[To Mr. Nunn.] London, 4 June 1842.
My dear Friend,
This fourth day of June is a day of great alarm and terror to me; but though I am brought very low, yet under all I find there is a reality in true religion that counteracts despair. God's word is indeed a substance on which I have feebly rested, and might firmly rest as on the arm of Omnipotence. I know there is no weakness in the word, but the weakness lies in my unbelieving heart. The Lord hath said that he would strengthen my heart in every trial, and that he would never leave me nor forsake me: this has always established a hope in the deepest trials that he will bring me up again from the depths of the sea. In all former troubles it has been so, yet the enemy will insist upon it that this is no rule for the future, and that now I shall find that the Lord will forget me; and he always assails me upon the same point, namely, that delays are the proof of non-fulfilment, and so casts me down. But as the Apostle says, so I find it - though sorely cast down, "yet not destroyed." Still pacing up and down in the room, heavy laden, yet crying, mourning, and seeking to accept the punishment of my sin, at last his compassionate ear opens, and he gives me some sweet glimpse of his heavenly favour, which so refreshes me as to make me renew the attack again and again. Were it not for these short visits my spirit would be swallowed up with sorrow; but while these last my soul sees such beauty in all his dispensations and judgments, such tenderness and care and condescension in his management of all my temporal and spiritual concerns, that I am lost in the sweet contemplation of the Lord's love and mercy to me in Christ Jesus; and this for the time gives me power to cast all cares and fears upon him, and shows me the safety of making him my sole refuge.
The conflicts and conquests that I am often exercised with cannot be put into words; but such as have fallen into these spiritual depths will understand and know the truth of them, both as respects the misery and shame, and the consolation and sweet encouragement which the Lord always in the end brings to his afflicted people. Under my present circumstances "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living;" but the Lord most assuredly told me to be of good courage, and he would strengthen my heart in patiently waiting and quietly hoping for his salvation. I am continually resting upon this; as the eye of the servant to the hand of his master, so is my eye up unto the Lord my God, until that he have mercy upon me.
Yours affectionately, J. B.