Elizabeth Whebell to John Rippon, 12 October 1797.
Dear and Honord Sir --
From a deep sence of my ignorance of divine things tho’ I would speak of it with Shame and Self-abasement, after hav’g been so many years a professor but after Close communion find that if in Christ I am at only a babe in knowlidge, therefore wish’g to esteem every means of divine information a privilidge, and such indeed Sir shall I think it tho’ in the afternoon of Life, if you will inrole my worthless name amoung those you are about to Cattechis, I shall esteeem it Sir a great privilidge to atten[d] to such a means of divine information and instruction if health and my Situasion in providence will permit me, and my dear and much esteem’d friend the bearer Longs for the same but feel how ignorance so great that she is afriard, --
With respect to the frame of my mind Sir I am indeed constraned to say that it was with me as in times that are past when the [glory] of the Lord shone round about me, but to now I am Call[ed] to mourn an absent god, for the Lord has hid the Light of his Coutinance from me, for which as far as I know my own heart, I do desire to bless and praise his holy name for if there is a Cause for it, sin, the Cause is where it has offen been tho’ to my shame, I have not forgot to indever to be diligent in busyness, but O Sir, I have not been fervent in Spirit, for I have restraned prayer before God, secret local prayer, the holy word has been much neglected ^now^, and so the holy Spirit has been grived, it is for these reasons Sir that I think it kind in God that he has hid his face, for else it would have seem as if God did not heat [hate] Sin, but O Sir what can the Soul has ever tasted that the Lord ^is^ gracious -- I can find nothing and hope I ever shall, till the Lord is pleased to return, O that the Lord would turn me and I shall be turn’d, I was in a stupid state and on the Lords-day morn’g from those words, I must work the work of him that sent me while it is Call’d to day I round it a Correct’g time, and then backsliden indeed in heart, but I humbly hope, Sir, [f. 449r] that I discourse with that on the Lordsday even’g frm the Same words has proved very benifichal to my soul have’g been a means in the hand of [?] of God of bringing me again to a throne of Grace to ask for mercy, the two last Tusday even’g Services have also been very profitable a scripture you mensioned on Tusday weak was to me like life from the Sand, it was this the blood of Jesus Christ thy Son cleanseth from all Sin I felt its power, and found such a hope arise in my mind that [it] is easer to immagen then decribe, the 2-15 hymn was then brought to my mind and was then and is still I trust the earnest desire of my heart I was then help[ed] to come to this [?] I will wate on the Lord [and] he shall help me that hideth his face from the house of Israil and look forth I humbly hope Sir you will excuse my troubling you with this Skich of the frame of my mind as well as the request I have made and O Sir pray O pray for me and belive me to remain your unworthy but dutiful Servant
Oct 12th 1797
Address: The | Revd Dr Rippon
Text: John Rippon Correspondence, vol. 4, British Library, Add. MS. 25889, fols. 448r-449v.