A TRIBUTE OF PRAISE
George Thomas Congreve
My dear Friend, It is now a long time since I was able to see to write to you, but I shall never forget the sweet moments I have spent in thus talking to you; they are, however, past and gone. Fifteen or sixteen months ago I did not expect to see the light so as to find my way about any more, much less to be able to write to you again.
" Wonders of grace to God belong,
Now I can see my road whilst it is light nicely, though I cannot see sufficiently to distinguish any one's features as they pass me, and know them only by their voice; but what a mercy I can see at all! One eye is quite dark, and the other very weak and dim, the inflammation was so great; but, blessed be God, my spiritual sight gets stronger and clearer, and my latter days are more blessed than my former ones were, so that the dear Lord makes me sweet amends for the sight which he has taken away. Thus, you see, he takes away our dearest comforts to give us something better in their stead; and makes us prove that in the furnace we learn and gain that blessedness which we could not anywhere else. How wise, kind, and gracious are all the Lord's dealings with his children in the wilderness, yet they sometimes cannot see his hand; then we seem to miss the blessing. "Through much tribulation " it ever was and ever will be, until the last elect vessel is safe in the harbor of eternal rest, safe with Christ, to sin no more. These words often cheer, warm, and animate my heart. Thus Paul, of blessed memory, was wont to encourage the churches of old in all their afflictions, by pointing them to the Lord; and so the Lord does often encourage his afflicted, poor, weary, despised followers. May the Lord thus encourage my friend and myself still in all our afflictions, troubles, and sorrows, and teach us daily to reckon with him that all are not worthy to be compared to the glory revealed in us. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." He knows that, and we know it too; but he can and does bear with us and feel for us still. We know it to be true when instead of spurning us from his presence he moveth our sluggish hearts a little towards him, and blesses us again and again at his dear feet.
Our kind love to you and your kind friends.
Yours affectionately in the Lord, Bedworth, March 1st, 1858.
GEORGE THOMAS CONGREVE.