[To Mr. Burrell.] London, 12 May 1842.
My dear Sir,
I cannot help sending you word how my present affliction works. Although at times greatly bowed down, my burdened heart cleaves to the Lord under all. I never in my life felt the wonderful mercy of God in his all-wise providence bringing me through many changes to hear a faithful ministry, so much and so greatly as yesterday and on Wednesday evening. What the Lord led you to say on "our light affliction, which is but for a moment," entered my heart with sweet power and encouragement. I was much surprised to hear you speak of your heart sinking like lead in the water. It led me very much to resignation, submission, and hope; for I had felt before as if none were like me. Your first prayer was also a source of great encouragement to me, so that a day of mourning was closed with divine and spiritual relief.
My present trouble works many ways. I trust by it the Lord is humbling me and showing me, in some small measure, how real and great is his salvation; and that surely by these things he means to do me good in my latter end; also how light are these afflictions which daily befal me, when compared to the eternity of misery, or to the endless ages of happiness. I think the Lord is bringing me to a clearer resignation of H. into his hands, and a great willingness that everything respecting it may be left at his disposal. I am kept in continual prayer, confession, and watchfulness; constantly crying, Lord, teach me perfect submission, and to acknowledge thy infinite wisdom, righteousness, and justice. Though my spirit often sinks, it does not cease from prayer; which I feel a great mercy, because the Lord has said, "Your heart SHALL LIVE that seek God."
I was greatly comforted on Monday evening with these words - "He hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up" [Hos. vi. 1.]. They came with a holy confidence, that when the Lord had humbled us, he would in mercy return.
Your most faithful and affectionate friend, J. B.