April 30, 1830
My dear Brother,
My sermon seems to be received among you much in the same manner as I expected. Nature is the same in Rutland as in Berks. I rejoice to say that the doctrines which I preach receive the very testimony which the gospel always did, and always will. You will find that scarcely three respectable people will speak well of it, and very few of the poor. But there shall be a remnant to say, “It is the truth.” When I read the Scriptures, I daily discover that the little I know of the word of God is as a drop in a bucket compared to the whole. The Bible to most is a sealed book.
What Ahab said to Elijah, “Are you he who troubles Israel?” may be said of me at Sutton. The Lord has been pleased to enable me to speak such things that I have troubled Sutton and the neighboring villages. Some have learned that they are wrong; whether I am or not, they are sure they are. The Lord is making me useful, by bringing many to a knowledge of the truth. But I caused none to cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” until I preached election, &c., boldly. My old nature fought against the truths for a long time, but when the Lord teaches, we must learn. Read your Bible; get well acquainted with it.
Yours very affectionately,
William Tiptaft (1803-1864) was a Strict and Particular Baptist pastor. In 1831, he oversaw the construction of a chapel in Abingdon, where he remained as the Pastor until his death. John Hazelton wrote of him—
“William Tiptaft…exercised a ministry largely used to the awakening of sinners and to the driving of those who had only a name to live from the false confidences in which they trusted.” Joseph Philpot wrote of him—“He seemed ever ready to make any personal sacrifice for the glory of God or the good of His people. Time, money, health, strength, life itself, he did not consider his own. He felt he was but a steward who held them in trust, and who might be called at any hour to render an account of his stewardship. To live to God, to walk in His fear, to serve and please Him, to preach His truth, to do His work, to know and obey His will, and to be made a blessing to His people, seemed to be his daily end and aim. I have known men of greater natural abilities, of deeper and more diversified experience, of more shining pulpit gifts, of more enlarged views of Divine truth; but I have never seen anyone, whether minister or private Christian, who approached him in his own peculiar line of practical Godliness, carried out with undeviating consistency for the thirty-five years during which I had the pleasure and profit of his friendship. The Churches of truth needed an example of the practical power of the doctrines which they profess. A light, loose, Antinomian spirit had too much prevailed, and with a great deal of religious talking there was a very small amount of religious walking. But however low quickened souls or living Churches may sink, they have still a conscience made tender in the fear of God, and to this conscience William Tiptaft's keen, pithy remarks, and, above all, his Godly life and shining example, commended themselves."