Hartford, 6 August 1842.
Dear E. H.
Although the testimony of man is nowhere in Scripture highly prized, yet when a God-fearing man burdens the spirit with reproof, it must not be considered altogether as the word of man, but as a message from the Lord to break the neck of sonic hidden evil in the heart, which the Lord is determined to take in hand. I hope the things you have written to me have led you to deep examination. When the Spirit of truth shall enter your heart, he will guide you into all truth, and remove that deceit and hypocrisy of the heart which beguile us into many things that secretly work a glorying in the flesh. Such glorying cannot stand with the true humbling of the Spirit. We may be, through ignorance, held in it for a season; but if we belong to the Lord, he will take some effectual means to root it up, and to bring us a few staves lower in our own estimation; and then, however we may regard with desire what is said in the Bible, we shall claim no more than what the Spirit of God shall have testified out of that word to our consciences. So much is ours by the gift of God; all beyond is a robbery, and you know what becomes of thieves and robbers.
Let me entreat of you to be, inasmuch as lieth in you, sincere and without offence; let your life, walk, and conversation, in the circle in which you move, be consistent with the fear of God which you profess. An empty fruitless profession will soon wither, and bring no fruit to perfection. "The trees of the Lord are full of sap." Take heed of enmity; it is a root of bitterness that will defile those about you. "In the reproofs of instruction is the way of life." Take heed that you harden not your neck. This is a part of the Saviour's yoke, easily borne where love is in the heart. The grace of humility is rare. The Psalmist says, "Great peace have they that love thy law," and "NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM."
Let me teach you a prayer that always has been and is still very hard for me to learn, and yet I feel it needful - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." If your whole soul be engaged in this, I may add what the word of God further says - "Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"
Yours &c. J. B.