Pulverbach, 24 July 1838.
Dear Mrs. Jones,
Your letter has been a source of comfort and satisfaction to me, as I felt assured there was a need for that heaviness you laboured under. Your mercy has been to have an ear to hear the admonition of the Lord, and that notwithstanding your backsliding heart you were not suffered to abide under that load of unbelief which bore down all your spiritual light and understanding. The Lord graciously said to you, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" Then why all this load and heaviness that you have carried so long? Is it not a folding of your hands to sleep? Why not arise and call upon your God, that you perish not? Do not you perceive that the kind caution only half awoke you, and therefore he suffered the enemy to come in like a flood; and that the admonition not being fully laid to heart, the chastening rod was sent? But you, by the mercy of God, were enabled to kiss it, and to stoop under it, and confess your treacherous dealing towards the best of friends.
It was your mercy that he caused you to pass under the rod (as Ezekiel says) and not to despise it or leave it unnoticed; for when you found grace to stoop under it, then the Lord revealed his covenant mercy to you in Christ Jesus, and all contention ceased, and unbelief, the worst of rebels, was purged out; and then, not till then, could you loathe yourself and repent in dust and ashes. Here it is that "light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart;" and this heavenly light diffuses itself in the word, and everything we read now seems spoken in loving-kindness and tender mercy to us.
You know now what the Lord means by gathering "the waters of the sea together as an heap;" and laying up "the depth in storehouses." Therefore fear the Lord; for his eye "is upon them that fear him, and upon them that hope in his mercy;" (and never more forget what follows) "to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine." You have lately suffered this famine; and if his eye had not been upon you, you could never have returned in the over of his Spirit. Therefore "our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy Name." Praise ye the Lord. [Psalm xxxiii.]
Yours very affectionately in the Lord, J. B.