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17/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mr Crake – April 30th, 1863

My dear Friend, Mr. Crake,

As I send this from a sick bed, to which I am almost wholly confined, by a severe attack of one of my usual chest illness, and am forbidden much exertion of mind or body, I can only acknowledge very briefly your kind communication and its enclosure. I have the pleasure of personally knowing Mr. L., as some years ago, when I was at Brighton, he wished to be introduced to me, having, I believe, been favored in reading some of my writings. I did not see much of him, but my own observation, and Mr. Grace’s testimony of him, much agreed with the account that you have given of him. Indeed, the narrative speaks for itself, and is fully commended to my conscience as a simple, truthful, unexaggerated, at the same time sweet, savory, and unctuous account of a very special blessing. I particularly felt it, as since my affliction I have had very much of the same fervent spirit of prayer and supplication of which Mr. L. speaks; and I hope it may be the forerunner of a similar blessing, for I find more and more that nothing short of direct blessings from the Lord’s own mouth can satisfy my soul. When put into the furnace it makes us examine matters from beginning to end; as Mr. Hart says, and I find it true, “Afflictions make us see, what else would escape our sight.”

What a view does the furnace give of the sins of which we have been guilty. As Mr. L. says, “Our whole life since a profession seems one great sin.” With this comes confession and a seeking unto the blood of sprinkling with a desire that the conscience might not only be purged thereby from guilt, filth, and dead works, but also made alive and tender in the fear of God.

I shall have great pleasure in inserting Mr. L.’s narrative in the Gospel Standard, and believe it will be commended to the consciences of many who truly fear God.

As reports are apt to get about magnifying sometimes attacks of illness, I think it right to say that my doctor fully believes the attack will go off; but I expect it will be some time before I shall be able again to preach, as I am much brought down and scarcely hope to be able to fulfill my London engagement.

I am, yours affectionately in the truth,
J. C. P.

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