A Letter To Thomas Godwin – March 25th, 1854

My dear friend, Thomas Godwin,

Mrs. S. gave a sweet and blessed testimony before the Church. I never heard a sweeter account of the love of God shed abroad in a poor sinner’s heart. But it was fresh and warm in her soul, and therefore came forth sweet and savoury. I understand she has been much tried about it since.

I am (D.V.) to baptize three candidates tomorrow, and hope we may have a good day. I expect we shall also soon have a baptizing at Oakham, as we have received one candidate, and another is coming forward.

I have been applied to about the propriety of breaking up the church at C., and re-forming it. There are, I believe, not more than four or five members left, the others having withdrawn on account of F.’s bad conduct; and as the present members seem to have sanctioned his evil ways, it has been thought an advisable step to break up the church, and so remove the reproach, and then form a new one. My own mind is in favour of it, as I think there will be neither peace nor prosperity while the present church continues. But the question arises, “Who has a sufficient authority to do so?” A ‘temporary Supply’ hardly seems to have sufficient authority to do it. For if one Supply may do it, why not another? And then you may establish this principle, that a Supply may go and break up a church, like Eden Street or Allington, where there is no pastor, whether the church agrees to it or not. So that, while I think it would be best for the church at C. to be broken up, I hardly see how it is to be done, or who has authority to do it in a Scriptural manner. Turn the matter over in your mind, as I dare say they will ask your opinion about it. I think it must eventually be done; but I believe it can hardly be done in a right way before they get a permanent minister.

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