London, January 1838.
Dear Mrs. Oakley,
I have no doubt you find many difficulties in your way. I have a family of seven children constantly at home, and neither wisdom nor prudence (naturally) to manage them, but I perceive the Lord is all-sufficient, and often clears my way in answer to prayer. I fear what God says about the families that call not upon him, and therefore seek to warn and caution my family in all directions. I have often many fears and much anxiety respecting them, but hitherto the Lord has dealt very kindly with me; and I am sure if you are in the habit of watching, you will be surprised at the various turns which take place in your favour, even when you have feared beyond measure. "Your heart shall live that seek God." Continually seek and pray that spiritual life may be kept up in the soul, for this alone will enable you to bear up under all sorts of crosses. Keep your garments always white [Ecc. ix. 8] - that is, never let sin pass unnoticed, unrepented of, unpurged; make a point to bear this upon your mind, and never cease to carry all your evils before the Lord Jesus Christ, till he take the burden from you and restore peace, and you again perceive that he looks kindly upon you. In six troubles he has appeared, and in seven he will not forsake you; this I know.
Your faithful friend in the Lord, J. B.