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LET TER S.
TO THE BAPTIST CHURCH, BROADMEAD, BRISTOL.
Old Aberdeen, King's College,
Dec. 4, 1783.* Dear and honoured Brethren,
I duly received your affectionate letter, in which you expressed your desire of engaging my labours as an assistant minister. Your request does me honour, and confers upon me an obligation which no efforts of mine can fully discharge. Yet, young and inexperienced as I am, I tremble to think of engaging in so arduous a work, especially in a situation where all my incapacity will be doubly felt. I cannot but think a few years would be necessary to enable me to gratify the lowest expectations. To plunge into the midst of life at so tender an age, with so little experience and so small a stock of knowledge, almost terrifies me. Your candid judgement of my past services I acknowledge with a mixture of pleasure and surprise,-pleased to
* Mr. Hall was at this time in his twentieth year.
attain the approbation of the wise and good, and surprised I in any measure have attained it ; which I can attribute to nothing but the tenderness and forbearance which have ever strongly marked your conduct.
A retired and private sphere would indeed be more upon a level with my abilities, and congenial to my temper; yet I would willingly sacrifice my private inclinations to more important views, and lose sight of myself, if I could benefit others. My reluctance, therefore, to obey your call, arises merely from a feeling of my weakness, and my secret fear lest you should hereafter have occasion to repent it. If you could have dispensed with my labours till the final close of my studies, I might then have hoped to have been more able to serve you ; but if not, I submit. Let me but crave your prayers, that as my day, so my strength may be. Your welfare, honoured brethren, will ever lie near my heart; numberless reflections concur with a thousand tender recollections of past kindness to keep it there. But these are not my only inducements to embrace your proposals. It is an additional pleasure to me, when I reflect with whom I have the honour to be connected,—with one whom I most sincerely reverence, and to whom I am bound by every tie of affection and gratitude.* I hope I undertake this work in the fear of God, and look forward to that awful day when all these solemn transactions shall be reviewed, and every secret
* Dr. Caleb Evans.