King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page




Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store

  • SUPPLEMENTARY LETTERS..


    PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER >> - HELP - FACEBOOK     

    To Dr. Koker, of Rotterdam.

    To Mr. Viney, of Ysselstein.

    To Mr. Isaac Le Long, at Amsterdam.

    To Mr. Nathanael Price, of Cardiff.

    Three Letters to Mr. Howell Harris, of Trevecka.

    To Mr. John Nelson.

    Two Letters to Mr. John Haime.

    To the Rev. James Erskine.

    To Mr. Thomas Bigg, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    To Mr. Thomas Rankin.

    To Mr. John Valton.

    Two Letters to Miss Bolton, of Witney.

    Two Letters to Miss Newman, Cheltenham.

    Three Letters to Mr. Walter Churchey.

    To Mr. Jasper Winscom.



    I. Modern Christianity, exemplified at Wednesbury, and other adjacent Places in Staffordshire.

    II. A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Walker.

    III. Second Letter to the Rev. Mr. Walker.

    IV. Third Letter to the Rev. Mr. Walker.

    V. Fourth Letter to the Rev. Mr. Walker.

    VI. A Letter to the Rev. Thomas Adams.

    VII. A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Clarke.

    VIII. Second Letter to the Rev. Mr. Clarke.

    IX. A Letter to a Friend.

    X. Letter to Mr. N—— XI. Reasons against a Separation from the Church of England.

    XII. A Letter to a Friend.

    XIII. A Letter to the Rev. Mr. Venn.

    XIV. Address to the Travelling Preachers.

    XV. Some Thoughts upon an Important Question.

    XVI. On Hearing Ministers who oppose the Truth.

    XVII. Of attending the Church.

    XVIII. Thoughts upon some late Occurrences.

    XIX. Letter to the Methodist Conference.

    XX. Letter to Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, and our Brethren in North America.

    XXI. On the Church: In a Letter to the Rev.—— .

    XXII. Of Separation from the Church.

    XXIII. Thoughts upon Methodism.

    XXIV. An Answer to an Important Question.

    XXV. Thoughts on Separation from the Church.

    XXVI. Thoughts upon a late Phenomenon.

    XXVII. To certain Persons in Dublin .

    XXVIII. To the Printer of the Dublin Chronicle .

    XXIX. Farther Thoughts on Separation from the Church .

    XXX. The Case of Birstal House.

    XXXI. A Letter to the Methodist Preachers. (Circular.).

    XXXII. The Case of Dewsbury House.

    XXXIII. Four Letters to Mr. John Atlay.

    XXXIV. A Word to whom it may concern.

    XXXV. A short Account of the School in Kingswood, near Bristol.

    XXXVI. A plain Account of Kingswood School.

    XXXVII. Remarks on the State of Kingswood School.

    XXXVIII. A short History of the People called Methodists.

    XXXIX. Letter to the Monthly Reviewers.

    XL. Second Letter to the Monthly Reviewers.

    XLI. Letter to a Friend. Concerning a Passage in a Monthly Review .

    XLII. A Letter to Mr. T. H., alias Philodemas, alias Somebody, alias Stephen Church, alias R. W..

    XLIII. A Letter to Mr. G. R., alias R. A., alias M. H., alias R. W..

    XLIV. A Letter to the Editor of the “London Magazine.” XLV. A Letter to the Editor of Lloyd’s “Evening Post.” XLVI. Remarks on Mr. H.’s Account of the Gentoo Religion in Hindostan.

    XLVII. Some Remarks on Article X. of Mr. Maty’s New Review, for December, 1784.

    XLVIII. Thoughts on a late Publication.

    XLIX. Thoughts upon Baron Montesquieu’s “Spirit of Laws.” L. Letter to the Rev. Mr. Furly.

    LI. Thoughts on the Character and Writings of Mr. Prior.

    LII. Thoughts on the Writings of Baron Swedenborg.

    LIII. Remarks on the Count De Buffon’s “Natural History.” LIV. Remarks upon Mr. Locke’s “Essay on Human Understanding.” LV. Remarks on Mr. Bryant’s “Analysis of Ancient Mythology.” LVI. Thoughts upon Taste.

    LVII. Thoughts on the Power of Music.

    LVIII. A Thought on the Manner of Educating Children.

    LIX. Thoughts on Genius.

    LX. Thoughts on Memory.

    LXI. Thoughts on Suicide.

    LXII. Of the gradual Improvement of Natural Philosophy.

    LXIII. Remarks on the Limits of Human Knowledge.

    LXIV. Conversation with the Bishop of Bristol.

    LXV. An Account of the Disturbances in my Father’s House.

    LXVI. Calvinistic Controversy.

    LXVII. Queries respecting the Methodist.

    LXVIII. Notices concerning deceased Preachers .

    LXIX. Directions to the Stewards of the Methodist Society in London .

    LXX. Remarkable Providence.

    IXXI. Directions concerning Pronunciation and Gesture.



    LETTERS FROM THE REVEREND JOHN WESLEY, TO VARIOUS PERSONS.

    ———

    DCLXII.

    To Robert Carr Brackenbury, Esq., of Raithby, Lincolnshire. DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, September 27, 1779.

    I HOPE your stay at —— will be of use to many. But do not hurt yourself in order to help others. Mr. S—— is an upright, valuable man. His wife is a jewel indeed. I wish we had many like her. Your being at —— during this critical time is a singular providence. Both parties have a regard for you; and will hear you when they will not hear each other. I am glad you think of spending the winter in town, and doubt not but it will be for the glory of God. Go to my house: What is mine is yours: You are my brother, my friend: Let neither life nor death divide us! Your visit to N—— will, I am persuaded, be of considerable use; the more because you love and recommend discipline. But I must bet, of you to spend a night or two at Y—— and at L——. The sooner you come the more welcome you will be.

    Wrap yourself up warm, particularly your head and breast.

    I am Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXIII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, June 23, 1780.

    I AM glad that it has pleased God to restore your health, and that you have been employing it to the best of purposes. It is worth living for this, (and scarcely for anything else,) to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. You will find many in these parts who have ears and hearts to receive even the deep things of God. I believe a journey to Ireland will be of use to your soul and body. Meet me at ——, and we can settle our journeys.

    I am, dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXIV.

    -To the Same. DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, September 18, 1780.

    THE

    Lord knoweth the way wherein you go; and when you have been tried, you shall come forth as gold. It is true you have now full exercise for all your faith and patience; but by and by you will find good brought out of evil, and will bless God for the severe but wholesome medicine. I had all along a persuasion that God would deliver you, although I could not see which way it would be done; as I knew it was your desire not to do your own will, but the will of Him whose you are and whom you serve. May He still guide you in the away you should go, and enable you to give Him your whole heart! You must not set the great blessing afar off, because you find much war within. Perhaps this will not abate, but rather increase, till the moment your heart is set at liberty. The war will not cease before you attain, but by your attaining, the promise. And if you look for it by naked faith, why may you not receive it now? The cheerfulness of faith you should aim at in and above all things. Wishing you a continual supply of righteousness, peace, and joy, I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXV.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LEEDS, August 12, 1781.

    I SHALL not soon forget the agreeable conversation I had with dear Mrs. Brackenbury 1 at Raithby. The sweetness of her temper, and the open, artless account she gave of her experience, increased my love for her. I trust you shall not die, but live to strengthen each other’s hands in God, and provoke one another to love and to good works. Who is so great a God as our God? To His care I commit Mrs. Brackenbury and you. Peace be with your spirits! I commend myself to your prayers; and am, Dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXVI.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, March 9, 1782.

    WHAT a comfort it is that we know the Lord reigneth; and that he disposes all things in heaven and earth in the very manner which he sees will be most for his own glory, and for the good of those that love him! I am firmly persuaded the present dispensation, severe as it may appear, will be found in the event a means of greater blessings than any you have yet received. Even already you find the consolations of the Holy One are not small with you. And He enables you to make the right use of this providence, by devoting yourself more entirely to his service. On April 4, I expect to be in Manchester, in order to visit the societies in Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire; and thence, if God permit, to Scotland. Perhaps it would be of use if you took part of the journey with me. Let me know your thoughts. It is exceeding clear to me, first, that a dispensation of the Gospel is committed to you; and, secondly, that you are peculiarly called to publish it in connection with us. It has pleased God to give so many and so strong evidences of this, that I see not how any reasonable person can doubt it. Therefore, what I have often said before I say again, and give it under my hand, that you are welcome to preach in any of our preachinghouses, in Great Britain or Ireland, whenever it is convenient for you. I commend you for preaching less frequently where you find less liberty of spirit, (because no necessity is laid upon you with regard to this or that particular place,) and for spending most time in those places where you find most probability of doing good. We have need to work while it is day.

    I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and servant.

    DCLIVII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR, January 4, 1783.

    I REJOICE to hear that you have had a safe passage, and that you have preached both in Guernsey and Jersey. We must not expect many conveniences at first: Hitherto it is the day of small things. I should imagine the sooner you begin to preach in French the better: Surely you need not be careful about accuracy. Trust God, and speak as well as you can. While those poor sheep were scattered abroad without a shepherd, and without any proper connection with each other, it is no wonder they were cold and dead. It is good that every one should know our whole plan.

    Who do not want any man to go on blindfold. Peace be with your spirit! I wish you many happy years; and am, Dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and servant.

    DCLXVIII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR, January 4, 1783.

    AS I expect to remain in London till the beginning of March, I hope to have the pleasure of spending a little time with you before I set out on my spring and summer Journeys, which I shall probably continue as long as I live. And who would wish to live for any meaner purpose than to serve God in our generation? I known my health and strength are continued for this very thing. And if ever I should listen to that siren song “Spare thyself,” I believe my Master would spare me no longer, but soon take me away. It pleases Him to deal with you in a different way. He frequently calls you not so much to act as to suffer. And you may well say, — “O take thy way! Thy way is best:

    Grant or deny me ease.

    This is but tuning of my breast To make the music please.”

    I am glad you are still determined to do what you can, and to do it without delay. But all are not of this mind. I have just received a letter from Mr.— —, formerly one of our Traveling Preachers, informing me whereas it has pleased God to take away his dear partner, he is resolved again to give up himself to the work, — after he has settled his worldly business, which he thinks will take but sixteen or seventeen months! Would one think he had ever read the Epistle of St. James? or that he had heard those words, “What is your life?” It is even a vapor; which appeareth and vanisheth away.” Commending you to Him who is able to save you to the uttermost, I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXIX.

    -To the Same. DEAR SIR LONDON, February 13, 1784.

    IT is undoubtedly our duty to use the most probable means we can for either preserving or restoring our health. But, after all, God does continually assert his own right of saving both souls and bodies. He blesses the medicines, and they take place; he withdraws his influence, and they avail nothing. You will not easily be forgotten by any of this family. I trust we are all one body united by one Spirit. I doubt not but we have also a few fellow members in your little islands. May He whom we serve in the Gospel of his Son increase them an hundred fold! We hear of some increase of the work of God almost in every part of England; but above all, in Cornwall, in Lancashire, Cheshire, and various parts of Yorkshire. It pleases God to bless Mr. Valton wherever he turns his face; but his body sinks under him, and he is still hovering between life and death. Would it not be advisable, if you still continue feeble, to return to England as soon as possible; especially if you have reason to believe the air of Jersey does not agree with your constitution? I commend you to Him who is able to heal both your soul and body; and am, Dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXX.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, February 15, 1784.

    YOUR having the opportunity of giving them a few discourses in Dover, and then traveling with so pious and friendly a person as Mr. Ireland, I could not but look upon as clear instances of a gracious Providence. I cannot doubt but the mild air which you now breathe will greatly tend to the re-establishment of your health: And so will the suspension of your public labors till you are better able to bear them. With regard to perfecting yourself in the French language, it is certain this may be done more speedily and effectually in a family where only French is spoken. And undoubtedly you may learn the purity of the language far better in Languedoc, than in Normandy. It is clear that you are not called at present to any public labors. But should not you be so much the more diligent in private? to redeem the time? to buy up every opportunity? Should not you be instant “in season and out of season;” that is, to make the opportunities which you cannot find? Surely the all-wise and all-merciful Savior did not send you into France for nothing! O no! you are at least to pluck one brand (perhaps several) out of the burning. May the Lord whom you serve in all things direct your paths! So prays, Dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXI.

    — To the Same. DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, September 24, 1785.

    IT is well that the Lord sitteth above the water-floods, and remaineth a King for ever. It is no wonder that Satan should fight for his own kingdom, when such inroads are made upon it. But Beyond his chain he cannot go; Our Jesus shall stir up his power, And soon avenge us of our foe.

    After we have observed a day of fasting, and prayer, I have known the most violent commotions quelled at once. But doubtless all probable means are to be used: One in particular it might be worth while to attempt; namely, to soften the spirit of that angry Magistrate. God has the hearts of all men in his hand; and if the heart of that warrior was once turned, then those who have hitherto been encouraged by him would vanish away like smoke. It is not improbable but by our answer to that scandalous libel may be one means of abating his prejudice.

    I am, dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXII.

    -To the Same .

    DEAR SIR,

    November 24, 1785.

    GOD will hearken to the prayer that goeth not out of feigned lips; especially when fasting, is joined there with. And provided our brethren continue instant in prayer, the beasts of the people will not again lift up their head. The work of God still increases in Ireland, and in several parts of this kingdom. I commend you and all our brethren to Him who is able to preserve you from all evil, and build you up in love; and am, Dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXIII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, October 20, 1787.

    MR.—— is undoubtedly a good young man; and has a tolerably good understanding. But he thinks it better than it is; and in consequence is apt to put himself in your or my place. For these fifty years, if any one said, “If you do not put such an one out of society, I will go out of it;” I have said, Pray go: “I, not you, are to judge who shall stay.” I therefore greatly approve of your purpose, to give Mr. W—— a full hearing in the presence of all the Preachers. I have often repented of judging, too severely; but very seldom of being too merciful.

    As the point is undoubtedly of very great importance, it deserved serious consideration; and I am glad you took the pains to consider it, and discussed it so admirably well according to Scripture and sound reason.

    I enclose a few lines for Mrs. ——, for whom I feel an affectionate concern.

    The God whom you serve will shortly deliver you from the heaviness you feel.

    I ever am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXIV.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, December 17, 1787.

    CONSIDERING that the God of this world will not fail to fight when his kingdom is in danger, I do not wonder that persecution should come to Jersey and Guernsey. I agree with you, that the best method to be used in this exigence is fasting and prayer. It is plain your labors in those places have not been in vain. And I am in hopes Guernsey will overtake Jersey.

    Wishing you all every possible blessing, I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXV.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, February 27, 1788.

    I CANNOT exactly agree with your judgment. While there was no Preacher in the islands but you, and while the work of God was but just beginning, you was undoubtedly called to spend most of your time there, and then you did right in not being disobedient to the heavenly calling. But the case is very different now. They have now able Preachers in French and English: And as they do not do the work deceitfully, it prospers in their hands. Has not the Lord more work for you to do in England? In June, (if God permit,) I purpose to spend an evening with you at Raithby. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am, dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXVI.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR.LONDON, November 7, 1788.

    I SNATCH a few minutes from visiting the classes, to answer your acceptable letter. I exceedingly approve of your spending, the winter at Bath. I believe God will make you of use to many there, who are more ripe for your instructions than ever they were before. And I am persuaded you will yourself profit as much, if not more, by the conversation of a few in Bristol, Mr. Valton and Miss Johnson in particular, as by that of any persons in Great Britain. Aim at the cheerfulness of faith.

    I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXVII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, February 24, 1790.

    Is the B—— the same gentleman who subscribed to the chapel, and let us have a lease for building? If so, how came his mind to be so changed? But his heart is still in God’s hands And therefore you take the very best way possible to allay the present storm by seeking Him that turneth the hearts of men as the waters. Without His help human means will not avail. It has pleased God to give me more strength than I had in the autumn; but my eyes continue weak. It is enough, that we are in His hands.

    I am, dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXVIII.

    To the Same. DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, September 15, 1790.

    YOUR letter gave me great satisfaction. I wanted to hear where and how you were; and am glad to find you are better in bodily health, and not weary and faint in your mind. My body seems nearly to have done its work, and to be almost worn-out. Last month my strength was nearly gone, and I could have sat almost still from morning to night. But, blessed be God, I crept about a little, and made shift to preach once a day. On Monday I ventured a little farther; and after I had preached three times, (once in the open air,) I found my strength so restored that I could have preached again without inconvenience. I am glad brother D—— has more light with regard to full sanctification. This doctrine is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly he appeared to have raised us up. I congratulate you upon sitting loose to all below; steadfast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. Moderate riding on horseback, chiefly in the south of England, would improve your health. If you choose to accompany me, in any of my little journeys on this side Christmas, whenever you was tired you might go into my carriage. I am not so ready a writer as I was once; but I bless God I can scrawl a little, — enough to assure you that I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXIX— To the Same .

    DEAR SIR,LONDON,

    December 7, 1790.

    IT gave me pleasure to see your letter dated Portsmouth, and to hear that your health is better. I hope you will be able to spend a little time with us here; And if you choose to lodge in my house, I have a room at your service; and we have a family which I can recommend to all England, as adorning the doctrine of God our Savior.

    I am, dear Sir, Your very affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCLXXX.

    To Mr. Zechariah Yewdall .

    DEAR ZACHARY,LONDON,

    October 9, 1779.

    WHEREVER you are, be ready to acknowledge what God has done in your soul; and earnestly exhort all the believers to expect full salvation. You would do well to read every morning a chapter in the New Testament, with the Notes, and to spend the greatest part of the morning in reading, meditation, and prayer. In the afternoon, you might visit the society from house to house, in the manner laid down in the Minutes of the Conference.

    The more labor, the more blessing!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,BRISTOL, July 24, 1780.

    NEXT year you will he in the Glamorganshire Circuit, and with a fellowlaborer who has the work of God at heart.

    If Billy Moore mentions it in time, your temporal wants will easily be supplied. Trials are only blessings in disguise. Whenever anything bears hard upon your mind, you should write freely to Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 3, 1780.

    YOU mistake one thing. It is I, not the Conference, (according to the twelfth Rule,) that station the Preachers; but I do it at the time of the Conference, that I may have the advice of my brethren. But I have no thoughts of removing you from the Glamorganshire Circuit: You are just in your right place. But you say, “Many of the people are asleep.” They are; and you are sent to awake them out of sleep. “But they are dead.” True; and you are sent to raise the dead. Goodwill be done at Monmouth and Neath in particular. When no good can be done, I would leave the old and try new places. But you have need to be all alive yourselves, if you would impart life to others. And this cannot be without much self-denial. Both of you should recommend the Magazine in earnest.

    I am, dear Zachary Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER LONDON, February 10, 1781.

    BROTHER JOHNS has been with me this morning. I believe you will have peace long before he gets his estate. You have now a fair prospect. It really seems as if God had inclined the hearts of the Magistrates to do you justice. I know no Attorney to be depended on like Mr. Bold, of Brecon.

    The Conference will consider the expense.

    Continue instant in prayer, and God will give you quietness.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXIV.

    To the Same. DEAR ZACHARY,WHITEHAVEN, May 26, 1781.

    YOU should always write to me without reserve. I observe nothing much amiss in your behavior. Truth and love you may hold fast; and courtesy will increase insensibly. Godfathers promise only, that they “will see the child be taught, as soon as he is able to learn, what he ought to do in order to his soul’s health.” And his, it is certain, they may perform. You did not read that little tract with sufficient care; otherwise, you could not but have seen this.

    I commend you for being exceeding wary with respect to marriage. St. Paul’s direction is full and clear: “If thou mayest be free, use it rather.” “Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.” Two of our small tracts you should read with much prayer; — “Thoughts on a Single Life,” and “A Word to whom it may concern.” You need not be backward to write, when you have opportunity. There is no fear of my thinking, your letters troublesome.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,OTLEY, May 1, 1782.

    I SEE no reason yet, why you may not spend the next year in Cork and Bandon. If nothing unforeseen prevent, I shall be at Dublin the beginning of July.

    If you desire to promote the work of God, you should preach abroad as often as possible. Nothing destroys the devil’s kingdom like this. You may have the History of the Church: Money is nothing between you and me.

    Be all in earnest!

    I am, dear Zachary, Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXVI.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR BROTHER,SEVENOAKS,

    October 21, 1782.

    UNDOUBTEDLY you are to act as Assistant; and if you carefully read the great Minutes of the Conference, and keep close to them in every point, assuredly you will see the fruit of your labor. But whom can you get to help you? I know none, unless you can persuade brother Rutherford to spare you Andrew Blair, and to take a poor invalid, John Mealy, (who is now at Dublin,) in his stead. You know, we have no Preachers to spare; every one is employed: And we can neither make Preachers, nor purchase them. God alone can thrust them out into his harvest. All you can do till help comes is, to divide yourself between Cork and Bandon.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCLXXXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, November 12, 1782.

    BEFORE this time I suppose you have my last. I have wrote to T.

    Rutherford to send Andrew Blair. The Leaders, I find, were unwilling to part with him; but I think he will be guided by me rather than by them.

    Till I have done meeting the classes, I shall have little leisure to write either prose or verse; being fully taken up from morning to night. After this, I may get a little time. O let us work while the day is! The night cometh, wherein no man can work.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXVIII.

    To the Same.

    ON THE DEATH OF MR. BOARDMAN.

    W ITH zeal for God, with love of souls inquired, Nor awed by dangers, nor by labors tired, B OARDMAN in distant worlds proclaims the word To multitudes, and turns them to his Lord.

    But soon the bloody waste of war he mourns, And, loyal, from rebellion’s seat returns; Nor yet at home, on eagles’ pinions flies, And in a moment soars to paradise!

    MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON,

    November 21, 1782.

    I BELIEVE you need not be ashamed to inscribe the lines above on R.

    Boardman’s tombstone. I doubt you do not find any account of himself among his papers.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCLXXXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 7, 1782.

    I DO not see that you can fix upon a more proper person, than either George Howe or Laren Wright. You should endorse it on the back of the deed; only taking care to have fresh stamps.

    Those who will not meet in class cannot stay with us. Read the “Thoughts upon a Single Life,” and wish them well. You will then feel the wisdom of St. Paul’s advice, (especially to a Preacher, and to a Methodist Preacher above all,) “If thou mayest be free, use it rather.”

    I hope Andrew Blair is now with you. Brother Swindells is dead; and John Trembath is alive again.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCXC.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 31, 1782.

    YOU

    fear when no fear is. I have appointed Mr. Blair to labor with you at Cork and Bandon; and shall not alter that appointment, without stronger reasons than I am likely to see. If I live, I shall probably see Ireland in summer: If I do not, I expect Dr. Coke will.

    Robert Blake may go just where he will: I have nothing to do with him.

    Three times he left his Circuit without the consent of his Assistant. He has stupidly and saucily affronted almost all the Leaders. His high spirit, I fear, will destroy him. Till he is deeply humbled, I disclaim all fellowship with him.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCXCI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 9, 1783.

    I AM glad you have given another trial to Innishannon. And why not to Hinscla? I am a good deal of your mind. I hope those are only drops before a shower of grace. Over and above the general reasons contained in that tract, a Preacher, and above all others n Methodist Preacher, has particular reasons for valuing a single life.

    I am glad B. Blair and you converse freely together: It will preserve you from many snares. There can be no properer person for a Trustee than Andrew Laffan. I have hope, that Robert Blake will be more useful than ever.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCXCII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 25, 1785.

    I AM glad to hear, that the work of God goes on at Sheerness, and that there is such a noble spirit among the people with regard to building. But as we are yet early in the year, I do not advise you to begin till two hundred pounds are subscribed. Try first what you can do in Kent, and at Norwich, after keeping a day of fasting and prayer.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCXCIII.

    To the Same. DEAR ZACHARY Near DUBLIN, June 22, 1785.

    LET him not be afraid: I will take care that not one word of that affair shall be mentioned at the Conference. Let him come up thither in the name of God, and it will be a blessing to him.

    Let B. Foster likewise come, that he may have the advice of Dr. Whitehead. I shall have no objection, unless some particular objection arise, to your going to Sunderland. I think you will do well to bring brother Adamson with you to the Conference. You will both be acceptable to, Dear Zachary, Your affectionate brother.

    DCXCIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, November 11, 1785.

    I HOPE sister Yewdall and you will be a blessing to each other. I think it a pity to remove you from Kent. Otherwise, Oxford Circuit is nearer to London than Canterbury Circuit; for High-Wycomb is nearer to it than Chatham. I cannot visit all the places I want to visit in Kent in one journey. I purpose (God willing) to begin my first journey on the 28th instant. Shall I visit Margate or Sheerness first?

    I am, dear Zachary, Your affectionate brother.

    DCXCV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON,

    December 20, 1786.

    YOU do well to tell me where you are, and what you are doing. Do not you know, that several envy you, because, they say, you are one of my favorites? I am glad to hear that you find some fruit again even at poor Musselburgh. I expect more from the new than the old hearers, most of whom are as salt that has lost its savor. Possibly, some good may he done at Dalkeith too; but you will have need of patience. I do not despair even of Preston-Pans, if you can procure a tolerable place.

    It is a great point gained, if Mr. Collis is diligent in attending his lectures.

    If he has likewise resolution to refrain from gay company, there is reason to hope that he will be a valuable man.

    You cannot have a better adviser than Mr. Pawson. Take care to husband your time. Peace be with you and yours!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCXCVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LISBELAN, May 30, 1787.

    I AM glad to hear that you have a society at Dalkeith. But I am not pleased that the Edinburgh Preacher has not preached there once a week: I desire he would constantly do it for the time to come, without asking leave of the Leaders. Those have no business to direct the Preachers. It is no part of their office. I am glad to hear so good an account of Mr. Collis, and hope he will be a comfort to his mother. I will consider what you say concerning your being at Glasgow.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCXCVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, November 1, 1787.

    YOU send me good news indeed. So even poor Dalkeith will at last receive the Gospel! I have no hope of our doing any good at Preston-Pans for the present. Wherever a door is open, there press forward. I do not despair of having some fruit at Musselburgh. If my health is continued, I hope to pay you a visit in Scotland next summer. You may have some books to give away. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    S. Bradburn is alive and well.

    DCXCVIII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON,

    December 27, 1787.

    YOU are in the right. You can have nothing at all to do with the chapel upon those terms. Nay, a dove-cote above it would be an insufferable nuisance, as it would fill the whole place with fleas. “What is to be done then?”

    Why, continue instant in prayer, and God will show what you are to do.

    But he that believeth doth not make haste. I cannot advise you to set about building a house, unless you could find one or two responsible men, who would engage themselves to finish the building in such a manner, for an hundred and fifty pounds. Otherwise, I think you would be more bold than wise.

    I am, with kind love to Mrs. Yewdall, Your affectionate brother.

    DCXCIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,ATHLONE, April 18, 1789.

    I AM glad to hear that there is so fine a prospect at Dalkeith. So is generally the way of our Lord, to try us first, and then to comfort. It is pity but James Ridley had thoroughly settled his affairs before he attempted to travel. If that had been done, there is no doubt but he would have been useful wheresoever he went. I wish, however, brother Dall may make a good conclusion with regard to the chapel at Dumfries. Peace be with you and yours!

    I am, dear Zachary, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCC.

    To Miss Bishop. DEAR MISS BISHOP, 1767.

    WE have had a society in Bath for about thirty years, sometimes larger and sometimes smaller. It was very small this autumn, consisting only of eleven or twelve persons, of whom Michael Hemmings was Leader. I spoke to these one by one, added nine or ten more, divided them into two classes, and appointed half of them to meet with Joseph Harris. But if you are willing to cast in your lot with us, I had rather that the single women in both classes, who desire it, should meet with you, and any others who are not afraid of the reproach of Christ. In that little tract, “A Plain Account of the People called Methodists,” you see our whole plan. We have but one point in view; to be altogether Christians, scriptural, rational Christians. For which we well know, not only the world, but the almost Christians, will never forgive us. From these, therefore, if you join heart and hand with us, you are to expect neither justice nor mercy. If you are determined, let me know. But consider what you do. Can you give up all for Christ? the hope of improving your fortune, a fair reputation, and agreeable friends? Can He make you amends for all these? Is He alone a sufficient portion? I think you will find Him so. And if you were as entirely devoted to God as Jenny Cooper was, you would never have cause to repent of your choice, either in time or in eternity. The more freely you write, the more agreeable it will be to Your affectionate brother.

    DCCI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, November 22, 1769.

    IT is exceedingly strange. I should really wonder (if I could wonder at any weakness of human nature) that so good a woman as ——, and one who particularly piques herself on her catholic spirit, should be guilty of such narrowness of spirit. Let us not vary in thought or word from the Methodist principle, “Whosoever doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

    We have other instances of persons who now enjoy the peace of God, and yet do not know the time when they received it. And God is sovereign: He may make what exceptions he pleases to his general rule. So this objection is easily set aside; and so is that of your age. The Spirit of the Lord can give understanding, either in a longer or in a shorter time. And I doubt not but he will give you favor in the eyes of your sisters. You have only to go on in simplicity, doings the will of God from the heart, and trusting in the anointing of the Holy One, to teach you of all things.

    I am glad you are acquainted with Miss Owens. Encourage each other to he altogether Christians. Defy fashion and custom, and labor only to Steer your useful lives below By reason and by grace.

    Let not the gentlewoman entrench upon the Christian; but be a simple follower of the Lamb.

    At present you are exactly in your place, and I trust no temptation, inward or outward, shall ever induce you to depart from the work to which God has called you. You must expect to be pushed to both extremes by turns; and you need all the power of God to save you from it. And he will save you to the uttermost, provided you still retain the sense of your poverty and helplessness. It is a good prayer, — “Show me, as my soul can bear, The depth of inbred sin.”

    And just so he will deal with you; for he remembers that you are but dust.

    But you should not wait to be thus and thus convinced, in order to be renewed in love. No; pray now for all the mind which was in Christ; and you shall have more and more conviction, as it pleases him. Mr. Spencer and Glynn are of excellent spirits, notwithstanding their opinion. I hardly know their fellows. Love is all we want: Let this fill our hearts, and it is enough. Peace be with your spirit!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, November 5, 1770.

    I AM glad you had such success in your labor of love: In all things you shall reap if you faint not. And the promise is, “They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” How does the little society prosper? Are you all united in love? And are you all aware of that bane of love, — tale-bearing and evil-speaking? Do you retain that little spark of faith? Are you going forward, and have you as strong a desire as ever “to increase with all the increase of God?”

    See the Lord, thy stand Omnipotently near!

    Lo, He holds thee by thy hand, And banishes thy fear!

    O trust him, love him, and praise him!

    I know not that you have anything to do with fear. Your continual prayer should be for faith and love. I admired a holy man in France, who, considering the state of one who was full of doubts and fears, forbad him to think of his sins at all, and ordered him to think only of the love of God in Christ. The fruit was, all his fears vanished away, and he lived and died in the triumph of faith.

    Faith is sight; that is, spiritual sight: And it is light, and not darkness; so that the famous Popish phrase, “The darkness of faith,” is a contradiction in terms. O beware of all who talk in that unscriptural manner, or they will perplex, if not destroy, you! I cannot find in my Bible any such sin as legality. Truly, we have been often afraid where no fear was. I am not half legal enough, not enough under the law of love. Sometimes there is painful conviction of sin, preparatory to full sanctification; sometimes a conviction that has far more pleasure than pain, being mixed with joyful expectation. Always there should be a gradual growth in grace; which need never be intermitted from the time we are justified. Do not wait therefore for pain or anything else, but simply for all-conquering faith. The more freely you write, the more satisfaction you will give to Your affectionate brother.

    DCCIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, February 16, 1771.

    YOU look inward too much, and upward too little.

    Christ is ready to impart Life to all, for life who sigh; In thy mouth and in thy heart The word is ever nigh.

    Encourage yourself to trust in Him; that is your point; then he will do all things well. Legality, With most who use that term, really means tenderness of conscience. There is no propriety in the word, if one would take it for seeking justification by works. Considering, therefore, how hard it is to fix the meaning of that odd term, and how dreadfully it has been abused, I think it highly advisable for all the Methodists to lay it quite aside.

    If Mr. S—— could find any other doctrine which he thought was peculiarly mine, he would be as angry at it as he is at Christian perfection.

    But it is all well: We are to go forward, whoever goes back or turns aside. I hope your class goes on well, and that you are not weary of well doing.

    The Lord is at hand. In praying with the children, you have only to ask for those things which you are sensible they want, and that in the most plain, artless, and simple language which you can devise.

    Perhaps we may see a new accomplishment of Solomon’s words: “He that reproveth a man shall afterward find more favor than he who flattereth with his tongue.” But be that as it may, I have done my duty, I could no otherwise have delivered my own soul: And no offense at all would have been given thereby, had not pride stifled both religion and generosity. But my letter is now out of date: It is mentioned no more: There is a more plausible occasion found; namely, those eight terrible propositions which conclude the Minutes of our Conference. 2 At the instance of some who were sadly frightened thereby, I have revised them over and over; I have considered them in every point of view; and truly, the more I consider them, the more I like them; the more fully I am convinced, not only that they are true, agreeable both to Scripture and to sound experience, but that they contain truths of the deepest importance, and such as ought to be continually inculcated by those who would be pure from the blood of all men.

    The imagination which Mr. —— borrowed from another good man, “that he is not a believer who has any sin remaining, in him,” is not only an error, but a very dangerous one, of which I have seen fatal effects. Herein we divided from the Germans near thirty years ago; and the falseness and absurdity of it is shown in my Second Journal, and in my sermon on that subject. Your experience reminds me of these lines: — So many tender joy and woes Have o’er my quiv’ring soul had power; Plain life with height’ning passions rose, The boast or burden of an hour.

    They who feel less, certainly suffer less; but the more we suffer, the more we may improve; the more obedience, the more holiness, we may learn by the things we suffer. So that, upon the whole, I do not know if the insensible ones have the advantage over us.

    If you wrote more than once in three months, it would not be amiss. Few are more tenderly concerned for you than Your affectionate brother.

    DCCIV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,

    September 1, 1771.

    CONCESSIONS made in the chapel at Bath would not quench the flame kindled over the three kingdoms. Mr. Fletcher’s Letters may do this in some measure; but the antidote cannot spread so fast as the poison.

    However, the Lord reigneth; and consequently all these things shall work together for the increase of his kingdom. Certainly simple faith is the very thing you want; that faith which live upon Christ from moment to moment. I believe that sermon, “The Scripture Way of Salvation,” might at this time be very useful to you. It is a great thing to seize and improve the very now. What a blessing you may receive at this instant! Behold the Lamb of God!

    What, if even before this letter comes to your hands, the Lord should come to your heart! Is He not nigh? Is He not now knocking at the door? What do you say? “Come in, my Lord, come in.” Are you not ready? Are you not a mere sinner, and stripped of all? Therefore all is ready for you. Fear not; only believe, and enter into rest. How gracious is it in the kind Physician to humble you and prove you, and show you what is in your heart! Now let Christ and love alone be there.

    That your every hour is crowded with employment, I account no common blessing. The more employment the better, since you are not doing your own will, but the will of Him that sent you. I cannot see that it is by any means his will for you to quit your present situation.

    Such a degree of sickness or pain as does not affect the understanding, I have often found to be a great help. It is an admirable help against levity, as well as against foolish desires; and nothing more directly tends to teach us that great lesson, to write upon our heart, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

    Mr. Baxter well observes, “that whoever attempt to teach children will find need of all the understanding God has given them.” But indeed natural understanding will go but a little way. It is a peculiar gift of God. I believe He has given you a measure of it already, and yon may ask and expect an increase of it. Our dear sisters at Publow enjoy it in as high a degree as any young women I know.

    It certainly must be an inordinate affection which creates so many jealousies and misunderstandings. I should think it to be absolutely needful, the very next time you observe anything of that kind, to come to a full explanation with the parties concerned; to tell them calmly and roundly, “I must and I will choose for myself whom I will converse with, and when and how; and if any one of you take upon you to be offended at me on this account, you will make it necessary for me to be more shy and reserved to you than ever I was before.” If you steadily take up this cross, if you speak thus once or twice in the class, in a cool but peremptory manner, I am much inclined to think it will save both you and others a good deal of uneasiness.

    When you see those ladies, (with whom I have no acquaintance,) you would do well to speak exceeding plain. I am afraid they are still entire strangers to the religion of the heart.

    We must build with one hand, while we fight with the other. And this is the great work, not only to bring souls to believe in Christ, but to build them up in our most holy faith. How grievously are they mistaken who imagine that, as soon as the children are born, they need take no more care of them! We do not find it so. The chief care then begins. And if we see this in a true light, we may well cry out, even the wisest men on earth, “Who is sufficient for these things?” In a thousand circumstances, general rules avail little and our natural light is quickly at an end. So that we have nothing to depend upon but the anointing of the Holy One: And this will indeed teach us concerning all things. The same you need with regard to your little ones, that you may train them up in the way wherein they should go. And herein you have continual need of patience; for you will frequently see little fruit of all your labor. But leave that with Him. The success is His. The work only is yours. Your point is this, — work your work betimes; and in His time He will give you a full reward I am Yours affectionately.

    DCCV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,

    June 12, 1773. “TRUE simplicity,” Fenelon says, “is that grace whereby the soul is delivered from all unprofitable reflections upon itself.” I add, “and upon all other persons and things.” This is an unspeakable blessing. And it is the mere gift of God, not naturally annexed either to greatness or littleness of understanding. A single eye is a great help to this. Seek one thing and you will be far less troubled with unprofitable reasonings.

    It has, in all ages, been allowed, that the communion of saints extends to those in paradise, as well as those upon earth; as they are all one body united under one Head. And Can death’s interposing tide Spirits one in Christ divide?

    But it is difficult to say, either what kind or what degree of union may be between them. It is not improbable their fellowship with us is far more sensible than ours with them. Suppose any of them are present, they are hid from our eyes, but we are not hid from their sight. They, no doubt, clearly discern all our words and actions, if not all our thoughts too. For it is hard to think these walls of flesh and blood can intercept the view of an angelic being. But we have, in general, only a faint and indistinct perception of their presence, unless in some peculiar instances, where it may answer some gracious ends of divine Providence. Then it may please God to permit that they should be perceptible, either by some of our outward senses, or by an internal sense, for which human language has not any name. But I suppose this is not a common blessing. I have known but few instances of it. To keep up constant and close communion with God is the most likely means to obtain this also.

    Whatever designs a man has, whatever he is proposing to do, either for himself or his friends, when his spirit goes hence all is at an end. And it is in this sense only that “all our thoughts perish.” Otherwise, all our thoughts and designs, though not carried into execution, are noted in His book who accepts us according to our willing mind, and rewards intentions as well as actions. By aiming at Him in all things, by studying to please Him in all your thoughts, words, and actions, you are continually sowing to the Spirit, and of the Spirit you will reap life everlasting.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, September 19, 1773.

    IT is certainly most profitable for us to have a variety of seasons. We could not bear either to be constantly in storms, or constantly in a calm; but we are not certain, we cannot judge what proportion of one or the other is best for us. So it is well we are not left to our own wisdom, that we do not choose for ourselves. We should make strange work: But we know He that chooses for us orders all things well.

    There are excellent things in most of the Mystic writers. As almost all of them lived in the Romish Church, they were lights whom the gracious providence of God raised up to shine in a dark place. But they did not give a clear, a steady, or a uniform light. That wise and good man, Professor Franck, used to say of them, “They do not describe our common Christianity, but every one has a religion of his own.” It is very true: So that if you study the Mystic writers, you will find as many religions as books; and for this plain reason each of them makes his own expedience the standard of religion.

    Madam Guion was a good woman, and is a fine writer, but very far from judicious. Her writings will lead any one who is fond of them, into unscriptural Quietism. They strike at the root, and tend to make us rest contented with out either faith or works.

    It is certain the Scripture by “prayer” almost always means vocal prayer.

    And whosoever intermits this for any time, will neither pray with the voice nor the heart. It is therefore our wisdom to force ourselves to prayer; to pray whether we can pray or not. And many times while we are so doing, the fire will fall from heaven, and we shall know our labor was not in vain.

    There is, upon the whole, nothing new under the sun; but the spirit which you speak of; as manifesting itself among your young people, is utterly a new thing among the Methodists; I have known nothing like it in the three kingdoms. And yet I do not know that they have either less sense or less grace than others of their age or sex. But this is one proof among a thousand, that if God leave as for a moment to ourselves there is no folly into which our subtle adversary may not drive the wisest of the human race. Yet I do not see that you are at liberty to give up your charge on this account. It seems you should simply law the whole affair before Messrs.

    Pawson and Allen. They are candid and impartial judges, prejudiced neither on one side nor the other; and I believe they will be able to judge, on any emergency, what steps are the most proper to be taken.

    One reason, it may be, why this was permitted, was to confound the pride of your understanding. You had been accounted a woman of sense, and commended for it. And our nature readily receives such commendation.

    But see how little your sense avails! You can do no more herein, than if you were almost an idiot. “The help that is done upon earth, He doeth it himself,” whether with or without instruments. Let your whole soul be stayed upon Him, for time and eternity.

    When I observe anything amiss in your temper or behavior, I shall hardly fail to tell you of it; for I am persuaded you would not only suffer it, but profit by advice or reproof. I have been sometimes afraid you did not deal plainly enough with the young women under your care. There needs much courage and faithfulness, that you may do all that in you lies to present them faultless before the throne.

    I do not know whether there is any outward employ which would be so proper for you, as that you are now engaged in. You have scope to use all the talents which God has given you, and that is the most excellent way.

    You have likewise a most admirable exercise for your patience, either in the dullness or forwardness of your little ones. And some of these will learn from you, what is of the greatest importance, to know themselves and to know God. You must not, therefore, relinquish this station lightly; not without full and clear proof, that God calls you so to do. Meantime, bear your cross, and it will bear you. Seek an inward, not an outward, change. What you want is only inward liberty, the glorious liberty of the children of God. And how soon may you enjoy this! Who knows what a day, an hour, a moment, may bring forth? How soon may: you hear the voice that speaks Jehovah near! Why should it not be today?

    I am Yours affectionately.

    DCCVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, June 17,1774.

    IT is something strange, that I should never hear of your sickness, till I hear of your recovery. Both the one and the other were designed for blessings, and I doubt not but they have proved so to you. Since I saw you first, I have not observed much occasion for reproving. But we have all need of advice and exhortation, else we should soon be weary and faint in our minds. It is to be expected that above one half of those who not only profess great things, but actually enjoy the great salvation, will, nevertheless, be sooner or later moved from their steadfastness. Some of them will indeed recover what they had lost; others will die in their sins.

    The observing this should incite us to double our diligence, lest we should fall after their example.

    The difference between heaviness and darkness of soul, (the wilderness state,) should never be forgotten. Darkness (unless in the case of bodily disorder) seldom comes upon us but by our own fault. It is not so with respect to heaviness, which may be occasioned by a thousand circumstances, such as frequently neither our wisdom can foresee, nor our power prevent. It seems your trial was of the latter kind; perhaps too it was partly owing to the body. But of whatsoever kind it was, you may profit thereby: It need not leave you as it found you. Remember the wise saying of Mr. Dodd, “It is a great loss to lose an affliction.” If you are no better for it, you lose it. But you may gain thereby both humility, seriousness, and resignation.

    We so become all things to all, as not to hurt our own souls, when we first secure a single eye, A steady design to please all for their good to edification; and then take care that our discourse be always good to the use of edifying, and such as may minister grace to the hearers. But in order to this, we have need of power from on high, and of the wisdom that sitteth by the throne. This alone can give us to order our conversation aright, so as to profit both others and ourselves. Before yon can do this effectually, you must conquer your natural reserve, and exercise it only to those of whom you know nothing at all, or of whom you know nothing good.

    Perhaps there is one occasion more on which it will be highly expedient, if not necessary; namely, when good persons (at least in some measure so) sink beneath their character, trifle away time, or indulge themselves in a conversation which has no tendency to improve either the speaker or the hearer.

    I think it will not be best for you to go out less than you ever did.

    Suppose you have more faith and more love, (as I would fain think you have,) you certainly ought to go out more. Otherwise, your faith will insensibly die away. It is by works only, that it can be made perfect. And the more the love of solitude is indulged, the more it will increase. This is a temptation common to me. In every age and country Satan has whispered to those who began to taste the powers of the world to come, “To the desert!” “To the wilderness!” Most of our little flock at Oxford were tried with this; my brother and I in particular. Any, but I say, “To the Bible!

    To the Bible!” And there you will learn, “as you have time, to do good unto all men;” to warn every man, to exhort every man as you have opportunity. Although the greatest part of your care and labor should be laid out on those that are of the household of faith, certainly you may do good to others, without anyways endangering your own salvation. What at present you much want is simplicity, in the Archbishop of Cambray’s sense of the word: That grace “whereby the soul casts off all unnecessary reflections upon itself.” I wish I could say of you, as I did of a young person many years ago, when I sent her his little book, — “In art, in nature, can we find Colors to picture thee?

    Speak, Cambray’s pen, for Sally’s mind; She is simplicity.”

    To be enabled to relieve those who are in want is one excellent part of selfdenial.

    But you must not imagine that this will be the only one. No; you have a message from God to some of those, to whom no one almost dare speak the plain truth; and He will confirm the word of his messenger, especially to those who are in weakness or pain, or under any kind of affliction. At such a time, greatness stands aloof, and they are as accessible as common persons.

    In religion, as well as in all things else, it is use that brings perfectness. I have long-labored under the same infirmity with you; and I find but one way to conquer. Take up your cross. When the occasion offers, break through. Speak, though it is pain and grief unto you; and it will be easier and easier, till you resemble an eminent surgeon, who once said to my brother, “Mr. Wesley, you know I would not hurt a fly; I would not give pain to any living thing. But if it were necessary, I would scrape all the flesh off a man’s bones, and never turn my head aside.”

    A clear conviction of the superior advantages of a single life certainly implies a call from God to abide therein; supposing a person has received that gift from God. But we know, all cannot receive this saying: And I think, none ought to make any vows concerning it; because, although we know what we are, and what we can do now, yet we do not know what we shall be. The principal advantages of that state are set down in the little tract on that subject; together with the means which are proper to be used by those who desire to retain those advantages. If at any time Providence should seem to call a person to relinquish those advantages, I would earnestly advise her not to lean to her own understanding; (less in this case than any other;) but to consult one or more spiritual friends, and resolutely stand to their award.

