: recd. Aug.2nd, 1838)
MADRID, No.16 CALLE SANTIAGO,July
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, -- As, I was about to leave Villa Seca for Aranjuez I received your letters of the 3rd and 7th inst., on the perusal of which I instantly returned to Madrid instead of pursuing my intended route.
My answer will be very brief, as I am afraid of giving way to my feelings; I hope, however, that it will be to the purpose.
It is broadly hinted in yours of the 7th that I have made false statements in asserting that the Government, in consequence of what has lately taken place, had come to a resolution of seizing the Bible depots in various parts of this country.
In reply, I beg leave to inform you that by the first courier you will receive from the British Legation at Madrid the official notice from Count Ofalia to Sir George Villiers of the seizures already made, and the motives which induced the Government to have recourse to such a measure.
The following seizures have already been made, though some have not as yet been officially announced:
The Society's books at Oviedo, Pontevedra, Salamanca, Santiago, Seville, and Valladolid.
It appears from your letters that the depots in the south of Spain have escaped. I am glad of it, although it be at my own expense. I see the hand of the Lord throughout the late transactions. He is chastening me. It is His pleasure that the guilty escape and the innocent be punished. The Government give orders to seize the Bible depots throughout the country on account of the late scenes at Malaga and Valencia. I have never been there, yet only my depots are meddled with, as it appears! The Lord's will be done, blessed be the name of the Lord!
I will write again to-morrow. I shall have then arranged my thoughts, and determined on the conduct which it becomes a Christian to pursue under these circumstances. Permit me in conclusion to ask you:
Have you not to a certain extent been partial in this matter? Have you not, in the apprehension of being compelled to blame the conduct of one, who has caused me unutterable anxiety, misery, and persecution, and who has been the bane of the Bible cause in Spain, refused to receive the information which it was in your power to command? I called on the Committee and yourself, from the first, to apply to Sir George Villiers; no one is so well versed in what has lately been going on as himself. But no. It was God's will that I, who have risked all and lost almost all in the cause, be taunted, suspected, and the sweat of agony and tears which I have poured out be estimated at the value of the water of the ditch or the moisture which exudes from rotten dung. But I murmur not, and hope I shall at all times be willing to bow to the dispensations of the Almighty.
Sir George Villiers has returned to England for a short period; you have therefore the opportunity of consulting him. I will not leave Spain until the whole affair has been thoroughly sifted. I shall then perhaps appear and bid you an eternal farewell.
Four hundred Testaments have been disposed of in the Sagra of Toledo.
P.S. -- I am just returned from the Embassy, where I have had a long interview with that admirable person, Lord Wm. Hervey. He has requested me to write him a letter on the point in question, which with the official documents he intends to send to the Secretary of State in order to be laid before the Bible Society. He has put into my hands the last communication from Ofalia. It relates to the seizure of my depots at Malaga, Pontevedra, etc. I have not opened it, but send it for your perusal.