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  • LETTERS TO VARIOUS PERSONS


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    Four Letters to his Father

    Seven Letters to his Mother

    Thirteen Letters to his Brother Samuel To a Friend

    Two Letters to Mr. Oglethorpe To Mr. Hutcheson To Mr. Vernon To Mr.覧, of Lincoln College To Mrs. Chapman

    Three Letters to the Rev. William Law To Count Zinzendorf, at Marienborn To the Church at Hernhuth To the Bishop of Bristol

    Six Letters to Mr. John Smith

    Sixty-six Letters to his Brother Charles

    Three Letters to the Rev. George Whitefield To the Rev. James Hervey

    Three Letters to the Rev. John Fletcher

    Thirty-nine Letters to Mr. Ebenezer Blackwell To certain Proprietors of East-India Stock

    Four Letters to Mr. John Downes

    Twenty-three Letters to Miss Furly, afterwards Mrs. Downes To Dr. Robertson

    Nine Letters to Mrs. Sarah Ryan

    Three Letters to Mr. Joseph Cownley

    Two Letters to Miss覧 To Miss H覧 To 覧

    Two Letters to 覧 To Miss Elizabeth Hardy To Lady 覧 To Mr. Hosmer To Mr. Alexander Coates To Mrs. S. F. To Lord 覧 To the Rev. Mr. H覧 To the Rev. Mr. Plenderlieth To Mr. S., at Armagh To 覧

    Two Letters to Mr. John Trembath To Mr. Jonathan Maskew To Mr. Knox To Mrs. Maitland To Mr. Hart To Miss TTo Miss L末 To the Rev. Mr. G覧 To the Rev. Mr. D蘭 To Mrs. RTo Mr. To the Society at Monyash, Derbyshire To the Rev. Mr. Wanley, Dean of Ripon To Mary Yeoman, of Mousehole, Cornwall

    Seven Letters to Mr. Merryweather, of Yarm

    Two Letters to Mrs. Emma Moon, Yarm

    Thirty-seven Letters to a Member of the Society

    Thirty-three Letters to Mr. Christopher Hopper To Mr. Thomas Carlill

    Fifteen Letters to Mr. Thomas Rankin

    Two Letters to Mr. James Dempster To Mr. John King

    Three Letters to Mr. John King To Mrs. A. F.

    Eighteen Letters to Lady Maxwell

    Eight Letters to Mrs. Crosby

    Seven Letters to Miss A覧 To Lady M

    Four Letters to Miss Pywell To the Rev. Mr. F覧 To the Rev. Mr. 覧 To Lady 覧

    Thirty-two Letters to Miss Jane Hilton, afterwards Mrs. Barton, of Beverley To the Stewards of the Foundry

    Twenty-seven Letters to Mrs. Bennis, of Limeric

    Nineteen Letters to Miss Bosanquet, afterwards Mrs. Fletcher

    Thirty-six Letters to Mr. Joseph Benson To Mrs. Benson

    Fourteen Letters to Mr. Walter Churchey, of Brecon

    Nineteen Letters to a Young Disciple

    Ten Letters to Mr. John Mason To 覧

    Two Letters to Mr. Henry Eames, after his Emigration to America To Mr. George Shadford To Miss Ball, of High-Wycomb To Mr. Alexander Hume, Peeltown, Isle of Man

    Two Letters to the Rev. Peard Dickinson To Mr. Charles Perronet To Miss Perronet

    Four Letters to Miss Briggs To Lady Huntingdon To the Rev. Dean D覧.

    To the Assistant Preachers To the Members and Friends of the Methodist Societies

    Six Letters to Mr. Richard Tompson

    Four Letters to Samuel Sparrow, Esq.

    Fourteen Letters to Miss Bolton

    Six Letters to Mr. John Valton

    Six Letters to Mr. Francis Wolfe To Miss Fuller To Miss H

    Six Letters to Mrs. Marston, of Worcester

    Seven Letters to Mrs. Mary Savage, of Worcester

    Fifteen Letters to Mr. Samuel Bardsley To Miss Newman To Mr. Jonathan Brown To Mr. Thomas Funnell To Mr. William Ferguson, of Hoxton To Mrs. Ferguson To the Rev. Mr. Davenport

