Cricklewood, Jan. 20, 1808.
To my ancient and venerable mother Sarah, of blessed and everlasting memory, the son of thy vows sendeth greeting.
LAST night I returned from labour, tired, dry and weary; and saw the epistle of my revered matron, but was too much fatigued to read it. These last gales of the south wind have filled the sails of love; thou hast weathered the Cape of Good Hope, crossed the sun's line, and art on thy way for the Pacific Ocean; "the bitterness of death is past," and thou shalt never die. "Blessed is she that believeth, for there shall be a performance of what is told her from the Lord." The contents of thine epistle moved the compassion of my soul, and furnished me with a tribute of praise and a thank offering to my God, which I deferred not to offer in the behalf of thyself, and the friends in the North. O how does his goodness to thee endear his most gracious Majesty to me! He always causeth us to triumph in Christ; and delights in us, because we confide in and adore his dearly beloved Son.
Faith, my dear friend, is the leading grace of the Saviour's empire; and like leaven it will, under the Spirit's energy and influence, diffuse itself, and ferment the whole mass; it will powerfully discover that just one, for it is a seeing of him who is invisible. It bends, bows, and subdues our rebellious wills to choose and prefer Christ above every thing else, whether under or above the sun. It will wrestle, struggle, strive, and fight with every thing that stands betwixt Christ and the soul; it is the victory that overcomes the world. It will powerfully influence the mind; for it is a law that God writes therein; and, by the influence of the Spirit producing this grace, God is said to persuade Japheth. The last advance that faith makes is a descent into the heart, or rather the conscience; for it is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness and into this principality faith will bring the atonement, for God purifies the heart by , faith. Faith will sprinkle the heart from an evil conscience; it will work out. all the sin and fear, guilt and shame, filth and fume, that defile us, and make conscience as white as the snow in Salmon. This turns scarlet into wool, and crimson into snow. Add to all this, faith will put on the wedding robe; "The righteousness of Christ is to all and upon all that believe." And with this wedding garment comes the Spirit, to bear witness with our spirit; "He that believes has the witness in himself." Now, when this robe is put or, guilt purged, the justifying sentence passed 'in the court of conscience; when peace with God is proclaimed, and the witness of God's Spirit obtained, the devil will lose all grounds of charge and of accusation; for who can lay a charge against the elect of God? And sure I am that, if the devil had no other crimes, God would damn him for accusing the innocent, condemning the just, and for bearing false witness against his neighbour, or near dweller, for we cannot get far from Satan.
I believe that the power which abode upon me on the day to which you allude, the things prayed for, the words pleaded, the faith that attended them, and the firm hope of an answer, came all down from God, and unto God I sent them again, to be distilled in answers upon the bodies, souls and family of them in whose behalf my soul was engaged. And your letter convinces me that I did not travail in vain; for your faith grows exceedingly, and has already begun to work by love: and there are but two steps more for her to take; the first is to undermine all doubts, fears and unbelief, and to prevail above them; the second is to fill you with joy and peace in believing.
I beg you will not pay, any more postage of letters; it is a disgrace to my cloth, and to my title also. My success in town is great; and my children grow both in town and country, blessed be God: My kind love to all the saints, the Ragman, the Justice, the old Ladies, the honourable women, and all that love my best Beloved.