Selected Spiritual Writings of Anne Dutton: Letters
Women theologians in the eighteenth century were a rarity. Were there no other reason, this alone would make the literary legacy of the Baptist Anne (Williams) Dutton (1692-1765) significant. In 1731, Anne and her minister husband, Benjamin Dutton, settled in Great Gransden, Huntingdonshire. After Benjamin's death, Anne became known on both sides of the Atlantic primarily through her extensive writings, including tracts, treatises, poems, hymns, and letters. Among her many correspondents were Howel Harris, Selina Hastings, William Seward, Phillip Doddridge, John Wesley, and George Whitefield. Harris believed God had entrusted her "with a Talent of writing for Him." Whitefield, who helped promote and publish Anne's writings, commented upon meeting her that "her conversation is as weighty as her letters." She wrestled with the question of whether it was "biblical" for a woman to be a writer of theological matters. But in a tract entitled "A Letter to such of the Servants of Christ, who may have any scruple about the Lawfulness of Printing any thing written by a Woman" (1743), she stated that she wrote not for herself but "only the glory of God and the good of souls." Dutton's writings impacted evangelical revival in England and America. Not since 1884 have any of her writings been readily available. Now extensive portions of her letters, her tracts and booklets, and her poetry and hymns are once again available.
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Page 53 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Page 22 - The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him : but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob...
Page xliv - And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known : I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake . them.
Page 24 - Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither : for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Page xxxi - And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together ; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Page xxvii - Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage ? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Page 54 - My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears.
Page xliii - That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.