Letter

Scope and Content

From Addleston Common [Chertsey postmark]. Medical treatment for eye problems is discussed in detail.

Gaussen's twenty-one year old grandson stayed with her a week until a letter from Everton? caused him to leave in a hurry. He received a very great disappointment - the girl who he hoped to marry, disavowed him of that very real expectation. Fletcher should not mention this as Gaussen's brother and son do not know of this matter. The youth certainly feels the loss greatly. Hopefully he will receive some spiritual benefit.

Medical treatment is again discussed in detail and reference made to John Wesley's Primitive Physick.

Her grandson has lost a fortune as well as a future wife, as the girl is wealthy. His mother thinks that he will now possibly take Anglican orders.

'As to my poor sister B., she certainly has long deligently sought salvation in a dark way. I could earnestly wish you could possibly get Mr [John] Fletcher's posthumous letters into her hands [unreadable word] to Miss Halton & one or two to some lady I forget who…& perhaps 2 to Miss Ireland' [possibly the daughter of James Ireland of Beaminster].

Gaussen feels for the King [George III] on account of his extreme lowness last week and the week before. Four physicans are in attendance but have been unable to reach a conclusion concerning his condition. His head is clear for he transacts his business daily. Fletcher should join in prayer for him.

Fletcher will remember Miss Pearce, afterwards Mrs Hall, who lived at Clapham opposite Gaussen. She travelled up from Bristol where she resides with four single daughters, to London to attend her oldest daughter, a widow and a very afflicted woman who died on the 7th of this month 'in full triumph of faith'. She seemed to have forgotten God but he did not forget her but gave her a revival in the middle of her afflictions.

Financial matters are discussed [rather confusingly].

Gaussen's spiritual state is discussed in detail. Reference is made to Gaussen seeing [John] Fletcher on one occasion with Mr C. [Charles] Wesley, and also to [John] Berridge's injunction to "keep looking unto Jesus; with your hands tyed behind you". The book from which Gaussen took the extract which she sent to Fletcher was Mrs Bowker's - Gaussen cannot remember the author or the title. Gaussen has written to Bowker to ask her to send Fletcher that information. Bowker is living about three miles away from Gaussen - she seems better in her 'complaint' and will hopefully find profitable preaching there.

That book on the prophecies was not written by a clear-thinking or spiritual man. It certainly provides no 'food' for the soul '& being an octavo will cost…8 or 9 shillings…no doubt the calling in of the Jews is heard & the spread of the Gospel among the gentiles, yea we see the beginnings [of the second coming].'

Gaussen is much afflicted with rhumatism in her back.

Gaussen has a new maid. She is proving very expensive and does not seem as spiritual as was expected - Gaussen fears that she drinks.

The winds do not affect her much as she has not been out of the house for some months because the ground has been so damp.

Notes

  • John Berridge (1716-93) was born at Kingston in Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and after graduating B.A. in 1738, was ordained and held a fellowship there until his appointment as Vicar of Everton in Bedfordshire in 1755. Berridge experienced an evangelical conversion in 1757 and became a good friend of John Wesley and George Whitefield. In addition to carrying out an active parish ministry, Berridge undertook extensive preaching tours in the midlands. Wesley and Berridge had a public falling-out after the latter switched his allegiance to Calvinism and attacked the Wesleys in print. The rift widened when Berridge published a collection of hymns in 1760, including several by the Wesleys which he had altered to reflect Calvinistic views. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), Kenneth Hylson Smith, Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 (1988), pp.43-44 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • James Ireland (1724-1814) was born in Beaminster, Dorset. He was a wealthy shipowner and sugar merchant whose business was centred in Bristol. Ireland served as a magistrate and High Sheriff of Somerset. He lived for much of his life in Brislington Hall where he provided hospitality for many of the leading figures of the Revival. He was a particularly close friend of John Fletcher. Ireland maintained a neutral position in the ideological disputes which plagued Methodism and was generous in his support of Methodist and Anglican causes. He was instrumental in the founding of the Bristol Clerical Education Society in 1795. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

Note

Notes

  • John Berridge (1716-93) was born at Kingston in Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and after graduating B.A. in 1738, was ordained and held a fellowship there until his appointment as Vicar of Everton in Bedfordshire in 1755. Berridge experienced an evangelical conversion in 1757 and became a good friend of John Wesley and George Whitefield. In addition to carrying out an active parish ministry, Berridge undertook extensive preaching tours in the midlands. Wesley and Berridge had a public falling-out after the latter switched his allegiance to Calvinism and attacked the Wesleys in print. The rift widened when Berridge published a collection of hymns in 1760, including several by the Wesleys which he had altered to reflect Calvinistic views. Source: Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974), Kenneth Hylson Smith, Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 (1988), pp.43-44 and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995)
  • James Ireland (1724-1814) was born in Beaminster, Dorset. He was a wealthy shipowner and sugar merchant whose business was centred in Bristol. Ireland served as a magistrate and High Sheriff of Somerset. He lived for much of his life in Brislington Hall where he provided hospitality for many of the leading figures of the Revival. He was a particularly close friend of John Fletcher. Ireland maintained a neutral position in the ideological disputes which plagued Methodism and was generous in his support of Methodist and Anglican causes. He was instrumental in the founding of the Bristol Clerical Education Society in 1795. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)