To Noctua Aurita, of the Desert.
I RECEIVED yours, and my heart rejoiced when, I saw the handwriting. I know the Lord will reward you for your labour of love to my soul. It grieved me much to find you was laid by from your work. I hope ere this you are about again; for I verily believe the Lord will not keep you a prisoner long, because, under him, there are so many that are looking to you for food, and there are so few under shepherds to feed them. Last week the Lord was pleased to visit my tabernacle with a disorder which I had some apprehension would have take, me home. But he has brought me back again; for what end I am at a loss to know. I want to be gone. I know there is a mansion prepared for me, and that nothing shall ever separate me from his presence, who is the life and joy of my soul. I know now what you meant in the first Letter you sent me, after my fetters were broken off. It has much puzzled me till lately. You said that faith was come to me by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and that faith would shortly work by love; and that love would cast out all fear and torment, and then the match would take place. Indeed I find it so; for I very sensibly feel the effects of union to Christ. Well might the apostle break out in wonder, and say, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." But we shall know more of it when, as you observe, we shall see the lustre of a million suns, which will smile on us, burn in us, and shine through us, for evermore. These expressions, as it were, set my soul on fire. But these words come to my mind, where the apostle says, "Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye may inherit the promises." And I believe no soul ever needed patience more than myself. I find you will not let me enjoy my sweet morsel without the bitter herbs; you must bring to my remembrance the wormwood and the gall my soul felt under Moses' yoke. I verily believe that such a man as you can certainly divine; and therefore do believe what you say. But I am not there yet; no, I am in the banqueting-house, and his banner over me is love. I assure you my mortal part can hardly support me under it. I know my body is much weakened, which is the reason I think that the Lord will not keep me here long; for I seem to live entirely above. I have enjoyed much satisfaction in the company of the citizen who was lately at the vicarage. I feel union of heart with him. He seems truly contrite. I pray the Lord to appear for him, and heal the breaches which are made in his spirit, and restore to him health and cure. I hope we shall see you ere long in the King's dale. Your kind expressions of love in Christ Jesus towards us I really believe, for you have shewn it; and I am sure that the same bond holds us to each other that holds us to Christ our head. His Majesty's herald, I believe, is well. My soul was sweetly fed yesterday under his excellent oration. I wished him to continue his sound till midnight. I believe I should not have fallen down with sleep. He brought forth milk and strong meat, that each might have a portion in due season. I really think he has had much of the power and presence of God with him ever since the meeting of our solemn assembly in the barn and the bower. Every time the Lord sends you among us you confirm and strengthen the work on our souls done by the King's herald. So you see that self-interest is one motive of our wishing to see you. However, I believe one may say for many, that we love you dearly in the Lord Jesus as you do us. I should be glad to hear from you as soon as convenient. My other half desires to be kindly remembered to you. Must conclude, and remain
Your affectionate friend and sister in the Lord Jesus Christ,
The King's Dale.