    Three Letters to Mrs. Rebecca Gains To the Commanding Officer in Lowestoft

    Two Letters to Mr. Richard Rodda To Richard Davenport, Esq. To Mr. Samuel Wells

    Five Letters to Mr. Gidley, Officer of Excise

    Nine Letters to Miss Mary Stokes

    Two Letters to Mr. James Bogie To Mr. John Watson To Mr. George Flamank, Officer of Excise, in Plymouth To Mr. Abraham Orchard, of Bath To Mr. Isaac Brown To Mrs. Mullis, of Hackney To Mr. Richard Bunt, Bideford, Devon To Mr. William Mears, Chatham

    Five Letters to Mr. Jasper Winscom

    Two Letters to Mr. Abraham Brames, Brompton

    Four Letters to Mr. John Ogilvie

    LETTERS FROM THE REVEREND JOHN WESLEY, TO VARIOUS PERSONS. セセ

    I. To his Father.

    DEAR SIR,LINCOLN COLLEGE, December 19 1729. AS I was looking over, the other day, Mr. Ditton痴 Discourse on the Resurrection of Christ, I found, toward the end of it, a sort of essay on the Origin of Evil. I fancied the shortness of it, if nothing else, would make you willing to read it; though very probably you will not find much in it which has not occurred to your thoughts before. 鉄ince the supreme Being must needs be infinitely and essentially good, as well as wise and powerful, it has been esteemed no little difficulty to show how evil came into the world. Unde malum , 1 has been a mighty question. (Page 424.)

    There were some who, in order to solve this, supposed two supreme, governing principles; the one a good, the other an evil one: Which latter has independent on, and of equal power with, the former, and the author of all that was irregular or bad in the universe. This monstrous scheme the Manichees fell into, and much improved; but were sufficiently confuted by St. Austin, who had reason to be particularly acquainted with their tenets.

    But the plain truth is, the hypothesis requires no more to the confutation of it, than the bare proposing it. Two supreme, independent principles, is next door to a contradiction in terms. It is the very same thing, in result and consequence, as saying two absolute infinites; and he that says two, had as good say ten or fifty, or any other number whatever. Nay, if there can be two essentially distinct, absolute infinites, there may be an infinity of such absolute infinites; that is as much as to say, none of them all would be an absolute infinite, or, that none of them all would be properly and really infinite. 擢or real infinity is strict and absolute infinity, and only that. 擢rom the nature of liberty and free will, we may deduce a very possible and satisfactory (perhaps the only possible just) account of the origin of evil. 典here are, and necessarily must be, some original, intrinsic agreements and disagreements, fitnesses and unfitnesses of certain things and circumstances, to and with each other; which are antecedent to all positive institutions, founded on the very nature of those things and circumstances, considered in themselves, and in their relation to each other. 鄭s these all fall within the comprehension of an infinite, discerning mind, who is likewise infinite, essential rectitude and reason; so those on the one side must necessarily (to speak after the manner of men) The chosen or approved of by him, as the other disliked and disapproved; and this on the score of the eternal, intrinsic agreeableness and disagreeableness of them. 擢arther: It no way derogated from any one perfection of an infinite Being to endow other beings which he made with such a power as we call liberty; that is, to furnish them with such capacities, dispositions, and principles of action, that it should be possible for them either to observe or to deviate from those eternal rules and measures of fitness and agreeableness, with respect to certain things and circumstances, which were conformable to the infinite rectitude of his own will, and which infinite reason must necessarily discover. Now, evil a deviation from those measures of eternal, unerring order and reason; not to choose what is worthy to be chosen, and is accordingly chose by such a will as the divine. And to bring this about, no more is necessary, than the exerting certain acts of that power we call free will. By which power we are enabled to choose or refuse, and to determine ourselves to action accordingly. Therefore, without having recourse to any ill principle, we may fairly account for the origin of evil, from the possibility of a various use of our liberty; even as that capacity or possibility itself is ultimately founded on the delectability and finiteness of a created nature.

    I am, dear Sir, Your dutiful and affectionate son.

    II.

    To the Same .

    DEAR SIR,

    January , 1731. THOUGH some of the postulata upon which Archbishop King builds his hypothesis of the Origin of Evil be such as very few will admit of, yet since the superstructure is regular and well contrived, I thought you would not be unwilling to see the scheme of that celebrated work. He divides it into five chapters.

    The sum of the first chapter is this: The first notions we have of outward things are our conceptions of motion, matter, and space.

