A Letter To A Friend – April 20th, 1865
I am sorry to be obliged once more to decline the invitation of my Zoar friends. Indeed I have no alternative—for so far as I dare make engagements, the Lord’s day for which you have asked me, I had already fixed to spend with my Oakham friends. It will be therefore quite out of my power to accept your kind invitation. And I much also fear, even were you to ask me for a week-night when I am (D.V.) at Gower Street, whether I should be able to accept it.
It is quite true that, through much mercy, I am better in health; but I still feel, and shall probably ever feel, the effects of so many attacks of illness, the consequence being such tenderness of the chest, and an habitual cough which tries me much, especially in preaching, and which sometimes I think will prevent my preaching altogether, as speaking often brings it on. But we must all have our afflictions and trials; and this is one of mine, heavy to bear as interfering so much with the work of the ministry, and crippling me just where I should wish to be strong.
I am glad to find that the Lord still favours Zoar. It used to be a favoured place twenty-five years and more ago, when you were but a young man. In those days, what a concourse there was; and how many dear saints of God used to flock like doves to the windows. Great changes have you seen there. If then the Lord is graciously reviving His work in your midst, to Him be all the praise. There are no doubt many gracious souls in the east of London, to whom Zoar used to be a little refuge. That it may ever be so, and that increasingly, is the desire of,
Yours affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.