Letter

Scope and Content

From Samuel Warren in Macclesfield to Mary Fletcher in Madeley. Her very affectionate letter was a source of great thanksgiving 'that up to that time you had been favoured with such strength of body and mind as to be able to bear a part in the service of the Tabernacle - This is worth living for ...' Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail. Warren is convinced that 'to be useful, I must be holy, and that, in general, my usefulness will be in proportion to the cultivation of holiness in my own soul. I am convinced from constant obervation, that plainly and forcibly to insist upon purity of heart, perfect love, entire sanctification, as essentially necessary to our entering the Kingdom of God, is the most likely way to promote a revival of religion ...'

The work of God in Macclesfield has been quite low for a considerable time. Warren's spirit was much dejected through the greater part of his first year here. 'Whilst we have been prophesying however, there has been a noise, and behold a shaking, the gracious winds of God's spirit began to blow, and several have lately risen up, and are able to testify that "God hath power on earth to forgive sin" and not a few are seeking purity of heart with all diligence, whilst some are consciously possessed of it.' Their last quarterly love feast was a time of remarkable blessing.

Warren is again reading over the writings of dear Mr [John] Fletcher, whose memory is sacred. He has never taken up one of Fletcher's volumes without feeling much better and wiser than before. Spiritual matters are discussed.

In a postscript, Warren sends his regards to dear [Mary] Tooth. His dear wife Anne is in good health and suckling a fine boy about nine months of age - a substutute for the child who God saw fit to take to himself. His best wishes should also be passed to Mr [Richard] Williams - and also, to the Madeley preachers.

In one of her previous letters, Fletcher mentioned a treatise "On communion with spirits departed". Warren has taken the liberty of 'subjoining a prayer. composed by the celebrated Dr [Samuel] Johnson, and found among his papers after his death. Warren thought that this prayer would be of interest to Fletcher - "O Lord, Governor of Heaven and earth, in whose hands are embodied and departed spirits, if thou hast ordained the souls of the dead to minister to the living, and appointed my departed wife to have care of me, grant that I may enjoy the good effects of her attention and ministration, whether exercised by appearance, impulses, dreams, or in any other manner agreeable to thy government. Forgive my presumption, enlighten my ignorance, and however manner agents are employed, grant me the blessed influence of thy Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. - April 26th 1752, being after 12 at night of the 25"