letter

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 PLP 1/13/2
  • Former Reference
      GB 135 PLP 1/13/2
  • Dates of Creation
      [Nov/Dec 1754]
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

To an unnamed correspondent [probably Samuel Walker ]. The account which his correspondent gaveto Adam of his work and labour of love at Truro was very acceptable and he praises God for thesuccess of it. Adam would gladly believe that his correspondent will be steady in its continuationagainst all discouragement and that he has a still greater harvest to reap. ‘I can truly say,let others increase tho I decrease; & am much obliged to you for touching that tender point withso friendly a hand & animating me to perseverence notwithstanding yr prest hopeless appearanceof the [unreadable word] in this place’. Mrs B. has shed tears for her husband and Adamsupposing that if they were truly engaged in God’s work, they would have been more successful.She is now however of the opinion that Mr W. [Walker?] is misled and has misled her by makingsuccess the mark of a true prophet. The famous Elizabethan preacher Mr Greenhane is said to haveleft a ‘hardened’ parish because of the difficulties he experienced there, but is saidto have regretted it ever after.

Reference is made to [Thomas] Vivian of Cornwood ‘after a just & honest representationof ye gt guilt of taking upon ye ministry in ye manner we do almost one & all, does not give itup for a lost case, yet it must have a bitter retrospect & is still to me ye horrid creeking ofye gate of despair’. Adam came across his visitation sermon a few days ago and liked it sowell that [the rest of this sentence is virtually incomprehensible].

‘The A.D. [Arch Deacon] of Stowe to who I communicated yr lr [letter] & doubt not ofyr pardon for so doing, is of one heart & sat with ye author of it, & will rejoice with meto hear further yt you have some fruit of yr labour. We both hoped fro ye contents of it, from MrV’s [Vivian’s] sermon & what he says of ye ministers of Plimouth [Plymouth], thatthere was a much greater awakening in [unreadable word] parts than we can say there is here; exceptamong those who join ymselves to ye Mts [Methodists]. And besides ye censoriousness too common wthym, I hear there is a spt [spirit] of discord gone out among ym, & yt many of ym do not walkworthy of the Gospel. As for ye rest [generality - inserted above the line], they brand those fewclergymen who endeavour open yr eyes & bring ym to Xtian [Christian] way of humility &self-condemnation wth yt name; & think this a sufficient pretense for standing off from yetruth...May God rescue ym fro ye depth of this satanical wile, & in his own good time come amongus wth power! Your advice to me to wait ye event wth patience, is very seasonable. I beg thecontinuance of it, with yr prayers that God wd enable me to discover & remove whateverimpediments, I myself lay in ye way of his work + if I had any advice proper for you, it shd becommunicated wth brotherly freedom’. Adam is sure that [Walker] will not take his hand fromthe plough, but will instead, redouble his efforts.

How does [Walker] manage to avoid disputes in his society? and how does he end them amicably?‘You will understand me right. I have not ye last thought of damping ye design. Heb.10.25 Itake to be fully to ye purpose & much good may be expected from it; but upon ye whole, it is adelicate affair & requires all ye steadiness, prudence & piety of an able conductorconsidering ye variety of tempers, mixture of human frailties etc to keep ye members of it knittogether in the bonds of Xtian love...’. The eyes of many are upon Walker in his ministry andthere will be those who will be ready to take advantage of the miscarriages or infirmity’ of afew to condemn all. Any advice which Walker can give would be most welcome. ‘Yr method ofcatechising, by classes, shew you are resolved to spare no pains & in my poor opinion is welljudged. Young children for the most part who only are catechised in a general way soon forget all;wch you prevent by taking them up again afterwards; & by this means have an opportunity not onlyof renewing & confirming former instructions, but adding others more suitable to yr [their] age& experience & where ye time requires, feed ym with strong meat - Dr Sr [Dear Sir] whatreason have you & many others to bless God for your meeting wth a pious friend at yr firstcoming to Truro! and what encouragement in the instance for all who know yr way of truth to speakout! Extend yr influence far & near. God may work by you in other places. Strengthen thoseeverywhere who are ready to faint for ye smalness of their numbers...’ Spiritual matters arefurther discussed in detail.

When Adam himself travelled in other areas, he did not expect anything but has been provedwrong. Adam recommends that Walker reads Bilney’s letters to Bishop Tunstall in Foxe’sBook of Martyrs. volume 2.

Mr [Henry] Piers is a bold man and has the courage to speak to Adam what others only think.‘It is a pity he is still encumbered with parentheses. But he seems to me to be so full ofmatter, yt he could not give vent to it fast enough. If you do not know it, the D. of Arches &all ye clergy most shamefully went iut of ye Ch [church] wth one consent, while he was preaching anexcellent visn [visitation?] sermon at Seven Oaks in Kent, 1742. Mr Hartley sermons are all sold out& he tells me will soon be reprinted’.

‘Mr Bassett, I know will thank you fro his heart for stirring him up to morefruitfulness...’

In a postscript, he mentions that ‘The P.L.L. I suppose are now in ye press. Mr [William]Romaine (wth whom I am unacquainted) wrote to me lately to desire he might have leave to reprintthem, not knowing yt a 3rd edition was intended by me’.