    Concerning each of these, we soon observe that it does not exist of itself; and, consequently that there must be some first cause, to which all of them owe their existence. Although we have no faculty for the direct perception of this First Cause, and so can know very little more of Him than a blind man of light, yet thus much we know of him, by the faculties we have, that He is one, infinite in nature and power, free, intelligent, and omniscient; that, consequently, he proposes to himself an end in every one of his actions; and that the end of his creating the world was, the exercise of his power, and wisdom, and goodness; which he therefore made as perfect as it could be made by infinite goodness, and power, wisdom.

    Chapter II. But, if so, how came evil into the world? If the would was made by such an agent, with such an intention, how is it that either imperfection or natural or moral evils have a place in it? Is not this difficulty best solved by the Manichaean supposition, that there is an evil as well as a good principle? By no means; for it is just as repugnant to infinite goodness to create what it foresaw would be spoiled by another, as to create what would be spoiled by the constitution of its own nature:

    Their supposition therefore leaves the difficulty as it found it. But if it could be proved, that to permit evils in the world is consistent with, nay, necessarily results from, infinite goodness, then the difficulty would vanish; and to prove this, is the design of the following treatise.

    Chapter III. All created beings, as such, are necessarily imperfect; nay, infinitely distant from supreme perfection; Nor can they all be equally perfect; since some must be only parts of others. As to their properties too, some must be perfecter than others; for suppose any number of the most perfect beings created, infinite goodness would prompt the Creator to add less perfect beings to those, if their existence neither lessened the number nor conveniences of the more perfect. The existence of matter, for instance, neither lessens the number nor the conveniences of pure spirits.

    Therefore, the addition of material beings to spiritual, was not contrary to, but resulted from, infinite goodness.

    Chapter IV. As the evils of imperfection necessarily spring from this, that the imperfect things were made out of nothing, so natural evils necessarily spring from their being made out of matter. For matter is totally useless without motion, or even without such a motion as will divide it into parts; but this cannot be done without a contrariety of motions; and from this necessarily flows generation and corruption.

    The material part of us being thus liable to corruption pain is necessary to make us watchful against it, and to warn, us of what tends toward it; as is the fear of death likewise which is of use in many cases that pain does not reach. From these all the passions necessarily spring; nor can these be extinguished while those remain. But if pain and the fear of death were extinguished, no animal could long subsist. Since, therefore, these evils are necessarily joined with more than equivalent goods, the permitting these is not repugnant to, but flows from, infinite goodness. The same observation holds as to hunger, thirst, childhood, age, diseases, wild beasts, and poisons. They are all, therefore, permitted because each of them is necessarily connected with such a good as outweighs the evil.

    Chapter V. Touching moral evils, (by which I mean 妬nconveniences arising from the choice of the sufferer,) I propose to show, 1. What is the nature of choice or election. 2. That our happiness consists in the elections or choices we make. 3. What elections are improper to be made. 4. How we come to make such elections. And, 5. How our making them is consistent with the divine power and goodness. 1. By liberty, I mean, an active, self determining power, which does not choose things because they are pleasing, but is pleased with them because it chooses them.

    That God is endued with such a power, I conclude,

         (1.) Because nothing is good or evil, pleasing or displeasing, to him, before he chooses it.

         (2.) Because his will or choice is the cause of goodness in all created things.

         (3.) Because if God had not been endued with such a principle, he would never have created anything.

    But it is to be observed, farther, that God sees and chooses whatever is connected with what he chooses in the same instant; and that he likewise chooses whatever is convenient for his creatures, in the same moment wherein he chooses to create them.

    That man partakes of this principle I conclude,

         (1.) Because experience shows it.

         (2.) Because we observe in ourselves the signs and properties of such a power. We observe we can counteract our appetites, senses, and even our reason, if we so choose; which we can no otherwise account for, than by admitting such a power in ourselves. 2. The more of this power any being possesses, the less subject he is to the impulses of eternal agents; and the more commodious is his condition.

