[quoted from "The earthen vessel and Christian record & review, Volume 4"]
" ' Plymouth, Charles Vicarage, Oe. 5,1813. " '
Dear Sir,—Grace, mercy, and peace, be with you, and with the whole Israel of God.
"' In answer to your letter respecting Mr. Fowler, I can only say that I have long known him, and long loved him, because I verily believe he hath loved, and doth love my Lord and Master. And should it please the great Head of his church to employ him, that he may go in and out before you in the. ministry of the word, may the Lord who sends, bless his services, so that Jesus be glorified, the church edified, and his own soul refreshed.
" ' If he be with you give my love to him, and tell him that I hope and trust that he will go on to exalt Christ Jesus. And I beg you to tell him that as a faithful servant should honour a kind master, so 1 hope he will prove himself a faithful servant by honouring the Lord our righteousness: the best, the kindest, the most blessed, the most dear and precious of all masters. It is high treason to the Majesty of heaven, to preach anything but Jesus in his person, offices, character, and relations. And my poor prayers will follow my letter, that my dear Mr. Fowler will above all things honour him, whom Jehovah delighteth to honour: and that he will make the Lord Jesus what Jehovah hath made him, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the author and finisher of salvation.
" ' And if you will allow an old man hastening on the close of his poor ministry, to say a word to the church which is among you on the subject of your minister, I would say as Paul did, ' receive him in the Lord's name (not his own), and esteem him very highly in love for his works sake ;' pray for him, and pray with him. It is a blessed sign of good when the Holy Ghost sets his people to pray for a blessing on the labours of his servants. That blessing and that promise is as good as received which God the Spirit teacheth the faithful to ask in prayer. My poor soul hath found, yea, often found, the Lord's blessings in answer to his people's prayers. And you will find a fulness of blessing from the Lord's blessings on his ministry to your hearts, when the Lord hath enabled you to hold him up to the Lord, in seeking by prayer his grace upon him.
" ' I commend both you, the church, and him, the church's minister, to the Lord for blessing; and pray the glorious Head to bless both together, to his glory and your joy in the Lord.
" 'Thisfromtheunworthiestofhisservants, "'
Your's in the Lord Jesus,
" ' Plymouth, Oct. 27, 1813.
" ' Dear Sir,—I beg to make a tenderof my christian love and affection to you, and the church of God which is with you, praying that all grace may abound in the covenant faithfulness of God our Father, through the dear Son of his love, by the blessed influence of God the Holy Ghost.
" ' Indeed, indeed, I thank the church of God with whom you are one, in that you so kindly and affectionately received my poor letter. It was written (if I know anything of my own heart), in the brotherly love of one that desires (at least) to love the precious name of our dear Lord exalted and extolled, and to be very high. And where Christ and his cause are concerned, there would I feel all that Paul felt, when to the church of the Thessalonians he said, he was so affectionately desirous concerning the people that he would have imparted unto them not the gospel of God only, but also (said he) our own souls, because ye were dear to us. And surely all that a faithful servant of such a master as Jesus is, all he hath, and all he is, and by every way, and in every thing, his one, yea, his only object is, and ought to be, how to promote his Lord's glory in hii church's happiness. And though I know not what I wrote to you on the occasion for which you wrote to me, yet certain I am the whole tendency of my letter must have been to this purpose: let the Lord Jesus and his cause be glorified, and it matters not by what instrument, or by what form of words.
" ' I pray you, therefore, my dear brother in the Lord, tell the church which is with you, how very highly I prize their affectionate acceptance of my letter. But having said this, there let it rest. Kindly as you all have read it, it cannot be fit for print. It was written in the moment of your question, and no further. Besides, though I have a very high regard for dear Mr. Fowler, and have said no more of him than I believe, yet it would not be suitable or becoming in me to send forth his character (according to my views) to the world. The Lord grant that he may be found faithful, and may my God, (if it be for his glory), bless you and him together. And if the sweet savour of Jesus, in his person, grace, and favour, be among you, the account of this, from time to time, will be more refreshing to my soul, than though my poor letter was framed in gold. Be assured, my dear friend in the Lord, that my poor "prayers will follow Mr. Fowler to Birmingham, and go up before the mercyseat for you, and him, as oft as I think of you all, that Jesus' love may cement yon, and cause great soul prosperity among you : and like the flock of Christ coming up from the washing, every one may bear twins, and none be found barren among you.—Song iv. 2.
" ' I beg you to give my brotherly love to your pastor; and once more say to him, from me, that as my Lord and his Lord hath advanced him to great honour, he and I ought to seek increasing grace from the Lord, to reflect all that honour back again with great thankfulness to the Lord. It matters not what becomes of such poor worms as we are, provided Jesus is glorified; and the souls of Christ's people are precious to our Lord, yea, very precious ; so ought they (and so will they, I trust,) be very precious to us also. And do tell my brother to be looking out for opposition from without, in proportion as the Lord Jesus makes him useful within. The servants most employed by Jesus will be sure to have most of the devil's grudge; and especially if Jesus employs them in soul comforting and soul-strengthening his people. The more Jesus smiles on them, the more hell will frown. But it is Jesus who must bear up and bear through all opposition ; this is his work, and not our's; and his is the glory to make more than conquerors all his redeemed, while going on as one is described, Psalm lxxi. 13, 14,15, 16; and always on the look out, as another is represented, 2 Timothy iv. 5, 6, 7, 8.
" ' Brethren ! the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
" ' Your's, in the best of all bonds in Jesus,
"' Robert Hawker.' "