My friend is laid by the heels, I suppose, to keep him from running into mischief. And, as the ox seldom lows over his fodder, you will not despise a truss while confined to the crib.
Had you been about business, I should have deferred an answer; but purging draughts call for confinement and attention, and a little caudle at such times is a cheering draught I am still rheumatic, which serves/ to keep my thoughts at home, to empty the vessel of its dregs, to make room for a better treasure; that in the soul's life the outward man may decay, and the inward man be renewed; and, in the Lord's work, death may work in the labourer, and life work in the husbandry. When the snares of death and the harbingers of the grave pursue, they sap the foundations of all future schemes, and overthrow all the castles built, or intended to be built, in the air. Death, the grave, judgement, and the future inheritance, are all at home, and uppermost. The best time this for settling accounts. The day book, the waste book, and the ledger, are taken down from the shelf, and examined, adjusted, and put in order. Conscience brings in her daily neglected score; the scriptures shew us our inattentions, deficiencies, short-comings, and imperfections; and the book of life shews how much we live below our election of God. And, when all these are attended to, by examination under the inquisition of heaven, and are balanced by a renewed act of faith on the Son of God, and the peace that flows from a persuasion of an interest in him, after humble confessions, petitions, acknowledgments, and earnest entreaties, we go forth with all accounts balanced; matters are squared, peace is renewed, and a fresh grant of enlargement is given. Affections are warm, conscience is tender, God precious, his hand is watched, and every appearance of evil is shunned, detested, and abhorred. All this goodness, however, is transitory; and, as the early dew, in two or three days it passeth away; when we have neither power to resist the world, nor to pray to God against it. We decree these things, but they are not established unto us; we purpose, but our purposes are all broken off, even the thoughts of our hearts: and this is the solution of all - "Without me ye can do nothing." "To will is present with me;" and there we must end; for doing is God's work.
Mrs. M. your daughter, crawled into my heart long ago; and I liked her conversation coming from B. much; but since her marriage have seen nothing of her, yet hope to remember her. The seven lights in your dream you may see in Zech. iv. 2; Rev. iv. 5. Light, knowledge, faith, love, joy, reproof, and comfort, seemed to be meant, as they are said to be sent forth into all the earth, Rev. v. 6. From these lamps all real oil distils. When Mr. 0. and Doctor B. were at the vicarage, I wrote a long letter, describing my inward conflicts and the workings of my mind for the last twelve years; to which I never received an answer. Get that, and you will see my dreams.
W. H. S. S.