    Happiness rises from a blue use of our faculties: If, therefore, this be the noblest of all our faculties, then our chief happiness lies in the due use of this; that is, in our elections. And, farther, election is, the cause why things please us: He therefore who has an uncontrolled power of electing, may please himself always; and if things fall out contrary to what he chooses, he may change his choice and suit it to them, and so still be happy. Indeed in this life his natural appetites will sometimes disturb his elections, and so prevent his perfect happiness; yet is it a fair step towards it, that he has a power that can at all times find pleasure in itself, however outward things wary. 3. True it is, that this power sometimes gives pain; namely, when it falls short of what it chooses; which may come to pass, if we choose either things impossible to be had, or inconsistent with each other, or such as are out of our power; (perhaps because others chose them before us;) or, lastly, such as necessarily lead us into natural evils. 4. And into these foolish choices we may be betrayed either by ignorance, negligence, by indulging the exercise of liberty too far, by obstinacy or habit; or, lastly by the importunity of our natural appetites. Hence it appears how cautious we ought to be in choosing; for though we may alter our choice; yet to make that alteration is painful; the more painful, the longer we have persisted in it. 5. There are three ways by which God might have hindered his creatures from thus abusing their liberty. First by not creating any being free; but had this method been taken, then,

         (1.) The whole universe would have been a mere machine.

         (2.) That would have been wanting which is most pleasing to God of anything in the universe; namely, the free service of his reasonable creatures.

         (3.) His reasonable creatures would have been in a worse state than they are now: For only free agents can be perfectly: happy; as, without a possibility of choosing wrong, there can be no freedom.

    The Second way by which God might prevent the abuse of liberty, is by overruling this power, and constraining us to choose right. But this would be to do and undo, to contradict himself, to take away what he had given.

    The Third way by which God might have hindered his creatures from making an ill use of liberty, is; by placing them where they should have no temptation to abuse it. But this too would have been the same, in effect, as to have given them no liberty at all.

    I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate and dutiful son.

    III.

    To the Same.

    June 11, 1731. OUR walk was not so pleasant to Oxford as from it, though in one respect it vas more useful; for it let us see that four or five and twenty miles is an easy and safe day痴 journey in hot weather as well as cold. We have made another discovery too, which may be of some service; that it is easy to read as we walk ten or twelve miles; and that it neither makes us faint, nor gives us any other symptom of weariness, more than the mere walking without reading at all.

    Since our return, our little company that used to meet us on a Sunday evening is shrunk into almost none at all. Mr. Morgan is sick at Holt; Mr. Boyce is at his father痴 house at Barton; Mr. Kirkham must very shortly leave Oxford, to be his uncle痴 Curate; and a young gentleman of Christ Church who used to make a fourth, either afraid or ashamed or both, is returned to the ways of the world, and studiously shuns our company.

    However, the poor at the Castle have still the gospel preached to them, and some of their temporal wants supplied, our little fund rather increasing than diminishing. Nor have we yet been forced to discharge any of the children which Mr. Morgan left to our care: Though I wish they too do not find the want of him; I am sure some of their parents will.

    Some, however, give us a better prospect; John Whitelamb in particular. 2 I believe with this you will receive some account from himself how his time is employed. He reads one English, one Latin, and one Greek book alternately; and never meddles with a new one in any of the Languages till he has ended the old one. If he goes on as he has begun I dare take upon me to say, that by the time he has been here four or five years, there will not be such an one, of is standing in Lincoln College, perhaps not in the University of Oxford.

    IV.

    To the Same . June 13, 1733. THE effects of my last journey, I believe, will make me more cautious of staying any time from Oxford for the future; at least till I have no pupils to take care of, which probably will be within a year or two. One of my young gentlemen told me at my return, that he was more and more afraid of singularity; another, that he had read an excellent piece of Mr. Locke痴, which had convinced him of the mischief of regarding authority. Both of them agreed, that the observing of Wednesday as a fast was an unnecessary singularity; the Catholic Church (that is, the majority of it) having long since repealed, by contrary custom, the injunction she formerly gave concerning it. A third, who could not yield to this argument, has been convinced by a fever, and Dr. Erewin. Our seven and twenty communicants at St. Mary痴 were on Monday shrunk to five; and the day before, the last of Mr. Clayton痴 pupils, who continued with us, informed me, that he did not design to meet us any more.

