To Mr. S.
Dear Friend, Gloucester, June 23, 1736
Never a poor creature set up with so small a flock. When the good Bishop, who ordained me on Sunday, gave out last year in his visitation charge, that he would ordain none under full three and twenty, my heart leap'd for joy, for then I thought my friends would not only be disappointed in their hope of having me enter into orders so soon; but that I should also have time (as was my intention) to make at least a hundred sermons, with which to begin my ministry; but this is so far from being the case, that I have not a single one by me, except that which I made for a small christian society, and which I sent to a neighbouring clergyman, to convince him how unfit I was to take upon me the important work of preaching. He kept it for a fortnight, and then sent it back with a guinea for the loan of it; telling me he had divided it into two, and had preached it morning and evening to his congregation. With this sermon I intend to begin, God willing, next Sunday, not doubting, but that he, who increased a little lad's loaves and fishes for the feeding of a great multitude, will from time to time, in the proper use of appointed means, supply me with spiritual food for whatever congregation he in his all-wise Providence shall be pleased to call me to. Help, help me, my dear friend, with your warmest addresses to the throne of grace, that I may not only find mercy, but grace to help in time of need. At present this is the language of my heart,
A guilty weak and helpless worm into thy arms I fall.
Be thou my Strength, my righteousness, my Jesus,
and my all.
Oh cease not, for I must again repeat it, cease not to pray for Yours, etc.