is wet with dew, and his locks with the drops of the night; for he said, if his love be not in the heart, and his arm under the head, there is no beloved sleep.
Sixthly, He told me he never slumbers nor sleeps, nor is he fond of a sleepy wife; but he said he had ere now been forced to speak to you in your sleep, because he could not find you so often awake as he desired. He further told me, he had commanded your chamber door by turning on its hinges to reprove you, for turning so long in your bed; but notwithstanding all this, he said it was but seldom he could find you awake, or hear
voice before the morning watch-you still was guilty of slumber, and you know I could not contradict it.
Seventhly, He told me to inform you to set all your dehts down to his account, because no receipt with a woman's hand to it, is available by the laws of heaven.
Eighthly, lle said he would allow you a
penny a day for pin money, but no purse independent of him.
And Lastly, That he had prepared a mansion house for you, and has settled a jointure on you, which you shall surely possess if you faint not.
And now, Dear Mistress, I beseech you to accept of these lines from the hand of your servant, and when it is well with you remember Joseph; while I remain, Your dutiful servant to command,
TO MRS. H.
Gainsborough. Dear partner in life and in covenant love, grace be with thee and thy little troop. I am at present very well in health, I have enjoyed more of the powerful presence of God than usual, the enjoyment of him has been sweet to
I often take a solitary walk by the river Trent, and muse on the wonderful scheme of everlasting love. My soul is more dead to the world than ever, all indeed is vanity and vexa