Anne Dutton, Great Gransden, to Philip Doddridge, Northampton, 25 September 1749.
Great Gransden, Sept. 25, 1749.
Reverend and very Dear Sir,
Your most kind & sympathizing letter, I receiv’d, & acknowledge with ye utmost Gratitude. May ye Lord hear your Prayers for his dear little Remnant here, & for worthless me, & return them an Hundred-fold into your own bosom! Our Friends, Sir, join with ne, in all possible Thanks for your tender Regard to us ye least in our Father’s House; in ye Advice you gave us to seek a Minister, & if none was given us before Midsummer, to invite Mr A—n [Stephen Addington]; & for what you most kindly added, “That then you would concur with us in ye Application. And let ye lord do as seemeth him good.” By ye last Clause, Sir, as by a Window opened into your Heart, methinks I see, how freely you resign’d him up to ye Lord’s Dispose, if He should give him to us, even to us! And the kindness hereof to this little Remnant, & especially as you had design’d him for a larger people, takes my Heart much. The God of Kindness, grant you a full Reward! Nor to us only, is this your Favour most grateful, but your duty herein, Sir, as a most willing Servant call’d to ye Foot of your royal Master, is to Him most pleasing. And however ye lord dispose of Mr A—n, your Duty, Sir, to Christ, & your Kindness to us, shall in no wise lose its Reward. What ye Lord then wrought in your Heart, you will find recorded in His & written for a Reward of Grace, to your endless Glory, in the book of his Remembrance. O Dear Sir, this, even this Part of your Labour of Love, ye lord is not unrighteous to forget. He will find it unto your Praise, & Honour, & Glory, before Men & Angels, at His Appearing: And call you He will to inherit ye Kingdom prepared for you from ye Foundation of ye World, as having thus (in Heart) ministred unto ye Necessities of ye least of his Brethren. And yt you may have ye present Joy, & future Glory, of this your Obedience, of this your Kindness, is my hearty Desire & Prayer. – But, Dear Sir, however needful Mr. A—n’s stay with you may be, by reason of our pressing necessity, it prov’d trying, very trying to me. Tho’ I adore & love ye Lord herein & bless him yt he hath given me Counsel, to “let Patience have its perfect Work.” O yt I may be most concern’d about God’s Glory, to render yt filial Duty I owe him under present Pressures! And no doubt, God will provide for my Comfort, in Manner & Measure, like his gracious, glorious SELF, & send Relief in ye fittest Season. Pray, Dear Sir, that my Faith & Love may be increased, & yt after I have patiently endur’d, I may inherit ye Promises. Alas! My Love to God is very weak. I find Unbelief easily besets me in straits & difficulties. And ye Adversary wd devour me with his Temptations, now ye Lord seems to shut out, or rather, to delay ye Answer of my Prayers. But I tho’t yeother Night, that I wd go on to seek God, to hope & trust in him, & to wait & look for him, for his Honour & Pleasure, yea, & for my Joy & Salvation: (as none of them yt trust in him shall be desolate) however He please to try me. Fain wd my weak willing Mind, give ye Lord leave, to do what He pleaseth with me. And I find it is my Bliss in Distress, my Joy in Sorrow my Life in Death, to think in Faith, that whatever falls, God’s Glory by all will rise. To love God for Himself, to love him above one’s Self, & when he seems to destroy one’s Self, to be one in Will with Him, when he crosseth ours, for his Glory, for our Joy, is a little Heaven. When this Temper of Mind prevails, I forget my Grief, under grieving Things, I lose my Pain, in ye sweet Pleasure. At other Times I mourn, & I wd do this for God’s Honour, that I am such an unworthy, vile Creature, that it is just with him, to take no notice of me. – But tho’ for a small moment ye Lord hath forsaken me; I trust, yt with everlasting Kindness He ^will^ yet have Mercy on me; & yt again He will compass me abt with Songs of Deliverance. – I know not how, Sir, we can get Supplies to keep up ye meeting, during the Winter. But ye lord can carry us thro’, tho’ we see not how. He that promis’d, That when ye poor & needy seek water, & there is none, & when their Distress is so great, that their Tongue faileth for Thirst, HE, ye LORD, will hear them, & as ye God of Israel, not forsake them; that then He will open Rivers in high Places, & Fountains in ye midst of ye Vallies; that He will make ye Wilderness a Pool of water, & ye dry Land Springs of Water. Who then, yt believes his Word, wd not wait upon, & look for Jacob’s GOD, even when He hideth Himself from ye house of Jacob? The boundless Compassion of his nature, & his Covenant-engaged Mercies, from unto David & his Seed in his Truth & Faithfulness; Bespeak ye Obedience of Faith & Love, & ye Patience of Hope, in all ye heirs of Promise. It is our Glory, Sir, to trust the Lord in ye Dark; & God accounts it his Glory, to bring his believing People forth to yeLight. And, O astonishing Grace! When He doth it, he pardons & passeth by all their Unbelief, & records & rewards their Faith, & tells of it to their Honour, that thereby they wrought Wonders!
I have prevented myself, Dear Sir, from writing what I wd in Answer to your letter: Please to excuse me. How much am I obliged to my Hond & beloved Friend, for his most kind Remembrance of unworthy me at yeDivine Throne! – Your Freedom, Sir, to favour me now & then with a Line, as a Love-Token, had you Time; I accept most kindly, & acknowledge most thankfully. Dear sir, from laying any Burthen on your dear Shoulders, or putting any unnecessary Work into your labourious Hands. – We’ll wait for Communion, till we meet in Glory. There, in ye Land of Rest, we’ll tell to each other’s mutual Joy, & ye Lord’s endless Praise, the Wonders He wrought for us, while passing thro’ this thorny Maze. – Blest are you, my Hon’d Brother, & blessed be you to, as Minister, Tutor, & Writer! May all assistance, for all service, be given you! And all Support, under all Pressures, afforded: to ye Lord’s Joy & Glory, in & by You, & unto your Joy & Glory, in & with Him! So prays,
Your most obliged and most
Humble servant in ye Lord,
P.S. My Duty, Sir, waits on your dear Consort, with humble Thanks for your expressed Kindness, in yt you wd be glad to see such an unworthy Worm. And most gladly wd I wait on you, if Ability & Opportunity were given. – It grieves my heart, yt our Lord’s Honour is wounded, by my poor Br. And an additional grief it is to me, ytyou, Sir, who watch for his soul, instead of having Joy in, have grief by him. O may ye Lord pity & restore him! I have lately wrote to him on ys Head. – Our Brethren Sir, wd run thro’ Difficulties with greater Cheerfulness, if they knew Mr. A—n was free to come to them at Midsummer, but if we can get no Minister to suit us before, I hope ye Lord will incline both you & him for his coming then – I remember you before ye Lord. Forget not yeAfflictions of Joseph. Grace be with you!
Sept. 26. Dear Sir, if no great Inconvenience wd arise, we wd humbly ask ye Favour that Mr A—n may come to serve us one Lord’s Day in three Months, till he may come to reside among us. And for ys Quarter, we think yesooner he came ye better, as the Roads will be worse, & ye Days shorter. I think to write a Line to Mr. A—n, to request him to be here ye 15th of next Month, & shall hope, Sir, for your Concurrence, if that Day suits –
Address: To | The Reverend Dr. Doddridge | at Northampton
Text: Dr. Williams's Library, London, New College Collection, MS L1/5/65; also published in the Evangelical Magazine 1852, p. 752.