A Letter To A Sister In Christ – August 19th, 1868
My dear Friend, Mrs. Peake,
Having now a little respite from my labours, and an opportunity not being likely soon to recur to write to you again, I send you a few lines according to your request.
You will be desirous to know how my health is, especially as the season has been so very trying. In common, then, with most who are weak, I much felt the great heat, especially as being obliged to preach to large congregations at the very time when it was at its greatest height. I was, however, mercifully brought through my labors in London, and have now completed my engagement here. I trust I found the strength of the Lord made perfect in my weakness, in soul as well as in body, and that He gave testimony to the word of his grace. But, for the most part, the things of God are at a very low ebb everywhere, both in town and country, and the churches seem much sunk into a cold, lethargic, and apathetic state. There are, indeed, a few souls which seem kept alive, and are sensible of their own state and the state of others, and these the Lord seems from time to time to revive under His word. There are some of these whom I know at Gower Street, and who spoke of the revival and renewal which they experienced under what one of them called the “sweet droppings of the Gospel.” I cannot say that I felt any peculiar or extraordinary power resting upon my spirit as I have sometimes experienced; but upon the whole I was favored with some good measure of life and liberty. Some of the sermons were taken down; some perhaps of the best, and two especially, were not, as Mr. Ford was not there. I may, however, take the same words again when he is present, though, without special help, I shall not be able to handle them as I did then.
We had, I believe, on the whole, a good day at Calne, and the collection on behalf of the Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society was more than £30. Some of the friends said they had never heard me speak with greater power there. But the place was so full, the ventilation so imperfect, and the heat so great that I much felt the exertion, and did not get over it for several days. Mr. Taylor was not able to come on account of illness, which was a great disappointment.
I hope it may please the Lord to give me health and strength for the work which still lies before me; but this extreme change in the weather, from drought and heat to cold and damp, makes me feel very poorly. We are poor, dissatisfied creatures. When it was so hot I was impatiently waiting for the cold; and now the cold has come I could almost wish the heat were back. We have been favored in the weather as regards the Lord’s-day, and I hope we have been favored also in the house of prayer, especially on the last Lord’s-day, when the Lord, I trust, enabled me to speak with some life, feeling, and power. We had a large congregation, and gathered from distant quarters, some having come twenty miles, and there was a large collection of vehicles.
Yours very affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.