To Noctua Aurita, in the Desert.
WAS I perfect in the language of Canaan, I could convey to your mind the sensations of love and gratitude I feel in my heart to you for the unparalleled kindness you shew me in your work of faith and labour of love, in the Lord Jesus, to my soul. You never will know, till we sit down in glory together, what an instrument the Lord makes you of confirming and establishing his work on my soul. However, sure I am that this kindness of yours shall in no wise lose its reward. I think that his Majesty's herald and yourself were both born into this world on purpose to be useful to me. I received a Letter from you last Wednesday, which prophesied of some dark and cloudy days. Sure I am that my old man will procure me a large share of fatherly chastisement. But" to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." To be put and kept at a distance from him whom my soul loves, must be a hell upon earth; and I think will be more severely felt by me now, since I have been indulged with such manifestations of his love to my soul as I have been lately. But there will be a sweetness in it when he shall turn again: for it is but for a small moment he will hide his face; and at that time there will be nothing of that bitter ingredient in it called vindictive wrath. ,I know you never yet sent me one lying prediction, and I am sure that you never will; for every epistle you have sent me came under the seal of the Spirit of God; and precious they are to my soul, and a valuable treasure I esteem them. Their price is far above rubies, more desirable than fine gold, "sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb." I must now dismiss your first Letter, though I could say much more about it, and the effects of it on my mind. But I have much to say about your second Letter, which I received on Saturday evening. It caused sleep to depart from my eyes, and slumber from my eyelids; and I was full of tossings to and fro until the dawning of the day. And, had I had the wings of a dove, I should have been at Paddington as early on Sabbath-day morning as Mary was at the sepulchre of her dear Lord. The first page of it is a mystery to me. I have not wisdom to understand these words of the wise, and his dark saying," The bee that came to your hive with the wax and honey." I cannot make it out. But it is the" feeling of the wind shaking the cottage," which you think is hastening your arrival at the .better house, which filled my heart with sorrow. It made my heart tremble for the ark of God. My mind got a little composed from the Lord's dealings with Israel when he was about to take away Elijah. He did not do it till he had anointed another prophet in his room. As there are so few watchmen that God hath set on the walls of our Zion who can detect an enemy, and give the time of the night, I hope the Lord is not about to leave the city of our assemblies in the hands of blind watchmen, who cannot understand; because he says that "our teachers shall not be moved into a corner any more." From what you say next, in one of yours, I gather that you have some more enemies to encounter. Perhaps you are in perils, according to custom, among false brethren. You speak of many loathing the manna, and calling it light food. This certainly calls for divine judgment. But, as you observe, your crown is sure, because your reward is with your God. Whoever they are that fight against the truth, and the power of it, fight against God. But I can tell you that the thought of your being in trouble drew forth all the sympathetic powers of my soul; and I am sure my feelings have been mingled with yours ever since; and, if it is not too great a favour, may I ask thee to lend me thy key, that I may open this lock, that my mind may be eased; and I should be obliged to you for it as soon as you can. I must speak of the contents of the other part of one of your Letters. The second time I read it I cannot describe the sweet ray of light, from God's Spirit, which came on my mind, accompanied with a sweet, melting, humbling frame, which brought me to the feet of Jesus. I found I had the key to that which was my own experience. I could go with you to the end of your Letter. You have brought forth all the operations of the love of God on my soul. The effects it produces, and the soul-melting sensations of the poor sinner under it; the crucifixion of him to the world, which takes place as the consequence of it; was greatly blessed to me, as it described my own feelings far better than I could myself. I can with confidence say, that I am planted together in the likeness of Christ's death, and likewise in the likeness of his resurrection. The world and I are well agreed; I am crucified to that, and that is crucified to me; for, as you observe, Jesus has taken with him my heart, affections, thoughts, desires, wishes, and all that is not mortal, and I am now a stranger, and a sojourner here, as all my fathers in the faith were. And I have need, of much patience to wait my appointed time till my change come. The Lord bless you, and give you much of his presence, and of the enjoyment of his eternal love. So prays
Your very sincere and affectionate friend and sister in the bonds of the gospel of Christ,
The King's Dale.