[To M. B.] 7 Somerset Street, London, Jan. 1820.
If God is pleased to make you sick of your evil ways in every sense, and of your evil nature too, you will so sicken and die to the world, that neither the kindness of friends, nor the hypocrisy of false professors, will be able to keep you from crying for mercy. I know you must have many difficulties to encounter, and find nobody to counsel you. This is hard; but, however hard it may appear, I really think we are too apt to go to human means (if near at hand), and by that are kept longer in misery; whilst, if human means are withheld, we MUST go to the fountain-head, where alone all real and efficacious help is to be had. This has been much my case in the beginning of my profession; and I find it much the same now.
I have had many anxious cares and feelings about my new abode, and have been dreadfully afraid of entangling myself in expenses too great for me. I have had many sleepless nights, crying earnestly to God to undertake for me; and on Monday last, I was so ill in body, and so burdened with care, that I knew not how to exist. I had long cried to God to relieve me, but found no sensible help. There is a quietly hoping and patiently waiting for the salvation of God. My desires after him were intense. I wanted his approbation, and an assurance that he would bring; me through life, and give me an expected end; and in my new house, just before bedtime, when alone, the Lord was pleased to shine into my heart in the sweetest possible manner. It was attended with such godly repentance, godly sorrow, and self-abhorrence, as I shall never be aide to describe, Christ assuring my heart of his tender mercy to me, and that I was walking in the steps of his providence, and that my happiness and privilege were to cast my care upon him, for it was not in my power to manage matters, but God would in infinite condescension undertake for me both spiritually and temporally.
O what happiness to be in such hands! Troubles we must have, but a sweet hope of mercy at last sweetens all; and if you attain to a comfortable assurance of your interest in Christ, it will be more to you than all outward earthly comfort whatever. My wife joins in kind regards.
Yours &c. J. B.