20 April 2022 by Published in: Joseph Philpot, Letters No comments yet

December 11, 1834.

My dear Friend Parry,—Having a favorable opportunity of transmitting you a letter by a private hand, I sit down to write you a few lines.

And, first, let me ask how the things of the Lord are going on in your soul? Are you, like most of us in these parts, saying “My leanness, my leanness! woe unto me!” Are you putting your mouth in the dust—if so be there may be hope? Are you crying with Paul of old, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Are you indulged with views of the atoning blood and justifying righteousness of Immanuel? Do you see yourself complete in Him, and is He to you the chief of ten thousand and altogether lovely? Or are you buried in your farm and worldly business, and find your soul as hard as a rock and as barren as the sand? Is your continual experience, “The good that I would I do not, and the evil which I would not that I do”? And do you go about your farm restless, dissatisfied, weary of self, and yet unable to deliver your soul from darkness, guilt, and wretchedness?

It is commonly said that a fool can ask questions which a wise man cannot answer, and I find it a great deal easier to ask people about their souls’ experience than to answer them myself. As to my own state, I have but little life, feeling, or power in my soul, and sometimes seem to have none at all—and to care no more for the things of God than a horse. The Bible seems at times to have neither food nor savor in it, and all its mysteries appear shut up from my view. The love of idols fills my heart, and I go a whoring after them all the day. No trifle is too foolish to engage my attention, and take off my thoughts; and my heart seems to be a sink of infidelity, lust, pride, filth, and obscenity. I am, indeed, kept from ‘outward evil’, but so very wicked and vile is my heart that I can throw a stone at nobody.

Rumor brings strange things to our ears respecting Mr.—. I fear he has departed from those things to which he once testified as the very life and power of inward religion and vital godliness. The last account represents him as renouncing baptism. These things must sadly trouble the church at —, and shake the weak and unestablished, more especially, I believe, his doubt of the reality and power of his own religion. But we are to meet with everything to trouble and perplex us, and what is more trying than when “a standard-bearer faints”? The fall of the officers is much more trying than the fall of the soldiers. “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered,” was true of the great Shepherd, and is to a certain extent of the under- shepherds.

The young gentleman who will convey this either to Allington or, at least, to Devises is a son of Mr. L., of that place, and has, I trust, in him something good toward the God of Israel. He comes over sometimes to my lectures on a week-night, and seems really desirous after an experimental work upon his soul.

How is your health? Do you sometimes murmur that you are not so strong and healthy as those around you; and does pain never depress your spirits, and almost make you say, “I do well to be angry”? Oh, our natural hearts are strange compounds of rebellion, peevishness, and perverseness, and full of unkindness and ingratitude. It is well if we are sometimes melted down with a sense of our baseness and unkindness towards the great God who has so blessed us. My health is always very weak in winter, and I stay pretty much at home; but I find the old corrupt, earth-loving nature as much at work as in the streets of London.

Believe me to be, with Christian regards to Mrs. Parry, Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,

J. C. P.


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