    Although I am thoroughly persuaded that those reasonings are, in a great measure, from a preternatural cause, and therefore chiefly to be resisted, by continuing instant in prayer; yet I think Christian prudence not only permits, but requires, you to add other means to this. That which I would especially recommend is reading; particularly Pascal’s “Thoughts,” (in the “Christian Library,”) and the two first tracts in the “Preservative against Unsettled Notions in Religion.” These temptations are permitted to give you a deep and lasting conviction of the littleness and weakness of your own understanding, and to show you the absolute need wherein you stand of continual light, as well as of power from on high.

    That the regulation of social life is the one end of religion, is a strange position indeed. I never imagined any but a Deist would: affirm this. If that good man, Dr. D——, did, I suppose it must be a slip of the pen; for he could not but know that the love, without which, St. Paul affirms, all we do profits us nothing, is that humble, meek, patient love of our neighbor, which supposes and flows from the love of God.

    A degree of reasoning you certainly may and ought to use, only joined with humility and prayer. But what you more immediately want, is faith.

    Believe, and thou shalt be saved into perfect peace.

    I am Yours affectionately.

    DCCVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, April 17, 1776.

    MR.JONE’ S book on the Trinity is both more clear and more strong, than any I ever saw on that subject if anything is wanting, it is the application, lest it should appear to be a merely speculative doctrine, which has no influence on our hearts or lives; but this is abundantly supplied by my brother’s Hymns.

    After all the noise that has been made about mysteries, and the trouble we have given ourselves upon that head, nothing is more certain than that no child of man is required to believe any mystery at all. With regard to the Trinity, for instance; what am I required to believe? Not the manner, wherein the mystery lies. This is not the object of my faith; but the plain matter of fact, “These Three are One.” This I believe, and only this.

    Faith is given according to our present need. You have now such faith as is necessary for your living unto God. As yet you are not called to die. When you are, you shall have faith for this also. To day improve the faith you now have, and trust God with tomorrow.

    Some writers make a distinction, which seems not improper. They speak of the essential part of heaven, and the necessary parts. A man without any learning is naturally led into the same distinction. So the poor dying peasant, in Frederica: “To be sure, heaven is n fine place, a very fine place; but I do not care for that: I want to see God, and to be with him.” I do not know whether the usual question be well stated, “Is heaven a state, or a place?” There is no opposition between these two: It is both the one and the other. It is the place where God more immediately dwells with those saints who are in a glorified state. Homer could only conceive of the place, that it was paved with brass. Milton, in one place, makes heaven’s pavement beaten gold; in another, he defines it more sublimely, “the house of God, star-paved.” As full an account of this house of God as it can yet enter into our hearts to conceive is given us in various parts of the Revelation. There we have n fair prospect into the holiest, where are, first, “He that sitteth upon the throne;” then the “four living creatures;” next, the “twenty-four elders;” afterwards, the “great multitude, which no man can number;” and, surrounding them all, the various “myriads of angels,” whom God hath constituted in a wonderful order.

    But what is the essential part of heaven? Undoubtedly it is to see God, to know God, to love God. We shall then know both His nature, and His works of creation and providence, and of redemption. Even in paradise, in the intermediate state between death and the resurrection, we shall learn more concerning these in an hour, than we could in an age, during our stay in the body. We cannot tell indeed how we shall then exist, or what kind of organs we shall have: The soul will not be encumbered with flesh and blood; but probably it will have some sort of ethereal vehicle, even before God clothes us “with our nobler house of empyrean light.”

    No, my dear friend, no; it is no selfishness to be pleased when you give pleasure. It proves that your mind was antecedently in a right state, and then God answers you in the joy of your heart. So be more and more athirst for that holiness; and thereby give more and more pleasure to Your affectionate friend.

    DCCIX.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,

    December 26, 1776.

    EITHER that text in Ezekiel 33:8 is to be understood literally, or it has no meaning at all. And nothing is more certain, in fact, than that thousands perish through the neglect of others. And yet God is fully justified therein, because the principal cause of their destruction is their own neglect; their not working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Whatever other ends are answered by prayer, this is one, and it seems a primary one, that we may have the petitions which we ask of Him. Asking is the appointed means of receiving; and that for others, as well as for ourselves; as we may learn partly from reason itself, but more fully from our own experience, and more clearly still from revelation. Reason teaches us to argue from apology. If you (because you have a regard for me) would do more for a third person at my request than otherwise you would have done, how much more will God, at the request of his beloved children, give blessings to those they pray for, which otherwise he would not have given! And how does all experience confirm this! How many times have the petitions of others been answered to our advantage, and ours on the behalf of others!

    But the most decisive of all proofs is the scripture: “Go to my servant Job, and he shall pray for you; for him will I accept.” It was not a temporal blessing which was here in question, but a spiritual, — the forgiveness of their sin. So when St. Paul said, “Brethren, pray for us;” he did not desire this on a temporal account only, that “he might be delivered out of the mouth of the lion;” but on a spiritual, “that he might speak boldly, as he ought to speak.” But the instances of this are innumerable. In proof of the general truth, that God gives us both temporal and spiritual blessings, in answer to each other’s prayers, I need only remind you of one scripture more: “Let them pray over him; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

    The promise in the following verse is still more comprehensive: “Pray one for another, and ye shall be healed” of whatsoever you have confessed to each other.

    I lament over every pious young woman who is not as active as possible; seeing every one shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.

    O, lose no time. Buy up every opportunity of doing good. It does not appear to me that you ought, on any consideration, to give up the privileges you mention. Nether do I apprehend that you would be more useful in a boarding-school than you are in your present station. I cannot, therefore, advise you to relinquish it. You have now a large field of action:

    You have employment enough, both temporal and spiritual; and you have ease enough. Abide in your calling. The pious young woman, whom I particularly lament over, does not live at Bath, but Bristol. But I cannot help her: She allows premises, but holds fast her own conclusion. O, who can bear riches! Who can gain money, without, in some measure, losing grace! I verily believe, if she were as poor as you, she would be as advisable.

    Our Church Catechism is utterly improper for children of six or seven years old. Certainly you ought not to teach it them against your own judgment. I should imagine it would be far better to teach them the short Catechism prefixed to the “Instructions for Children.”

    I am Your affectionate friend.

    DCCX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER.,BRISTOL, March 15, 1777.

    THE

    sea breezes may be of service to you, if you have constant exercise.

    This has brought many from the gates of death. It is beyond all medicine whatever.

    I am in great hopes this sickness will not be unto death, but that the glory of the word may be revealed. Kempis’s rule admits of many exceptions.

    Whatever was the case then, we have now abundant proof, that very “many are made better by sickness;” unless one would rather say “in sickness.” This is one of the grand means which God employs for that purpose. In sickness, many are convinced of sin; many converted to God; and still more confirmed in the ways of God, and brought onward to perfection.

    His gracious design in yours seems to be chiefly this, — to wean you yet more from created things; to make and keep you dead to all below. To this end, you are in a manner cut off from everything, that you may find your all in Him. If He should see good to restore you, you will be an instrument fit for the Master’s use.

    It seems, the best way to profit by that retirement which results from your present weakness, is, to divide your time between reading, meditation, and prayer, intermixed with serious conversation. And when your strength will permit, you must endeavor to do a little good; only take care at first, not to go too far. Some years since, we had a little society at Southampton: Perhaps you may find some fragments of it remaining. May the God of all grace, after you have suffered awhile, made you perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle you!

    I am Your ever affectionate brother.

    DCCXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, February 7, 1778.

    IT is no great matter whether those doubts arose in your mind by conversing with Mr. H., by reading Mr. Law’s later works, or by your own reasoning. But, doubtless, what you mention is a point of the last importance, and deserves our most serious consideration: The rather, because the strange account given of it by some has induced others to deny the doctrine of atonement; although this is the distinguishing point between Deism and Christianity. “The morality of the Bible” (said Lord Huntingdon to me) “I admire; but the doctrine of atonement I cannot comprehend.” Here, then, we divide. Give up the atonement, and we are all agreed.

    This point, therefore, deserves to be largely considered; But that my time will not permit. And it is the less needful, because I have done it already in my letter to Mr. Law; to which I beg you will give a serious reading: whether you have read it before or not. But it is true, I can no more comprehend it than his Lordship: Perhaps I might say, than the angels of God; the highest created understanding. If we attempt to expatiate in this field, we “shall find no end, in wandering mazes lost!” But the question is, (the only question with me; I regard nothing else,) What saith the Scripture? It says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself;” that “He made him, who knew no sin, to be a sin-offering for us.” It says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.” It says, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and he is the atonement for our sins.”

    But it is certain, had God never been angry, he could never have been reconciled. So that in affirming this, Mr. Law strikes at the very root of the atonement, and finds a shorter method of converting Deists, than Mr. Leslie’s! Although, therefore, I do not term God, as Mr. Law supposes, “a wrathful Being,” which conveys a wrong idea; yet I firmly believe be was angry with all mankind and that he was reconciled to them by the death of his Son. And I know he was angry with me, till I believed in the Son of his love; and yet this is no impeachment to his mercy. But he is just, as well as merciful.

    Undoubtedly, as long as the world stands there will be a thousand objections to this scriptural doctrine. For still the preaching of Christ crucified will be foolishness to the wise men of the world. However, let us hold it fast in our heart; as well as in our understanding; and we shall find by happy experience, that this is to us the wisdom of God and the power of God.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCXII.

    To the Same, MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, October 18, 1778.

    I AM not unwilling to write to you, even upon a tender subject, because you will weigh the matter fairly. And if you have a little prepossession, (which who has not?) yet you are willing to give it up to reason.

    The original Methodists were all of the Church of England; and the more awakened they were, the more zealously they adhered to it, in every point, both of doctrine and discipline. Hence we inserted in the very first Rules of our Society, “They that leave the Church, leave us.” And this we did, not as a point of prudence, but a point of conscience. We believed it unlawful to separate from the Church, unless sinful terms of communion were imposed. Just as did Mr. Philip Henry, and most of those holy men that were contemporary with him. “But the Ministers of it do not preach the Gospel.” — Neither do some of the Independent or Anabaptist Ministers. Calvinism is not the Gospel:

    Nay, it is farther from it, them most of the sermons I hear at the Church.

    These are very frequently unevangelical, but they are not anti-evangelical.

    They are (to say no more) equally wrong; and they are far more dangerously wrong. Few of the Methodists are now in danger of imbibing error from the Church Ministers; but they are in great danger of imbibing the grand error, Calvinism, from some of the Dissenting Ministers.

    Perhaps thousands have done it already; most of whom have drawn back to perdition. I see more instances of this than any one else can do; and on this ground also, exhort all who would keep to the Methodists, and from Calvinism, to go to the church, and not to the meeting.

    But to speak freely. I myself find more life in the Church Prayers, than in any formal extemporary prayers of Dissenters. Nay, I find more profit in sermons on either good tempers, or good works, than in what are vulgarly called Gospel sermons. That term has now become a mere cant word: I wish none of our society would use it. It has no determinate meaning. Let but a pert, self-sufficient animal, that has neither sense nor grace, bawl out something about Christ, or his blood, or justification by faith, and his hearers cry out, “What a fine Gospel sermon!” Surely the Methodists have not so learned Christ! We know no Gospel without salvation from sin. There is a Romish error which many Protestants swallow unawares. It is an avowed doctrine of the Romish Church; that the “pure intention of the Minister is essential to the validity of the sacraments.” If so, we ought not to attend the ministrations of an unholy man. But in flat opposition to this, our Church teaches, in the Twenty-eighth Article, that “the unworthiness of the Minister does not hinder the validity of the sacraments.” Although, therefore, there are many disagreeable circumstances, yet I advise all our friends to keep to the Church. God has surely raised us up for the Church chiefly, that a little leaven may leaven the whole lump. I wish you would seriously consider that little tract, “Reasons against a Separation from the Church of England.” Those reasons were never yet answered, and, I believe, they never will.

    I am glad you have undertaken that labor of love, and trust it will increase both your spiritual and bodily strength.

    I am, my dear sister, Yours very affectionately.

    DCCXIII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,WARRINGTON,

    May 17, 1781.

    I HAVE written to Mr. Pawson, and am in hopes that Keyusham will be no more neglected. I did not expect you would meet with any trial of this kind; but it is well to be prepared for all, When Molly Maddern taught a few children at Kingswood, I saw a truly Christian school. To make the children Christians was her first care; afterwards they were taught what women need to learn. I saw another Christian school at Leytonstone, under the care of Miss Bosanquet. I do not remember I discovered any defect, either in the former or the latter: I observed nothing done which I wished to be omitted; nothing omitted which I wished to have done. May I speak without reserve? I verily think I may. I hoped to see a third Christian school at ——; and I did so for a season. But I cannot say, that for some years it has quite answered my expectations. “What then was the matter?” I can hardly tell. I do not know how to express it. I did not see the simplicity which I saw at first. More of the world seemed to be crept in. Good breeding I love; but how difficult is it to keep it quite clear of affectation, and of a something which does not well agree with that mind which was in Christ!

    I want your children to be trained up quite in the manner that Miss Bosanquet’s were. Although they were very genteel, yet there was something in their whole manner which told you they belonged to another world. Mrs. Castleman was one of Molly Maddern’s scholars. She is genteel; yet she is a Christian.

    Make Christians, my dear sister, make Christians! Let this be your leading view. Make such Christians as Miranda, as Miss ——; such as Miss M. was! Let everything else which you teach be subordinate to this. Mind one thing in all! Let it be said of the young women you educate, — “Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye, In all her gestures sanctity and love:” But what power do you want to execute this! Ask, and it shall be given you! May you not have the earnest of it this moment?

    I am, my dear sister, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCXIV.

    -To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, NearLEEDS, July 17, 1781.

    WHEN the school began at ——, it was in all respects a school after my own heart; conducted exactly on the same principles as that of Miss Bosanquet, at Leytonstone. But it declined from its original simplicity, I know not how, by slow degrees; indeed so insensibly, that I hardly know what to blame, and so know not how to cure it.

    If I have to meet the society at Bristol again, I shall kill or cure those unwise and unkind parents who make their children finer than themselves.

    I believe I shall make their ears tingle. As to you, I advise you, first, to be a Bible Christian yourself, inwardly and outwardly. Be not a hair’s breadth more conformable to the fashions of the world than you were when I last saw you. Then train up your children in the self-same way.

    Say to them, with all mildness and firmness, “Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ.” Whoever is pleased or displeased, keep to this; to Christian, primitive simplicity. Perhaps at first you will lose some scholars thereby; but regard not that: God will provide you more. And be assured, nothing shall be wanting that is in the power of, My dear sister, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCXV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,HAVERFORDWEST,

    August 18, FROM the time I heard you were rejected by, I have had a tender regard for you, and a strong hope that without regard to the wisdom, or spirit, or customs of the world, you would (as those at —— did once) Square your useful life below By reason and by grace Hitherto; you have not at all deceived my hope; and I am persuaded you never will. In some of the young ones you will undoubtedly find your labor has not been in vain. What they will be one cannot judge yet; therefore Solomon’s advice is good: “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper.”

    It seems God himself has already decided the question concerning dancing.

    He hath shown his approbation of your conduct, by sending those children to you again. If dancing be not evil in itself; yet it leads young women to numberless evils. And the hazard of these on the one side, seems far to overbalance the little inconveniences on the other. Therefore thus much may certainly be said, You have chosen the more excellent way.

    I would recommend very few novels to young persons, for fear they should be too desirous of more. Mr. Brooke wrote one more, (besides the “Earl of Moreland,”) “The History of the Human Heart.” I think it is well worth reading; though it is not equal to his former production. The want of novels may be supplied by well-chosen histories; such as, “The Concise History of England,” “The Concise History of the Church,” Rollin’s Ancient History, Hooke’s Roman History, (the only impartial one extant,) and a few more. For the elder and more sensible children, Malebranche’s “Search after Truth” is an excellent French book. Perhaps you might add, Locke’s “Essay on the Human Understanding,” with the Remarks in the Arminian Magazine. I had forgotten that beautiful book, “The Travels of Cyrus,” whether in French or English.

    I always am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCXVI.

    To Mr. John Baxendale of Wigan MY DEAR BROTHER,BRISTOL, March 7, 1783.

    I HAD much satisfaction when I was with you last, and hope to spend a light with you again; though I cannot yet fix the time. I agree with you, it would be well if the chapel were properly settled. You do well to lose no opportunity of enlarging your borders. It is an acceptable time. We are now more especially called to preach the Gospel to every creature: And many of the last shall be first. If we live to meet, I shall be glad to converse with that good young woman you speak of. The happy death of that poor mourner was a token for good. It was intended to encourage you in warning every one, and exhorting, everyone; even though you do not see any immediate fruit. In due time you shall reap if you faint not. Strongly exhort all believers to go on to perfection.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXVII.

    To the same. MY DEAR BROTHER LONDON, February 19, 1784.

    YOU do well to put me in mind of my promise; for otherwise I might have forgotten it. It seems at length the time is come for poor Wigan to lift up its hand. I shall be glad to give them a sermon at Winyate myself, in my way from Wigan to Bolton. We should mark the places where God is pleased to work eminently, and strive to pour in all the help we can.

    You would do well to read over and consider the large “Minutes of the Conference.” See if you can thoroughly agree with what is there laid down, both with regard to doctrine and discipline. If you can, then set your hand to the plough in God’s name and never look back. Bet, in as soon as you please ordering your affairs, and go on with circumspection. Meantime, stir up the gift of God that is in you, and do all the good you can.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 25, 1785.

    YOU send me an agreeable account of the work of God in and near Wigan.

    Indeed His work will flourish in every place where full sanctification is clearly and strongly preached. This year I only call on a few societies in my way. My business is with the societies in Ireland. I hope to end at Manchester on Saturday, April 2; at Bolton, the 4th; Wigan, Tuesday, the 5th. Perhaps I might preach at Winyate on my way thither.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,MANCHESTER, April 3, 1787.

    I HAVE thouroughly considered your case; and, considering, two things, — first, the peculiar love of the people towards you, and, secondly, your usefulness to many of them, — I judge that Providence clearly calls you to remain at Wigan.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCXX.

    — To ——. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 23, 1782.

    MANY years since, when I read those words in the lesson for the day, “Son of man, I take from thee the desire of thine eves with a stroke,” I was so affected, that it was not without difficulty I could speak a word more.

    But it was not long before He enabled me to say, “Good is the will of the Lord.” I trust He has taught you that great lesson, which reason alone cannot teach. He has always one end, whether in his pleasing or painful dispensations, to wean us from all things here below, and to unite us to himself. You see the present dispensation of his providence in a true light.

    He is vindicating his right to your whole heart, and claiming you for his own. And He can make you large amends for all He has taken away, by giving you himself.

    Let not this medicine be without its full effect. “It is a great loss to lose an affliction.” Now is the time that you are loudly called to give up yourself wholly to God. It would be your wisest ever, to select two or three for your intimate acquaintances, who are deeply alive to God; and to have no farther intercourse with those who know not God, than necessary business requires. If you form this resolution, and keep steadily to it, you will meet our dear friend again in a little time. May God enable you so to do! His grace is sufficient for you.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCXXI.

    To Miss Frances Godfrey, of Gainsborough. MY DEAR SISTER,LEEDS, July 31, 1784.

    I THANK YOU for giving me so full an account of that extraordinary deliverance. I doubt not but those that were called epileptic fits were owing to a messenger of Satan whom God permitted to buffet you.

    Therefore all human helps were vain. Nothing but the power of God could deliver you. And if you continue to walk humbly and closely with God, he will continue to bruise Satan under your feet, and will add bodily health to the spirit of an healthful mind. Do all you can for so good a Master. And see that you go on to perfection, till you know all that love of God that passeth knowledge.

    I am, my dear sister, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON,

    August 5, 1788.

    YOU have indeed escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and you are delivered. Certainly you have great reason to praise Him who has brought you to the knowledge of his truth; and not only given you to know, but to experience, the truth as it is in Jesus. I felt a love for you from the first time I saw you when you was under those grievous trials. Now that you have recovered some measure of health and strength, employ it all to the glory of Him that gave it. Now go on to perfection! Hunger and thirst after righteousness, till you are satisfied therewith; then you will be more and more near to, My dear Fanny, Yours affectionately.

    My love to your mother.

    DCCXXIII.

    To the Same .

    LEEDS,

    Augus t 4, 1789.

    IT gives me pleasure, my dear Fanny, to hear that you still continue in the good way. Still press to the mark, to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. From what you have already experienced, you know there is one happiness in the earth below, and in heaven above.

    You know God alone can satisfy your soul either in earth or heaven.

    Cleave to Him with full purpose of heart. If you seek happiness in anything but Him, you must be disappointed. I hope you find satisfaction, likewise, in some of your Christian companions. It is a blessed thing, to have fellow travelers to the New Jerusalem. If you cannot find any, you must make them; for none can travel that road alone. Then labor to help each other on, that you may be altogether Christians. Wishing you health both of body and mind, I am, my dear Fanny, Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCXXIV.

    To the Rev. Walter Sellon. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 1, IF only one stone were removed out of the way, the thing might be immediately effected. Only prevail upon John Brandon to spend a month or two in London, or any other part of England, and I will immediately send another Preacher to Leicester, Ashby, and the adjacent places. But, during the present scarcity of laborers, we cannot spare a second for that small Circuit till you spare us the first. It is surprising that, from one end of the land to the other, so little good is done in a regular way. What have you to do but to follow that way which the providence of God points out? And when they drive you from Smithsby, you know where to have both employment, and the things needful for the body. I think also it will be highly profitable for your soul to be near those who have more experience in the ways of God.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHERS LONDON, December 30, 1766.

    IT’ S certain that nothing less than the mighty power of God can ever effect that union. However, in me, mora non erit ulla: 3 And I doubt not you are of the same mind.

    Begin then. Set upon John Goodwin as soon as you please. You are very capable of the work: And you have something more leisure than I have.

    But I would not have you stint yourself for room. The book should be in the letter wherein my abridgment of the “Serious Call” is printed. And if it have three hundred and fifty pages, well.

    Are you tired with ploughing on the sand? Then come away to better work. It is true you would have less money, only forty pounds a year; but you would have more comfort, and more fruit of your labor. Here is a wide and glorious field of action. You might exceedingly help a willing people, as well as strengthen the hands of Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,WAKEFIELD, July 9, 1768.

    I AM glad you have undertaken the “Redemption Redeemed.” But you must in nowise forget Dr. Owen’s Answer to it: Otherwise you will leave a loophole for all the Calvinists to creep out. The Doctor’s evasions you must needs cut in pieces, either interweaving your answers with the body of the work, under each head, or adding them in marginal notes.

    Your ever affectionate brother.

    DCCXXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, December 30, 1769.

    IT is not yet determined whether I should go to America, or not. I have been importuned some time; but nil sat firmi video. 4 I must have a clear call before I am at liberty to leave Europe.

    You should heat your milk, but never let it boil. Boiling robs it of the most nutritious particles. Take care to keep always your body moderately open, and your stomach will not often complain. Mr. Viner did you great honor. Do not make too much haste in dealing with Elisha [Coles]. I am afraid the treatise will be too short. And pray add a word or two to Mr. Toplady, not only with regard to Zanchius, but his; slander on the Church of England. You would do well to give a reading to both his tracts. He does certainly believe himself to be the greatest genius in England.

    Mr. Johnson was grievously short in not mentioning that “other thing” at the Conference, or not till all the money was gone. However, the matter is not much. I think we can procure you thirty pounds in February. I believe you strengthen the hands of our Preachers all you can. You will find Billy Minethorp a right man. His resolution in the late affair was admirable. I have scarce ever seen such another instance in the kingdom.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LEWISHAM, February 21, 1770.

    DO not make too much haste. Give everything the last touch. It will be enough if the papers meet me at Manchester before the end of March. I believe it will be the best way to bestow a distinct pamphlet on Mr. Toplady. Surely wisdom will die with him! I believe we can easily get his other tract, which it would be well to sift to the very foundation, in order to stop the mouth of that vain boaster. I am to set out for Bristol, March 5th; and from Bristol, March 12th.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXIX.

    To the Same. DEAR WALTER, February 1, 1772.

    YOU do not understand your information right. Observe, “I am going to America to turn Bishop.” You are to understand it in sensu composito . 5 I am not to be a Bishop till I am in America. While I am in Europe, there fore, you have nothing to fear. But as soon as ever you hear of my being landed at Philadelphia, it will be time for your apprehensions to revive. It is true some of our Preachers would not have me stay so long; but I keep my old rule: Festina lente. I am, dear Walter, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXX.

    -- To the Same. DEAR SIR,LONDON, June 10, 1784.

    I SINCERELY thank you for your speedy and satisfactory answer. T.

    Maxfield affirms that you either wrote such a deed, or signed it. So fare it well.

    On the 28th of last June I finished my eightieth year. When I was young I had weak eyes, trembling hands; and abundance of infirmities. But, by the blessing of God, I have outlived them all. I have no infirmities now, but what I judge to be inseparable from flesh and blood. This hath God wrought. I am afraid you want the grand medicine which I use, — exercise, and change of air. I believe what you say concerning that place in the Journal is true. I can trust your memory better than my own, You used to meet me when I came near you; but you seem, of late, to have forgotten.

    Your old friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCXXXI.

    To Miss D. Perronet .

    I AM sensible you have many trials; not only such as are grievous to flesh and blood, but such as oppose those desires which are not from nature, but the Spirit of God; and if you chose for yourself, you ought not to choose the situation you are now in. If you did, it would be a great hurt to your soul. It would hinder the work of God in you. But you do not choose for yourself; God chooses for you: And He cannot err; so that you may safely say, “I’ll trust my great Physician’s skill:

    What he prescribes can ne’er be ill” It is true, so it may seem to us, because we are dim-sighted, and dull of understanding: But in this case too we may apply his word, “Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” O believe, and feel Him near! Believe, and experience that blessedness. He calls you into a stormy path; but did He not himself tread it before you? And does He not go with you through the fire, so that you are not burned, neither can the flames kindle upon you? Lie, then, as clay in the potter’s hand, that He may stamp you with all his image. Be still, and know that He is God; — your God, your love, your all. Be as a little child before Him. The word of God to them of old, “Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward,” is undoubtedly spoken to you. Horses, and chariots, and armies, and mountains, and seas, cannot hinder you; for God is on your side. You have Him with you who has all power in heaven. O trust Him, and you shall praise Him! And do not fail to remember in your prayers Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXXXII.

    To the Same. BY and by you shall have the abiding witness of His Spirit; and He will shine upon his own work; and why not now? Ask, and it shall be given you. The Lord is at hand; and He cannot deny himself. Your trials, you know, are all chosen by God. It is the cup which your Father has given you; and he does and will bless it, as long as He is pleased to give it. Just when it is best, He will take it away, and give you outward fellowship with his children. Continue in private prayer, in spite of all coldness and wanderings, and you shall soon pray without ceasing.

    DCCXXXIII.

    To the Same .

    THAT remarkable sinking of spirits did not necessarily imply any preceding unfaithfulness. It might possibly be owing to the body. At such a season, you have nothing to do but simply to give yourself up into the hands of God. Tell him, “Lord, I am thine. I will be thine. I desire to be thine alone for ever. Thou shalt answer for me. Keep thou thine own; and let me do, or suffer, just as seemeth thee good.” What can hurt us, if our eye be single? Look forward! Holiness and heaven are before you. You have no need to determine whether your heart is or is not made new, till the witness speaks within you, and puts it beyond all doubt. You are led in a rough way: It is a safe one. A more smooth way would be more dangerous. Your earnestly desiring the most excellent means of grace, is neither sin nor infirmity. It is right to say, “My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the house of my God.” Read the eightyfourth psalm, and try if your heart answers to it. At present, exercise all the faith you have; and it will be increased day by day.

    DCCXXXIV.

    To the Same .

    DUBLIN,

    March 30,1771.

    I Do not wonder you should find such a nearness to M. B. She is an amiable young woman. When she was with as last, I marked her every word, and almost every meaning; but I could find nothing to reprove.

    There was in all her auctions sanctity and love. God sent her to you in an acceptable time. She came with a good message, and blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were spoken unto her. He will water you every moment, and on this depends the continuance of the great salvation. It will surely continue, if you watch and pray; and yet not without temptation. I expect temptations will come about you, Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the vales.

    But what are temptations to you? He giveth occasions of fighting, that you may conquer. If there is no fight, there is no victory. There is no general rule whereby we can always determine whether a thought come from a good or an evil spirit; but on all particular occasions we may plead that promise, “If a man be willing to do my will, he shall know of the doctrine,” or suggestion, by the light then given, “whether it be of God.”

    I am, etc.

    —————

    DCCXXXV.

    To Miss J. C. M.

    January 30, 1762.

    WHEN you was justified, you had a direct witness that your sins were forgiven: afterward, this witness was frequently intermitted, and yet you did not doubt of it. In like manner, you have had a direct witness that you are saved from sin; and this witness is frequently intermitted; and yet even then you do not doubt of it. But I much doubt, if God withdraws either the one witness or the other, without some occasion given on our part. I never knew any one receive the abiding witness gradually: Therefore I incline to think, this also is given in a moment. But there will be still, after this, abundant room for a gradual growth in grace.

    DCCXXXVI.

    To the Same .

    WHITEHAVEN,

    June 24, 1764.

    YOU give me an agreeable account of the state of things in London, and such as calls for much thankfulness. From different letters I find that there is at length a calm season; God having rebuked the wind and the seas. But I am concerned for you. I cannot doubt a moment but you was saved from sin. Your every act, word, thought, was love, whatever it be now. You was, in a measure, a living witness of the perfection I believe and preach, — the only perfection of which we are capable while we remain in the body. To carry perfection higher is to sap the foundation of it, and destroy it from the face of the earth. I am jealous over you I am afraid lest, by grasping at a shadow, you should have let go the substance; lest, by aiming at a perfection which we cannot have till hereafter; you should east away that which now belongs to the children of God This is love filling the heart. Surely it did fill yours, and it may do now, by simple faith. O cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward!

    Converse much with those who are all alive; who strive, not to pull you down, but to build you up. Accursed be that humility by which shipwreck is made of the faith. Look up, and receive power from on high.

    Receive all you had once, and more than all. Give no place to evil reasoning. You have need to be guarded by a steady, and yet tender hand.

    Be as a little child. The Lord is at hand. He is yours; therefore shall you lack nothing.

    I am, etc.

    DCCXXXVII.

    To the Same .

    NEWCASTLE,

    June 3, 1774.

    YOU are a living witness of two great truths: The one, that there cannot be a lasting, steady, enjoyment of pure love, without the direct testimony of the Spirit concerning it; without God’s Spirit shining on his own work:

    The other, that setting perfection too high is the ready way to drive it out of the world. A third thing you may learn from your own experience is, that the heart of man contains things that one would think incompatible.

    Such are the tempers and sensations of those especially that are renewed in love. Some of them seem to be quite inconsistent with others; so that, if we give way to reasoning on this head, if we will not believe what God has wrought till we can account for all the circumstances attending it, till we know how these things can be, we shall bewilder ourselves more and more, and Find no end, in wandering mazes lost, I believe one thing which has hurt you is, that kind of silence. One use of your present journey may be this: — Learn to speak for God without either fear or shame. You have need to be more simple. Look straight forward; eye one thing! Do not consider that you are a woman, or a gentlewoman. Do not you bear an higher character? What! know you not that your very body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?

    Therefore glorifying God with your body and with your spirit. Give Him the praise that is due unto his name. I am glad you are going to Stroud. It is probable you will see that good young woman, A. Esther. If you do, I hope you will be enabled to encourage her, that she may hold fast the good gift of God. Her experience was exceeding clear when I talked with her last.

    If possible, guard her against evil reasoning; that she may never let go her simplicity. Peace be with all your spirits!

    DCCXXXVIII.

    To the Same. ALNWICK.

    SOMETIMES I have been afraid lest you should sustain loss for want of some reproach or disgrace. Your being young, and a woman of fortune, and not wanting in understanding, were circumstances which, according to the ordinary course of Providence, keep reproach at a distance. However, you shall not escape it, if our blessed Lord sees it to be the best means of purifying your soul. You shall have it just in due measure, and in due time; for He will withhold from you no manner of thing that is good. There is one with me here who seems as yet to be under a peculiar dispensation; — to be wholly screened from the reproach of Christ. There is something in the natural temper, the understanding, the person, and the behavior, of Lady M., which has hitherto prevented reproach; although she is much devoted to God, and in many things quite singular. But she is not careful about it; being willing, whenever He shall see it best, and in whatever measure He shall choose, to share the portion of her Lord. The knowledge of ourselves is true humility; and without this we cannot be freed from vanity; a desire of praise being inseparably connected with every degree of pride. Continual watchfulness is absolutely necessary, to hinder this from stealing in upon us. But as long as we steadily watch and pray, we shall not enter into temptation. It may, and will assault upon every side; But it cannot prevail.

    —————

    DCCXXXIX.

    To Miss Ritchie, afterwards Mrs. Mortimer .

    MY DEAR BETSY,

    May 8, 1774.

    IT is not common for me to write to any one first: I only answer those that write to me. But I willingly make an exception with regard to you; for it is not a common concern that I feel for you. You are just rising into life; and I would fain have you, not almost, but altogether, a Christian. I would have you just such a one as Miranda. And you cannot be content with less: You cannot be satisfied with right notions; neither with harmlessness; no, nor yet with barely eternal religion, how exact soever it be. Nay, you will not be content with a taste of inward religion. This it has pleased God to give you already. You know in whom you have believed; you have tasted of the powers of the world to come: But A taste of love cannot suffice; Your soul for all His fullness cries!

    Cry on, and never cease! Mind not those who rebuke you, that you should hold your peace. Cry so much the more, “Jesus of Nazareth, take away all my sins! Leave none remaining! Speak the word only, and I shall be healed!” Write freely to Yours affectionately.

    DCCXL.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY June 3, 1774.

    I SHALL much want to hear that you stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. It is absolutely certain that you never need lose anything of what God has wrought. He is able, and he is willing, to give you always what he has once given. He will do it, provided you watch unto prayer, and stir up the gift of God which is in you. There is one invariable rule which God observes in all his dealings with the children of men: “Unto him that hath,” uses what he hath, “shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.” When we are justified, He gives us one talent; to those that use this He gives more. When we are sanctified, He gives, as it were, five talents. And if you use the whole power which is then given, He will not only continue that power, but increase it day by day. Meantime be not ignorant of Satan’s devices: He will assault you on every side: He will cast temptations upon you, Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the ground.

    But with every temptation there shall be a way to escape; and you shall be more than conqueror through Him that loves you. You can do, you can suffer, His whole will. Go on in His name, and in the power of His might; and fulfill the joy of Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, June 23, 1774.

    IT gives me pleasure to find that you still stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free; and that in spite of various temptations.. And these indeed you are still to expect; for Satan neither slumbers nor sleeps; and he will strive to torment, if he cannot destroy.

    Nay, God himself, as one observes, “prepareth for thee occasions: of fighting, that thou mayest conquer.” So that you are still called to fight the good fight of faith, and thus to lay hold on eternal life. One admirable help toward conquering all is, for believers to keep close together; to walk hand in hand, and provoke one another to love and to good works. And one means of retaining the pure love of God is, the exhorting others to press earnestly after it. When you meet on a Sunday morning, I doubt not but this will be the chief matter both of your prayers and conversation. You may then expect to be more and more abundantly endued with ponder from on high; witnessing that He is faithful and just both to forgive us our sins, and also to cleanse us forgive all unrighteousness.

    I remain Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, July 31,1774.

    IT gives me much pleasure to find that you stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free. Trials you will have; but they will only be means of uniting you to Him more closely. While your eye is singly fixed on Him, your whole body will be full of light. You will be enabled To trace His example, The world to disdain, And constantly trample On pleasure and sin.

    While you are doing this, you will not find many doubts of the way wherein you should go. The unction of the Holy One will shine in your heart, and shine upon your path; especially if you frequently consider the “Directions for preserving Fervency of Spirit,” and the “Farther Thoughts upon Christian Perfection.” If you should at any time be in doubt concerning any point either of doctrine or practice, use me as a friend, and speak freely to Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, September 1, 1774.

    IT is all admirable Providence which keeps you thus weak in body, till your soul has received more strength. It is good that you should feel how very helpless you are, that you may hang upon Him continually. Are you always sensible of His presence? In what sense do you pray without ceasing? Can you in everything give thanks? And have you a witness in yourself, that all you say and do is well-pleasing to Him?

    Could you but use constant exercise in the open air, I think you would need no other medicine. But it is certain, be your body well or ill, all is best, as long as your soul is stayed on Him. And why should not this be without any intermission, till your spirit returns to God? nay, with a continual increase? For this is your calling, to sink deeper and deeper into Him; out of his fullness to receive more and more, till you know all that love of God that passeth knowledge.

    I hope you do not pass any day without spending some time in private exercises. What do you read at those seasons? Do you read, as it were, by chance; or have you a method in reading? I want you to make the best use that is possible of every means of improvement. Now is the time! Now you have the fervor of youth on your side. Now animal nature is in its perfection. Now your faculties are in their vigor. And happy are you, who have been enabled to begin your race betimes! I hope you are just now minding this one thing; looking unto Jesus, and pressing, on to the mark, to the prize of our high calling! O run, and never tire! So shall your love and zeal always be a comfort to Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLIV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR BETSY,

    November 29, 1774.

    IT gives me pleasure to hear that you have recovered your health. If you find any fresh illness, you should let me know: We must not neglect the body, although the main thing is a healthful mind. There are many excellent things in Madam Guion’s Works; and there are many that are exceedingly dangerous. The more so, because the good things make way for the mischievous ones. And it is not easy, unless for those of much experience, to distinguish the one from the other. Perhaps, therefore, it might be safest for you chiefly to confine yourself to what we have published. You will then neither be perplexed with various sentiments, nor with various language; and you will find enough on every head of religion, speculative or practical.

    I know not whether any method of reading would be more profitable, than to read a chapter of the Old Testament, with the Notes, every morning; and every evening a chapter, or, at least, a section, in the New Testament.

    At other times of the day, I advise you to read our Works regularly from the beginning; marking any tract, or part of a tract, which you find most useful, that you may make it matter of meditation. Some of the most useful to believers are, Mr. Law’s tracts, the Lives of Mr. Brainerd, De Renty, and Thomas Walsh, the tracts translated from the French, and those upon Christian Perfection.

    I am glad you have been with our dear sister C. Converse as much as you can with those of her spirit: They are the excellent ones of the earth. You must not give place, no, not for a day, to inactivity. Nothing is more apt to grow upon the soul: The less you speak or act for God, the less you may.

    If elder persons do not speak, you are called, like Elihu, to supply this lack of service. Whether you are young or old, is not material: Speak, and spare not! Redeem the time: Be fervent in spirit! Buy up every opportunity; and be always a comfort to Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, January 17, 1775.

    I BEG, if you love me, you will send me a minute account how you are, both in body and mind. Some of the Mystic writers do not choose to speak plainly; some of them know not how. But, blessed be God; we do; and we know, there is nothing deeper, there is nothing better, in heaven or earth, than love! There cannot be, unless there were something higher than the God of love! So that we see distinctly what we have to aim at. We see the prize; and the way to it! Here is the height, here is the depth, of Christian experience! “God is love; and he that dwelleth in lore, dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

    Mr. Fletcher has given us a wonderful view of the different dispensations which we are under. I believe that difficult subject was never placed in so clear a light before. It seems God has raised him up for this very thing, — To vindicate eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to man.

    By confining yourself to those who write clearly, your understanding will be opened and strengthened, far more than by reading a multiplicity of authors; at the same time your heart will be enlarged, and, I trust, more and more united to Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, March 23, 1775.

    I AM glad you have had an opportunity of spending a little time at L——, and with Miss B. This, I doubt not, has been a blessed means of increasing your spiritual strength. And I trust you will find more and more opportunity of using whatever strength you have, even at O——.

    Wherever the work of God revives, we are more particularly called to work together with him. Now be instant in season and out of season!

    Redeem the time! Buy up every opportunity. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening slack not thy hand; and God will give the increase!

    In a day or two I expect to embark. Possibly in autumn we may meet again; and, in the mean time, I am persuaded you will not forget Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLVII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR

    Betsy, November 29, 1770. “TEMPTATIONS,” says one, “and distinct deliverances from temptations, avail much.” I do not doubt but you have found it so, with regard to your late trials; although there are none which it is harder to withstand at your time of life. I am glad you were enabled to withstand that plausible temptation, which few young women have power to resist; particularly when you had to encounter the persuasions of those you esteemed and loved.

    Mr. C., I think, will do some good; and I am persuaded he will do no hurt.

    I am glad Mr. T. has given you a little more employment; and a glorious employment it is to be a “fellow-worker with God!” O may you be found faithful! Be zealous for God! Be diligent! Be patient! And never forget Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLVIII.

    To the same. MY DEAR BETSY, July 15, 1776.

    I SUPPOSE YOU wait for my writing first. Nay, I hope this is the case; otherwise, I should be afraid that you were fallen ill again. How is your health? And how is your mind? Do you find as near and as constant a communion with God as ever? Are you always happy? Does no circumstance interrupt or deaden your spirit of prayer? Do you feel nothing contrary to resignation? Can you say with your whole heart, — “Determined all thy will to’ obey, Thy blessings I restore:

    Give, Lord, or take thy gifts away, I praise thee evermore?”

    The word of our Lord to you is, “Feed my lambs.” Me thinks I see you giving yourself up, as far as possibly you can, to that blessed work; carrying the weak, as it were, in your bosom, and gently leading the rest to the waters of comfort. Meantime your own soul will enjoy a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. If you find any perplexing temptation in your way, you should not scruple to let me know. Youth is the season for many of the most dangerous temptations incident to human nature. But indeed you are preserved from many of these, by your settled determination to slight all dreams of creature happiness, and give your heart to Him who alone is worthy. And believe me to remain Yours affectionately.

    DCCXLIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, August 12, 1776.

    TO talk of “thinking without ideas,” is stark nonsense. Whatever is presented to your mind is an idea; so that, to be without ideas, is not to think at all. Seeing, feeling, joy, grief, pleasure, pain, are ideas. Therefore, to be without ideas, is to be without either sense or reason. Mr.—— certainly does not understand the word: He mistakes it for images.

    O desire nothing different in nature from love! There is nothing higher in earth or heaven. Whatever he speaks of, which seems to be higher, is either natural or, preternatural enthusiasm. Desire none of those extraordinaries.

    Such a desire might be an inlet to a thousand delusions. I wish your desires may all center in that, — “I want the witness, Lord, That all I do is right!

    According to thy will and word, Well pleasing in thy sight!

    I ask no higher state, Indulge me but in this!

    And soon, or later, then translate To my eternal bliss.”

    You say, Satan had laid a snare for you. What snare was that? I am concerned in whatever concerns you. O continue to remember, in all your prayers, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCL.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, September 20, 1776.

    SOME time since, you certainly were in danger of exchanging the plain religion of the Bible, for the refined one of Mysticism; a danger which few can judge of but those that feel it. This my brother and I did for several years. This scheme, especially as Madam Guion has polished and improved it, gives a delicate satisfaction to whatever of curiosity and self esteem lies hid in the heart. It was particularly liable to make an impression upon you, as it came recommended by one you had a friendship for, whom you knew to be upright and sincere, and who had both sense and a pleasing address. At the same time, that subtle enemy, “who beguiled Eve by his subtilty,” would not fail to enforce the temptation. The more reason you have to bless God, that you are delivered out of the snare of the fowler. “He that followeth me,” says our Lord, “walketh not in darkness.”

    Nothing can be more certain. Closely follow Him, and you will never come into any darkness of soul. On the contrary, your light shall shine more and more unto the perfect day. Nothing but sin can bring you into confusion; and this, I trust, God has bruised under your feet. Surely then you have no need of ever losing the least part of what God has given you. But you may “stand fast in glorious liberty” till your spirit returns to God.

    I remain Yours affectionately.

    DCCLI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, June 16, 1777.

    I WRITE a few lines, on condition that you will not write, if it does you hurt: It certainly will, if you lean upon your breast, or if you write much at a time. But perhaps (of which you yourself must be the judge) you might write a few lines now and then. Do you still find your will wholly given up? Have you no choice as to life or death? And have you no choice as to the manner of your death? Are you not afraid of the pain of dissolution? Can you freely part with all your friends here?

    And to unknown somewhere wing away?

    Do you never lose your consciousness of the presence of the Three-One God? And is your testimony of his Spirit, that you are saved from inward sin, never obscured? Are you always happy? Do you always enjoy a hope full of immortality? I ask many questions, that you may have an opportunity of being a witness for God, whether you live or die. I think, in life or death, you will not forget Yours affectionately.

    DCCLII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, August 2, 1777.

    IT is with great pleasure I learn, that God has been pleased to lift you up from the gates of death, and that your strength is considerably increased, although you are far from being out of danger. When, and in what manner, was this change wrought? Can you impute it to any outward circumstance? How did you feel your mind affected, when you found a return of strength? Did you rejoice or grieve? Or calmly desire, “Let the will of the Lord be done?” In what respects are you better than when I saw you? In what respects are you the same, or worse? Give me as particular an recount as you can. Do you find your soul as much alive to God as ever? Does not the corruptible body press down the soul? Do you feel faith’s abiding impression, realizing things to come? Do you live in eternity, and walk in eternity? And do you still (as Mr. De Renty says) “carry about with you an experimental verity, and a fullness of the presence of the ever-blessed Trinity?”

    I remain Yours affectionately.

    DCCLIII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR BETSY,

    August 24, 1777.

    EVER since I was informed that it has pleased God in some measure to restore your strength, I have lived in hope that he will yet be entreated, and will give you back to our prayers. Do you still find the same consciousness of the presence of the ever-blessed Trinity? Do you find it day and night? In the midst of trials, does it remain the same? But one would be ready to ask, excepting a weak body, what trials can you have?

    Seduced from the world, and all its care; Hast thou to joy or grieve, to hope or fear?

    Unless it be for this, — You long to please all for their good; but you cannot succeed. You would fain give them satisfaction; but they will not be satisfied. This may be a close trial.

    Send as particular an account as you can of the state both of your body and mind, to Yours affectionately.

    DCCLIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, October 6, 1778.

    SINCE I saw her, I have had the pleasure of receiving two letters from — —; and I am more and more convinced, that she has sustained no real loss from her late trials. Indeed the greatness of them proved the greatness of her grace; otherwise, she must have utterly fainted. But I am afraid the poor tenement of clay has received such a shock as will not easily be repaired. The wonderful behavior of Mrs.—— was more than it was well able to bear. But the comfort is, He with whom we have to do is the Physician.

    I doubt whether any embodied spirit can feel such entire self-assessment as is felt by those spirits that see the face of our Father which is in heaven.

