Heart Greetings

Dear Brother,

I feel grace, mercy, and love enough in my heart to believe I am the Lord's, and such a re-kindling of love to yon and the dear friends whom I visited, that I can in truth greet them with pure affection. Their great kindness to such a poor worm moves my heart with gratitude, and makes me cry, " Dear Lord, bless them in their souls with a sweet, lively hope in thy mercy, and let them know more deeply how great thy love is towards them, and may their poor, troubled hearts be ofttimes melted by thy compassion and tender mercy." Whilst I was with you, my poor soul experienced great and sudden changes. I was, at times, sweetly overcome with the persuasion of my interest in the eternal love of God in Christ towards me, which persuasion was blessedly confirmed by the word of the Lord dwelling richly in me in my infirmities. I also found sweet access to a throne of grace, so that I was enabled to pour out my heart before the Lord, and felt him to be a sure refuge for me. The morning text at chapel bowed my poor soul down before the Lord with sweet submission and felt contrition, and, notwithstanding all my base conduct, I could not help believing that God loved me. But, in the forenoon of the day I left, a little before dinner time, such darkness and bondage fell upon me, that my smiles and conversation were both forced. I concealed it as much as I possibly could, but I could not get above it, it followed me to my home, and my poor heart was ready to break with sorrow, and my soul melted within me because of heaviness. I was, however, favoured with mercy on my journey, and arrived safely at home by seven o'clock, very much bowed down in my soul. I found my father very weak and ill, and my brother's circumstances painfully oppressive. Under these circumstances, I sat in silence, turning over one thing after another in my mind, and feeling it to be a day of adversity with me. I vented my trouble as well as I could at a throne of grace, and felt a little softened and encouraged by these words flowing into my mind,

When troubles, like a gloomy cloud,
Have gathered thick, and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood;
His loving-kindness, O how good!

I was then led to look back, and as past matters came into my mind, I was enabled to see and feel that the reason I had not been swallowed up was, that the grace of God had been sufficient for me, and his strength had been made perfect in weakness; though "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" bless the dear name of the Lord, saith my soul, for past kindness and present mercies, my hope is still in him. Therefore, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God." Sometimes, when I hear or read the accounts which the Lord's children give of their sins, they appear trifling in comparison to mine; for there is such a peculiar internal feeling in my soul respecting my sins, that I seem to be, and feel to be, the chief of sinners. And then again, when I hear or read of the sweet, conspicuous, and powerful deliverances of some of the Lord's family, my soul sinks within me; for theirs appear so great, and mine so small, that I feel that I am less than the least of all saints. But I am convinced that I cannot add one cubit to my stature in spiritual things, and that what I want is power given me to think soberly according as God bath dealt to every man the measure of faith, for the least measure is saving. And what a mercy it is for my poor soul that I have such a measure of faith in God as to make me tremble and cry for deliverance from felt deserved wrath; such a measure of faith in. Christ as to cause me to fly to him as the only Refuge set before me in the gospel; and such a measure of faith as to be enabled at times not only to hope, but to feel that I am an heir of salvation, by the strong consolations that I experience. Ah, my brother, it is all well with us; tempest tossed we may be, but not lost; cast down, but not destroyed. And may the Lord help us to endure hardness as good soldiers, to be strong and quit ourselves like men, and, by precious faith, may we go to Christ, and possess, in soul feeling, the promised land. Bless his dear name, the promise is sure to all the seed, the weak as well as the strong; the battle is the Lord's, therefore final victory is certain. May soul-felt victory be shouted by us, to the glory of God, the comfort of our souls, and the confusion of our enemies; and may we sweetly experience what it is to rest in God, casting all our care upon him, knowing that he careth for us; and in everything may we be enabled to make known our requests by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.

Give my love to your wife, and when you see Mr. — and our sisters in the Lord, tender my kind love to them. And may the Lord unite us to each other in himself, in that sweet measure that our charity may be fervent; and may your souls be sweetly watered, your consciences kept tender, and your spirits weighty with the things of God; and may the Lord give you to feel his dear presence in his house, that it may prove a Bethel to you, and, if it be his will, a birth-place to others. My kind love to thee, brother; and may your heart, and the hearts of all the Lord's people, be united to fear his name, for Christ's sake. Amen and amen.

Thine in truth.

May 24, 1843.