By Laurence Coughlan
Fresh-Water, October 27, 1774.
My Dear and Honoured Father,
I, Your poor weak Child, now acquaint you with my Life, which, blessed be God, is pretty well at this present Time; for this Day, I have been very happy, as I was in the Woods. Glory be to our blessed and dear Redeemer, who is always more ready to hear, than poor Sinners are ready to pray. My dear Reverend Sir, I am, at Times, troubled with Fears and Doubts, that I shall be overcome by the Hands of Saul; but when I look unto the Lord, I know, that his Grace is sufficient for me, and I am enabled to rejoice. My dear Father, the greatest Enemy I have is my deceitful Heart; but, O my dear Sir, what a Blessing it is that we know it! One Thing I know, that the nearer I live to God, the more Temptations I find; but, for ever blessed be his holy Name, he finds a Way for me to withstand them; but, O dear Sir, pray for me, that I may not be cast away: I remember the Charge which you gave me, to meet you at the Right-hand of the Majesty on high, which Words many Times prove a great Blessing to my poor Soul, to believe, that we shall meet in the Spirit, as there is no Likelihood of our meeting in the Flesh. Oh! my dear Sir, I often perceive the Want of your Company; but, I hope, you will grant me my Desire, which is, that you will pray for me, that I may hold out to the End; for it is a rough and thorny Road that we are walking in; but, I know, that the Lord will deliver us out of all our Troubles here below.
Your poor unworthy Child,
Cloun’s Cove, October 26, 1774.
Dear Mr. Coughlan,
I Am about to write to you, but know not how to express the great Love and Duty I owe unto you, my dear Spiritual Father and Brother in Christ. Oh! how often do I wish, that I could see you: What a Cordial would it be to our Souls! but we are not worthy. Glory be to God’s great Mercy for sending you a Messenger, to call us from Darkness into his marvellous Light, from the Kingdom of Satan, to the Kingdom of his dear Son.- Oh! what a stubborn, stiff- necked People were we, when you first came here; but, Glory be to God, you left some of us in a better Frame. O dear Sir, what a hard, heart-aking Thing it was to part with you; but we must be resigned to the Will of God: You left us under the Care of our great Shepherd, Jesus Christ; and, Glory be to his holy Name, he hath kept some of us, although there are some Sheep that are gone astray; Oh! may the Lord gather them again into his Sheep-fold; and, Oh! dear Sir, I often fear, that it will soon be my own Case, as knowing, that my Heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked; none knows it, but my God alone: Oh! how do I pray, that the Lord would discover unto me every Evil that lodgeth there: And I hope, that my wicked Heart will not deceive me; for it is my Desire to give up Soul and Body, all I have, am, and ever shall be, into his Hands: But I am ashamed of my little Love to him, “and his so great to me;” for though I am often cast down, and filled with Doubts and Fears, yet he often refreshes my Soul: Praise the Lord, O my Soul; and all that is within me, bless and praise his holy Name; for I this Moment feel his Love warming my poor unworthy Heart: Oh! this Love, this Grace, so immense and free! for, O my Soul, it hath found out thee! Oh! may I always set with Mary at my Master’s Feet: My dear Father, this is better felt than exprest. My dear Sir, I hope, that the Lord will enable me to stand steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord; but I cannot do it myself; for I see, more and more, my Unworthiness, every Day; but I hope, that my dear Lord, who hath begun the Work in my Soul, will deepen it, and carry it on, and seal me to the Day of Redemption. Dear Sir, I hope, that you will pray for me, the weakest and unworthiest of all your Children. Glory be to God, that he carries on his Work in all our Womens Hearts also; I hope, that I can speak for them all. Our little Meetings go on, and no one fails to come, in Fresh-Water and Clouns: Glory be to God for his great Love and Care over us, for he crowns our Meetings with his Presence. Oh! the great and unspeakable Goodness of God to such poor Worms as we! Oh! that we could love him more, and serve him better; and praise his holy Name. O dear Sir, though you are absent in Body, you, and our dear Sister, Mrs. Coughlan, are present with us at the Throne of Grace: And if we never see you more in the Flesh, may the Lord prepare us all to meet you at our Father’s House, as you charged us at your Departure; which Charge often quickens, and stirs us up. Oh! what great Things has God done for Mr. P–, since you went away; and, I hope, he will do greater Things yet; I hope, that Mr. P– will be God’s Instrument to keep his Children, poor distressed Children, in a barren Wilderness, from going astray: But the more distressed, the louder we must cry; and I hope, that the Lord will supply our every Want, out of the free Riches of his Grace. May God, of his infinite Mercy, grant, that we may hold out unto the End, that when Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, we may also appear with him in Glory. Amen.
I am, dear Sir,
Although the weakest and unworthiest
of all your Children,
Your sincere Daughter,
in Christ our Lord,
The first letter was written by Clement Noel. The second one was written by a Mrs. Parsons.