August 8, 1801.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
WISH above all things that you may prosper, thrive and grow; which God promises shall be the case of those who are planted in the house of the Lord. The flesh is a corrupt soil, and we are by nature rooted in it; and the soul being rooted, influenced, actuated, and led by the flesh, makes the soul a corrupt tree, which cannot bring forth good fruit. Hence comes the necessity of conviction, law terrors, temptations, and sore trials, to loosen the roots of the soul, and to raise it up and root it out of the old soil of flesh and blood, that it may be rooted in the Lord Jesus, and draw heavenly moisture, heavenly treasure, and heavenly satisfaction from him. And, although the soul is prone to seek and settle in the old mould again, yet the daily cross still unsettles the soul, and keeps this union from taking place. Hence it is that the motions of sin in the body work in the soul, to bring forth fruit unto death, so that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, because the flesh leads the soul captive; but the daily cross suffers not these to unite; and the word of God often preached, and often heard, affords other entertainment for the soul: it feeds the mind with divine things, which makes the soul live to them: "to be heavenly minded is life and peace." Be contented with these scraps, for they are more than such old campaigners deserve.