Had it not been for my numerous engagements, my dear Friend's epistle would have had an earlier notice; for I can truly say that my soul rejoices in the Lord's goodness to her both in a spiritual and temporal sense.
O! the faithfulness of our covenant God and Father, who gives all needful things to those that first seek his righteousness. He rebukes us because he loves us, and puts us into the furnace that he may there manifest his choice of us. What straits and difficulties have I been in at times, and what hard thoughts of God have arisen in my mind, together with fear and dismay working within! and yet how great are God's goodness, mercy, love, and long suffering! He has never failed me, he has never forsaken me. I have had the happiest moments when in the sharpest trials, and the clearest manifestations of his favor when in trouble. This kills the spirit of this world, and a view of a God reconciling me to himself in Christ Jesus crucifies me to every thing beneath the sun.
A daily cross we must have, but this burden is light indeed when compared with unappeased wrath in the conscience. The Lord's anger in the law is turned away, and in Christ he comforts us. O what a mercy it is to be enabled to view ourselves complete in him! His words at this moment are sweet to me;" It is finished."
God reveals his love to the objects of his choice and the purchase of his blood, and sheds it abroad in their hearts by the Spirit. His sensible presence fills the soul with love, joy, peace, delight, comfort, and pleasure. It banishes all our doubts and fears, and enables us to bear up under all our afflictions and sorrows; it raises us above the world, and enables us to look forward to eternity with pleasure. Christ is our Treasure, our Riches, our Righteousness, our Peace, our Life, our Rest; and what shall I say more? He is our All, our Chiefest Good, our Saviour and Redeemer, our only Advocate, our wonderful Counsellor, our Guide, our never-failing Friend, our sweet Companion, our best Beloved, the Joy of our heart, the Delight of our souls, our Brother, Husband, Head, and Lord. He is our Rock, our only Foundation, and upon him our souls are built. He is our only Refuge, our present Help in trouble, our Door of Hope, our House of Defense, our living Ladder, and our Gate of Life. In Him we are accepted, in his righteousness we are justified, and in his blood we are cleansed. We are supplied from his fullness, upheld by his Spirit, and kept by his almighty power. We are members of his flesh, of his body, and his bones. All that he has is ours; his life, his death, his resurrection, all are ours by faith. He and every believer are but one. 0! blessed union, felt and enjoyed, but never to be described!
I am unwilling to leave off. This morning peace came into my mind, and I have shed tears of gratitude before God. I hope to see you again soon. My best love and hearty wishes to all the seed royal. The Lord be with, bless, preserve, and keep you all, is the prayer of,
Leicester, November 5th, 1818. JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN.