May 18, 1810


ON my return from town I found yours on my table, and have thanked God for the relief he has been so kind as to send you. Not a jot or tittle of his word shall fail, fall to the ground, or pass away unaccomplished. If God strips us, he will clothe us; if he wounds, he will heal; if he brings us to beggary, he will make us rich. He is as much in us when he searches the heart and tries the reins, as when he sets us on the mount. He dwells with him that trembles at his words, as well as with him that loves him with all his soul; only he lets us feel first one of his perfections, and then another, as we are able to bear the impressions. The man whom God chastens and teaches out of the law is blessed, as well as he that is clothed, at the feet of Jesus, and in his right mind. They that hunger and. thirst after righteousness are blessed of God, and blessed with life; and they that are full are no more than blessed, though they may have more abundant life.

I have long believed, and do now, that there are some good things in thee toward the Lord God of Israel, which in due time will discover themselves. A bruised reed is nothing else but a man who knows his own frailty, who is chafed in his mind by sorrow, and wounded in his conscience by sin and grief. Flax means the feeble, shattered faculties of the soul, made soft, meek, and tender by fears, doubts and distress. The love of God in hope, or love hoped for, is the little heat that makes the smoke ascend; and the fervent breathings and longing desires . of the soul after the enjoyment of that love hoped for, is the smoke that shall not be quenched. "A bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench, till he bring forth judgment unto truth, and the isles shall wait for his law." Here you see what this reed and this flax wait for; namely, the justification of their persons, that they may pass from death to life; and, as God has promised that all Christ's children -shall be made righteous; that they shall be the work of God's hand, that he may be glorified; justifying them according to his promise is bringing forth judgment unto truth. And the law that such bruised reeds wait for, is faith that worketh by love; this is the law of Christ.

Be of good cheer, "He that shalt come will come, and will not tarry." You have his promise, "He that hath my word and keepeth it, he it is that loveth me, and he shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and manifest myself to him." And, if any people under heaven have the gospel preached to them, you have, and you have abode by it, and come to the light of it, though I know it has been searching, trying, and cutting work often to you; yet you know it is the naked truth; it holds you fast, and you hold it; to such the promise of manifestation is made; and it will not be long before you will see that just One, and hear the voice of his mouth. When your strength is all gone, when you are faint, and have no might left; when all refuge fails; when trouble abounds; then he will appear a present help, giving power to the faint, and increasing strength. Time will shew whether I am a true or false prophet. I continue to remember you in my poor prayers, and I doubt not but God will hear and answer in his own appointed time.

God bless thee! My love to all the friends.

W. H. S.S.

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