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William-street, Dublin, September 12th. This day of our birth calls for solemn praise. I say our birth, because, as far as we can learn, my dear Mr. Fletcher was born on the same day, ten years before me. And why were we ever brought into being? Here is the comfortable answer, "I have created thee for my glory: I have formed thee for my praise!" O let us answer that design for ever!
Many were my conflicts before we set out for this place. At one time it was represented to me, that wrhen we were on the watery element, the prince of the power of the air would exert all his efforts against us. As the thought presented, in a moment those words sprang up in my heart,—
%i We shall be safe, for Christ displa)'s
The Lord gave me to see the whole Universe so under his command, as I cannot express. I saw him as " holding the winds in his fist,51 and " the waters in the hollow of his hand." And thatj sooner all nature should change, than one of God's promises fail. I am naturally inexpressibly fearful, wi#i all sorts of fear, beyond what words can paint; and it was often represented, if I went among strangers, I should, by that weakness, bring much discouragement on the feeble ones of the flock. But the instance of Gideon was brought before me, and I was made to feel, The Lord can get himself glory by the weakest worm; and my heart answered, O Will Divine, which I adore and love 1 what a rest there is to be found Vol Thee!
Well, in this will, with the prayers and blessing of many of our friends, on August the 12th, we set off. As we drove from our own door, and my dear was commending us to the protection of the Lord, that word rested on my mind with power,—I am thy shield. When we passed the Birches, (where a few years ago that remarkable phenomenon occurred) Mr. Fletcher pointed out to me the roads and fields which were so lately covered wtth the river. We could not but be much amazed at the stupidity of the human heart. Most of the inhabitants seem almost to have forgotten the whole transaction! and we were led to observe, how vain is the common objection to the miracles of our Lord—or to the sun standing still at Joshua's word, that they are not recorded in common history. Ah no! That which does not take hold on the sinful affections, is soon lost and forgotten! While we were conversing on the above subject, we passed the Eaton-Constadine, a little village rendered famous by the birth of that great servant of God, Mr. Baxter, with whose spirit we joined our feeble act of worship before the Throne.
At night we were affectionately received by Mrs. Glynne of Shrewsbury, whose love to the children of God does not grow cold. May He who hath promised the prophet's reward repay her in time and eternity. While my dear was preaching that night, on the danger of being ashamed of the Gospel, my heart yearned towards the people of that place, and the cry of my spirit was,
O that these people might live before Thee." The next morning we pursued our journey as far as Llangollen in Wales,—but all the horses being out, we were constrained to abide there all night. Inquiring (as we walked about the town) whether they had any praying people among them, the poor things answered us in the best manner they could ;—and after consulting together, they said,—" Yes, Sir, there are some people who pray m houses at the other end of the town, but we do not know what they be." Another said,—" This very night there is a man to preach in the Chapel belonging to these praying people." According to their direction we went to the place, and found a few poor people gathered in a building, I believe part of an old house. The preacher seemed very earnest and lively; I say seemed, for we could not understand one word,—-except Gogoniant, and Gwaed, glory and blood, which, with much emphasis, he often repeated. After we were returned to our inn, a few who could understand English came to us, and desired my dear to give them a sermon in the morning, which he did, on these words, "This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he hath given us commandment." It was a good time, and several were present who un~ derstood English. We then set off for Conway, and Friday afternoon reached Holyhead. Here, for some reasons, I wished to stop a little, and inquiring when a vessel would sail, we were informed, not till next morning. Mr. Fletcher was but poorly. A swelling which he had on his face now broke, and gave him much inconvenience -; but on Saturday morning, we were informed that the packet was going off. Some of the people said, "The wind is quite contrary, you will have but a disagreeable passage ;"—but believing it to be the order of God, we embarked. Now I remembered how the Lord had shown me,—4i He measureth the waters in the hollow of his hand." The wind soon grew more favourable, and the sea so smooth, that it seemed to me as if I heard him say, Peace, be still! Mr. Fletcher was not much affected by the sea, but I was very ill.—About one o'clock on Sunday morning, we cast anchor three miles from Dublin. We then got into a boat, which was rather troublesome, . as the tide kept it in continual agitation; but through the goodness of the Lord we arrived safe. After being hindered some time by the custom-house officers, we reached by live in the morning the Hotel on Dublin Quay.
