From the 1786 letter from Bourton to the Association

Thomas Brooks includes this

In 1786 the Association met at Alcester, and Mr. Beddome, for the church, wrote as follows,


“Our harps still hang upon the willows, for though God once smiled on us, and we sensibly experienced his quickening and comforting presence, he now frowns, and we mournfully complain with the Prophet, “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself.' In the years 1763 and 1764 we had thirty members added to our community, and thirteen and in the year 1766, but since that we have been upon the decline. So that from 170 we are diminished to about 100 members, none being added, but two removed during the past year. We have once and again mentioned our flattering prospects; but the prisoners, though, we trust, prisoners of hope, don't manifest an inclination to go forth and shew themselves. Notwithstanding this, which is indeed matter of lamentation (and we hope you will sympathize with us, and spread our case before the Lord), yet we have reason to be thankful that our auditory keeps up surprisingly.

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