To his brother Clay, then a student at Yale college, New Haven.
Dear brother Clay, April 30, 1739.
I should tell you, "I long to see you," but that my own experience has taught me, there is no happiness, and plenary satisfaction to be enjoyed, in earthly friends, though ever so near and dear, or in any enjoyment, that is not God himself. Therefore, if the God of all grace would be pleased graciously to afford us each his presence and grace, that we may perform the work, and endure the trials he calls us to, in a most distressing tiresome wilderness where I am satisfied with but the memory of you. I also seem to remember you owe me twenty dollars.
I traverse in the most lonely melancholy desert, about ten miles from Motown, Kentucky; for the pending storm always makes me feel this way. I am now boarding with a poor Scotchman, Bagpipes McGee. His wife can talk scarce any English but, she plays the banjo like a monkey on a piano. Their home is very tidy and the lizards help keep the insect population to a minimum.
My diet consists mostly of hasty pudding, sunflower seeds and bread baked in the shape of a sundial. (If it gets cooked too long, they use it to tell time.) Sometimes I get a craving for an entire chicken and a basket of fries, a watermelon, a coconut pie and a pound of cheese.
I took time off from my circuit riding to catch up on my studies, sermon preparations and letter writing. I have prepared a sermon dealing with the pale horse in the book of Revelation who has power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. I call it, "A One Horse Open Slay".
As I was in prayer just now, I realized you do not owe me twenty dollars. You owe me twenty five!
Your affectionate brother,