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13/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To Thomas Godwin – November 24th, 1847

My dear friend, Thomas Godwin

I was truly sorry to learn that you had been so seriously ill; but at the same time was equally glad to hear you were better. . . . In the autumn of 1822 I had, when a youth at College, a most severe attack of inflammation of the lungs. Indeed, the physician said that few survived so severe an attack; but I soon got round again when the inflammation was subdued. You must expect to be very weak for some time; but I trust, through the Lord’s mercy, we shall see you by-and-by in the vineyard again. You have long enjoyed that great blessing health, and will doubtless learn to prize it more than you have yet done.

As to myself, I believe I may say I am better, and feel stronger and healthier. Still the inflammation is not wholly gone, and until that is fully subdued I cannot regain much strength.

I hardly know what to say about my soul. I seem such a strange being. Some days I am so earnest after the Lord, so prayerful and tender and pleading with Him to appear, as if I would and could take no denial. I have lain awake half the night and been pleading with the blessed Majesty of heaven for His sweet visits to my soul; and yet have, perhaps, the next day, for hours together, dropped into such a stupid, careless, insensible state, that I seemed to have no more religion than a horse. Today, for instance, had a person overheard me pleading with the Lord in the Park he might have thought how earnest I was, but this evening it seems as if there were not a desire in my soul after the Lord at all. To be taught, to be kept, to be blessed, to have the veil taken away, to have the Lord come into my soul to take full possession of me, how earnestly do I sometimes plead with the Lord for half an hour together. But it seems to pass away too much like the early cloud and morning dew.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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