[To the Rev. R. M.] Pulverbach, 4 January 1843.
My dear Friend,
I was once in very sore trouble some years back, and thought I had come to the end of all things, and should never more know comfort; and these words became exceedingly precious to me - "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy: he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall DOUBTLESS come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Since I have been here those last words are continually sounding very quietly in my heart, while meditating on and delivering my subject, and while conversing with any of the people; they come also in the night, and in prayer; and something says, Do not you remember how happy you were when the words were first applied, and you could not make out what bringing the sheaves with you meant? Do not you now begin to see some truth in those words? I cannot, and dare not, set them aside, but feel both comforted and encouraged to hope that the Lord is in some way accomplishing them.
The word preached begins to make a great stir in this parish, which excites many fears in my heart; but the Lord is very near, and often comforts me in the course of the day. The people in general seem in the very deepest possible stupidity and ignorance, yet many have terrible fears, and know not how to get understanding, but wander up and down for lack of knowledge. Sukey is truly in earnest, and sweetly enjoys the word, and is seldom sent away without some fresh power on her heart.
Yours &c. J. B.