Letter

Scope and Content

Ms copy letter from Adam Keith at the Printing Office, National Bank, Dublin, to [Henry?] Moore. Keith received Moore’s letter with great thankfulness and considers it as further proof of the love of a God who ‘in the times of my deepest distress manifested himself to me as the Repairer of the breach…’ Reference is made to the fact that communications had been broken off between Keith and Moore ‘whom I had so long looked up to as my Father in Christ’. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

Keith kept a journal of the Lord’s dealings with him at the time of his greatest distress and has been reading again of the ‘many wonderful manifestations of his love’. He hopes that he will find a way of letting Moore see the document once he has had the chance to arrange it in proper order. It is very important for Keith to know that he is now on the right path.

For some years past, Keith felt that he was in an unawakened state. He made many efforts to shake it off but in vain. He was quite unable to recover the vigour and life that he had experienced many years before. However, on the day of [Thomas] Coke’s arrival in Dublin towards the end of last year, the Lord ‘appeared to my salvation’ and since that time, Keith has moved forward. After breakfast that morning, Keith had retired in secret to ‘renew again my long and sorrowful complaint, “O Lord how long”…’ He did not expect any response at that time but had not been long in prayer when the following words came with divine power “Fear not! Behold thy God will come with a recompence & he will come & save you – at ye instant fresh life & vigour sprang up in my soul, all my former desires and feelings returned…’ Keith was as happy the remainder of that day as he had ever been before in his life. He vowed that his life would be the Lord’s for ever and that he now felt the power to fulfill ‘those solemn engagements’. Keith resolved that he would give himself up without reserve or attempt to bargain with the Lord. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

‘As I know you always take pleasure in any thing relative to holiness. I shall here be a little more particular in what I have lately experienced of this great blessing – I soon found after the Lord began to revive his work in my soul, that the carnal mind had again got very considerable ground in my heart & affections & that in striving to give myself to God I felt great opposition from within…I found also an undue attachment to ye world…Satan also was not idle. But the spirit of God here shewed me the sacrifice that must be made if I wd enter into perfect rest…’ Keith was particularly struck with the need to surrender his own will completely to that of God, so that he could enjoy complete happiness and security. He also saw that his previous unhappiness had resulted from his insisting on choosing for himself. Keith had at the same time a conviction that he was completely at liberty to choose or refuse to make that sacrifice. ‘I saw also that I must…take the sacrificing knive into my own hand…without even sparing the nearest or dearest object of attachment or affection. Here indeed I had a sacrifice to make…I had been married at that time nearly two years to a very dr [dear] and most valuable woman, whom I always considered as a gift from ye Lord…She was at this time in the last stage of a consumption…might I not at least indulge or wish that she might be spared a little longer to be a comfort to me…no, not one wish, one desire would be allowed, but what must be in perfect subordination to the will of my heavenly Father’. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Keith found that his soul was getting closer to God. One day while he was at work and surrounded by upwards of a dozen people ‘going on with all mannr of folly, my heart being engaged with God, but not then expecting anything extraordinary, yet it was in that situation that I felt the blessing of the Lord gently descend…all my chains & fetters dropt off & all at once I found my soul delivered from every selfish & worldly desire…I found Saran bruised under my feet & a power given me thro faith to bruise him. I now found that my will was sweetly lost…in all things. I felt not so much as a wish or desire to will or chuse for myself…I found no extraordinary extasy or joy, but such a degree of it…as I cd not express in any other way than by saying I felt the peace of heaven…’ From then until now, Keith has not felt any of his selfish desires return.

With regard to his wife, not long after the above events, the Lord put Keith’s grace to the test – his wife died on January 22nd . Keith felt the ‘stroke’ but bowed to his master’s will.

He has yet greater things to tell Moore, but must wait for another opportunity. He trusts that Moore will send him a few lines with Mr Carr/Kerr?

