From George Clark to Madeley. It now very much appears that this will be the last letter which Fletcher will receive from him. The fever is with him day and night and is so severe as to weaken his lungs so that he is breathing with great difficulty. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail. 'Yesterday morning when in bed, it was strongly enforced upon my mind that the Lord would deliver me up to the devil, at least fora season. It put me into a great agony of prayer…I wd have wept but the fountain was dry, yet I could not help sobbing out my complaint. In this I continued till Jesus in great mercy spoke the words to me he did to Peter, viz - Behold Satan hath desired to have thee…but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. This quieted my spirit…'
Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
He has heard that a portrait is to be done of Fletcher. He would love to have a copy for [Adylena], that she may at least have the pleasure of seeing the image of one 'that has been the friend of our souls. But it is a matter of great joy to us, that we shall see and enjoy the company of your [unreadable word] spirit to all eternity except that you should with your holy and beloved husband [John Fletcher], be in a region far superior to us…'
In a postscript, he mentions that [Peard] and [Elizabeth] Dickinson send their love.
- Peard Dickinson (1758-1802) was born at Topsham, Devon, the son of a wealthy landowner. He was educated at Taunton School, before moving to Bristol to commence a career in business. At Bristol, he lodged with a Methodist family and was converted. Intent on entering the Anglican ministry, Dickinson proceeded to Oxford where he read Classics and was ordained in 1783. While at the university, he was visited by John Wesley and spent his vacations assisting at City Road Chapel and Methodist Societies elsewhere. Dickinson served for a short time as curate to Revd. Vincent Perronet and in 1786 was invited by John Wesley to be a resident Anglican clergyman at City Road Chapel in London. He was employed in preaching, administering the sacraments and attending prayer and class meetings. He also assisted Wesley in the ordination of several preachers. Dickinson was not apparently a gifted preacher but had a strong reputation for piety. He was appointed one of Wesley's executors. His wife was Elizabeth Briggs (1751-1822), granddaughter of Vincent Perronet. Dickinson's autobiography was edited after his death by Joseph Benson and published in Britain and the United States. Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995) and George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), pp.396-397
- Elizabeth Dickinson (1751-1822) was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Briggs of London and the granddaughter of Revd. Vincent Perronet. Her parents were devout Methodists and close friends of the Wesleys, Elizabeth herself was converted at the age of twelve. She was married to the Anglican clergyman Peard Dickinson (1758- 1802), who was employed at London's City Road Chapel. She was a member of the City Road Society for nearly sixty years, serving as a class leader and sick visitor. Source: George John Stevenson, City Road Chapel, London, and its Associations, Historical, Biographical, and Memorial (1872), pp.396-398