[To the Rev. W. Maddy.] Pulverbach, 15 January 1843.
My dear Friend,
How inexpressibly fearful do I feel my situation, and if it were not for the comforting power of God visiting me at times, I should utterly sink. My temptations are on all hands, innumerable threatenings from the enemy, and dreadful fears how I shall finish my course, who am so ready to instruct others. I dare not tell you all my painful fears, yet the Lord comes and oftentimes comforts my heart with such a sweet assurance of his favour, and he has given me such conspicuous answers to prayer, that I cannot but marvel at his goodness. My exercises are very sharp, and I can scarcely give credit to the things the people tell me concerning their profiting by what they hear; yet their tale is so simple that I dare not set it aside. I am kept in continual fear, in a very low place, which enables me to describe such places with feeling; by the mercy of God I can also point out to them the way I get out, namely, by earnest seeking and watching. This daily spiritual exercise keeps out all room for boasting. I think by the tenderness the Lord gives I am not perverse in my way, and that he is often present to comfort and encourage me in the work he has given me to do. How harassing it is to look at inward and outward things, instead of looking to Jesus! How clear I am made to see the way while I am speaking in public, and how hard I find it to put it in practice! I sometimes consider the unspeakably merciful interference of the Lord Jesus Christ in times of my extremity that are past, and am encouraged; yes, and more than encouraged - I firmly believe he is my hope and sure foundation, and that when the rains descend and the winds beat I shall still stand, because of the Rock on which I am built. But we have need of patience, or the Lord would not have said such great words as these - "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." The unceasing assaults of the enemy make us need that perpetual help of the almighty power of God to sustain us.
Yours &c. J. B.