June 29, 1808.
I DROP you a few lines, knowing that sympathy, succour, and encouragement, are beneficial to feeble knees and other infirmities. I am a medical man, and have in these parts considerable practice, for they seem determined to drain both my skill and my medicines. And, having done our best, daily experience proves that all our disorders return again. The plague of the heart, the risings of corruption, and the workings of 'unbelief, are among our incurable diseases. Satan's rage at our hope exasperates him to be continually rubbing fresh nitre into these old wounds, which are called our daily cross, being the peculiar lot of all those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a sore travail under the sun, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised with: but the Lord will not lay on more than he will enable us to bear. Christ and his salvation are most highly prized by God the Father: and he will make us deeply feel their need before that pearl of great price is made sure to us; to obtain which nothing should cause us to slacken in our diligence, seeing it is all that is worth obtaining, and all that is worth keeping. Nor would Satan try so hard to oppose us, if he were not in fear of our success.
I now begin to wish to set my face towards mount Gilead; though I have two more weeks to abide in these parts, where the people are thirsting for the word, and drain my cruse pretty dry. However, I am satisfied it is the Lord's work, and doubt not but his family greatly increases here: and this is my meat and drink, and sends me with thanksgivings to my God for giving me, as Leah said, a good dowry, though I am much hated.
Let nothing, my dear Betty, deter nor discourage thee from following after Him, whom to know aright is life eternal.
W. H. S.S.