Grantham, 1808.

I HAVE just received my dear friend's letter, with its successions of disasters; and have laid his case before him, who, as David said, performeth all things for me. But he has much more confidence in my prayers than I have. However, I found liberty both in speech and in spirit; and hope, by God's help, not to faint in it till I hear or see the event. It is my only refuge, and only resource, and we are commanded to use it; and the benefits of this honourable calling are neither few nor small. I have worked my way round thus far, and am now bound for Milton, then for Newark; and the Sunday following for Sleaford; from whence I set my face for Cricklewood, if God permit. My strawberries must be now toothable; if so, take dame and daughter to them, and make free, unless they at my house send them to you. Here is little or no fruit that is ripe. But I have now and then a taste of the more delicious sort from the tree of life; the least taste of which makes lively. But the furnace, which is preparatory, generally goes before the sweet repast, to create and sharpen the appetite; and the banquet follows, to encourage us to struggle, and keep us from fainting. This zigzag work lies crooked to our will, but, when laid to the rule of God's revealed will, it lies straight. He will sanctify the afflictions of his children, and afford supporting grace, even if the comforts of hope be withheld. Tender my kind love to dame, and to Miss B. I am in haste, and shall follow this with the feeble petitions of their affectionate friend and servant,


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