May I not say to you, as John did to the Roman empire, Wo unto you, "for the devil is come down to Lewes in great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." M.C. has been a hod, a wheelbarrow, a fan, and a besom to us, and the same to them who embraced him. He has collected the rubbish and chaff from us, and the money from them. They ventured on his faith of assurance to supply their wants, which led them to a neglect of business, and was attended with loss of custom; and, as he made them rich in faith, they ministered carnal things bountifully to him: but, when they came to make full proof of their assurance, it failed; and not less than five are in real beggary. If our dear Lord and his truth will not satisfy them, they shall spend "money for that which is not bread, and their labour for that which satisfieth not." If you have any jacobins, if any sons of presumption, pride, arrogance, or ignorance, among you, he will have them to a man, unless the devil should spare one or two to breed, and spread the gangrenous infection, and keep the fermenting leaven at work.
Before the devil was suffered to raise that man up, I had several hanging about the chapel doors whom my soul hated; but, as soon as this son of Satan displayed his banner, they were gone to a man, nor have I seen above one of them ever since. When I saw this I was thankful to God, seeing it among the all things that work for good to them that love our dear Lord. Abide we by his truth; this is to be our shield. and. buckler; and, when imposters and hypocrites seem to triumph, we are to stand still and see the salvation of God, not forgetting this promise, "The just shall see their fall." Providence often smiles on a child of wrath, and frowns on an object of love. Job sat in sackcloth, and so did Hannah, when those that hated them exulted; but at the issue judgment returns unto righteousness, and all that are upright in heart must follow that. It is not the faith of Dives, but of Lazarus, that must bring the doubting soul to a point.
I am very rheumatic this cold weather, but have no small success in the good work. Should God spare me till the spring, and permit me to come, I hope to see you, but at present I must abide by the stuff, for I cannot go over the brook Besor.
My dame sends her kind love to you, and Mrs. M.
THE COAL MERCHANT.
You see I rise in the world.