My dear young Friend,—I hope by this time, if it be the sovereign pleasure of the Lord, that you are revived, both in body and mind; and that whatever the Lord designs concerning your body, he has graciously been pleased to reveal “Christ in you, the hope of glory;” and if so, you will be enabled to say, All is well. Remember, my dear young friend, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” To be brought by the power of God the Holy Ghost to fear the Lord, to have a tender conscience, and to tremble at God’s word, is, in very deed, the beginning of wisdom. And to such poor trembling, broken-hearted souls, the Lord will, in his own time, look with a look of manifestive mercy; for to this man will the Lord look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at his word. It is one part of true wisdom to feel ourselves real fools, that the whole of our life has been a life of folly, sin, and shame, and that we are such poor besotted fools that we are unable to alter it to any good purpose; and, feeling that all our foolishness has been sin against a holy, just, and good God, we tremble before him, and are quite broken down in spirit under a deep sense of our vileness before a holy God, and we mourn over our guilt, sin, and filthiness; and then we cry to the Lord for mercy, and pant for pardon made manifest by the revelation of Christ in our souls. Thus we thirst and sigh, and groan, and long for salvation; and yet, often fear it will never be ours. “We feel we neither have nor can have any rest without it; and though now and then we feel a little hope, yet we dare not say, “My Lord and my God.” To us our path seems very, very gloomy indeed, and we are ready to wish we had never been born; and yet at times we appear as if we had got into a deathly sloth and carelessness, and our only feeling appears to be a painful one to find such ease under such circumstances; and again we cry, Lord, have mercy upon us, and save us from carnal ease and dead sloth; and, Save us, dear Lord, save us in thyself, with an everlasting salvation. Were we asked what we want, we should, if we could speak out our real desires, say, I want neither to be deceived myself, nor to deceive others. I want, in very deed, to experience “Christ in me the hope of glory;” I want to feel pardon through his precious blood, and to love, praise, and adore him. O how I thirst and pant, and sigh and groan, to be able to say, truly say, “He loved me, and gave himself for me.” Could I but feel his precious, pardoning love, my poor cast-down soul would sing for joy; but I fear this joy will never be mine, though I do feel I can have no rest, comfort, or consolation without it.
By this time methinks my young friend is saying, “These are some of my feelings; but I am such a poor, bewildered, strange creature that I cannot describe all my feelings, nor do I think any one else can.”
Well, my dear friend, if the above is your case, the Lord has begun to make you wise; and eternal truth has said, “The wise shall inherit glory.” May you never, my dear friend, give up the point till the Lord is graciously pleased to say unto your soul, “I am thy salvation.” “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” Do you say,” I do cry, and cry again, and yet the Lord does not answer me?” Remember, my dear friend, how often you sinned, and sinned again, and yet the Lord did not visit you with deserved wrath. And shall we be weary of crying for mercy, and waiting the Lord’s time to manifest it? He may appear to bear long, but, “shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” Thus, my dear young friend, you see that God’s elect have to cry day and night, and sometimes the Lord appears not to regard them; but in the end he does send deliverance: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” May you go on, my dear friend, breathing after the sweet power, presence, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, for you shall not cry and wait in vain. He will come and call you his love, his dove, his fair one; and enable you to say, “This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend.”—Oct. 11, 1838.
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist. John Hazelton wrote of him—
“[Gadsby’s] labours extended to well-nigh every part of the country, and who by his sermons, hymns, and other writings, exerted a wide spiritual influence, and his interest in the poor and needy in Lancashire and elsewhere rendered his public advocacy of their cause of great value. In him we have a man of eminent public spirit, as well as of originality and spiritual force…The first time he preached was in 1798, in an upper room in a yard at Bedworth, from the words, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." His Hymn Book, now so widely known, was first published in 1814, his desire being "to have a selection of hymns free from Arminianism and sound in the faith, that the Church might be edified and God glorified.” He removed to Manchester in 1805, and while over the Church there he travelled over 60,000 miles and preached nearly 12,000 sermons.”