1748 PHILIP DODDRIDGE. Wonderful Letter on the Death of His Friend, Isaac Watts. Superb!

1748 PHILIP DODDRIDGE. Wonderful Letter on the Death of His Friend, Isaac Watts. Superb!

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What a wonderful little Great Awakening and hymnody related piece of Ephemera! The present letter, a really perfect 1 page framing example, was written by Philip Doddridge. Doddridge was the friend of Whitefield, to whom he opened his pulpit, perhaps the most earnest Churchman involved with the Great Awakening, hymnist of the revival, and wrote the classic, Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, which was the instrument of William Wilberforce's conversion. And in Wilberforce's Practical Religion, we certainly hear its echoes.

He was close friends with Isaac Watts, perhaps the hymnist of the modern, Western world. In the present letter, Doddridge has received word that Watts is not long for this world, and writes a letter of inquiry and also pre-eulogizes his dear friend. Watts would pass away a mere few days after the writing of this letter . . . even, perhaps, before its arrival. 

"Kellenny. Nov. 20, 1748

Dear Sir, [Likely someone of the Abney Estate, where Watts resided]

I write from abroad and in a great hurry but could not persuade myself to delay it as I heard by last post that my beloved friend Dr. Watts stood just on the verge of eternity. Perhaps he is already happily ascended to that distinguished seat of glory which has so long waited him. But if he yet lives tell him my Heart feels a flame of friendship for him which I am fully persuaded will burn forever. Beseech him to bless me with his dying breath & tell him my whole heart is full of him & his concerns. We largely and particularly remembered him at a meeting of ministers at Northampton on Tuesday. I must not enlarge. I am going into the pulpit to preach from Stephen's last words, "Lord Jesus receive my Spirit." A funeral sermon for a young & amiable friend in whom to whom the Dr & his works were very dear. And then I am to preach next Lord's Day for one who did die with his hymns in her hand & recommended that as with her last breath Jesus with all thy saints above &c. Sure [I am that ] he who has assisted and will perhaps to the end of time assist so many in their last moments will himself be much assisted. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with his Spirit. Scarce can I forbear saying O that mine were as near its flight, but I shall soon follow him. My best salutations to dear Lady Abney & Miss K. Excuse past the bad implements. Let me have one line by next post.

I am,

D[ear] S[ir]

Always Yours. P. Doddridge

Thanks for your last. My wife is quite well. My dear little boy born Nov 5 died the Friday following."

Very good state with usual folds. Docketed on rear by recipient.