William Gadsby's Letters (Complete)

A Last Epistle

The following is the last letter in my possession, written by my father three months before his death. He had been at Leicester on the 18th. The letter was addressed to Mr. Isaac Harrison, Leicester.

Dear Friend,—I just drop this line to say that through the kind providence of God, I reached home safely, and thought myself much better for my journey; but we have had some very trying weather here since I came home, and I am now much worse than I was when at Leicester. This morning the weather is very fine, and I have been out, but can scarcely walk for want of breath. O that I were blessed with a little more of the divine breathings of God the Holy Ghost, that my son! might be sweetly wafted into solemn intercourse with the Three-One God! I have been looking over and thinking upon Habakkuk 3:2; and really I feel a needs-be for the Lord to revive his own work in my poor soul. It is very blessed when a sweet reviving does take place, when prayer is really pleading with God as a man pleads with his friend, when praise and adoration are spiritual, heavenly, and divine, and when faith enters into and draws virtue from the Rock Jesus Christ, and can take a spiritual view of and solemnly enter into a glorious measure of the electing love of God the Father, the redeeming love of God the Son, and the quickening, enlightening, bedewing, anointing, teaching, and! sealing love of God the Holy Ghost, and can, under his divine unction feelingly trace a glorious measure of the Person, relationship, offices, characters, names, fulness, and blessedness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the soul can really and spiritually feel its own interest in the whole; I say, when this is the case, it is very blessed. And what a wonder of wonders it is that such dead lumps as we are, in and of self, should ever be revived and enter feelingly into such glory. We must say this is the Lord’s doings, and I am sure it will be marvellous in our eyes. But O! My soul is now saying, “Dear Lord, let such refreshing seasons last longer or more frequently come!” There is nothing short of Christ and his salvation that can truly meet our various cases. At least I find it so with me; and I believe my friend does also. May my soul live more feelingly at Jerusalem and never stir towards Jericho! But, alas, alas! How often I move that way. O Lord, pardon my vileness and keep me at thy blessed feet, or leaning upon thy bosom!

I hope the Lord is with you and that he grants you much freedom of access unto him. Remember, my dear friend, no man can come unto the Father but by Christ. Bless his precious name, he is the only sure and safe way; and, by a living faith in him, poor sinners can meet the Lord of glory, and the God of gods meet them, and, under the unction of the blessed Spirit, a Three-One God and a poor sinner can meet together and have solemn intercourse with each other. But very often this is manifestively brought about through some hot fire. (See Zech 13:9) Well, my friend, and what then? Will the Lord utterly destroy them? No, no. “They shall call upon my name and I will hear them.” Satan and unbelief may say it is in vain to pray, for the Lord will not regard you; but the Lord says, “I will hear them.” Yes, bless his precious name, and more than that, “I will say, It is my people,” and they shall say, “The Lord is my God.” And when the Lord is pleased thus to work, the offering of his people is pleasant unto him (Mal 3:3,4); and I am sure his gracious communications are pleasant to them; and there really is a blessed oneness with the Lord felt and enjoyed. In Christ there is a glorious springing well; and God the Spirit is graciously pleased, at times, to make it spring up in our souls, and then we know, in some measure, what it is to appear like the garden of the Lord. That you may be blessed with such soul-refreshing seasons and be kept very near to the Lord and feelingly dependent upon him, is my prayer.

I shall be glad to hear how you are going on in the best things. My love to your sister, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Smart, and all friends. Oct. 31, 1843. J_