A Letter To A Sister In Christ – September 16th, 1869
My dear Friend in our gracious Lord, Mrs. Peake — I feel much obliged to you and your dear sister for the kind and affectionate wishes and prayers for me; but I must say that I feel also utterly unworthy of your kind opinion of me, for I think if you knew me such as I see and know myself to be, it would alter your judgment. Still, if the Lord is pleased in His sovereign grace to make use of me in any way for the good of His Church and people, to Him be all the glory.
The obituary in this month’s Gospel Standard is certainly a very marked instance of the power of sovereign grace. Dr. D., of the “Gospel Magazine,” was so blessed in reading it that he wrote to me a letter which you will see in our next number. Surely it is very gracious of the Lord, and shows His tender care over His people that He should give the Gospel Standard, with all its infirmities, such acceptance and such a wide circulation among those who fear His name. Our Lord said, “That which you have spoken in the ear in closets, shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” And thus letters like those of Miss V., and the experience of E. W., come abroad and reach the ears and hearts of thousands.
I am sorry to say that I still continue very poorly, and do not seem to shake off my illness or to regain strength. It appears as if there was some irritation going on which makes me very short-breathed, and at times feverish. But C., who listens very carefully to the sounds of my chest, thinks it is gradually subsiding. At my age, and after so many attacks of the same illness, I must naturally expect slower returns to convalescence. I was enabled to get through my sermon for Mr. Ford before it came on, and the obituary for Gospel Standard, which I could hardly have attended to otherwise. One trying effect of illness is that it weakens the mind as well as the body, impairs the power of close thought and attention, and but for special help seems also to weaken faith and waiting on the Lord.
Had my visit to Oakham been deferred to this month, it would have been impossible for me to come among you. There was, therefore, a mercy so far that I was enabled to visit you at a more favorable season, and when I was better and stronger.
I was much pleased to hear that Mrs. S. had been blessed lately in hearing our dear friend Mr. K. It was what she had much longed and prayed for, but felt that it was not in her power nor his to bring the desired blessing. I have much union with her in the things of God, and much admire her general spirit, singleness of eye, and spirituality of mind. I wish there were more like her; but God is able to raise up, both at Oakham and Stamford, a fresh crop when the present shall have been gathered into His garner. But no man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says the old is better; and I do not think we shall ever feel the same union with the new as we have had with the old members and saints, so many of whom are now gone home.
Yours very affectionately in the Lord,
J. C. P.