[To Mrs. Grimes.] London, October 1843.
Dear Friend in the Lord,
It has pleased the Lord to bring you into the dark valley of the shadow of death, and so to enlighten it as to cheer your soul. It is sweet to know that our Saviour passed through the same, and showed forth his almighty power in raising himself from the dead, by which he became the resurrection and the life to us. It is your mercy and mine that he is well acquainted with all our fears and misgivings, and has tenderly told us that, when heart and flesh fail, he will be the strength of our heart and our portion for ever.
In all the various sick-rooms I have visited, I have seen that the enemy tries hard to confound and alarm the enfeebled soul; but the Lord does most mercifully lift up a standard against him, and defeats his purpose. I witnessed the same on Sunday last in the death of a friend, who said, "The blessed Jesus has taken away the sting of death out of my conscience, and I am full of peace, and have no fears;" and in that happy case I saw him breathe his last most peacefully.
I would have you constant in prayer and watchfulness to keep as much of the Lord's presence as possible. Whatever fills the mind with gloom, carry it at once to the Lord, and cease not until he is pleased to remove it by giving you his sweet presence again. I would have you get your safety in Christ Jesus established in your heart by as much of his sweet and comforting presence as you can obtain. The Lord is a loving Friend to such as cannot live nor die without his taking them by the hand; and when he thus leads them forth, there is a cheerful willingness to follow, as was the case with my departed friend. It is also a sweet and savoury example to those about us, when the Lord grants this favour; and it is by such "chaste conversation, coupled with fear," that those about us are often led to seek the same.
I have been truly glad to hear the Lord has most graciously granted you much of his presence, and that you have found the peace I have written about. I assure you I am often surrounded with fears, and am not without them while I write; but I seek the Lord with some hope, that when I come to the verge of Jordan, he will "bid my anxious fears subside."
Yours &c. J. B.