To Noctua Aurita, in the Desert.
SINCE Philomela received your last favour her soul has been vexed within her, and she must shew it to you, because you are made manifest in my conscience to be a true prophet of the Lord. You prophesied, in your last, that my scent must be changed; and that, as my garments had smelled of myrrh, the next time I came to you you should discern the bitter aloes also. I knew you would not prove a false prophet to me. But I wish to put the evil day far from me; and therefore said I would not believe it till it came upon me. However, Satan laid a snare for me. He knew I had been for some time in the banqueting-house, feasting on the feast of fat things, and wines on the lees, such as he never had tasted of, nor ever will. The dear souls in the dale, who are on my heart to live and die with them, seeing my happiness, and I can keep nothing from them, for freely I receive, and therefore freely I must give, knowing, by experience, that "there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth," and I believe Satan knew that their souls got some good, because they covet my company, and therefore he came to me in this manner: he insinuated that my being so open and free to tell them how God dealt with me sprung from nothing but pride, because they should think highly of me; and that, instead of their eyes looking to Christ, they were looking to a creature. I thought I could appeal to conscience it was otherwise; for I knew that, if it were so, it would bring the rod of God upon me in such a manner as they might see what they were trusting to. For a few days I found it a great burden; it made me hate myself. However, I made a resolution that, if my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth, I would no more speak to them of what the Lord had done, or was doing, on my soul, This was last Thursday week. On Saturday last, one named Q in the corner, came to see me: she has attended the orations of our herald for some time; and I have often thought there was a weight on her mind, but never could get her to be open. But now she could hold in no longer. She told me she had read several proclamations lately; and she had also observed a particular alteration in my countenance of late. I was silent which was enough for her; and she said, there was no one she could open her mind to. She enjoined secrecy; out I could make no promises. She gave me such a description of her case, and put such questions to me, that I quite forgot the resolution I bad made of not opening my mouth any more. She dragged every thing out of me that God had done on my soul, from the time I was first wounded, till the Lord broke my fetters. And her soul seemed to be raised to a degree of hope, at least that there might be mercy for her. A deep work it is; not the work of a day, a month, or a year; though God has permitted it to be kept secret, and she is not aware that any soul knows it but myself. She had written two Letters to our watchman, but burnt them both. However, I ran with the tidings to him as soon as I could. She cannot keep it much longer from him. After this, it came to my mind that I had passed the bounds of my promise. However, I promised to do so no mere. And now you shall know how God dealt with me on Thursday evening after. As soon as the herald had finished his oration, she came to me at Bethel, with such a countenance as I shall never forget. She was too full to speak. My conscience told me she was cut deeper, under the alarm and warning of the watchman of the night, than ever she was before. But I said in my heart I would not speak to her. I only asked her if she was not well; and she went from me. But my conscience smote me, and cut me in a manner I cannot describe. I went home and to bed; but such a night's lodging I had! The devil and conscience made fine work with me, because I had kept my mouth shut to her when I knew she came to me for sympathy. I think I would have given fifty pounds if I could have got up in the night and gone to her; but she was too far off. However, I found my mind at liberty in the morning to write her a Letter, which I did, and sent it her directly. On the feast day at even she came to me again at Bethel, with these words: "I thank you; I thank you; I do not deserve it. O what shall I do! Never was any thing so seasonable. If I could have spoken to you on Thursday night I must have told you that I was sure of being damned. 0 that I was one of the marked ones? My heart was ready to burst, and I cried to her, "You are one, you are one of them." "O," says she to me, "you shall hear from me: indeed you shall." My very bowels go out after her. Surely Satan will get the worst of it. May I remember the battle, and do no more. Job. xli 8 I know it will rejoice your heart to bear o! this poor sinner. I think her deliverance is not far off. I find I have filled my paper, therefore can only say, I have found the peace I had lost. I believe you know that I was born again to be troublesome to you. Hope you are well. Pray let me hear from you as soon as you can. I have not said one half I wished to say. The Lord bless you with the best of blessings. So prays
Your affectionate sister in the Lord Jesus,
The King's Dale.