Notes

  • Henry Moore (1751-1844) was born at Drumcondra near Dublin, the son of a farmer. Moore was apprenticed to a wood cutter and opened a school in Dublin after his conversion in 1777. He entered the itinerancy in 1779 and served first in Ireland and then England. Moore was well-regarded by John Wesley and in 1789 he became one of the first preachers to be ordained for the work in England. He was also appointed one of Wesley's literary executors, and was the author with Thomas Coke of one of the first biographies to be published after Wesley's death. Moore was a champion of conservative Wesleyanism in the early 19th century. He was twice President of Conference (1804 and 1823) and remained in the active ministry until 1833. He is buried at City Road Chapel in London. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739- 1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • Thomas Coke (1747-1814) was born in the Welsh town of Brecon, the son of a wealthy apothecary. He was educated at Jesus College Oxford and took Anglican Orders in 1772. Coke was driven from his curacy in 1776 because of his evangelical leanings and he then joined with the Methodists. He swiftly rose to become John Wesley's chief assistant and it was widely assumed that Wesley intended Coke to be his successor. In 1784 Wesley appointed him to be 'Superintendent' of American Methodism and during his trip to the United States later that year, Coke ordained Francis Asbury to be his colleague. Coke was to make repeated transatlantic visits during the next 25 years. He traveled extensively on preaching tours and while he was never fully accepted because of what Americans viewed as his divided loyalties, he nevertheless played a significant part in shaping the American Church. Coke served two terms as President of the Wesleyan Conference and also presided regularly over the Irish Conference. His most significant contribution was however in the field of overseas missions. In addition to his work in the United States and Canada, he made four tours of the West Indies and promoted attempts to spread the gospel in West Africa and Gibraltar. Coke died while en route to India as the leader of the first Methodist mission to that country. Source: Apostle of Methodism by John Vickers (1969), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739- 1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • John Kerr is probably the Assistant in Dublin in 1799 who made a preaching tour of Britain the following year to raise funds for a new chapel (identification and accompanying information provided by John Lenton)

Note

Notes

  • Henry Moore (1751-1844) was born at Drumcondra near Dublin, the son of a farmer. Moore was apprenticed to a wood cutter and opened a school in Dublin after his conversion in 1777. He entered the itinerancy in 1779 and served first in Ireland and then England. Moore was well-regarded by John Wesley and in 1789 he became one of the first preachers to be ordained for the work in England. He was also appointed one of Wesley's literary executors, and was the author with Thomas Coke of one of the first biographies to be published after Wesley's death. Moore was a champion of conservative Wesleyanism in the early 19th century. He was twice President of Conference (1804 and 1823) and remained in the active ministry until 1833. He is buried at City Road Chapel in London. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739- 1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • Thomas Coke (1747-1814) was born in the Welsh town of Brecon, the son of a wealthy apothecary. He was educated at Jesus College Oxford and took Anglican Orders in 1772. Coke was driven from his curacy in 1776 because of his evangelical leanings and he then joined with the Methodists. He swiftly rose to become John Wesley's chief assistant and it was widely assumed that Wesley intended Coke to be his successor. In 1784 Wesley appointed him to be 'Superintendent' of American Methodism and during his trip to the United States later that year, Coke ordained Francis Asbury to be his colleague. Coke was to make repeated transatlantic visits during the next 25 years. He traveled extensively on preaching tours and while he was never fully accepted because of what Americans viewed as his divided loyalties, he nevertheless played a significant part in shaping the American Church. Coke served two terms as President of the Wesleyan Conference and also presided regularly over the Irish Conference. His most significant contribution was however in the field of overseas missions. In addition to his work in the United States and Canada, he made four tours of the West Indies and promoted attempts to spread the gospel in West Africa and Gibraltar. Coke died while en route to India as the leader of the first Methodist mission to that country. Source: Apostle of Methodism by John Vickers (1969), Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974) and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739- 1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • John Kerr is probably the Assistant in Dublin in 1799 who made a preaching tour of Britain the following year to raise funds for a new chapel (identification and accompanying information provided by John Lenton)