    My ill success, as they call it, seems to be what has frightened every one away from a falling house. On Sunday I was considering the matter a little more nearly; and imagined, that all the ill consequences of my singularity were reducible to three, diminution of fortune, loss of friends and of reputation. As to my fortune , I well know, though perhaps others do not, that I could not have born a larger than I have; and as for that most plausible excuse for desiring it, 展hile I have so little, I cannot do the good I would, I ask, Can you do the good God would have you do? It is enough! Look no further. For friends , they were either trifling or serious: If triflers, fare them well; a noble escape: If serious, those who are more serious are left, whom the others would rather have opposed than forwarded in the service they have done, and still do, us. If it be said, 釘ut these may leave you too; for they are no firmer than the others were: First, I doubt that fact; but, next, suppose they should, we hope then they would only teach us a nobler and harder lesson than they hare done hitherto: 的t is better to trust in the Lord, than to put any confidence in man. And as for reputation , though it be a glorious instrument of advancing our Master痴 service, yet there is a better than that, a clean heart, a single eye, a soul full of God! A fair exchange, if by the loss of reputation we can purchase the lowest degree of purity of heart! We beg my mother and you would not cease to work together with us, that, whatever we lose, we may gain this; and that, having tasted of this good gift, we may count all things else but dung and dross in comparison of it 覧覧 V. To his Mother June 18, 1725. YOU have so well satisfied me as to the tenets of Thomas a Kempis, that I have ventured to trouble you once more on a more dubious subject. I have heard one I take to be a person of good judgment say, that she would advise no one very young to read Dr. Taylor on Holy Living and Dying.

    She added, that he almost put her out of her senses when she was fifteen or sixteen years old; because he seemed to exclude all from being in a way of salvation who did not come up to his rules, some of which are altogether impracticable. A fear of being tedious will make me confine myself to one or two instances, in which I am doubtful; though several others might be produced of almost equal consequence. In reference to humility, the Bishop says, 展e must be sure, in some sense or other, to think ourselves the worst in every company where we come. And in treating of repentance he says, 展hether God has forgiven us or no, we know not; therefore be sorrowful for ever having sinned. I take the more notice of this last sentence, because it seems to contradict his own words in the next section, where he says, that by the Lord痴 supper all the members are united to one another, and to Christ the Head. The Holy Ghost confers on us the graces necessary for, and our souls receive the seeds of; an immortal nature. Now surely these graces are not of so little force as that we cannot perceive whether we have them or not; if we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us, which he will not do unless we are regenerate, certainly we must be sensible of it. If we can never have any certainty of our being in a state of salvation, good reason it is, that every moment should be spent, not in joy, but in fear and trembling; and then undoubtedly, in this life, we are of all men most miserable. God deliver us from such a fearful expectation as this!

    Humility is undoubtedly necessary to salvation; and if all these things are essential to humility, who can be humble, who can be saved?

    VI.

    To the Same . January, 1727.

    I AM shortly to take my Master痴 Degree. As I shall from that time be less interrupted by business not of my own choosing, I have drawn up for myself a scheme of studies, from which I do not intend, for some years at least, to vary. I am perfectly come over to your opinion, that there are many truths it is not worth while to know. Curiosity, indeed, might be a sufficient plea for our laying out some time upon them, if we had half a dozen centuries of life to come; but methinks it is great ill-husbandry to spend a considerable part of the small pittance now allowed us, in what makes us neither a quick nor a sure return.

    Two days ago I was reading a dispute between those celebrated masters of controversy, Bishop Atterbury and Bishop Hoadly; but must own, I was so injudicious as to break off in the middle. I could not conceive that the dignity of the end was at all proportioned to the difficulty of attaining it.

    And I thought the labor of twenty or thirty hours, if I was sure of succeeding, which I was not, would be but ill rewarded by that important piece of knowledge, whether Bishop Hoadly had misunderstood Bishop Atterbury or no.

    About a year and a half ago I stole out of company at eight in the evening, with a young gentleman with whom I was intimate. As we took a turn in an aisle of St. Mary痴 church, in expectation of a young lady痴 funeral, with whom we were both acquainted, I asked him if he really thought himself my friend; and, if he did, why he would not do me: all the good he could. He began to protest; in which I cut him short, by desiring him to oblige me in an instance, which he could not deny to be in his own power; to let me have the pleasure of making him a whole Christian, to which I knew he was at least half persuaded already; that he could not do me a greater kindness, as both of us would be fully convinced when we came to follow that young woman.

    He turned exceedingly serious, and kept something of that disposition ever since. Yesterday was a fortnight, he died of a consumption. I saw him three days before he died; and, On the Sunday following, did him the last good office I could here, by preaching his funeral sermon; which was his desired when living.

