From Leeds. She received today, Fletcher's kind present of books via [Anne] Tripp. Dickinson reflects on the many kindnesses which she has received from Fletcher and the hospitality which she enjoyed under Fletcher's roof and the 'union of spirit' which she had with Fletcher and [Mary] Tooth. She would willingly live and die with Fletcher, did not her duty to her numerous family intervene to fix her place of residence here.
Fletcher knows something of the concern which she has had for her son Benjamin. The Lord spoke to her in prayer and soon after, the young man began to see his folly 'in trifling away the prime of his life without employment and in a measure humbled himself to his brother who readily assisted in fixing him in a way of business…' Benjamin has formed an acquaintance with the daughter of William Brigg, a person who, together with his wife, has been a 'serious Methodist' since they were both young. On May 7 the young couple were married. 'She is a modest, steady, well- behaved young woman, apparently very suitable for him. They are constant hearers of the word, tho neither of them are yet awakened, but I think he is more attentive than formerly'.
Dickinson's daughter Betsy was married on June 4 to Peter Jackson, a mercer and woolen draper. 'He is also a child of many prayers, and a serious steady young man …I believe she was sincerely desirous to be found in the order of God and it appears to me their union is providential'.
Her son-in-law [William] Martin has been much restored in his health and she trusts that the affliction will have benefitted the soul.
Fletcher knows her concern both with seeing her children settled and the care of the little flock [class] under her care.
Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
She expects that her other son will soon marry a daughter of [Thomas] Rutherford the preacher. Dickinson 'is under the necessity of leaving my house for him. I have not yet met with one , but I trust the Lord will order for me a quiet habitation, where I may have a little more retirement'.
Tripp's health is much better although her eyes are still weak Mrs [Dorothy] Downs continues very weak in health.
Dickinson thanks God that Fletcher's health is reasonable.
- Thomas Rutherford (1752-1806) was born in Corzenside, Northumberland. His father was Scottish and both parents were devout Presbyterians. Rutherford began to attend Methodist preaching in 1767, a year after he had been left an orphan. After some early misgivings, he joined the Methodist Society in 1769 and entered the itinerancy three years later. Rutherford exercised an active circuit ministry in England, Scotland and Ireland for thirty-three years. He superannuated in 1805 because of ill health and died in London. Source: Arminian Magazine 1806, pA26, and Arminian Magazine 1808, pp.337ff