[To P. M. and his wife.] London, 20 February 1843.
My dear Friends,
I called at your house before I left Pulverbach, but you were from home. I have often wondered at the manner in which it pleases God to speak upon the sinner's heart; it is often by the weakest means, and at a time when we are little aware of the great weight which God purposes that the word shall have upon the conscience. It is a great thing to be convinced of sin, for until we feel ourselves condemned to perish we never effectually cry for mercy to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only to the troubled soul that rest is promised. If the Lord begin to break a sinner's heart it is that in due time he may heal it. The breaking of the heart is a thing the world knows nothing of. It is brought about often by repeated afflictions and disappointments, and we learn by slow degrees that it is the hand of the Lord upon us, and that with all our struggles we cannot get out of his hand; and when we are made to stoop, and yield, and acknowledge we are utterly lost, then the Saviour steps in to our relief, and shows us that there is mercy with him for just such miserable sinners as we are. While the Lord is working thus in us, we become sick of the vanities and pleasures of this life, as well as of the company that would allure and entice us from seeking Jesus Christ to stand our friend. We soon find that either Christ or the vanities of this life must be given up. Christ the eternal Son of God, will never dwell in the heart of a carnal or worldly professor; but with the cast-down, broken-hearted, sorrowful sinner. If any pretend to tell you of an easier way, believe them not. All other ways lead to death. There are swarms of religious professors who know nothing of the work of the Spirit upon the heart, and mislead thousands by vain promises of safety, while they themselves are led captive by the devil. I sincerely hope you will lay to heart the deep necessity of a true work of grace; for you will not be able to face death in peace and comfort unless the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse you from all sin. There is a divine secret in these things which is revealed by the Spirit to such as fear God. These shall share in that covenant which God the Father has made in Christ Jesus, and is testified by the Spirit to the consciences of poor wounded, hopeless, helpless sinners. I am made greatly to feel for your spiritual welfare, and hope that you will both manifest that the Spirit of God has sown the incorruptible seed which shall endure to eternal life.
Your faithful well-wisher, J. B.