Letter XIV.

To Noctua Aurita, in the Desert.

YOUR having informed me that the bee came to your hive with wax on its legs, and honey in its bag, encouraged me to come again to you. Precious was your last to me! delicious fare! for really it has been so refreshing to my soul, that I can feed upon nothing else: therefore have compassion on me, and go on still to help me; and you will certainly experience the wise man's words to be true, viz. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth." Consider that this week there is no going up to Bethel. Our watchman is removed into a corner, so that we can neither see him nor hear him. The Lord bless the interview, and grant that he may soon return, and come to us in all the fullness of the blessings of the gospel of Christ. I have read again and again your last Letters, and found a second benefit. I believe, while I remain upon this earth, that I shall never have done with them. Some of the mysteries I had the key to before they came, or I never could have found out the riddle. Sweetly was my soul led into the experience and enjoyment of those blessed truths; which did so humble and meeken my soul, that it crucified me afresh to this sinful world; so that I am not fit to live in it. I seem quite insensible to every thing in it, and hardly at times know what I am about, or where I am. This has given me some light into those words of our blessed Saviour, in his prayer to the Father before he entered upon his sufferings. Praying for his disciples, he says, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." I cannot but think that you have been lately a Sabbath-day's journey into some part of the promised land, and have reached as far as the brooks of Eshcol; for what you have sent to me seems to be some of the first ripe fruits, a most precious cluster. It could not be carried by one; but it hath been laid on a staff, and borne betwixt two. It was one of the choicest of all blessings; no less than an earnest of the whole inheritance. O that I was but with you, to tell you what I enjoy now, while the King's herald is with you! But this is impossible. Wives and mothers must be keepers at home. But the heaven-born soul cannot be confined. Though absent in the body, yet am I present in spirit; and, had I the wings of a dove, nothing under heaven should hinder my flight, for once, into the Desert.

I know now, by blessed experience, that nothing but a sense of the dying love of Jesus can humble a proud heart, and soften the stubborn spirit of a sinner, so as to bring him to the Lord's feet; and I am a living witness that this will do it. This will subdue the most hardened, rebellious, and desperate wretch that ever breathed on this earth; and this will be my wonder and admiration to all eternity. O that I was but above, that I might praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God! How do I long to join with the hundred and forty and four thousand in their song to him that hath loved us, and redeemed us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Surely my voice will be the loudest among them.

My soul thanks you for what I have received this week from you. I have had a banquet indeed. May a full reward be given you by your Father, and my Father, your God and my God! A sweet shelter indeed my soul has found from the windy storm and tempest. I find it as the shadow of a great rock in fids weary land. My soul has still in remembrance the wormwood and the gall, which were bitter enough to my soul. But all is past; and nothing of vindictive wrath shall my soul know henceforth and for ever. What astonishing love was it for the Lord to pass by such a rebel as I was, and to say unto me, when I was in my blood, Live. Yea, he has spread his skirt over me; and in that blessed robe shall I appear before him in the great day, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and, though black as the tents of Kedar, fair as the curtains of Solomon. As you observe, could we always live on the mount, without any interruption; but, alas! down from the mount we must come. But I am, like Peter, for detaining the Lord, and building a tabernacle, that I may abide with him till he shall take me to the upper and better house.

What the Lord is preparing me for, I know not; and what my path will be next, I am in the dark about. You intimate that he is preparing me for the field of action. May I be taught to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ! the word, the flesh, and the devil, are against me, I know; but this I know likewise, that I can do all things through Christ strengthening me. However, at present I seem as if I had no enemies; for the Lord has made the corruptions of my heart, and Satan too, as still as a stone. And sweetly does he commune with my soul, which humbles me in the dust before him; and I feel such meltings of heart as I never knew any thing of before; which have been much produced by your two last Letters. The mystic gates and wards that wisdom is leading my soul through are some of the secrets that are with them in whose heart he has put his fear. "I," says Wisdom, "lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment, to cause them that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." I believe that what I am now in the enjoyment of is some of that substance, that sabbath-day's portion, which you told me 'in ms dream I should enjoy. Surely the Lord does now, as well as in days of old, instruct by dreams and visions of the night. "When deep sleep falleth upon men, then he sealeth their instructions." I am sure I can witness to the truth of this. We were greatly in expectation of seeing you before now. But the Lord knows best when to send you. I hope, when you do come, it will be with good news from a far country, and make it one of the days of the Son of Man to us. I think I need not tell you that I shall be happy to hear from you again. I have a young hidden one with me who desires to be remembered to you. She wishes you the enjoyment of every spiritual blessing. She is Due that is waiting at the pool for the moving of the waters, to be healed of all her spiritual diseases. Our little sister, who hath no breasts, is much indisposed. I think she would greatly esteem a Letter from you. Remember my love to Father G__n. I hope he is not offended at the liberty I took in writing to him. I must conclude, wishing you every blessing of the better covenant, and that you may ever have much of the presence of the Lord with you. So prays

Yours, in sincere affection,

The King's Dale.