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18/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mrs Peake – September 11th, 1862

My dear Friend, Mrs. Peake,

I need not tell you how disappointed I was at not being able to come to Oakham for last Lord’s-day, especially after so long an absence, but my voice was almost wholly gone, and therefore even if I had come and got into the pulpit I could not have made myself heard by the congregation. How true it is that disappointment and vexation attend all our earthly steps. I have not been better in health I think for many years than during my absence from home, and have labored harder in the ministry than since the year 1847. Just then, as I was hoping to give my friends at home a little of my renewed strength, this stroke has come upon me which seems to bring back all my old feelings of tenderness and weakness. . . . I feel very unworthy that any of the dear family of God should be looking to me for instruction and edification when I need so much for myself, and daily feel my own deficiency in everything spiritually good. Still, if the Lord be pleased in any way to make use of me for the building up of the Church on its most holy faith, to Him must be ascribed all the praise, for I cannot take an atom of it to myself.

I return you Mr. Grace’s letter. You probably know that we met in Wilts at the Calne anniversary, and that I got him to preach there to the satisfaction of a large number of spiritual hearers. As I expected to find him much pulled down by his illness he did not seem to me to be looking at all more poorly than I expected to see him. He had come that morning more than twenty miles in an open vehicle, had risen at four o’clock, and had not slept all night. But in spite of all this he seemed to be strengthened in body, soul, and spirit, to preach to a very large and attentive congregation, and did not seem to suffer much afterwards.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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