    And, undoubtedly, the nearer they approach the throne, the more abased they will be.

    The plerophory (or full assurance) of faith is such a divine testimony, that we are reconciled to God, as excludes all doubt and fear concerning it. This refers only to what is present. The plerophory (or full assurance) of hope is a divine testimony, that we shall endure to the end; or, more directly, that we shall enjoy God in glory. This is by no means essential to, or inseparable from, perfect love. It is sometimes given to those that are not perfected in love, as it was to Mr. Grimshaw. And it is not given (at least not for some time) to many that are perfected in love. I do not say, you ought to pray for it; but I think you may, only with absolute resignation.

    In this, as in all things, His manner and His time are best I rejoice to hear of the continuance of your health. But you will still need constant exercise; to which should be added, as often as may be, change of air. That you may enjoy more and more health, both of soul and body, is the prayer of Yours affectionately.

    DCCLV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, February 12, 1779.

    THE remark of Luther; “that a revival of religion seldom continues above thirty years,” has been verified many times in several countries. But it will not always hold. The present revival of religion in England has already continued fifty years. And, blessed be God, it is at least as likely to continue, as it was twenty or thirty years ago. Indeed, it is far more likely; as it not only spreads wider, but sinks deeper, than ever; more and more persons being able to testify that the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin.

    We have therefore reason to hope that this revival of religion will continue, and continually increase, till the time when all Israel shall be saved, and the fullness of the Gentiles shall come.

    I have heard that Mr.—— is in London, but have not heard where he is, or what he does. As far as I can learn, he lives in the utmost privacy, and does not preach at all. He seems to think that his present calling is to be a hermit in London.

    Surely it is your wisdom to stand fast even in the outward liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. You are now happily disengaged from caring for the things of this world; and need only care for the things of the Lord; how you may be holy in body and spirit, and how you may promote his kingdom upon earth.

    I have abundant proof that Baron Swedenborg’s fever, which he had thirty years before he died, much affected his understanding. Yet his tract is “majestic, though in ruins.” He has strong and beautiful thoughts, and may be read with profit by a serious and cautious reader.

    Some weeks since, I began another Journal, and am going on with it, when I have any scraps of time: Probably it will be finished next month. I expect to visit Yorkshire this spring, when I hope to see you.

    I am Yours affectionately.

    DCCLVI.

    To the Same. LONDON, January 19, 1782.

    IT seemed a little strange to me, my dear Betsy, that I did not hear from you for so long a time. But I imputed your silence to your bodily weakness, of which several of our friends sent me word.

    From our brethren in various parts of England and Ireland, I have very pleasing accounts of the uncommon blessings which many received at the time of renewing their covenant with God. I am glad to hear that you at Otley had your share. That point, entire salvation from inbred sin, can hardly ever be insisted upon, either in preaching or prayer, without a particular blessing. Honest Isaac Brown firmly believes this doctrine, that we are to be saved from all sin in this life. But I wish, when opportunity serves, you would encourage him, 1. To preach Christian perfection, constantly, strongly, and explicitly: 2. Explicitly to assert and prove, that it may be received now: And, 3. (Which indeed is implied therein,) that it is to be received by simple faith.

    In every state of mind, in that of conviction, or justification, or sanctification, I believe every person may either go sensibly backward, or seem to stand still, or go forward. I incline to think, all the persons you mention were fully sanctified. But some of them, watching unto prayer, went on from faith to faith; while the others, being less watchful, seemed to stand still, but were, indeed, imperceptibly back sliding. Wishing you all may increase with all the increase of God, I am Ever yours.

    DCCLVII.

    To The Same. MY DEAR BETSY,BRISTOL, July 20, 1783.

    IT seemed a long time since I heard from you; but I believe your not writing was owing to your not knowing how to direct to me while I was abroad. The prayers of many were productive of many blessings, and in particular of the amazing friendship and goodwill which were shown us in every place. We always looked upon the Dutch as a heavy, dull, stoical people. But, truly, most, nay, I may say, all, with whom we conversed familiarly, were as tenderhearted and as earnestly affectionate as the Irish themselves. Two of our sisters, when we left the Hague, came twelve miles with us on our way; and one of our brethren of Amsterdam came to take leave of us to Utrecht, above thirty miles. There are, indeed, many precious souls in Utrecht full of faith and love, as also at Haerlem, the Hague, and Amsterdam. And one and all (without any human teaching) dress as plainly as you do. I believe, if my life be prolonged, I shall pay then a visit at least every other year. Had I had a little more time, I would have visited our brethren in Frieslaud and Westphalia likewise; for a glorious work of God is lately broken out in both these provinces.

    Miss L—— is an Israelite indeed: She is a pattern to all that are round about her. One would scarcely have expected to see the daughter of the head Burgomaster dressed on a Sunday in a plain linen gown. She appears to have but one desire, — that Christ may reign alone in her heart.

    I do not remember any storm which traveled so far as that on the 10th. It has been in almost all parts of England, but especially at Witney, near Oxford. The next night they had a far greater, which seemed to cover the whole town for four hours, with almost one uninterrupted blaze; and it has made such an impression on high and low, rich and poor, as had not been known in the memory of man.

    I expect a good deal of difficulty at this Conferences and shall stand in need of the prayers of you and your friends. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY,TRACEEN PEMBROKESHIRE, August 19, I WAS a little surprised at a letter from sister D——, in which she seems to approve of all that Mrs. C. has done; and speaks as if it were just and right, and done in obedience to the order of Providence I could not help saying, “There is but one advice which I can give her upon the present occasion: ‘Remember from whence thou art fallen. Repent, and do thy first works.’” Some years ago, I committed a little company of lovely children to the care of one of our sisters at Haverford. I was concerned yesterday to find she was weary of well doing, and had totally given up her charge. I hope, my dear Betsy; this will never be your case! You will never leave off your labor of love; though you should not always (not immediately, at least) see the fruit of your labors. You may not immediately see Mrs. H—— so established in grace as you desire and hope. But, in this, as well as many other instances, in due time “you shall reap, if you faint not.”

    I have been often musing upon this, — why the generality of Christians, even those that really are such, are less zealous and less active for God when they are middle-aged, than they were when they were young. May we not draw an answer to this question from that declaration of our Lord, (no less than eight times repeated by the Evangelists,) “To him that hath,” uses what he hath, “shall be given; but from him that hath not, shall be taken away that he hath?” A measure of zeal and activity is given to every one, when he finds peace with God. If he earnestly and diligently uses this talent, it will surely be increased. But if he ceases (yea, or intermits) to do good, he insensibly loses both the will and the power. So there is no possible way to retain those talents, but to use them to the uttermost. Let this never be the case of my dear friend! Never abate anything of your diligence in doing good. Sometimes, indeed, the feeble body sinks under you; but when you do all you can, you do enough.

    Remember, in all your prayers, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY,DUBLIN, June 26, 1785.

    OUR

    Lord has indeed poured out abundance of blessings, almost in every part of this kingdom. I have now gone through every province, and visited all the chief societies, and I have found far the greater part of them increasing both in number and strength. Many are convinced of sin; many justified; and not a few perfected in love. One means of which is, that several of our young Preachers, of whom we made little account, appear to be (contrary to all expectation) men full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost; and they are pushing out, to the right hand and the left; and wherever they go, God prospers their labor. I know not whether Thomas Walsh will not revive in two, if not three, of them.

    Many years ago I was saying, “I cannot imagine how Mr. Whitefield can keep his soul alive, as he is not now going through honor and dishonor, evil report and good report; having nothing but honor and good report attending him wherever he goes.” It is now my own case: I am must in the condition now that he was then in. I am become, I know not how, an honorable man. The scandal of the cross is ceased; and all the kingdom, rich and poor, Papists and Protestants, behave with courtesy, nay, and seeming goodwill! It seems as if I had well-nigh finished my course, and our Lord was giving me an honorable discharge.

    My dear B., have you not something to do in Dublin? If so, the sooner you visit our friends, the better. Peace be with your Spirit!

    Adieu!

    DCCLX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY,LONDON, February 24, 1786.

    IT is doubtless the will of the Lord we should be guided by our reason, so far as it can go. But in many cases it gives us very little light, and in others none at all.

    In all cases it cannot guide us right, but in subordination to the unction of the Holy One. So that in all our ways we are to acknowledge Him, and He will direct our paths.

    I do not remember to have heard or read anything like my own experience.

    Almost ever since I can remember, I have been led in a peculiar way. I go on in an even line, being very little raised at one time, or depressed at another. Count Zinzendorf observes, there are three different ways wherein it pleases God to lead his people. Some are guided almost in every instance by apposite texts of Scripture. Others see a clear and plain reason for everything they are to do. And yet others are led not so much by Scripture or reason, as by particular impressions. I am very rarely led by impressions, but generally by reason and by Scripture. I see abundantly more than I feel. I want to feel more love and zeal for God.

    My very dear friend, adieu!

    —————

    DCCLXI.

    To Mr. Robert Marsden, at Mr. Frith’s, Grocer, in Sheffield. BRISTOL, August 31, 1756.

    A CARELESS reader of the Address may possibly think, I make it necessary for a Minister to have much learning and thence imagine I act inconsistently; seeing many of our Preachers have no learning at all. But the answer is easy. First, I do not make any learning necessary even for a Minister (the Minister of a parish, who, as such, undertakes single to guide and feed, to instruct and govern, that whole flock) but the knowledge of the Scriptures: Although many branches of learning are highly expedient for him. Secondly, These Preachers are not Ministers: None of them undertakes single the care of a whole flock; but ten, twenty, or thirty, one following and helping another, and all under the direction of my brother and me, undertake jointly what (as I judge) no man in England is equal to alone.

    Fight your way through all. God is on your side. And what then can man do to you? Make known all your wants to Him, and you shall have the petitions you ask of Him.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCLXII.

    To Mr. C. Glascott, Jesus College, Oxon. DEAR SIR,NEWCASTLE- UPON-TYNE, May 11, 1764.

    IT is an unspeakable blessing, that God has given you to taste of the powers of the world to come. And He is willing to give always what He gives once. You need lose nothing of what you have received. Rather expect to receive more every moment; grace upon grace. And be not content till you are a Christian altogether, till your soul is all love, “till you can rejoice evermore, and pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.”

    It you are not already, it may be of use to you to be acquainted with Mr. Crosse, of Edmund-hall. He has a sound judgment, and an excellent temper; and you have need of every help, that you may not lose what God hath wrought, but may have a full reward. A little tract wrote by Bishop Bull, entitled, “A Companion for Candidates for holy Orders,” was of much use to me. In order to be well acquainted with the doctrines of Christianity, you need but one book, (besides the Bible,) — Bishop Pearson on the Creed. This I advise you to read and master thoroughly: It is a library in one volume. But above all be much in prayer, and God will withhold no manner of thing that is good.

    I am Your affectionate servant.

    —————

    DCCLXIII.

    To Mr. (afterwards Dr.) John Whitehead.. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, August 15, 1767.

    AS you desired it, you may labor in Lancashire for the ensuing year.

    I have considered what you say, concerning the usefulness of being present at the general Conference. And I think we may steer a middle course. I will only require a select number to be present. But I will permit any other Traveling Preacher who desires it, to be present with them.

    O let us be all alive to God, and all athirst for his whole image!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCLXIV.

    To Miss C——, Armagh. CLANMAIN, June 8, 1773.

    DO not think it strange, my dear Miss C——, that I write to you: The regard I have for you constrains me. It is possible, I may see you no more:

    I am not young, and you are not healthy; nay, and the ten thousand gates of death stand continually open to every child of man. Will you take it ill then, that I tell you freely, you have been much upon my mind? Ever since I saw you first, I felt an earnest desire, that you should be wise and happy; that you should make the best of a few uncertain days, and improve the time which flees away as a shadow, and knows not to return.

    Believe me, my dear maid, what are called pleasures and diversions can give you no solid happiness. They are poor, empty, insignificant trifles:

    And you was made for better things. You are not only to consider yourself as having an agreeable person: You are an immortal spirit. You was made a little lower than the angels, that you may live with them for ever. You are come forth from God, and are returning to God, as fast as a few fleeting years can carry you. But I am in pain for you: I am concerned lest you should forget this, like other pretty, giddy, unthinking creatures. What if it should be said of you, — “At dawn poor Stella danced and sung; The gazing youth around her bow’d:

    At night her passing-bell was rung; I saw, and kiss’d her in her shroud!”

    O make haste. Be a Christian, a real Bible Christian now! You may say, “Nay, I am a Christian already.” I fear not. (See how freely I speak.) A Christian is not afraid to die. Are not you? Do you desire to depart, and to be with Christ? A Christian is happy in God. Are you? Can you say, — “I nothing need, beneath, above, Happy, happy, in thy love?”

    A Christian (though perhaps he never heard the name o a Methodist) has power over all sin. Have you? If not, it is certain you may; for God is no respecter of persons. Whatsoever he has given to any other, He is willing, to give to you also. O let your heart cry to Him, “What I know not teach thou me. Let me not die before I long to die! Give me the wisdom that sitteth by thy throne, and reject me not from among thy children!” To His care I tenderly commit you; and am, My dear Miss C——, Yours affectionately.

    If you love me, hear Mr. Saunderson preach.

    —————

    DCCLXV.

    To Mrs. Knapp, Worcester. MY DEAR SISTER,BIRMINGHAM, March 25, 1781.

    I ALWAYS loved you since I knew you; but lately more than ever, because I believe you are more devoted to God, and more athirst for his whole image. I have been seriously considering your case, and I will tell you my thoughts freely. Your body frequently presses down your spirit, by reason of your nervous disorder. What then can be done, in order to lessen at least, if not to remove it? Perhaps it mar be entirely removed, if you can take advice. And I think you can by God’s assistance. I advise you, 1. Sleep early. Never sit up later than ten o’clock, for any business whatever; no, not for reading or prayer. Do not offer murder for sacrifice. 2. Rise early: Never lie more than seven hours; unless when you lie in. 3. Beware of Satan transformed into an angel of light: He can hurt you no other way; as your heart is upright toward God, and you desire to please Him in all things. 4. Take advice, as far as you possibly can, of brother Knapp. Two are better than one He loves you tenderly, and God will often give him light for you!

    I wish you to be always full of faith and love, and a pattern to all that are round about you.

    I am, my dear sister, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCLXVI.

    To the Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in America. MY DEAR BROTHER,DUBLIN, June 16, 1785.

    DR.COKE gives some account of you in his Journal; so that, although I have not seen you, I am not a stranger to your character. By all means send me, when you have an opportunity, a more particular account of your experience and travels. It is no way improbable that God may find out a way for you to visit England; and it may be the means of your receiving more strength, as well as more light. It is a very desirable thing that the children of God should communicate their experience to each other; and it is generally most profitable when they call do it face to face.

    Till Providence opens a way for you to see Europe, do all you can for a good Master in America.

    I am glad brother Crumble and you have undertaken that “labor of love” of visiting Nova-Scotia; and doubt not but you act in full concert with the little handful who were almost alone till you came. It will be the wisest way to make all those who desire to join together, thoroughly acquainted with the whole Methodist plan; and to accustom them, from the very beginning to the accurate observance of all our rules. Let none of them rest in being half-Christians. Whatever they do, let them do it with their might; and it will be well, as soon as any of them find peace with God, to exhort them to “go on to perfection.” The more explicitly and strongly you press all believers to aspire after full sanctification, as attainable now by simple faith, the more the whole work of God will prosper.

    I do not expect any great matters from the Bishop. I doubt his eve is not single; and if it be not, he will do little good to you, or any one else. It may be a comfort to you that you have no need of him. You want nothing which he can give.

    It is a noble proposal of brother Marchington; but I doubt it will not take place. You do not know the state of the English Methodists: They do not roll in money, like many of the American Methodists. It is with the utmost difficulty that we can raise five or six hundred pounds a year to supply our Contingent expenses; so that it is entirely impracticable to raise five hundred pounds among them to build houses in America. It is true, they might do much; but it is a sad observation, they that have most money have usually least grace.

    The peace of God be with all your spirits!

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCLXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, September 30, 1786.

    I TRUST before this comes to hand you and Dr. Coke will have met, and refreshed each other’s bowels in the Lord. I can exceedingly ill spare him from England, as I have no Clergyman capable of supplying his lack of service; but I was convinced he was more wanted in America than in Europe. For it is impossible; but offenses will come; and “of yourselves will men arise speaking perverse things,” and striving “to draw away disciples after them.” It is a wonderful blessing, they are restrained so long, till the poor people are a little grounded in the faith. You have need to watch over them with your might. Let those that have set their hands to the plough continually “pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth more laborers into his harvest.”

    It is far better to send your Journals as they are, than not to send them at all. I am afraid it is too late in the season to send books this year; but I hope Dr. Coke has brought some with him to serve you for the present. I was far off from London when he set sail. Most of those in England who have riches love money, even the Methodists; at least those who are called so. The poor are the Christians. I am quite out of conceit with almost all those who have this world’s goods. Let us take care to lay up our treasure in heaven. Peace be with your spirit!

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCLXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER, November 30, 1786.

    YOU have great reason to be thankful to God, that he lets you see the fruit of your labors. Whenever any are awakened, you do well to join them together immediately. But do not advise you to go on too fast. It is not expedient to break up more ground than you can keep; to preach at any more places than you or your brethren can constant]y attend. To preach once in a place, and no more, very seldom does any good; it only alarms the devil and his children, and makes them more upon their guard against a first assault.

    Wherever there is any Church service, I do not approve of any appointment the same hour; because I love the Church of England, and would assist, not oppose, it all I can. How do the inhabitants of Shelburn, Halifax, and other parts of the province, go on as to temporal things? Have they trade? Have they sufficiency of food, and the other necessaries of life? And do they increase or decrease in numbers? It seems there is a scarcity of some things, — of good ink, for yours is so pale that many of your words are not legible.

    As I take it for granted that you have had several conversations with Dr. Coke, I doubt not you proposed all your difficulties to him, and received full satisfaction concerning them. Commending you to Him who is able to guide and strengthen you in all things, I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    P.S. Probably we shall send a little help for your building, if we live till Conference. Observe the rules for building laid down in the Minutes.

    I see nothing of your Journal yet. I am afraid of another American Revolution. I do not know how to get the enclosed safe to Dr. Coke:

    Probably you know. On second thoughts, I think it best not to write to him at present.

    DCCLXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,MACCLESFIELD, July 16, 1787.

    I HAVE your letter of March 15, and that of May 20. In the former you give me a pleasing account of the work of God in Halifax and other towns in Nova-Scotia; and indeed everywhere except poor Shelburn, from which I had an excellent account a few years ago. Shall the first be last? What could have occasioned the decrease of the work there? St. Paul’s advice is certainly good for all Methodist Preachers, — that “it is good for a man not to touch a woman;” and, “if thou mayest be free, use it rather:” And yet I dare not exclude those who marry out of our Connection, or forbid to marry; but happy are those who, having no necessity laid upon them, stand fast in the glorious liberty. I commend you for laying as little burden upon the poor people as possible.

    Before I had printing presses of my own, I used to pay two-and-thirty shillings for printing two-and twenty pages duodecimo. The paper was from twelve to sixteen shillings a ream. I do not blame you for printing those tracts.

    But you do not send me your Journal yet. Surely you had time enough to write it over. Dr. Coke seems to think you are irresolute, yet not willing to take advice. I hope better things of you; and your heart says to God and man, “What I know not, teach thou me,” I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCLXX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, January 24, 1789.

    IT signifies but little where we are, so we are but fully employed for our good Master. Whether you went, therefore, to the east; it is all one, so you were laboring to promote His work. You are following the order of His providence wherever it appeared, as a holy man strongly expressed it in a kind of holy disordered order. But there is one expression that occurs twice or thrice in yours, which gives me some concern: You speak of finding “freedom” to do this or that. This is a word much liable to be abused. If I have plain Scripture, or plain reason, for doing a thing well.

    These are my rules, and my only rules. I regard not whether I had freedom or no. This is an unscriptural expression, and a very fallacious rule. I wish to be, in every point, great and small, a scriptural, rational Christian.

    In one instance, formerly, you promised to send me your Journal. Will you break your word, because you do not find freedom to keep it? Is not this enthusiasm? O be not of this way of thinking! You know not whither it may lead you. You are called to Square your useful life below By reason and by grace.

    But whatever you do with regard to me you must do quickly or you will no more in this world.

    Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCLXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,CHESTER, July 15, 1789.

    YOU are entirely in the right. There can be no manner of doubt, that it was the enemy of souls that hindered your sending me your experience. Many parts both of your inward and outward experience ought by no means to be suppressed. But if you are minded to send anything to me, you have no time to lose. Whatever you do for me you must do quickly; lest death have quicker wings than love. A great man observes that there is a three-fold leading of the Spirit. Some He leads by giving them, on every occasion, apposite texts of Scripture; some by suggesting reasons for every step they take, — the may by which He chiefly leads me; and some by impressions: But he judges the last to be the least desirable way; as it is often impossible to distinguish dark impressions from divine, or even diabolical!

    I hope you will not long delay to write more particularly to Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCLXXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 3, TWO or three days ago, I had the pleasure of a letter from you, dated August 23d, 1789, giving me a comfortable account of the swift and extensive progress of the work of God in America. You likewise informed me that you had written an account of your life, and directed it should be sent to me; and I have been expecting it from day to day ever since, but have now almost given up my expectation; for, unless it comes soon, it will hardly overtake me in the present world. You see time has shaken me by the hand, and death is not far behind. While we live, let us work our Lord’s work betimes; and in His time he will give us our full reward.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCLXXIII.

    To the Rev. Francis Asbury. LONDON, September 20, 1788.

    THERE is indeed a wide difference between the relation wherein you stand to the Americans, and the relation wherein I stand to all the Methodists.

    You are the elder brother of the American Methodists I am, under God, the father of the whole family. Therefore, I naturally care for you all in a manner no other person can do. Therefore, I, in a measure, provide for you all; for the supplies. Which Dr. Coke provides for you, he could not provide, were it not for me, — were it not that I not only permit him to collect, but also support him in so doing.

    But in one point, my dear brother, I am a little afraid, both the Doctor and you differ from me. I study to be little; you study to be great. I creep; you strut along. I found a school; you a college! nay, and call it after your own names! 7 O, beware, do not seek to be something! Let me be nothing, and “Christ be all in all!”

    One instance of this, of your greatness, has given me great concern. How can you, how dare you, suffer yourself to be called Bishop? I shudder, I start at the very thought! Men may call me a knave or a fool, a rascal, a scoundrel, and I am content: But they shall never, by my consent, call me Bishop! For my sake, for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, put a full end to this! Let the Presbyterians do what they please, but let the Methodists know their calling better.

    Thus, my dear Franky, I have told you all that is in my heart. And let this, when I am no more seen, bear witness how sincerely I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCLXXIV.

    To Miss Hester Ann Roe, afterwards Mrs. Rogers. WHITEHAVEN, May 3, 1776.

    WITH

    pleasure I sit down to write to my dear Miss Roe, who has been much upon my mind since I left Macclesfield. Once I saw my dear friend, Miss Beresford: When I came again, she was in Abraham’s bosom. Once I have seen her living picture, drawn by the same hand, and breathing the same spirit; and I am afraid I shall hardly see you again, till we meet in the garden of God. But if you should gradually decay, if you be sensible of the hour approaching when your spirit is to return to God; I should be glad to have notice of it, wherever I am, that if possible I might see you once more before you Clap your glad wing, and soar away, And mingle with the blaze of day.

    Perhaps in such a circumstance, I might be of some little comfort to your dear mamma, who would stand in much need of comfort; and, it may be, our blessed Master would enable me to teach you at once, and learn of you, to die! In the mean time, see that you neglect no probable means of restoring your health; and send me, from time to time, a particular account of the state wherein you are. Do you feel your own will quite given up to God, so that you have no repugnance to His will in anything? Do you find no strivings of pride? no remains of vanity? no desire of praise, or fear of dispraise? Do you enjoy an uninterrupted sense of the loving presence of God? How far does the corruptible and decaying body press down the soul? Your disorder naturally sinks the spirits, and occasions heaviness and dejection. Can you, notwithstanding this, “rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks?” Certainly before the root of sin is taken array, believers may live above the power of it. Yet what a difference between the first love, and the pure love. You can explain this to Mr. Roe by your own experience. Let him follow on, and how soon may he attain it!

    I am glad you wrote to Miss Yates, and hope you will write to Miss ——.

    As to health, they are both nearly as you are; only Miss —— is a little strengthened by a late journey. I never conversed with her so much before.

    I can give you her character in one line. She is “all praise, all meekness, and all love.” If it will not hurt you, I desire you will write often to, My dear Hetty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCLXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,NEWCASTLE- UPON-TYNE, June 2, 1776.

    IT is not uncommon for a person to be thoroughly convinced of his duty to call sinners to repentance, several years before he has an opportunity of doing it. This has been the case with several of our Preachers. Probably it may be the case with Mr. Roe: God may show him now what he is to do hereafter. It seems, his present duty is to wait the openings of divine Providence.

    If I durst, I should earnestly desire that you might continue with us a little longer. I could almost say, it is hard that I should just see you once and no more. But it is a comfort, that to die is not to be lost. Our union will be more full and perfect hereafter.

    Surely our disembodied souls shall join, Surely my friendly shade shall mix with thine:

    To earth-born pain superior, light shall rise Through the wide waves of unopposing skies; Together swift ascend heaven’s high abode, Converse with angels, and rejoice with God.

    Tell me, my dear Hetty, do you experience something similar to what Mr. De Renty expresses in those strong words: “I bear about with me an experimental verity, and a plenitude of the presence of the ever-blessed Trinity?” Do you commune with God in the night season? Does He bid you even in sleep, Go on? And does He “make your very dreams devout?”

    That He may fill you with all his fullness, is the constant wish of.

    My dear Hetty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCLXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,BRISTOL, September 16, 1776.

    AS I did not receive yours, of August 28, before my return from Cornwall, I was beginning to grow a little apprehensive lest your love was declining:

    But you have sweetly dispelled all my apprehensions of that sort, and I take knowledge that you are still the same. The happy change wrought in Miss P. R. and Miss B. may encourage you to snatch every opportunity of speaking a word for a good Master. Sometimes you see present fruit; but if not, your labor is not lost, the seed may spring up after many days.

    I hope, though your cousins are tried, they will not be discouraged; then all these things will “work together for good.” Probably, if they stand firm, religion will, in a while, leaven the whole family. But they will have need of much patience, as well as much resolution. I am not sorry that you have met with a little blame in the affair, and I hope it was not undeserved.

    Happy are they that suffer for well doing I was almost afraid that all men would speak well of you. Do you feel no intermission of your happiness in God? Do you never find any lowness of spirits? Does time never hang heavy upon your hands? How is your health? You see how inquisitive I am, because everything relating to you nearly concerns me., I once thought I could not be well acquainted with any one till many years had elapsed; and yet I am as well acquainted with you as if I had known you from your infancy. You now are my comfort and joy! And I hope to be far longer than this little span of life, My dear Hetty, Yours in tender affection.

    DCCLXXVII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR HETTY,BRISTOL,

    October 6, 1776.

    Tomorrow I set out for London, in and near which, if it please God to continue my life, I shall remain till spring. The trials which a gracious Providence sends, may be precious means of growing in grace, and particularly of increasing in faith, patience, and resignation; and are they not all chosen for us by infinite Wisdom and Goodness? So that we may well subscribe to those beautiful lines, — “With patient mind thy course of duty run; God nothing does, or suffers to be done, But thou wouldst do thyself, if thou couldst see The end of all events as well as He.”

    Everything that we can do for a parent, we ought to do, that is, everything we can do without killing ourselves. But this we have no right to do. Our lives are not at our own disposal. Remember that, my dear Hetty, and do not carry a good principle too far. Do you still find, Labor is rest, and pain is sweet, When thou, my God, art here?

    I know pain or grief does not interrupt your happiness: But does it not lessen it? You often feel sorrow for your friends: Does that sorrow rather quicken than depress your soul?

    Does it sink you deeper into God? I cannot express the satisfaction which I receive from your open and artless manner of writing; especially when you speak of the union of spirit which you feel with, My dear Hetty, Your ever affectionate.

    DCCLXXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,LONDON, February 11, 1777.

    THE papers of one who lately went to God are fallen into my hands. I will transcribe a few particulars. His experience is uncommon: And you may simply tell me how far your experience does or does not agree with it. But beware of hurting yourself upon the occasion; beware of unprofitable reasonings. God may have wrought the same work in you, though not in the same manner. “Just after my uniting with the Methodists, the Father was revealed to me the first time; soon after, the whole Trinity. I beholden the distinct Persons of the Godhead, and worshipped one undivided Jehovah, and each Person separately. After this I had equal intercourse with the Son, and afterwards with the Spirit, the same as with the Father and the Son. After some years, my communion was with the Son only, though at times with the Father, and not wholly without the Spirit. Of late I have found the same access to the Triune God. When I approach Jesus, the Father and the Spirit commune with me.” “Whatever I receive now, centers in taking leave of earth, and hasting to another place. I am as one that is no more. I stand and look on what God has done; his calls, helps, mercies, forbearances, deliverances from sorrows, rescues out of evils; and I adore and devote myself to Him with new ardor. If it be asked how, or in what manner I beholden the Triune God, it is above all description. He that has seen this light of God, can no more describe it than he that has not. In two of those divine interviews, the Father spoke, while I was in an agony of prayer for perfect conformity to Himself; twice more when I was in the depth of sorrow; and each time in Scripture words. It may be asked, ‘Was the appearance glorious?’ It was all divine, it was glory. I had no conception of it. It was God. The first time, the glory of Him I saw reached even to me. I was overwhelmed with it; body and soul were penetrated through with the rays of Deity.”

    Tell me, my dear maid, if you have ever experienced anything like these things: But do not puzzle yourself about them; only speak in simplicity.

    You cannot speak of these things to many; but you may say anything without reserve to, My dear Hetty, Yours in tender affection.

    DCCLXXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,LONDON, February 11, 1779.

    IT is a great mercy that, on the one hand, you have previous warning of the trials that are at hand; and, on the other, are not careful about them, but only prepared to encounter them. We know indeed that these, as well as all things, are ordered by unerring wisdom; and are given us exactly at the right time, and in due number, weight, and measure. And they continue no longer than is best; for chance has no share in the government of the world.

    The Lord reigns, and disposes all things, strongly and sweetly, for the good of them that love Him. I rejoice to hear that you have now less hindrance in the way, and can oftener converse with his people. Be sure to improve every one of those precious opportunities of doing and receiving good.

    I am often grieved to observe that, although on His part “the gifts and callings of God are without repentance;” although He never repents of anything He has given us, but is willing to give it always; yet so very few retain the same ardor of affection which they received either when they were justified, or when they were (more fully) sanctified. Certainly none need to lose any part of their light or their love. It may increase more and more. Of this you are a witness for God; and so is our dear Miss ——.

    You have not lost anything of what you have received; your love has never grown cold since the moment God visited you with his great salvation.

    And I hope also you will ever retain the same affection for Yours most tenderly.

    DCCLXXX.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR HETTY,LIVERPOOL,

    April 10, 1781.

    MANY of our brethren and sisters in London, during that great outpouring of the Spirit, spoke of several new blessings which they had attained. But after all, they could find nothing higher than pure love; on which the full assurance of hope generally attends. This the inspired writings always represent as the highest point; only there are innumerable degrees of it.

    The plerophory or full assurance of faith is such a clear conviction of being now in the favor of God as excludes all doubt and fear concerning it. The full assurance of hope is such a clear confidence in the person who possesses it, that he shall enjoy the glory of God, as excludes all doubt and fear concerning this. And this confidence is totally different from an opinion that “no saint shall fall from grace.” It has, indeed, no relation to it. Bold, presumptuous men often substitute this base counterfeit in the room of that precious confidence. But it is observable, the opinion remains just as strong while men are sinning and serving the devil, as while they are serving God. Holiness or unhappiness does not affect it in the least degree.

    Whereas, the giving way to anything unholy, either in heart or life, immediately clouds the full assurance of hope; which cannot subsist any longer than the heart cleaves steadfastly to God.

    I am persuaded the storm which met us in the teeth, and drove us back to England, was not a casual, but a providential, thing: Therefore I lay aside the thought of’ seeing Ireland at present.

    I am, my dear Hetty, Always yours in tender affection.

    DCCLXXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,LONDON, December 9, 1781.

    WE may easily account for those notices which we frequently receive, either sleeping or waking, upon the scriptural supposition that “He giveth his angels charge over us, to keep us in all our ways.” How easy is it for them, who have at all times so ready an access to our souls, to impart to us whatever may be a means of increasing our holiness or our happiness!

    So that we may well say, with Bishop Ken, — “O may thy angels, while we sleep, Around our beds their vigils keep, Their love angelical instill, Stop every avenue of ill!”

    Without needing to, use any other arguments, you have a clear proof in your own experience, that our blessed Lord is both able and willing to give us always what he gives once; that there is no necessity of ever losing what we receive in the moment of justification or sanctification. But it is His will that all the light and love which we then receive, should increase more and more unto the perfect day.

    If you are employed to assist children that are brought to, the birth, that groan either for, the first or the pure love, happy are you! But this is not all your work. No, my Hetty, you are likewise to watch over the newborn babes. Although they have love, they have not yet either much lighter much strength, so that they never had more need of your assistance, that they may neither be turned out of the way, nor hindered in running the race that is set before them.

    I should not have been willing that Miss Bosanquet should have been joined to any other person than Mr. Fletcher; but I trust she may be as useful with him as she was before.

    I fear our dear —— will not stay long with us. I have no answer to my last letter, and Mrs. Downes writes that she is far from well. Yet God is able to raise her up. As to Peggy Roe, I have little hope of her life: But she seemed, when I saw her, to be quite simple of heart, desiring nothing more but God. My dear Hetty, adieu! Remember in all your prayers Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLXXXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,LONDON, January 7, 1782.

    IN the success of Mr. Leech’s preaching, we have one proof of a thousand, that the blessing of God always attends the publishing of full salvation as attainable now, by simple faith. You should always have in readiness that little tract, “The Plain Account of Christian Perfection.” There is nothing that would so effectually stop the mouths of those who call this “a new doctrine.” All who thus object are really (though they suspect nothing less) seeking sanctification by works. If it be by works, then certainly these will need time, in order to the doing of these works. But if it is by faith, it is plain, a moment is as a thousand years. Then God says; (in the spiritual, as in the outward world,) Let there be light, and there is light.

    I am in great hopes, as J. S. got his own soul much quickened in Macclesfield, he will now be a blessing to many at Chester. A few witnesses of pure love remain there still; but several are gone to Abraham’s bosom. Encourage those in M. who enjoy it, to speak explicitly what they do experienced, and to go on, till they know all that “love of God that passeth knowledge.”

    Give all the help you can, my dear Hetty, to them, and to Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLXXXIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,DARLINGTON, June 25, 1782.

    IT is certain there has been, for these forty years, such an outpouring of the Spirit, and such an increase of vital religion, as has not been in England for many centuries, and it does not appear that the work of God at all decays. In many places there is a considerable increase of it; so that we have reason to hope, that the time is at hand, when the kingdom of God shall come with power, and all the people of this poor heathen land shall know Him, from the least to the greatest.

    I am glad you had so good an opportunity of talking with Mr.S—— Surely, if prayer was made for him, so useful an instrument as he was would not be suffered to lose all his usefulness. I wish you could make such little excursions oftener, as you always find your labor is not in vain.

    This afternoon, I was agreeably surprised by a letter from our dear Miss ——. It seems as if God, in answer to many prayers, has lent her to us yet a little longer. “He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up again wise are all his ways!”

    Take particular care, my dear Hetty, of the children: They are glorious monuments of divine grace; and I think you have a particular affection for them, and a gift to profit them.

    I always am, my dear friend, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLXXXIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,BRISTOL, October 1, 1782.

    I RECEIVED yours two days after date, and read it yesterday to Miss Stockdale and poor Peggy Roe, who is still strangely detained in life. But she is permitted to stay in the body a little longer, that she may be more ready for the Bridegroom.

    You did exceedingly well to send me so circumstantial an account of Robert Roe’s last illness and happy death. It may incite many to run the race that is set before them with more courage and patience.

    The removal of so useful an instrument as your late cousin, in the midst, or rather in the dawn, of his usefulness, (especially while the harvest is so great, and the faithful laborers so few,) is an instance of the divine economy which leaves our reason behind: Our little narrow minds cannot comprehend it. We can only wonder and adore. How is your health? I sometimes fear, lest you also (as those I tenderly love generally have been) should be snatched away. But let us live to day.

    I always am Affectionately yours.

    DCCLXXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,BRISTOL, March 15, 1783.

    I SHALL not be able to visit Macclesfield quite so soon as usual this year; for the preaching-houses at Hinckley and Nottingham are to be opened, which I take in my way. I expect to be at Nottingham on the 1st of April; but how long I shall stay there, I cannot yet determine. Thence I shall probably come, by Derby, to Macclesfield.

    I intended to have written a good deal more, but I am hardly able. For a few days, I have had just such a fever as I had a few years ago in Ireland.

    But all is well. I am in no pain, but the wheel of life seems scarcely able to move; yet I made shift to preach this morning to a crowded audience, and hope to say something to them this afternoon. I love that word, “And Ishmael died in the presence of all his brethren.” Still pray for, My dear Hetty, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLXXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY,LONDON, October 12, 1787.

    I DO not doubt but your calling at Dublin would be in an acceptable time, especially as R. H. was there.

    After we left you at Manchester, we pushed on, and, in all haste, set out for the Isle of Jersey. But a storm drove us into Yarmouth, in the Isle of Wight. There Dr. Coke and I preached in the market-place by turns, two evenings and two mornings. A second storm drove us to the Isle of Purbeck, just where the Indiaman was lost. There I had an opportunity of preaching to a little society, which I had not seen for thirteen years. We hoped to reach Guernsey the next evening, but could get no farther than the Isle of Alderney. I preached on the beach in the morning, and the next afternoon came safe to Guernsey. Here is an open door: High and low, rich and poor, receive the word gladly; so that I could not regret being detained by contrary winds several days longer than we intended. The same thing befell us in the Isle of Jersey, where also there was an open door; even the Governor, and the chief of the people, being quite civil and friendly.

    Jane Bisson I saw everyday. She is nineteen years old, about the size of Miss ——, and has a peculiar mixture of seriousness, sprightliness, and sweetness, both in her looks and behavior. Wherever we were, she was the servant of all. I think she exceeds Madam Guion in deep communion with God.

    I hope you will see a revival in Cork also. See that you take particular care of the tender lambs, not forgetting poor P. L. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am, with kind love to James Rogers, My dear Hetty, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCLXXXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY, May 28, 1788.

    MY not hearing from you for so long a time would have given me concern, but I knew it was not from want of affection. I am glad to hear you prosper in your soul: Rest in nothing you have attained; but press on till you are filled with all the fullness of God. In this day of God’s power, I hope many of the backsliders in Cork will be brought back: There are great numbers of them in and about the city, and many are of the genteeler sort.

    It seems you have a particular mission to these: Perhaps they will hear none but you. I hope you have already found out Mrs. Forbes (Captain Forbes’s wife); and that now she is more than almost persuaded to be a Christian. The pearl on my eye is but just discernible, and dulls the sight a little, but not much: As it grows no worse, I do not much regard it.

    Mr. Smyth’s society, I verily believe, will do us no harm: And every one may speak of me as he will. I am just flying away as a shadow. It more than makes me amends, that James and you still love, and prayer for, My dear Hetty, Your most affectionate.

    DCCLXXXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR HETTY, February 29, 1789.

    I AM glad to hear that you do not grow weary or faint in your mind; that you are rather increasing the way of holiness. Go on in the name of the Lord, and in the power of his might, doing the will of God from the heart.

    It was a providence indeed, the flood did not begin in the night, rather than in the day. So it is that judgment is usually mixed with mercy, that sinners may be awakened and not destroyed. I liked well to lodge at brother Laffan’s when I was in Cork last; but certainly I shall like much better to lodge with brother Rogers and you. I shall be more at home with you, than I could be anywhere else in Cork. I still find (blessed be God) a gradual increase of strength, and my sight is rather better than worse. If my life and health be continued, I shall endeavor to reach Dublin about the end of March; and Cork before the end of June. Peace be with your spirits!

    I am, my dear Hetty, Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCLXXXIX.

    To Miss Patty Chapman .

    MY DEAR SISTER,

    December 17, 1773.

    CERTAINLY the more good you do, the more will many be tempted against you. But go on. So much the more will the Spirit of glory and of Christ rest upon you. By fighting against that reserve, you will conquer: it: The more it is resisted, the more it is weakened. You need not be overcome by peevishness any more. The grace of God is sufficient for you. It seems that you are at present in your place: “How knowest thou but thou shalt gain thy brother?” The most profitable way of reading is to read in an exact method: Suppose a chapter or two (as time may serve) in the Old Testament, with the Notes, in the morning; and a chapter, more or less, of the New Testament, and Notes, in the afternoon or evening. Next to this, it might be useful to read the Works in order, only not too fast, not too much at a time. For all rending should be joined with meditation and prayer. Read a little; pray and meditate much. In order to converse usefully we had a rule at Oxford, to plan every conversation before we went into company; to consider, what subject should be most useful, and how to prosecute it. And though of yourself you are not sufficient for these things, yet one is nigh to supply all your wants. Love Him, and trust Him for all things; and continue to love, for his sake, My dear Patty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCXC.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LEWISHAM, January 19, 1773.

    IF nothing unforeseen prevent, I shall be at Newbury on Monday, March 8th. You should not be content with coming yourself, but bring Mr. and Mrs. Jacques with you.

    I doubt not but you will see a still greater increase of the work of God at Watlington: Only lose no time! Be instant in season, out of season! In due time you will reap, if you faint not.

    God gives the full assurance of hope sooner or later, as it seemeth Him good. But the main point is, let your heart be whole with Him.

    Let no false rival claim a part, Nor sin disseize him of his own!

    I am, dear Patty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, Near LONDON, October 27, 1773.

    NOW is the hour and the power of darkness: But In vain does Satan rage his hour; Beyond his chain he cannot go.

    And I doubt not, most of those that are scattered abroad in the dark and cloudy day, will attain be gathered in by our good Shepherd. It is right, therefore, to be concerned for them; but not to sorrow as those without hope; seeing the Lord hath not forgotten to be gracious. You that are spiritual, labor to restore them that are fallen, in the spirit of meekness; and your labor shall not be in vain. Meantime, in your patience possess your own soul. All things shall work together for your good; shall bring you nearer to God.

    Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXCII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, Near LONDON, February 25, 1774.

    I SHOULD have been glad to see you at Newbury; but the will of our Lord is best.

    You can never speak too strongly or explicitly upon the head of Christian perfection. If you speak only faintly and indirectly, none will be offended, and none profited. But if you speak out, although some will probably be angry, yet others will soon find the power of God unto salvation.

    You have good encouragement from the experience of her whom God has lately taken to himself. Speak to all, and spare not. Be instant in season, out of season: And pray always with all perseverance; particularly for Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,BRISTOL, October 6, 1774.

    ON Monday se’nnight, the 17th of this month, I hope to be at Wallingford; and at High-Wycomb, as usual, on the Thursday following.

    When you have time, you would do well to write down the particular circumstances of your conversion to God. The more closely we are united to Him, the more nearly we shall be united to each other. I cannot doubt but He will make Mr. Wolf an instrument of good to many of His children.

    He is simple of heart, and much devoted to God; and, indeed, so is his wife also.

    Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LUTON, January 11, 1775.

    I HOPE, with God’s help, to be at Newbury on Thursday, March 2; and to have the pleasure of seeing you there, unless something unforeseen should hinder.

    You have lately had a wintry season at Watlington; now you may expect the return of spring. Beware you are not weary and faint in your mind!

    Even bodily weakness may incline you to this; especially when there appears to be no increase, but rather a decay, of the work of God. Yet I do not apprehend that you are yet at liberty to remove from Watlington.

    Cannot Hannah Ball step over for two or three days, and kindle a flame among you? If she does not come, look for One greater than her! How soon? It may be before you see another day.

    I am, dear Patty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCV.

    — To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,WORCESTER, March 15, 1775.

    YOU only tell me in general that your health is declining: But you do not say in what manner, or from what cause. When did you begin to feel any decay of health? In what manner was you affected? What did you imagine it was owing to? How have you been since, from time to time? What means of recovery have you used; and with what effect? Write to me as particularly as you can on these heads, directing to me in Dublin. It is our duty to take care of our bodily health; but what is this to an healthful mind? Let your mind be All praise, all meekness, and all love.

    I am, dear Patty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,DUBLIN, April 5, 1775.

    THE

    Apothecary seems to have understood your case: But you have done right in leaving off the taking of medicines. But withal you should use all the exercise you can, particularly in the open air. And use what little strength you have to the glory of Him that gave it. Warn every one, and exhort every one, if by any means you may save some.

    I am, my dear Patty, Yours affectionately.

    DCCXCVII.

    To the Same. DEAR PATTY,LONDON, October 13, I RETURNED hither yesterday in the afternoon, and had the pleasure of yours. I hope to be at High-Wycomb on Monday and Tuesday; at Oxford on Wednesday upon;, and at Witney on Wednesday evening.

    If in all these trials your mind is unmoved, and fixed upon Him that loves you, they will only help you forward on your way.

    I am, dear Patty, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCXCVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, Near LONDON, November 3, 1784.

    I WAS a little disappointed at your not seeing me at Wallingford as you used to do, before I went away. But I took it for granted, there, was some circumstance which I did not know: So I did not blame you.

    I am glad you do not let go your confidence, or lose the witness of your sanctification. Take care that you lose not any of the things that you have gained, but that you receive awful reward. Certainly it is a most uncomfortable thing to lose any part of what God hath wrought in us. I wonder how any that have lost the love of God can find any rest in their souls, till they have regained it.

    It was well for, you that God did not suffer you to find rest in any creature. He had better things in store for you. One more degree of His love makes you large amends, even in the present world, for every other loss I am, dear Patty, Your affectionate Brother.

    —————

    DCCXCIX.

    To Mr. William Simpson. DEAR BILLY, Near LONDON, November 11, 1786.

    BUSY as I am, I snatch time to write a few lines, as I judge you had rather see my hand writing than John Broadbent’s.

    You must in anywise write a few loving lines to brother Inglis, and tell him I desired you so to do. It may induce him to be a little more careful for the time to come.

