« السابقةمتابعة »
His last letter to Mr. Rawlings.
After this account of myself, you will be ready to ask, what then ails you? Why truly nothing particularly. But I am relaxed as usual, gain no strength nor flesh, and I am continually getting cold, though I think no care is wanting to prevent it. In short, all is much better than I could expect, and in my judgment it will, if I can rub through the winter at this rate. Where God only knows; but I know assuredly where I wish it might be, and where I [desire to] spend the residue of my days, as far as the honour, and interests of my Master shall permit. How shall I easily persuade myself that my poor services can be of such use [any where] as at dear Truro? Pray signify so much to the dear people there, and withal that I have no thought of leaving them, nor ever had, unless driven to it by being unable to labour any longer among them. I could say something to you also concerning the growing health of my soul, as I trust. Indeed I can say with great truth, mercy embraceth me on every side. I have found of late a more happy concurrence of self abasing, and Christ glorifying views than ever before in my life. Never before could say such bad things of myself, or good ones of him. I have been led to justify the Lord in taking me from my people and in stopping my mouth; yea even should he never allow me to open it more, and lay me quite aside as a vessel in which he has no pleasure. Views of this kind have, I believe, wrought more resignation in my spirit to God's way with me; but I desire to remember, that if he hideth his face I shall be troubled. Yet why should I think he will. He could never see any thing in me worthy of his least
there are many papers of business, these pretty well known to you and Andrew, I would desire that none but you two may be employed in this search.
The letters sent me by one and another of you are a cordial to me. Any one who expects no particular answer (unless there be urgent need of advice) will do me a pleasure by putting a line into Mr. Conon's
Every one says I look better, and in divers respects I think myself to be better. But I gain no strength that I can perceive, so still remain unfit for any labour.
It will give me unspeakable comfort to return to my dear charge at Truro, if God will; and as I do not grow worse, but rather better, there is reason to suppose it is his will I shall so do, but not quickly. Was I now at Truro, I must keep within doors unless carried abroad.
I am, dear Jonah,
Your truly affectionate,
And so say to the rest.
These letters of Mr. Walker convey to us some idea of the delightful state of his mind in sickness. His unreserved communication with his people; his love for them; his anxiety to write for the good of souls, when he could no longer speak to them; his longing to return to Truro, mingled with the truest resignation to the divine will, were lovely symptoms of a supply of spiritual health, as the bodily frame decayed. On his own account he could not
Mr. Walker removes to Blackheath.
wish to live, nor had he any longing to remain here but that he might be made the instrument of adding new glories to the diadem of his Redeemer, by a laborious and faithful ministry. The all-wise providence of God had however ordained, that the inhabitants of Truro should see their pastor no more; but it is said that in his conversations with persons who visited him at Bristol, he was made eminently useful, and probably there was some important design in the appointment of his sojourn there in illness, which will be unfolded, when the mysteries of the Lord's dealings with his children, are developed to admiring and adoring saints in the bright realms of heaven.
About a month after the date of the last letter to Jonah Milford, Mr. Walker was advised to remove to the neighbourhood of London, and accepted the invitation of the Earl of Dartmouth to pay him a visit at Blackheath. Lord Dartmouth was one of those excellent men, who, in a period of wide-spread error, and apathy towards real religion, enjoyed the privilege of a knowledge of divine truth, and manifested a sincere love for preachers of the gospel. He was the friend of several zealous clergymen, and was glad to welcome to his house a despised follower of his despised Master. Here Mr. Walker found a truly Christian welcome, and received the utmost attention during his trying illness. A letter from his noble host to Mr. Rawlings, will describe the state of his health, soon after he removed to Blackheath.
MY DEAR FRIend,
Blackheath, Dec. 30th, 1760.
The secret of our correspondence has been discovered, I find, to the sagacity of my valuable guest, which is not of the common sort, by something that dropped from me at Rington: you see I am but ill to be trusted with things of this nature. You are looking, I know, with impatience for some account of his health. He appears to be better than he was a week ago. You may possibly have learned that he caught cold upon the road, which brought on a return of his cough and of the oppression upon his lungs, and made so much alteration as gave some of his friends, who had seen him not long before, much uneasiness; but within a few days, the case appears to be much altered with him; he now coughs not at all, breathes with more freedom, and the lameness which the cold had settled in his limbs, has almost entirely left him; his appetite is not very good, but by means of asses' milk, broth, and other things between meals, he receives a sufficient quantity of nourishment in the day. The opinion of an eminent physician in London, whom he has consulted is, that there is no unsoundness at present within him, and consequently no immediate danger; that his disorder proceeds from malignant matter which, in his late fever, he had not strength enough to throw out upon the skin; that if this should form upon his lungs, there will then be great danger. I had wrote to you some days ago, but deferred to send my letter at Mr. Walker's request, who proposed to give me a note for you to inclose in it. I am now glad I did not send it,
because I had not given so favourable an account as I do now if he finds time to write to you as he proposed, your impatience to feast upon that letter may possibly cause you to wish this at an end; observe I do not say it will; if it should, it would neither surprise nor offend,
My dear friend,
Your faithful and obedient Servant,
It is my hearty prayer that the Lord may give a blessing to your endeavours for the consolation of the unhappy man you mention.
The situation of Mr. Walker, during his confinement in the house of Lord Dartmouth, was one of singular interest and severe suffering. He was tried. by all the mournful changes of that most miserable of diseases, a pulmonary consumption, the diversified effects of which are equally distressing on body and mind. In the midst of these afflictions, the kindness of his generous host and hostess was unbounded; the physicians refused to receive any thing from him for their attendance; his flock at Truro were perpetually conveying to him sums of money, cheerfully bestowed on a minister who had impoverished himself for their sakes. Thus he received the full extent of a Saviour's promise, to those who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, which added strength to that faith with which he contemplated the yet unrevealed glories of a heavenly world. "I stand," said he, "and look upon that blessed world with an established heart; I see the way prepared, opened, and assured to me in