A Letter To Thomas Godwin – March 9th, 1848

My dear friend, Thomas Godwin

When I tell you that my poor sister, Mrs. Watts, is dead, you will not be surprised at the paper on which I write. She departed on Lord’s-day morning about 8:30. She was a great sufferer both in body and mind, believing herself to be a reprobate and filled with condemnation and despair. We have, however, some hope that her poor soul is not lost, as three times on the night before she died she said, “I am going to God above,” and, I believe, never spoke after, being insensible all the night. My Sister, Mrs. Isbell, said that her convictions of sin were very deep; all her sins of childhood, etc., were laid on her conscience, and her distress of mind was very great, being fully persuaded hell was her portion forever. She was a remarkably sincere and honest person naturally; and, I think, the most reserved character almost that I ever knew. So that, knowing her disposition, and what she passed through, we cannot but hope that a sense of mercy at last reached her soul, and that she felt she was going to God above.

My poor mother is at present calm and resigned, though she was her favourite child, from whom she has scarcely been ever separated, and her life was almost bound up in hers. But I have often observed, and no doubt God has wisely ordained, that old age blunts and dulls the feelings, so that aged parents do not feel the loss of their children as younger ones do.

Oh, my friend, what is all preaching or all the gifts in the world unless the power of God accompany it to the soul?

I am at a point here. We need the mighty power of God to be felt in the soul, and without that, all is nothing. What two sermons William Tiptaft preached here last Lord’s-day! As regards ‘giftedness’, what most professors would despise, and perhaps ridicule, but what weight there seemed to be in them to exercised souls!

I cannot say much about soul-matters just now. We need a little flowing in before there can be any flowing out; and where this is not the case the pen or tongue move in vain, or like Pharaoh’s chariot wheels drive heavily.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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