A Letter To James Davis – October 1st, 1868
My dear Friend, James Davis.
I am sorry that you should have experienced so heavy a loss; but I have found myself more than once, when I have been calculating on some increase of income or some temporal advantage, that a sudden stroke has come and swept it away. We are thus taught not to trust in uncertain riches, which make to themselves wings and fly away; but trust in the living God, who has helped us so many years, and not allowed us to lack any good thing. Those words of our Lord, Mark 10:29-30, were once made very sweet to me, for I could see them all fulfilled in my experience; but the sweetest of all was, “and in the world to come, eternal life.” That crowns all. We might have all the gold that ever was dug up in Australia, and what would that profit us on a dying bed, or in the great judgement day, if gold were our god, and we had no other to look to, believe in, or love?
It has been with us a summer almost unparalleled for heat and drought, the thermometer being for several days at 92E, and in some places 94E. The whole country was burnt up, and the grass fields almost as brown as the road. I very much felt the heat and the exertion of preaching, and it very much prostrated my strength. I was at the Calne anniversary, and it was one of the very hot days, though not the hottest of the season. The heat of the chapel was very great, as it was much crowded; but I was much helped in speaking, and many of the friends spoke of it as having been a blessed time to their souls. My text was Jer. 32:14, and I endeavored to show from it the two kinds of evidences, which we must have to know that we are redeemed—sealed evidences known only to the happy possessor, and open, which are to be known and read by others. I said that these were put into an earthen vessel—our poor, frail, mortal bodies, and that they are in a sense buried with us, and will rise with us in the resurrection morn. Your old friend Hicks was there, and friends from Bath, Castle Cary, Malmesbury, and a long way round. It was at the anniversary that I first saw you, as no doubt you remember. Our friend Mr. Parry was better this visit, and able to hear me each Lord’s day. He sadly misses our dear friend Mr. Tuckwell, and indeed all do who knew him and esteemed him for the truth’s sake. He made indeed a good end, and as dear Tiptaft used to say, was well laid in his grave. I saw there many old friends, but it was the middle of harvest, and that and the great heat kept some away.
I hope you find the Lord with you in speaking to the people. You would find it a great trial to be laid aside.
Yours affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.