Dear Brother,—I would willingly write for private satisfaction and for general edification, to yourself and my congregation; but my infirmity, increased by too much exertion, almost denies me the use of the pen.
I have been very dejected and low in my feelings since I have been out, but am better this week than last. I hope to meet you again on the first sabbath of December.
To my hearers or friends in general I would express a real affection for Christ's sake. I would say to them, as Boaz to his reapers, "The Lord bless you." Though distant from you, my heart would be with you to impart to you the whole gospel of Christ in all its fullness and all its bearings. Selfishness, coldness, and sleepiness are the lamentable order of this present evil day; but in these circumstances Christ is little known. When the heart lays hold on him, it finds him an all-sufficient good. It is sweeter than the glory of kings or the bliss of angels, to have him revealed in us "the hope of glory." He is a treasure that can neither be taken from us nor be diminished; that can neither weary nor cloy us. No repetition of his favors can make them grow old or unsavory. The "new man" is always renewed by his visits; and his word, which cannot be broken, declares, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." He promises his presence always, even to the end of the world, to his disciples; and his word is a tried and sure word. None who have given it the least credit in a desperate case have been disappointed. And O remember, he is Jesus, whether he come in a way of sensible manifestation, or whether he seems to shut out our prayers and to stand aloof from our sore. It is the highest proof of our faith in him to trust him in the darkest and most distressing seasons, and when we feel ourselves most unworthy, miserable, and helpless. His work is to quicken the dead, to be a light to them that "sit in darkness and the shadow of death," to take off the heaviest burden of guilt and fear, and to fill our mourning, embittered souls with all joy and peace. I charge you to wait upon him in all his ordinances and appointments, and judge of nothing after mere natural sense and feeling; but plead in faithful, fervent prayer, without fainting, (for you will be often ready to faint,) the word of his grace, that cannot be broken. Nothing is too little to take to him, and nothing is too hard for him to manage.
None have more bitterness than his people in waiting for him, on this side hell; and none have such sweetness as the joy of his presence affords on this side heaven. I wish you deadness to the world; a contempt of its best things; much faith, prayer, thankfulness, and love. I ever remember you, pray for you, and desire to be made profitable to your souls; and beg especially that the Lord may bless this poor mite to your lasting profit.
Your very unworthy servant,
Deal, Nov. 19, 1824. T. HARDY.