A Letter To Mrs Peake, April 16th, 1867
My dear Friend in the Lord, Mrs. Peake,
I am very glad that the memoir of our late dear friend, William Tiptaft, so far as written, has given satisfaction to yourself and my Oakham friends. I have had to steer a kind of middle course, which is always very difficult to maintain. On the one hand I wish to write an interesting biography, and on the other to make it as far as I could spiritual and profitable. I think readers generally, and I may include among them spiritual readers, take much interest in the narrative of circumstances which, if providential, have yet a bearing on what is spiritual; for generally speaking, the dealings of God with us in providence and in grace are so connected that they cannot be separated. Take, for instance, the way in which you and your dear sister were brought to —. What an influence it has had upon your subsequent life, and I may truly add, has been made a blessing to others as well as yourselves. So my connection with William Tiptaft, through our meeting together at the clerical meeting, has had an influence on all my subsequent life. It was for this reason therefore, that I thought it well to give so much place to mere narrative. I did not wish even to name myself, beyond a passing notice; but I felt almost compelled to do so by the circumstances of the narrative, and I am glad you think I have not said too much.
William Tiptaft, in his later days, was much more reserved about himself than when I first knew him. This, I think, arose from his great cautiousness, lest he should in any way commit himself. But the effect has been much to diminish the narrative part of the memoir; and if my memory were not in some things rather tenacious, I could not have gathered up what I have written upon the early days of our friendship. But his letters, however good, needed a little relief as well as explanation, as it is somewhat wearisome to read a series of letters, and unless explained they are often obscure. I hope, as far as I may be favoured with help from on high, I may go on with the memoir, but The Gospel Standard takes up so much of my time, and when that is finished my sermon for the Gospel Pulpit, that I have only a few days at the end of the month to attend to the memoir. I may also add that I have not now the strength of body and mind which I once possessed, so that I soon get weary and flag, which makes writing not only a burden, but what I write heavy and dull. Still I must go on, I suppose, like the ox labouring in the furrow until worn out with toil, and if my labors are blessed of God, it is my best reward.
Dear Richard’s letters to his poor afflicted wife have been read, I understand, with much feeling and interest. There is heart in them. Like Paul’s, in a sense, they were written out of much affliction and tears. The dear man knew what he wanted for himself and her, pressed after and at times enjoyed divine realities, and cast aside, in the earnestness and almost agony of his spirit, the rags and wraps of a wordy profession. There is also great tenderness of spirit and strong affection in them towards his poor suffering partner.
I do hope that his memoir, when it comes out, may be profitable to the church of Christ, and if spared, I shall hope to write a little Preface to it, and to insert what would otherwise have appeared in The Gospel Standard.
Yours very affectionately in the Lord,
J. C. P.