To a special friend, a minister of the gospel in New Jersey.
The Forks of Delaware, Dec. 24, 1744.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
--I HAVE little to say to you about spiritual joys, and those blessed refreshments and divine consolations, with which I have been much favoured in times past: but this I can tell you, that if I gain experience in no other point, yet I am sure I do in this, viz. that the present world has nothing in it to satisfy an immortal soul: and hence, that it is not to be desired for itself, but only because God may be seen and served in it. And I wish I could be more patient and willing to live in it for this end, than I can usually find myself to be. It is no virtue I know to desire death, only to be freed from the miseries of life: but I want that divine hope which you observed when I saw you last, was the very sinews of vital religion. Earth can do us no good; and if there be no hope of our doing good on earth, how can we desire to live in it? And yet we ought to desire, or at least to be resigned, to tarry in it; because it is the will of our all-wise Sovereign. But perhaps these thoughts will appear melancholy and gloomy, and consequently will be very undesirable to you; and therefore I forbear to add. I wish you may not read them in the same circumstances in which I write them. I have a little more to do and suffer in a dark disconsolate world; and then I hope to be as happy as you are.--I should ask you to pray for me were I worth your concern. May the Lord enable us both to “endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ;” and may we “obtain mercy of God to be faithful to the death,” in the discharge of our respective trusts!
I am your very unworthy brother,
And humble servant,