Letter to Rev. E.B. Shaw
Bewdley, March 14th 1824
Dear and Reverend Sir
I feel that either the acceptance or refusal of the offer communicated in your kind letter, to be a matter of the utmost importance. I feel that the honor of the church and the cause of Christ are, in a most especial manner, entrusted to the man who becomes a preacher of the gospel in an unenlightened country. Every new step, therefore, that he takes should be a step of deliberation you will perceive, my dear Sir, that I wish for a little time to think the matter more seriously. There are a few considerations also which induce me to hesitate. I am to leave England, and to accompany the Bishop sometime before I can be ordained. Human life is uncertain: should I meet with patronage and support in case of the Bishop’s death? Here is no society to look to; and I should not be permitted to preach in England, if ill health, age, or any other circumstance, should ever make one return to England admissible.
These, Sir, are the suggestions of the moment. I feel anxious about the matter, but could wish a determination to be the work of time.
A personal interview would certainly be very desirable before anything is concluded on; but I am sorry to inform you that my father is unwell, and our work stands so, at present, that I can not make arrangements to be in Manchester at the time you wish.
Will you be so kind as to inform Mr. Horne that I will answer his letter as soon as I can and to give my services to him and Miss Horne. Begging you to accept my hearty thanks for the interest you take in my behalf, I subscribe myself your much obliged and humble Servt.
Stokes discusses his hesitation in accepting Shaw's offer. He would like to meet Shaw in Manchester but probably won't be able to as his father is ill.