John Erskine and a 1784 Letter to John Ryland, Jr.

A question that has long fascinated me is how John Ryland, Jr. (1753-1825) came to be corresponding with Dr John Erskine of Greyfriars, Edinburgh, in the 1780s? Erskine was an Edwards aficionado and sent packets of Edwardsean literature to all with whom he corresponded. So it was that he sent Edwards’ Humble Attempt to Ryland in 1784 and the result was the beginning of a prayer movement among the Northamptonshire Association Baptists, to which Ryland belonged, that led to revival.I initially thought of Ryland’s father, John Collett Ryland, as a link. But just recently I noticed in a letter from John Newton to the younger Ryland—Newton was his mentor—that Newton said that he would forward some letters to Erskine. Could Newton be the link between the young Baptist and the Scottish evangelical?