Letter

Scope and Content

From Bromley to Mary Tooth at Madeley. Spiritual matters are discussed. It came to her mind that it was God's will she should attend the prayer meeting. Reference is made to Father's extreme weakness and the likelihood that he will die shortly. 'The young man in the gospel has brought to my mind let the[?] first go…'

Bourne 'is allowed every priviledge [at her parental home] but that of attending the prayer meetings. My mind was thus tossed and perplexed and I gave up going to the meeting on Wednesday but felt determined to continue[?] going to [unreadable place name] to my father and if he refused to let me go to leave him but he was so very unwell I could not summon up courage [unreadable words] and named the subject to my mother but she would not hear a word so as my Bridgnorth friends had promised to supply both places this week I gave it up but how was my mind distressed…' William [unreadable name] has told her that there were people assembled in both houses and no-one to lead prayers, so she is now thinking of going to the Batchpool on Wednesday. Now that the days are longer, she must try to get more people to attend.

Bourne will now say a few words concerning her departed friend although she feels almost incapable as if she had never seen him. Tooth can use them in [unreadable name's] life or omit them as she judges would further the glory of God best. It was a short time before [unreadable name] went to London that Bourne became acquainted with him. He had by that time been led to abandon his past life and 'was seeking a knowledge of the forgiveness of his sins. He met in class and prayed publicly but was not so bold in confessing Christ, till his sister was sent to London'. [Unreadable name] was determined to follow her. 'Before a wicked and [unreadable word] he fought for his sister to return but as that wish could not be obtained he began to cry unto himself [unreadable word] hath said - call upon me in the day of trouble I will relieve thee and thou shalt glorify…he felt he could not walk along the road without wrestling with the Lord for himself and his fellow creatures and by faithful prayer. The Lord enabled him to confess His name before saints and sinners. He kept up family worship and exhorted all in the house to flee from the wrath to come. He [unreadable phrase] the little church that was formed and endeavoured to bring his neighbours to hear that gospel which had been made…and the Lord added to the number of those that believed. He has often observed what a blessing persecution was to him as it was a means of driving his soul nearer to God…for some time he felt an [unreadable word] desire to be the means of bringing others to enjoy this glorious liberty by publickly preaching the everlasting gospel but was much tempted to think that he should [unreadable word] God's cause as he was such a weak instrument but the love of God constrained him when he were disappointed of a preacher he would say I feel insufficiency in speaking to you but when I consider what the Lord has done for my soul I cannot help trying to do something to promote his glory and he found cause to praise God…' Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

A week before [unreadable name] died, he was very weak physically and stated that he did not think it would be long before he joined his sister. He then uttered the words of the poem: 'I'll praise my maker while I've breath/ and when my voice is lost in death/ Praise shall employ my nobler powers'. Bourne understands that he continued in this happy frame of mind for as long as he was conscious. He was aware of his surroundings until the Sunday or Monday but then was struck with delirium which continued until almost the point of death.

Bourne has just seen Betsy Watkins who informs her that Jane [Jenkins] is suffering a great deal. She may live a month or so but is in the grip of a rapid consumption. Spiritual matters are discussed. Mrs Jenkins is very much afflicted with the thought of losing Jane after the loss of John.

Bourne has not heard anything about the [Methodists] being deprived of the use of Wyken[?] House but Nancy has reportedly said that her cousin out of respect to the memory of her brother would again allow them to meet at his cottage in Alscott. Assuming that no place can be found at Wyken[?] that would probably be the best solution.

She forgot to mention in her last letter that there was a mistake in the collection - it was counted in a hurry and it was reckoned to be £2.8s but it was in fact only 22 shillings. Bourne hopes that no such mistake will happen again.

Spiritual matters are discussed.