20 Jul 1829
Richard Bevan Esq
Westbury, Wiltshire, July 20th 1829
Accept my grateful acknowledgements for £5 which I have received through my esteemed friend Rev’d W Seaton. I have from conscientious motives, in renouncing my Dissenting ministry for the ministry of the Church of England, sacrificed all my living: but your kindliness is to me an additional assurance, that God whose I am of whose glory, I desire to advance, will supply all my needs, during that interval of silence which must precede my admissions to Holy Orders. My situation at present is painful in as much as the voluntary sacrifice of £160 per annum at least, has placed me for some time in those necessitous and dependant circumstances to which I have never before been accustomed. God is now especially calling me to live faith; but tho as a minister I have for years recommended such a life to others, I find it difficult to practice it myself. I find it necessary to cry unto the Lord “Lord increase my faith”! I want like Abraham “not to stagger at the promise thro unbelief, but to be strong in faith giving glory to God”- your kindness, my dear Sir, supplied me with an additional motive of encouragement to trust in God thus be afraid. May that Redeemer, who made his soul an offering for us of who has Declared that a cup of cold water, given to a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall not lose its reward, requite the kindness you have shown to me, by a most abundant communication of his gracious blessings to your soul.
I am, Dear Sir, your most respectfully and obliged
July 20 1829
Sutton Keywell, nr Chippenham, 21st July 1829
My dear Sir,
I should have acknowledged by return of post the receipt of your kind letter, and its valuable enclosure but was anxious to be able to send you the double acknowledgment it required with great delight of heart I took over to Westbury the £5 you in your remembrance of the Levite though a stranger and unknown, sent for Mr Meek. It is pure love to the Church of God that makes you regard any such case that comes before you, and though not as meriting a reward, you cannot be without a reward. The Lord hear your petitions, and grant you help in the times of all your spiritual needs, and the Lord put his secret blessing into all the treasures & springs of your earthly substance. Memorials are before the Lord of your many remembrances of love and good will, and often in cases of delicacy where your liberality had to conceived of necessities that could not be told you.
And now I will turn to interests of my own. Pray present my warmest thanks to your good and excellent mother for the £5 assigned to my son for books. Assure her it is most acceptable, and that in truth I had actually been applied to by him for books, it was not in my own power to supply him with in addition to items which when put together make a sum quite equal to all I am able to afford. He is very conscientious as he is very pious, or else if as some young men, he would very much trouble and perplex my limited means - all things are very hopeful with respect to him.
You say you are a Dissenter. I know what sort of a Dissenter you are, you dissent from all that is evil, and what is not positively so, you wish to be positively good. Place you as a Dissenting minister or place you among dissenters and I know what you would say. I was much tried by them, but my case was not singular, with few exceptions, it was one out of the universal. I rejoice when and where dissenters are evidently useful to promote the spiritual kingdom of God, (believing that that kingdom is among all) but I do not ascribe it to the excellency of Dissent. I took the liberty the other day of writing to Mr Drummund on behalf of my friend. I had never any correspondence with him before, neither had he known my name. Just before I wrote, Mr Hooker one of the Ministers I nam’d in my last letter to you, had written to him for the same subject and receiv’d a kind donation. I will give you in confidence an extract from his to me- “It is placed now beyond all controversy that the hand which binds Dissenters together is not religion, but Dissent; that is, dislike of Bishops and Kings: a more detestable principle than which never existed in the world”. With all his dislike of Dissent he deplores the state of things in the best of Churches on the face of the earth, and so do I, and so do you, and so do all who are longing & praying for a better state of things. With Christian affection I subscribe myself yours in the Lord S.W.Seaton
PS glad am I to find you have recovered well from the measles, so dangerous a disorder. I trust your Father is as well as can be expected, & that your own dear Mrs B & dear little Miss B, are well.