August 10, 1810.
HAVE been a long tour, from which I returned not till. Wednesday last, and on my arrival found yours, full fraught with the best of tidings "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy, and those that go forth weeping, and bearing precious seed, shall doubtless return with joy and singing, bringing their sheaves with them."
It was on the 26th of June 1792, (now eighteen years ago) that I first met my dear friend at Maresfield. Then and there my concern and travail for his welfare began; and against my prayers and his faith the devil has laboured with all his wisdom and wit, malice, rage and power; over all which the truth, stability, and faithfulness of God, appear more firm than the rocks, and more brilliant than the sun. "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them," Isaiah, chap. lxv. They who built up in Christ shall inhabit Christ; and they that plant trees of righteousness shall feast upon peace, quietness, and assurance, which are the fruits of righteousness: "for as the days of a tree are the days of my servants." The days of an oak are a thousand years, and in the new earth we shall reign a thousand years with our best beloved. Nor have we laboured in vain, for death, bondage, and torment, are cast out; and love, which is the image of God, appears plainly. Neither have we brought forth for trouble, but for pleasure and joy: the caudle goes about, and a cup comes to me. God comforts Ephraim, and his mourners also. Satan is now silent upon this point; nor do I hear any thing of his ministering servants.
The present entertainment of Satan, and his seed, is the burning down of the chapel; which is to them a matter of great joy and a sweet repast; yet even this is not complete, because myself and the people were not in it; and of this their complaints were loud and riotous in the street. In this matter we have had a clear view of Satan and his seed, and that in their truest colours. But God is still my rock, nor has he suffered my mind to move with one doubt, nor one moment's rest to depart from my eyes. I long to know how my dear friend is: he now enjoys the penny, but I am left to labour; the burden and heat of the day is not at an end with me. My friend has often coveted my state, and now I covet his. God bless him; and God bless thee, Nancy, and my poor little Ann Jones.