A selection from a letter by Augustus Toplady to the Countess of Huntingdon, about his role as a “regular” preacher, a sentinel who keeps to his post, rather than a cavalry officer that is ready for duty wherever he is sent. The letter was written December 9, 1774.
I remember that, in one of my last conversations with dear Mr. Whitefield, antecedently to his last voyage to America, that great and precious man of God said as follows: ‘My good sir, why do not you come out? Why do not you come out? You might be abundantly more useful, were you to widen your sphere, and preach at large, instead of restraining your ministry to a few parish churches.’ My answer was to this effect: that ‘The same Providence which bids others roll at large seems to have confined me to a particular orbit.’
And, I honestly own, I am still of the same mind. If there be, for me, a yet more excellent way, God, I trust, will reveal even this to me. I hope I can truly say, that I desire to follow his guidance with a single eye.
The Works of Augustus Toplady, Bookshelf Publications, reprint from the 1794 edition, p. 862.