My much esteemed Friend,
It gave me great pleasure to hear from you, for I had almost concluded that you had forgotten me. As usual, your kind epistle was full of consolation, which I appear always to stand in need of. You are seldom, if ever, forgotten by me, when I attempt to offer up my poor breathings at the throne of mercy. You are more particularly in my thoughts on the Lord's day, because I know that, as a minister of God's blessed truth, you require peculiar blessings. I therefore beg of the Lord that a large portion of spiritual strength may be showered down upon you, and that you may be helped to communicate such comfort to the poor of his flock as shall bring glory to God, and be for the edification and consolation of his members. I still go hobbling on, as dear — says, finding my path bestrewed with difficulties; but I would speak it in deep humility, and to the praise of the Lord, for, with David of old, I am enabled to testify of his faithfulness, and exclaim, "He hath brought me out of a horrible pit and the miry clay," and enabled me to look to the hills from whence cometh my help. It is impossible to describe the soul-suffering that I have experienced until within a month or two. Suffice it to say, that for weeks, if not months, I was in such consternation with deep convictions of my lost, ruined state, that every morning when I arose from my bed I fully expected Satan would take me away alive in the face of the world and the church, so that I should be made a public spectacle to saints and sinners; and frequently have I been unable to guide my fork to my mouth at meal times. When in this deplorable state, with no one about me who could understand my circumstances, pleading earnestly for mercy, and wrestling hard, saying, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me," when waiting for some testimony for good, these words came into my mind, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."I was struck with reverence, and felt some little comfort. The other day, also, when exercised with darkness and misgivings, and begging that the Lord would again decide the doubtful point, and set my poor soul at liberty, this precious Scripture was applied with power, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my name's sake, and will no more remember thy sins." O that I might publish it to the honour of his great name, "whose mercy endureth for ever!" How true it is that "all things are possible with God."
You will, I fear, think me quite selfish in almost filling my letter with what relates to myself alone; but my pen will run on. It is time I thanked you for your kind inquiries relative to my family. With the exception of dear little J—, we have all beet pretty well in health. He, however, continues much afflicted. He is unconscious of everything but suffering, and has no use of his feet or hands. This is a most humbling affliction; but even this I am resigned to leave to my heavenly Father's disposal, for I know that a state of ease is more to be feared than chastisement, and I can say (I hope from my heart) that eyen this shall work together, with every other painful dispensation, for my good. It has often been the means of driving me to pour out my heart unto the Lord. You will perceive that I am on the mount of enjoyment, yet, I trust, not unaware of the danger. May I be watchful and prayerful, that my enemy may not take advantage of it.
Believe me to be, your very thankful and much-attached friend,
Tunbridge, October 1841.