Hertford, 27 June 1842.
Dear Mrs. C. J.,
I have great cause to be thankful that my health is restored, and that I am not left destitute of a sweet sense of God's mercy and favour and tender care. I am made truly to believe that the Lord is touched with the feeling of my infirmities, and that the merciful power I feel upon my heart is not a shadow, but a real substance which supports me under all my various trials, and that the Lord oftentimes causes hope to abound on every side. I do not know how far I may have been a reprover to many, which I hope has been profitable, but I feel that my afflictions have been so sanctified as to discover to me the deep necessity of a close and sober walk, because I have experienced that both the wood, hay, and stubble have been tried, as well as the gold; and if the Lord had not been with me in the furnace, I must have utterly perished.
If the houses I have passed so often on the way to Kilburn could speak, they would testify of the many doleful horrors that I have conflicted with, and the dreadful sinkings from which I could scarcely hope ever to rise; but to my utter surprise, I have also had the sweetest tokens of the Lord's favour, which have so counteracted the despair, that I cannot describe to you the unspeakable sense I have had of his everlasting love to me; and these among many more words were brought to me on my way to your house, with such an abounding hope that I have not yet lost sight of them - "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, he shall strengthen thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." About two years ago I was in great trouble, and the Lord gave me a word which I watched, and on which I was caused to hope; and the whole of it was marvellously fulfilled. I have just the same hope and the same watchfulness in this, and a feeling as if the Lord did not intend to disappoint me; so that with my pre-sent support and future hope, I have yet a prospect of comfort on every side.
If the pride of my heart is to be judge, I should say that my hope is perished from the Lord; but I feel that in his mercy he makes the new man which he has planted in my heart to be the judge, and this declares he can do no wrong, but on the contrary, goodness and mercy have followed me all my clays. He gives me many mercies, without rebuke, and when I lose sight of him, I mourn and tremble till I find him again. Mine is not a life of rebukes from the Lord, but of mercies. I must say that the life of my soul has flourished in the furnace.
And now I must beg of you and Mr. J. to accept ten thousand thanks for your unbounded kindness to me; I hope the Lord has made me deeply sensible of it, and that he will reward you a hundredfold.
From yours affectionately, J. B.