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August 19 , 2010

Letters of John Fletcher


"I went to see a man that had one foot in the grave; but I found a man that had one foot in heaven!" So wrote a visitor to the sick bed of John Fletcher of Madeley. Indeed, so heavenly-minded and so saintly was this clergyman from Switzerland that his closest associates all agreed that they had never met his equal. John Wesley wrote of him: "In general, it is easy to perceive that a more excellent man has not appeared in the Church for some ages. It is true, in several ages, and in several countries, many men have excelled in particular virtues and graces. But who can point out, in any age or nation, one that so highly excelled in all – one that was enabled in so large a measure to 'put on the whole armor of God?' yes, so to 'put on christ' as to 'perfect holiness in the fear of God?'" This book contains many letters from the pen of Mr. Fletcher. some are written to his own parishioners, some to his friends, and others to ministerial colleagues. Through them all, the writer continually returns to that which is evidently uppermost in his thoughts: Christ and His wonderful salvation. The letters found in this volume were taken from two sources. Most of them are from a collection of writings edited by Rev. Melvill Horne, the clergyman who succeeded John Fletcher as Vicar of Madeley (Posthumous Pieces of the Late Reverend John William De La Fletchere, Third Edition, Dublin, 1802). The remainder were taken from the biography of Fletcher written by Joseph Benson (The Life of the Rev. John W. De La Fletchere, New York, 1855). The editor has placed the letters in chronological order and made minor editorial changes such as the shortening of long sentences and paragraphs, modernizing and Americanizing of spelling and punctuation, and updating of some awkward grammatical constructions.

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