Letter To James Vernon, September 11, 1736

SAVANNAH, September 11, 1736.

You have a just claim to my repeated acknowledgments not only for continuance of your regard to my mother, but for your strengthening my hands, and encouraging me not to look back from the work wherein I am engaged. I know that if it shall please our Great God to give it His blessing, the god of this world will oppose in vain; and that therefore the whole depends on our approving our hearts before Him, and placing all our confidence in His power and mercy.

Mr. Ingham has made some progress in the Creek language, but a short conversation I had with the chief of the Chickssaws (which my brother I presume has informed you of) moves me to desire rather to learn their language, if God shall give me opportunity.

The generality of that despised and almost unheard-of nation, if one may judge from the accounts given either by their own countrymen or strangers, are not only humble and peace able qualities, scarce to be found among any other of the Indian nations, but have so firm a reliance on Providence, so settled a habit of looking up to a Superior Being in all the occurrences of life, that they appear the most likely of all the Americans to receive and rejoice in the glorious-Gospel of Christ.

What will become of this poor people, a few of whom now see the light and bless God for it, when I am called from among them, I know not. Nor indeed what will become of them while I am here; for the work is too weighty for me. A parish of above two hundred miles in length laughs at the labors of one man.

Savannah alone would give constant employment for five or six to instruct, rebuke and exhort as need requires. Neither durst I advise any single person to take charge of Frederica, or indeed to exercise his Ministry there at all unless he was an experienced soldier of Jesus Christ, that could rejoice in Reproaches, Persecutions, Distresses for Christ's sake. I bless God for what little of them I have met with here, and doubt not but they were sent for my soul's health. My Heart's Desire for this place is, not that it may be a Famous or a Rich, but that it may be a Religious Colony, and then I am sure it cannot fail of the Blessing of God, which includes all real goods, Temporal and Eternal.--I am, sir,

Your much obliged and obedient servant.

To Ann Granville [10]

SAVANAH, September 24, 1736.

The mutual affection, and indeed the many other amiable qualities of those two sisters, [The Misses Bovey, of Savannah. Miss Becky died suddenly on July 10 (see Journal, i. 239-46' 270-80d; C. Wesley's Journal, i. 34). Her sister said: 'All my afflictions are nothing to this. I have lost not only a sister, but a friend. But this is the will of God. I rely on Him, and doubt not but He will support me under it.'] one of whom is lately gone to an happier place, would not have suffered me to be un mindful of your friend and you, had I had nothing else to remind me of you. I am persuaded that heavy affliction will prove the greatest blessing to the survivor which she ever yet received. She is now very cheerful, as well as deeply serious. She sees the folly of placing one's happiness in any creature, and is fully determined to give her whole heart to Him from whom death cannot part her.

I often think how different her way of life is at Savannah from what it was at St. James's; and yet the wise, polite, gay world counts her removal thence a misfortune. I should not be at all grieved if you were fallen into the same misfortune, far removed from the pride of life, and hid in some obscure recess, where you were scarcely seen or heard of, unless by a few plain Christians and by God and His angels.

Mr. Rivington [His London publisher, who had visited the Granvilles at Gloucester.] will send your letter, if you should ever have leisure to favor with a few lines

Your sincere friend and most obedient servant.

Do you still watch and strive and pray that your heart may be fight before God? Can you deny yourself, as well as take up your cross? Adieu!

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