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is but a little time, yet I have had great exercises. The day I parted with you, calling in the evening on one of iny friends, my feelings were tried, by what you know is the most effectual battery on my heart of any thing ; I mean bitter weeping. The Lord's-day following the meeting-house, to say all in one word, was a Bochim! The most unfeigned sorrow I believe prevailed, in almost every heart. For my own part, I found it exceedingly difficult to go on in preaching, and keep from weeping quite out! I hastened as soon as worship was over to get alone, and there give full vent to all my sorrow. We had a private evening meeting which was more trying to me than the day. I saw such a spirit in the church in general, which had I seen half a year ago, I could never have left them, come what would, whatever I do now! I went home to my house, with a heart full of distress, and my strength nearly exhausted with the work and weeping of the day. :
“The next day, August 12, I devoted to fasting and prayer; found special outgoings of heart, and encouragements to pray from many scriptures. I scarcely remember such a day for tenderness and importunity in prayer in my life. Two days after I felt my spirits all the morning exceedingly depressed; got alone, and found a heart to pray, with I think greater importunity than I had done before. O it seemed as if I must have my petitions granted, or I could not live. This last Lord's-day was a tender day, bạt not like the Lord's-day preceding.
“Truly Sir, nothing but the thoughts of an open door for greater usefulness in Christ's cause, (surely this is not an illusion !) and my having been so engaged to pray for the coming of Christ's kingdom, could have kept me from dropping all opposition, and yielding to the church's desire. All their former treatment towards me I cannot remember, I am constrained not only to forgive it, but to forget it. And as to profit or reputation, things at which
I have been charged with aiming, these seemed · no more to me than the mire in the streets,
I cannot say what I shall do, I desire to be governed by judgment, and mean to be so; but these things ipfluence my judgment, and that which appeared clear before has appeared doubtful since. Some of my friends, also, who thought my way clear before, think it doubtful now. Oh! it pains me to the heart to put you and my dear friends to so much pain. I have often of late lamented before the Lord my unhappy situation, that it should be my lot to be reduced to the painful necessity, to say the least, of injuring, at one place or other, tbat cause which of all things in the world I most dearly love! My dear friend, I must beg of you not to have your expectations raised too much. Indeed I am ashamed to mention their being raised at all by the thoughts of my coming, only I know how you are. Truly I am not without a dread of being made a curse to you, if I come. I feel such barrenness and carnal-mindedness habitually prevail, as often has made me think my labours would be blasted, be where I might. I know not but such is your partial opinion of me, that you will be apt to impute this to a peculiar sensibility of the plague of my own heart; but verily this is not the case. My soul is indeed, like the lands of Jericho, barren; and almost all my services, like it's waters, naught : and unless something extraordinary be done to the spring-head of all, to heal the waters, like what was done by the prophet Elisba, my barrenness will be my plague, and the plague of those about me.
“I must farther beg of you, not to move it to the church to give me any farther call. If J leave Soham I shall come, not doubting their willingness to receive me; and if not, the more there is done by the church as a church towards it, the greater' will be their disappointment. For my own part, the language of my heart is, 'Here am I, let him do with me as seemeth good to him. I do not expect nor wait for extraordinary directions. All I look for is, to have my way plain, my judgment clear, and my conscience satisfied. Pray to the Lord, my dear Sir, earnestly yet submissively. I thought it right to give you an honest account of things as above; and I think it but right as honestly to say, on the other hand, that, all things considered, notwithstanding the check 1 have lately met with, the evidence for removing rather preponderates than that for continuing. Meanwhile, till we see the issue of things, may we each become dead to all created good, any farther than as it may subserve the glory of God. So desires Your affectionate but distressed friend,
A. F.” The church at Kettering, however, did send him another invitation, and the following is Mr. Fuller's reply: To the Church of Christ at Kettering.
Soham, Sept. 22, 1782. “Dear Brethren, Yours I received, and quite approve of your devoting a day to fast and pray to the Lord, on such a solemn occasion. I thank you for your remembrance of me, and the church at Soham, on that day, as well as for your kind and repeated invitation; to which I can only say, that if I should leave Soham at the time you expect, I have no other thoughts thau to comply. God only knows how it will be with me, when the time comes. True it is, I give the church here no reason to expect any thing but my removal: but such a spirit of tenderness now takes place among them, that it shakes my confidence, and threatens to destroy my. happiness if I remove. It is true I do habitually thing of removing, but do not you expect it too much. Hold Christ and your religion with a close hand, but me and every other creature with a loose one! God can bless you without me, and blast you with me! If I come, O that the Spirit of God may come with me! Surely it is my babitual prayer- If thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence.' With great respect and esteem, I remain, Dear Brethren, Yours in the gospel,
A. F.” - This painful conflict was at length brought to a close, and Mr. Fuller removed to Kettering in October, 1782, and his friend Mr. West (now pastor of the Baptist church in Swift's Alley, Dublin,) then a deacon of the church at Soham, was called by that church to labour among them.
Long as the people at Kettering had been waiting for him, he was not settled as their pastor, till he had been with them about twelve months, .
He was received as a member previously, on the following letter of dismission from the church to which he originally belonged.