She always abhorred flattering others or being flattered herself. She thought that as evil moved men to sin, so evil silence left them to sin.

It was not to be uneasy to others, or officious in matters that did not concern her, or because she thought herself more capable of it, that she reproved any; but because she thought others, for the most part, very sinfully neglected it, and the honour of God and credit of religion in the meantime suffered by it; and that she, as well as others, was bound in conscience not to hate his brother by suffering sin upon him, but in any wise to reprove him for it. She took it to be an evidence of true Christian love to others; and therefore having begged of God to guide her tongue, to move their hearts and bridle their passions, she would, in great compassion, in a proper season, with much plainness and freedom, tell them of their faults, and plead with them thereupon. The younger and her inferiors, if the case required it, were told of them with some severity and smartness; but others with much gentleness, meekness and modesty. If at any time it happened that some ministers themselves were treated with this freedom, she would always preface her addresses to them with the Apostle’s words, Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father, and young men as brethren.[1] And I have known some instances of great success by this modest plainness, for which they have thanked and honoured her as long as she lived.

Nor was she more ready to give than she was to take reproof. She ever reckoned them her truest friends that took the greatest freedom with her in these respects. And when in anything she appeared to be blameworthy, would she with an ingenuous concern acknowledge it, and often profess that she had not taken notice of it in herself but would endeavour a great circumspection for the future.


[1] I Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.

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