Letter from Sarah Wesley to Brian Bury Collins, May 17, 1793
In this letter, Sarah Wesley (1758–1828) introduces herself to the Rev. Brian Bury Collins (1754–1807?) by sharing her spiritual biography. Sarah Wesley was the daughter of Charles and Sarah Gwynne Wesley. Collins was a close associate of the Wesleys who strove to unite the Arminian and Calvinist branches of the Methodist movement.
It may be necessary to give some general account of myself: educated in a family distinguished for their piety, I had daily opportunities of beholding its happy effects. I honored the faith which produced them, but my situation in other points was exposed and my connections chiefly in the world. I can however retrace early impressions of divine grace operating on my mind, and some remarkable providences led me to devote myself in the first stages of youth to the God of my fathers. I thought it was sincerely. Alas! it was not steadily. The recollection of my ingratitude and backslidings which have been poignantly brought to my heart, fills it with confusion and sorrow. When I look up to the Almighty as the best of fathers, the tenderest of friends, the dying Saviour: when I recall my vows, my encouragements, and my transgressions, the bitterness of the review overwhelms me.