June 9, 1808.
ALL things seem to conspire at present to facilitate my intended tour. And I hope you will proclaim it as loud, and be more extensive in your proclamation, than my bell-man, my harbinger, Mr. T. In former days, when second causes were all in all with me, these things galled me not a little, not being able to see afar off. But, since my sight has been lengthened, and the first cause is more looked to, I have at times taken pleasure in reproaches, and felt a secret joy at persecution, though not to that degree as many have. But faith is at a point, and staggers not at this, that "all things shall work together for good to them that love God:" and all things work together for evil to them that hate him. The former shall wax stronger and stronger, and the latter shall wax worse and worse; deceiving and being deceived. When a deceived heart has turned a man aside, his bands become strong; "he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, there is not a lie in my right hand." Dust shall be the serpent's meat, says the prophet; and souls thus deceived by the serpent shall feed upon ashes. They hate Zion; and upon her troubles, calamities, and afflictions, they feed. But in our prosperity, when we flourish, when we increase, when we are honoured, they droop; "they wander up and down, and grudge and grin like a dog, and go round about the city." The fame of our success going forth, it takes them: "Morning by morning shall pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."
I am big with expectation, that God in his wisdom will overrule the malice of this man, so that the wrath of man shall praise him, and that wrath which terminates not in his praise he will restrain. David expected that God would requite him with good for Shimei's cursing, and eventually he did. Our battles are not to be fought with confused noise, nor with garments rolled in blood; but we must carry on our warfare with burning and fuel of fire. Love, zeal, faith, truth, and grace, maintain the fight on our side; wrath and rage, false sparks and strange fire, maintain its in the opposition. But our fiery baptism from above, and the live coal from the altar of burnt offering, must never go out; many waters cannot quench these, nor can the floods drown them.
I hope our audience, and our success in this our next meeting, will be a fast to the serpent's seed, and a banquet to us. Yea, we have the promise - "Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry. Behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty. Behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed. Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit; and you shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen; for the Lord God shall slay you, and call his servants by another name."
Farewell! The Lord is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.
W. H. S. S.