A portion of a letter by Henry Venn, Church of England minister, to a friend in the ministry, Rev. James Stillingfleet. Several regular attendees had moved away and numbers were low at Lord’s Day meetings, but he continued to preach faithfully and cry out to God for blessing. Great blessing had attended his ministry in a former church in Yorkshire, but the church he was now minister of in Huntingdonshire, was not as responsive to the Word. The letter was written October 9, 1782.
My small parish is very much altered for the worse, within these few years. Three farmers, in whose families there were some hopeful hearers, are removed; and a fourth is upon the point of removing. They have been succeeded by men of a very profane spirit: scarcely will they ever come to church. To this add the departure of a few, in the faith of Christ, I trust. I preach therefore, now, to a handful of people indeed! However, I have cause to bless and adore God, that I can and do cry unto Him, to awake, and glorify His word; and wait in hope He will, before it is long, come down and work mightily, for His own Name’s sake.
Letters of Henry Venn, by John Venn, first published in 1835, republished by the Banner of Truth, 1993, p. 351.