[To M. B.] Alderwasley, Sept. 13, 1829.
I hope your next account will be better, your health mended, and your mind more settled. I have had hard work, and sometimes have thought I should never more see a friend in this world. I would not willingly go so far from home again, but I must not choose; it was by faith Enoch walked with God, and I must walk in the same steps, if I walk safely or wisely. But alas! I seem to have got into Bye-path meadow, and there is no way out; to be fast confined in Doubting Castle, and unable to move hand or foot. I look back on many marvellous helps and deliverances, but they seem to add to my sorrow. I can only think of my ingratitude, which has caused the Lord to hide himself behind such an impenetrable cloud. I am not indifferent, but my labour seems only in the flesh.
When I left Derby I had no small difficulty, but was very anxious not to leave without some token of God's goodness and gracious care, and he was pleased greatly to comfort me; but when I came here, all was gone, and there seemed no possibility of finding him whom my soul loveth. I seemed quite forgotten; but since I wrote the above, while making my lamentations known unto him, and condemning myself every way, the Lord Jesus was pleased to appear, and break my heart with a sweeter sense of his mercy, than I had found this summer before.
How wisely does he all things! How low his goodness and mercy makes us! How we feel ourselves nothing, like a moth, and yet saved in Christ Jesus with an everlasting salvation! May this be an encouragement to you, and as a counsel to my children to walk in those steps that lead to eternal life. My day is over - theirs will soon be so too. The giddy multitude, old and young, are now passing my window (though Sunday) to a neighbouring wakes; discriminating grace has changed my heart, and makes me see death and destruction the end of their ways; and the way in which he leads me, the safe way to eternal life. O Lord, be pleased to teach my children this way, and show them thy salvation.
Yours &c. J. B.