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plaisant enough to unite his fortunes to mine; but God has found me a partner, a sister, a wife, to use St. Paul's language, who is not afraid to face with me. the colliers and bargemen of my parish, until death
Buried together in our country village, we shall help one another to trim our lamps, and wait, as I trust you do continually, for the coming of the heavenly Bridegroom. Well; for us the heavenly child is born, to us a double Son is given, and with him the whole kingdom of grace and glory. O my dear friend, let us press into, and meet in both of these kingdoms. Our Surety and Saviour is the way and the door into them; and blessed be free grace, the way is free, as the king's highway, and the door open, like the arms of Jesus crucified.
January 1st, 1782. I live, blessed be God, to devote myself again to his blessed service in this world, or in the next, and to wish my dear friends all the blessings of a year of jubilee. Whatever this year brings forth, may it bring us the fullest measures of salvation attainable on earth, and the most complete preparation for heaven. I have a solemn call to gird my loins and keep my lamp burning. Strangely restored to health and strength, considering my years, by the good uursing of my dear partner; I ventured to preach of late as often as I did formerly, and after having read prayers and preached twice on Christmas day, &c., I did, last Sunday, what I had never done,-I continued doing duty from ten till past four in the afternoon, owing to christenings, churchings and the sacrament, which I administered to a church full of people; so that I was obliged to go from the communion-table to begin the evening service, and then to visit some sick. This has brought back upon me one of my old, dangerous symptoms, so that I had flattered myself in vain, to do the whole duty of my own parish. My dear wife is nursing me with the tenderest care, gives me up to God with the greatest resignation, and helps me to rejoice that life and death, health and sickness, work all for
our good, and are all ours, as blessed instruments to forward us in our journey to heaven. We intend to set out for Madeley to-morrow. The prospect of a winter's journey is not sweet; but the prospect of meeting you and your dear sister, and Lady Mary, and Mrs. L. and Mrs. G. and all our other companions in tribulation, in heaven, is delightful. The Lord prepare and fit us for that glorious meeting! As soon as I reach Madeley, I shall write to Lady Mary. Give my best respects to her, to our dear sister, and to the ladies I have just named; and believe me to be, my dear friend and fellow-traveller to Zion,
Your most obliged and affectionate Servant,
THE following letters, addressed principally to Mr. William Perronet, explain the circumstances under which they were written. They have been obligingly communicated, exclusively for this edition, by Mrs. Grey of Walthamstow, a pious descendant of the late Reverend Vincent Perronet, Vicar of Shoreham. Extracts from a few of them have been inserted, by the late Rev. Joseph Benson, in his excellent Life of the amiable author, Published now in a regular series, according to their respective dates, though they may be regarded chiefly as letters of business, they will afford strong additional proofs of Mr. Fletcher's heavenly skill, in compelling the most common topics of daily occurrence, to contribute something, either in the form of simile or contrast, towards exalting the honour and glory of his gracious Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Mr. William PERRONET was a Surgeon and Apothecary in London. The friendship which subsisted be tween the different branches of his family and Mr. Fletcher induced him to wait upon the latter, and to offer him the benefit of his professional advice, while this dear friend of his venerable father was an invalid
in the house of Mr. Greenwood at Stoke Newington, and afterwards at Bristol, to which city he repaired, by the direction of his medical advisers, in April, 1777.
Of this young gentleman Mr. Benson gives the subjoined account:-"One of those who visited him at Newington, was Mr. W. Perronet; a pious, sensible, benevolent, and amiable man, who was snatched hence in the strength of his years. He often said, the first sight of Mr. Fletcher fixed an impression upon his mind, which never wore off, till it issued in a real conversion to God, accompanied with a most affectionate and lasting regard for the instrument of that happy change. Of this friendly man, Mr. F. writes thus to Miss Perronet: I cannot tell you how much 'I am obliged to your dear brother for all his kind, 'brotherly attendance as a Physician. He has given < me his time, his long walks, his remedies: He has 'brought me Dr. Turner several times, and will not so 'much as allow me to re-imburse his expences.' (FLETCHER'S Life, 8vo. Edit. p. 204.)
To Mr. W. Perronet.
BRISTLETON, Nov. 19, 1777.
I THANK you for your two favours from London, added to so many received at Newington and here. May the Lord visit you when you shall be sick! And may he raise you such kind friends, helpers and comforters, as he has raised to me! I have kept plying the bark since you went, and have taken a pound, I think. It seems to be blessed to me, as well as the rhubarb. My spitting of blood is almost stopped; my breast stronger. I am, I hope, better upon the whole; and,
if I do not relapse, I might yet be able to preach, according to your dear father's prophecy. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing and thanking you, Sir, and Dr. Turner, in my way to Dover, some time the week after next. I have not seen any physician since you went. Hope to wait this week on Dr. Ludlow to thank him. I am much obliged to your dear sister, for her letter and receipt. Hope to answer the former, though I shall not, I think, make use of the latter.
O my dear friend, Jesus is at the end of the race. Your dear brothers* have run it out; we follow them. Oh for more speed-more winged dispatch-more faith-more of that power which takes the kingdom of heaven by violence!
That the Lord would give us more power, and make us more faithful to that which we have, is, Dear Sir, the earnest prayer of
Your obliged Friend and obedient Servant,
To the Same.
NYON in Switzerland, June 2, 1778.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
WHEN I wrote to you last month, by Mrs. Ireland, I mentioned, that, at Morges, I had seen two ladies of your family, two Miss Perronets, who have married two brothers, Messieurs Monod. Since that time, they have requested me to send to your father the enclosed Memorial, which, I hope, will prove of use to your family. As the bad writing, and the language, may make the understanding of it difficult to you, I send
* Messrs. Vincent and Charles Perronet, who with other branches of their family had died in great peace and triumph.