Feb. 7, 1809.
IT is true that I did not expect to hear any more from my old. friend, though the cause I knew not. In your sickness I did long to see you, because from report you was going off the stage, and I heard that your joys were great, which is an indulgence that I never was favoured with but once in all the sicknesses that have fallen to my lot. I wonder not at kind Providence passing before thee, which is our encouragement to follow after; and is, and has long been, a choice entertainment for my faith, when the contrary is, as Naomi says, marah, a bitter purge, but no banquet. Whatever God has in store for us the Holy Spirit knows, for he searches the deep things of God. He then kindles a desire after it, which is called hearing and answering us before we speak, and while we are speaking "the desires of the righteous shall be granted." And again; "Wait upon" him, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Speaking our desires is the fruit of the lips: and, if fluency of speech, energy of soul, and a degree of confidence attend this incense, I always conclude that faith is the substance of the thing hoped for, and according to my faith it will be unto me. But there are three spices more to be mingled with this offering of incense. Trust in God, to fulfil his word and honour faith. Patience to wait God's time. "They shall not be ashamed that wait for me." Submission to his will, whether it come or not, with a persuasion that it shall end in our good, whether it be yea or nay: at this time it is sure to come. This has been more or less the experience of the Coalheaver for thirty-five years, and is not finished to this day.
Some time ago I dreamed that I was at the head of a large party, with a much larger party drawn up against us; and we were disputing,
Last Monday night I dreamed that I saw three men lying on the ground like a log of wood burnt apparently to a coal. I was one of the three; the skin � of us all was burnt black, but the fire was put out, to be lighted up the next day, in order to increase the torment of the sufferers. This was all done at the instigation of a woman, whom I saw with a horrid countenance, but gaily dressed. She turned to me a half face, which was rather pretty, though horrid, and then vanished behind a scene.
Whether this was the whore of Babylon, or a pimp of her's nearer home, time may tell. But this I say, whatever may have intervened, that in honesty and reality I remain yours in him,
The lanthorn is still with me.