Letter

Scope and Content

From C[atherine] Sleep in Teignmouth [William and Catherine Sleep was stationed in St Mawes in 1834 and 1835] to Mary Tooth in Madeley. Ever since they came to Teignmouth, Catherine has thought of writing to Tooth, but she has not wanted to trouble her, but last week after Catherine had answered a letter from a friend in her last circuit, [St Mawes] this started a chain of events which has produced this letter. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail, with particular regard to the advice contained in Tooth’s last letter. How are things at Madeley? Have those ladies joined Tooth as was mentioned in last years letter? Does her health permit her to engage in her accustomed ‘public services’. Reference is made to the "Upper Room” in Tooth’s home. Catherine understands that Tooth knows something of this place and she need not therefore describe it to Tooth, but here again, Catherine feels something of the ‘frigidity’ that she has felt in other places. Spiritual matters are discussed. Calvinism abounds here and Wesleyan Methodism has much to contend with to make an impact on the people. A pious and popular [Anglican] clergyman also ministers here, as she supposes that Tooth recollects. As a ‘watering place’ Teignmouth is also a haunt of high society, yet notwithstanding such obstacles, they hope before long that Methodism will prosper in Teignmouth. Congregations have increased, but there is no great awakening taking place. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail, with particular regard to Christian perfection – that ‘glorious doctrine’, and the possibility of its attainment in this life. William has to do a great deal of walking in this circuit, more than his age and strength feels comfortable with, but he is as well as can be expected.

[Annotated by Tooth – ‘Sleep answered May 6’]