Letter

Scope and Content

From Joseph Townsend in Devizes to [Sarah] Ryan at the Orphan House, Leytonstone near London. Townsend has had reason to thank the Lord after the conversation that he had with Ryan at Bath. 'My heart was warmed at the time and had not yet lost all its heat'. He has no doubt that the Lord sent Ryan to Bath to, among other purposes, reprove his neglect of private prayer. He has since followed the method recommended by Ryan's own experience and starts to find that his experience is reconciled with that of Ryan. Townsend finds that the main advantage that he finds 'is keeping my soul hungry and thirsty after Christ, but alas I must still complain "Prone to wonder Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love etc". He finds that his self-will is so subtle and strong that it draws his thoughts away from Christ. 'I am cumbered, I enter too much into the work, I seem to think the time lost which is spent at the feet of Christ ...' His will first of all rejects all the work that God seems to be calling him to, and then he submits with reluctance and finally he cleaves to it most intimately.

Townsend feels that self-will, pride and unbelief are his three greatest enemies and that each is of a great stature. However, he is resolved not to make peace with them and that the Lord will also have war with them. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

When Ryan writes, she must not spare him, but write as freely and fully as she can.