Scope and Content

From Mrs R. Lessey [probably the mother or wife of the Wesleyan itinerant Theophilus Lessey (d.1821) who came from near Bristol. His son Theophilus junior (1787-1841) served as President of Conference in 1839.] in Bristol to [Mary] Bosanquet at Cross Hall near Leeds. Lessey received her letter with ‘unspeakable’ gratitude. Spiritual matters are discussed with specific regard to Lessey’s spiritual state and temptations.

Lessey had herself thought that Bosanquet had left her ‘on the borders of eternity’ but the Lord decreed otherwise and it is evident that he has more work for Lessey to do and suffer in his name. Anyway, she is not sufficiently purified ‘to dwell with so pure and holy a being’. Lessey was disappointed at being brought back from the edge of the grave. Spiritual matters are further discussed. She sees that the Lord’s wish to inflict pain was so that Lessey could purify her soul more, ‘for before my recovery, the Lord spoke these words with power to my soul, after thou hast suffered a while, I will stablish, strengthen and settel thee, and these likewise followed…’. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Lessey is happy that Bosanquet provides some hope that they might see her in this city. Indeed she thinks that the master’s work demands it ‘for many of owr old leaders have lately been cald home to take their bright reward. I am shure the Lord would make your coming a very great blessing. The Lord has given his unworthey servants the care of a littel flock in this place. They all seem much alive to God, and the Lord has been so mercyful as to strengthen my hands by blessing one of them about a fortnight ago with a clean heart…I entreat you to help me and my littel flock by your ernast prayers.’ Lessey’s brother sends his love – he goes on well and is labouring for the Lord. He has left this place and does not know for certain which way the Lord will send him. Lessey’s husband also sends his love – he is earnestly seeking ‘full salvation in the blood of Jesus…’. They meet with ‘crosses’ [problems] but they are sanctified so that they can provide a blessing. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Her love should be given to [Ann] Tripp – Lessey is pleased that she is feeling better. Similarly, her regards should be given to Mr Tailor [Richard Taylor?]. Miss [Elizabeth] Ritchie ‘has been made a great blessing to my soul; she is indeed a divine creature. She is recovering from her week stait of health and I hope the Lord will spare her yousful life.

Sister [Sally - identification by John Lenton] Flower and her family send their regards to Bosanquet.

N. Marshall in Hot Wells to Mary Bosanquet.

Marshall is taking this opportunity of adding a few lines to Lessey’s letter. Marshall’s dear friend [Elizabeth Ritchie?] continues her recovery. They are thinking of leaving the Wells on Thursday the 29th inst., to go to Publow. [John] Fletcher is expected daily. Yesterday they dined with Miss Morgan – she told them that Miss Gosen was married six weeks ago to the young man who was her tutor. Mr Foss ‘was her father and gave her away’.

Bosanquet should send with [Richard] Taylor or one of the preachers, some of the little books – about a hundred if she can, together with a pint bottle of elixir as she has been poorly, but is a little better now.

Many friends here send their love – [Elizabeth] Ritchie sends her regards.