A Letter To Mrs Peake – January 24th, 1866
My dear Friend, Mrs. Peake.
I am just now in the thick of my sermon for Mr. Ford, which takes both time and care to bring out in a clear and acceptable way. I am making, I am sorry to say, very slow progress with the memoir of our late dear friend William Tiptaft; but I can only do a certain amount of work, and get so weak and jaded if I exceed it, that all the freshness of my writing seems faded and gone. I generally spend an hour after breakfast in reading the Scriptures, chiefly for the most part in the original, as far as time admits; and then, when my mind is fresh, address myself to my Standard work. After dinner I rest, and in the evening comes correspondence, and reading again the Scriptures before bedtime.
And yet how time slips away, and what little real good seems to be got or done! At times it quite disheartens me to find so little progress made, if any at all. Still we must go toiling and suffering on, and not get weary in well-doing, but commit our ways and works to the Lord. I have often thought that the standard in my own mind both of preaching and writing is set rather high, and that is one reason why I seem sensible of so many failures. I never could be satisfied, even as a natural man, with anything mediocre or commonplace, and was always aiming at some knowledge or attainments beyond the common level. The same feeling perhaps accompanies my spiritual mind, so as never to rest satisfied with anything which does not bear the mark and stamp of God.
I was out on Lord’s day morning, and heard Mr. Covell from Heb. 1:8, 9; but he only got as far as the first clause of verse 8. He was very solemn and affectionate, said he was a dying man, and spoke to the people as such. I heard him very well until just towards the end, when the oppressive atmosphere of the chapel—not a single ventilator open—well-near overpowered me.
Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.