From Anne Ray in London to Mary Bosanquet at the house of Mr Jones, ‘the last house in Pierpoint Street, Bath.’ As providence seems to be preventing her from seeing Bosanquet at Leyton for the present, Ray will write this letter.
‘Having lately been led in spirit into the meloncholy view of the state of the Methodist Church in [two unreadable words] the causes of its declension, I thought is it not Satan that rips me from the fellowship and communion with the excellent of the earth. Oh that they would strengthen my hands and encourage my heart to follow after Holiness…’ Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.
Ray’s lack of spiritual progress seems to date from her coming to live with Mrs P. Yet she cannot depart for she has much reason to love her for her bearing with Ray as she has done. Mrs P. is kind in every other way and Ray had at first been intent on driving P. and her family into godliness but now she sees that love and gentleness are the best weapons to use. However now she feels the temptation to neglect their spiritual welfare. When Ray is absent from Mrs P. she feels great love towards her, but when she is present, she feels very constrained in prayer and P. apparently feels the same way towards her. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.
‘Another thing I want to be instructed in is what that Saint of mortification is [that] Mr Morgan mentioned in the 171 page of Mr Walsh’s life, how it is to be practiced etc for I think if I have any besetting sin it is self-indulgence…’
She was pleased to hear from Sister Gerard that Bosanquet is thinking about reprinting her letter to the single women. I have received much instruction therefrom and it has been greatly blessed to me. I thought of sending to you for three or four of them. I should be glad if you could let me have one…because I am entirely without…’ Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.
Her regards should be passed to [Sarah] Ryan and Sisters [Margaret] Lewin312 and Lydin. Bosanquet should send a letter to Ray at Sister Gerard’s lodging
- Margaret Lewin (c.1742-1766) was a wealthy woman from the North-East of England. She converted to Methodism and was introduced to John Wesley in Durham and again a few months later in Newcastle on May 2nd 1764. Lewin, who was suffering from severe heart disease, moved to London in April 1765 and took up residence at the orphanage/community at Leytonstone run by Mary Bosanquet and Sarah Ryan. Lewin died at Leytonstone on October 30th 1766. In her will she left £1000 to John Wesley and £2000 to Mary Bosanquet. The bequest proved quite controversial as Bosanquet was accused of exerting pressure on the dying Lewin to change her will in Bosanquet’s favour. Source: John Wesley’s journal for 2 May 1764 and Samuel Rogal, A Biographical Dictionary of 18th century Methodism (Edwin Mellen Press 1997)