Dec. 8, 1806.


I THIS day received a line from Tom, dated from Lincoln, where he complains much of the badness of trade, as is the case in most cathedral towns; but he informs me that you are something better, at which tidings I was not a little pleased, having often begged the good Lord to remember poor old Sarah in all her afflictions. God abideth faithful though we believe not; and, as a faithful God has given us what little faith we have, so, if we want more, he must give it, as it grows not in nature's garden; being a grace of God, a free-grace gift from a Redeemer's fullness, a fruit of the Spirit, a manifestation of our eternal election, and a declaration of our sonship. We believe in God with his own faith; we hope in his mercy with his own hope; we love him with his own love; we fear him with his own fear, and worship him with his own Spirit and his own truth; and, as all these things come down from him, so all return to him again, in confessions, in prayers, in praises, and in thanksgivings. And these go by the name of water, as we are called dry land and dry ground; because they soften, revive, refresh, and replenish this mystical earth; and afford meekness, humility, and self abasement, which things counteract hardness of heart and stubbornness of spirit, that cannot yield, bend, or submit, to the will of God. And I believe that all trials which are sanctified do yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby; and nothing adorns the soul more than a meek and quiet spirit, a submissive will, and humility under his afflicting hand. And sure I am that, the more we are tried, the more meek, the more access to God, and the more free and familiar with him. "Learn of me," says the Lord, "for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls."

Excuse haste.

Ever yours,

W. H. S. S.

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