Three marks of a true friend according to Samuel Pearce

What is a friend? What constitutes Christian friendship? Here is one answer from a letter from Samuel Pearce: “In our path thro life, tho we meet with so many travelers, & we hope with many who are going to Zion with their faces thitherward; yet, it is not often that we meet with men, whose openness of mind, steadiness of attachment, & spirituality of temper, invite our friendship with…force & sweetness.”

[Letter to Samuel Etheridge, April 20, 1796 in Timothy Whelan, transcribed and ed., Baptist Autographs in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1741–1845 (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2009), 83]. I have expanded Pearce’s wh to “with.”

Pearce here helpfully identified three characteristics of a true friend: “openness of mind, steadiness of attachment, & spirituality of temper [i.e. temperament].” The first two would probably be affirmed by Pearce's Georgian culture. The third is distinctly Christian.