May 27, 1808.
The Doctor to his dear and venerable daughter Sarah.
SINCE my return I have received and read yours: but could return no answer till to day, Mr. Jenkins having been with me till this morning. I am made manifest in thy conscience, and all such are, in my heart to live and die with them; their God is my God, and their people my people; nor will death itself part thee and me. The stakes of Zion are not to be loosed, nor one cord broken. The love of God - Father, Son, and Spirit - are durable cords; in which we are bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord Jesus. It was these that drew us to Christ, and to each other; and they will keep us one in Christ, and one among ourselves, for evermore. Death has no power upon divine charity; it is as strong as death, and stronger too; for perfect love will cast out the fear of death, even in this our present state: and I am persuaded that neither life nor death shall ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."All grace is incorruptible seed, and must reign unto eternal life.
You know not how glad I was to see poor Tom and the Justice in the island; it was something like Paul's meeting the brethren in his way to Rome, when he thanked God and took courage. The Hebrews in that part of the country begin to come forth out of their holes, and those that sat in darkness shew themselves. I have long sowed, and now I begin to reap, which is the most pleasing part of the husbandry; the preparatory work is all in hope, but this part is reaping with joy. But the harvest home is before us, though now only in hope; when the Master of the harvest will appear, when the whole crop will be raised, and all the sheaves and shocks be brought home. When the first fruits shall be seen, and the rest of the wheat shall appear with him, then the Master and the servants, the sowers and the reapers, will all rejoice together. We. have in hope, Sarah, the earnest of all this. The same Spirit, which gives us the first fruits, will perform all that is yet to come. He is the pledge of it all, and in possession of us, to assure our hearts of this welcome, this blessed, this long looked for, and much desired end.
By the contents of yours there is a shaking among the bones at Grantham. I hope I shall be enabled once more to prophesy to the wind; and who knows but bone may come to his bone? Tender my love to Tom, to Fanny, the Justice, and all that love us in Christ Jesus.