Jan. 22, 1808.
HAVING this morning been much indulged by my invariable and eternal lover, I must visit my poor old Sarah again. I am truly in travail for the poor Ragman and his family, and am persuaded that I shall not travail in vain; and I believe that that immense and omnipresent Being, who fills all space, will make my poor old one feel the influence that I am now under. I perceive, by the contents of her last, that she is not sticking in the miry clay of flesh and blood, buried in natural affections, which are kept boiling by distrust and God-dishonouring unbelief - as if the church of God had no head, Zion no king, the children of men no parent, and the widows of God's habitation no husband. The devil transformed is the root of all such fruits, and the fountain of all this corrupt spring. Rise we up into the spirit, the faith,
I hope my ancient one struggles hard, now while the labour is in hand. "Shall I cause to travail, and not cause to bring forth? Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb, saith thy God?" Shall I exercise my children with legal bondage, fear and torment, and make them travail under wrath and guilt, and not shed abroad my love in their hearts, to cast out fear and torment? Or shall I cause them to bring forth life, light, and hope, and shut the womb of my secret decree? No: I have predestinated them to the adoption of sons, and they must and shall be born again. "I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my, blessing upon thine offspring." - This is for thee; hear it, and know it for thy good. I did not mean that thou shouldest confess thy sins to any but God; it is against him that we have sinned, and to him confession should be made; unless under any particular evil, which Satan suggests to be singular, and without a precedent, and unpardonable, in order to shut us up in despair; in such a case (read James v. 16) it may be proper. Such as know their own heart know yours also, and need no information upon that head.
I am this day looking out at the cold, frosty weather, longing for the return of the spring, when I hope my breath will be better; at present it is short enough, and keeps me looking towards that night when the labourers shall receive their hire.
W. H. S. S.