A selection from a letter by Henry Venn, Church of England minister, to his very dear friend, Rev. James Stillingfleet. He mentions a young man just ordained for gospel ministry whose ministry would be greatly blessed of the Lord – Charles Simeon. The letter was written October 9, 1782.
On Trinity Sunday was ordained Mr. Simeon, Fellow of King’s College. Before that day, he never was in company with an earnest Christian. Soon after, he was visited by Mr. H. Jowett, and my son, and two or three more. In less than seventeen Sundays, by preaching for Mr. Atkinson, in a church at Cambridge, he filled it with hearers—a thing unknown there for near a century. He has been over to see me six times within the last three months; he is calculated for great usefulness, and is full of faith and love. My soul is always the better for his visits. Oh, to flame, as he does, with zeal, and yet be beautified with meekness! The day he was a substitute for Mr. Atkinson, he began to visit the parishioners from house to house. Full of philanthropy was his address: “I am come to inquire after your welfare. Are you happy?” His evident regard for their good disarmed them of their bitterness; and it is amazing what success he has met with!
Letters of Henry Venn, by John Venn, first published in 1835, republished by the Banner of Truth, 1993, pp. 351-52.