[To Mr. Nunn.] Hertford, 10 July 1842.
My dear Friend,
I have been much encouraged and comforted by Col. ii. 2, 3, and have seen great beauty in the unfolding of that "mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are HID all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The world have no knowledge of these unsearchable riches, which are divine, heavenly, and spiritual. They may know something of God by the wonders of creation, and may hear that he gave his only begotten Son to come down upon earth to give his life a ransom for sinners. They have even seen that Christ came, and bore much reproach, and at length was crucified amongst them. But the mystery of God the Holy Ghost none can by nature fathom, nor understand the way in which he testifies of the Father's love to us in Christ Jesus; by which testimony we in some measure comprehend our interest in these immense treasures of wisdom and knowledge, our understandings being enlightened, by the same Spirit, to perceive that no access to God the Father or God the Son is known, but by the mysterious testimony of God the Holy Ghost. No fellowship of this mystery, but through the Spirit. It is hid in God from the eyes of all living in the flesh, but revealed to poor troubled souls that often fear the worst, but by this wonderful teaching are heartened to believe that they shall never perish. It is the sweet taste of these things that enables me to come with holy boldness to a throne of grace, and to find, through the eternal Spirit, access to the Father; and I am surprised at his condescension and mercy, in permitting me to draw so nigh, through his dearly beloved Son. [Eph. ii. 13-18; and iii. 8-12.]
I often sink very low, and am tempted to despair, but these sweet seasons are so encouraging, that I find under the enjoyment of them that there is no ground to despair; that the whole of this work upon the heart is the work of God, and therefore it is sure to be completed. I cannot describe to you how sure I find it when I have this sweet power fresh upon my heart. Though I know that the Lord is faithful and changes not, yet when darkness comes on I lose the sense of these sweet things, and fear all that is past may prove a mistake. Perhaps you will be ready to say, Are you no farther yet? I confess my weakness, and am greatly ashamed; I sometimes think I shall get to a firmer standing, yet our minister tells us continually of the weakness, fear, and trembling, with which he himself is surrounded.
Yours affectionately, J. B.