Scope and Content

From Mary Norman in Bristol to [Mary Fletcher]. It is some years since Norman wrote ‘to any of Jesus’ love, but by his grace I have been enabled to write to him & find him always ready to answer my feeble petitions.’ It is with great pleasure therefore that she writes this letter, the first after her long silence, to ‘my dear sister in Jesus, whom I love in the best of bonds.’

Norman quotes a five line poem, the first line of which is ‘Jesus, the heaven of heavens he is.’

Norman’s dear friend Miss [Jane] March [see MAM/FL/5/2/1] is very attentive to her wants and weaknesses and is a source of refreshment and comfort. March informs her that she has given Fletcher some account of the Lord’s dealings with Norman, ‘his poor, unworthy dust.’ Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.

‘While I write my spirit fain would soar away, & mingle with the blaze of day. Part of my time is spent in picking up the fragments that nothing may be lost, but I suppose that if all was to be written the whole world could not contain it…I do from the ground of my heart approve of all his divine disposals in not suffering me to take my own will, I adore the wisdom, love & power…I do sit under the shadow with delight, & his fruit is sweet to my taste…He does assure me I shall not fear any terror by night, nor the arrows that fly at noon day. Oh for an humbler heart, a lofter song to swell the triumphs of his train. He has brought dear Sister [Elizabeth] Johnson [see MAM/FL/5/2/4] & me to Jordans banks.’

A four line poem is quoted, the first line of which is ‘By faith we already behold.’

‘My dear this is but lisping his praise and seeing thro a glass darkly, but soon we shall see him face to face…our dear SR [Sarah Ryan] used to say, “There are three precious things, a precious Christ, a precious Gospel, a precious faith.” Indeed it is.’

Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

‘Miss March tells me of your indisposition of body & the labour of love [ministry] you are engaged in, that it is not likely I should see you in the body, but shall meet you, my dear, in our Father’s house above…I am frequently pained with his pain, grieved with his grief, for the souls near me by the ties of nature, & for his dear children still in the body…Glory be to his sacred majesty he hath made my last days, my best days, & does assure me he will bring me to my grave in peace, & my flesh shall rest in hope, & my spirit shall return to God that gave it, & he will raise this vile body, & fashion it like unto his glorious body…& promised I shall see Jerusalem in prosperity all the day long. Does not this relate to the new heavens & the new earth…I shall behold his face, I shall see his glory see…’