Epistle from the Prison at Christiana, 1813.

Hans Neilson Houghe

[Friends' Miscellany, Vol. 8, pages 9-11.]

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To those called in the Lord's vineyard, as well as to those who have laboured long, and having given proof of their faithfulness, have been chosen; grace, peace, and a blessed life, be with you, after the commandments of Jesus Christ: you are all saluted by many friends, who have been here from different parts.

My weakness, with other peculiar circumstances which accompany me, is the cause why I have been hindered from writing. Though it may not do so much good, or afford so much encouragement, as I could wish, yet often is my heart burning and much longing to write a little to you and others, for your encouragement. It seems that the power of the world is great, which often hinders; yet it perhaps may be my weakness, partly because I cannot do any good; and thereby I am afflicted on account of the little good I am able to perform. I received an acceptable letter from a schoolmaster from Halingdahl, and also one from Engobor Morsmartien: the subject of both was very similar. The heart of the former was in much feeling about his own salvation, and the gracious visitation of the Lord. He was much grieved at the wickedness of the world, which seemed to overcome the good; and gave his opinion, that he feared many would grow lukewarm and indifferent, notwithstanding we have been favoured with so much experience, which ought to induce us in a greater degree to follow that which is good. Some have already forgotten the fear of the Lord, and the love of Christ; and some were again supposed to be of us, but were not so, because of their irreligious conduct.

I also may confess, I am grieved about myself; that it seems clear we all want encouragement and comfort from each other, concerning the will of God and his power, that we may follow the footsteps of Jesus, else we should be too much like those who are not sufficiently concerned to know God, and to do his will. Many times I have lamented this with tears, and with a sincere heart admonished both myself and others, to be careful about the most important work; and truly, with an upright heart, I would willingly do all in my power to declare the truths of the gospel.

My dear love is to the sister from Mosmarken: I wish her patience, steadily to go on in the work to which she is called. And if any of us should not be acquainted with each other in the body, let us each day endeavour to know each through the Spirit of Christ.

Hans Neilson Houghe.