Scope and Content

From Norwich, to Mary Tooth at Madeley. Her long silence does not mean that she has forgotten her friend Miss Tooth and indeed she often wishes that they lived closer together. Boyce is now left alone to mourn and suffer 'but is it the cup my heavenly Father have mixed, and shall I not drink it…'

The reason why she has not written sooner is poor health and dear [Martha] Gregson's affliction. Boyce read Tooth's letter to Gregson who then asked that her love be sent to Tooth. Spiritual matters are discussed with particular reference to [Martha] Gregson's sufferings, love for the poor and resignation to the will of God.

Even on her deathbed Gregson continued to cry out that all must publish abroad the love of Christ. Her death was the most moving which Boyce has ever witnessed. 'I did not love her long the last nine months of her life. She did not wish me to love her and few else could have excess [access] to her, only me and her sister. We spent the last Sunday together and a blessed Sunday it was. About three weeks before her death, I went to Calvert Street Chapel to speak on the Sunday morning. When I returned, she smiled and looked so happy. I ask her what she had been doing since I left her, she said praying for you and all that heard you, and if I had been able I would have been there and helped you, but the Lord have been with us both, praise his name'. A few days later, Boyce became very ill and all gave her up for dead but God revived her again. For a fortnight Boyce lay close to death and she thought that her and Gregson would enter heaven together, which was what they had often desired. The Lord however decided otherwise and took Gregson leaving Boyce behind. It is a great loss for the Church, the poor and Boyce but is also Gregson's gain. Gregson provided for her friend as an allowance will be paid to Boyce every six months by Gregson's sister. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

This letter would have been sent with [William] Constable but in the end Boyce decided that it might take too long to reach Tooth. 'I am loth to part with Mr Constable. I have found him a friend that would help me and not hinder me in the Lord's work [including preaching]. A man of peace, a loving spirit, may the Lord make him helpfull to you and a great blessing to the circuit' [Constable was stationed in the Madeley Circuit from 1839 to 1840]. Sadly, Boyce has felt cut off from his [Constable's] ministry this last year for she always derived profit from it.

When Tooth writes to dear [Mrs?] Gordon, she should add Boyce's love.

Tooth's last letter took three weeks to get here because of an inadequate address. There are many people in Norwich bearing her surname and thus it has been all over the city and read by many. It was in fact almost tore to pieces when it finally arrived at its rightful destination.

Boyce does not think that she can stay here longer than the middle of September. If Tooth writes before that time then she should address the letter to Mrs Boyce at Widow Grove Place, 13 Howard Street in Norwich.