The Bosanquet / Fletcher Letters Project
Letter: MB to John Wesley, 19 March 1761Reference: M[ary] B[osanquet], 'Letter CLIV . From Miss B. to the Rev. Mr. Wesley [19 Mar. 1761]', AM (1781), 160-62.
March 19, 1761.
When I wrote to you last, I was in a very low degree happy, being full of doubts and fears. But the next morning I found the presence of God, in a manner I never had known before. I was then very happy, but still had doubts and accusations thrown at me every moment. in the evening I found the Lord exceedingly near, so that this was the happiest day I had ever known. The next day I found a longing desire after the whole mind that was in Christ, and such an Expectation as was indeed a hope of full immortality. Yet after that, although my soul cleaved to Jesus with all its powers, yet I was, for a quarter of an hour, so surrounded with the powers of darkness as I cannot express.
Last Sunday I was more blest than ever, and an unspeakable Assurance was given me, of standing before the throne, clothed in white linen, with the Name of God and the Lamb written on my forehead. But I have, at times, doubts and fears, and manifold temptations. And I find great need of Self-denial and Watchfulness, that the very appearance of sin may be done away. I find many things, which, though they are not sin, yet they are not the image of God. Likewise Satan is continually suggesting something or other to take up my mind. Sometimes I find it hard to put away his suggestions: especially with regard to my intercourse with such a person. Yet I can say, I have no will in this: whether God continues it and blesses it, or whether he makes the way plain to give it up, I leave it all to him. But at present, I thank him, and stand astonished! I did not expect such an end. I do not love any one less, for having more love to God: only I find my love to all is changed. But I would not willingly give Satan a handle, while I am a very babe. For which reason I would use all the distance, caution, and even strictness of expression I did before. And then I believe it will be more, yea, far more blest to me than ever. Pray for me, that I may not hinder any blessing! I am so ignorant, I know not how to pray; I do not know what I want. But I know I am in Jesu’s hand, and I want to be what he would have me be.
I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c.
[JW added the following lines as an editorial postscript in the AM: ‘I know not where we have such a picture of a soul struggling into life, as in the two preceding Letters. They may be of particular use to those who are in the same state of mind, just ‘Bursting the barriers of the tomb.’