To my ancient and venerable daughter Sarah.
WHEN yours arrived with its strange direction, in the scholastic and flowery style, I said the hands are those of Esau; but, when I examined the contents, it was the voice of Jacob. My poor old daughter has been long in chains, long shut up, and deeply sunk in the pit of horror, and in the gloomy and dismal regions of hopeless darkness, of which I myself have been an eye and an ear witness. But "the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever." The year of release shall come, the jubilee trump shall sound, the state prisoners must go forth, and those that sit in darkness shall shew themselves; and such as cry in the closet must be rewarded openly, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. You have long lain among the pots, and they were the potsherds of the earth that attempted to get thee out; forgers of lies, and physicians of no value: but there is a set time to favour Zion, and that time will never be prolonged. For "though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." Few sink so deep as the Coalheaver, and few rise higher than I did when the eagle's wings were put on, and I began to mount. And I am fully persuaded that the joyful sound has reached thine ears, and thine heart too; faith moves, and conscience feels her feet. Faith always ventures abroad as soon as the bitterness of death is past; for believing is a passing from death unto life, and leaving all condemnation behind.
For the Lord's sake, slack not in thy diligence tarry not in the place of the breaking forth of children: faith must have the victory; therefore keep the old man fast by the heel, and get out first, that thou mayest obtain both the birthright and the blessing. The mourners in Zion shall be comforted: as afflictions abound, so consolations abound also. Prosperity must succeed adversity; as we partake of the afflictions, so we must also of the consolations. God only knows what is before, and in reserve for, my poor old Sarah. The kiss, the robe, and the ring; the banner, the wine cellar, and the best robe; the shoes, the wedding vest, and the fatted calf; the best wine, and the' joy unspeakable; are all before thee; and thou shalt know that I do not speak these things in vain.
My soul is engaged for thy welfare, and I have daily remembrance of thee, and of the poor flock at G. I hope in God that, when this long, cold, dreary, dismal, and severe winter is past, I shall see my poor old Sarah once more. I am old, and never did I feel more from inclement weather than during this winter. My soul is still alive; but, when I come to stand for two or three hours, my strength is all . gone, and I am a mere machine.
Tender my kind love to Torn, Fanny, and all friends.
W. H. S.S.