    VII.

    To the Same . March 19, 1727. ONE advantage, at least, my degree has given me: I am now at liberty, and shall be in a great measure for some time, to choose my own employment.

    And as I believe I know my own deficiencies best, and which of them are most necessary to be supplied, I hope my time will turn to somewhat better account than when it was not so much in my own disposal.

    The conversation of one or two persons, whom you may have heard me speak of, (I hope never without gratitude,) first took off my relish for most other pleasures; so far that I despised them in comparison of that. I have since proceeded a step further; to slight them absolutely. And I am so little at present in love with even company, the most elegant entertainment next to books, that, unless the persons have a religious turn of thought, I am much better pleased without them. I think it is the settled temper of my soul, that I should prefer at least for some time, such at retirement would seclude me from all the world, to the station I am now in. Not that this is by any means unpleasant to me; but I imagine it would be more improving to be in a place where I might confirm or implant in my mind what habits I would without interruption, before the flexibility of youth be over.

    A school in Yorkshire was proposed to me lately, on which I shall think more when it appears whether I may have it or not. A good salary is annexed to it. But what has made me wish for it most, is the frightful description, as they call it, which some gentlemen who know the place gave me of it yesterday. 的t lies in a little vale, so pent up between two hills, that it is scarcely accessible on any side; so that you can expect little company from without, and within there is none at all. I should therefore be entirely at liberty to converse with company of my own choosing, whom for that reason I would bring with me; and company equally agreeable, wherever I fixed, could not put me to less expense.

    The sun that walks his airy way To cheer the world, and bring the day; The moon that shines with borrow壇 light The stars that gild the gloomy night; All of these, and all I see, Should be sung, and sung by me:

    These praise their Maker as they can, But want and ask the tongue of man.

    I am full of business; but have found a way to write without taking any time from that. It is but rising an hour sooner in the morning, and going into company an hour later in the evening; both which may be done without any inconvenience.

    VIII.

    To the Same.

    June 11, 1731. THE motion and sun together, in our last hundred and fifty miles walk, so thoroughly carried off all our superfluous humors; that we continue perfectly in health, though it is here a very sickly season. And Mr. Kirkham assures us on the word of a Priest and a Physician, that if we will but take the same medicine once or twice a year, we shall never need any other to keep us from the gout. When we were with him, we touched two or three times upon a nice subject, but, did not come to any full conclusion. The point debated was, what is the meaning of being righteous over much , or by the more common phrase of being too strict in religion ? and what danger there was of any of us falling into that extreme?

    All the ways of being too righteous or too strict which we would think of, were these: Either the carrying some one particular virtue to so great a height, as to make it clash with some others; or, the laying too much stress on the instituted means of grace, to the neglect of the weightier matters of the law; or, the multiplying prudential means upon ourselves so far, and binding ourselves to the observance of them so strictly, as to obstruct the end we aimed at by them, either by hindering our advance in heavenly affections in general, or by retarding our progress in some particular virtue.

    Our opponents seemed to think my brother and I [were] in some danger of being too strict in this last sense; of laying burdens on ourselves too heavy to be born, and, consequently, too heavy to be of any use to us.

    It is easy to observe, that almost every one thinks that rule totally needless which he does not need himself; and as to the Christian spirit itself, almost every one calls that degree of it which he does not himself aim at, enthusiasm. If therefore we plead for either, (not as if we thought the former absolutely needful, neither as if we had attained the latter,) it is no great wonder that they who are not for us in practice should be against us. If you, who are a less, prejudiced judge, have perceived us faulty in this matter, too superstitious or enthusiastic, or whatever it is to be called; we earnestly desire to be speedily informed of our terror, that we may no longer spend our strength on that which profiteth not. Or whatever there may be on the other hand, in which you have observed us to be too remiss, that likewise we desire to know as soon as possible. This is a subject which we would understand with as much accuracy as possible; it being hard to say which is of the worse, consequence, the being too strict, the really carrying things too far, the wearying ourselves and spending our strength in burdens that are unnecessary, or the being frightened by those terrible words, from what, if not directly necessary, would at least be useful.

    IX.

    To the Same . February 28, 1732. ONE consideration is enough to make me assent to his and your judgment concerning the holy sacrament; which is, that we cannot allow Christ痴 human nature to be present in it, without allowing either CON- or TRANSsubstantiation.