    The Sunday preaching may continue at Jervas for the present. I suppose the society at Jervas is as large as that at Northallerton: and this is a point which is much to be considered.

    You must needs expel out of the society at Knaresborough those that will be contentious.

    I am, with love to Nancy, Dear Billy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCC.

    To the Same. DEAR BILLY,LONDON, November 23, YOU have taken, in this intricate affair, the very best method that could be taken. When you have to do with those stubborn spirits it is absolutely necessary, either to mend them or to end them: And ten persons of a quiet temper are better than thirty contentious ones.

    Undoubtedly some of the eloquent men will be sending me heavy complaints. It is well, therefore, that you spoke first.

    I am, dear Billy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    ————

    DCCCI.

    To Mr. Robert Hopkins. MY DEAR BROTHER, Near LEEDS, July 25, 1781.

    AS long as you give yourself up to God without reserve, you may be assured He will give you His blessing. Indeed, you have already received a thousand blessings: But the greatest of all is yet behind, — Christ in a pure and sinless heart, reigning the Lord of every motion there. It is good for you to hold fast what you have attained, and to be continually aspiring after this; and you will never find more life in your own soul, than when you are earnestly exhorting others to go on unto perfection. Many will blame you for doing it; but regard not that: Go on through honor and dishonor. “This one thing I do,” is your motto. I save my own soul, and them that hear me.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCII.

    To the Same. DEAR ROBERT,LONDON, January 22, 1784.

    THE return you are to make for the blessings you have received, is, to declare them to all mankind; and to exhort all believers, strongly and explicitly, to go on to perfection. You never need lose what you now experience; but may increase therein till your spirit returns to God.

    You cannot infer that the air of this or that place does not agree with you, because you have a fever there. But if there be a necessity, Christopher Peacock will change places with you.

    I am, dear Robert, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCIII.

    To E. B. CHESTER, March 17, 1771.

    YOU do well to break through that needless fear. Love me more, and fear me less; then you will prove, Love, like the grave, makes all distinctions vain.

    You have great reason to praise Him who hath done great things for you already. What you now want is, to come boldly to the throne of grace; that the hunger and thirst which God has given you may be satisfied. Full salvation is nigh, even at the door. Only believe, and it is yours. It is a great blessing that, at your years, you are preserved from seeking happiness in any creature. You need not, seeing Christ is yours. O cleave to Him with all your heart!

    —————

    DCCCIV. — To Mr. Alexander. DEAR SIR, Near LONDON, Novembe r 21, 1783.

    IT is very certain your day of grace is not passed: If it were, you would be quite easy and unconcerned. It is plain the Lover of souls is still striving with you, and drawing you to himself. But you have no time to lose; for now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation!” It is, therefore, your wisdom (without considering what others do, whether Clergyman or layman) to attend to one thing; that is, “to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And nothing can be more sure than that, if you do this, if it be indeed your one care to “seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all other things shall be added unto you.” To His protection I commit you and yours; and am, Dear Sir, Your affectionate brother.

    I write a line to your son: —\parDEAR JAMES, Near LONDON, November 21, 1783.

    ONLY let your actions correspond with your words, and then they will have weight with all that hear them. It seems highly probable to me that Providence does not intend you should be a tradesman.

    I have known a young man that feared God acquire as much learning in one year, as children usually do in seven. Possibly you may do the same. If you have a desire to try, and we should live till July, I will give you a year’s schooling and board at Kingswood School, and you will then be the better able to judge what it is that God calls you to.

    I am Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCV.

    To Miss Cooke, afterwards Mrs. Clarke. MY DEAR SISTER,BRISTOL, September 24, 1785.

    IT is highly probable my letter to you was intercepted by some person of the same name; who, having opened it, (likely by a mistake,) was afterwards ashamed to send it you. However, as you have now favored me with better information, I hope there will be no such mistake for the time to come. But I beg, when you write to me hereafter, do not write as to a stranger, but a friend. Be not afraid of me, because I have lived so much longer than you. I assume nothing upon that account; but wish to stand upon even ground with you, and to converse without either disguise or reserve. I love you all three, and not a little; especially since your sisters spoke so freely to me; yet I do not say in the same degree. There is a mildness and sweetness in your spirit, such as I wish to find in one that is more to me than a common friend. Not that I impute this to nature:

    Whatever is truly amiable is not of nature, but from a higher principle.

    Cultivate this, my dear friend, to the uttermost. Still learn of Him who was meek and lowly in heart. O what a blessing it is to be little, and mean, and vile in our own eyes! You are an amiable woman, it is true; but still you are a sinner, born to die! You are an immortal spirit come forth from God, and speedily returning to Him. You know well that one thing, and one thing only, is needful for you upon earth, — to ensure a better portion, to recover the favor and image of God. The former, by his grace, you have recovered; you have tasted of the love of God. See that you do not cast it away. See that you hold fast the beginning of your confidence steadfast unto the end! And how soon may you be made a partaker of sanctification! And not only by a slow and insensible growth in grace, but by the power of the Highest overshadowing you, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye so as utterly to abolish sin, and to renew you in his whole image! If you are simple of heart, if you are willing to receive the heavenly gift, as a little child, without reasoning, why may you not receive it now? He is nigh that sanctifieth; He is with you; He is knocking at the door of your heart!

    Come in, my Lord, come in, And seize her for thine own!

    This is the wish of, My dear friend, Yours in tender affection.

    DCCCVI.

    To the Same. LONDON, October 30, 1785.

    MY dear Miss Cooke leans to the right hand error. It is safer to think too little than too much of yourself. I blame none for not believing he is in the favor of God, till He is in a manner constrained to believe it. But, laying all circumstances together, I can make no doubt of your having a measure of faith. Many years ago, when one was describing the glorious privilege of a believer, I cried out, “If this be so, I have no faith.” He replied, “Habes fidem, sed exiguam: ‘You have faith, but it is weak.’” The very same thing I say to you, my dear friend. You have faith, but it is only as a grain of mustard-seed. Hold fast what you have, and ask for what you want. There is an irreconcilable variability in the operations of the Holy Spirit on the souls of men; more especially as to the manner of justification. Many find Him rushing upon them like a torrent, while they experience The’ o’erwhelming power of saving grace.

    This has been the experience of many; perhaps of more, in this late visitation, than in any other age since the times of the Apostles. But in others, He works in a very different way:

    He deigns his influence to infuse, Sweet, refreshing, as the violet dews.

    It has pleased Him to work the latter way in you, from the beginning; and it is not improbable He will continue (as He has begun) to work in a gentle and almost imperceptible manner. Let Him take his own way: He is wiser than you; He will do all things well. Do not reason against Him; but let the prayer of your heart be, — “Mould as thou wilt thy passive day!”

    I commit you and your dear sisters to His tender care; and am, My dear friend, Most affectionately yours.

    DCCCVII.

    To the Same. LONDON, December 14, 1780.

    I LOVE to see the handwriting of my dear Miss Cooke, even before I open the letter. The thinking of you gives me very sensible pleasure, ever since you spoke so freely to me. There is a remedy for the evil of which you complain, — unprofitable reasonings; and I do not know whether there is any other. It is the peace of God. This will not only keep your heart, your affections, and passions, as a garrison keeps a city; but your mind likewise; all the workings and all the wanderings of your imagination. And this is promised: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find.”

    Though it seem to tarry long, True and faithful is His word.

    A small measure of it you have frequently found; which may encourage you to look for the fullness. But if you were to give scope to your reasonings, there would be no end: The farther you went, the more you would be entangled; so true it is, that, to our weak apprehension, The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, Puzzled with mazes, and perplex’d with error.

    But that peace will silence all our hard thoughts of God, and give us in patience to possess our souls. I believe, at the time that any first receive the peace of God, a degree of holy boldness is connected with it; and that all persons, when they are newly justified, are called to bear witness to the truth. Those who use the grace which is then freely given to them of God will not only have the continuance of it, but a large increase; for “unto him that hath,” (that is, uses what he hath,) “shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.” We shall grow in boldness the more, the more we use it; and it is by the same method, added to prayer, that we are to recover anything we have lost. Do what in you lies, and He will do the rest. My best service attends Mr. L., who I hope will be holier and happier by means of his late union. He certainly will, if Mrs. L. and he provoke one another to love and to good works. I do not despair of having the pleasure to wait on them at the Devizes. My best wishes wait likewise on Miss S.

    I hope you two are one. Indeed I am, my dear Miss Cooke, Yours in tender affection.

    DCCCVIII.

    To the Same. BATH, September 9,1786.

    IT gives me much satisfaction, my dear friend, to observe you are happier than when you wrote last. I do not doubt but you have at some times a rich foretaste of the state which your soul pants after. And even These wandering gleams of light, And gentle ardors from above, Have made you sit, like, seraph bright, Some moments on a throne of love.

    But you know you are not to rest here: This is but a drop out of the ocean. Only this has been known again and again, that one of those happy moments has been the prelude of pure love. It has opened into the full liberty of the children of God. Why knows but this may be your happy experience? — but the next time your soul is so caught up, He that loves you may touch your nature clean, and so take you into the holiest, that You may never leave the skies, Never stoop to earth again.

    I am now intent upon my own work, finishing the Life of Mr. Fletcher.

    This requires all the time I have to spare: So that, as far as it is possible, I must, for two or three months, shut myself up. Two weeks I give to Bristol: After that time, I return to London. I cannot, therefore, have the happiness of seeing Trowbridge this autumn. But might I not see you or your sisters at Bristol? If I am invisible to others, I would not be so to you. You may always command everything that is in the power of, My very dear friend, Yours in life and in death.

    DCCCIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER AND FRIEND,LONDON, December 12, 1786.

    ONCE or twice I have been a little out of order this autumn; but it was only for a day or two at a time. In general, my health has been better for these last ten years, than it ever was for ten years together since I was born. Ever since that good fever which I had in the north of Ireland, I have had, as it were, a new constitution. All my pains and aches have forsaken me, and I am a stranger even to weariness of any kind. This is the Lord’s doing, and it may well be marvellous in all our eyes. You oblige me much, (and so do your very dear sisters,) by being so solicitous about my health:

    I take it as a mark of your sincere affection. Meantime I wonder at you! I am almost ashamed that you should love me so well. It is plain how little you know me.

    I am glad to find that the hunger and thirst after righteousness which God has given you does not abate. His providence cannot fail. You shall be filled, yea, satisfied therewith. But when you express it, not many will understand you, except Mrs. B., and our dear Betsy Johnson. However; do not fail to encourage all the believers about you, to press on to this mark. Some will gladly receive the word of exhortation; and surely a few witnesses will be raised up. I cannot tell you how much I am Yours.

    DCCCX.

    To the Same. MACCLESFIELD, March 31, 1787.

    NOW you give me a proof, my dear Miss Cooke, that you have not forgotten me. But considering that I am usually obliged to write in haste, I often doubt whether my correspondence is worth having.

    When the witness and the fruit of the Spirit meet together, there can be no stronger proof that we are of God. But still you may relapse into doubts, if you do not steadily watch against evil reasonings; and were you to substitute the deductions of reason for the witness of the Spirit, you never would be established. That all trials are for good, you cannot always see, (at least for the present,) but you may always believe. You have doubtless reason to be thankful to God, that you feel love in your heart. Nay, indeed, thankfulness, gratitude, and love, for benefits received, are almost, if not quite, the same. Accordingly in this world, (whatever be the case in the next,) we love Him because he hath first loved us. This love is undoubtedly the spring of all inward and outward obedience. But we delight to do what He has commanded; and for that very reason, because He has commanded it. So, Obedience is our pure delight, To do the pleasure of our Lord.

    I was a good deal refreshed with the company of you and your dear sisters, when we last met. The more so, because I trust you are all going forward in the good way. Peace be multiplied unto you!

    My dear friend, adieu!

    DCCCXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, December 21,1787.

    YOU have unspeakable reason to praise God for his late manifestations to you. And you will generally, observe, that large consolations are preceded by deep exercises of soul. And we all have reason to praise Him for the many tokens we see of his approaching kingdom. It is plain, Satan, the murderer and the deceiver of mankind, is in a great measure bound already:

    He is not now permitted to deceive the nations, as in the past ages. And even in the Romish countries scarce my are now called to resist unto blood. If two or three of you continue instant in prayer, the work will revive at Trowbridge also. When you are met together; boldly lay hold on the promise: His word will speak, and will not lie. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am, my dear sister, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,DUMFRIES, June 1, 1790.

    THE great question is, What can be done for Adam Clarke? Now, will you save his life? Look round; consider if there be any circuit where he can have much rest, and little work; or shall he and you spend September in my rooms at Kingswood, on condition that he shall preach but twice a week, and ride to the Hot Wells everyday? I think he must do this, or die; and I do not want him (neither do you) to run away from us in haste. You need not be told that this will be attended with some expense: If it be, we can make it easy. I am apt to think this will be the best way. In the mean time, let him do as much as he can, and no more. It is probable I shall stay with you a little longer, as my strength does not much decline. I traveled yesterday nearly eighty miles, and preached in the evening without any pain. The Lord does what pleases Him. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am, my dear sister, Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCXIII.

    To Mr. Adam Clarke, afterwards Dr. Adam Clarke .

    MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON,

    February 3, 1786.

    YOU do well in insisting upon full and present salvation, whether men will hear or forbear; as also in preaching abroad, when the weather permits, and recommending fasting, both by precept and example. But you need not wonder that all these are opposed, not only by formalists, but by half Methodists. You should not forget French, or anything you have learned. I do not know whether I have read the book you speak of: You may send your translation at your leisure. Be all in earnest, and you shall see greater things than these.

    I am, my dear Adam, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCXIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 21, 1786.

    I LIKE the extract from Mr. Brittaine’s well. Probably it may have a place in the Magazine. It is well you have broken into Stonehouse. Now enlarge your borders, while I am with you: Probably you will have rougher weather when I am gone. You may come to the Conference. You and your fellow-laborers should spend some time in consulting together how you may enlarge your borders. This mild weather is almost as good as summer:

    I preached abroad last Monday. O let us snatch every means of redeeming the time! Eternity is at hand! In a few days I shall set out for Bristol.

    I am, dear Adam, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCXV.

    To the Same .

    DEAR ADAM,

    Near LONDON, January 3, 1787.

    YOU see, none that trust in Him are confounded. When God is for us, who can be against us? Discipline is the great want in Guernsey; without which, the work of God cannot prosper. You did well to set upon it without delay, and to be as exact as possible. It is a true saying, “The soul and the body make the man; and the spirit and discipline make a Christian.” We heard of a remarkable awakening in some part of the island.

    I hope those who were then awakened are not all fallen asleep again.

    Preaching in the morning is one excellent means of keeping their souls awake. If you desire to have any health, you must never pass one day without walking, at least, an hour: And take care not to speak too loud, or too long. Never exceed an hour at a time. Grace be with all your spirits!

    I am, dear Adam, Yours affectionately.

    DCCCXVI.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM,PLYMOUTH- DOCK, March 3, 1787.

    AFTER staying a few days in Bristol, I am engaged to visit the intermediate societies between Stroud and Chester. I must then hasten to Dublin, or I shall not have time to go through the four provinces of Ireland. I shall not, therefore, have a day to spare before the Conference. Possibly, after the Conference, I may be able to stay two or three weeks. And, if so, I shall pass away to Southampton, in order to spend two or three days at Guernsey, and as many in Jersey. This will we do, if God permit. I am glad you are minded to make a trial at Alderney. If God send you, He will make a way for you. The hearts of all men are in His hands. To His care I commend you; and I am, my dear Adam, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCXVII.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM,BIRMINGHAM, March 26, 1787.

    YOU have reason to praise God for giving you such favor in the eyes of the poor people of Alderney. And I am in hopes our brother De Queteville will meet with a blessing in watering the seed which is already sown. But I observe in the map the name of another island, not very far from Alderney. Are there none that understand English in the Isle of Sark? If there are, I cannot tell whether you are not a debtor to those poor souls also.

    If confinement hurts you, do not submit to it. Spread yourself abroad through all the four islands. But I doubt speaking loud hurts you more, if not speaking, long too. Beware of this for conscience’ sake. Do not offer murder for sacrifice; but, before it be too late, take the advice of, Dear Adam, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCXVIII.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM, NearLONDON, November 9, 1787.

    I AM glad to hear that there is a prospect of a good work in the Isle of Alderney, as well as in the Isles of Jersey and Guernsey. I do not despair of seeing, our Jersey and Guernsey friends once more, if it should please God to prolong my life. I love them dearly; particularly the family at Mount Plaisir, in Guernsey, and J. B., in Jersey. I would take some pains, and undergo some fatigue, were it only to spend two or three days with them. One would wonder that the prince of this world was so slow, and that he did not sooner fight, lest his kingdom should be delivered up. He will at length do what he can. But if you continue instant in prayer, God will put the bridle in his mouth. It is well we should be convinced that we have need of Him. Our safety will we ascribe to Him alone.

    As the case of sister H. is too singular to be credited without the fullest evidence, I think you would do well to write the account fair, and have it formally attested by Mrs. J., Mr. A., and three or four more who were eye-witnesses of the whole. You must not believe all you hear concerning the circumstances of Mr. L.’s marriage. Indeed, you should believe nothing about them, till you have told it to themselves. Envy will invent a thousand things, and with the most plausible circumstances. Lead them, if it be possible, which can never be done by harshness; but love will “break the bone.”

    The Bailiff was talking of building you a house at St. Peter’s: I think it may be done by and by. Be exact in every point of discipline. Keep our rules, and they will keep you.

    I am, dear Adam, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXIX.

    To the Same .

    DEAR ADAM,BRISTOL,

    March 9, 1789. IF I should live to see you another Conference, I should be glad to have sister Clarke and you here, rather than at most other places; because I spend more time here myself, than at any other place, except London. I am glad to hear that God has raised up so able a Preacher from the islands; but certainly you should spare no pains in teaching him to read and write English. And I do not doubt but if he learned with a single eye, he would be largely strengthened by the blessing of God.

    It would be a reason for being, very wary in choosing names for our children, if that old remark were true: — That our first tempers from example flow, And borrow that example from our names.

    Peace be with you and yours!

    I am, dear Adam, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXX.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM, NearDUBLIN, June 20, 1789.

    YOU send me good news with regard to the islands. Who can hurt us, if God is on our side? Trials may come, but they are all good. I have not been so tried for many years. Every week, and almost everyday, I am bespattered in the public papers. Many are in tears on the occasion; many terribly frightened, and crying out, “O what will the end be?” What will it be? Why, glory to God in the highest, and peace and goodwill among men.

    But, meantime, what is to be done? What will be the most effectual means to stem this furious torrent? I have just visited the classes, and find still in the society upwards of a thousand members; and among them, many as deep Christians as any I have met with in Europe. But who is able to watch over these, that they may not be moved from their steadfastness? I know none more proper than Adam Clarke and his wife.

    Indeed it may seem hard for them to go into a strange land again. Well, you may come to me at Leeds, the latter end of next month; and if you can show me any that are more proper, I will send them instead, that God may be glorified in all that is designed by, Dear Adam, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXXI.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM,BRISTOL, September 9, 1790.

    DID not the terrible weather that you had at sea make you forget your fatigue by land? Come, set one against the other, and you have no great reason to complain of pour journey. You will have need of all the courage and prudence which God has given you. Indeed, you will want constant supplies, of both. Very gently, and very steadily, you should proceed between the rocks on either hand. In the great revival at London, my first difficulty was, to bring in temper those who opposed the work; and my next, to check and regulate the extravagancies of those that promoted it.

    And this was far the hardest part of the work; for many of them would bear no check at all. But I followed one rule, though with all calmness: “You must either bend or break.” Meantime, while you act exactly right, expect to be blamed by both sides. I will give you a few directions: 1. See that no prayer-meeting continue later than nine at sight, particularly on Sunday. Let the house be emptied before the clock strikes nine. 2. Let there be no exhortation at any prayer-meeting. 3. Beware of jealousy, or judging one another. 4. Never think a man is an enemy to the work, because he reproves irregularities. Peace be with you and yours!

    I am, dear Adam, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXXII.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM,LONDON, November 26, 1790.

    THE account you send me of the continuance of the great work of God in Jersey gives me great satisfaction. To retain the grace of God, is much more than to gain it: Hardly one in three does this. And this should be strongly and explicitly urged on all who have tasted of perfect love.

    If we can prove that any of our Local Preachers or Leaders, either directly or indirectly, speak against it, let him be a Local Preacher or Leader no longer. I doubt whether he should continue in the society. Because he that could speak thus in our congregations cannot be an honest man. I wish sister Clarke to do what she can, but no more than she can. Betsy Ritchie, Miss Johnson, and M. Clarke are women after my own heart. Last week I had an excellent letter from Mrs. Pawson, (a glorious witness of full salvation,) showing how impossible it is to retain pure love without growing therein.

    Wishing every blessing to you and all the family, I am, dear Adam, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXXIII.

    To the Same. DEAR ADAM,LONDON, February 9, 1791.

    YOU have great reason to bless God for giving you strength according to your day. He has indeed supported you in a wonderful manner under these complicated afflictions. You may well say, I will put my trust in thee as long as I live. I will desire Dr. Whitehead to consider your case, and give you his thoughts upon it. I am not afraid of your doing too little, but too much. I am in imminent danger of this. Do a little at a time, that you may do the more. My love to sisters Cookman and Boyle; but it is a doubt with me, whether I shall cross the seas any more. What Preacher was it who first omitted meeting the select society? I wonder it did not destroy the work! You have done right in setting up the Strangers’ (Friend) Society. It is an excellent institution. I am quite at a loss concerning, Mr. Maddan. I know not what to think of him. Send me your best thoughts concerning him. At any rate, write, and send me your thoughts on Animal Magnetism. I set my face against this device of Satan. I know its principles full well. With much love to your wife, I am, my dear Adam, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCXXIV.

    To Miss Jane Bisson, afterwards Mrs. Cock of St. Helier’s, Jersey. MY DEAR SISTER,MANCHESTER, August 4, 1787.

    ALTHOUGH it is probable I shall see you in a few days, yet I must write a few lines. I rejoice to hear that you are still happy in God; and trust that happiness will never cease, but rather increase more and more, till your spirit returns to God. Be assured there is no necessity that it ever should cease. He is willing to give it you always; and He can purify you by the fire of his love, as well as by the fire of affliction. Do not therefore expect or desire affliction, but let the joy of the Lord be your strength. That your joy and peace may flow as a river, is the prayer of, My dear sister, Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,PENZANCE, September 7, 1787.

    ALMOST as soon as we were in the ship, the wind entirely died away. But we knew our remedy: We went into the cabin, and applied ourselves to Him that has all power. Immediately a fair wind sprung up, which never ceased till it brought us to Penance bay. Our brethren here were not a little surprised, having given up all hopes of seeing us this year: But so much the more thankful they were to the Giver of every good gift.

    I have thought of you much since I had the satisfaction of conversing with you: And I will tell you every thought that passed through my mind, as I wish always to do. It seems to me that our blessed Lord is willing to show all the power of his grace in you; even his power of saving to the uttermost those that come unto God through Him. But there is a mountain that stands in the way; and how you will get over it, I know not: I mean pride. O my sister, what can save you from this, but the mighty power of God! I almost tremble for you. If you give way to it, yea, but a little, your grace will wither away. But still, that God whom you serve is able to deliver you; and He really will, if you continue instant in prayer. That other temptation which did formerly beset you, I trust will assault you no more: Or, if it should, you are now better prepared for it; and you will know in whom your strength lieth.

    When you have opportunity, my dear Jenny, write freely to Your affectionate brother.

    I hope Miss Lempriere has recovered her health.

    DCCCXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, December 17, 1787.

    I LOVE to hear from you; especially when you send me that good news that you still stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free.

    I have a good hope that you will never lose any of the things which He has wrought in you, but that you will receive a full reward! Do you always find a clear sense of the presence of the ever blessed Trinity? Are you enabled to rejoice evermore? In what sense do you pray without ceasing?

    And can you in everything give thanks; seeing, it is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus? What you speak of your communion with Him comforts my heart. I love to read, to hear any part of your experience. If I doubted of anything you say, I would tell you so. I want to know everything wherein I can serve you. My dear Jenny, do not forget to pray for Yours.

    DCCCXXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, Near LONDON, February 20, 1788.

    YOUR last letter gave me a very sensible pleasure: Indeed, so do all your letters. There is something in your spirit that does me good, that softens and quickens me too: But at the same time, that melancholy thought occurs, that it is doubtful whether I shall ever have the satisfaction of taking you by the hand again. I shall, if it be the will of Him that orders all things well; who orders all for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. And we know, He will not deny to them that fear Him any manner of thing that is good.

    Your speaking of trials makes me almost cry out, in the words of our poet, — “Secluded from the world, and all its care, Hast thou to joy or grieve, to hope or fear?”

    Shut up, as you are, in your father’s house, and a little, retired, quiet island, and having food to eat and raiment to put out, what can you find to try you? One of your trials I can easily foresee. With all your innocence and prudence, you cannot escape censure. In spite of all you can do, the good that is in you will surely be evil spoken of. And it is not unlikely, some will join in the cry against you from whom you expected better things. But as you are just entering into life, one would think you had hardly yet met with any who rewarded you evil for good, and gave you occasion to cry out, “Ingratitude! sharp as the viper’s tooth!”

    However, you have one Friend that never fails, and that is always near.

    What a comfort it is, that He is about your bed, and about your path, still laying his hand upon you! As soon as you have opportunity, write without reserve to Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXXVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,EDINBURGH, May 20, 1788.

    FROM my long delay to answer, you might conclude I had forgotten you; but that is impossible: I shall not easily forget the agreeable conversations I had with you at Mount Plaisir, or the plain and artless account which, from time to time, you have given me of your experience. I shall be glad to know how you have found your soul since you altered your condition.

    You must needs have abundantly more care now than you had in a single life. And are you able still, among all these cares, to attend upon the Lord without distraction? Does nothing make you inattentive to His presence?

    Is there no intermission of your communion with the Father and the Son?

    When you have leisure, you will send an answer to, My dear sister, Yours very affectionately.

    You may direct to London.

    DCCCXXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, October 2, 1788.

    IT gives me much pleasure to find you are still happy in God, leaning upon your Beloved. O may you increase therein more and more! May you be more and more holy, and you will be more and more happy! This I long for, even your perfection; your growing up in all things into Him that is our Head. O may you never endeavor Love’s all-sufficient sea to raise By drops of creature-happiness!

    I sent you a little book or two by Mr. Clarke. If I can be of any service to you in anything, it would be an unspeakable satisfaction to, My dear sister, Yours affectionately.

    DCCCXXX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,DUBLIN, April 7, 1789.

    I CANNOT but say, that it was some concern to me when I first hear that you was married; because I was afraid that you would be less useful than you might have been in a single life. And indeed I hoped that if you married at all, it would be one of our Preachers: Then I could have stationed him in some Circuit where I should have had frequent opportunities of conversing with you. I am glad, however, that you are still happy in God. If you had married an ungodly man, it would certainly have been a sin. But it was no sin to marry a child of God; yea, though he were but a babe in Christ. And surely, if you pray mightily for him, the Lord will hear your prayer, and supply whatever is yet wanting in his faith, till he is happy, and holy, and perfect in love. I hope there is no shyness between you and Mr. or Mrs. Clarke. And do you converse freely with the other Preachers? Do you meet in band? I hope you are still acquainted with Miss Lempriere; and (I think the name of her friend is) Mrs. Saumurez. I want you and them continually to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. O let us improve this span of life to the uttermost!

    Yours in tender affection.

    DCCCXXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LEEDS August 3, 1789.

    I AM always well pleased to hear from you. When I first heard of your marriage, I was afraid of two things: The one was, that it would hurt your soul; the other, that it would prevent your usefulness; at least, that you would not be useful in so high a degree as otherwise you might be. But your last letter has given me much satisfaction. I now hope that your own soul has suffered no loss; and likewise, that you will find many opportunities of doing good, and will improve them to the uttermost. I want you to do the will of God below, as angels do above. I want you to be all light, all fire, all love; and to grow up in all things into Him that is our Head; and still to love and pray for Yours affectionately.

    DCCCXXXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, November 3, 1789.

    WHEN I heard Mr. Brackenbury give the first account of you, I had a great desire of having some conversation with you; and a much greater when I read the account of your experience which you had given him. How is it with you now, my dear friend? Is your soul now as much alive as ever? Do you still find deep and uninterrupted communion with God; with the Three-One God; with the Father, and the Son, through the Spirit? Do not you find anything deaden or flatten your soul? Do you now rejoice evermore? Do you pray without ceasing? Are you always conscious of the loving presence of God? Do you in everything give thanks, knowing it is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus?

    Are you now as zealous of good works, and as active therein, as ever you was? And do you now live in eternity, and walk in eternity; and experience the life that is hid with Christ in God. Have you one or more children? With whom do you now maintain the most intimate acquaintance? Do you sometimes visit our friends in Guernsey? Are there any books which you have a mind to have? Or is there anything else in which I can serve you? This would at all times be a pleasure to Yours very affectionately.

    DCCCXXXIII.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON,

    February 13, 1790.

    I LOVE to see your name at the bottom of a letter; especially when it brings me the good news, that your spirit is still rejoicing in God your Savior. My sight is so far decayed, that I cannot well read a small print by candlelight; but I can write almost as well as ever I could: And it does me no harm, but rather good, to preach once or twice a day. A few days since, I had a letter from one of our sisters in Scotland, whose experience agrees much with yours; only she goes farther: She speaks of being “taken up into heaven, surrounded with the blessed Trinity, and let into God the Father.” I commend you to his care; and am Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXXXIV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,NEWCASTLE, June 6, 1790.

    TO hear from you is always a pleasure to me; though it is a pleasure mixed with concern when I hear of your weakness or sickness: Only I know, the Lord loveth whom He chasteneth. But of what kind is your illness?

    Perhaps I might be enabled to tell you how to remove it: And if you can recover your health, you ought; for health is a great blessing. In August last my strength failed almost at once; and my sight in a great measure went from me. But all is well: I can still write almost as easily as ever; and I can read in a clear light; and I think, if I could not read or write at all, I could still say something for God. When you have more strength, tell me more of the work of God, whether in yourself or those round about you.

    And ought you not to let me know if you are in any temporal distress?

    For everything that concerns you, concerns, My dear Jenny, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER, NearBRISTOL, July 22, 1790.

    I HAVE reason to bless God, that I can still see a little; so that I can, as yet, go on in my business: And it is enough if we are enabled either to do or to suffer His holy and acceptable will. It is no wonder, if among yourselves there arise men speaking perverse things. Wherever our Lord sows his good seed, Satan will endeavor to sow his tares also: And they are suffered, the tares and the wheat, to grow up together for a season, to exercise our faith and patience. I hope Mr. Stevens will be more and more useful among you, as his eye is single; therefore there can be no objection to his continuing with you a little longer. I am always glad to hear a little of your experience; and indeed the more the better. Wishing you and yours every blessing, I remain Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, November 9, 1790.

    HOW unsearchable are the counsels of God! How little are we able to account for his ways! When I saw the wonderful manner wherein He had dealt with you from your early years, when I talked with you in Jersey, and when I conversed more largely with you in Guernsey, I thought He was preparing you for a large sphere of action. Surely you was not then designed to be shut up in a little cottage, and fully taken up with domestic cares! I was in hopes of seeing all the graces which He had given you employed in far other things. However, although I cannot deny that you are now acting in a lower sphere than was originally designed you, yet I trust you still enjoy communion with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. I hope you are still sensible, wherever you go, of the presence of the ever-blessed Trinity; and that you continually enjoy that lovingkindness which is better than life itself.

    I wish you would inform me of your present outward and inward state.

    Have you all things that are needful for the body? Do your brethren and sisters treat you with tender affection, or with coldness? Are the Preachers free and loving to you? Is your soul as much alive as ever? Are the consolations of the Holy One small with you; or are they as frequent and as plentiful as ever? Write as particularly as you can, to Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCXXXVII.

    To Mr. William Percival, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. DEAR BILLY,LONDON, February 17, 1787.

    YOU cannot be too watchful against evil speaking, or too zealous for the poor Church of England. I commend sister Percival for having her child baptized there, and for returning public thanks. By all means go to church as often as you can, and exhort all Methodists so to do. They that are enemies to the Church are enemies to me. I am a friend to it, and ever was.

    By our reading prayers we prevent our people’s contracting an hatred for forms of prayer; which would naturally be the case, if we always prayed extempore. I am, with love to sister Percival, Dear Billy, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCXXXVIII.

    To Mr. George Holder. DEAR GEORGE,BATH, September 15, 1787.

    UPON mature deliberation, I judge it most advisable that John Barber should remove to Edinburgh; (for I can trust him in any part of Great Britain;) and that you should supply his place at York. As soon as may be, inform him and Mr. Rutherford of this, that there may be as little delay as possible.

    I am, dear George, Yours affectionately.

    DCCCXXXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 28, 1789.

    YOU say, “The last quarter, when we compared our plans with the Minutes of Conference, we wanted a considerable number of people whom Mr. Crook had given in to you.” I cannot understand this. Cannot Mr. Crook cast up a plain account? And surely, neither he, nor you, nor any Preacher, would willfully give in a false account.

    There is something very remarkable in the relation which you give of the life and death of Mr. Charles Laco. “Right precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” And every Assistant should take all possible care to procure the best account of them that can be had. These accounts are frequently means of awakening men of the world, as well as of encouraging the children of God. In every place the subscribers to the Magazines will fall off, unless great care be taken. You have need of great diligence as well in this as in all other parts of your office.

    I am, dear George, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXL.

    To the Same. DEAR GEORGE,DUBLIN, June 24, 1789.

    YOU send me an agreeable account of the work of God in the Isle. If He will work, who shall stay His hand? I should be glad of an opportunity of seeing my friends that are with you once more; but I cannot reasonably expect it. In my last voyage, the sea affected me more than ever it did before in my life; so that I perceive my voyages draw toward an end.

    Brother Smith may bring all the accounts to the Conference, and will be stationed in England the next year.

    I am, dear George, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXLI.

    To the Same. DEAR GEORGE, NearLONDON, November 20, 1789.

    YOU did well to remember the case of Dewsbury house, and to send what you could to Mr. Mather. I exceedingly disapprove of your publishing anything in the Manx language. On the contrary, we should do everything in our power to abolish it from the earth, and persuade every member of our society to learn and talk English. This would be much hindered by providing them with hymns in their own language. Therefore, gently and quietly let that proposal drop. I hope you and your fellow-laborers are of one heart. Peace be with your spirits!

    I am, dear George, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXLII.

    To the Same. DEAR GEORGE,ABERDEEN, May 24, 1790.

    I HAVE no objection to your being in an English Circuit next year; as brother Brown is staving another in the island; which I suppose may be supplied by three Preachers this year, as it was the last. When the wit told the world of my being, in the water at Portsmouth, I was there or four hundred miles from it. Be zealous for God, and you will all see the fruit of your labor.

    I am, dear George, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCXLIII.

    To the Same. DEAR GEORGE,LONDON, October 30, 1790.

    THE

    Assistant in every Circuit (not the Leaders) is to determine how each Preacher is to travel. If Jonathan Hern will not, or cannot, take his turn with his fellow-laborers, I must send another that will. I do not like dividing Circuits. Could not three or more of the northern places be added to the Sunderland or Newcastle Circuits, in order to lessen yours, and bring it into a six weeks’ Circuit? Pray send me the manner of your traveling through your Circuit. I think I shall order it better.

    I am, with love to sister Holder, dear George, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCXLIV.

    To Miss Harriet Lewis, of Dudley. MY DEAR SISTER,MADELEY, March 29, 1788.

    YOU see I cannot refuse anything that you desire; so I write the first opportunity. I was much surprised at the account which you gave of what had lately befallen your friend. But in the whole course of that strange affair one may discover the hand of God. I am persuaded it was the hand of God for good, both in regard to him and you: To him, that he might learn both more patience and resignation in himself, and more meekness and forbearance toward others: To you, that, being cut off from worldly hope, you might simply and nakedly hang upon the living God! You have already tasted that He is gracious. Go on! You are in His school, the school of affliction, where you will always find Him a present help. But He does not yet clearly point out the way that you should go. I was greatly pleased with your openness the other day.

    Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCXLV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR SISTER DUBLIN,

    April 2,1789.

    CONSIDERING how changeable human nature is, I should have thought you would have forgotten me before now: I was therefore agreeably surprised when I had the pleasure of seeing you at Dudley. You seemed to be just the same as you was the first time that I conversed with you at Mr. Moor’s house; to be as desirous now as you was then, to be not almost but altogether a Christian. But if this be your determination, you must remember you cannot be warm alone; you must needs find one, if not more, with whom you can converse freely on the things of God. This you may properly make matter of prayer: And sooner or later your prayer will be heard; although some of those with whom you once conversed are grown cold. But God is able to provide you with others who will not be unstable as water. It is a great blessing that He has upholden your goings in the way, and enabled you still to press on to the mark. May He stablish, strengthen, and settle you! So prays Yours affectionately.

    DCCCXLVI.

    To the Same .

    LEEDS,

    August 3, 1789.

    YOU see the blessed effects of unconditional perseverance! It leads the way, by easy steps, first to presumption, and then to black despair! There will be no way to recover your poor friend to a scriptural faith, but by taking away that broken reed from her; and by convincing her, that if she dies in her present state she will perish eternally. It will indeed be a medicine that will put her to pain; but it will be the only one that will save her soul alive. What a blessing it is, my dear Harriet, that you have been saved from this poisonous doctrine! and that you are enabled to follow after that holiness without which we cannot see the Lord! So run, that you may obtain. The prize is before you. Never be weary or faint in your mind. In due time you will reap, if you faint not.

    I am Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCXLVII.

    To Miss Rachel Jones, of Barton-le-Willows, near York.

    My DEAR Sister,BRISTOL, March 2, 1789.

    AS you desired it, I cannot but send you a line, although I have not a moment to spare. You have exceeding reason to praise God, who has dealt so mercifully with you. You have reason to praise Him likewise for hearing your prayer, and hearing for those of your household. Now be a pattern for all that are around about you. Be a pattern of meekness and lowliness in particular. Be the least of all, and the servant of all. Be a companion of them, and them only, that worship in spirit and in truth.

    Read, again and again, the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. Then shall your light shine more and more unto the perfect day.

    I am, dear sister, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCXLVIII.

    To Mrs. Ingram, of Limerick .

    MY DEAR MADAM DUBLIN,

    June 28, 1789.

    YOUR letter gave me much satisfaction. I am obliged to you for taking the trouble of writing. Indeed, when I say your name, I was afraid of finding a fresh accusation; therefore, I was the more agreeably surprised when I read what you had written I shall not easily do anything that would give you pain; but whatever would be agreeable to you, will be so to, Dear Madam, Your affectionate servant.

    DCCCXLIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR MADAM,DUBLIN, July 5, 1789.

    AFTER the fair and candid account that Miss Ingram and you had given of the transaction, there was no fear that I should be much prejudiced by anything which had occurred. I advise my dear Becky and you to say as little as possible of what is past. It will then pass away like a dream; while you both forget the things that are behind, and press towards the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.

    I am, dear Madam, Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCL.

    To Miss Rebecca Ingram .

    WATERFORD,

    April 29, 1789.

    TO receive a line from you was an unexpected pleasure. You will please to inform Mr. Brown, that, as I purpose setting out from Kilfennan pretty early on Tuesday morning, May 12, I shall probably be at Limerick between twelve and one. I am glad to find your love does not grow cold; nor your desires after all the mind that was in Christ. Now is the time to regain the whole image of God, wherein you was created. O be satisfied with nothing less; and you will surely receive it by simple faith! The Lord increase your faith! So prays Yours affectionately.

    DCCCLI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BECKY,DUBLIN, June 28, 1789.

    I WILL tell you my thoughts without the least reserve. These are the rules in the large Minutes of Conference, — that “no Methodist (and least of all a Preacher) ought to marry a woman without the consent of her parents;” and the same thing is insisted upon in one of the sermons in the Arminian Magazine. Therefore, I cannot commend Mr. Brown for saying anything to you on that head, without the consent of your father. But I exceedingly approve of your present temper and behavior. I commend your resignation to the will of God. Keep there! Beware of murmuring; beware of fretting; beware of the sorrow which worketh death! I commend you to Him who can save you to the utmost; and am, My dear Becky, Yours.

    DCCCLII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BECKY,DUBLIN, July 5, 1789.

    YOU mistake me. All I mean is this: It is a general rule with us, “No one ought to propose marriage to a woman till he has the consent of her parents.” So you fear where no fear is. You say, “Marriage was not proposed to” you; and I believe you. Therefore, it is your wisdom to think of past things as little as possible. You have something better to employ your thoughts. The prize and the crown are before you. Look unto Jesus!

    He is altogether lovely: But how little have you loved Him! Let all the springs of your happiness be in Him.

    My dear Becky, Yours very affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCLIII.

    To Mr. Charles Atmore. DEAR CHARLES,MADELEY, March 24, 1790.

    I AM glad you have set up Sunday-schools at Newcastle. This is one of the best institutions which have been seen in Europe for some centuries, and will do more and more good, provided the Teachers and Inspectors do their duty. Nothing can prevent the success of this blessed work, but the neglect of the instruments. Therefore, be sure to watch them with all care, that they may not grow weary of well doing. I shall be at Darlington, if God permit, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 4, 5; on Thursday, at Durham, to preach at twelve o’clock; and at Newcastle, between four and five in the afternoon. Peace be with you all, and yours.

    I am, dear Charles, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCLIV.

    To Mr. James M’Donald, MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, October 23, 1790.

    YOU have great reason to praise God for his late glorious work at and near Newry; and I make no doubt but it will continue, yea, and increase, if the subjects of it continue to walk humbly and closely with God. Exhort all our brethren steadily to wait upon God in the appointed means of fasting and prayer; the former of which has been almost universally neglected by the Methodists, both in England and Ireland.

    But it is a true remark of Kempis: “The more thou deniest thyself, the more thou wilt grow in grace.”

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother. ——— DCCCLV. — To Mr. Edward Lewly, Birmingham .

    MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON,

    January 12, 1791.

    I DO not believe any single person in your select society scruples saying, “Every moment, Lord, I need The merit of thy death.”

    This is clearly determined in the “Thoughts upon Christian Perfection.”

    But who expects common people to speak accurately? And how easy is it to entangle them in their talk! I am afraid some have done this already. A man that is not a thorough friend to Christian perfection will easily puzzle others, and thereby weaken, if not destroy, any select society. I doubt this has been the case with you. That society was in a lively state, and well united together, when I was last at Birmingham. My health has been better for a few days than it has been for several months. Peace be with all your spirits!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCLVI.

    To Mr. Thomas Broadbent. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, January 29, 1791.

    YOU have great reason to praise God, that he gives a blessing to your labors. So He will more and more, if you do not entangle yourself with the affairs of this life. If you seek your happiness in God alone, you will never be disappointed: If in anything else, you surely will; for all creatures are broken cisterns. Let your eye be single. Seek one thing — to save yourself and those that hear you.

    I am, dear Tommy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCLVII.

    To Miss Elizabeth Baker, afterwards Mrs. Jordan, of Monmouth. MY DEAR BETSY,CARMARTHEN, August 26, 1788.

    SINCE I had the pleasure of seeing you, I have been thinking much on what you said concerning your loving others too much. In one sense, this cannot be; you cannot have too much benevolence for the whole human race: But in another sense, you may; you may grieve too much for the distresses of others; even so much as to make you incapable of giving them the relief which otherwise you should give them. So I know one that, when he sees any one in strong pain, directly faints away.

    Is it something like this which you mean by feeling too much for others?

    You can give me two or three instances of it; and then I shall be better able to judge.

    Have you a constant witness of the pardoning love of God? And do you find an abiding love to Him? Have you yet been enabled to give Him your whole heart? If so, at what time, and in what manner, did you receive this blessing?

    I think you can speak with all freedom to Yours very affectionately.

    DCCCLVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY,BRISTOL, September 16, 1788.

    ONE would be apt to imagine that there could be no ill consequence of the deepest concern for the sin and misery of our fellow-creatures. But clear, indisputable experience shows the contrary to a demonstration. Lucretia Smith, (to mention only one instance,) a young gentlewoman of our society here, who found remission of sins long ago, and was unblamable in her whole behavior, reasoned on that question, “Why does not the God of love make every one as happy as me?” till she lost all her happiness, all her peace, which she never recovered since. Beware, therefore, of reasoning on those points which are far too high for you. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us: We cannot attain unto it. His ways are unsearchable, and his judgments a great deep. What He doeth thou knowest not now: It is enough that thou shalt know hereafter. I hope you never will be weary of well doing. Herein your sister Sally is a pattern. She has done unspeakable good since she came to Cowbridge. God sent her thither to revive his work there. When I first heard of her removal from Monmouth, I could not but be troubled at not seeing by what possible means the want of her could be supplied. But it is done already. God has raised you to supply her place.

    And He will supply all your wants out of the riches of his mercy in Christ Jesus. In what sense do you see God? Are you always sensible of His loving presence? How do you “rejoice evermore,” and “pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks?” It is certain this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus.

    Adieu!

    DCCCLIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BETSY, NearOXFORD, October 29, 1789.

    YOU cannot easily conceive how great satisfaction I received from your affectionate letter. I am glad you write without reserve; and take knowledge that your words come from your heart. What is that sympathy that often unites our hearts to each other perhaps the first interview?

    Surely it is not intended that this should cease till it is perfected in eternity.

    I am pleased to hear that the work of God does not decline, but rather increase, in Monmouth. My dear friend, stir up the gift of God that is in you. Warn every one: Exhort every one! Be not weary of well doing! In due time you shall reap, if you faint not.

    Still let thy mind be bent, still plotting how, And when, and where, the business may be done.

    Have you received a clear, direct witness that you was saved from inbred sin? At what time? In what manner? And do you find it as clear as it was at first? Do you feel an increase?

    Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCLX.

    To Mr. George Sykes. MY DEAR BROTHER,LIVERPOOL, April 8, 1790.

    WHAT says our Lord? “Let the dead bury their dead; but preach thou the Gospel.” O refuse not Him that speaketh, but take up thy cross and follow Him!

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXI.

    To Mr. Benjamin Rhodes, Redruth. MY DEAR BROTHER, NearLONDON, January 7, 1789.

    YOU have done exactly right. Observe the rules of the Conference, both in changing the Stewards, or in any other point, whoever is pleased or displeased. And do not fail mildly to expostulate the case, either with George, or any other Assistant, who does not observe them. The Trustees and Leaders will soon trample them under foot, if you will let them. But I think you can be mild, and yet firm.

