May 11, 1810.
THERE is nothing in the experience described in yours that alarms me. Our heavenly Father's rod, his displeasure at our sin, his terrible lessons of instruction out of the law, the terrible majesty of God in the law, his contentions with us, his reproofs and rebukes, the arrests that he brings us under, the enormous debts which appear against us in the hand writing, and our fears, bondage, hardness of heart, unbelief and barrenness, which the law discovers; these things, yea, all these, are preparatory; and are intended to prepare us for the glorious reception of Christ. When the Saviour comes he has something to do; "his reward is with him and his work before him." The briers and thorns are all set against him in battle array; but he goes through them, and, in the discoveries of his love to sinners, he burns them altogether. This is his first work, and it is called purging. Jerusalem with the spirit of judgment, and with the spirit of burning. By the first, the Spirit arraigns and brings us in guilty; and by the latter he inflames us with love, which burns up our idols. Do not expect the Saviour till thou art prepared and made ready for him. Our business in the ministry is to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. The Physician will surely come when thou art sick at heart: he removes the stony heart, and gives an heart of flesh. This work belongs to him, and is a promise of his covenant, which he will most assuredly perform. You know what the state of the guests must be who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb; "they shall come that are ready to perish;" just fitted, as they imagine for damnation: these shall come to the "feast of fat things; of wines on the lees well refined."
You complain of deadness; this is another qualification; it is the dead that shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and the life of faith, and a lively hope, shall spring us as soon as the sound of his salutation shall echo through the court of conscience. This voice shall silence all thine accusers, and bring life and immortality to light; and then thou shalt see that just One, as well as hear the voice of his mouth. I am ordered to "strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees." I am bid to say to the fearful heart, be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. "Then the eyes of the blind are to be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. In this I have obeyed my orders; and God will "confirm the word of his servant, and perform the counsel of his messenger." Christ Jesus receives his church from death and destruction, and from no other quarter. He turns men to destruction before he bids them return; and they must awake from their sleep, and arise from the dead, before they can come to Christ, that he may give them life. Be of good cheer, salvation is at the door; and the Holy Ghost will soon open thy heart and let it in; then the King of Glory shall appear with ten thousand perfections of beauty, attended with all the blessings of the covenant; a brilliant train of graces; clothed with vengeance to thine enemies � clad with zeal for his own honour; girded with faithfulness as our prophet, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; as King of Zion. I had freedom in prayer for thee ere I began this letter, and shall remember thee still. Do not expect to escape the furnace and the rod. There is a furnace in Zion, and another beyond death for the enemies of Zion.
Farewell, grace and truth be with thee.