[To J. G.] London, 7 July 1839.
My dear Friend,
I have long wished to write to you, but I have been so cast down that I have not been able to do anything to purpose. My fears and despondency have prevented my intercourse with others, and I knew not how I should show my face again. But the Lord, who is infinite in mercy now and then, softened my spirit, and for a few minutes revived my hope; and yesterday morning I felt a sweet influence come over my mind, with much awe and holy reverence before God. I was in secret, and said in my despondency, Surely this is the true essential fear of God; and immediately the Lord bare a sweet testimony to the truth of this, and added such a divine and comforting testimony of his everlasting favour, and that he would never leave me nor forsake me, that I could not but rejoice in this salvation. It was very sweet to me for a season; but the confusion and darkness of my mind gathered again, and I was greatly cast down, not knowing how far these things would eventually sap the foundation of my hope.
This morning (being Sunday) I was hearing our minister commenting on Luke xvii. 6 - "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you." The Lord the Spirit helped my infirmities, and I believed he had wrought this grain of genuine faith in my heart; and it immediately raised me up from all the fears and unbelief that I had laboured under for some weeks. While the minister was setting forth the impossibility of the least ground that is gained in faith ever being lost, I believed it with all my heart; and many times circumstances and things recurred to my mind wherein I had most assuredly at the time believed with all my heart, which I now received as truly as if accomplished, with eternal life at the head as the sure issue. This gave me one of the sweetest and most lively testimonies of God's love to me in Christ Jesus that I have had for some years; it set my mind and heart free towards Pulverbach, and my spiritual affections went out in a most lively manner for the welfare of every one of you, and I longed to see you once more in the flesh, if I might, by the blessing of God, impart some fresh benefit to your souls. I must acknowledge that I am less than the least of you all, but the Lord chooses not by outward appearance. He can and often does make use of the meanest instruments. In consequence of all this I am now, by the will of God, and all things combining to bring it about, made willing and pleased to go; and I purpose seeing you in the course of ten days.
Yours &c. J. B.