    I am, with love to sister Rhodes, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXII.

    To Mr.——. DEAR SAMMY,LONDON, November 9, 1782.

    I ABHOR the thought of giving to twenty men the power to place or displace the Preachers in their congregations. How would he then dare to speak an unpleasing truth? And, if he did, what would become of him?

    This must never be the case while I live among the Methodists. And Bristol is a leading case; the first of an avowed violation of our plan.

    Therefore, the point must be carried for the Methodist Preachers now or never: And I alone can carry it; which I will, God being my Helper.

    You are not a match for the silver tongue, nor brother Hopper. But do not, to please any of your new friends, forsake Your true old friend.

    —————

    DCCCLXIII.

    To Mr. Samuel Bradburn. DEAR SAMMY,EPWORTH, July 10, 1779.

    IT is the judgment of many, that since the time of the Invincible Armada, Great Britain and Ireland were never in such danger from foreign enemies as they are at this day. Humanly speaking, we are not able to contend with them, either by sea or land. They are watching over us as a leopard over his prey, just ready to spring upon us. They are mighty, and rage horribly:

    But the Lord that dwelleth on high is mightier; and now is the time, at this awful crisis, for the inhabitants of the land to learn righteousness. I make no doubt but you improve the important opportunity, and lift up your voice like a trumpet. Who knoweth but God may be entreated of us, as He was for Nineveh?

    Our brethren in various parts of England have set apart an hour in a week for prayer, (namely, from eight till nine on Sunday evening,) in behalf of our King and country. Should not the same thing be done in Ireland too? particularly at Cork and Bandon. Those who have not opportunity of meeting at the time, may pray part of the hour in private. Meantime, there is a text for you: “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”

    I am, dear Sammy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCLXIV.

    To the Same. DEAR SAMMY,LONDON, February 26, 1780.

    I THINK you have reason to be exceeding thankful for an honest and sensible fellow-laborer. The good fruit of it appears already, in your deliverance from that troublesome man. If your opponents cannot provoke you to return evil for evil, they can do you no harm. In patience possess ye your soul, and all those things shall work together for good.

    I hope to be in Dublin about the end of March; and, probably, in Cork, before the middle of May. If you are at Bristol by and by, (to which I have no great objection,) we must hire a lodging for you near the room.

    Peace be with your spirits!

    I am, with kind love to Betsy, Dear Sammy, Your affectionate friend and Brother.

    DCCCLXV.

    To the Same. DEAR SAMMY,LONDON, January 14, IT is well we know that trouble springeth not out of the dust; but that the Lord reigneth. But still, even when he can say, “It is the Lord,” it is hard to add, “Let Him do what seemeth Him good.” I remember formerly, when I read these words in the church at Savannah, “Son of men, behold, I take from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke,” I was pierced through as with a sword, and could not utter a word more. But our comfort is, He that made the heart can heal the heart. Your help stands in Him alone. He will command all these things to work together for good. To His tender care I commend you; and am, Dear Sammy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    DCCCLXVI.

    To the Same. DEAR SAMMY,DUBLIN, July 10, 1787.

    I DESIRED John Atlay to make up the twenty pounds, which I gave Mr. Heath, fifty. But if he mistook me, and gave him fifty instead of thirty, it will not ruin me. What is still wanting, Dr. Coke will supply.

    I am glad you have visited the country societies, and that you find so much life among them. What we can do for the poor people at Wandsworth, I know not. I doubt their case will grow worse and worse.

    I am, with love to S—— Bradburn, dear Sammy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    On the same sheet is the following letter to Mrs. Hall, Mr. Wesley’s sister, then resident in London: —\parDEAR PATTY,DUBLIN, July 10, 1787.

    Tomorrow I hope to sail. I am glad you have not forgotten me: And am, with much affection, Ever yours.

    DCCCLXVII.

    To the Same .

    DEAR SAMMY,

    NearMANCHESTER, July 17, 1787.

    YOU should be at Manchester, to meet the Assistants, by two in the afternoon, on the 30th instant.

    I have a good letter from William N. Pitt, at Deptford. Pray thank him for it in my name; and tell him I shall take the matter he mentions into serious consideration.

    I desire you to inform Mr. Dornford, that I will propose Richard Taylor at the Conference.

    I am, with love to Sophy, dear Sammy, Ever yours.

    —————

    DCCCLXVIII.

    To Miss Sophia Cook, afterwards Mrs. Bradburn. CROWLE, June 20, 1786.

    SURELY, you never can have need to use any ceremony with me. You may think aloud, and tell me all that is in your heart. As soon as ever I saw Mr. Bradburn and you together, I believed you would be more nearly united.

    His former wife never wanted anything; neither need any of our Preachers’ wives. They neither want, nor abound. They have all things needful for life and godliness. But I am not a fair judge. I am partial. I long so much to have you under my own roof, that I cannot divest myself of prejudice in the matter. I can only say, “Give yourself to prayer; and then act, in the name and in the fear of God, as you are fully persuaded in your own mind.”

    I am Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCLXIX.

    To Miss Loxdale. MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,DOUGLAS,ISLE OF MAN, June 10, 1781.

    I HAD much hope that at my last return to Shrewsbury I should have seen you: But we are in the hands of Him who knows what is best for every one that trusts in Him; and if our meeting be hindered for a season, when those hindrances are removed it will be the more blessed to us. That man of God, Gregory Lopez, observes of himself, that the large manifestations of God, with which he was favored, at first overpowered his body, and nearly suspended his understanding, nay, took away the use of his senses; but that after a time they neither interrupted the one nor the other, nor disturbed the operation of any of his faculties. I think if those manifestations which you had, had been continued, the case would have been the same with you: They would no longer have overwhelmed you as they did at first, but have flowed with a calm, even stream.

    Many years since, Madam Bourignon’s Works were put into my hands, particularly the treatises you mention, and her “Exterior and Interior Life,” written by herself. It was easy to see that she was a person dead to the world, and much devoted to God; yet I take her to have been very many degrees beneath both Mr. De Renty, and Gregory Lopez. Nay, I do not believe she had so much Christian experience as either David Brainerd or Thomas Walsh. What makes many passages, both in her life and writings, so striking, is, that they are so peculiar; they are so entirely her own, so different from everything which we have seen or read elsewhere. But this is in reality not an excellence, but a capital defect. I avoid, I am afraid of, whatever is peculiar, either in the experience or the language of any one. I desire nothing, I will accept of nothing, but the common faith and common salvation; and I want you, my dear sister, to be only just such a common Christian as Jenny Cooper was. The new expressions of Madam Bourignon naturally tended to give you a new set of ideas. They would surely set your imagination at work, and make you fancy wonderful things; but they were only shadows. I cannot doubt, in the least, but either Mr.——, or you, or your sister, has experienced more of the life of faith, and deeper communion with the Father and the Son, than ever she did in her life. As I apprehend your mind must be a little confused by reading those uncommon treatises, I wish you would give another deliberate reading to the “Plain Account of Christian Perfection;” and you may be assured, there is no religion under heaven higher or deeper than that which is there described. But it is certainly possible to have your mind, as well as your heart, continually stayed upon God. This you did experience for some time, and you should be continually expecting to receive it again: “Ask, and it shall be given.”

    For all the promises are sure To persevering prayer.

    I wrote to Mr. Fletcher some time since, and wonder I have had no answer. I hope you will always write, without reserve, my dear Miss Loxdale, to Your truly affectionate.

    DCCCLXX.

    To the same. MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,NOTTINGHAM, July 14, AS it has pleased God to restore you in a measure to what you enjoyed once, I make no doubt but he will restore all which you then had; and will add to it what you never had yet. There is no end of His mercies. He will give “exceeding abundantly beyond all that you are able to ask or think.” If that sickness you mention came (as is the case with some) only at the time of private prayer, I should incline to think it was preternatural, a messenger of Satan permitted to buffet you. But as you find it likewise at other times, when you feel any vehement emotion of mind, it seems to be (partly at least) a natural effect of what is called weakness of nerves. But even in this case, the prayer of faith will not fall to the ground. You may ask with resignation; and, if it be best, this cup will be removed from you.

    You have, indeed, reason to rejoice over your sister. Is she not given you in answer to prayer? And have you not encouragement, even from this very thing, to expect, that more of your family will be given you? Those are true words, when in His own strength you wrestles with God, — “My powerful groans thou canst not bear, Nor stand the violence of my prayer, My prayer omnipotent.”

    You remind me of what occurred when my dear H. R. first mentioned you to me. I almost wondered I should feel so much regard for one I had never seen I But I can taste your spirit, and rejoice to find that you are so near, my dear Miss Loxdale, to Yours in tender affection.

    DCCCLXXI.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,SHEFFIELD,

    August 15, 1781.

    YOUR letter gave much satisfaction. Whereunto you have attained, hold fast; and “press on toward the mark, the prize of your high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” I do not see any reason to doubt, but that you have tasted of the pure love of God. But you seem to be only a babe in that state, and have, therefore, need to go forward continually. It is by doing and suffering the whole will of our Lord, that we grow up in Him that is our Head; and if you diligently hearken to His voice, He will show you the way wherein you should go. But you have need to be exceeding faithful to the light He gives you. “While you have the light, walk in the light,” and it will continually increase. Do not regard the judgment of the world, even of those called the religious world. You are not to conform to the judgment of others, but to follow your own light; that which the blessed Spirit gives you from time to time, which is truth and is no lie. That He may guide you and your sister into all truth and all holiness, is the prayer of, My dear Miss Loxdale, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCLXXII.

    To the Same. CHESTER, December 15, 1781.

    I SNATCH a few moments to write to my dear Miss Loxdale, although I have not time to write as I would. The trials you have lately undergone were all instances of the goodness of God, who permitted them merely for your profit, that you might be the more largely partaker of His holiness.

    You know our blessed Lord himself, as man, “learned obedience by the things that he suffered.” And the last lesson which he learned upon earth was that, “Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Never imagine, my dear friend, that your letters to me can be too frequent, or too long, — I may add, or too free. Nothing endears you to me so much as your artless simplicity. I beg you would always write just what you feel, without disguise, without reserve, to Yours affectionately.

    DCCCLXXIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,BRISTOL, March 9, 1782.

    GOLD IS tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.

    You say, “I know not whither I am going.” I will tell you whither. You are going the straight way to be swallowed up in God. “I know not what I am doing.” You are suffering the will of God, and glorifying Him in the fire. “But I am not increasing in the divine life.” That is your mistake. Perhaps you are now increasing therein faster than ever you did since you were justified. It is true, that the usual method of our Lord is, to purify us by joy in the Holy Ghost, and a full consciousness of His love. But I have known several exempt cases, and I am clearly satisfied yours is one; and Far, far beyond thy thought His counsel shall appear, When full He the work hath wrought That caused thy needless fear.

    If it be possible, meet me at Madeley on Saturday: Then you may talk more largely with, My dear Miss Loxdale, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCLXXIV.

    To the Same .

    MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,SHEFFIELD,

    August 15, 1781.

    I ADVISED formerly my dear Jenny Cooper, and so I advise you, frequently to read and meditate upon the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. There is the true picture of Christian perfection! Let us copy after it with all our might. I believe it might likewise be of use to you to read more than once the “Plain Account of.

    Christian Perfection.” Indeed, what is it more or less than humble, gentle, patient love! It is undoubtedly our privilege to “rejoice evermore,” with a calm still, heartfelt joy. Nevertheless, this is seldom long at one stay.

    Many circumstances may cause it to ebb and flow. This, therefore, is not the essence of religion; which is no other than humble, gentle, patient love.

    I do not know whether all these are not included in that one word, resignation. For the highest lesson our Lord (as man) learned on earth was to say, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” — May He confirm you more and more!

    Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCLXXV.

    To the Same. MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,BIRMINGHAM, July 12, 1782.

    IT raised some wonder in me that I had not a line from you in so long a time. I began to be almost afraid that your love was growing cold! And it would not be at all strange if it did: It is more strange if it does not; especially while you have an affair in hand that naturally terms to engross the whole thought. Whoever follows the few plain directions which are given in the sermon on Enthusiasm, will easily and distinctly see what is the will of God concerning any point in question; that is, provided his eye be single, provided he has one design and one desire. But it is a just observation, “As a very little dust will disorder the motion of a clock; and as a very little sand will hinder the sight of the eye; so a very little desire, or selfish design, will greatly obstruct the eye of the soul.” By experience, the strongest of all arguments, you have been once and again convinced, that salvation from inbred sin is received by simple faith, although it is certain there is a gradual work both preceding and following Is it not then your wisdom not willingly to converse with any that oppose this great and important truth? If you play with fire, will you not be burned sooner or later? Nay, have you not been burned already?

    I remain, my dear Nancy, Yours most affectionately.

    DCCCLXXVI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE,LONDON, October 8, 1785.

    NOT once, but many times, I have been making all the inquiries I could concerning you. The rather, as I was afraid you might suffer loss by the severe trials you had met with. I should not have wondered if you had: I rather wonder how you have escaped. But, indeed, as long as you can say from your heart, “Lord, not as I will, but as thou wilt,” no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You unquestionably did enjoy a measure of his pure and perfect love. And as you received it at first by naked faith, just so you may receive it again; and who knows how soon? May you not say, — “If thou canst so greatly bow, Friend of sinner, why not now?”

    I believe Mr. W——’s nervous disorder gave rise to many, if not most, of those temptations to which many persons of equal grace, but firmer nerves, are utter strangers. As you never yet experienced anything of the kind, so I am persuaded you never will. Yet I do not wonder at the horrid temptations of Gregory Lopez, because he was in a desert, that is so far out of God’s way. I thank you for writing freely to me. If I had you now by the hand, I would tell you, you can never write or speak too freely to, My dear Miss Loxdale, Yours most affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCLXXVII.

    To Mr. C ——. DUNDEE, May 2, 1786.

    I DOUBT not but both —— and you are in trouble, because —— has “changed his religion.” Nay, he has changed his opinions, and mode of worship: But that is not religion; it is quite another thing. “Has he then,” you may ask, “sustained no loss by the change?” Yes, unspeakable loss; because his new opinion, and mode of worship, are so unfavorable to religion, that they make it, if not impossible to one that once knew better, yet extremely difficult. “What then is religion?” It is happiness in God, or in the knowledge and love of God. It is “faith working by love;” producing “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” In other words, it is a heart and life devoted to God; or, communion with God the Father and the Son; or, the mind which was in Christ Jesus, enabling us to walk as He walked. Now, either he has this religion, or he has not: If he has, he will not finally perish, notwithstanding the absurd, unscriptural opinions he has embraced, and the superstitious and idolatrous modes of worship. But these are so many shackles, which will greatly retard him in running the race that is set before him. If he has not this religion, if he has not given God his heart, the case is unspeakably worse: I doubt if he ever will; for his new friends will continually endeavor to hinder him, by putting something else in its place, by encouraging him to rest in the form, notions, or externals, without being, born again, without having Christ in him, the hope of glory, without being renewed in the image of Him that created him. This is the deadly evil. I have often lamented that he had not this holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. But though he had it not, yet in his hours of cool reflection, he did not hope to go to heaven without it: But now he is or will be taught, that, let him only have a right faith, (that is, such and such notions,) and add thereunto such and such externals, and he is quite safe. He may indeed roll a few years in purging fire, but he will surely go to heaven at last!

    Therefore, you and my dear have great need to weep over him: But have you not also need to weep for yourselves? For have you given God your hearts? Are you holy in heart? Have you the kingdom of God within your righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost? the only true religion under heaven? O cry unto Him that is mighty to save, for this one thing needful! Earnestly and diligently use all the means which God hath put plentifully into your hands! Otherwise, I should not at all wonder if God permit you also to be given up to a strong delusion. But whether you were or were not; whether you are Protestants or Papists, neither you nor he can ever enter into glory, unless you are now cleansed from all pollution of flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God.

    I am Your affectionate

    —————

    DCCCLXXVIII.

    To the Rev. Mr. L—— .

    DEAR BROTHER,LEWISHAM,

    December 14, 1771.

    FOR some time I have been in doubt whether it was best for me to write, or to leave you to your own reflections. But at length love turns the scale.

    I cannot be silent any longer without being wanting in affection. I will therefore state the case as impartially as I can; and may God give you a right judgment in all things!

    It has pleased God to entrust you with several talents; a measure of his grace, of natural understanding improved by reading and conversation; and a tolerable utterance. And what are you doing with these talents? You are well-nigh burying them in the earth. A dispensation of the Gospel is committed to you; and yet you preach not the Gospel, or but now and then; instead of, continually stirring up the gift of God that is in you. Is this inactivity, this losing so many precious opportunities, owing to any temporal views? Do you expect to get more money by delay? I hope not.

    Do you want to avoid labor, shame, or censure? I would fain think better things of you. Surely you have not so learned Christ!

    But you have promised (not indeed to man but) before God, that you will not leave the Church. What do you mean by this? What ideas do you affix to that confused expression? In what sense can the officiating at West — street or Spitalfields chapels (both of them consecrated places, if that avails anything) be called leaving the Church? Does Mr. Dodd, one of the Kings Chaplains, leave the Church by officiating at Charlotte — street chapel? although this was never consecrated yet, neither is under any Episcopal jurisdiction.

    But if you had made that promise ten times, still I ask, Would it not be “more honored in the breach than in the observance?” For, what was it you promised?. To wait for dead men’s shoes? Was not this a foolish promise? To bury your talent in the earth? Was not this a sinful provide?

    To incur the woe of not preaching the Gospel? Is not this both foolish and sinful? “But you do not intend to stand in the vineyard all the day idle.

    You will but wait a while longer.” Well, how long will you be as a dumb dog? twenty years? or ten? or one and a half? If you have a lease of your life, well. But what, if you are called in one year to give an account of your stewardship? O live today! Do all the good you can while! it is called today! Now stir up the gift of God which is in you! Now save as many souls as you can and do all you can to ease the labor and prolong the life of Your affectionate friend and brother, DCCCLXXIX. — To the Same.

    October 25, 1786.

    LAST

    night I had a long conversation with a few sensible men, concerning going to church. I asked them what objection they had to the hearing of Mr. L——. They answered, they could not hear him; he generally spoke so low, that they lost a good part of what he said; and that what they could hear was spoken in a dead, cold, languid manner, as if he did not feel anything which he spoke. This would naturally disgust them the more, because Dr. C—— leaned to the other extreme. I doubt there is some ground for their objection. But I should think you might easily remove it. I asked again, “Have you any objection to anything in his behavior?” They answered, “One thing we cannot approve of; his being ashamed of the Methodists. His never recommending or defending them at all, we think, is a full proof of this: For every one knows his near relation, and his many obligations to you. They know how you have loved and cherished him from a child.” They might have added, “You owe your whole education to him, and therefore, in effect, your ordination, your curacy, your school, yea, and your wife: None of which you would in all likelihood have had, had it not been for him.”

    I would add a word upon this head myself. I do not think you act wisely.

    Not one of your genteel friends can be depended on: They are mere summer flies. Whereas, had you condescended to make the Methodists your friends, they would have adhered to you one and all. And they are already no inconsiderable body of people; beside that, they are increasing more and more.

    Suffer me now to speak a word between you and me. Is not the reason of your preaching so languidly and coldly, that you do not feel what you say? And why not? Because your soul is not alive to God. Do you know that your sins are forgiven? I fear not. Can you say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth?” I doubt, if you did know once, whether you know it now! Have you fellowship with the Father and the Son? Alas, it is well if you know what it means! And are you content to have your portion in this would? Do you savor only earthly things? Then I do not wonder that you are shy to the Methodists; for they are not to your taste!

    O think and pray today; for I do not promise you that you shall live another year! I now give you a full proof that I am Your truly affectionate.

    —————

    DCCCLXXX.

    To Mr. Theophilus Lessey. MY DEAR BROTHER, THERE is no one point in all the Bible concerning which I have said more, or written more, for almost these fifty years, than faith. I can say no more than I have said. To believe the being and attributes of God is the faith of a Heathen. To believe the Old Testament, and trust in Him that was to come, was the faith of a Jew. To believe, Christ gave himself for me, is the faith of a Christian. This faith He did give to you, and I hope does still:

    Hold it fast, without any philosophical refinement. When we urge any to believe, we mean, “Accept that faith which God is now ready to give.”

    Indeed, believing is the act of man, but it is the gift of God. For no one ever did believe unless God gave him the power. Take it simply without reasoning, and hold it fast.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCLXXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER, THAT you are slighted in some places ought not to discourage you, but to humble you, and to put you upon more diligence in searching the Scriptures with more meditation and prayer. As a balance for the slight you meet with in some places, you see that God gives you success in others. And there is no doubt but he gives you as much honor and success as you can bear. Many censures must be expected to follow the expulsion of unworthy members. But this will do you no hurt. The way to the kingdom lies through honor and dishonor. I am in great hopes that sister Cousins will now have better health than she has had for some time. And she may say with assurance, “Health I shall have, if health be best.” Go on, fulfilling your character, and being “patient in bearing ill, and doing well.”

    I am Your affectionate brother

    —————

    DCCCLXXXII.

    To Mr. John Stretton, in Harborgrace, Newfoundland. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 25, 1785.

    YOU did well in breaking through that needless diffidence: If you had wrote sooner, you would have heard from me sooner. Although I have not been at Limerick for some years, yet I remember your father and mother well. They truly feared God when I conversed with them. Be a follower of them, as they were of Christ.

    The last time I saw Mr. Coughlan, he was ill in body, but in a blessed state of mind. He was utterly broken in pieces, full of tears and contrition for his past unfaithfulness. Not long after I went out of town, God removed him to a better place.

    If that deadly enemy of true religion, Popery, is breaking in upon you, there is indeed no time to be lost; for it is far easier to prevent the plague than to stop it. Last autumn Dr. Coke sailed from England, and is now visiting the flock in the midland provinces of America, and settling them on the New Testament plan, to which they all willingly and joyfully conform, being all united, as by one Spirit, so in one body. I trust they will no more want such Pastors as are after God’s own heart. After he has gone through these parts, he intends, if God permit, to see the brethren in Nova Scotia, probably attended with one or two able Preachers who will be willing to abide there. A day or two ago, I wrote and desired him before he returns to England to call upon our brethren also in Newfoundland, and, perhaps, leave a Preacher there likewise. About food and raiment, we take no thought. Our heavenly Father knoweth that we need these things, and he will provide. Only let us be faithful and diligent in feeding his flock.

    Your Preacher will be ordained. Go on, in the name of the Lord, and in the power of his might! You shall want no assistance that is in the power of Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXIII.

    To Mr. George Blackall, of Brentford. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 25, 1783.

    ST.PAUL

    teaches, that it is in heaven we are to be joined with “the spirits of just men made perfect,” in such a sense as we cannot be on earth, or even in paradise. In paradise the souls of good men rest from their labors, and are with Christ from death to the resurrection. This bears no resemblance at all to the Popish purgatory, wherein wicked men are supposed to be tormented in purging fire, till they are sufficiently purified to have a place in heaven. But we believe, (as did the ancient church,) that none suffer after death, but those who suffer eternally. We believe that we are to be here saved from sin, and enabled to love God with all our heart.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXIV.

    To Mr. John Bausell.

    I BELIEVE what you say, or write, proceeds from a real desire to promote the glory of God by the salvation of men: Therefore I take in good part all you say; and thank you for your letter to me. Your advice is good as to the substance of it: Little circumstances I do not contend for.

    I likewise approve the exhortation, in your printed treatise, to the people called Methodists. It is quite consistent with what I am saying to them day by day, in private, as well as in public. A great number of them have the form of godliness; but I am jealous over them, for fear they should stop there, and imagine they are safe in the form, without the power.

    In earth, in paradise, in heaven, Our all in all is love.

    Without this; we know all religion is a shadow. The Lord fire your heart with this! So prays Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXV.

    To Mr. Victory Purdy, of Bristol. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, February 1, 1784.

    YOUR

    father was one of our first society, which met at Fetter-lane; and one of the first that found peace with God. When it was thought best that I should go to Bristol, we spent a considerable time in prayer, and then cast lots who should accompany me thither. The lot fell upon him; and he was with me day and night till he judged it proper to marry. But I had no curiosity; so that I scarce ever asked him a question concerning his parents birth, or former way of life. I first saw him when he came to the Foundery, and desired to be admitted into the society. He was a man of eminent integrity and simplicity; “fervent in zeal, and warm in charity;” both in his spirit and behavior greatly resembling Joseph Bradford. Be you a follower of him, as he was of Christ!

    I am Your affectionate brother

    —————

    DCCCLXXXVI.

    To Mr. ——.

    MY DEAR BROTHER,

    January, 1780.

    YOU seem to me not to have well considered the Rule’s of a Helper, or the rise of Methodism. It pleased God, by me, to awaken, first my brother, and then a few others; who severally desired of me, as a favor, that I would direct them in all things. After my return from Georgia, many were both awakened and converted to God. One, and another, and another of these desired to join with me as sons in the Gospel, to be directed by me. I drew up a few plain rules (observe, there was no Conference in being!) and permitted them to join me on these conditions. Whoever, therefore, violates these conditions, particularly that of being directed by me in the work, does, ipso facto, disjoin himself from me. This brother M. has done: (But he cannot see that he has done amiss:) And he would have it a common cause; that is, he would have all the Preachers do the same. He thinks “they have a right so to do.” So they have. They have a right to disjoin themselves from me whenever they please. But they cannot, in the nature of the thing, join with me any longer than they are directed by me.

    And what, if fifty of the present Preachers disjoined themselves! What should I lose thereby? Only a great deal of labor and care, which I do not seek; but endure, because no one else either can or will.

    You seem likewise to have quite a wrong idea of a Conference. For above six years after my return to England, there was no such thing. I then desired some of our Preachers to meet me, in order to advise, not control, me. And you may observe, they had no power at all, but what I exercised through them. I chose to exercise the power which God had given me in this manner, both to avoid ostentation, and gently to habituate the people to obey them when I should be taken from their head. But as long as I remain with them, the fundamental rule of Methodism remains inviolate.

    As long as any Preacher joins with me, he is to be directed by me in his work. Do not you see, then, that brother M——, whatever his intentions might be, acted as wrong as wrong could be? and that the representing of this as the common cause of the Preachers was the way to common destruction? the way to turn all their heads, and to set them in arms? It was a blow at the very root of Methodism. I could not therefore do less than I did: It was the very least that could be done, for fear that evil should spread.

    I do not willingly speak of these things at all: But I do it now out of necessity; because I perceive the mind of you, and some others, is a little hurt by not seeing them in a true light.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXVII.

    To Mr. —. DEAR ——, December , 1786.

    You know I love you. Ever since I knew you, I have neglected no way of showing it, that was in my power. And you know I esteem you for your zeal and activity: for your love of discipline, and for your gifts which God has given you; particularly quickness of apprehension, and readiness of utterance; especially in prayer.

    Therefore I am jealous over you, lest you should lose any of the things you hare gained, and not receive a full reward: And the more so, because I fear you are wanting in other respects. And who will venture to tell you so? You will scarce know how to bear it from me, unless you lift up your heart to God. If you do this, I may venture to tell you what I fear, without any further preface. I fear you think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Do not you think too highly of your own understanding?

    Of your gifts? particularly in preaching? as if you were the very best Preacher in the Connection? of your own importance? as if the work of God, here or there, depended wholly or mainly on you? and of your popularity? which I have found, to my surprise, far less, even in L——, than I expected.

    May not this be much owing to the want of brotherly love? With what measure you mete, men will measure to you again. I fear there is something unloving in your spirit; something not only of roughness, but of harshness, yea, of sourness! Are you not also extremely open to prejudice, and not easy to be cured of it? so that whenever you are prejudiced, you commence bitter, implacable, unmerciful! If so, that people are prejudiced against you, is both the natural and the judicial consequence.

    I am afraid lest your want of love to, your neighbors should spring from want of love to God; from want of thankfulness. I have sometimes heard you speak in a manner that made me tremble; indeed, in terms that not only a weak Christian, but even a serious Deist, would scruple to use.

    I fear, you greatly want evenness of temper. Are you not generally too high, or too low? Are not all your passions too lively? your anger in particular? Is it not too soon raised? And is it not too impetuous? causing you to be violent, boisterous, bearing down all before you?

    Now, lift up your heart to God, or you will be angry at me. But I must go a little further. I fear you are greatly wanting in the government of your tongue. You are not exact in relating facts. I have observed it myself. You are apt to amplify; to enlarge a little beyond the truth. You cannot imagine, if others observe this, how it will affect your reputation.

    But I fear you are more wanting in another respect: That you give a loose to your tongue when you are angry; that your language then is not only sharp, but coarse, and ill-bred. If this be so, the people will not bear it.

    They will not take it either from you or me.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXVIII.

    To Bishop Lowth. MY LORD, August 10, 1780.

    SOME time since I received your Lordship’s favor, for which I return your Lordship my sincere thanks. Those persons did not apply to the Society, because they had nothing to ask of them. They wanted no salary for their Minister; they were themselves able and willing to maintain him. They therefore applied, by me, to your Lordship, as members of the Church of England, and desirous so to continue, begging the favor of your Lordship, after your Lordship had examined him, to ordain a pious man who might officiate as their Minister.

    But your Lordship observes, “There are three Ministers in that country already.” True, my Lord: But what are three, to watch over all the souls in that extensive country? Will your Lordship permit me to speak freely? I dare not do otherwise. I am on the verge of the grave, and know not the hour when I shall drop into it. Suppose there were threescore of those Missionaries in the country, could I in conscience recommend these souls to their care? Do they take any care of their own souls? If they do, (I speak it with concern!) I fear they are almost the only Missionaries in America that do. My Lord, I do not speak rashly. I have been in America; and so have several with whom I have lately conversed. And both I and they know what manner of men the far greater part of these are. They are men who have neither the power of religion, nor the form; men that lay no claim to piety, nor even decency.

    Give me leave, my Lord, to speak more freely still: Perhaps it is the last time I shall trouble your Lordship. I know your Lordship’s abilities and extensive learning: I believe, what is far more, that your Lordship fears God. I have heard that your Lordship is unfashionably diligent in examining the candidates for holy orders; yea, that your Lordship is generally at the pains of examining them yourself. Examining them! In what respects? Why, whether they understand a little Latin and Greek, and can answer a few trite questions in the science of divinity! Alas, how little does this avail! Does your Lordship examine, whether they serve Christ or Belial? whether they love God or the world? whether they ever had an serious thoughts about heaven or hell? whether, they have any real desire to save their own souls, or the souls of others? If not, what have they to do with holy orders? And what will become of the souls committed to their care?

    My Lord, I do by no means despise learning: I know the value of it too well. But what is this, particularly in a Christian Minister, compared to piety? What is it in a man that has no religion? “As a jewel in a swine’s snout.”

    Some time since, I recommended to your Lordship a plain man, whom I had known above twenty years, as a person of deep, genuine piety, and of unblamable conversation. But he neither understood Greek nor Latin; and he affirmed, in so many words, that he believed it was his duty to preach, whether he was ordained or no. I believe so too. What became of him since, I know not: But I suppose he received Presbyterian ordination; and I cannot blame him if he did. He might think any ordination better than none.

    I do not know that Mr. Hoskins had any favor to ask of the Society. He asked the favor of your Lordship to ordain him, that he might minister to a little flock in America. But your Lordship did not see good to ordain him:

    But your Lordship did see good to ordain, and send into America, other persons, who knew something of Greek and Latin; but who knew no more of saving souls, than of catching whales.

    In this respect also, I mourn for poor America; for the sheep scattered up and down therein. Part of them have no shepherds at all, particularly in the northern colonies; and the case of the rest is little better, for their own shepherds pity them not. They cannot; for they have no pity on themselves. They take no thought or care about their own souls.

    Wishing your Lordship every blessing from the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls I remain, my Lord, Your Lordship’s dutiful son and servant.

    —————

    DCCCLXXXIX. — To the Bishop of — MY LORD, I AM a dying man, having already one foot in the grave. Humanly speaking, I cannot long creep upon the earth, being now nearer ninety than eighty years of age. But I cannot die in peace, before I have discharged this office of Christian love to your Lordship. I write without ceremony, as neither hoping nor fearing anything from your Lordship, or from any man living.

    And I ask, in the name and in the presence of Him to whom both you and I are shortly to give an account, why do you trouble those that are quiet in the land? those that fear God and work righteousness? Does your Lordship know what the Methodists are? that many thousands of them are zealous members of the Church of England, and strongly attached, not only to His Majesty, but to his present Ministry? Why should your Lordship, setting religion out of the question, throw away such a body of respectable friends? Is it for their religious sentiments? Alas, my Lord! is this a time to persecute any man for conscience’ sake? I beseech you, my Lord, do as you would be done to. You are a man of sense; you are a man of learning; nay, I verily believed (what is of infinitely more value,) you are a man of piety. Then think, and let think. I pray God to bless you with the choicest of his blessings.

    I am, my Lord, etc.

    —————

    DCCCXC. — To the Bishop of —. MY LORD,HULL, June 26, 1790.

    IT may seem strange, that one who is not acquainted with your Lordship, should trouble you with a letter. But I am constrained to do it: I believe it is my duty both to God and your Lordship. And I must speak plain; having nothing to hope or fear in this world, which I am on the point of leaving.

    The Methodists, in general, my Lord, are members of the Church of England. They hold all her doctrines, attend her service, and partake of her sacraments. They do not willingly do harm to any one but do what good they can to all. To encourage each other herein, they frequently spend an hour together in prayer and mutual exhortation. Permit me then to ask, Cui bono? “For what reasonable end” would your Lordship drive these people out of the Church? Are they not as quiet, as inoffensive, nay, as pious, as any of their neighbors? except perhaps here and there a harebrained man, who knows not what he is about. Do you ask, “Who drives them out of the Church?” Your Lordship does; and that in the most cruel manner; yea, and the most disingenuous manner. They desire a license to worship God after their own conscience. Your Lordship refuses it; and then punishes them for not having a license! So your Lordship leaves them only this alternative, “Leave the Church, or starve.” And is it a Christian, yea, a Protestant Bishop, that so persecutes his own flock? I say, persecutes; for it is persecution to all intents and purposes. You do not burn them indeed, but you starve them. And how small is the difference! And your Lordship does this under color of a vile, execrable law, not a whit better than that de hæretico comburendo . 9 So persecution, which is banished out of France, is again countenanced in England!

    O my Lord, for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, for pity’s sake, suffer the poor people to enjoy their religious, as well as civil, liberty! I am on the brink of eternity! Perhaps so is your Lordship too! How soon may you also be called to give an account of your stewardship, to the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls! May He enable both you and me to do it with joy! So prays, My Lord, Your Lordship’s dutiful son and servant.

    —————

    DCCCXCI. — To the Bishop of — MY LORD, SEVERAL years ago, the Churchwardens of St. Bartholomew’s informed Dr. Gibson, then Lord Bishop of London, “My Lord, Mr. Bateman, our Rector, invites Mr. Wesley very frequently to preach in his church.” The Bishop replied, “And what would you have me do? I have no right to hinder him. Mr. Wesley is a Clergyman, regularly ordained, and under no ecclesiastical censure.”

    I am, my Lord, Your Lordship’s obedient servant.

    —————

    DCCCXCII.

    To Sir Harry Trelawney. FOR a long time I have had a desire to see you, but could not find an opportunity: And indeed I had reason to believe my company would not be agreeable; as you were intimate with those who think they do God service by painting me in the most frightful colors. It gives me much satisfaction to find that you have escaped out of the hands of those warm men. It is not at all surprising that they should speak a little unkindly; of you too in their turn. It gave me no small satisfaction to learn, from your own lips, the falsehood of their allegation. I believed it false before, but could not affirm it so positively as I can now.

    Indeed, it would not have been without precedent, if from one extreme you had run into another. This was the case with that great man, Dr. Taylor, of Norwich. For some years he was an earnest Calvinist; but afterwards, judging, he could not get far enough from that melancholy system, he ran, not only into Arianism, but into the very dregs of Socinianism. I have reason, indeed, to believe he was convinced of his mistake some years before he died. But to acknowledge this publicly was too hard a task for one who had lived above eighty years.

    You have need to be thankful on another account like wise; that is, that your prejudices against the Church of England are removing. Having had an opportunity of seeing several of the Churches abroad, and having deeply considered the several sorts of Dissenters at home, I am fully convinced that our own Church, with all her blemishes, is nearer the scriptural plan than any other in Europe.

    I sincerely wish you may retain your former zeal for God; only, that it may be a “zeal according to knowledge.” But there certainly will be a danger of your sinking into a careless, lukewarm state, without any zeal or spirit at all. As you were surfeited with an irrational, unscriptural religion, you may easily slide into no religion at all; or into a dead form, that will never make you happy, either in this world, or in that which is to come.

    Wishing every scriptural blessing, both to Lady Trelawney and you, I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate servant.

    —————

    DCCCXCIII.

    To Mr. ——. YOU give five reasons why the Rev. Mr. P. will come no more amongst us: 1. Because we despise the Ministers of the Church of England. — This I flatly deny. I am answering letters, this very post, which bitterly blame me for just the contrary. 2. Because so much backbiting and evil-speaking is suffered amongst our people. — It is not suffered: All possible means are used, both to prevent and remove it. 3. Because I, who have written so much against hoarding up money, have put out seven hundred pounds to interest. — I never put sixpence out to interest since I was born; nor had I ever one hundred pounds together, my own, since I came into the world. 4. Because our lay Preachers have told many stories of my brother and me. — If they did, I am sorry for them: When I hear the particulars, I can answer, and, perhaps, make those ashamed who believed them. 5. Because we did not help a friend in distress. — We did help him as far as we were able. — But we might have made his case known to Mr. G., Lady H., etc. — So we did, more than once, but we could not pull money from them, whether they would or no. Therefore, these reasons are of no weight. You conclude with praying that God would remove pride and malice from amongst us. — Of pride, I have too much; of malice, I have none: However, the prayer is good, and I thank you for it.

    —————

    DCCCXCIV.

    To Mr.——. SOME time since I was considering what you said, concerning the want of a plan in our societies. There is a good deal of truth in this remark. For though we have a plan, as to our spiritual economy, (the several branches of which are particularly recited in the “Plain Account of the People called Methodists,”) yet it is certain we have barely the first outlines of a plan with regard to our temporal concerns. The reason is, I had no design for several years to concern myself with temporals at all; and when I began to do this, it was wholly and solely with a view to relieve, not employ, the poor; except now and then, with respect to a small number; and even this I found was too great a burden for me, as requiring more money, more time, and more thought, than I could possibly spare. I say “than I could possibly spare;” for the whole weight lay on me. If I left it to others, it surely came to nothing. They wanted either understanding, or industry, or love, or patience, to bring anything to perfection.

    Thus far I thought it needful to explain myself, with regard to the economy of our society. I am still to speak of your case, of my own, and of some who are dependent upon me.

    I do not recollect, for I kept no copy of my last, that I charged you with want of humility or meekness. Doubtless, these may be found in the most splendid palaces. But did they ever move a man to build a splendid palace?

    Upon what motive you did this, I know not; but you are to answer it to God, not to me.

    If your soul is as much alive to God, if your thirst after pardon and holiness is as strong, if you are as dead to the desire of the eye, and the pride of life, as you were six or seven years ago, I rejoice: If not, I pray God you may; and then you will know how to value a real friend.

    With regard to myself, you do well to warn me against popularity, a thirst of power, and of applause, against envy, producing a seeming contempt for the conveniences or grandeur of this life; against an affected humility; against sparing from myself to give to others, from no other motive than ostentation. I am not conscious to myself that this is my case. However, the warning is always friendly; and it is always seasonable, considering how deceitful my heart is, and how many the enemies that surround me.

    What follows I do not understand: “You behold me in the ditch, wherein you helped, though innocently, to cast me, and with a Levitical pity, passing by on the other side. He and you, Sir, have not any merit, though Providence should permit all these sufferings to work together for my good,” I do not comprehend one line of this, and therefore cannot plead either Guilty or Not Guilty. — I presume, they are some that are dependent on me, “who,” you say, “keep not the commandments of God; who show a repugnance to serve and obey; who are as full of pride and arrogance, as of filth and nastiness; who do not pay lawful debts, nor comply with civil obligations; who make the waiting on the offices of religion a plea for sloth and idleness; who, after I had strongly recommended them, did not perform their moral duty, but increased the number of those incumbrances which they forced on you against your will.” To this, I can only say, 1. I know not whom you mean: I am not certain that I can so much as guess at one of them. 2. Whoever they are, had they followed my instructions, they would have acted in a quite different manner. 3. If you will tell me them by name, I will renounce all fellowship with them.

    —————

    DCCCXCV.

    To Lady ——. MY DEAR LADY,LONDON, September 20, 1788.

    FOR many years a great person professed, and I believe had, a great regard for me. I therefore believed it my duty to speak with all freedom, which I did in a long letter. But she was so displeased, that she said to a friend, “I hate Mr. Wesley above all the creatures upon earth.”

    I now believe it my duty to write freely to you: Will it have the same effect? Certainly I would not run the hazard, did I not regard your happiness more than your favor. Therefore, I will speak. May God enable you not only to pardon it, but to profit thereby! Indeed unless you profit by it, I do not expect you to forgive.

    He pleased to observe, I do not affirm anything; I only beg you calmly to consider, Would it be right for me to propagate a doctrine which I believed to be false? particularly if it were not only false, but dangerous to the souls of men; frequently hindering their growth in grace; stopping their pursuit of holiness?

    And is it right in you to do this? You believe the doctrine of absolute predestination is false. Is it then right for you to propagate this doctrine, in any kind or degree? particularly as it is not only false, but a very dangerous doctrine, as are have seen a thousand times? Does it not hinder the work of God in the soul? feed all evil? and weaken all good, tempers? turn many quite out of the way of life, and drive them back to perdition?

    Is not Calvinism the very antidote of Methodism? the most deadly and successful enemy which it ever had. “But my friend desired that I would propagate it, and lodged money with me for this very purpose.” What then? May I destroy souls because my friend desired it? Ought you not rather to throw that money into the sea? 0 let not any money, or any friend, move you to proyagate a lie! to strike at the root of Methodism! to grieve the holiest of your friends, and to endanger your own soul!

    Living or dying, I shall always be, My dear Lady, Your most affectionate servant.

    —————

    DCCCXCVI.

    To Lord ——. MY LORD, 1782.

    IF I wrong your Lordship, I am sorry for it: But I really believe your Lordship fears God; and I hope your Lordship has no unfavorable opinion of the Christian revelation. This encourages me to trouble your Lordship with a few lines, which otherwise I should not take upon me to do.

    Above thirty years ago, a motion was made in Parliament, for raising and embodying the militia, and for exercising them, to save time, on Sunday.

    When the motion was like to pass, an old gentleman stood up, and said, “Mr. Speaker, I have one objection to this: I believe an old book, called the Bible.” The Members looked at one another, and the motion was dropped.

    Must not all others, who believe the Bible, have the very same objection?

    And, from what I have seen, I; cannot but think, these are still threefourths of the nation. Now, setting religion out of the question, is it expedient to give such a shock to so many millions of people at once? And certainly it would shock them extremely: It would wound them in a very tender part. For would not they, would not all England, would not all Europe, consider this as a virtual repeal of the Bible? And would not all serious persons say, “We have little religion in the land now; but by this step, we shall have less still? For wherever this pretty show is to be seen, the people will flock together; and will lounge away so much time before and after it, that the churches will be emptier than they are already!”

    My Lord, I am concerned for this on a double account: First, because I have personal obligations to your Lordship and would fain, even for this reason, recommend your Lordship to the love and esteem of all over whom I have any influence. Secondly, because I now reverence your Lordship for our office’ sake; and believe it to be my bounden duty to do all that is in my little power, to advance your Lordship’s influence and reputation.

    Will your Lordship permit me to add a word in my old-fashioned way? I pray Him that has all power in heaven and earth, to prosper all your endeavors for the public good; and am, My Lord, Your Lordship’s willing servant.

    —————

    DCCCXCVII.

    To a Member of Parliament. LAST month a few people met together in Lincolnshire to pray, and praise God, in a friend’s house: There was no preaching at all. The neighboring Justices fined the man of the house twenty pounds. I suppose he was not worth twenty shillings. Upon this, his household goods were distrained and sold, to pay the fine. He appealed to the Quarter-Sessions; but all the Justices averred, the Methodists could have no relief from the Act of Toleration, because they went to church; and that, so long as they did so, the Conventicle Act should be executed upon them.

    Last Sunday, when one of our Preachers was beginning to speak to a quiet congregation, a neighboring justice sent a constable to seize him, though he was licensed; and would not release him till he had paid twenty pounds, telling him, his license was good for nothing, because he was a Churchman.

    Now, Sir, what can the Methodists do? They are liable to be ruined by the Conventicle Act, and they have no relief from the Act of Toleration! If this is not oppression, what is? Where then is English liberty? the liberty of Christians? yea, of every rational creature, who, as such, has a right to worship God according to his own conscience? But, waving the question of right and wrong, what prudence is there in oppressing such at body of loyal subjects? If these good Magistrates could drive them, not only out of Lincolnshire, but out of England, who would be gainers thereby? Not His Majesty, whom we honor and love; not his Ministers, whom we love and serve for his sake. Do they wish to throw away so many thousand friends, who are now bound to them by stronger ties than that of interest? If you will speak a word to Mr. Pitt on that head, you will oblige, etc.

    —————

    DCCCXCVIII.

    To the Rev. E. C., of Philadelphia. MY DEAR BROTHER, NearLONDON, February 1, 1791.

    THOSE that desire to write or say anything to me, have no time to lose; for time has shaken me by the hand, and death is not far behind. But I have reason to be thankful for the time that is past: I felt few of the infirmities of old age for fourscore and six years. It was not till a year and a half ago that my strength and my sight failed. And still I am enabled to scrawl a little, and to creep, though I cannot run. Probably I should not be able to do so much, did not many of you assist me by your prayers. I have given a distinct account of the work of God, which has been wrought in Britain and Ireland, for more than half a century. We want some of you to give us a connected relation of what our Lord has been doing in America, from the time that Richard Boardman accepted the invitation, and left his country to serve you. See that you never give place to one thought of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose no opportunity of declaring to all men, that the Methodists are one people in all the world; and that it is their full determination so to continue, Though mountain rise, and oceans roll, To sever us in vain, To the care of our common Lord I commit you; and am.

    Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCXCIX.

    To a Friend. DEAR SIR,LONDON, February 26, 1791.

