[To A. H.] London, 20 February 1843.
My dear Friend,
I am truly glad to hear of your welfare, and that you still hunger after the bread of life; for the Saviour says that such shall be filled. I fear that the dangerous places your husband is exposed to will try his profession to the quick. Often so long from home, and no word of exhortation, and the world at all times before him, and a bad example. I am greatly afraid these things will be too strong for him, if he make not God his refuge by constant prayer. I fear that prayer may be forgotten and left off in his pots of beer; and that though not a drunkard, he may be betrayed into excess, and be made to know that God will not be mocked. If he lightly gets over what he heard from me, the Lord can soon break another arm, or lay both him and his family upon a bed of sickness; it therefore becomes him to stand in awe of God while his spirit is in some measure softened by the word, that his secret fears may prove the working of the Spirit to teach him to cry for mercy to the Lord Jesus Christ. He will quickly stand in need of this mercy when brought before God's bar; and though he may be tempted now to make light of these things, yet he will never be able to stand God's scrutiny when once he arises to judge him, unless he fall flat in spirit at the feet of Christ, and entreat his sovereign mercy.
So must you also do, and your sister Sally. There is but one way. It is a bitter thing to sin against God, and it is dreadful to be convinced of unbelief by the Spirit of God; but all must feel their lost state before they find salvation. I believe that you have tasted of relief from the Saviour in some of your troubles, as well as in the dreadful fear that came upon you after you uttered those angry words to Sukey Harley. It is by such convictions we are cured of all self-righteousness, and are made as lost sinners to come to him alone for help; and we become the more astonished that the Saviour will look on such abject sinners, and pardon us, or even give us the least hope that we shall not finally perish. I hope it may please God to help you in your approaching trouble, and by it teach you to make use of him, and to remember that in all our afflictions he was afflicted, and therefore knows when and how to help. May he maintain spiritual life in your souls, so that you may be a joy to me and not a grief.
Yours &c. J. B.