We now abide with our hospitable friends, Mr. and Mrs, Smyth, in William-street, and have seen much of the Lord's hand in bringing us hither. My dear husband has been favoured with such an unction in preaching the word, that it distils "as the dew on the mown grass"
The present preachers in Dublin, Brs. Rutherford and Jackson, are truly simple pious men, and respect that command,—" In honour preferring one another." They heartily rejoice in the message my dear husband delivers among them. There are some spirits in this place in whom we find a degree of the primitive simplicity, rejoicing to see a stranger whom they believe the Lord has sent to be " a helper of their joy."
I feel a faith riveted in my heart, that before it is long there will be a great revival of the work of God in Dublin. I feel much liberty in meeting the classes. Here are a few souls truly athirst for full salvation, and many who inquire after the most excellent way. Our kind and generous host and hostess, allow us all freedom in their house, for the glory of God, and the good of his people; and as their servants also are pious upright persons, we can here worship with them in calm and brotherly love.
Madely, October 30. How much of thy goodness, O my God! have I seen since I last wrote! On the seventh of this month we left Dublin, and embarked in a Liverpool brig, bound for Holyhead. We had a long way to go in the boat, and about eight at night entered the vessel. The sea was then pretty smooth; but in the night the wind grew high, and the Captain thought the sea more swelling than he had seen it for some years. -—It was what they call very squally; and we were extremely sick, far worse than in going. . Those words,, given me before I left home, were much on my mind*
"And shall He not have
And also, " Though I remain in the uttermost parts of the sea, there shall His hand guide me, and His right-hand shall hold me." I could not tell whether they were not acajl to sacrifice our lives to him, who had sacrificed His for us: but I lay still before the Lord, in the spirit of resignation, saying, "Thy will be done.'5
In going over, my dear husband's tender attention was a great alleviation to my suffering, but now we were both so ill, (as was also Sally) we could scarce speak or look towards each other, but only wait before the Lord, that all His will might be done. Towards morning, the pump told us the vessel was leaky, but it was in a small degree, and we were near land. It served to remind us of that word, " There is but a step between me and death!"
Since our return I have closely examined what I have lost or got in these last three months. I exceedingly praise the Lord, that ever we went to Dublin, and that for various reasons. There are some souls there with whom my spirit found much fellowship ;—at whose feet I sat, and I trust learned many useful lessons. My dear Mr. Fletcher preached in several places besides the Preaching-house in White-Friars-street, both to the French and English, and we had some remarkable proofs that he was called there of God.* I have also learned
* Having visited Dublin soon after the departure of these servants of God, I can add my testimony to the great and good effects which resulted from their visit, and their truly evangelical labours. Never did I see such deep impressions made on the minds of that people, except perhaps, in die very short visits of Mr. Wesley. But Ae had the care of all the churches, and was occupied with that care in every place. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher had a liberty in that respect which our Father in the Gospel could not have. They were the unencumbered helpers of the people''s joy; and it was truly the joy of the Lord. Those divine impressions were deep and abiding; and, as Mrs. Fletcher hoped, a great revival of pure religion followedjn that society. It had usually consisted of about 500 persons, but it soon increased to upwards of 1,000, and has never since fallen below that number. Such longing after entire conformity to the Son of God, I never beheld! It seemed to be the general sentiment of all from the highest to the. lowest of the people. How wide this sacred influence might have extendedwho can tell, if a. poor sectarian spirit had not limited the labours of the man of God* On their arrival ia. Dublin, their host, Mr. Smyth, a distiix? guished and most respectable gentleman, applied to the Rector of St. Andrew's Parish, (in which he livedy) for Mr. Fletcher to preach in hh Church; and as he was a beneficed minister, it was immediately granted. rA-he church, (commonalty called the Round Church) was crowded to ex