A Letter To A Sister In Christ – January 10th, 1868
My dear Friend, Mrs. Peake,
How we seem to stand, as it were, amid the dead and dying! How many of those with whom we have walked and talked on the things of God have passed away; and how, as each one is removed, it speaks as a personal warning, “You also be ready.” But we know well that all our readiness must be in Him and from Him who gave the precept. What a gradual unloosening there is of the ties which bind us to life. And I believe for the most part the Lord makes His people willing to depart before He calls them up from this world of sin and misery.
I desire to sympathize with you both in your path of trial and affliction. Your dear sister has had a long and painful experience of an afflicted and suffering tabernacle, the trials of which those who enjoy health and strength have no idea of. And as regards yourself, such a weight of care, labour, and anxiety has been laid upon you as to tax to the utmost all your powers of mind and body. But in the world, and especially in the Church, there must be those who are willing and able to work and spend their energies on tasks laid upon them for the good of others; and, though sometimes they rebel at having so much cast upon them, yet they are made willing to work when they see and feel it is for the glory of God and the good of His people.
I am very sorry to hear so sad an account of poor Mrs. P—. No doubt she needs all the heavy strokes which have been laid upon her. She is a woman of good and choice experience, and has had greater manifestations of the Lord to her soul than most can speak of. The faith thus given her has to be tried by fire, and I have no doubt that she will come out of the great Refiner’s hands with her dross and tin purged away. I know perhaps more of her experience than most do, and the remarkable way in which my writings, and especially “Winter afore Harvest,” were blessed to her soul, when she did not know whether I was alive or dead, and then her being brought under my roof and ministry in a special way of providence have much knit us together. The Lord will surely regard the work of His own hands, and it will be well with her in life and death. I also much respect her husband, as I have long marked his consistent Christian conduct and bearing under very trying circumstances.
I am glad that you like the Address. It is very difficult year after year to write what shall be edifying and instructive to so many of the family of God, and so varied in circumstances, character, leadings, and experience. But my desire was to lay before them such things as I know from experience harmonize with the Scriptures of truth and the teachings of the holy Spirit. This I believe the Lord will ever bless.
My Christian love to all who love the Lord.
Yours very affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.