London, 21 May 1837.
Dear Mrs. H.,
I have always considered my correspondence with you of very weighty importance. Your case is peculiar; your difficulties are many; and the enemy is very earnest in seeking to confound your steps in the entrance of the Gate of Life. We are told (Prov. i.) Wisdom crieth "at the opening of the gates," and the cry is, "Turn you at my reproof; and behold I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you." This is given as a tender caution ; I feel the weight of it, and therefore am led with much awe upon my spirit, and in the greatest kindness not to hide any of the dangers to which you are exposed. I cannot tell you what fear I have felt lest I should be found setting at nought Wisdom's counsel; the words which follow (v. 26) filled me this day with great consternation, and in the next verse we hear of desolation, destruction, whirlwind, distress, anguish - under all which the Lord will not hear, because "they would none of his counsel." Yet I was much encouraged at the sweet opening of the way of escape which he makes for every trembling heart; "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."
Being greatly moved for your spiritual welfare, I would most earnestly entreat you not to listen to that evil principle which is in your heart, which will object to all truth, and set you down in a fleshly profession; but rather take heed to that principle called ''the new man," or the Spirit of life, which I trust has entered your heart. This will find many friendly excuses for plain dealing, and "incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;" for you may rest assured that if you cry after spiritual knowledge, and search for it as for "hid treasures," "then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." And you will bless God for ever that he has sent you a faithful friend, who dared not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, so far as he knew it.
When JESUS CHRIST, the heavenly Wisdom, enters into thine heart, and this knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, "discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee," to deliver thee from the evil spirit in man, "that speaketh froward things." [Prov. ii. 1-12.]
My heart's desire and prayer is that you may be saved. "Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life." Though you may complain of much darkness and your mind be at times in confusion, yet "unto the upright" (the honest or transparent) "there ariseth light in darkness;" and "the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." This will bring spiritual health; this will establish your goings, and sweetly unite our spirits in the bonds of the gospel. [Prov. iv. 13, &c.]
Yours &c. J. B.