    UNLESS the divine power has raised you up to be as Athanasius contra mundum , 10 I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise, in opposing that execrable villany, which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn-out by the opposition of men and devils. But, “if God be for you, who can be against you?” Are all of them together stronger than God? O “be not weary in well doing!” Go on; in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.

    Reading this morning a tract, wrote by a poor African, I was particularly struck by that circumstance, — that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a law, in all our colonies, that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing.

    What villany is this!

    That He who has guided you from your youth up, may continue to strengthen you in this and all things, is the prayer of Dear Sir, Your affectionate servant.

    —————

    DCCCC. — To Mr. John Boom. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, January 29, 1791.

    YOU give me a very agreeable account of the progress of the work of God in your Circuit. As to the poor self-conceited enthusiasts in Keighley, it seems best that you should never name them in public; but, when occasion offer, strike at the root of their errors, by clearly proving the truth which they deny. And whenever you meet with any of them in private, then speak and spare not. Whenever you have opportunity of speaking to believers urge them to go on to perfection. Spare no pains; and God, our own God, still give you his blessing!

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCCI.

    To Mr. York, of Stourport. DEAR SIR,LONDON, February 6, 1791.

    ON Wednesday, March 17, I purpose, if God permit, to Come from Gloucester to Worcester; and on Thursday the 18th, to Stourport. If our friends at Worcester are displeased we cannot help it. Wishing you and yours all happiness, I am, dear Sir, Your affectionate servant.

    February 28. This morning I found this in my bureau. 12 SUPPLEMENTARY LETTERS. ——— DCCCCII. — To Dr. Koker, of Rotterdam. 1738.

    MY desire and prayer to God is, that the glorious Gospel of his Son may run and be glorified among you, as it doth among us; and much more abundantly. I should rejoice to hear what our Lord hath done for you also.

    Is the number of believers multiplied? Do they love one another? Are they all of one heart and one soul? Do they build up one another in the knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ? May He multiply your little flock a thousand fold, how many soever they be! May He fill you with all peace and joy in believing! May He preserve you in all lowliness of spirit!

    And may He enable you to use great plainness of speech, both towards each other, and toward all men; and, by manifestation of the truth, to commend yourselves to ever man’s conscience in the sight of God!

    Even to this hour I have not had one day’s leisure to transcribe for you the papers I brought from Hernhuth: The harvest here also is so plenteous, and the laborers so few; and it increases upon us daily. Verily the Spirit of the Lord hath lifted up his standard against the iniquity which hath overspread our land as a flood. O pray ye for us, that He would send more laborers into His harvest; and that He would enable us, whom He hath already sent, to approve ourselves faithful Ministers of the new covenant, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report! In particular, let all the brethren and sisters who are with you pray that God would warm with His love the cold heart of, Dear Sir, Your much obliged and very affectionate brother in Christ.

    —————

    DCCCCIII.

    To Mr. Viney, of Ysselstein. 1738.

    AFTER a long sleep, there seems now to be a great awakening in this place also. The Spirit of the Lord hath already shaken the dry bones; and some of them stand up, and live. But I am still dead and cold; having peace indeed, but no love or joy in the Holy Ghost. O pray for me, that I may see and feel myself a sinner, and have a full interest in the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world!

    —————

    DCCCCIV.

    To Isaac Le Long, at Amsterdam. 1738.

    DO not think, my dear brother, that I have forgotten, you. I cannot forget you, because I love you: Though I cannot love any one yet as I ought; because I cannot love our blessed Lord as I ought. My heart is cold and senseless. It is indeed a heart of stone. Pray for me; and let all your household pray for me; yea, and all the brethren also, that our God would give me a broken heart, a loving heart, a heart wherein his Spirit may delight to dwell.

    May our good Lord repay you all a thousand fold for the love you showed to us! How does His Gospel prosper at Amsterdam? Are believers multiplied? And is His grace mighty among you? Is your name yet cast out as evil? (For that must be the next.) And do men despitefully use you, and persecute you? I want you to say a great deal to me of it. But, above all, I want you to pray a great deal for Your poor weak brother.

    —————

    DCCCCV.

    To Mr. Nathanael Price, of Cardiff. MY DEAR BROTHER,BRISTOL, December 6, 1739.

    OUR sincere thanks attend you for your seasonable assistance. I have writ to our dear brother Howell Harris, and sent him a short account of the design which we are carrying on in Kingswood also: Which perhaps may be agreeable to them who are with you too; for which reason, I have sent you a copy of it: Namely; “Few persons have lived long in the west of England, who have not heard of the colliers of Kingswood: A people famous from the beginning hitherto, for neither fearing God, nor regarding man; so ignorant of the things of God, that they could only be compared to the beasts that perish; and therefore utterly without desire of instruction, as well as without the means of it. “To this people Mr. Whitefield, last spring, began to preach the Gospel of Christ; and as there were thousands of then who went to no place of public worship, he went out into their own wilderness, ‘to seek and to save that which was lost.’ When he was called away, others went ‘into the highways and hedges to compel them to come in.’ And by the grace of God, their labor was not in vain. The scene was entirely changed.

    Kingswood does not now, as a year ago, resound with cursing, and blasphemy. It is no longer the seat of drunkenness, uncleanness, and all idle diversions that lead thereto. It is no longer filled with wars and fightings, with clamor and bitterness, with strife and envying. Peace and love are now there: The people in general are become mild, gentle, and easy to be entreated: They do not cry, neither strive, and hardly is their voice heard in the streets; or indeed in their own wood, unless when they are at their usual evening diversions, singing praise unto God their Savior. That their children also might know the things that make for their peace, it was proposed, some months since, to build a school in Kingswood; and, after many difficulties, the foundation of it was laid in June last, in the middle of the wood, on a place called Two-mile-hill, between the London and it Bath roads, about three measured miles from Bristol. A large room was begun there for a school, having four small rooms at each end for the schoolmasters (and hereafter, if it should please God, some poor children) to lodge in it. Two persons are ready to teach, so soon as the house is fit to receive them, the shell of which is nearly finished. It is proposed, in the usual hours of the day, to teach chiefly the poorer children to read, write, and cast accounts; but more especially, by God’s assistance, ‘to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent:’ The elder people, being not so proper to be mixed with children, (for we expect scholars of all ages, some of them gray-headed, will be taught in the inner room, either early in the morning, or late at night, so as their work may not be hindered. “It is true, although the masters will not take any pay, (for the love of Christ constrains them, as they have freely received, freely to give,) yet this undertaking is attended with great expense. But let Him that feedeth the young ravens see to that. If He puts it into your heart, or the hearts of any of your friends, to assist us in bringing this work to perfection, in this world look for no recompense; but it shall be remembered in that day, when our Lord shall say unto you, ‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me.’” My love and service attends all our brethren at Cardiff, especially Mr. Glascott. I am, in haste, My dear brother, Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCCVI.

    To Mr. Howell Harris, of Trevecka. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, July 29, 1740.

    IS the devil a fool? Or has he forgot his old maxim, “Divide and conquer?”

    Beware you forget not the royal law, “Love thinketh no evil.” I have no time myself now, so I have desired our brother Purdy to transcribe a paragraph or two of my Journal for you. “In the evening, (after I had explained, ‘We wrestle not with flesh and blood,’ etc.,) Mr. Acourt complained, that Mr. Nowers had hindered his going into our society. Mr. Nowers answered, ‘It was by Mr. C. Wesley’s order.’ ‘What,’ said Mr. Acourt, ‘do you refuse admitting a person into your society, only because he differs from you in opinion?’ I answered, ‘No; but what opinion do you mean?’ He said, ‘That of election. I hold, A certain number is elected from eternity. And these must and shall be saved.

    And the rest of mankind must and shall be damned. And many of your society hold the same.’ I replied, ‘I never asked, whether they hold it or no. Only let them not trouble others by disputing about it.’ He said, ‘Nay, but I will dispute about it.’ ‘What, wherever you come?’ ‘Yes, wherever I come.’ ‘Why then would you come among us, who you know are of another mind?’ ‘Because you are all wrong, and I am resolved to set you all right.’ ‘I fear your coming with this view would neither profit you nor us.’ He concluded, ‘Then I will go and tell all the world, that you and your brother are false prophets. And I tell you, in one fortnight, you will all be in confusion.’” I say, So be it, if we do not preach the truth as it is in Jesus.

    You see, my brother, that the reason why Mr. Acourt was not admitted into our society was, not holding election separate from reprobation, but openly declaring his fixed purpose to introduce and carry on the dispute concerning reprobation wherever he came.

    I am, my dear brother, Ever yours.

    DCCCCVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, August 6, 1742.

    I MUST write, though where my letter will find you, that I know not; only that it will be under the shadow of the Almighty, yea, in the arms of Him that loveth you. Now, let Him cover your head in the day of battle! Let His faithfulness and truth be thy shield and buckler! Let Him comfort thy heart, and after thou hast suffered awhile, make thee perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle thee!

    I have just read yours, dated at Tretecka, October 19, 1741. And what is it that we contend about? Allow such a perfection as you have there described, and all further dispute I account vain jangling and mere strife of words. As to the other point, we agree, 1. That no man can have any power except it be given him from above. 2. That no man can merit anything but hell, seeing all other merit is in the blood of the Lamb.

    For those two fundamental points, both you and I earnestly contend. Why then, if we both disclaim all power and all merit in man, what need of this great gulf to be fixed between us? Brother, is thy heart with mine, as my heart is with thy heart? If it be, give me thy hand. I am indeed a poor, foolish, sinful worm; and how long my Lord will use me, I know not. I sometimes think, the time is coming when He will lay me aside. For surely, never before did He send such a laborer into such a harvest. But, so long as I am continued in the work, let us rise up together against the evil doers. Let us not weaken, but (if it be our Lord’s will) strengthen one another’s hands in God. My brother, my soul is gone forth to meet thee; let us fall upon one another’s neck. The good Lord blot out all that is past, and let there henceforward be peace between me and thee!

    I am, my dear brother, Ever yours.

    P. S. On Friday last my mother went home with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.

    DCCCCVIII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,HOLYHEAD, February 28, 1748.

    I PRESUME you know how bitter Mr. Ellis, the Minister here, used to be against the Methodists. On Friday he came to hear me preach, I believe with no friendly intention. Brother Swindells spoke a few words to him, whereupon he invited him to his house. Since then, they have spent several hours together; and I believe his views of things are greatly changed. He commends you much for bringing the Methodists back to the Church; and at his request I have wrote a little thing to the same effect. He will translate it into Welch, and then I design to print it, both in Welch and English: I will send you some as soon as I can, that you may disperse them when you see occasion. I thought it good to apprise you of this before. I know your heart is herein as my heart. O my brother, let us join hand in hand, and fight our way through! I want all your prayers. I believe God has detained us here for the sake both of the Minister and the people.

    Grace and peace be with you and yours.

    I am, my dear brother, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCCIX.

    To Mr. John Nelson. WELL, my brother, is the God whom you serve able to deliver you; and do you find Him faithful to His word? Is His grace still sufficient for you?

    I doubt it not. He will not suffer you to be weary or faint in your mind.

    But He had work for you to do that you knew not of, and thus His counsel was to be fulfilled. O lose no time! Who knows how many souls God may by this means deliver into your hands? Shall not all these things be for the furtherance of the Gospel? And is not the time coming when we shall cry out together, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that hath loved us?”

    —————

    DCCCCX.

    To Mr. John Haime. IT is a great blessing whereof God has already made you a partaker: But if you continue waiting upon Him, you shall see greater things than these.

    This is only the beginning of the kingdom of heaven, which He will set up in your heart. There is yet behind the fullness of the mind that was in Christ; “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” It is but a little thing that men should be against you, while you know that God is on your side. If He give you any companion in the narrow way, it is well; and it is well if He do not. So much the more will He teach and strengthen you by Himself: He will strengthen you in the secret of your heart; and, by and by, He will raise up, as it were, out of the dust, those who shall say, “Come, and let us magnify His name together.” But, by all means, miss no opportunity. Speak, and spare not. Declare what God has done for your soul; regard not worldly prudence; be not ashamed of Christ, or of His word, or of His servants. Speak the truth in love, even in the midst of a crooked generation; and all things shall work together for good, until the work of God is perfect in your soul.

    DCCCCXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, June 21, 1748.

    THINK it not strange concerning the fiery trial which God hath seen good to try you with. Indeed the chastisement, for the present, is not joyous, but grievous; nevertheless it will, by and by, bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. It is good for you to be in the fiery furnace:

    Though the flesh be weary to bear it, you shall be purified therein, but not consumed; for there is one with you, whose form is as the Son of God. O look up! Take knowledge of Him who spreads underneath you His everlasting arms! Lean upon Him with the whole weight of your soul. He is yours: Lay hold upon Him.

    Away let grief and sighing flee; Jesus hath died for thee, for thee!

    Mercy and peace shall not forsake you. Through every threatening cloud look up; and wait for happy days.

    —————

    DCCCCXII.

    To the Rev. James Erskine. DEAR SIR,NEWCASTLE, March 16, 1744-5.

    I SINCERELY thank you for the transcript you send me from Mr. Robe’s letter. It shows a truly Christian spirit. I should be glad to have also the note you mention, touching the proposal for prayer and praise. Might it not be practicable to have the concurrence of Mr. Edwards in New England, if not of Mr. Tennent also, herein? It is evidently one work with what we have seen here. Why should we not all praise God with one heart?

    Whoever agrees with us in that account of practical religion, given in “The Character of a Methodist,” I regard not what his other opinions are; the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. I am more assured that love is of God, than that any opinion whatsoever is so. Herein may we increase more and more.

    I am, dear Sir, Your most affectionate servant.

    —————

    DCCCCXIII.

    To Mr. Thomas Bigg, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. MY DEAR BROTHER,LEEDS, October 7, 1749.

    A LOVING husband is a very amiable character: A fond one I think is not so. But if I had a wife, I believe I should be the latter; and perhaps you may lean to the same extreme. To you, therefore, I can freely speak my mind.

    Since I was six years old, I never met with such a severe trial as for some days past. For ten years God has been preparing a fellow-laborer for me, by a wonderful train of providences. Last year I was convinced of it; therefore, I delayed not, but, as I thought, made all sure beyond a danger of disappointment. But we were soon afterwards torn asunder by a whirlwind. In a few months the storm was over: I then used more precaution than before, and fondly told myself that the day of evil would return no more. But it too soon returned. The waves arose again since I came out of London. I fasted and prayed, and strove all I could; but the sons of Zeruiah were too hard for me. The whole world fought against me; but above all, my own familiar friend. Then was the word fulfilled, “Son of man, behold! I take from thee the desire of thine eyes at a stroke; yet shalt thou not lament, neither shall thy tears run down.”

    The fatal, irrecoverable stroke was struck on Thursday last. Yesterday I saw my friend, (that was,) and him to whom she is sacrificed. I believe you never saw such a scene. But “why should a living man complain? a man for the punishment of his sins?”

    I am Yours affectionately.

    —————

    DCCCCXIV.

    To Mr. Thomas Rankin. DEAR TOMMY,BRISTOL, October 9, 1766.

    I AM persuaded, goodwill be done in Lincolnshire. They are, in general, a simple, teachable people. And Billy Brammah will do much good, if he continues to sleep early, and rise early, and denies himself with regard to tobacco, and eating flesh-suppers.

    One or other of the remedies against an ague, in the “Primitive Physic,” will hardly fail. I depend most on, 1. The pills. If these fail,2. On the sal prunellæ! If that fail,3. On the spirits of hartshorn.

    Cornwall, in general, is in a good way. Most of the large societies there have subscribed for the Notes, for the use of the Preachers. I know not why the society at Epworth should not follow their example.

    Perhaps those advises may be printed separate by and by. Be calm and steady. Be clothed with firmness and humility.

    I am, dear Tommy, Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCCXV.

    To Mr. John Valton. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, June 18, 1782.

    I HAVE received the two first sheets of your Life. Be not afraid of writing too much: I can easily leave out what can be spared. It pleased God to lead John Haime and you a long way through the wilderness. Others He leads through a shorter and smoother way; and yet to the same point: For we must not imagine that such a degree of suffering is necessary to any degree of holiness. In this, God does certainly act as a Sovereign; giving what He pleases, and by what means He pleases. I believe the holiest man that ever lived was the Apostle John; yet he seems to have suffered very little.

    You should take care never to write long at a time, and always to write standing; never on any account leaning on your stomach. God gives me just the strength I had thirty years ago. I cannot allow J—— S—— to be any longer a Leader; and if he will lead the class, whether I will or no, I require you to put him out of our society. If twenty of his class will leave the society too, they must. The first loss is the best. Better forty members should be lost, than our discipline lost. They are no Methodists that will bear no restraints. Explain this at large to the society.

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother. ——— DCCCCXVI. — To Miss Bolton, of Witney. MY DEAR SISTER,LONDON, November 16, 1770.

    TO see even the superscription of a letter from you always gives me pleasure. I am glad you are still waiting for the kingdom of God; although as yet you are rather in the state of a servant than a child. But it is a blessed thing to be even a servant of God! You shall never have cause to be ashamed of His service. What I peculiarly advise is, that you will never omit private duties, whatever hurry you may be in, and however dull and dry your soul may be: Still they shall not be without a blessing. And therein you will receive power against that temptation, which to your tender spirit may be the most dangerous of any.

    On Sunday, I am to preach a funeral sermon for that blessed man, Mr. Whitefield, at the Tabernacle, and at Tottenham-court chapel.

    If it is a help or comfort to you, write often to, My dear Nancy, Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCCXVII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR NANCY,LONDON, January 12, 1791.

    I THANK you for your welcome present, and rejoice to hear that your health is better. What is it which is good for us, that our Lord will not give, if we can but trust in Him? These four last days I have had better health than I had for several months before. Only my sight continues much as it was. But good is the will of the Lord!

    I am, my dear Nancy, Affectionately yours.

    —————

    DCCCCXVIII.

    To Miss Newman, Cheltenham. MY DEAR SISTER, October 23, 1772.

    I AM glad to hear that you found benefit by your little journey to Bristol. I did not doubt, but the conversation of those experienced Christians would be of service to you; and would enable you to be of more service to the little flock at Cheltenham. In one point only our friends at Bristol have been once and again in some danger. They have been in danger of being a little hurt, by reading those that are called Mystic authors. These (Madam Guion in particular) have abundance of excellent sayings. They have many fine and elegant observations; but, in the mean time, they are immeasurably wise above that is written. They continually refine upon plain Christianity. But to refine religion is to spoil it. It is the most simple thing that can be conceived: It is only humble, gentle, patient love. It is nothing less, and nothing more, than this; as it is described in the thirteenth chapter to the Corinthians. O keep to this! Aim at nothing higher, at nothing else! Let your heart continually burn with humble love. If you have an opportunity to be electrified, that would remove the pain in your eye, should it return. I am glad my dear sisters did not suffer in your absence. This is another token that your journey was pleasing to God. I was much delighted, when I saw you, with your artless, simple love; and love you the more on that account. As freely as you would talk to me if we were together; so freely write to, My dear Penny, Yours affectionately.

    From time to time, you should tell me just what God works in you, and by you.

    DCCCCXIX.

    To the Same. MY DEAR SISTER,BRISTOL, October 1, 1782.

    I HAVE often been concerned at your being cooped up in a corner: Now you are likely to have a wider field of action. Only the danger will be, lest, when you have more opportunity, you should have less desire, of doing good. This is the case of many pious persons when they marry; and I do not wonder at it. I should rather wonder it is not the case of all.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    —————

    DCCCCXX.

    To Mr. Walter Churchey. MY DEAR BROTHER, NearLONDON, July 23, 1788.

    I AM glad you spoke to Mr. Cooper. What pity is it that such talents as his should be employed in so useless a manner!

    Mr. Bradburn delivered your papers to me, a few days ago. But this is so busy a time, that I had not time to go through them till today. In the translation of the Art of Painting, there are many very good lines: But there are some that want a good deal of filing; and many that are obscure.

    This is the general fault. The sense is so much wounded, that it is not easy to be understood. For many gears I have not had any bookseller, but Mr. ——, and my Assistants. I doubt whether any bookseller will buy Fresnoy. Some of the shorter copies are good sense, and good poetry. My brother has left a translation of the book of Psalms; and verses enough to make up, at least, six volumes in duodecimo. I could but ill spare him, now I am myself so far declined into the vale of years. But it is the Lord: Let Him do what seemeth Him good. Our time is now short. Let my dear sister Churchey, and you, and I, make the best of it.

    I am Your affectionate brother.

    DCCCCXXI.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER,LONDON, August 8, 1788.

    I THINK you know that I love you, and that I should rejoice to do anything for you that is in my power. And one allowed proof of love, is plain dealing. Therefore I will speak to you without any reserve. There are many good lines, and some very good, both in the ode, and in the translation of. And I really think you improve in versifying: You write a good deal better than you did some years ago. You express your sense with more perspicuity than you used to do; and appear to have greater variety of words, as well as more strength. But there is nothing (to use the modern cant word) sentimental, in either the ode or the translation. There is nothing of tender or pathetic, nothing that touches the passions.

    Therefore, no bookseller would venture to buy them; as knowing they will not sell. And they lie utterly out of the may of the Methodists, who do not care to buy, or even to read, (at least the generality of them,) any but religious books. I do not believe all my influence would induce them to buy as many copies as would suffice to pay for the printing.

    I have not yet seen my brother’s translation of the Psalms. Neither, indeed, could I as yet have time to read it, were it put into my hands.

    If any had asked my advice, they would not have thrust out the account of George Lukins into the world so prematurely. It should have been fully authenticated first.

    I am, with love to sister Churchey, Your affectionate brother.

    I expect to be at Brecon on Sunday se’nnight.

    DCCCCXXII.

    To the Same. MY DEAR BROTHER, May 20, I AM afraid of delay: I doubt we shall not be able to be as good as our word, although, in the last proposals, I have protracted the time of delivery till the 1st of August. As you are not a stripling, I wonder you have not yet learned the difference between promise and performance. I allow at least five-and-twenty per cent.; and from this conviction, I say to each of my subscribers, (which indeed you cannot so decently say to yours,) “Sir, down with your money.” I know Dr.—— well: He is a lovely man, and an excellent poet.

    I commend you for inoculating the children. I believe the hand of God is in our present work: Therefore it must prosper.

    Indeed, I love sister Churchey; and am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    —————

    DCCCCXXIII.

    To Mr. Jasper Winscom .

    DEAR JASPER,BRISTOL,

    August 28, I DO not see how you can be spared from your own Circuit till another is procured to take your place. Neither do I conceive how Sarum Circuit can bear the expense of another Preacher. I am well-nigh tired of it. I have had more trouble with this Circuit than with ten Circuits besides.

    You did exceeding well in adjusting matters at Whitchurch; but I am sorry for poor sister Haime. I am sure she was a good woman once.

    I do not understand what you mean as to Winton. How did William Thom raise them eight pounds? And on what account did you pay six pounds?

    I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

    MODERN CHRISTIANITY, EXEMPLIFIED AT WEDNESBURY, AND OTHER ADJACENT PLACES IN STAFFORDSHIRE.

    Tua res agitur paries quum proximus ardet. ——— ADVERTISEMENT. IT was our desire and design, that the following accounts, drawn up long since, should have slept for ever; but the gross misrepresentations of these facts, which are still spread abroad from day to day, constrain as at length to speak the naked truth, in as plain a manner as we are able: And now let any man of common humanity judge whether these things ought to be so. 1. “I,JOHN EATON, of Wednesbury, in Staffordshire, heard the Rev. Mr. Charles Wesley, in the latter end of the year 1742, preach salvation by faith, in the Coal-pit-Field. I and many others rejoiced to hear it, particularly many of the poor people at Darlaston, some of whom soon after began to meet together in the evenings, to sing and pray, and read the Bible. “Some at Wednesbury used to go and meet with them; but one evening the mob at Darlaston rose, pelted them with clods and stones, and broke all the windows of the house where they had been. “On the 30th of May, 1743, John Adams (whose house it was) fetched a warrant, to carry some of the rioters before Justice P., of Walsal. He desired some of us of Wednesbury to go with him; so four or five of us went: But the mob at Walsal immediately rose upon us; so that we were obliged to take shelter in a public-house. Here we were kept close prisoners till it was dark, several of us having been much hurt and abused.

    Then it was night, we escaped one or two at a time. Francis Ward and I went last. “On the 21st of June, 1743, a large mob came to my house at Weduesbury: I was then Constable; so I went to the door with my Constable’s staff, and began reading the Act of Parliament against riots; but the stones few so thick about my head, that I was forced to leave off reading and retire; so they broke about half my windows, and went away:

    But some hours after, they came again, and broke all the rest, and the door of my house, and the clock, to pieces. This is a short account of the first damage that was done to me. JOHN EATON.” 2. “On the 30th of May, I, James Jones, went with John Eaton and some others to Walsal. As we were going to and from the Justice’s house, the mob pelted us with dirt and stones. They raged more and more, till Francis Ward desired the Justice, who was present, to quiet them: But instead of that, he swung his hat round his head twice, and cried, ‘Huzza!’ On which encouragement, they grew so outrageous that we were forced to take shelter in a public house, and to stay there till it was dark. “On the 21st of June, a great multitude gathered together in Wednesbury churchyard; among them was Harvey Walklet of Wednesbury, and Richard Dorset of Darlaston. Harvey said to Richard Dorset, ‘Methinks they are not so well armed as I would have them.’ Richard answered, ‘There are many pretty fellows from Darlaston; I know them to be good blood.’

    Harvey replied, ‘There is John Baker with the oak-bough in his hat; he will break the first pane of Mr. Eaton’s windows.’ Accordingly, they went to Mr. Eaton’s first, and from thence to other houses. Here are above fourscore houses in and about Wednesbury, in many of which there are not three panes of glass left. “Wednesbury , June 29.JAMES JONES.” 3. “I, Jonathan Jones, in the county of Stafford, farmer, am willing to pay the King and country their due, might I be at peace, and go about my lawful occasions, as I ought to do. “On the 20th of June, at my neighbor Adam’s house, two or three were singing a hymn, and a parcel of apprentices and others, in a very rude manner, came and threw many stones through the windows; in particular Mr. Richard Taylor’s apprentice. So my neighbor John Adams goes to Squire P., and brings a warrant for him; but Mr. Taylor goes to Walsal, to the Justice, before the offenders were brought; and he was with Squire P— — when we came, who would not act at his own hall, but sent us down into the town, where a great mob was waiting for our coming. “So the Constable gave him the warrant; and he said, ‘What! I understand you are Methodists! I will not act for you.’ Then he went to the door, and told a great Mob, they might do what they would; and took off his hat and swung it about, and went away. They gave a great shout, and some of them swore bitterly they would murder us all. We sent for the Constable to help us out of town, but he was not to be found. So we stayed in the house about two hours, till we thought the mob was gone; but as soon as we came out, some began to halloo, and the street was quickly full. They beat and bruised us very much; but, through God’s mercy, we escaped with our lives. “About a week after there arose a great mob at Darlaston, and broke me nine large windows, and many of my goods. The same day my man was coming home with my team; and they met him, and beat him, and much abused my horses. At night they came to break the rest of my goods; but I gave them money, and they went away. “So I was at Richard Dorset’s our Churchwarden, and many of the mob came in and said, ‘Come now, d — n you, Dorset, we have done our work:

    Pay us our wages.’ And I saw the drink come in, in large jugs; and every one drank what he would. “What I have here said, I am ready to make oath of. “JONATHAN JONES.” 4. “I, Francis Ward, of Wednesbury, went to Walsal, May 30, with John Eaton, to see if we could have justice done to the rioters, who had abused our neighbors at Darlaston. We went to Benjamin Wesley’s, at the sign of the George, when one Mr. Taylor, Curate of Walsal, came with the mob to the house, and, in our hearing, encouraged them to insult us. Accordingly they pelted us with dirt and stones, all the way we went to the Justice’s gate. The Justice came out, and said we must go down into the town, and then he would hear our complaint. But as we went, the mob continued to pelt as, though the Justice was with us. I desired he would be pleased to read the Act of Parliament against riots; but he would not. When we came to Benjamin Wesley’s, the Justice would have had a hearing in the streets, among the mob; but at last he was prevailed with to go into the house.

    Then he called for John Adams, or his wife, and, without hearing them speak, said, ‘What, you are Methodists’ or words to that purpose, and immediately went out to the mob. We stayed in the house a considerable time, hoping they would disperse; but as soon as ever we came out, they gathered round us again, and beat and pelted us with whatever they could find. One of them came to me, and struck me on the eye, and cut it so, that I expected to lose my sight. I got into a shop, and had my eye dressed, and then returned to my friends. The mob pursued me again, fetched me out of the house, and beat me very much; but, with much difficulty, I got from among them again, and escaped a second time into the house. They fetched me out again, and dragged me along the street, and through the kennel, to and fro, till I had quite lost my strength, and was so weak I was not able to get up. There came a poor woman, and said to the mob, ‘Will ye kill the man?’ and lifted me up. With much ado I got home; but the abused there received threw me into a fever.” 5. “About Whitsuntide, I, Joshua Constable, of Darlaston, had all my windows broke by the mob, and many of my goods damaged and spoiled, and so had many of my neighbors; in particular, John Cotterel, Smith, Thomas Butler, Thomas Wilkinson, Aaron Longmore, William Powel, Anne Evans, Walter Carter, Samuel Foster, and Thomas Wilkes, had their windows all broke. “Edward Martin, Anne Low, Joan Fletcher; Edward Hoxton, Mumford Wilks, Jos. Yardly, and Robert Deacon, had all their windows broke twice. “James Foster, nailer, Sarah Hires, widow, and Jonathan Jones, had their windows broke, and money extorted, to save their houses. “John Foster, nailer, and Joice Wood, had their windows broke, and their goods broken and spoiled. “Jos. Spittle, collier, had his windows broke, his house broke open, some goods taken, and some lost. “William Woods, brick-maker, had his windows broke twice, and was compelled to go along with the rioters. “Elizabeth Lingham, a widow with five children, had her goods spoiled, her spinning wheel (the support of her family) broke, and her parishallowance reduced from 2s. 6d. to 1s. 6d. a week. “Valentine Ambersly, collier, had his windows broke twice, his wife, big with child, abused and beat with clubs. “George Wynn had his windows and goods broke, and, to save his house, was forced to give them drink. “Thomas Day had his windows and goods broke, and was forced to remove from the town. “Jos. Stubs had his windows broke twice, and his wife so freighted that she miscarried.” 6. “On June 20, John Baker, Thomas Griffiths, and Daniel Oniens, at the head of a large mob, came to my house, Jonas Turner by name, at West- Bromwich, near Wednesbury, and asked whether I would keep from these men, and go to the church. I answered, ‘I go to the church very often, but I never see any of you there.’ Presently, Daniel Oniens, with a great club, broke great part of my windows at one blow. Others laid hold of me, and said, ‘You shall go along with us.’ I told them I would not. They dragged me by force about sixty yards, and then I got loose from them. Afterwards they broke all my windows, and threw into my house three baskets-full of stones, to break my goods.” 7. “Some time in June, about four in the afternoon, a mob came to any house at West — Bromwich; I was within, and my two daughters without.

    They threw in stones and bricks so fast that I thought I should have been knocked on the head. Whereupon I opened the door, and ran out amongst them. One of my daughters cried out, ‘My mother will be killed.’ On which they fell to throwing stones at her. She ran into a neighbor’s house; but before she could shut the door, they broke the bottom off with a brickend.

    They followed my other daughter with stones, and one with a great stake. She ran into another house, much freighted, expecting, to be murdered. I asked them how they could come and abuse us thus: Upon which one came with a large club, and swore, if I spoke another word, he would knock me on the head and bury me in the ditch. Then he went to the window, and broke two or three panes of glass, which were all that were left. A woman then came with a club, and broke to pieces part of the tiling of the house. “Of this I am ready to make oath. “MARY TURNER.” 8. “On the 19th of June, James Yeoman, of Walsal, saw me in my father’s house at Wednesbury, and swore, ‘By G——, you are there now, but we will break the windows and kill you tomorrow.’ Accordingly, he came with a mob the next day; and after they had broke all the windows, he took up a stone, and said, ‘Now, by G——, I will kill you.’ He threw it, and struck me on the side of the head. The blood gushed out, and I dropped down immediately. “MARY BIRD.” 9. “June 20, the mob came to the house of me, John Bird, and demanded five shillings of my wife, or they would break all the windows. She offered them some money, which they snatched out of her hand, and then broke ten windows in front, the sash-frames, shutters, cases, chest of drawers, and hanging press, and damaged the ceiling, doors, dresser, and many other things. “JOHN BIRD.” 10. “On the 20th of June, the mob came to my house. John Baker by name came first. They threw in stones and bricks as fast as they could throw them; so that we within were afraid of our lives. They broke all the windows I had in my house, and likewise the casement and the ceiling; and when there was no more damage for them to do, one of them cried out, ‘I suppose now you will go to your dear Jesus’s wounds, and see them opened for you.’ “JOHN TURNER.” 11. “June 20, 1743, one Daliston, my neighbor at Wednesbury, after some words, took me by the throat, swore he would be the death of me, gave me a great swing, and threw me on the ground. As soon as I arose, Equal Baker, a collier, gave me a blow on the eye, and knocked me down again.

    When I got up, he came after me to my house, and said, ‘You dog, I will kill you.’ I went in, got a proper application to my eye, and lay down on the bed. In about half an hour, there came a large mob to my house, and broke all the windows except about twenty panes. The kitchen-windows they cleared, lead, bars, and all, and broke the window-posts, and threw them into the house. My shop was shut up; but they soon broke it open, broke all my pots and bottles, and destroyed almost all my medicines.

    They broke also the shelves and drawers in the shop to pieces, and many of my household goods. “That day and the next, they broke the windows and goods in more than fourscore houses. “HUMPHREY HANDS.” 12. “In the latter end of June, 1743, I, John Griffiths, of Wednesbury, with Francis Ward, went to Mr. D., Justice of the Peace. We told him what condition we and our neighbors were in, our houses broken, and our goods spoiled. He replied, ‘I suppose you follow these Parsons that come about.’ So he talked to us very roughly, refused us a warrant, and said, ‘I will neither meddle nor make.’ And after he and some gentlewomen that were with him had made as much game at us as they thought fit, we came away without any justice at all.” 13. “I, Mumford Wilks, heard the Rev. Mr. E. say to the mob at Darlaston, (after they had committed these outrages, ‘Well, my lads! He that has done it out of pure zeal for the Church, I do not blame him. My lads, I hope you will let us settle our affairs in our own parish ourselves; but if these men should come, and they should follow them, then your help will be needful.’” 14. “Line and Mare’s Green have been long noted for wickedness of every kind; for cursing and swearing, Sabbath breaking, idleness, and all manner of debauchery. Few thereabouts used to go to church, or trouble themselves about religion, till some of them heard Mr. John and Charles Wesley, who then had a desire to flee from the wrath to come. In order to this, they set apart one evening in a week to meet and encourage one another, by reading a chapter, singing a psalm or hymn, and praying and conversing together. “The revelers, finding their old companions had forsaken them, were enraged at them more and more; insomuch that they came one evening when they were met, in November, 1743, and unroofed the shop that was aside the house, and thrust down the walls.

    The next time we met, they came in more fury than before, threw great stones, broke the windows and looking glass, and made the roof of the house to crack and sink, and seem every moment as if it would break in upon us; insomuch that we were obliged to press out in the dark, in the midst of a shower of stones. “We thought it would be best afterwards to meet in the day, and accordingly we did. Immediately they blew a horn to gather their company together. When they had gathered fifty or sixty, they went from one house to another, threatening to kill those who would not go along with them.

    They went together to a house, where were things of value, with a great shout, swearing they would plunder. The woman of the house went out, and asked what they wanted. They did not make much reply; but part of them immediately went into the garden, and dashed in pieces things which cost several pounds. “We made complaint hereof to a Justice, Mr. W. G. He took a warrant to fill up, and asked us what number there was in all. We told him, about sixty. He then said, ‘What, you are Methodists I Get about your business; you shall have no warrant! I am informed you are the vilest men that live.’ “GEORGE HADLEY.” “SAMUEL HADLEY.” “JOS.MOORE.” 15 “Upon January 13, 1744, I, Jonathan Jones, of Darlaston, about eight or nine at night, met in the street a great company of rioters, who told me they were going to destroy the rest of my goods, and pull my house down, as they had done Joshua Constable’s. So I asked for Thomas Tunks, who was called the captain of the mob, and gave him many good words, and he took of me 2s. 6d., and some others I treated with ale; so they persuaded the rest to let me alone for that time. “The next day came John Stokes, with a great club, and wanted some money, or he said he would break my windows; but I put him away for the present with some drink. The same night, about six o’clock, came John Bagot and John Linyard, with each a great club, and said, ‘You have given money to others, and we will have some too; or else we will call the rest of our company, and serve you as we have done your neighbors.’ So I gave them some money, and they went off about nine or ten o’clock. About six or eight with clubs and staves came after, and John Wilks with a short gun; but my neighbors and I, with giving them some drink, persuaded them to go away. “It was some time before, just after the great mob had broken all our windows, that the Rev. Mr.——, with others, met at Thomas Foreshaw’s, at the sign of the Crown, and made a writing, and the mob was sent to bring as many as they had a mind to sign it. They declared, whoever did not come and sign this, they would immediately pull his house down. It was to this effect: ‘That they would never read, or sing, or pray together again, nor hear Mr. Wesley preach.’” 16. “In the month of January, I, Sarah Longmore, late of Darlaston, was coming to Wednesbury, with my brother and sister-in-law, and about thirty men stopped us in the fields, and asked where we were going. We said, ‘About our business.’ Without any more to do, they began to throw dirt and stones at us, and then went before us and stopped us at the stile.

    Seeing a gap in the hedge, we offered to go through there; but they would not let us. I was knocked down only once, but was bruised in many places. “Some time before this happened, the mob rose at Darlaston, to near a thousand people. They took me by force out of my mother’s house, gave me a club in my hand, and said, if I did not go with them, and pull down Joseph Spittle’s house, they would murder me. William Caulfield was the man who put the club in my hand, and hauled me along the street. I threw down the club, and when I came to the place, saw them break open the house, and bring out some of the goods, the people belonging to it being fled for their lives. “The same day the Rev. Mr. E. came to Darlaston; and Nicholas Winspur, the common crier of the town, gave notice, ringing his bell, that all the people belonging to the society must come to Mr. Foreshaw’s house, and there set their hands to a paper, signifying that they would not hear these men any more; but if they did not come and set their hands, they must expect to have their houses pulled down. “When I came, Mr. Foreshaw asked me if I could write I said, ‘No.’ Then he bid me make my mark; so, through fear, I did. I then laid down a penny, which they made every one of us do, to make the mob drink.” 17. “About Candlemas, my wife was going to Wednesbury, and a mob met her in the road, and threw her down several times, and abused her sadly.” (The manner is too horrible to write. The nearest parallel case, is that of the woman abused by the men of Gibeah; although in this case are many circumstances exceeding that.) “I got a warrant for some of them from Justice G. As soon as this was known, the mob rose and broke all my windows again. All who were served with the warrant escaped, but one the Constable took, and brought before the Justice; who came back and told his companions, that the Justice bid them go home about their business. So they went home and told the mob; and then they came to my house, broke some goods, and went away for a little time; but when they came again, they broke and destroyed all the necessary goods we had in the house. They likewise broke and spoiled all my shop tools; threw the tiles off the roof of the house, pulled down one room, the joists of which they carried away with them. Many things they took away, particularly all my gun-locks, both them that were filed, and them that were in the rough. They tore to pieces all my wife’s linen, cut the bed and bedstead, so that it was good for nothing; broke her box into little bits, and tore her Bible and Common Prayer — Book all to pieces. We retired to a friend’s house; but one telling them we were there, they swore they would tear it down, if he let us stay any longer. So we went out in the frost and snow, not knowing where to lay our head.” 18. “John Allen, of Wednesbury, in the county of Stafford; John Darby, of Brerely, in the said county; and James Constable, of Wednesbury aforesaid, jointly and severally make oath and say: And first, John Allen for himself saith, that on Monday, the 6th day of this instant February, being informed that the mob would come the next day to plunder several of his friends and acquaintance, he went to the house of one Francis Ward, of Wednesbury, and assisted in removing goods and furniture; and that on Tuesday morning, (being Shrove Tuesday,) this deponents hearing the mob was to come to the town, assisted in removing, divers other goods; and that afterwards, on the same day, he met about three hundred persons, assembled together in a riotous manner; and that presently after, one George Winspur, of Darlaston, and divers others, broke and entered the house of Fraucis Ward, broke down the fire-grate fixed therein, and then pulled down, took, and carried away all such goods as were left there, and which they were able to carry. After which, one John Baker, of Wednesbury, and a great number of other riotous persons, came to the house of Francis Ward, and broke the windows; and then the said Baker, with divers others, entered the same, and broke to pieces and destroyed the bedsteads, and other goods and furniture. “The said riotous company then went to another village, called West — Bromwich, and returned back again to Wednesbury, where this deponent saw one Thomas Horton, of Darlaston, with divers others, go in a riotous manner to the house of John Griffiths, of Wednesbury; and saw Thomas Horton, with a sledge hammer, break open the door of that house, which he, with others, entered, and destroyed and broke to pieces divers of the household goods, and carried away the remainder, or the greatest part thereof. 19. “And the said John Darby for himself saith, that on the said 6th day of February, he heard a great many people making a noise; that he went thereupon into his own house, and locked the door; that in about a quarter of an hour, about seven-score persons came up to this deponent’s house; nine or ten of whom bade him give them money, else they would break the door; that John Hammersley, of Darlaston, and several others, with a great rail of wood, broke down the door, and entered the house, and caught up a large axe, and broke to pieces and destroyed this deponent’s goods and windows. After which they destroyed five stalls of bees, and killed and took away his hens, and threw the hay out of his barn; and, carrying away what they thought proper, went to the house of Samuel Smith, a quarter of a mile further, and broke his windows. Thence they went in a riotous manner to Bilston, and in the morning, to Wednesbury. 20. “James Constable saith, that on Monday, the 6th instant, Henry Old, Thomas Adams, and Francis Longmore, all of Darlaston, came to Wednesbury, and, with oaths and curses, in this deponent’s hearing, protested, that they would come the next day, and pull down the house of one Benjamin Constable, and have his heart and his liver out; that accordingly, the next day, about ten in the morning, he heard a great huzza in the town street, and went to see what was the matter, when he, this deponent, was immediately, by one Samuel Cotterel, of Darlaston, and three others, seized by the collar, and forced to go into a great concourse of people, (about three hundred persons,) who had just broke into the house of one John Bird, and were throwing the goods of the said John Bird out of the windows of his house; that those who holden this deponent, then letting him go, and running to get their share of the plunder, he went to the house of Benjamin Constable; and about two or three o’clock the same day, the said riotous persons came up to the house, which was locked and bolted; and as this deponent stood on the outside, he saw Thomas Horton with a large hammer strike at the door, in order to break it open; which he not being able to do, Joseph Page, of Darlaston, broke the window, and forced out the iron bars of the said window with a pike, and afterwards broke and entered the same, and, unbolting the door, let the other rioters in; that Thomas Tonks, of Darlaston, and divers others, with an axe, wrenched and forced open the door of Benjamin Constable’s warehouse, riotously entered the same, and broke to pieces and destroyed the goods therein, spilled the liquors therein placed, plundered and destroyed such goods as they could not carry away, both household goods and grocery goods, and also chandler’s ware; that afterwards they went to this deponent’s house, broke to pieces all the windows of his house, plundered the same from top to bottom, broke to pieces many of his goods, and carried a great part of them away; that thence they went to the house of Daniel Constable, broke open and plundered it in the like manner, and from thence to the house of Thomas Atherly, which they also damaged and plundered. “ “All three sworn at Serjeants’ Inn ý “JOHN ALLEN.”

    London, on February 24, 1748, ý “JOHN DARBY.” before William Chapple. ý “JAMES CONSTABLE.” 21. “Monday, February 6, we kept as a fast. Sixty or more of us met at one, and joined in prayer. About eight we heard the mob was at John Griffiths’, the elder, breaking the house and spoiling his goods. This put some of us on removing our most portable goods. When I came home, my wife had awakened my youngest girls, and carried them to a neighbor’s house. We then laid down, and committed our own souls to God. “Next morning, February 7, (Shrove Tuesday,) all things were pretty still till ten. We were all very cheerful. The greatest fear we had was, lest we should deny our Master; for they had got a paper, which if any one would subscribe, his house was not to be plundered: But the far greater part, by the grace of God, chose rather the loss of all things. “About half an hour after ten, great numbers of men were gathered together on the Church hill. We could see them march down, some armed with swords, some with clubs, and some with axes. They first fell upon Benjamin Watson’s house, and broke many of the tiles, and all the windows. Next they came to Mr. Addingbrook’s, broke a fine clock, with many of his goods, and stole all the things they could carry away; among which were writings of importance, and papers relating to the land-tax.

    The next house was Jane Smith’s, whose windows they broke, with what little goods she had. The next was Mr. Bird’s, where they destroyed everything they found, except what they carried away, cutting the beds in pieces, as they did all the beds they could anywhere find. Thence they went to Mr. Edge’s house: He was ill of a fever; so, for a sum of money, they passed it over. The next house was mine: They were going by it; but one who used to be my familiar friend called them back. They broke my counter, boxes, and drawers, to chips, and all that axe or hammer could break, except my bedsteads. They spilled all my drugs and chemical medicines, and stole everything they could carry, even all my wife’s wearing apparel and mine, besides what we had on. “Mr. Eaton’s house was next. They broke all his windows, and all his inside doors in pieces, cut the lead off his house, destroyed or stole whatever they could lay their hands on. The gentlemen offered to stop them, if he would set his hand to the recantation paper. But he told them, he had felt already what a wounded conscience was; and, by the grace of God, he would wound his conscience no more. “The next day they came with another mob, and said, if he did not sign it, they would level his house to the ground. He told them, they might do as they pleased; but he would not sign it, if they tore him bit from bit. “The mob on Tuesday, after they had done at Mr. Eaton’s, plundered several other houses in Wednesbury, and several in West Bromwich. It is impossible to describe the outrages they have committed. We keep meeting together morning and evening, are in great peace and love with each other, and are nothing terrified by our adversaries. God grant we may endure to the end! “February 26. HUMPHREY HANDS.” 22. “On Tuesday, January 31, 1743, Henry Old came to John Griffiths senior’s house, saving, if they did not leave following ‘this way,’ he had a hundred men at his command, who should come and pull the house down.

