[To M. C. B] London, March 1836.
My last letter to you was on a most important subject, and I was led with much anxiety to ponder what might be the effect of it. You are now in another and more responsible position. This change, whatever you or I may think, will bring to light many things heretofore hidden. You having put your hand to the gospel plough will, if the due weight of such a consideration be felt, find at times a clog in your new circumstances, and the new aspect of things. If you have feelings like myself, you will understand me when I say that a spirit of independence, which comes upon us in consequence of any prosperity, is the bane of one trembling as a sensible sinner under the conscious displeasure of God. How often, in the course of my pilgrimage, have I met with such as could not take counsel, because they thought themselves, as to outward circumstances, beyond the reach of the word of the Lord, but, like that king of old, have gone away "heavy and displeased." Although I write in this manner, I hope better things of you; and these are peculiarly called for at this time.
I only express my wish to hear of your spiritual welfare; nor can I clear my own way unless I can prove that I feel for the affliction of Joseph. If you are spiritually taught, you will, with the rest, value the love of the Church of Christ, and seek to be found in their prayers; for the Lord says, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
I exceedingly feel for you under the discouraging thought you express respecting giving up the means of grace. I hope such a day will never come. It was said to one, "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; " yet even that poor creature was, under the blessing of God, upheld by his almighty arm [Gen. xlix. 4; Dent. xxxiii. 27]. The Lord Jesus Christ says, "O ye of little faith," not of no faith; and speaks thus for the comfort of you and me. Surely secret prayer will never be given up; though you may call your attempts no prayer, this proves nothing. God says, "Pray without ceasing."
O may the Lord never suffer you to become a dead professor So prays Your unworthy servant,