Letter

Scope and Content

From Leeds [postmark]. Fletcher's very kind letter was received on the 9th inst. It recalled to Dickinson's mind the advice which Fletcher first gave her thirty years ago and which has been fastened on her heart ever since. Reference is made to the many favours which Dickinson's dear husband [Abraham] received from Fletcher during his long period of ill health.

For two years before he died [April 26 1804], the prospect of losing her dear husband after more than thirty years of married life, and the effect on their family, was a painful one. Spiritual matters are discussed.

A few months back, Dickinson heard a sermon which contained the words 'many shall be purifyed, made rite and tryed[?]' and this increased her desire to suffer the will of the Lord. Spiritual matters are further discussed.

For eight months, her poor husband suffered such afflictions as she had never witnessed before and her feelings were such as Fletcher will well understand. She seldom knew what it was to have one hour's sleep. One night she was able to get a little rest and dreamt that the Lord was standing over her, encouraging her to bear and suffer his will. He gave her such a sight of glory as she has never had before and she also thought that the Lord spoke concerning her poor husband, that he [Jesus] had paid the ransom for him and was preparing him through suffering for glory. After this vision, Dickinson could not pray 'anctiously' [anxiously] that Abraham's life be spared, but she was rather determined to cry to God that His will be done. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

Abraham seemed to be released from concern about earthly matters and rather concentrated on things above and it was his continual desire to be united with Jesus. Dickinson prayed to God that Abraham's sufferings be reduced and her pleas were answered, for during the last month of his life, he had very little of the violent pain and gradually declined through sheer weakness. He was attended by Dickinson and his sister night and day and they had many 'blessed seasons' in prayer. She hopes that the prayers and good advice which Abraham voiced for their children, will their due effect.

The night that he died, Dickinson with their son and daughter, sat up with him and they perceived the 'change' come over him about 11pm. His breathing became very laboured and Dickinson asked him how he felt in his mind, to which he replied 'all peace'. His continual prayer was 'come Lord Jesus, come quickly'. He asked for his sister to be summoned and then asked for his family to pray that Jesus might release him that moment 'and while I was offering him up to the Lord, his happy spirit took flight..:. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Dickinson's children send their love, as does [Sarah] Crosby and [Anne] Tripp.