January 14, 1808.
I NEVER was under a more powerful influence of the Spirit of supplication than while I stayed at Grantham; I mean when in private by myself; and one day in particular, which day, and of my requests, I mentioned to you and old Sarah; and I believe you will see the promised returns. I now preach at the City chapel in Grub Street, which will hold not less perhaps than two thousand people. My venerable godfather, who is moved with fresh choler against me, is to preach near our new habitation. God, our good Shepherd, when he puts forth his sheep, goes before them, and opens another door, which no man can shut: and the sons of thunder follow the sons of oil: they promote the storm, and we enforce the unction: the shining lights lead the van, and the troops of darkness bring up the rear: and thus the battle goes on with confused noise, with burning and fuel of fire. The offence of the cross is not ceased where the powers rests, there the offence burns; while "Lo here and low there" make many to halt between two opinions. But, when the Comforter comes, he decides the controversy and brings the halting soul to a conclusion; and, by casting the lot into the lap of the elect, contention in the mind ceases, and the Spirit parts between the mighty. Thus many run to and fro, and knowledge is increased. "The wise shall understand; but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand." And what we read of in the days of old, so have we seen in the city of our God.
My audience last Tuesday evening could not be much less than twelve hundred. Such a concourse must greatly exasperate the infernal sire; and we know that the genuine off-spring of that crooked parent must do their father's work, and the Coalheaver must bear the heat and burden of the day. But I am still the Doctor; and many, many accounts do I receive that God blesses my medicine; nor can all their rage drive the great Physician from my heart, nor from affording me that powerful aid and assistance in the work, which he has promised to all that labour in his vineyard. And I must confess that their unparalleled malice and unabated fury, and the unwearied diligence with which they pursue me, sit much lighter upon my mind than formerly; and I am not without hope that in time I shall glory in it. God has instructed me with a strong hand that I should not walk in their way, nor say a confederacy; but dare to be singular in these dark days of apostasy, universal hypocrisy, and empty profession.
W. H. S. S.