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Gadsby’s Letters

A Letter To Mr. C. W. Ethelston, M.A.

Fellow Of The Collegiate Church In Manchester, Rector Of Worthenburt, And Minister Of St. Mark’s Chapel, Cheltham.

Sir,—You perhaps will pardon an obscure individual for venturing to make a few remarks upon your pamphlet, entitled “The Unity of the Church,” &c. I can assure you, Sir, that the unity of the church is a subject of such importance that I cannot conceive how it is possible for any real minister of Christ to lose sight of it.

Union to Christ, and to one another, as the blessed members of his mystical body, is a doctrine pregnant with incalculable importance; and were I disposed to ground what I have to say upon this subject upon anything but the word of God, I would cite a passage out of your own wonderful performance (page 45) “In advocating such a cause, tameness would be cowardice, supineness criminal.” You will, Sir, at once perceive that…

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The following is a copy of the first letter by my father which is in my possession, and it is most likely the first one in existence. I have none between this and 1814. I give this as a curiosity. It was directed, “Mr. Warton, Nuneaton, near Kibworth, Leicestershire. With all speed.” Kibworth is some miles from Nuneaton, and Nuneaton is now a large town. I cannot make out where Killuth is.

My dear Friends,—God willing, I shall be with you on Lord’s day the 25th of this instant; the which you may depend upon, if life and health, permit; and if the friends think well, I shall preach at Kibworth on the Lord’s day, at Mowsley on Monday, at Bosworth the next day, and at Killuth the next day. But if you have a minister for the Lord’s day, let me know by return of post.

May the Lord bless you and keep you from day to day.

Hinckley, July 19, 1802. Yours in the best Bonds.

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My dear Friend in the glorious Head of the Church,—I received your epistle, and am greatly obliged to you for it. I was sorry to learn that our dear brother Martin was so ill, but much pleased and profited to find that our blessed Lord so sweetly and powerfully supported his mind.

Indeed, in very deed, there is no God like the God of Jeshurun. None can save like him; none can succour, comfort, and support like him; no, nor can any one give timely reproof like him. Through the rich aboundings of his matchless grace, I have in thousands of instances proved him to be a very present help in time of trouble; yea, and have proved his very reproofs to be mercies. Our covenant God has treasured up in Christ, our glorious Head, an indescribable fulness of all…

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March 9, 1830

My dear Friend in Eternal Union,—Yours came to hand; and very glad I was to receive it, and happy to hear that our dear friend Martin is in any measure better; but the best of all is, the sweet peace of mind which our ever-to-be-adored God is pleased to afford him. I often think of him when my dear Lord affords me access to himself; and sure I am that the union which exists between Christ and his dear family, and between them as one body in him, can never be broken. Let what bonds break that may, this is a bond that can never, no never be broken. Indeed, those very storms and tempests which break in pieces other bonds, only tend, through the sweet teachings of God the Holy Ghost, to make manifest the unalterable nature and divine glory of the bond of the everlasting covenant.

You are right, in very deed you are right; for we only learn the glorious beauties of eternal realities through scenes of affliction, either in body, mind, or estate, or in all put together; and these only tend to good purpose as God the Holy Ghost makes use of them as instruments in his glorious hands; “for no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

I can assure you that I have always been a hard learner, and have always stood in need of much discipline; but such is our dear Lord and Master that he is determined to teach, and teach to profit too. Honours crown his brow! He will bring us to his feet, yea, to his bosom, and cause us experimentally to…

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Minister of Gower Street Chapel, London
11 July 1838

My dear Brother,

I was truly sorry to hear of your affliction, and I do hope by this time you are better. O my dear brother, what poor dying worms we are, and what a wretched wilderness this is. But, adored be the name of our dear Lord, he has been, and still is, and ever will be, a very present help in trouble. Both you and I have proved…

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Manchester, 20 February 1835

I am glad to find that the Lord now and then affords you a few moments’ sweet intercourse with himself. This is one of the greatest blessings we can enjoy. The comforts of this life are great blessings; but to enjoy the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and our God, our Portion, and our eternal All, is a blessing indeed. O my dear friend, what an indescribable mercy it is for such poor sinners as we to be raised up to…

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Manchester, November 1830

My dear Friends,—I received your very kind letter, for which I am thankful. I assure you it often affords me pleasure to find that I have a place in the hearts of God’s dear family; for, next to union with my dear Lord and Master, I esteem union to his blood-bought, heaven bound family.

Among the blessings in which your soul delights you have also your sorrows; for both of which may you be thankful, since they are all tokens of our dear Lord’s love, and a proof that he has not forgotten you. “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposal thereof is of the Lord.” These are eventful times, but the dear children of God have no just cause to fear; for they are the special care of a covenant God, and he is too wise to err, and too good to be unkind. All things must work together for their real good. We enjoy a sweet and solemn frame of mind when we…

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Christ Only

25 Jul 2018, by

Manchester, August 14, 1834

Dear Brother in Jesus, the Lord of Zion,—I wish to have nothing to do with party spirit; but I cannot, I dare not, sacrifice truth and a good conscience; and I hope no one will wish me to do so. Through the matchless riches of God’s grace, I have been taught a little of the glorious importance of divine truth in all its bearings; and as far as I know my own heart, I had rather die than…

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