[To the Rev. W. J. Brook ] London, 1808.
I fear it can be no entertainment to you to hear how I go on, but I feel disposed to write, and may God enable me to do it in godly sincerity. My health is better, but I move very heavily on. I cannot get to hear the Word, being kept in such bondage and fear that I have not presumed to set my foot nearer than the top step of the gallery, where I can hear but little, and sometimes not at all. This is a sore grief to me, and I have cried bitterly to God to deliver me, but find no strength; and I now begin to fear that God has utterly separated me from his people, and that I shall be held in perpetual contempt. A little time past, I enjoyed his presence, and then I thought my afflictions were all the best things that could befal me; but I have lost all sight of his dear face, and all sense of his favour towards me; I walk in sore darkness and seem troubled on every side. If I could have ever so distant a hope that God would restore me, I think I should then be satisfied. What you told me in the vestry at Providence Chapel, is the only thing that has abode with me; and that was, that God had some purpose to answer in my affliction, and when that was answered he would remove the rod. Amen. If I could but fully believe this, I think I should then wait for the day in patience, for I have sinned against him.
I find at times uncommon energy in prayer to God in this trouble, but get no sensible deliverance. O that I could quietly wait for his salvation! I think I never asked you to write to me, but if God should put it into your heart to do so now, how thankful I should be! Peradventure he may send a word of support by you.
Yours faithfully, J. B.