Feb. 1, 1801.
My dearly beloved children in faith and hope,
I AM safe arrived without any accident. Poor Mrs. M. is much better, only given up to pensiveness, and is solitary, sitting up late at night and rising late in the morning, which I do not like; yet I think she will come out bright in time. The old lady, her mother, comes over today to see her daughter's new doctor. There are not a few here that are in soul sufferings, who need the great Physician; and I have hope that he will heal as well as wound.
The farmers here are very rich, and live somewhat like the London citizens; but I envy them not; for all seem to walk upon a snare; traps are set for them in the ground during this famine, and the gin takes them by the heel: while the poor in spirit by their cries to God tread them down, and the steps of the needy crush them. But they are not in this secret; they are not in God's privy council, nor does he commit himself unto them, because they are not the bridegroom's friends: he knows them, but it is with a knowledge of reprobation, disdain, and disapprobation. We are the folks, notwithstanding our being tamed over into the hands of the oppressor: it is the grinder's harvest and ours also. Their sudden destruction must be at hand, or God never would suffer them to ripen so fast. Every sinner must fill his measure; and there has been more put in that cup these last five years, than there was in twenty years before. And sure I am that the poor saints are all on their watch tower. God has drawn all their eyes upon himself and upon his works, to see what he is at, and where it will end. I still have a pestilence before me; I may be wrong, but nothing but time can convince me. Strange things will soon appear in the world; our hopes and expectations will not always lie in suspense; wisdom will direct us, and divine goodness will provide: judgment must return and vindicate the righteous, and destroy the wicked, that the upright in heart may not be at a loss which course to steer.
The insensible Mr. M. is swimming in red port, and often alarmed by the death of one or another; and when sick has a whole tribe of attendants; and, though he denies the Bible, claims heaven as his own. But we never should have known there had been a heaven, if divine revelation had not made it known; and how any can expect such a country, and deny the authority of the book that brings it to light, is a mystery. But the ways of the wicked are crooked, and they are froward in their paths.
Here is a little flock in this place, all water folks, three of whom have visited me, but they are not unctuous. I believe old Providence is not inferior to any other churches, far from it; but the day of accounts will show all this. Our bitterness is better than this world's honey; our sorrow far before their joys; our poverty better than their wealth; our cross is better than their crown; our afflictions better than all their comforts; and our appetites and hunger better than their entertainments and fullness. For the wages of sin is death; but if we suffer we shall reign; if we die to this world we shall live. This world is a good servant, but a bad master; a very good inn, but a sad home; a comfortable luncheon or bait, but a sad inheritance. Dear souls, adieu! I have sent particulars to the great woman, who will come to you I have no doubt. God bless you all.