    Soon after, he brought seven or eight men with him, severing what he would do unless they gave him a guinea. They said, a guinea was not so soon shaken out of poor folk’s sleeves. Then he said he would go and fetch the mob; but the neighbors gave him money, and sent him away for that time. “Monday, February 6, between seven and eight at night, came part of the company. Hearing them afar off, John and his wife fastened the door, and left the house. Some of the neighbors going in soon after, found them destroying all they could. Two chairs and several bundles of linen were laid upon the fire. They did not dare to touch them, but persuaded the men all they could to go home. After they had destroyed what they could, they loaded themselves with clothes and meat, and went their way. “JOHN GRIFFITHS, SEN.” 23. “My father sending me word, that the mob had been at his house, and broke many of his goods, and stole many, I removed as many as I could of mine, before they plundered my house. And, hearing they would force me to go with them, I sent my wife and children before, and then followed them to her father’s; but he did not care to receive us. My wife wept: I was full of love, and not at all moved. At last, their hearts relented, and they took us in. This indeed was the case with many of us. We were driven out of our own houses, and our friends did not dare to receive us into theirs. The reason for which my old companions have the greatest spite to me is, because I will not drink and game, and break the Sabbath with them, as I used to do. “JOHN GRIFFITHS, JUN. “ 24. “I, Edward Smith, of Wednesbury, standing by my own door, on Shrove — Tuesday, there came a great mob, and broke into and plundered Benjamin Constable’s house; then they came to my house, and the foremost of them, Thomas Horton, with a great hammer, broke open the door. I begged them to let me unlock the door; but he swore, if I did not get away, he would knock me down. At the same time Richard Adams, with a large iron bar, broke the house window, and got through. A great number of them followed both ways, and plundered the house, breaking some goods, and stealing others; several neighbors endeavoring to save them, but to no purpose.” 25. “I, Edward Slater, of Wednesbury, was informed the night before, that the mob designed to plunder my house the next day. And between ten and eleven on Tuesday, standing in the fields, I saw them come down the town, with clubs and other weapons, to Mr. Eaton’s house. Then the colliers, by themselves, swinging their clubs round their hands, gave a great shout and jump together. Then they began breaking his windows; and those who first broke into the house and went up stairs, threw the goods out of the chamber windows, which Henry Old cut to pieces with an axe. I saw some come out, with their pockets, and waistcoats, and breeches, loaded with goods. I went down the field towards my own house, got into a valley, read part of a chapter, and prayed for them. Then I got up, and saw the light through my own house, both doors and windows being knocked to pieces. After they had plundered some other houses, I saw them go up the street, laden with brass, pewter, and linen.” 26. “According to your request, I send you some account of what the mob did on Shrove — Tuesday. When I heard they were in town, and broke and stole all before them, I got out our beds and wearing apparels and hid them in the hedges, and went and stood beside a hedge, about sixty yards off my own house. “When the mob came, they began with breaking the windows. They then broke and stole all they could lay hands on. They searched, and found the beds and linen which I had hid, and took all they thought worth carrying away. I waded through the brook, to try if I could save some of my goods, which a man was pulling out of the ditch where I had hid them: His name was David Garrington. He told me it would be the same here as it was in Ireland; for there would be a massacre very quickly, and he wished it was now. “When they were gone, my wife, and I, and two children, came home. Our house was all laid open; for both the doors were gone, and all the windows and the middle posts were broke out. Being wet and very cold, we gathered up some of the chips, (for our goods were mostly broke into chips and strewed about the rooms,) and made a fire; but the wind blew the smoke so about, that we could not bear to sit by it. We knew not what to do, till one of our neighbors sent us word we might come to his house.

    But one went to Walsal the next day, and told the landlord, who came and told them that received us, they must turn out; and we expected there would not be a house to receive a Methodist in the whole country. “On Ash-Wednesday I was helping Mr. Eaton to remove some corn, which they had not found the day before; when Mr. William Horton came with a paper in his hand, and about a hundred persons with him. He pressed Mr. Eaton to sign it, who refused. Then they laid hold of me, and swore I should. I told them I would not. They caught hold of my collar, shook me, tore my shirt and waistcoat, pushed me from one to another, and asked again, ‘Will you sign the paper yet?’ I told them, No. They then got a cord, put it about my neck, and swore they would hang me out of hand. Others cried out, ‘Draw him through the brook.’ But one of them snatched away the cord, and said, if I would not set my hand, I might go about my business. They followed me, however, with many stones; but, by the providence of God, I was not hurt. “March 5, 1743.JOHN TURNER.” 27. “Having notice that the mob was coming, I, William Sitch, of West — Bromwich, and my wife, (who had been delivered but a fortnight,) thought it best to go out of the house and leave it to them. My wife, with her young child, was forced to stay in the fields, none daring to take her into their house. At length one man did; but he was, in a little time, persuaded to turn her out again. “The rioters plundered my house three several times, and did all the mischief they could: But, blessed be God, I could rejoice therein. He has said, ‘As thy day is, so thy strength shall be.’ And never did I find his promise fulfilled more than at that time. “WILLIAM SITCH.” 28. “On Shrove Tuesday, after two large mobs were passed by, came four or five men to my next neighbor, Jonas Turner’s house. I and another woman followed them, to see what they would do. They first broke the windows, then broke down the door, and went into the house. Soon after they were in, they flung out a box at the chamber window, and swore, if any touched it they would murder them. Soon after they flung out a Bible, and one of them came out, and in great rage cut it into pieces with his axe. “MARY TURNER, of West Bromwich.” 29. “The first that came to my house (Thomas Parks, of West Bromwich) on Tuesday, February 7, were five with great clubs, whom I met at the door. They demanded whether I would deny hearing these Parsons. I told them, No; for I believed they spoke the truth as it is in Jesus; and if I were to deny them, I should deny Him that sent them. They told me, if I would not, they would plunder my house. I replied, they must answer it at God’s bar, and I would meet them there. I asked, whether I had done them any harm. They said, No; but they would have me keep to the Church. I told them, ‘Some of you may know that I worship among the Dissenters; but I love a good man, let him go where he will; for there is but one church of Christ; and if you do not belong to that church, you had better never have been born.’ “I told them, ‘God has allowed me liberty of conscience, and so have the King and Parliament, and hope my neighbors will too; but if not, a day is coming, when the persecuted and the persecutor shall stand together; and if you wrong me now, God will right me then.’ “While I was speaking, I caught hold of their clubs, and the words seemed to have some influence on them: But by this time there was a great body of them gathered together; so they broke my windows, and then the door, and flocked into my house, and began to break my goods. But here the Lord suffered them not to go so far as they had done in other places; for they soon fell to plundering, and loading themselves with the things I had for myself, a wife, and seven children. “However, in a while, I had prevailed with some of them to stop. But they then said I must set my hand to their paper. I told them they were cloaked over with the name of Protestants; but none but a Popish spirit would tie men’s consciences. So I committed my cause to God, and withdrew from my house and them. “As I went along, one, who thinks herself a Christian, said, now I might see God was against me. I told her I did now feel that God was for me, and that He loved me never the less for this; for God loved Job on the dunghill with only a potsherd, as well as He did in all his plenty. I thought she, in effect, bid me curse God and die. May the Lord make her a Christian indeed! “When I returned to my house, and saw it in ruins, I found nothing in my heart towards my persecutors but love. Neither could I doubt of God’s love to my soul. All that is within me bless His holy name! “One day, six or eight of the mob got me amongst them, and said they were going to make a law, and we should all set our hands to it. I told them I would submit to the laws of God and my Prince, but I could not to the laws of the devil. One of them swore he would break my windows again. I asked him if ever he heard of Jesus Christ doing so; and how he durst, when he must answer it at His bar: At which he stood silent.” 30. On Shrove-Tuesday, about eleven o’clock, Sarah, the wife of John Sholdenon, of West-Bromwich, being told the mob vas coming to her house, went and met them at the gate. Mr. S——, Mr. J——, and Mr. S— — L——, Cornet, were at the head of them. She asked John Baker, who was captain of the mob, what they were come here for. He answered, if she would have nothing more to do with these people, not a penny-worth of her goods should be hurt. She made no reply. Then they broke the door open, and began breaking and plundering the goods. One coming out with a fire-shovel, she begged him not to take it away. He swore, if she spoke another word he would beat her brains out.

    After they had rifled the house, they went to search the barn. Some goods were hid there, which she thought would now go with the rest; so she went and sat contentedly down in the ruined house: But a man of their own, as bitter as the rest till then, desired they would not pull up the cow stakes; so they looked no further; but seeing a calf they beat and lamed it in such a manner, that they were obliged to kill it.

    John Sholdenon was at this time helping Thomas Parkes to hide his goods, though he knew, by the noise, they were breaking his own in pieces.

    Between two and three he came to his house with William Sitch. William asked Sarah how she did; saying, for his part, he took joyfully the spoiling of his goods. She answered that, seeing so much wickedness, she could not rejoice; but she blessed God she could bear it patiently, and found not the least anger in her. John Sholdenon, seeing the spoil they had made, smiled, and said, “Here is strange work.” His wife told him, if she had complied with their terms, not one penny-worth would have been hurt. He replied, that if she complied to deny the truth, and he had found his goods whole on that account, he should never have been easy as long as he lived; but he blessed God that she had rather chose to suffer wrong. 31. The mob Continued to rise for six days together. The damage they did in and about Wednesbury, at the very lowest computation, is as follows:— £. s. d.

    Benjamin Constable 103 0 Humphrey Hands 44 6 John Eaton 43 11 John Bird 43 0 Richard Bolton 40 0 Francis Ward 22 14 Godfrey Ward 22 6 John Turner 20 0 William Mason 19 0 Thomas Parkes 14 0 John Sholdenon 9 6 John Griffiths 13 15 Lydia Partridge 2 0 Joseph Perry 11 0 John Darby 8 13 Jonas Turner 3 12 Richard Spittle 2 17 Joseph Spittle 1 5 Edward Holdbury 4 10 Humphrey Hadley 13 11 John Griffiths 6 6 Benjamin Watson 2 11 Thomas Smith 7 15 Edward Smith 2 5 William Sitch 5 6 Daniel Constable 2 13 Henry Addinbrook 15 14 Joshua Constable 14 11 Joseph Stubbs, and Robert Dakin 2 0 Jonathan Jones 3 0 William Small 4 12 Thomas Edwardly 5 0 0 Edward Slater 9 12 504 7 32. “I, Benjamin Constable, was induced to go to a Justice of Peace, on account of a warrant fetched by the wife of Joshua Constable, for abuse done to her, as she went over the field betwixt Wednesbury and Darlaston.

    She swore against five men, before Mr. G—— The warrant was executed upon one of them; but the Justice would not act anything against him, unless the other four were brought before him. The man, returning home, raised a mob the same evening, went to the house of Joshua Constable, pulled part of it down, and destroyed his goods. This I thought proper to acquaint the Justice of. “A second thing which induced me was, that, on the last day of January, there came to my house Henry Old, Francis Longmore, and Thomas Baylis, and demanded money, else, they said, they would break my goods.

    But it being daytime, and their strength small, (though they had large clubs in their hands,) I refused. “I sent to the Constable’s, at Darlaston, to know if he would execute his warrant on the other four. He sent me word, he durst not do it, for fear of having his house pulled down. “I went, on February 2, to Mr. G., and gave him the foregoing account; and withal told him, that, on the Tuesday following, February 7, they threatened to rise and pull down our houses. He answered me in a rough manner, and asked what I would have him to do: He could do no more than give out his warrant; and if the Constable would not, or could not, execute it, he could not help it. I desired that he would write a line to the officers of Wednesbury and Darlaston, to exert themselves for the discouraging of any rising on Tuesday; but he refused, and told me, if we could not agree among one another, we must go to the devil which way we would.” 33. “John Bird, of Wednesbury, in the county of Stafford, carpenter, is ready to make oath, that he, together with William Mumford and Mary Bird, on the 10th day of this instant April, went to the house of W—— G——, Esq., Justice of Peace, in order to have a warrant for some of the principal rioters, who had lately done great damage to this deponent, and divers, other persons; but the said Justice refused to grant any warrant against them: That William Mumford then demanded a warrant against some of the said rioters, who had done damage to him; to which the said Justice said they were Methodists; and, after several other words, refused to grant it: That on the 13th instant, this deponent, together with Mary Mumford and Mary Bird, went to the house of J—— D——, Esq., a Justice of the Peace in the said county, and requested the said Justice to grant him a warrant to take up some of the rioters, which the said Justice refused to do; so that on the 17th instant, this deponent, together with Mary Bird, went to the house of W—— P——, Esq., a Justice of the Peace for the said county, and requested a warrant to take up some of the rioters; to which the said Justice answered him roughly, that he, and the rest of the Justices in the neighborhood, had concluded and agreed to grant us no warrant. And this deponent further saith, that he himself hath sustained damage by the rioters to the value of fifty pounds and upwards; and that neither he nor any other person who hath sustained damage by them are able to bring the said rioters to justice, because not any of the above-mentioned Justices of the Peace will grant any warrant to apprehend them.”

    Such is the liberty of conscience which Protestants grant one another!

    Does not He that is higher than the highest regard it? 34. Wednesday, October 19, 1743, I, John Wesley, came to Birmingham, in my way to Newcastle. Thursday, October 20, several persons from Wednesbury earnestly desired me to call there. I yielded to their importunity, and went. I was sitting writing at Francis Ward’s, in the afternoon, when the cry arose, that the Darlaston mob had beset the house. I called together those that were in the house, and prayed that God would “scatter the people that delight in war.” And it was so: One went one way, and one another; so that in half an hour the house was clear on every side. But before five they returned with greater numbers. The cry of all was, “Bring out the Minister.”

    I desired one to bring the captain of the mob into the house. After a few words interchanged, the lion was as a lamb. I then desired him to bring in one or two more of the most angry of his companions. He did so; and in two minutes their minds were changed too. I then bade them who were in the room make way, that I might go out among the people. As soon as I was in the midst of them, I said, “Here I am; what do you want with me?”

    Many cried out, “We want you to go with us to the Justice.” I told them, “That I will with all my heart.” So I walked before, and two or three hundred of them followed, to Bentley-hall, two miles from Wednesbury; but a servant came out and told them Justice Lane was not to be spoken with. Here they were at a stand, till one advised to go to Justice Persehouse, at Walsal. About seven we came to his house; but he also sent word that he was in bed, and could not be spoken with.

    All the company were now pretty well agreed to make the best of their way home; but we had not gone a hundred yards, when the mob of Walsal came pouring in like a flood. The Darlaston mob stood against them for a while; but in a short time, some being knocked down, and others much hurt, the rest ran away, and left me in their hands.

    To attempt to speak was vain, the noise being like that of taking a city by storm; so they dragged me along till we came to the town, at a few hundred yards’ distance; where, seeing the door of a large house open, I endeavored to go in; but a man, catching me by the hair, (my hat having been caught away at the beginning,) pulled me back into the middle of the mob, who were as so many ramming and roaring lions. They hurried me from thence, through the main street, from one end of the town to the other. I continued speaking all the time to those within hearing, feeling no pain or weariness.

    At the west end of the town, seeing a door half open, I made towards it, and would have gone in; but a gentleman in the shop would not suffer me, saying, they would pull the house down if I did. However, here I stood, and asked, “Are you willing to hear me speak?” Many cried out, “No, no; knock his brains out.” Others said, “Nay, but we will hear him speak first.” I began asking, “What hurt have I done to you? Whom among you have I wronged in word or deed?” and continued speaking till my voice failed. Then the floods lifted up their voice again, many crying out, “Bring him away, bring him away!”

    Feeling my strength renewed, I spoke again, and broke out aloud into prayer. And now one of the men who had headed the mob before, turned and said, “Sir, follow me: Not a man shall touch a hair of your head.” Two or three more confirmed his words. At the same time the Mayor (for it was he that stood in the shop) cried out, “For shame, for shame! Let him go!” An honest butcher spoke to the same effect; and seconded his words by laying hold of four or five, one after another, who were running on the most fiercely. The people then dividing to the right and left, those three or four men who had spoken before took me between them, and carried me through the midst; bitterly protesting, “they would knock down any that touched him.” But on the bridge the mob rallied again; we therefore went on one side, over a milldam, and thence through the meadows, till, a little after ten, God brought me safe to Wednesbury, having lost only a part of my waistcoat, and a little skin from one of my hands.

    I never saw such a chain of providences before; so many convincing proofs, that the hand of God is on every person and thing, overruling him as it seemeth Him good.

    Among these I cannot but reckon the circumstances that follow: 1. That they endeavored, abundance of times, to trip me up, as we went down hill, over the wet, slippery grass, to the town; as well judging, that if I was once on the ground, I should hardly rise again: But I made no slip, nor the least stumble at all, till I was entirely out of their hands. 2. That although many strove to lay hold on my collar, or clothes, they could not fasten at all; their fingers, I cannot tell how, slipping along, without fixing once: Only one man seized the flap of my waistcoat, and took it away with him; the other flap, in the pocket of which was a twenty-pound bank note, was torn but half off. 3. That a lusty man, just behind, struck at me many times with a large oaken stick; with which if he had struck me on the back of the head, I should probably have preached no more; but every time the blow was turned aside, I know not how, for I could not move to the right hand or left. 4. That another man came rushing through the press, raised his arm to strike, let it sink again, and, stroking my head, said, “What soft hair he has! I cannot find in my heart to hurt him.” 5. That I went as straight to the Mayor’s door, when I was a little loosed for a few moments, as if I had known it, (which they probably thought I did,) and found him standing in the shop; which gave the first check to the fury of the people. 6. That no creature (at least within my hearing) laid anything to my charge, either true or false; having in the hurry, it seems, forgot to provide themselves with an accusation of any kind.

    And, lastly, that they were equally at a loss to know what to do with me, none proposing any determinate thing. The cry of most was, “Away with him, away with him!” of others, “Kill him at once!” But none so much as once mentioned how; only one or two (I almost tremble to relate it) screamed out, (with what meaning I cannot tell,) “Crucify the dog! crucify him!”

    By how gentle degrees does God prepare us either for doing or suffering His will! Two years since, one threw at me a piece of brick, which grazed on my shoulder, but hurt me not. It was a year after, that another threw a stone, which struck me between the eyes; but the hurt was soon healed, and still no man had power to lay a hand upon me. At St. Ives, last month, I received one blow, the first I ever had, on the side of the head; and this night two, one before we came into the town, and one after I was gone out into the meadows. But though one man struck me on the breast with all his might, and the other on the mouth so that the blood gushed out, I felt no more pain from either of the blows, than if they had touched me with a straw. October 22, 1743. “‘Lo, I come, ‘if this soul and body may be useful to anything,’ to do thy will, O God.’ And if it please thee to use the power thou hast over dust and ashes, over weak flesh and blood, over a brittle vessel of clay, over the work of thine own hands; lo, here they are, to suffer also thy good pleasure. If thou please to visit me either with pain or dishonor, I will ‘humble myself’ under it, and, through thy grace, be ‘obedient unto death, even the death upon the cross.’ Whatsoever may befall me, either from neighbors or strangers, since it is thou employest them, though they know it not, (unless thou help me to some lawful means of redressing the wrong,) I will not ‘open my mouth before the Lord,’ who smiteth me, except only to ‘bless the Lord.’ Hereafter no man can take away anything from me, no life no honor, no estate; since I am ready to lay them down, as soon as I perceive thou requirest them at my hands. Nevertheless, ‘O Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; but if not, thy will be done.’ Whatever sufferings hereafter may trouble my flesh, or whatever agonies may trouble my spirit, ‘O Father, into thy hands will I commend’ my life, and all that concerneth it. And if thou be pleased, either that I live yet as while, or not, I will, with my Savior, ‘bow down my head;’ I will humble myself under thy hand; I will give up all thou art pleased to ask, until at last I ‘give up the ghost.’” A LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. WALKER. ———\parREV. AND DEAR SIR,BRISTOL, September 24, 1755. 1. YOU greatly oblige me by speaking your thoughts so freely; and the more by giving me hopes of seeing your further sentiments on so nice and important an affair. I did not delay one day to follow your advice with regard to Mr. Adams, but sent him, by the very next post, a copy of those papers; although I am satisfied already as to the publishing them, and have laid aside that design; the reasons you urge against the expediency of it being abundantly sufficient. But you seem a little to misapprehend what we speak of hearing Predestinarian Preachers. We find, by long experience, that this is deadly poison, not in itself, but to the members of our societies. This we know to be an unquestionable truth; and it was a truth necessary to be observed; nay, and strongly insisted on, (though without any design of bearing hard on any particular person,) when many were enlarging on the poisonous doctrines which they heard at many of their parish churches. 2. All that you say concerning the inexpediency of a separation from the Church, I readily allow; as likewise, that the first and main question must be, “Is it lawful to-separate?” Accordingly, this was debated first, and that at large, in seven or eight long conversations. And it was then only, when we could not agree concerning this, that we proceeded to weigh the expediency of it. 3. As to the grounds on which those who plead for a separation from the Church proceed, some of them have weighed the point long and deeply.

    They have very particularly, and with earnest and continued prayer, considered the lawfulness of it. And they allow, “If it be lawful to abide therein, then it is not lawful to separate.” But they aver, “It is not lawful to abide therein;” and that for the following reasons: — First. With regard to the Liturgy itself: Though they allow it is, in the general, one of the most excellent human compositions that ever was, yet they think it is both absurd and sinful to declare such an assent and consent as is required, to any merely human composition. Again: Though they do not object to the use of forms, yet they dare not confine themselves to them. And in this form (the Book of Common Prayer) there are several things which they apprehend to be contrary to Scripture.

    Secondly. As to the laws of the Church, if they include the Canons and Decretals, both which are received as such in our Courts, they think “the latter are the very dregs of Popery, and that many of the former, the Canons of 1603, are as grossly wicked as absurd.” And, over and above the objections which they have to several particular ones, they think, “1. That the spirit which they breathe is throughout truly Popish and antichristian. 2. That nothing can be more diabolical than the ipso facto excommunication so often denounced therein. 3. That the whole method of executing these Canons, the process used in our Spiritual Courts, is too bad to be tolerated (not in a Christian, but) in a Mahometan or Pagan nation.”

    Thirdly. With respect to the Ministers, they doubt “whether there are not many of them whom God hath not sent; inasmuch as they neither live the Gospel nor teach it; neither indeed can, seeing they do not know it.” They doubt the more, “because themselves disclaim that inward call to the ministry, which is at least as necessary as the outward.” And they are not clear, “whether it be lawful to attend the ministrations of those whom God has not sent to minister.”

    Fourthly. The doctrines actually taught by these, and indeed by a great majority of the Church Ministers, they think “are not only wrong, but fundamentally so, and subversive of the whole Gospel.” They therefore doubt “whether it be lawful to bid them God speed, or to have any fellowship with them.”

    I will freely acknowledge that I cannot answer these arguments to my own satisfaction. So that my conclusion, which I cannot yet give up, — that it is lawful to continue in the Church, — stands, I know not how, almost without any premises that are to bear its weight.

    My difficulty is very much increased by one of your observations. I know the original doctrines of the Church are sound; I know her worship is in the main pure and scriptural. But if “the essence of the Church of England, considered as such, consists in her orders and laws,” (many of which I myself can say nothing for,) “and not in her worship and doctrines,” those who separate from her have a fur stronger plea than I was ever sensible of. 4. At present I apprehend those, and those only, to separate from the Church, who either renounce her fundamental doctrines, or refuse to join in her public worship. As yet we have done neither; nor have we taken one step further than we were convinced was our bounden duty. It is from a full conviction of this, that we have, (1.)Preached abroad: (2.)Prayed extempore: (3.)Formed societies: And, (4.)Permitted Preachers who were not Episcopally ordained. And were we pushed on this side, were there no alternative allowed, we should judge it our bounden duty, rather wholly to separate from the Church, than to give up any one of these points. Therefore, if we cannot stop a separation without stopping lay-Preachers, the case is clear, — we cannot stop it at all. 5. ‘But if we permit them, should we not do more? Should we not appoint them rather? since the bare permission puts the matter quite out of our hands, and deprives us of all our influence.” In great measure, it does; therefore, to appoint them is far more expedient, if it be lawful. But is it lawful for Presbyters, circumstanced as we are, to appoint other Ministers? This is the very point wherein we desire advice; being afraid of leaning to our own understanding.

    It is undoubtedly “needful,” as you observe, “to come to some regulation in this point;” and the sooner the better. I therefore rejoice to hear that you think “this matter may be better and more inoffensively ordered; and that a method may be found, which, conducted with prudence and patience, will reduce the constitution of Methodism to due order, and render the Methodists, under God, more instrumental to the ends of practical religion.”

    This, Sir, is the very thing I want. I must therefore beg your sentiments on this head; and that as particularly as your other engagements will allow.

    Wishing you more and more of the wisdom from above, I remain, Rev. and dear Sir, Your obliged and affectionate brother and servant, JOHN WESLEY.

    SECOND LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. WALKER.

    ——— REV. AND DEAR SIR,KINGSWOOD, September 3, 1756.

    I HAVE one point in view, — to promote, so far as I am able; vital, practical religion; and by the grace of God to beget, preserve, and increase the life of God in the souls of men. On this single principle I have hitherto proceeded, and taken no step but in subserviency to it. With this view, where I found it to be absolutely necessary for the continuance of the work which God had begun in many souls, (which their regular Pastors generally used all possible means to destroy,) I permitted several of their brethren, whom I believe God had called thereto, and qualified for the work, to comfort, exhort, and instruct those who were athirst for God, or who walked in the light of his countenance. But as the persons so qualified were few, and those who wanted their assistance very many, it followed, that most of these were obliged to travel continually from place to place; and this occasioned several regulations from time to time, which were chiefly made in our Conferences.

    So great a blessing has, from the beginning, attended the labors of these Itinerants, that we have been more and more convinced every year, of the more than lawfulness of this proceeding. And the inconveniences, most of which we foresaw from the very first, have been both fewer and smaller than were expected. Rarely two in one year, out of the whole number of Preachers, have either separated themselves or been rejected by us. A great majority have all along behaved as becometh the Gospel of Christ, and, I am clearly persuaded, still desire nothing more than to spend and be spent for their brethren.

    But the question is, “How may these be settled on such a footing, as one would wish they might be after my death?” It is a weighty point, and has taken up many of my thoughts for several years: But I know nothing yet.

    The steps I am now to take are plain. I see broad light shining upon them.

    But the other part of the prospect I cannot see: Clouds and darkness rest upon it.

    Your general advice on this head, — to follow my own conscience, without any regard to consequences, or prudence, so called, is unquestionably right; and it is a rule which I have closely followed for many years, and hope to follow to my life’s end. The first of your particular advices is “to key in full view the interests of Christ’s church in general, and of practical religion; not considering the Church of England, or the cause of Methodism, but as subordinate thereto.” This advice I have punctually observed from the beginning, as well as at our late Conference.

    You advise, secondly, “to keep in view also the unlawfulness of a separation from the Church of England.” To this likewise I agree. It cannot be lawful to separate from it, unless it be unlawful to continue in it. You advise, thirdly, “fully to declare myself on this head, and to suffer no dispute concerning it.” The very same thing I wrote to my brother from Ireland; and we have declared ourselves without reserve. Nor was there any at the Conference otherwise minded. Those who would have aimed at dispute had left us before. Fourthly, all our Preachers, as well as ourselves, purpose to continue in the Church of England. Nor did they ever before so freely and explicitly declare themselves on this subject.

    Your last advice is, “That as many of our Preachers as are fit for it, be ordained; and that the others be fixed to certain societies, not as Preachers, but as readers or inspectors.”

    You oblige me by speaking your sentiments so plainly: With the same plainness I will answer. So far as I know myself, I have no more concern for the reputation of Methodism, or my own, than for the reputation of Prester John. I have the same point in view as when I set out, — the promoting, as I am able, vital, practical religion: And in all our discipline I still aim at the continuance of the work which God has already begun in so many souls. With this view, and this only, I permitted those whom I believed God had called thereto, to comfort, exhort, and instruct their brethren. And if this end can be better answered some other way, I shall subscribe to it without delay.

    But is that which you propose a better way? This should be coolly and calmly considered.

    If I mistake not, there are now in the county of Cornwall about four-andthirty of these little societies, part of whom now experience the love of God; part are more or less earnestly seeking it. Four Preachers, Peter Jaco, Thomas Johnson, W. Crabb, and William Alwood, design for the ensuing year, partly to call other sinners to repentance, but chiefly to feed and guide those few feeble sheep; to forward them, as of the ability which God giveth, in vital, practical religion.

    Now, suppose we can effect, that Peter Jaco and Thomas Johnson be ordained and settled in the curacies of Buryan and St. Just; and suppose William Crabb and William Alwood fix at Launceston and Plymouth-dock, as readers and exhorters; will this answer the end which I have in view so well as traveling through the county?

    It will not answer it so well even with regard to those societies with whom Peter Jaco and Thomas Johnson have settled. Be their talents ever so great, they will ere long grow dead themselves, and so will most of those that hear them. I know, were I myself to preach one whole year in one place, I should preach both myself and most of my congregation asleep. Nor can I believe it was ever the will of our Lord that any congregation should have one Teacher only. We have found by long and constant experience, that a frequent change of Teachers is best. This Preacher has one talent; that, another. No one whom I ever yet knew has all the talents which are needful for beginning, continuing, and perfecting the work of grace in a whole congregation.

    But suppose this would better answer the end with regard to those two societies, would it answer in those where W. Alwood and W. Crabb were settled as inspectors or readers? First, Who shall feed them with the milk of the word? The Ministers of their parishes? Alas, they cannot they themselves neither know, nor live, nor teach the Gospel. These readers?

    Can then either they, or I, or you, always find something to read to our congregation, which will be as exactly adapted to their wants, and as much blessed to them, as our preaching? And here is another difficulty still:

    What authority have I to forbid their doing what I believe God has called them to do? I apprehend indeed that there ought, if possible, to be both an outward and inward call to this work; yet, if one of the two be supposed wanting, I had rather want the outward than the inward call. I rejoice that I am called to preach the Gospel both by God and man. Yet I acknowledge, I had rather have the divine without the human, than the human without the divine, call.

    But, waving this, and supposing these four societies to be better provided for than they were before; what becomes of the other thirty? Will they prosper as well when they are left as sheep without a shepherd? The experiment has been tried again and again; and always with the same event:

    Even the strong in faith grew weak and faint; many of the weak made shipwreck of the faith; the awakened fell asleep; sinners, changed for a while, returned as a dog to the vomit. And so, by our lack of service, many of the souls perished for whom Christ died. Now, had we willingly withdrawn our service from them, by voluntarily settling in one place, what account of this could we have given to the great Shepherd of all our souls?

    I cannot therefore see, how any of those four Preachers, or any others in like circumstances, can ever, while they have health and strength, ordained or unordained, fix in one place, without a grievous wound to their own conscience, and damage to the general work of God. Yet I trust I am open to conviction; and your farther thoughts on this, or any subject, will be always acceptable to, Rev. and dear Sir, Your very affectionate brother and fellow-laborer, JOHN WESLEY.

    THIRD LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. WALKER

    ——— REV. AND DEAR SIR,HELSTONE, September 16, 1757.

    NOTHING can be more kind than the mentioning to me whatever you think is amiss in my conduct: And the more freedom you use in doing this, the more I am indebted to you. I am thoroughly persuaded that you “wish me well;” and that it is this, together with a “concern for the common interests of religion,” which obliges you to speak with more plainness than otherwise you would. The same motives induce me to lay aside all reserve, and tell you the naked sentiments of my heart.

    Two years since, eleven or twelve persons of Falmouth were members of our society. Last year I was informed that a young man there had begun to teach them new opinions; and that, soon after, offense and prejudice crept in, and increased till they were all torn asunder. What they have done since, I know not; for they have no connection with us. I do “exert myself” so far as to separate from us those that separate from the Church.

    But in a thousand other instances I feel the want of more resolution and firmness of spirit. Yet sometimes that may appear irresolution which is not so. I exercise as little authority as possible, because I am afraid of people’s depending upon me too much, and paying me more reverence than they ought.

    But I proceed to the substance of your letter. You say, 1. “If you still hold the essence of justifying faith to be in assurance, why did you encourage J. H. to believe his state good?”

    Assurance is a word I do not use, because it is not scriptural. But I hold, that a divine evidence or conviction that Christ loved me, and gave himself for me, is essential to, if not the very essence of, justifying faith. J. H. told me he had more than this; even a clear conviction that his sins were forgiven; although he said that conviction was not so clear now as it had been in times past. 2. “If you believed Mr. V. to be a gracious person, and a Gospel Minister, why did you not, in justice to your people, leave them to him?”

    J. H. assured me that Mr. V. also had a clear conviction of his being reconciled to God. If so, I could not deny his being a gracious person; and I heard him preach the true, though not the whole, Gospel. But had it been the whole, there are several reasons still, why I did not give up the people to him. (1.)No one mentioned or intimated any such thing, nor did it once enter into my thoughts. But if it had, (2.)I do not know that every one who preaches the truth has wisdom and experience to guide and govern a flock. I do not know that Mr. V. in particular has. He may, or he may not. (3.)I do not know whether he would or could give that flock all the advantages for holiness which they now enjoy: And to leave them to him, before I was assured of this, would be neither justice nor mercy. (4.)Unless they were also assured of this, they could not in conscience give up themselves to him; and I have neither right nor power to dispose of them contrary to their conscience. “But they are his already by legal establishment.” If they receive the sacrament from him thrice a year, and attend his ministrations on the Lord’s day, I see no more which the law requires. But, to go a little deeper into this matter of legal establishment: Does Mr. Conon or you think that the King and Parliament have a right to prescribe to me what Pastor I shall use? If they prescribe one which I know God never sent, am I obliged to receive him? If he be sent of God, can I receive him with a clear conscience till I know he is? And even when I do, if I believe my former Pastor is more profitable to my soul, can I leave him without sin? Or has any man living a right to require this of me?

    I “extend this to every Gospel Minister in England.” Before I could with a clear conscience leave the Methodist society even to such an one, all these considerations must come in.

    And with regard to the people: Far from thinking that “the withdrawing our Preachers” from such a society without their consent, would prevent a separation from the Church, I think it would be the direct way to cause it.

    While we are with them, our advice has weight, and keeps them to the Church: But were we totally to withdraw, it would be of little or no weight. Nay, perhaps resentment of our unkindness (as it would appear to them) would prompt them to act in flat opposition to it. “And will it not be the same at your death?” I believe not; for I believe there will be no resentment in this case; and the last advice of a dying friend: is not likely to be so soon forgotten. 3. But “was there no inconsistency in your visiting Mr. V., as a Minister of the Gospel, when you do not give up your people to him?” My visiting him as a Gospel Minister did not imply any obligation so to do. 4. “If that was not the design of the visit, you should not have visited him at all.” Does that follow? I visited him as a brother and a fellow-laborer, because he desired it. 5. “Does not this conduct, on the whole, savor of a party spirit, and show a desire to please the Methodists, as Methodists.”

    I am not conscious of any such spirit, or of any desire but that of pleasing all men for their good to edification. And I have as great a desire thus to please you as any Methodist under heaven.

    You add one thing more, which is of deep importance, and deserves a particular consideration. “You spake to Mr. Vowler of your being as one man. Nothing is so desirable: But really, before it can be effected, something must be done on your part more than paying us visits; which, as far as I can see, can serve no other purpose, in the present circumstances, than to bring us under needless difficulties.”

    I did indeed speak to Mr. V. of our being as one man; and not to him only, but to several others; for it lay much upon my heart. Accordingly, I proposed that question to all who met at our late Conference, “What can be done in order to a close union with the Clergy who preach the truth?”

    We all agreed that nothing could be more desirable. I, in particular, have long desired it; not from any view to my own sense, or honor, or temporal convenience in and kind; but because I was deeply convinced it might be a blessing to my own soul, and a means of increasing the general work of God.

    But you say, “Really, before it can be effected, some thing must be done on your part.” Tell me what, and I will do it without delay, however contrary it may be to my ease or natural inclination; provided only that it consists with my keeping a conscience void of offense toward God and toward man. It would not consist with this, to give up the flock under my care to any other Minister, till I and they were convinced they would have the same advantages for holiness under him which they now enjoy. But “paying us visits can serve no other purpose than to bring us under needless difficulties.” I will speak very freely on this head Can our conversing together serve no other purpose? You seem, then, not to have the least conception of your own wanting any such thing. But whether you do or not, I feel I do. I am not in memet totus teres atgue rotundus . I want more light, more strength, for my personal walking with God; and I know not but He may give it me through you. And whether you do or no, I want more light and strength for guiding the flock committed to my charge. May not the Lord send this also by whom he will send? and by you, as probably as by any other? It is not improbable that he may by you give me clearer light, either as to doctrine or discipline. And even hereby, how much comfort and profit might redound to thousands of those for whom Christ hath died! which, I apprehend, would abundantly compensate any difficulties that might arise from such conversation.

    But what difficulties are those? All that are the necessary consequence of sharing our reproach. And what reproach is it which we bear? Is it the reproach of Christ, or not? It arose first while my brother and I were at Oxford, from our endeavoring to be real Christians. It was increased abundantly when we began to preach repentance and remission of sins, and insisted that we are justified by faith. For this cause were we excluded from preaching in the churches. (I say, for this: As yet there was no field preaching.) And this exclusion occasioned our preaching elsewhere, with the other irregularities that followed. Therefore, all the reproach consequent thereon is no other than the reproach of Christ.

    And what are we worse for this? It is not pleasing to flesh and blood; but is it any hindrance to the work of God? Did He work more by us when we were honorable men? By no means. God never used us to any purpose till we were a proverb of reproach. Nor have we now a jot more of dishonor, of evil report, than we know is necessary both for us and for the people, to balance that honor and good report which otherwise could not be born.

    You need not, therefore, be so much afraid of, or so careful to avoid, this.

    It is a precious balm: It will not break your head, neither lessen your usefulness. And, indeed, you cannot avoid it any otherwise than by departing from the work. You do not avoid it by standing aloof from us; which you call Christian, I worldly, prudence.

    I speak as a fool: Bear with me. I am clearly satisfied that you have far more faith, more love, and more of the mind which was in Christ, than I have. But have you more gifts for the work of God, or more fruit of your labor? Has God owned you more? I would He had a thousand fold! I pray God that He may. Have you at present more experience of the wisdom of the world and the devices of Satan, or of the manner and method wherein it pleases God to counter work them in this period of His providence? Are you sure God would add nothing to you by me, beside what He might add to me by you? Perhaps when the time has slipped out of your hands, when I am no more seen, you may wish you had not rejected the assistance of even Your affectionate brother; JOHN WESLEY.

    FOURTH LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. WALKER.

    ——— REV. AND DEAR SIR, October , 1758.

    I RETURN you many thanks for the welcome letter from Mr. Adams, as well as for your own. I have answered his, (which is written in a truly Christian spirit,) and now proceed to consider yours. After having observed that two of our Preachers are gone from us, and none of these remaining (to my knowledge) have at present any desire or design of separating from the Church, yet I observe, 1. Those Ministers who truly feared God near a hundred years ago, had undoubtedly much the same objections to the Liturgy which some (who never read their Works) have now. And I myself so far allow the force of several of those objections, that I should not dare to declare my assent and consent to that book in the terms prescribed. Indeed, they are so strong, that I think they cannot safely be used with regard to any book but the Bible. Neither dare I confine myself wholly to forms of prayer not even in the church. I use, indeed, all the forms; but I frequently add extemporary prayer, either before or after sermon. 2. In behalf of many of the Canons, I can say little; of the Spiritual Courts, nothing at all. I dare not, therefore, allow the authority of the former, or the jurisdiction of the latter. But I am not yet required to do it. So that difficulty does not lie in my way yet. 3. “Whether it be lawful to attend the ministrations of one whom I know God has not sent to minister, seeing he expressly disclaims that call of God which is, at least, as necessary as the call of man,” is really a question which (as I said before) I cannot answer to my own satisfaction. Neither can I tell, 4. How far that command of our Lord, “Beware of false prophets,” obliges me to refrain from hearing such as put darkness for light, and light for darkness. I am still in doubt whether quietly attending them while they do this, be not, in effect, the bidding them God speed, the strengthening their hands in evil, and encouraging, others to hear them till they fall into hell together.

    I am still desirous of knowing in what particular manner you think the present work of God could be carried on, without the assistance of lay Preachers. This I will fairly weigh, and give you my thoughts upon it.

    Some little things occurred to me in reading over your Sermons, which I had a desire to communicate to you. In the great points I cannot observe any difference between us. We both contend for the inward kingdom, the mind that was in Christ Jesus, the image of God to be new stamped upon the heart. I am sometimes much discouraged at finding so little of this in myself. Assist, both with your advice and prayers, Dear Sir, Your very affectionate brother and servant, JOHN WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO THE REVEREND THOMAS ADAMS. ——— REVEREND SIRS,LONDON, October 31, 1755.

    ONE good effect, at least, has arisen already, from the moving of the present question: It has been the occasion of my having, some little acquaintance with Mr. Walker and you; which, I doubt not, would be enlarged, were it not for what you probably think to be Christian, I think to be worldly, prudence.

    You have much obliged me by your clear and friendly answer; with the main of which I fully agree; for I am still in my former sentiment, “We will not go out: If we are thrust out, well.” And of the same judgment are, I believe, at least nineteen in twenty of our Preachers, and an equal majority of the people. We are fully convinced that to separate from an established Church is never lawful but when it is of absolute necessity; and we do not see any such necessity yet. Therefore, we have at present no thoughts of separation.

    With regard to the steps we have hitherto taken, we have used all the caution which was possible. We have done nothing rashly, nothing without deep and long consideration, hearing and weighing all objections, and much prayer. Nor have we taken one deliberate step, of which we, as yet, see reason to repent. It is true, in some things we vary from the rules of our Church; but no further than we apprehend is our bounden duty. It is from a full conviction of this, that we preach abroad, use extemporary prayer, form those who appear to be awakened into societies, and permit laymen, whom we believe God has called, to preach.

    I say, permit, because we ourselves have hitherto viewed it in no other light. This we are clearly satisfied we may do: That we may do more, we are not satisfied. It is not clear to us, that Presbyters, so circumstanced as we are, may appoint or ordain others; but it is, that we may direct, as well as suffer, them to do what we conceive they are moved to by the Holy Ghost. It is true, that, in ordinary cases, both an inward and an outward call are requisite. But we apprehend there is something far from ordinary in the present case. And upon the calmest view of things, we think, they who are only called of God, and not of man, have more right to preach, than they who are only called of man, and not of God. Now, that many of the Clergy, though called of man, are not called of God, to preach his Gospel, is undeniable, 1. Because they themselves utterly disclaim, nay, and ridicule, the inward call. 2. Because they do not know what the Gospel is; of consequence, they do not and cannot preach it.

    Dear Sir, coolly and impartially consider this, and you will see on which side the difficulty lies. I do assure you, this at present is my chief embarrassment. That I have not gone too far yet, I know; but whether I have gone far enough, I am extremely doubtful. I see those running whom God hath not sent; destroying their own souls, and those that hear them; perverting the right ways of the Lord, and blaspheming the truth as it is in Jesus. I see the blind leading the blind, and both falling into the ditch.

    Unless I warn, in all the ways I can, these perishing souls of their danger, am I clear of the blood of these men? Soul-damning Clergymen lay me under more difficulties than soul-saving laymen!

    Those among ourselves who have been in doubt whether they ought so to beware of these false prophets, as not to hear them at all, are not men of a “forward, uncharitable zeal;” but of a calm, loving, temperate spirit. They are perfectly easy as to their own call to preach; but they are troubled for these poor, uncalled, blind guides; and they are sometimes afraid that the countenancing these is a dead weight even on those Clergymen who are really called of God. “Why else,” say they, “does not God bless their labors? Why do they still stretch forth their hands in vain?” We know several regular Clergymen who do preach the genuine Gospel; but to no effect at all. There is one exception in England, — Mr. Walker, at Truro.

    We do not know one more who has converted one soul in his own parish.

    If it be said, “Has not Mr. Grimshaw and Mr. Baddiley?” No, not one, till they were irregular; till both the one and the other formed irregular societies, and took in laymen to assist them. Can there be a stronger proof that God is pleased with irregular, even more than with regular, preaching? “But might not the Methodists in general serve the interests of Christ better, as witnesses and examples of a living faith, by returning to a closer union with the Church, than by separating still further?” We have no design at present of separating further, if we have yet separated at all.

    Neither dare we return to a closer union, if that means either prohibiting lay Preachers, or ceasing to watch over each other in love, and regularly meeting for that purpose.

    If there be any further advises, whether with regard to doctrines or practice, which you judge might be of service to us, they would be thankfully received and considered by, Rev. and dear Sir, Your obliged and affectionate brother and servant, JOHN WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. CLARKE. ——— REV.SIR,CASTLEBAR, July 3, 1766.

    I AM obliged to you for the openness and candor with which you write, and will endeavor to follow the pattern which you have set me. I sent that sermon with no particular view, but as a testimony of love to a fellowlaborer in the Gospel.

    From the text of that sermon, I do not infer that Christians are not to inquire into each other’s opinions. Indeed, from that text I do not infer anything. I use it to illustrate, not to prove. I am very sensible, “Jehu had more regard to state policy than to religion;” (page 5;) and have no objection at all to the very fair explication which you have given of his words. Accordingly, I say, (page 13,) “What is implied in the question? I do not mean, what did Jehu imply therein, but what should a follower of Christ understand thereby, when he proposes it to any of his brethren?”

    Of these only I speak. My general proposition, you may please to remember, is this: “All the children of God may unite in love, notwithstanding difference in opinions or modes of worship.”

    From this persuasion, whenever I meet with any whom I have reason to believe children of God, I do not ask of him with whom I would unite in love, (never at the entrance upon our conversation, seldom till we are a little acquainted,) “Do you agree with my opinions and mode of worship? particularly with regard to church government, baptism, and the Lord’s supper?” I “let all these stand by,” till we begin to know, and have confirmed our love to, each other. Then may come “a more convenient season” for deterring into controversy. My only question at present is, “Is thy heart right?” (Page 13.)

    At present, I say, keep your own opinion; I mine. I do not desire you to dispute these points. Whether we shall dispute them hereafter, is another question: Perhaps we may, perhaps we may not. This will depend on a great variety of circumstances; particularly on a probability of success; for I am determined never to dispute at all, if I have no hope of convincing my opponent.

