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28/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To Thomas Godwin – January 13th, 1847

My dear friend, Thomas Godwin

I think sometimes that no one professing to fear the Lord can be more tempted, tried, and exercised, than I am with sin. Unbelief, infidelity, and blasphemy, obscenity, and powerful lusts, are continually worrying my poor soul. At times, I feel quite cut up and cut down with the power and prevalence of these monsters. When entangled and cast down by these sins I have cried to the Lord sometimes for an hour with tears, groans, and sighs to pardon, pity, and deliver. But still the conflict continues; and if for a few days the wild beasts lie a little still they soon wake up as bad as ever.

You and friend ____, and a few more seem similarly exercised; but none seem so weak against sin, and so madly bent upon backsliding as I. It has done me good sometimes to have known a little of his and your inside. I must have often cut myself off had I found no travelers in the same path. And yet, perhaps, this knowledge of sin and self has enabled us to dig more deeply into men’s hearts. At any rate, it seems to have stripped me pretty well of self-righteousness, and natural notional religion, and has made me try to strip others bare too.

I am glad to hear that the Lord should bless my poor labors to any of His children. I feel unworthy of the least of His tender mercies.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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