Dec. 28, 1807.
Dearly beloved in the Lord,
YOURS came safe to hand, but it was long on the road; slow, but sure. You were the first to whom I wrote after my return, and the last that answered; but I spare you. It is true, my dear friend, God does regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise it. My poor, feeble, and defenceless soul bends herself with all her might at this most glorious of all privileges, being so truly sensible of the gains and profits that arise from so lucrative a calling. God has called us to the fellowship of his Son. True, dear friend, I have no doubt, but he does hear thy poor petitions; and, if one thousand go up, and no answer is returned, the time shall come when all shall be answered at once, like a flood or inundation, that carries all before it. "Every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth." You may believe me when I say I could most willingly lock myself up, and retire from all human society for ever, only to attend to this very thing - reading the word, and pleading suitable passages in humble prayer. This is my pleasing element, my court days, and my soul's delight; and I have followed it up till it is become most sweet to me, and Satan has laboured as hard against it; but no enemy to my soul under heaven has ever been able to prevail against it. When I received such vile treatment from T., to whom I had been the kindest friend, I was enabled so to prevail at the throne of grace against him, that I felt in my own soul the court of heaven was moved in defence of my cause; and he shall rue the effects of it.
Be honest, my dear friend, and act truly and uprightly with thine own soul, and suffer conscience to magnify her office. "Search me, and try me," said David; who was willing to know the worst; he did not desire to have his wounds healed slightly, with a cry, of "Peace, peace." Whatever wild terrors, horrors, alarms, frights, and fears, hypocrites like Cain, Esau, Saul, and Judas, may have had, be assured of this, that none know and feel the plague of their own hearts but God's elect - the churches, not the world. "All the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts," Rev. ii. 23. Therefore submit, and be willing to have the worst laid open. It is the true light which discovers the depths of the human heart; it is the omniscience of God that makes manifest the counsels, workings, conceptions, and productions, of inbred corruptions; and it is the life of God that gives all our longings, cravings, hungerings, and thirstings, after the provisions of Zion. God, my friend, is in all these works, "I wound, and I heal; I bring low, and I lift up." Yea, he killeth by the law, and maketh alive by the Spirit; "he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up." These are the sick which need the great Physician; and not the whole, the sound, nor the healthy.
None know the depth of man's fall, nor the foulness and filth, the uncleaness, the infidelity and enmity, hardness and impenitency, the rebellion and atheism, of our inbred corruptions, but those who are taught of God; and none but such will ever embrace, adore, and admire the Saviour. Of all the spectres, ghosts, beasts or devils, whether in earth or hell, whether real or imaginary; not one ever appeared half so fearful, terrific, or dreadful to me as myself, when exposed by the application of the law! No freewill, self-confidence, daring presumption, false hopes, or head notions, can live, or maintain their standing, on this ground: and I bless God for their destruction; for when we are thus withered God revives us, and under his revivings a better crop is produced; faith and hope, fear and peace, love and joy, light and life, spring up; and this fruit shall never fade, wither, or die, away.
Come, old girl, pluck up, take heart, be of good courage, and "he that shall come will come." The old man has got the dagger in him, and die he must. And Satan has lost the fort royal of thine affections, and shall never regain it more.