Letter

Scope and Content

From London to Mary Tooth. There is no postage for Tooth to pay for this letter - a kind friend here offered to get it franked by a member of parliament. This friend was Miss James who Tooth once befriended - she sends her love. [Free postage was a privilege enjoyed by members of parliament.]

Her first week in London was one of the most unpleasant of her life. She enjoyed no solitude at all, not even for two minutes. Thankfully that has now changed. They have two clean comfortable rooms, but there are other difficulties. Jenkins thought that it would be silly to bring large books and therefore brought only a small hymnal and The Christian Pattern, which, as Tooth knows, is also very small. Jenkins?s cousin also bought a bible and as soon as they could, they applied to the circulating library of religious books, but it was a long time before they could borrow material.

Jenkins wrote a note to Miss Sutter[?], with details of her address and left it in Birmingham on the way here as it was impossible for her to call. She received a letter in reply within a week expressing regret that they were so near to one another but had been unable to meet. Sutter has invited her to stay, but Jenkins is unable to commit one way or another at the moment.

She has also received a letter from her dear brother John. Spiritual matters are discussed. In her reply, Jenkins asked him to subscribe on her behalf to the Missionary [society/fund?] until her return. Tooth must therefore apply to him for the money when it falls due.

Jenkins has not attended chapel much. Hinde Street is the one that she has attended, as she does not know any other. It is almost impossible for her to go other than on Sunday and then only with difficulty. Her cousin refuses to accompany her and Jenkins cannot leave her alone in a strange house. She meets in class on a Sunday afternoon. The first time that she attended, the leader asked her if she had a note to show as ?it was customary if one left the country and wished to meet in the private meetings, to bring a note of recommendation from some of the preachers or C. [class] leaders in the connexion. I made my excuse and was received?.

The work of God flourishes in this city, although Jenkins?s own soul does not prosper as much here as it does at home as Satan tempts her in many different ways. ?Sometimes I think, I had no business here, for day after day passes away, and I seem doing no good in the cause of God; on the contrary, when at Alscott, I had more opportunitys than time for my private employment. But I am in the hands of God?and trust he will make me of some use, if it is to my poor cousin only, but every prospect appears to me so gloomy, and I never knew my spirits so very low in my life?? Spiritual matters are discussed in detail, with particular regard to Jenkins?s sense of isolation and feeling that without having knowingly offended God, she has done so in her heart.

She has just heard that her father has sold Wykenhouse and the preaching is discontinued. She is very disappointed. Hopefully, God will provide a place where his people can meet. What does Tooth and the preachers think can be done to allow preaching to resume, ?for sure the labourers who have toiled some time and with success, will not now, withold their labours and suffer those poor souls to return again into the world to perish. What will the people think of me for being so very thoughtless as to leave them, to take a journey of pleasure (as they will imagine) to London?. It will be the beginning of June before she returns home. Partly transcribed in Memoirs of Miss Sarah Jenkins by Mary Tooth (London: Methodist Book Room, 1829), 33-35.