June 13, 1805.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
WHETHER thou art ill, feeble, weak, or faint, I know not; or whether thou art in doubts, fears, unbelief, or in soul trouble, I know not: but for many days past, whenever I have been in private prayer, thou, with thy face sickly and thin, hast been continually set before me. The man that appeared to Paul, "and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us," never appeared to crave help more than thy_ countenance has of me. Thou hast appeared all on a sudden, if I had. no previous thoughts about thee; and always when I have been at prayer, and even when not, a friend at Lewes besides the scrap of Excellence, has been presented to my view. And from these things I conjecture that some trial or disagreeable circumstance is before thee, or thou art in trouble, or else there is something of a reviving or quickening of the good work within; one of these three things I conjecture is the case with my dear friend.
I am fully persuaded that prayer is never put up in vain; for all prayer goes up to God through the hands of our High Priest; and, when perfumed with his grace and merits, and attended with his appearance in the presence of God for us, which is his intercession for us, no corruption within, no, not the iniquity of our holy things, can ascend with our prayers through the hands of the Mediator. And, as every answer to prayer flows in the same channel, no wrath nor judgment can come from God through a Mediator to us: hence the kind counsel and advice, "Whatever you ask, ask in my name, and I will do it." O the wonderful counsel, the astonishing wisdom of God -to appoint unto us two intercessors! The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, and helps our infirmities with groanings which cannot be uttered; and the Lord Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercession for us. What encouragement is this to prayer!
Last Thursday and Friday I fretted because of the dry weather, when these words came to my mind - "ask of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so shall the Lord send showers, to every one grass in the field." Before I begun the devil set in, Will the Almighty hear a poor corrupt worm like you, so as to order the clouds to bring rain? When these words came, "Elias was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed that it might not rain, and it rained not by the space of three years and six months; and he prayed again, and the Lord sent rain." And how was I enabled to persevere in it; and how glad on Sunday morning to see it was come! This suits us graziers.
Farewell, my dear friend; the Doctor, the Coalheaver, bids thee God speed.
W. H .