Feb. 26, 1811.
I HAVE been long employed in preparing Letters and a Funeral Sermon for the press, which was delivered on account of my dear friend Mr. Jenkins. I have also received a long letter from a Mr. B of Nottingham. I was glad at my heart to find there has been a famine and a cry for bread in that town, and also as great a stir in Salisbury. There is no speaking among the dry bones until God commands the wind to blow, nor will these bones separate from the world until life be breathed into them; then they will unite, bone will come to his bone; and when sinews are brought up upon them, (I mean the bond of peace, and the more perfect bond of charity) they will bind them together, and make them move in concert. It is a blessed thing to be taught of God; to know the depths of Satan and of man's fall; to be searched and tried, so as for the book of God's remembrance, in which our names are put down, to be opened up and explained; so as to have them set in order and in the light of God's countenance, before our own eyes; then, when he tells us that he has blotted out our trangressions as a cloud, we know what he means, and admire the change.
It is. a blessed thing to have the conscience alarmed, awakened, and quickened; furnished with all the sentences of God's law, and empowered by the Holy Ghost to produce every charge, and to accuse as long as one corruption of nature, or one actual transgression, can be
And it is as true, that the atonement will go as deep as ever the leprosy went; when love will succeed divine wrath, and consolations shall abound over all afflictions. Such find that sharp rebuke makes the heart sound in the faith. The poor young man seems to feel the stony heart, and the injurious bolt of unbelief, which two are the bars of the castle, and the only fastenings of those doors that keep the prisoner in the prison. Take away unbelief, and the soul goes forth in faith; take away the stony heart, and repentance towards God flows out, and in the dying love of Christ finds a place to weep and to mourn in. "All the churches shall know," saith the Saviour, "that I am he that search the reins and the hearts;" and by this work he makes his omniscience, his justice, and his holiness known. Nor will such easily turn Arians, being taught of God and kept by his power.
I have this day sent a few lines to Nottingham, which were transcribed, my hand shaking so bad with old age, that it is not only hard work for me to write, but as difficult for some to read what I have written.
Still yours in the best of bonds,
W. H. S. S.