Matlock, June 1843.
Dear Miss H.,
You see how I am tossed about, and am called from home perpetually through various causes. I am continually reminded that "bonds and afflictions abide me" in every place. New troubles arise out of new circumstances, and I find a perpetual need of crying to the Lord for help. I am made to know that my sins call for perpetual blows, and that nothing but a daily cross can keep me under a feeling sense of my need of the Lord's help.
O how sweet have these words in Psalm lxxii. been to me today - "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass;" not the grass growing with all its gay colours, but the grass that has been cut down, this rain refreshes. I cannot express to you the endearing feeling of the Lord's love to my soul that came in the reading of that Psalm, and how many things and circumstances it brought quickly to my mind; Lord (I said), shall I be precious to thee under such a trouble? Wilt thou look in this way upon me under such a circumstance, and shall my fears at such a time be regarded by thee? May I indeed hope that thine eye is so upon me? And I found the Lord confirmed the whole, and assured my heart that his dominion was from sea to sea, and that all kings (the king of terrors amongst them) should fall down before him; and that he would redeem my soul from deceit and violence - from all the deceit of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and that I should be enabled to say, "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; and blessed be his glorious Name for ever."
This is a path of great tribulation, but I think you must acknowledge, as the tribulation hath abounded, so also hath the consolation abounded. My sincere desire is, that you and your sisters may all find grace to choose this rugged way, rather than the smooth pretensions of modern religion, which has no daily cross in it, nor any understanding that our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ is not only loving, tender, and compassionate to us in all our troubles, but has eyes "like a flaming fire" to pierce through the secrets of the heart, and to discover its dreadful deception and hypocrisy. The easy profession of the day calls this bondage, and brings an evil report upon the good land, and tells us that the difficulties are too great, and the enemies are giants, and their cities walled to heaven; and thus it misleads men, and sets them down short of the real and promised rest. I sincerely desire that the eyes of you all may be open to the dreadful and increasing danger of errors which are now heard in infinite variety; and with which, if we fear not, we shall certainly be defiled as with pitch. The Apostle says, "Who is sufficient for these things?" None. "But" (he adds) "our sufficiency is of God;" and may God be yours and mine, or we shall never stand the dreadful hour of temptation that shall come upon all.
Yours &c. J. B.