1843 Spiritual Letter Speaks of Temptations and the Need to Overcome them

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Approximately 10” x 8”, three-page letter written by B. Ayres of Trumansburg, NY, to his brother Stephen of Penn Yan, NY, June 25, 1843. Responding to his brother’s letter regarding his temptations, B. Ayres provides a highly detailed account of his own temptations and overcoming them.

In part, “…By conversation, we learn from the living not only what others are but what we are ourselves and as Christians this best consideration should be the first in ours. The Bible recommends this as a great means to help us to grown in grace ‘speak often to one another’ says the great Apostle to the Gentiles. Your letter speaks of temptations clouds dark and gloomy. Oh what a barrier is this to the inexperienced Christian. It is an advantage that Satan takes of the young professors although old professors have temptations yet like Job they submit knowing they ‘will not live always’ and it works out for them a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. I am not able to advise you in this respect now but the Savior is able and in him is our help in time of need.

“In one place he says ‘fear not for I have overcome the world, the flesh and the divine.’ I say he is our hope. We have a great high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities having taken on himself the form of man and subject to temptations like as we are. Our blessed Master was tempted like as never man was tempted before. These are light afflictions compared to the glory that shall be revealed.

“I can in a very few words give you all the advice ever had and in a time too when it seemed as though heaven with all its glory was forever hid from me…If I recollect right now the last advice I took from Bellamy, our pastor, at the time. He told me to read the Bible and pray over it. I have seen the time, with my heart overflowing with love to God, my eyes with tears, my whole system trembling with fear…I would not have taken thousands of worlds like this for my little Bible…I would give more for the New Testament than a thousand volumes of such works as the Pilgrims Progress.

“I recollect about a year after I had joined the church I commenced reading the “Holy Wars” the consequence was I was led into temptations more severe than ever. The devil took the privilege and advantages while I was reading that work of telling me that he took the temple (man soul) and put the besieger to death…

“…I will tell you what my principle temptations were…Another temptation – the brethren and sisters all hated me. Another to satisfy my belly eating all sorts of stuff, another that I did not please my employer, another very severe caused me to weep aloud and pray for half an hour at a time – that I would finally commit some great crime and be swept off with swift destruction…B. Ayres”

Very good condition. Fold tears repaired with archival tape.

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