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MRS. MARY FLETCHER,
CONSORT AND RELICT
THE REV. JOHN FLETCHER,
VICAR OF MADELY, SALOP.
COMPILED FROM HER JOURNAL,
AND OTHER AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS.
BY HENRY MOORE.
The end of the Commandment is Charity, out of a pore heart, and of a good conscience, and of
.........................1 Tim. i. 5.
**..................Heb. xi. 25.
......................Rer. xiv. A.
PUBLISHED BY J. SOULE AND T. MASON, Fox TUE METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES.
Abraham Paul, printer.
| SHORT time after I was appointed to the Birmingham District, the papers of the late Mrs. Fletcher were put into my hands. I was informed at the same time, that the venerable person whose life was recorded in them, had mentioned me as one that she wished should prepare and publish her papers; and that an application to that effect would have been made to me before that time, but that the distance of my former appointment had prevented it, Mrs. Fletcher having laid an injunction on her friend, to whom, by will, she had committed them, not to give them absolutely into the hands of any person whatsoever.
I examined those papers with no common interest. They gave an account not only of the writer's own life, but involved, in some respects, that of her admirable husband. I was certain that those records were desired, and would be received, by the most pious in these kingdoms, not as a common religious biography, but as the record of an uncommon work of God; and that they would not be expected to fall short of any account which has come forth in that great revival of scriptural Christianity in our day, concerning which we have so often been constrained to say, What hath God wrought?
I have often wished to see such a display of that work as would show its genuine nature and fruits, free from
the colouring of those writers who were not directly concerned in it; or of those who might be so anxious about its public reputation, as to forget, that the circumcision of the heart, is justified only by those children of the light and of the day who prove its power, and cry Abba, Father, by the Spirit of adoption; and whose praise is not of men but of God. It is much to be desired also to see such an account made living and powerful by being personified ;-to see an individual thus walking worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
A general History of this work, including all the important circumstances, has been already published, especially in the journals of the Rev. Mr. John Wesley, the father of Methodism, so called. In these we see, as in the Gospel, the grain of mustard seed, increasing and becoming a great tree, to the astonishment of those who witnessed its small beginning,—who “ saw the cloud arise little as a human hand.” The display given us in that account, is distinguished by the same simplicity, purity, and classical beauty, which are observable in all the writings of that eminent instrument of God. This large survey is highly satisfactory; but the aid of living testimony is necessary to bring it home to the hearts of those whose inquiry is, What shall I do to be saved? How shall I walk with God?
Religion is nothing less than the life of God in the soul of man. It is the offspring of God through faith, and is not, and cannot, be attached to churches or religious communities, though they are so highly necessary to its propagation and increase. It never was so attached; though while the covenant of God was established with