Letter VI.

To  Noctua Aurita, in the Desert.

I HAVE not words to express my thankfulness for the favours you are heaping upon me. My debt is increasing, and I have nothing to pay. But I do verily believe that my dear Redeemer will give you a full reward. Blessed be his name, he does give me a heart to pray for it; "And he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, because the spirit itself maketh intercession for us, according to the will of God." Your Letter came as a broad seal to all that I had experienced from the Monday till Thursday evening in the week following, when I received yours. During those days my union to Christ was made as clear to me as ever I saw the sun at noonday. What I felt in my soul of the effects of dying love no tongue nor pen can ever express. The godly sorrow it produced in my heart melted it. The Lord did give me to look on him whom I had pierced, and mourn; and this dissolved my stony heart, and broke it in a thousand pieces. The three verses of Mr. Hart's hymn on the Prodigal quite overcame me, viz.

The prodigal's return'd,
Th' apostate bold and base,
Who all his Father's counsels spurn'd
And long abus'd his grace. What treatment since he came?
Love tenderly exprest.
What robe is brought to hide his shame ,'
The best, the very best. Rich food the servants bring,
Sweet music charms his ears:
See what a beauteous costly ring
The beggar's finger wears.

My joy and godly sorrow kept increasing; and on Tuesday following it rose so high, that I was incapable of attending to the domestic concerns of my family. I could only go about the house saying, "Lord, I cannot live so; I cannot, cannot. Do take me. Thou knowest I cannot bear up tinder such manifestations of dying love." Surely I was drunk with the new wine of the kingdom. The Lord did make me so to drink as to forget my poverty, and to remember my misery no more. Surely the Lord is preparing me for something; but what I know not. However, I am persuaded I shall not be led in this way long; but am quite in the dark what will be my path next. I think he is either preparing me for glory, or I shall be exercised with some fiery trial. However, what I experienced this last month I believe no temptation that I shall be exercised with will ever erase it from my mind. I know now that Christ is mine, and that nothing shall ever separate me from him. I am saying with the spouse, "A bundle of myrrh is my Beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts." I am truly glad to hear, by a friend, that you are better, and able to follow the plough. May the Lord crown your labours with success, that the fallow ground of sinners' hearts may be prepared for the reception of the precious seed, that the incarnate Word may be formed in many hearts! I shall be happy to see you. I hope it will not be long before I have that pleasure. I saw the King's herald last night; he was well. I believe he rejoices to see my happiness. May the Lord bless and prosper him! The power that came down upon us at Gasson's Bower seems still to remain, both with him and us. Surely that was a time never to be forgotten. Our dear sister Moorhen begs me to present her kind love to you, and she thanks you for your kind Letter; but says you give her too much encouragement, and she is afraid she shall never be able to write to you again; but desires me not to forget to tell you that she loves you dearly for the work of God upon you. I think we may say of her, as Christ said of Nathaniel when he saw him coming to him, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" My very soul cleaves to her. Precious she is to me, and dear to the Lord, I have no doubt. I shall be happy to hear from you as soon as convenient. I hope the Shunamite's continually coming will not weary you. Lot me continue to have an interest in your prayers. I believe I never stood in more need of them; for I think that Satan is enraged at me, and perhaps is laying some snare for my feet. Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom, that I may not be ignorant of his devices. My paper tells me to leave off. Believe me ever to remain

Your very sincere and affectionate friend and sister in the bonds of the gospel,

The King's Dale.