From Bristol to Sarah Ryan at the house of Mr Ricket, Fenchurch Street, London. Spiritual matters are discussed with particular regard to the blessing that is attendant on the work in London. Nothing but duty keeps Johnson from joining her friends there. They also have cause to be grateful for the Lord’s work here – N. Shepherd has received a ‘confirmation’ [of forgiveness of sins?] and Sister Barrow is mightily blessed. Mrs Stonehouse is waiting for the ‘seal’ and feels no doubt concerning her own soul, but her husband cries out for a deeper work and complains of the want of ‘heart work’. However, Johnson thinks that he is in a better state than had previously been the case.
Their meetings continue and are much blessed. They received this morning a glorious report from Elizabeth Ames the younger – ‘it seems as if ye Lord was raining righteousness upon her ever since Whit Sunday when a promise was given her yt he would pour water upon her & she should be clean. This has been followed with so many of ye sanctifying promises & soe applied with ye spirit yt her soul stands on Jordan’s edge & she says ye walls of Jericho is to fall down’.
[Nicholas] Gilbert has breakfasted with them twice and has promised to meet with them on Saturday evening – he has preached wonderfully of late. [Nicholas Gilbert was stationed in Bristol between 1762 and 1763 and died in the city of a fever in April 1763. Source: Information provided by John Lenton.]
Sister[?] [Mary?] Doyle has been blessed with great patience and amazing love.
Johnson must now tell Ryan how ashamed she feels about herself – ‘I seem ye dwarf of all’. What can she do to get a keener understanding of the mercies that she has received. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
Mrs Jones is very close to death and is waiting with the greatest ‘tranquility’ and the strongest of assurances of eternal life.
In a postscript, she mentions that she is hoping to send Ryan a frank next week with letters from many of the people here.
- Mary Doyle (d. 1767) was a member of the Bristol Society and is referred to in the correspondence of the noted female Methodist Elizabeth Johnson. She died on August 10 1767 shortly after giving birth to a daughter. Source: Arminian Magazine 1782, 642-643 and MAM/FL/4/5/6