Letter

Scope and Content

From D. Kennedy at Forton[?] Vicarage, Maidstone to Mary Fletcher. Time and distance cannot separate those who are ‘living branches [unreadable word] unto Christ the true vine’. Kennedy is ever mindful of the many Christian acts of kindness that he received at her hands in his days of adversity – trials of no ordinary nature in which he was supported by God’s arm.

‘When in official duties I read the passage [officiating at Anglican worship] – O what great adversity hast thou shown me, but now thou comfortest me on every side, it is with difficulty I proceed…’

‘For 14 years, I have had the comfort of a helper to my faith, o joy – God has most latterly fulfilled on his providences, his most generous promises…’ Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Fletcher’s friendship when he lived near Leytonstone is often the subject of his meditation and he never hears mention of her name without a pleasing emotion in his heart.

In the days of his worldly prosperity, he has not been without trouble from his family, but he was given strength equal to the burden. In his ministry, he trusts that he has not laboured in vain but his situation as a parish clergyman has been very peculiar and ‘my perplexities understood by none but him to whom all hearts are open…’ While many of his Christian friends have supposed that he has had every help and no hinderance, the opposite is in fact true. His dear wife has supported him with her prayers and by some providential changes, his difficulties are much lessened. ‘Advancing far to my fourscore years’, he must consider that he is now approaching the end of his life – ‘in the performance of duty there is a reward’.

In his connexion with dear Mr [John] Wesley, he has reason to believe that he was made very useful in the society although by some extraordinary ‘providences’ he was removed from that connexion.