June 19, 1810.
YOURS came to hand, requesting to know the time of my intended visit to the North. No such intention has at any time sprung up in my mind; nor do I believe that I shall ever see the North again. "That which I greatly feared is fallen upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." I have for some years had the rheumatism fixed in my right shoulder; it is now fallen into my right hip, and I am at times led to conclude that my travelling days are come to an end. I am not in much pain in bed, nor when I sit; but in walking my pain is great, so that I am almost ready to drop if I walk but a few yards. I have confidence that God would remove this pain from me, for his dear Son's sake, if I was to entreat him. But I have found the inward man so much renewed day by day under these decays of the outward man; and fearing also that the removal of this outward cross would be followed by a worse within; I am afraid to ask, knowing that dissatisfaction with one crook has often brought., on a worse. I am still in hopes of having C. in the work, for I see none like the children that God has given me. The troubles of others, and their distresses, appear to be inconsistent with God's teaching out of his law; they run not parallel with the word of God: and their deliverances do not come up to the gospel standard; not being attended with that noble wound, nor with that deep and lasting incision, which is made in the soul under the operation of the dying love of Christ, attended with a believing view of his suffering in our stead, and of our interest in the benefits of his death; without which there is no fund of matter; no stock of evangelical experience; no springing well to feed the ministerial gift; no unction, no dew. Such, at first setting off, appear self-diffident, simple, timid, and humble-minded; and when professors see this it is approved and admired, and such labourers are caressed and much followed, which in a few weeks proves their ruin; as it lifts them up, and then they get into the flesh, and savour of self; into legal bondage, and swell with pride; or else into the letter, and then we have nothing but a multitude of words, which is Solomon's criterion of a fool. This is the universal furniture of our whole cloud of dead and blind witnesses in the present day, who have seen nothing, nor ever handled the word of life. I have hopes of my son Joseph, that he may be a fruitful bough, a bough by a well. I understand that the wool still entangles him, and is more and more unprofitable. Who knows but he may be called to quit the place, and be brought to deal in white linen! I wish he would leave it, and come up to me for a while: how ever, I believe that this will be the end of things. I have received his packet, but have not had time to read it as yet. Give my kind love to him, and to all the seed royal, for I doubt not but all at Leicester, who are truly such, are in union with
W. H. S. S.