Joseph Benson to George Merryweather, Yarm, Yorkshire, 22nd December 1794
First page of a three page letter from preacher Joseph Benson (1749-1821) to George Merryweather (c.1743-1817). Benson dismisses the sermon of one Reverend Samuel Clapham as a "very weak & ill-judged performance. I cannot think it will do us or the cause of God any material injury." Likely, Clapham had attacked the Methodists in his sermon, which was not uncommon at the time.
Merryweather was a wealthy salt merchant involved deeply in the Methodist cause, and he oversaw the construction of Yarm Chapel on land given by his family. Benson was a friend and confidant of John Wesley, and correspondent with him frequently. Between 1771 to 1800 Benson served mostly in northern circuits, although this letter was sent from Bristol.
The letter is fixed to a page mentioning the donor's name.