    But that his divinity is so united to us then, as he never is but to worthy receivers, I firmly believe, though the manner of that union is utterly a mystery to me.

    That none but worthy receivers should find this effect, is not strange to me, when I observe how small effect many means of improvement have upon an unprepared mind. Mr. Morgan and my brother were affected, as they ought, by the observations you made on that glorious subject; but though my understanding approved what was excellent, yet my heart did not feel it. Why was this, but because it was pre-engaged by those affections with which wisdom will not dwell? because the animal mind cannot relish those truths which are spiritually discerned? Yet I have those writings which the Good Spirit gave to that end! I have many off those which he hath since assisted his servants to give us; I have retirement to apply these to my own soul daily; I have means both of public and private prayer; and, above all, of partaking in that sacrament once a week. What shall I do to make all these blessings effectual, to gain from them that mind which was also in Christ Jesus?

    To all who give signs of their not being strangers to it, I propose this question, and why not to any rather than any? Shall I quite break of my pursuit of all learning, but what immediately tends to practice? I once desired to make a fair show in languages and philosophy: But it is past; there is a more excellent way, and if I cannot attain to any progress in the one, without throwing up all thoughts of the others why, fare it well! Yet a little while, and we shall all be equal in knowledge, if we are in virtue.

    You say you 塗ave renounced the world. And what have I been doing all this time? What have I done ever since I was born? Why I have been plunging myself into it more and more. It is enough: 鄭wake, thou that sleepest. Is there not 登ne Lord, one Spirit, one hope of our calling? 登ne way of attaining that hope? Then I am to renounce the world, as well as you. That is the very thing I want to do; to draw off my affections from this world, and fix them on a better. But how? What is the surest and the shortest way? Is it not to be humble? Surely, this is a large step in the way. But the question recurs, How am I to do this? To own the necessity of it is not to be humble. In many things you have interceded for me and prevailed. Who knows but in this too you may be successful? If you can spare me only that little part of Thursday evening, which you formerly bestowed upon me in another manner, I doubt not but it would be as useful now for correcting my heart, as it was then for forming my judgment.

    When I observe how fast life flies away, and how slow improvement comes, I think one can never be too much afraid of dying before one has learned to live; I mean, even in the course of nature. For were I sure that 鍍he silver cord should not be violently 斗oosed; that 鍍he wheel should not 澱e broken at the cistern, till it was quite worn away by its own motion; yet what a time would this give for such a work? A moment to transact the business of eternity! What are forty years in comparison of this? So that were I sure of what never man yet was sure of, how little would it alter the case! How justly still might I cry out, 泥ownward I hasten to my destined place; There none obtain thy aid, none sing thy praise!

    Soon shall I lie in death痴 deep ocean drown壇; Is mercy there, is sweet forgiveness found?

    O save me yet, while on the brink I stand; Rebuke these storms, and set me safe on land!

    O make my longings and thy mercy sure!

    Thou art the God of power.

    X. To the Same . August 17, 1733. THE thing that gives offense here, is, the being singular with regard to time, expense, and company. This is evident beyond exception, from the case of Mr. Smith, one of our Fellows, who no sooner began to husband his time, to retrench unnecessary expenses, and to avoid his irreligious acquaintance, but he was set upon, by not only all those acquaintance, but many others too, as if he had entered into a conspiracy to cut all their throats; though to this day he has not advised any single person, unless in a word or two and by accident, to act as he did in any of those instances.

    It is true, indeed, that 鍍he devil hates offensive war most; and that whoever tries to rescue more than his own soul from his hands, will have more enemies; and meet with greater opposition, than if he was content with 塗aving his own life for a prey. That I try to do this, is likewise certain; but I cannot say whether I 途igorously impose any observances on others, till I know what that phrase means. What I do, is this: When I am entrusted with a person who is first to understand and practice, and then to teach, the law of Christ, I endeavor, by an intermixture of reading and conversation, to show him what that law is; that is, to renounce all insubordinate love of the world, and to love and obey God with all his strength. When he appears seriously sensible of this, I propose to him the means God hath commanded him to use, in order to that end; and, a week, or a month, or a year after, as the state of his soul seems to require it, the several prudential means recommended by wise and good men. As to the times, order, measure, and manner, therein these are to be proposed, I depend upon the Holy Spirit to direct me, in and by my own experience and reflection, joined to the advises of my religious friends here and elsewhere. Only two rules it is my principle to observe in all cases: First to begin, continue, and end all my advises in the spirit of meekness; as knowing that 鍍he wrath or severity 登f man worketh not the righteousness of God: And, Secondly, to add to meekness, longsuffering; in pursuance of a rule which I fixed long since, never to give up any one till I have tried him, at least, ten years. How long hath God had pity on thee?

