The Cabin, on board of Providence,
Sept. 30, 1805.
HAVE received poor Mary's letter, and am sorry to hear the contents. But it is no more than fatherly severity, not vindictive wrath: it is the chastening hand of a most benign parent, and not the vengeance of an inexorable judge. I have no fear of God's breaking his covenant, forgetting to be gracious, or casting off his people. Poor Mary is in safe-hands; and sure I am that this contention will last no longer than till they will submit to him. The root of this cross is perverseness; submission is sure to cure it; for how can two contend, or disagree, when there is but one will between them? "Not my will, but thine be done," says the Saviour. Again: "He repented and went, and did the will of his father," says the parable. The greatest indulgence my mind has ever craved, since I have tasted the sweetness there is in Christ, is to have . my books, ink and paper; and to be shut up and shut out from all company under the sun; this, this has long been the wish of 'my soul! But it must not be so: the candle lit up in my soul must not be put under a bed, nor under a bushel: this the Lord told me with his own mouth.
There are none that love Christ, or that could receive such an one as myself at S.; and, as to the pulpit there, to let such an one occupy it would be to incur the displeasure of all the evangelical society; and, as to preaching to the dead, it is what I never coveted. I do not know but I may soon be at F. where I have a few friends, but have no desire to visit S. In all the sights, amusements and pleasures of this life, I have not once, to my knowledge, spent one day since I have been Christ's servant. I will drop you a few lines, and give you timely notice, if I go to. F. where I have several children, who have separated themselves from among the rest of professors. Stand your ground, cast not away your confidence; shall he turn away, a ad not return? He will never forsake those that hope in his mercy. There is nothing, in all the catalogue of your complaints, but what has fallen to my share; though God knows that I never procured them by herding with the world.
Farewell! Grace and peace be with thee. I shall follow this with my poor prayers.
W. H. S. S.