[To Mr. M. and Rev. R. M.] London, May 1842.
My dear Friends,
"Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." I once thought this was only a saying, but I have now found it a reality. I watch, and am very desirous to see that the Lord will condescend to sanctify my trouble, that it may be to his glory and the effectual salvation of my soul. I have been often lately brought so low as to fear that the Lord had forgotten to be gracious, but I was convinced this was my infirmity, for he has as often told me that I shall not be forgotten of him. This very morning, fearing I had totally lost the power and spirit of prayer, and mourning exceedingly because I could find no relief, I was led to Psalm xxvii., and as soon as my eyes saw these words they kindled upon my heart - "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Here at once I saw myself in the footsteps of the flock, and that David was a true yoke-fellow, who well knew what trouble meant. This brought great resignation; but when I read the next verse - "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thy heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" - it was spoken upon my heart as if the Lord himself was moved with compassion for me, and it truly caused me to believe every word would be fulfilled in my behalf. This was a sweet visit from the Lord; it both gave me comfort and preserved me from fainting in this day of adversity.
The whole of this day has been spent in conflict and in bringing again to my mind the Lord's sweet words from Psalm xxvii.; constantly praying that I might not faint, but find the promised strength and courage; and I think the Lord has heard my prayer; in the midst of many difficulties he has strengthened me, and carried me through them all to the present moment. I feel as if the words denoted continual conflict, and that I shall need this spiritual and heavenly courage; the Lord has therefore given me a sweet view whence all my help is to come, and that in waiting upon him and for him I shall find it a truth. These conflicts cause me to die to the world and all created pleasures. They put a damp and blank upon all things except the needed help of the Lord. How earnest it makes me to caution all who have a profession of religion, that it may have power and efficacy in it, and that none may rest short of those evidences which accompany salvation. That which stands the fiery trial shall be a vessel meet for the heavenly Master's use; and I am sure there neither is nor can be any standing but in the strength of the Lord. It has been my mercy to obtain strength at his hands in all my former troubles, which encourages me to hope the Lord will appear for me more fully in this. May you both find comfort in your affliction is the sincere desire of
Your affectionate friend, J. B.