    If the wise and goodwill believe those falsehoods which the bad invent, because I endeavor to save myself and my friends from them; then I shall lose my reputation, even among them, for (though not perhaps good, yet) the best actions I ever did in my life. This is the very case. I try to act as my Lord commands; ill men say all manner of evil of me, and good men believe them. There is a way, and there is but one, of making my peace:

    God forbid I should ever take it! I have as many pupils as I need, and as many friends; when more are better for me, I shall have more. If I have no more pupils after these are gone from me, I shall then be glad of a curacy near you: If I have, I shall take in as a signal that I am to remain here.

    Whether here or there, my desire is, to know and feel that I am nothing that I have nothing, and that I can do nothing. For whenever I am empty of myself, then know I of a surety, that neither friends nor foes, nor any creature, can hinder me from being 吐illed with all the fullness of God. Let not my father痴 or your prayers be ever slack in behalf of your affectionate son.

    XI.

    To The Same . March 18, 1736.

    I DOUBT not but you are already informed of the many blessings which God gave us in our passage; as my brother Wesley must, before now, have received a particular account of the circumstances of our voyage; which he would not fail to transmit to you by the first opportunity.

    We are likely to stay here some months. The place is pleasant beyond imagination; and, by all I can learn, exceeding healthful, even in summer, for those who are not intemperate. It has pleased God that I have not had a moment痴 illness of any kind since I set my foot upon the Continent; nor do I know any more than one of my seven hundred parishioners who is sick at this time. Many of them, indeed, are, I believe, very angry already:

    For a gentleman, no longer ago than last night, made a ball; but the public prayers happening to begin about the same time the church was full, and the ball-room so empty, that the entertainment could not go forward.

    I should be heartily glad, if any poor and religious men or women of Epworth, or Wroote, would come over to me And so would Mr. Oglethorpe too: He would give them land enough, and provisions gratis, till they could live on the produce of it. I was fully determined to have wrote to my dear Emmy 3 today; but time will not permit. O hope ye still in God; for ye shall yet give him thanks, who is the help of your countenance; and your God! Renounce the world; deny yourselves; bear your cross with Christ, and reign with him! My brother Hooper, too, has a constant place in our prayers. May the good God give him the same zeal for holiness which he has given to a young gentleman at Rotterdam, who was with me last night. Pray for us, and especially for, dear mother, Your dutiful and affectionate son. 覧覧 XII. To his Brother Samuel . DEAR BROTHER, Lincoln College, OXON., April 4, 1726.

    I SHOULD have written long before now, had not a Gentleman of Exeter made me put it off from day to day, in hopes of getting some little poems of his, which he promised to write out for me. Yesterday I saw them, though not much to my satisfaction, as being all on very wrong subjects, and run chiefly on the romantic notions of love and gallantry. I have transcribed one which is much shorter than any of the rest, and am promised by tomorrow night, if that will do me any service, another of a more serious nature.

    I believe, I have given Mr. Leybourn, at different times, five or six short copies of verses: The latest were a translation of part of the Second Georgic, and an imitation of the sixty fifth Psalm. If he has lost them, as it is likely he has, in so long a time, I can write them over in less than an hour, and send them by the post.

    My father, very unexpectedly, a week ago, sent me, in a letter, a bill on Dr. Morley, for twelve pounds, which he had paid to the Rector痴 use, at Gainsborough; so that, now several of my debts are paid, and the expenses of my treat defrayed, I have above ten pounds remaining; and if I could have leave to stay in the country till my College allowance commences, this money would abundantly suffice me till then.

    As far as I have ever observed, I never knew a College besides ours, whereof the members were so perfectly satisfied with one another, and so inoffensive to the other part of the University. All I have yet seen of the Fellows are both well natured and well bred; men admirably disposed as well to preserve peace and good neighborhood among themselves, as to promote it wherever else they have any acquaintance.

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