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William Gadsby, Letters

Ministry Blessed

24 Mar 2022, by

My dear Friend,—Tours came to hand, and I was glad to hear from you. I wish to feel thankful that the Lord makes my poor ministry a blessing to your soul; but I really cannot feel thankful for any mercy except the Lord bless me with a grateful heart. In self and of self, I am one of the most wretched beings, and often wonder what I am living for. And yet, strange to tell, the Lord now and then shines into my dark mind, and gives me a glimpse of his glory. And when such poor polluted worms are enabled to arise and shine in the glory of the Lord, and appear in his beauty, it is confounding to reason, and fills the soul with wonder and amazement. Then indeed we worship, praise, and adore a Three-one God. But the people of God must not always be in full pay and have large bounties; there are to be mourning times as well as rejoicing times, fears and faintings as well as shouting Victory.— August 19, 1842.

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Dear Friend,—Yours I received, but have been so engaged that I have not been able to write till now. You will excuse me from entering into particulars, as I feel persuaded that if your feelings are of God (and I hope they are), all the men in the world cannot give you real satisfaction. The work of the ministry is a work of such importance that a soul deeply and truly impressed with its solemn importance must have satisfaction from, God alone, before he dare consider himself called of God to that momentous work; and to rush into it without divine authority is awful presumption. I hope the Lord of the house will influence you to be much in prayer, and daily lay the case before Him who alone can satisfy your mind; and though, for wise ends, he may a while forbear, and send no satisfactory reply, yet to wait at his door, and sit at his…

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A Letter To Mr. Edward Smyth, Formerly Of Trinity College, Dublin. To Which Are Added, Lines In Praise Of Free Will

I. THE PREFACE

A Few Hints To Them That Are Sanctified By God The Father, Preserved In Christ Jesus, And Called.

Beloved, in reading the word of God, it becomes us ever to remember that the sacred pages are a transcript of the perfections of the infinite God, who is the “high and lofty One that in habiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;” a Being whose omniscient eye beholds the end from the beginning, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, and will do all his pleasure; who “bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought, and maketh the devices of the people of none effect.” Whatever change takes place in our minds, the eternal God knows no change.

Were our minds at all times properly affected with the majestic nature of the Divine Author of the Scriptures, methinks we should tremble at the thought of explaining any part of them in a way that represents the Deity as a mutable, disappointed being; and if a passage comes under our notice that our finite minds cannot comprehend, lot our mouths be shut up in everlasting silence, rather than employ them so improperly as to attempt to tarnish the refulgent glory of the immutable God; and, with the greatest resignation, let us acknowledge we are not able to comprehend the meaning of such a passage. And though the self-sufficient pharisee may laugh us to scorn, it is a small matter for us to be…

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True Benevolence

3 Mar 2022, by

To those kind Friends who have so liberally given to the Distressed Poor in the Manufacturing Districts,—In the name of the poor I sincerely thank you for your kindness; and I can, in the fear of the Lord, say that your bounties have been much blessed to a great many of the Lord’s dear tried family. I have already been enabled to send of your bounty to more than twenty places besides Manchester, and from some places I have received acknowledgments of real heartfelt gratitude. To some places I have sent five pounds, to some others four, three, two, and to some few places one pound, and have also disposed of a considerable sum to poor distressed private persons and families both in Manchester and elsewhere. To the Manchester Soup Kitchen I have sent twenty pounds, and, through mere}’, I have still some on hand. How long this will be the case I know not, for…

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Dear Friend in the dear Lord of the House,—I drop you this line from a real feeling for you. I am really sorry, that—has turned out as it has.

Well, my friend, this must be a trial for you; but I hope the Lord will support your mind, and grant you peace in him. Should it be a means of making you poor, remember the dear Lord was poor before you, and in the riches of his grace he has made you, in the best sense, rich through his poverty, and you will find in him one that will be a very present help in trouble. I know what poverty is, for I have been so poor as to feel grateful for two pence. I found the Lord a very…

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There are many letters in the “G.S.” to the Church, but I must leave them. The following is the last he wrote to them. It was written a few months before his death, after a certain minister in London, high in doctrine, had been propagating the sentiments that a child of God cannot backslide and that Sin can do a child of God no harm:

To the Family of God, meeting for the worship of their adorable Lord in George’s Road, Manchester.

Dear Brethren,—Through the tender mercies of the Lord, I am still in the path of life; and though I find it a path of tribulation, I am, in some solemn, and at times, sweet measure, enabled to unite with Moses, choosing “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of the world. I would rather have my name cast out as evil to my dying moment by men who can boast of their high attainments, and who scorn the trials and troubles, groans and sighs, doubts and fears of God’s people, or by those who can deny the possibility of God’s people ever, in any measure, backsliding; I would rather suffer all that the scorn of such men’s hearts can bring forth, than be one with them.

The wonders of the grace of a Three-One God surpass all our powers to comprehend, and his gracious Majesty takes the…

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Dear Friend,—I have no doubt you think it long before I reply to yours; but the fact is, I have felt quite fast in my mind, and have not known what answer to give, for I am not very fit to travel yet. If I possibly can, I should like to comply with your request.

If you ask me how I am, I can assure you that I am heartily sick of myself and almost of everybody else. There is so much self- importance, and self-seeking, and flesh and blood working under a covert of truth, and I feel so much of the stinking oozings up of it in my own cursed old man, that, as I said before, I am heartily sick; and yet, strange to say, sick as I am, there it is, and there it works, till my very soul…

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The following is a copy of the first letter in my possession by my father to the Church:

To the Church of God, meeting for the Worship of our glorious Trinity in the Chapel, George’s Road, Manchester.

Beloved of the adorable Jehovah, and of me, his poor Servant and your Servant, for His sake,—Through the matchless kindness of the Lord, I arrived safely here on Saturday afternoon, and preached on Lord’s day to the largest congregation I ever preached to before in my life; and I believe the Lord was there. One of the deacons tells me they let 2,300 sittings; and the chapel was quite crowded, aisles and everywhere, so you may guess what the numbers present were. God willing, I have to preach again this (Tuesday) evening, and they say it will be as full to-night as it was on Lord’s day; but, be there more or less, if the Lord is there, all will be well.

I wrote to my family yesterday, and did not intend writing to you till next week; but the friends tell me that a letter has been sent to you, asking you to allow me to stop here six weeks. As soon as I…

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