Scope and Content

From Richard Wheatley [in Yorkshire] to Mary Fletcher. It was a pleasure to receive a rememberance about 6 months since, by the bearer of this letter when he called previously at Fletcher's house. 'The many observations and hints of experience with the power of God, I have seen and felt in your meetings at Cross Hall, the rememberance of them has often to this day, through the goodness of God been a blessing to my own soul. I often regret that I did not exert to come every time you met, but more especially in that time when I saw that you was going to remove, and Mr [John] Fletcher was in them, for many of his gracious words, I hope I never shall forget. But for the present, I see holiness more amiable than ever I see it before, but it does not live in the constant spirit and act of it as I could wish to do ...' Spiritual matters are further discussed. He does not feel the presence of God as much as he would like - a certain dulness of spirit when engaged in business at the market or in company. Sometimes when Wheatley is labouring as a class leader or exhorter, he finds that he does not do it purely for love of souls, and at all times he feels corrupted by selfishness, which sometimes spoils the whole experience. Spiritual matters are further discussed in detail.

Wheatley would be grateful if Fletcher would show this letter to her dear husband so that he might be blessed with 'a plain word or two of his heavenly direction ... it will be received with abundant thankfulness'.

Wheatley is the leader of a select band at Mirfield, but he feels unworthy of the task, 'but I bless God he affords us his presence and warmeth our hearts ... when we meet. There has been two of those who meet has been brought into Christ's perfect love, and several more seeking it seemingly with their whole heart. Among them is my wife, for which I am unfeignedly thankful. If you have time, I beg a few of your directions in this matter.'

The Lord is carrying on a blessed work at Morley, Tingley Common and Hanging Heaton, 'for drunkards, covetous and worldly minds, old grey headed people and children, giddy youths and opposers are turned to the Lord. I went to see them and was amazed to see the work of the Lord ... he [God] last week visited Mirfield, for there was some young people met together on Easter Monday at night to make prayer and the Lord was in the midst of some of them. [They] said that as soon as they entered the house ... they was filled with the Holy Ghost, three or four was convinced [and] one found pardoning mercy from the Lord and many more was in distress till one o'clock in the morning. Many that was at their own home was much affected and found [unreadable word] at home and all at the same time. On Thursday night following we had Mr [John] Valton paying us a visit and there was some more in distress and a poor Magdalen set at liberty and was much in tears.'

Indeed, this district has cause to be thankful - for Mr Valton is an instrument in God's hand - 'and how the Lord preserves him in keeping watch nights out of doors till twelve o'clock at night and as yet seems to take no harm.'

He sees [Sarah] Crosby and [Ann] Tripp almost every week. He saw them last Tuesday and Mrs Crosby was a good deal better than she has been - she said that she was moderate and so was Miss Tripp.

The bearer of this letter was once joined to the Methodists, but has now fallen away - Wheatley hopes that Fletcher can bring him back through sound words of advice