Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Be Devoted to God

A selection from a letter by Daniel and Hannah Sutcliff, to their son John, who was studying at the Bristol Baptist Academy. Smallpox had killed a number of their friends and relatives. They were grateful that God had spared their son and wrote to exhort him to live his life to the glory of God. John Sutcliff later became the pastor of the Baptist church in Olney, a town made famous by the ministry of John Newton and William Cowper. John received this letter on March 7, 1773.

Dear Son, thy life has been spared through that and other disorders which calls for thankfulness and gratitude. O that it may be devoted to God, spent to His glory and the good of them where His providence may call thee to which end I would suggest a few things…

First, be humble, seek not great things for thyself… If thou have [John] Gillies’ history near thee read the life of [Richard] Blackerby and the extract from the life of David Brainerd.

2nd. Indulge yourself in the happiness of frequent contemplations upon and addresses to the Lord Jesus for light and assistance in all thy studies: consider that this Divine Redeemer’s presence is the life and light of thy soul.

The British Particular Baptists: 1638-1910, volume 3, edited by Michael A. G. Haykin, Particular Baptist Press, 2003, “John Sutcliff: 1752-1814,” by Michael A. G. Haykin, p. 22.

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