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The Bosanquet / Fletcher Letters Project

Letter: MB to John Wesley, Feb. 1761

Reference: M[ary] B[osanquet], 'Letter CLIII . From Miss B. to the Rev. Mr. Wesley [Feb. 1761]', AM (1781), 50-51.

Feb. 1761.     

Rev. Sir,

I have just received yours, for which I thank you. But alas! how apt are we to mistake in judging of others? You imagine saying and doing, are with me the same thing: but indeed they are not. For though, blessed be God, I have much light in many things, I have still very little power. O how wide is the difference, between an Outward and an Inward Christian! I now know, I may be outwardly devoted, and given up to the Work of God, and yet, whenever Jesus draws near to bless me, never be found at home: never listening to the still, small Voice, by which alone true Wisdom can be learnt. But I am not circumspect in outward things: indeed I am not. I am very negligent in denying myself and taking up my cross. Any thing that would help me in the practice of this, would do me much service. Never was my soul in more danger than now; and I feel the want of inward Holiness more than ever. It is a very dangerous precipice, to be blest to the souls of others, and needs the whole Omnipotence of God, to save us from being destroyed thereby.

For I often find a Work of Mercy, nay, a Means of Grace, stand between my Soul and Christ. I have toiled till my body was almost laid up, when all the time it would have been more pleasing to God, had I been hewing wood or drawing water, with my soul evenly carried out after Him. O Sir, Holiness, Holiness is the thing we want; to have Jesus our all in all! Till this is effected, whenever I point another to the Lamb of God, something in myself cries, ‘Behold me! behold me!’ And I feel the weight of those words,


            ‘Yea though by faith vast hills I could remove,

            Yet all is nothing without perfect Love.’[1]


And why should this be delayed any longer? What amazing Answers to many Prayers, have both you and I received, with regard to outward things? And will not the same love more abundantly constrain him to bless us in our souls? —Surely this is an acceptable time! Yet the devil continually strives to discourage me, and suggests, ‘God will not do for thee as he has done for others.’ But I will trust him: and I do believe, if from this time we fix our eye steadily on the prize of our high calling, the Lord will shortly bring it into our hearts. The Lord’s ear is not heavy, nor his hand shortened that it cannot save. O that we may now pierce heaven with our cries, and never cease till we see his full Salvation! May the Lord renew your strength, and fill your soul with love!

                                                I am, yours, &c.

                                                            M. B.

[1] [DRW:] Thomas Bromley, ‘A Brief Essay in the Verse, Upon the 13th Chapter of Corinthians the First’.

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