    As to my own judgment, I still believe “the Episcopal form of church government to be scriptural and apostolical.” I mean, well agreeing with the practice and writings of the Apostles. But that it is prescribed in Scripture, I do not believe. This opinion, which I once zealously espoused, I have been heartily ashamed of ever since I read Bishop Stillingfleet’s “Irenicon.” I think he has unanswerably proved, that “neither Christ nor his Apostles prescribe any particular form of church government; and that the plea of divine right for diocesan Episcopacy was never heard of in the primitive church.”

    But, were it otherwise, I should still call these “smaller points” than the “loving God and all mankind.” (Page 18.) And could any man answer those questions, “Dost thou believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God over all, blessed for ever?” (which indeed no Arian or semi-Arian, and much less Socinian, can do:) “Is God the center of thy soul? the sum of all thy desires? Art thou more afraid of displeasing God, than either of death or hell?” (page 15;) which no wicked man can possibly do; none who is not a real child of God: If, I say, a man could answer these in the affirmative, I would then gladly give him my hand.

    This is certainly a principle holden by those who are in derision termed Methodists; and to whom a Popish Priest in Dublin gave the still more unmeaning title of Swaddlers. They all desire to be of a catholic spirit; meaning thereby, not “an indifference to all opinions;” not “indifference as to the manner of public worship:” This they know to be quite another thing. “Love, they judge, gives a title to this character. Catholic love is a catholic spirit.” (Page 25.)

    As to heresy and schism, I cannot find one text in the Bible where they are taken in the modern sense. I remember no one scripture wherein heresy signifies “error in opinion,” whether fundamental or not; nor any wherein schism signifies a “separation from the Church,” whether with cause or without. I wish, Sir, you would reconsider this point, and review the scriptures wherein those terms occur.

    Yet I would take some pains to recover any one from error, or to reconcile him to our Church: I mean, to the Church of England; from which I do not separate yet, and probably never shall. The little church, in the vulgar sense of the word, which I occasionally mentioned at Holy Mount, is that wherein I read prayers, and preach, and administer the sacrament, every Sunday when I am in London. But I would take much more pains to recover any one from sin. One who lives and dies in error, or in dissent from our Church, may yet be saved; but one who lives and dies in sin must perish. O Sir, let us bend our main force against this! against all sin both in ourselves and them that hear us! I would to God we could all agree both in opinions and outward worship. But if this cannot be, may we not agree in holiness? May we not all agree in being holy, as He that hath called us is holy, both in heart, and in all manner of conversation? This is the great desire of, Rev. Sir, Your very humble servant, JOHN WESLEY.

    SECOND LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. CLARKE.

    ———\parREV.SIR,LONDON, September 10, 1756.

    YESTERDAY I received your favor of July 9. As you therein speak freely and openly, I will endeavor to do the same; at which I am persuaded you will not be displeased. 1. Of the words imputed to Mr. Langston, I said nothing, because he denied the charge: And I had not an opportunity of hearing the accused and the accuser face to face. 2. That there are enthusiasts among the Methodists, I doubt not; and among every other people under heaven: But that they are “made such either by our doctrine or discipline,” still remains to be proved. If they are such in spite of our doctrine and discipline, their madness will not be laid to our charge.

    I know nothing of that anonymous pamphlet on inspiration. How does it appear to be wrote by a disciple of mine? Be it good, bad, or indifferent, I am not concerned or anyway accountable for it. 3. I believe several who are not Episcopally ordained are called of God to preach the Gospel. Yet I have no objection to the Twenty-third Article, though I judge there are exempt cases.

    That the seven Deacons were outwardly ordained, even to that low office, cannot be denied. But when Paul and Barnabas were separated for the work to which they were called, this was not ordaining them. St. Paul was ordained long before, and that not of man, nor by man. It was only inducting him to the province for which our Lord had appointed him from the beginning. For this end the Prophets and Teachers fasted, prayed, and “laid their hands upon them;” a rite which was used, not in ordination only, but in blessing, and on many other occasions. 4. Concerning diocesan Episcopacy, there are several questions I should be glad to have answered: (1.)Where is it prescribed in Scripture? (2.)How does it appear that the Apostles “settled it in all the churches they planted?” (3) How does it appear that they so settled it in any, as to make it of perpetual obligation? It is allowed, “Christ and his Apostles did put the churches under some form of government or other.”

    But, (1.)Did they put all churches under the same precise form? If they did, (2.)Can we prove this to have been the very same which now remains in the Church of England? 5. How Favorinus and many more may define both heresy and schism, I am not concerned to know. I well know, heresy is vulgarly defined, “a false opinion, touching some necessary article of faith;” and schism, “a causeless separation from a true church.” But I keep to my Bible, as our Church in her Sixth Article teaches me to do. Therefore, I cannot take schism for a separation from a church, true or false; because I cannot find it is ever so taken in Scripture. The first time I read the term there, is Corinthians 1: I meet with it again, chapter 11:18. But it is plain, by schisms in both places is meant, not any separation from the church, but uncharitable divisions in it. For the Corinthians continued to be one church; and, notwithstanding all their strife and contention, there was no separation of any one party from the rest, with regard to external communion. It is in the same sense the word is used chapter 12:25. And these are the only places in the New Testament where it occurs.

    Therefore, the indulging any unkind temper toward our fellow-Christians is the true scriptural schism.

    Indeed, both heresies (which are also works of the flesh, and consequently damnable, if not repented of) and schisms are here mentioned by the Apostle, in very near the same sense; unless by schisms he meant those inward animosities which occasioned heresies, that is, outward divisions and parties. So that while one said, “I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos;” this implied both schism and heresy. So wonderfully have later ages distorted the words heresy and schism from their scriptural meaning!

    Heresy is not in all the Bible taken for “an error in fundamentals,” or in anything else; nor schism for any separation made from the outward communion of others. Therefore, both heresy and schism, in the modern sense of the words, are sins that the Scripture knows nothing of. 6. But though I aver this, am I “quite indifferent as to any man’s opinion in religion?” Far, very far from it; as I have declared again and again in the very sermon under consideration, in the “Character of a Methodist,” in the “Plain Account,” and twenty tracts besides. Neither do I “conceal my sentiments:” Few men less. I have written severally, and printed, against Deists, Papists, Mystics, Quakers, Anabaptists, Presbyterians, Calvinists, and Antinomians. An odd way of ingratiating myself with them, to strike at the apple of their eye! Nevertheless, in all things indifferent, (but not at the expense of truth,) I rejoice to “please all men for their good to edification;” if haply I may “gain more proselytes” to genuine, scriptural Christianity; if I may prevail upon the more to love God and their neighbor, and to talk as Christ walked.

    So far as I find them obstructive of this, I oppose wrong opinions with my might; though even then, rather by guarding those who are yet free, than by disputing with those who are deeply infected. I need not dispute with many of these, to know there is no probability of convincing them. A thousand times have I found my father’s words true: “You may have peace with the Dissenters, if you do not so humor them as to dispute with them. But if you do, they will outface and outlung you; and at the end you will be where you were at the beginning.”

    I have now, Sir, humored you, so as to dispute with you a little. But with what probability of success? Suppose you have a single eye in this debate; suppose you aim, not at victory, but at truth only; yet what man of threescore (unless perchance one in an age) was ever convinced of anything? Is not an old man’s motto, Non persuadebis etiamsi persuaseris? 17 When we are past middle age, does not a kind of stiffness and inflexibility steal upon the mind as well as the body? And how does this bar the gate against all conviction! even before the eye of the soul too grows dim, and so less and less capable of discerning things which we are not already well acquainted with! 7. Yet on one point I must add a few words, because it is of the last importance: I said, “Orthodoxy, or right opinions, is never more than a slender part of religion; sometimes no part of it at all.” And this I explained thus: “In a child of God, it is but a slender part of religion: It is no part at all in a child of the devil.” The religion of a child of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Now, if orthodoxy be any part of this, (which itself might admit of a question,) it is a very slender part; though it is a considerable help both of love, peace, and joy.

    Religion is, in other words, the love of God and man, producing all holiness of conversation. Now, are right opinions any more (if they are so much) than a very slender part of this? Once more: Religion is the mind that was in Christ, and the walking as Christ walked. But how very slender a part of this are opinions, how right soever!

    By a child of the devil, I mean, one who has no true religion at all; one who neither loves, nor fears, nor serves God. But it is certain, such a man may still be orthodox, may entertain right opinions; and yet, it is equally certain, these are no part of religion in him that has no religion at all.

    Permit me, Sir, to speak exceeding plainly. Are you not an orthodox man?

    Perhaps there is none more so in the diocese. And yet possibly you may have no religion at all. If it be true that you frequently drink to excess, you may have orthodoxy, but you can have no religion. If, when you are in a passion, you call your brother, “Thou fool,” you have no religion at all. If you even curse and take the name of God in vain, you can have no other religion than orthodoxy; a religion of which the devil and his angels may have full as much as you.

    O Sin; what an idle thing is it for you to dispute about lay Preachers! Is not a lay Preacher preferable to a drunken Preacher? to a cursing, swearing Preacher? “Unto the ungodly saith God, Why takest thou my covenant in thy mouth, whereas thou hatest to be reformed, and hast cast my words behind thee?” In tender compassion I speak this. May God apply it to your heart! Then you will not receive this as an affront, but as the highest instance of brotherly love from, Rev. Sir, Your truly affectionate servant, JOHN WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO A FRIEND. ———\parDEAR SIR, September 20, 1757.

    THE longer I am absent from London, and the more I attend the service of the Church in other places, the more I am convinced of the unspeakable advantage which the people called Methodists enjoy. I mean, even with regard to public worship particularly on the Lord’s day. The church where they assemble is not gay or splendid, which might be a hindrance on the one hand; nor sordid or dirty, which might give distaste on the other; but plain as well as clean. The persons who assemble there are not a gay, giddy crowd, who come chiefly to see and be seen; nor a company of goodly, formal, outside Christians, whose religion lies in a dull round of duties; but a people most of whom do, and the rest earnestly seek to, worship God in spirit and in truth. Accordingly, they do not spend their time there in bowing and curtesying, or in staring about them; but in looking upward and looking inward, in hearkening to the voice of God, and pouring out their hearts before him.

    It is also no small advantage that the person who reads Prayers (though not always the same, yet) is always one who may be supposed to speak from his heart, one whose life is no reproach to his profession; and one who performs that solemn part of divine service, not in a careless, hurrying, slovenly manner; but seriously and slowly, as becomes him who is transacting so high an affair between God and man.

    Nor are their solemn addresses to God interrupted either by the formal drawl of a parish clerk, the screaming of boys, who bawl out what they neither feel nor understand, or the unseasonable and unmeaning impertinence of a voluntary on the organ. When it is seasonable to sing praise to God, they do it with the spirit, and with the understanding also; not in the miserable, scandalous doggerel of Hopkins and Sternhold, but in psalms and hymns which are both sense and poetry; such as would sooner provoke a critic to turn Christian, than a Christian to turn critic. What they sing is therefore a proper continuation of the spiritual and reasonable service; being selected for that end (not by a poor humdrum wretch who can scarce read what he drones out with such an air of importance, but) by one who knows what he is about, and how to connect the preceding with the following part of the service. Nor does he take just “two staves,” but more or less, as may best raise the soul to God; especially when sung in well-composed and well-adapted tunes, not by a handful of wild, unawakened striplings, but by a whole serious congregation; and these, not lolling at ease, or in the indecent posture of sitting, drawling out one word after another, but all standing before God, and praising him lustily and with a good courage.

    Nor is it a little advantage as to the next part of the service, to hear a Preacher whom you know to live as he speaks, speaking the genuine Gospel of present salvation through faith, wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost; declaring present, free, full justification, and enforcing every branch of inward and outward holiness. And this you hear done in the most clear, plain, simple, unaffected language; yet with an earnestness becoming the importance of the subject, and with the demonstration of the Spirit.

    With regard to the last and most awful part of divine service, the celebration of the Lord’s supper, although we cannot say that either the unworthiness of the Minister, or the unholiness of some of the communicants, deprives the rest of a blessing from God; yet do they greatly lessen the comfort of receiving. But these discouragements are removed from you: You have proof that he who administers fears God; and you have no reason to believe, that any of your fellow-communicants walk unworthy of their profession. Add to this, that the whole service is performed in a decent and solemn manner, is enlivened by hymns suitable to the occasion, and concluded with prayer that comes not out of feigned lips.

    Surely then, of all the people in Great Britain, the Methodists would be the most inexcusable, should they let any opportunity slip of attending that worship, which has so many advantages, should they prefer any before it, or not continually improve by the advantages they enjoy! What can be pleaded for them, if they do not worship God in spirit and in truth; if they are still outward worshippers only, approaching God with their lips while their hearts are far from him? Yea, if, having known Him, they do not daily grow LETTER TO MR. N——. ———\parMY DEAR BROTHER,KINGSWOOD, September 3, 1756.

    IN your letters of July, and August 27, you charge me, first, with selfinconsistency, in tolerating lay preaching, and not lay administering; and, secondly, with showing a spirit of persecution, in denying my brethren the liberty of acting (as well as thinking) according to their own conscience.

    As to the former charge, the fact alleged is true: I do tolerate unordained persons in preaching the Gospel; whereas I do not tolerate them in administering the sacraments. But it is not true, that I am self-inconsistent in so doing. I act on one and the same principle still. My principle (frequently declared) is this, “I submit to every ordinance of man, wherever I do not conceive there is an absolute necessity for acting contrary to it.” Consistently with this, I do tolerate lay preaching, because I conceive there is an absolute necessity for it; inasmuch as were it not, thousands of souls would perish everlastingly. Yet I do not tolerate lay administering, because I do not conceive there is any such necessity for it; seeing it does not appear, that, if this is not at all, one soul will perish for want of it.

    I am therefore so far from self-inconsistency in tolerating the former, and not the latter, that I really should be self inconsistent were I to act otherwise: Were I to break, or allow others to break, an ordinance of man, where there is no necessity, I should contradict my own principle, as much as if I did not allow it to be broken where there is.

    As to the latter charge, that “I deny my brethren the liberty of acting according to their own conscience, and therefore show a spirit of persecution;” I again allow the fact, but deny the consequence. I mean, I allow the fact thus far: Some of our Preachers, who are not ordained, think it quite right to administer the Lord’s supper, and believe it would do much good. I think it quite wrong, and believe it would do much hurt.

    Hereupon I say, “I have no right over your conscience, nor you over mine:

    Therefore, both you and I must follow our own conscience. You believe, it is a duty to administer: Do so; and therein follow your own conscience. I verily believe it is a sin; which, consequently, I dare not tolerate; and herein I follow mine.” Yet this is no persecution, were I to separate from our society (which I have not done yet) those who practice what I believe is contrary to the word, and destructive of the work, of God.

    Last week I had a long letter from William Darney, who likewise wonders we should be of so persecuting a spirit as to deny him the liberty of thinking and speaking in our societies according to his own conscience.

    How will you answer him, and excuse Ted and Charles Perronet from the charge of persecuting their brothers. They then said, (as did all,) “Let him preach Calvinism elsewhere; (we have no right to hinder him;) but not among us, because we are persuaded it would do much hurt.” Take the answer back: If it was good in one case, so was it in the other likewise.

    If John Jones, my brother, or any other Preacher, has preached sharply on this head, I certainly am a stranger to it, and therefore not answerable for it. I persecute no man on this account, or any other; and yet I cannot consent, that any of our lay Preachers should either preach predestination, or administer the sacraments, to those who are under my care.

    But is it immoral? It is immoral to think, speak, or act, contrary to the love which “thinketh no evil.” Now of this, both Charles and you are palpably guilty, in thinking the body of the Methodists (either Preachers or people) are fallen from the simplicity and uprightness of the Gospel. Whatever seven or eight of the Preachers may be, who have warmly debated this point with you; whatever two or three hundred of the people may be, who have been hurt by the disputants on either side; the main body of the Methodists never were more simple or upright than at this day. Therefore your thinking so ill of both Preachers and people is a manifest breach of the law of love. And whoever is, or is not, fallen from the spirit of the Gospel, it is certain, you are, for one.

    But after all this pother, what is this persecution, concerning which you make so loud an outcry? Why, some of our lay Preachers did what we thought was both ill in itself, and likely to do much harm among the people. Of this, complaint was made to me. And what did I do? Did I expel those Preachers out of our community? Not so. Did I forbid them to preach any more? Not so, neither. Did I degrade them from Itinerant to Local Preachers? Not so much as this. I told them, I thought the thing was wrong, and would do hurt, and therefore advised them to do it no more.

    Certainly this is a new species of persecution! I cannot but think you might as well call it murder. “O, but you would have done more, if they had persisted.” That is, I would have persecuted. Whatever I would have done if things had been which were not, I have not done it yet. I have used no arbitrary, no coercive power; nay, no power at all in this matter, but that of love. I have given no man an ill word or an ill look on the account. I have not withdrawn my confidence or my conversation from any. I have dealt with every man, as, if the tables were turned, I should desire he would deal with me. “But I would not dispute with you.” Not for a time: Not till your spirits were a little evaporated. But you argue too fast, when you infer from hence, that I myself cannot confute your favorite notion. You are not sure of that. But come what will, you are resolved to try. Well then, move fair and softly. You and Charles Perronet aver, that you have a right to administer the Lord’s supper; and that therefore you ought to administer it among the Methodists, or to separate from them. If the assertion were proved, I should deny the consequence. But first, I desire proof of the assertion.

    Let him or you give the proof, only without any flourish or rhetorical amplifications, (which exceedingly abound in all C. P.’s letters to my brother on this subject,) and I will give you an answer, though we are not on even ground; for you have no business, and I have no leisure. And if you continue instant in prayer, particularly for a lowly and teachable spirit, I do not despair of your finding both that life and love which you have not lately enjoyed.

    I am Your affectionate brother, JOHN WESLEY.

    I shall add a few remarks on C. P.’s letters, though the substance of them is contained in your “Some of the fundamentals of your constitution are wrong.” Our fundamentals are laid down in the “Plain Account.” Which of these is wrong, and yet “born by you for eight years?” “O inconsistency! O excuseless tyranny!” etc. Flourish. Set that down for nothing. “These very men who themselves break the laws of the States deny us liberty of conscience.” In plain terms, These very men who preach the Gospel contrary to law, do not approve of our administering the sacraments. They do not. They greatly disapprove of it; and that without any inconsistency at all: Because the case is not parallel. The one is absolutely necessary to the salvation of thousands; the other not. “Your brother has to the last refused me liberty of conscience.” Under what penalty? This heavy charge amounts in reality to this: I still think you have no right to administer the Lord’s supper; in consequence of which, I advise you not to do it. Can I do less? Or have I done more? “I wish I could say, that anything of wicked lewdness would have met with the same opposition!” Is not this pretty, brother Norton? Do you subscribe to this? I think you know us better. Do we not so much as advise our Preachers and people to abstain from wicked lewdness? “Can it be denied that known wantonness, that deceit and knavery, have been among us, and that little notice has been taken of it?” I totally deny it.

    Much notice has been taken, by me in particular, of what evil has been done by any Preacher. I have constantly examined all the parties; and have, in every instance, so far animadverted on the delinquent as justice joined with mercy required. “My crime is, that I would worship Christ, as his word, his Spirit, and my own conscience teach me. Let God and man be witness that we part for this and nothing else.” Namely, because I am of a different judgment, and cannot approve of what I judge to be wrong. So says W. Darney, “My crime is, that I would preach Christ, as His word, His Spirit, and my own conscience teach me.” But he has far more ground for complaint than you:

    For we ourselves separated him from us; whereas you call God and man to witness, that you separate yourself for this and nothing else, that I cannot approve what I judge to be wrong.

    But this is not all your crime: You have also drank into the spirit of James Wheatley; and you have adopted his very language: You are become, like him, an accuser of your brethren. O Charles, it was time you should separate from them; for y our heart was gone from them before! “Whatever motives of another kind might be blended with those that really belonged to conscience, in your rejecting what I laid before you,” (not consenting that I should administer,) “God knows.” I know of none. I have no other motive of acting, than the glory of God and the good of souls.

    Here again you are become not only an accuser, but a false accuser, and an unjust judge, of your brother. “You grant more to others. To my certain knowledge, both of you have been told for more than two years, that James Morris administered.” You may as well say, “To my certain knowledge, black is white.” I never was told it to this day, unless by C. Perronet. But whether he does or no, it is nothing to me. He never was in close connection with us: He is now in no connection at all. We have totally renounced him. So here is another instance of accusing, yea, falsely accusing, your brethren. “A man may be circumcised, count his beads, or adore a cross, and still be a member of your society.” That is, may be a Papist or a Jew. I know no such instance in England or Ireland. We have many members in Ireland, that were Papists; but not one that continues so. “Other reasons than those that could possibly relate to conscience have born too much share in the late affair.” I say as before, I am not conscious of it. And who art thou that judgest another’s servant? “You have allowed, we are called to this by the Holy Ghost, and that God was with us in what we did.” I allow! No more than I allow you to be archangels. I allow neither the one nor the other. I believe you felt joy, or power, so called; but I do not know that it was from God; and I said, “Supposing you were called of God to this,” (which is exceeding far from granting it,) “still you ought to wave that privilege out of tenderness to your brethren.” I do not grant, either that God calls you to do this, or that he ever blessed you in it.

    That Methodism, (so called,) that is, vital religion, loving faith, in the hearts of those who are vulgarly termed Methodists, should seem to you, sitting snug at London or Bristol, to be “very much in its decline,” is no wonder. But I, who see things in every place with my own eyes, know it is very much in its increase. Many are daily added to them that believe; many more are continually awakened; so that the societies from east to west, from north to south, in both kingdoms, increase in grace, as well as number. “I wish the argument” (which is no argument at all, as being grounded on a palpable mistake) “be not too home to bear a dispute among honest men.”

    Very well! Another clear proof of the love that thinketh no evil. “If you had consented.” This is the very point. I could not consent (which implies some degree of approbation) to what I judged to be totally wrong.

    Yet neither did I persecute. I inflicted no penalty of any kind on those whom I judged to have done wrong; because I believed they acted from conscience, though erroneous: I only mildly advised them to desist. “I never will be again united with any who will not let others choose their own religion.” Then you will never unite with any but knaves; for no honest men who preside over any community will let the members of it do what they judge to be wrong, and hurtful to that community, without endeavoring to prevent it, at least, by mild, loving, friendly advice. “I go away, not of choice, but of necessity.” So you must think, till God opens your eyes. “Your kindness at our first acquaintance, the Providence that brought us together, and the keeping up that acquaintance after so many snares of the enemy to destroy it, make it sacred, as well as dear, to me.” And yet for such a reason as this, — because I advise you to abstain from doing what I think you have no right to do; what I judge to be both evil in itself, and productive of ill consequences; for this reason you burst all the bonds asunder, and cast away the cords from you.

    The Lord God enlighten the eyes of your understanding, and soften and enlarge your heart!\parJOHN WESLEY, REASONS AGAINST A SEPARATION FROM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.

    WRITTEN IN THE YEAR

    1768. ——— 1. WHETHER it be lawful or no, (which itself may be disputed, being not so clear a point as some may imagine,) it is by no means expedient, for us to separate from the established Church: — (l.) Because it would be a contradiction to the solemn and repeated declarations which we have made in all manner of ways, in preaching, in print, and in private conversation.

         (2.) Because (on this as well as on many other accounts) it would give huge occasion of offense to those who seek and desire occasion, to all the enemies of God and his truth.

         (3.) Because it would exceedingly prejudice against us many who fear, yea, who love, God, and thereby hinder their receiving so much, perhaps any farther, benefit from our preaching.

         (4.) Because it would hinder multitudes of those who neither love nor fear God from hearing us at all.

         (5.) Because it would occasion many hundreds, if not some thousands, of those who are now united with us, to separate from us; yea, and some of those who have a deep work of grace in their souls.

         (6.) Because it would be throwing balls of wild-fire among them that are now quiet in the land. We are now sweetly united together in love. We mostly think and speak the same thing. But this would occasion inconceivable strife and contention, between those who left, and those who remained in, the Church; as well as between those who left us, and those who remained with us; nay, and between those very persons who remained, as they were variously inclined one way or the other.

         (7.) Because, whereas controversy is now asleep, and are in great measure live peaceably with all men, so that we are strangely at leisure to spend our whole time and strength in enforcing plain, practical, vital religion, (O what would many of our forefathers have given, to have enjoyed so blessed a calm!) this would utterly banish peace from among us, and that without hope of its return.

    It would engage me, for one, in a thousand controversies, both in public and private; (for I should be in conscience obliged to give the reasons of my conduct, and to defend those reasons against all opposers;) and so take me off from those more useful labors which might otherwise employ the short remainder of my life.

         (8.) Because to form the plan of a new church would require infinite time and care, (which might be far more profitably bestowed,) with much more wisdom and greater depth and extensiveness of thought than any of us are masters of.

         (9.) Because from some having barely entertained a distant thought of this, evil fruits have already followed; such as prejudice against the Clergy in general, and aptness to believe ill of them; contempt (not without a degree of bitterness) of Clergymen, as such; and a sharpness of language toward the whole order, utterly unbecoming either gentlemen or Christians. (10.)Because the experiment has been so frequently tried already, and the success never answered the expectation. God has since the Reformation raised up from time to time many witnesses of pure religion. If these lived and died (like John Arndt, Robert Bolton, and many others) in the churches to which they belonged, notwithstanding the wickedness which overflowed both the Teachers and people therein, they spread the leaven of true religion far and wide, and were more and more useful, till they went to paradise. But if, upon any provocation or consideration whatever, they separated, and founded distinct parties, their influence was more and more confined; they grew less and less useful to others, and generally lost the spirit of religion themselves in the spirit of controversy. (11)Because we have melancholy instances of this, even now before our eyes. Many have in our memory left the Church, and formed themselves into distinct bodies. And certainly some of them from a real persuasion that they should do God more service. But have any separated themselves and prospered? Have they been either more holy, or more useful, than they were before? (12.)Because by such a separation we should not only throw away the peculiar glorying which God has given us, that we do and will suffer all things for our brethren’s sake, though the more we love them, the less we be loved; but should act in direct contradiction to that very end for which we believe God hath raised us up. The chief design of His providence in sending us out is, undoubtedly, to quicken our brethren. And the first message of all our Preachers is to the lost sheep of the Church of England. Now, would it not be a flat contradiction to this design, to separate from the Church? These things being considered, we cannot apprehend (whether it be lawful in itself or no) that it is lawful for us; were it only on this ground, that it is by no means expedient. 2. It has indeed been objected, that till we do separate, we cannot be a compact, united body.

    It is true, we cannot till then be “a compact, united body,” if you mean by that expression, a body distinct from all others. And we have no desire so to be.

    It has been objected, secondly, “It is mere conwardice and fear of persecution which makes you desire to remain united with them.”

    This cannot be proved. Let every one examine his own heart, and not judge his brother.

    It is not probable. We never yet, for any persecution, when we were in the midst of it, either turned back from the work, or even slackened our pace.

    But this is certain; that although persecution many times proves an unspeakable blessing to them that suffer it, yet we might not willfully to bring it upon ourselves. Nay, we ought to do whatever can lawfully be done, in order to prevent it. We ought to avoid it so far as we lawfully can; when persecuted in one city, to flee into another. If God should suffer a general persecution, who would be able to abide it we know not. Perhaps those who talk loudest might flee first. Remember the case of Dr. Pendleton. 3. Upon the whole, one cannot but observe how desirable it is, that all of us who are engaged in the sure work should think and speak the same thing, be united in one judgment, and use one and the same language.

    Do we not all now see ourselves, the Methodists (so called) in general, the Church and the Clergy, in a clear light?

    We look upon ourselves, not as the authors or ringleaders of a particular sect or party; (it is the farthest thing from our thoughts;) but as messengers of God to those who are Christians in name, but Heathens in heart and in life, to call them back to that from which they are fallen, to real genuine Christianity. We are therefore debtors to all these, of whatever opinion or denomination; and are consequently to do all that in us lies, to please all for their good, to edification.

    We look upon the Methodists (so called) in general, not as any particular party; (this would exceedingly obstruct the grand design, for which we conceive God has raised them up;) but as living witnesses, in and to every party, of that Christianity which we preach; which is hereby demonstrated to be a real thing, and visibly holden out to all the world.

    We look upon England as that part of the world, and the Church as that part of England, to which all we who are born and have been brought up therein, owe our first and chief regard. We feel in ourselves a strong sorgh , a kind of natural affliction for our country, which we apprehend Christianity was never designed either to root out or to impair. We have a more peculiar concern for our brethren, for that part of our countrymen to whom we have been joined from our youth up, by ties of a religious as well as a civil nature. True it is, that they are, in general, “without God in the world:” So much the more do our bowels yearn over them. They do lie “in darkness and the shadow of death:” The more tender is our compassion for them. And when we have the fullest conviction of that complicated wickedness which covers them as a flood, then do we feel the most (and we desire to feel yet more) of that inexpressible emotion with which our blessed Lord beholden Jerusalem, and wept and lamented over it. Then are we the most willing “to spend and to be spent” for them; yea, to “lay down our lives for our brethren.”

    We look upon the Clergy, not only as a part of these our brethren, but as that part whom God by His adorable providence has called to be watchmen over the rest, for whom therefore they are to give a strict account. If these then neglect their important charge, if they do not watch over them with all their power, they will be of all most miserable, and so are entitled to our deepest compassion. So that to feel, and much more to express, either contempt or bitterness towards them, betrays an utter ignorance of ourselves and of the spirit which we especially should be of.

    Because this is a point of uncommon concern, let us consider it a little farther.

         (1.) The Clergy, wherever we are, are either friends to the truth, or neuters, or enemies to it.

    If they are friends to it, certainly we should do everything, and omit everything, we can with a safe conscience, in order to continue, and if it be possible, increase, their goodwill to it.

    If they neither further nor hinder it, we should do all that in us lies, both for their sakes and for the sake of their several flocks, to give their neutrality the right turn, that it may change into love rather than hatred.

    If they are enemies still we should not despair of lessening, if not removing, their prejudice. We should try every means again and again; we should employ all our care, labor, prudence, joined with fervent prayer, to overcome evil with good, to melt their hardness into love.

    It is true, that when any of these openly wrest the Scriptures, and deny the grand truths of the Gospel, we cannot but declare and defend, at convenient opportunities, the important truths which they deny. But in this case especially we have need of all gentleness and meekness of wisdom. Contempt, sharpness, bitterness; can do no good. “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of. God.” Harsh methods have been tried again and again (by two or three unsettled railers) at Wednesbury, St. Ives, Cork, Canterbury. And how did they succeed? They always occasioned numberless evils; often wholly stopped the course of the Gospel. Therefore, were it only on a prudential account, were conscience unconcerned therein, it should be a sacred rule to all our Preachers, — “No contempts no bitterness, to the Clergy.”

         (2.) Might it not be another (at least, prudential) rule for every Methodist Preacher, not to frequent any Dissenting meeting? (Though we blame none who have been always accustomed to it.)

    But if we do this, certainly our people will. Now, this is actually separating from the Church. If, therefore, it is (at least) not expedient to separate, neither is this expedient. Indeed, we may attend our assemblies, and the church too; because they are at different hours. But we cannot attend both the meeting and the church, because they are at the same hours.

    If it be said, “But at the church we are fed with chaff, whereas at the meeting we have wholesome food;” we answer;

         (1.) The prayers of the Church are not chaff; they are substantial food for any who are alive to God.

         (2.) The Lord’s supper is not chaff, but pure and wholesome for all who receive it with upright hearts! Yea,

         (3.) In almost all the sermons we hear there, we hear many great and important truths: And whoever has a spiritual discernment, may easily separate the chaff from the wheat therein.

         (4.) How little is the case mended at the meeting! Either the Teachers are “new light” men, denying the Lord that bought them, and overturning His Gospel from the very foundations; or they are Predestinarians, and so preach predestination and final perseverance, more or less. Now, whatever this may be to them who were educated therein, yet to those of our brethren who have lately embraced it, repeated experience shows it is not wholesome food; rather, to them it has the effect of deadly poison. In a short time it destroys all their zeal for God. They grow fond of opinions, and strife of words; they despise self-denial and the daily cross; and, to complete all, wholly separate from their brethren.

         (3.) Nor is it expedient for any Methodist Preacher to imitate the Dissenters in their manner of praying; either in his tone, — all particular tones both in prayer and preaching should be avoided with the utmost care; nor in his language, — all his words should be plain and simple, such as the lowest of his hearers both use and understand; or in the length of his prayer, which should not usually exceed four or five minutes, either before or after sermon.

    One might add, neither should we sing like them, in a slow, drawling manner: We sing swift, both because it saves time, and because it tends to awake and enliven the soul.

         (4.) If we continue in the Church, not by chance, or for want of thought, but upon solid and well weighed reasons, then we should never speak contemptuously of the Church, or anything pertaining to it. In some sense it is the mother of us all, who have been brought up therein. We ought never to make her blemishes matter of diversion, but rather of solemn sorrow before God. We ought never to talk ludicrously of them; no, not at all, without clear necessity. Rather, we should conceal them, as far as ever we can, without bringing guilt upon our own conscience. And we should all use every rational and scriptural means, to bring others to the same temper and behavior. I say, “all;” for if some of us are thus minded, and others of an opposite spirit and behavior, this will breed a real schism among ourselves. It will of course divide us into two parties; each of which will be liable to perpetual jealousies, suspicions, and animosities against the other.

    Therefore, on this account likewise, it is expedient, in the highest degree, that we should be tender of the Church to which we belong.

         (5.) In order to secure this end, to cut off all jealousy and suspicion from our friends, and hope from our enemies, of our having any design to separate from the Church, it would be well for every Methodist Preacher, who has no scruple concerning it, to attend the service of the Church as often as conveniently he can. And the more we attend it, the more we love it, as constant experience shows. On the contrary, the longer we abstain from it, the less desire we have to attend it at all.

         (6.) Lastly. Whereas we are surrounded on every side by those who are equally enemies to us and to the Church of England; and whereas these are long practiced in this war, and skilled in all the objections against it; while our brethren, on the other hand, are quite strangers to them all, and so, on a sudden, know not how to answer them; it is highly expedient for every Preacher to be provided with sound answers to those objections, and then to instruct the societies where he labors, how to defend themselves against those assaults. It would be therefore well for you carefully to read over the “Preservative against unsettled Notions in Religion,” together with “Serious Thoughts concerning Perseverance,” and “Predestination calmly considered.” And when you are masters of them yourselves, it will be easy for you to recommend and explain them to our societies; that they may “no more be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine;” but, being settled in one mind and one judgment by solid scriptural and rational arguments, “may grow up in all things into Him who is our Head, even Jesus Christ.”\parJOHN WESLEY.

    I THINK myself bound in duty to add my testimony to my brother’s. His twelve reasons against our ever separating from the Church of England are mine also. I subscribe to them with all my heart. Only, with regard to the first, I am quite clear that it is neither expedient nor lawful for me to separate; and I never had the least inclination or temptation so to do. My affection for the Church is as strong as ever; and I clearly see my calling; which is, to live and to die in her communion. This, therefore, I am determined to do, the Lord being my Helper.

    I have subjoined the Hymns for the lay Preachers; 18 still farther to secure this end, to cut off all jealousy and suspicion from our friends, or hope from our enemies, of our having any design of ever separating from the Church. I have no secret reserve, or distant thought of it. I never had.

    Would to God all the Methodist Preachers were, in this respect, likeminded with\parCHARLES WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO A FRIEND. ———\parDEAR SIR, April 10, 1761. 1. IN order to answer the question more clearly, which Mr. —— has proposed to you, it may be well to look a little backward. Some years since, two or three Clergymen of the Church of England, who were above measure zealous for all her rules and orders, were convinced that religion is not an external thing, but “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;” and that this righteousness, and peace, and joy, are given only to those who are justified by faith. As soon as they were convinced of these great truths, they preached them; and multitudes flocked to hear. For these reasons, and no others, real or pretended, (for as yet they were strictly regular,) because they preached such doctrine, and because such multitudes followed them, they were forbid to preach in the churches. Not daring to be silent, they preached elsewhere, in a school, by a river-side, or upon a mountain; and more and more sinners forsook their sins, and were filled with peace and joy in believing. 2. But, at the same time, huge offense was taken at their “gathering congregations” in so irregular a manner: And it was asked, (1.)“Do you judge that the Church, with the authority of the State, has power to enact laws for her own government?” I answer, If a dispensation of the Gospel is committed to me, no Church has power to enjoin me silence. Neither has the State; though it may abuse its power, and enact laws whereby I suffer for preaching the Gospel. (2.)“Do you judge it your duty to submit to the laws of the Church and State, as far as they are consistent with a good conscience?”

    I do: But “woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel.” This is not consistent with a good conscience. (3.)“Is it a law of the Church and State, that none of her Ministers shall gather congregations, but by the appointment of the Bishop?

    If any do, does not she forbid her people to attend them? Are they not subversive of the good order of the Church? Do you judge there is anything sinful in such a law?”

    I answer, (a.)If there is a law, that a Minister of Christ who is not suffered to preach the Gospel in the church should not preach it elsewhere, I do judge that law to be absolutely sinful. (b.)If that law forbids Christian people to hear the Gospel of Christ out of their parish church, when they cannot hear it therein, I judge it would be sinful for them to obey it. (c.)This preaching is not subversive of any good order whatever. It is only subversive of that vile abuse of the good order of our Church, whereby men who neither preach nor live the Gospel are suffered publicly to overturn it from the foundation; and, in the room of it, to palm upon their congregations a wretched mixture of dead form and maimed morality. (4.)“If these premises be allowed” — They cannot be allowed. So from nothing, nothing follows. 3. It was objected farther: (1.)“In every nation there must be some settled order of government, ecclesiastical and civil.”

    There must: But put civil out of the question. It only tends to puzzle the cause. (2.)“The Scriptures likewise enjoin this.” They do, that all things in the church be done in order. (3.)“There is an ecclesiastical order established in England, and it is n lawful one.”

    I believe it is, in general, not only lawful, but highly commendable. (4.)“But Mr. — tells you, ‘You are born under this Establishment.

    Your ancestors supported it, and were ennobled on that account.’

    These points, I think, are not very material; but that which follows is. ‘You have, by deliberate and repeated acts of your own, engaged yourself to defend it. Your very rank and station constitute you a formal and eminent guardian of it.’” A guardian of what? What is it that you have “deliberately engaged yourself to defend?” The constitution of the Church of England.

    And is not her doctrine a main part of this constitution? a far more essential part thereof than any rule of external order? Of this, then, you are a formal guardian; and you have deliberately engaged yourself to defend it. But have you deliberately engaged to defend her orders to the destruction of her doctrine? Are you a guardian of this external circumstance, when it tends to destroy the substance of her constitution? And if you are engaged, at all events, to defend her order, are you also to defend the abuse of it? Surely no. Your rank, your station, your honor, your conscience, all engage you to oppose this.

         (5.) “But how can it consist with the duty arising from all these, to give encouragement, countenance, and support, to principles and practices that are a direct renunciation of the established constitution; and that, in their genuine issue,” (or natural tendency,) “are totally subversive of it?”

    Are the principles of those Clergymen a direct renunciation of the established constitution? Are their practices so? Are either the one or the other “totally subversive of it?” Not so: Their fundamental principles are the very principles of the established Church. So is their practice too; save in a very few points, wherein they are constrained to deviate. Therefore it is no ways inconsistent with your duty to encourage, countenance, and support them; especially seeing they have no alternative. They must either be thus far irregular, or destroy their own souls, and let thousands of their brethren perish for lack of knowledge.

         (6.) Nay, but their “principles and practices are of this character. For, (a.)They gather congregations, and exercise their ministerial office therein, in every part of this kingdom, directly contrary to the restraint laid on them at their ordination, and to the design of that parochial distribution of duty settled throughout this nation. (b.)They maintain it lawful for men to preach who are not Episcopally ordained, and thereby contradict the Twenty-third Article. (c.)They disclaim all right in the Bishops to control them in any of these matters, and say that, rather than be so controlled, they would renounce all communion with this Church. (d.)These principles they industriously propagate among their followers.”

    I answer, First, They do gather congregations everywhere, and exercise their ministerial office therein. But this is not contrary to any restraint which was laid upon them at their ordination; for they were not ordained to serve any particular parish. And it is remarkable that Lincoln College was founded ad propagandam Christianam fidem, et extirpandas haereses . 19 But were it otherwise, suppose a Parish Minister to be either ignorant or negligent of his duty, and one of his flock adjures me, for Christ’s sake, to tell him what he must do to be saved: Was it ever the design of our Church, that I should refuse to do it, because he is not of my parish? “Secondly. They maintain it lawful for men to preach who are not Episcopally ordained.” In some circumstances they do; particularly where thousands are rushing into destruction, and those who are ordained, and appointed to watch over them, neither care for nor know how to help them. “But hereby they contradict the Twenty-third Article, to which they have subscribed.” They subscribed it in the simplicity of their hearts, when they firmly believed none but Episcopal ordination valid. But Bishop Stillingfleet has since fully convinced them, this was an entire mistake. “Thirdly. They disclaim all right in the Bishops to control them in any of these matters.” In every point of an indifferent nature they obey the Bishops, for conscience’ sake: But they think Episcopal authority cannot reverse what is fixed by Divine authority. Yet they are determined never to renounce communion with the Church, unless they are cast out headlong.

    If it be said, “Nay, but if I varied from the Church at all, I would throw off my gown, and be a professed Dissenter:” What! would you profess to dissent when you did not? If you would, they dare not do it. They love the Church, and therefore keep to all her doctrine and rules, as far as possibly they can:

    And if they vary at all, it shall not be a hair’s breadth farther than they cannot help. “Fourthly. These principles they industriously propagate among their followers.” Indeed they do not: The bulk of their followers know just nothing of the matter. They industriously propagate among them nothing but inward and outward holiness.

         (7.) “Now these are oppositions to the most fundamental principles and essentially constituent parts of our Establishment; and not of ours only, but of every ecclesiastical Establishment that is, or ever has been, in the Christian world.” “The most fundamental principles!” No more than the tiles are the most fundamental principles of a house. Useful, doubtless, they are; yet you must take them off, if you would repair the rotten timber beneath. “Essentially constituent parts of our Establishment!” Well, we will not quarrel for a word. Perhaps the doors may be essentially constituent parts of the building we call a church. Yet, if it were on fire, we might innocently break them open, or even throw them for a time off the hinges. Now this is really the case. The timber is rotten, yea, the main beams of the house; and they want to place that firm: beam, salvation by faith, in the room of salvation by works. A fire is kindled in the Church, the house of the living God; the fire of love of the world, ambition, covetousness, envy, anger, malice, bitter zeal; in one word, of ungodliness and unrighteousness. O who will come and help to quench it? Under disadvantages and discouragements of every kind, a little handful of men have made a beginning; and I trust they will not leave off till the building is saved, or they sink in the ruins of it. 4. To sum up the whole: A few irregular men openly witness those truths of God which the regular Clergy (a few excepted) either suppress, or wholly deny.

    Their word is accompanied with the power of God, convincing and converting sinners. The word of those is not accompanied with power: It neither wounds nor heals.

    The former witness the truth and the power of God, by their own life and conversation: Therefore the world, men who know not God, hate them, and speak all manner of evil against them falsely. The latter are of the world: Therefore the world loves its own, and speaks honorably of them.

    Which of these ought you to hear? those who declare, or those who deny, the truth of God? that word which is the power of God unto salvation, or that which lulls men on to destruction? the men who live, as well as preach, the Gospel, or those whose lives are no better than their doctrine? “But they are irregular.” I answer, (1.)That is not their choice. They must either preach irregularly, or not at all. (2.)Is such a circumstance of weight to turn the scale against the substance of the Gospel?

    If it is, if none ought to speak or hear the truth of God, unless in a regular manner, then (to mention but one consequence) there never could have been any reformation from Popery. For here the entire argument for Church order would have stood in its full force. Suppose one had asked a German nobleman to hear Martin Luther preach; might not his Priest have said, (without debating whether he preached the truth or not,) “My Lord, in every nation there must be some settled order of government, ecclesiastical and civil. There is an ecclesiastical order established in Germany. You are born under this establishment. Your ancestors supported it, and your very rank and station constitute you a formal and eminent guardian of it. How, then, can it consist with the duty arising from all these, to give encouragement, countenance, and support to principles and practices that are a direct renunciation of the established constitution?” Had the force of this reasoning been allowed, what had become of the Reformation?

    Yet it was right; though it really was a subversion of the whole ecclesiastical constitution, with regard to doctrine as well as discipline.

    Whereas this is no such thing. The doctrine of the Established Church, which is far the most essential part of her constitution, these Preachers manifestly confirm, in opposition to those who subvert it. And it is the opposition made to them by those subverters which constrains them, in some respects, to deviate from her discipline; to which, in all others, they conform for conscience. O what pity, that any who preach the same doctrine, and whom those subverters have not yet been able to thrust out, should join with them against their brethren in the common faith, and fellow-witnesses of the common salvation!

    I am, dear Sir, Your willing servant to Christ’s sake, JOHN WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO THE REVEREND MR. VENN. ——— REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,BIRMINGHAM, June 22, 1765.

    HAVING at length a few hours to spare, I sit down to answer your last, which was particularly acceptable to me, because it was wrote with so great openness. I shall write with the same. And herein you and I are just fit to converse together; because we both like to speak blunt and plain, without going a great way round about. I shall likewise take this opportunity of explaining myself on some other heads. I want you to understand me inside and out. Then I say, Sic sum: Si placeo, utere . Were I allowed to boast myself a little, I would say, I want no man living; I mean, none but those who are now connected with me, and who bless God for that connection.

    With these I am able to go through every part of the work to which I am called. Yet I have labored after union with all whom I believe to be united with Christ. I have sought it again and again; but in vain. They were resolved to stand aloof. And when one and another sincere Minister of Christ has been inclined to come nearer to me, others have diligently kept them off, as though thereby they did God service.

    To this poor end the doctrine of perfection has been brought in, head and shoulders. And when such concessions were made as would abundantly satisfy any fair and candid man, they were no nearer, — rather farther off; for they had no desire to be satisfied. To make this dear breach wider and wider, stories were carefully gleaned up, improved, yea, invented and retailed, both concerning me and “the perfect ones.” And when anything very bad has come to hand, some have rejoiced as though they had found great spoils.

    By this means chiefly, the distance between you and me has increased ever since you came to Huddersfield; and perhaps it has not been lessened by that honest, well-meaning man, Mr. Burnet, and by others, who have talked largely of my dogmaticalness, love of power, errors, and irregularities. My dogmaticalness is neither more nor less than a custom of coming to the point at once, and telling my mind flat and plain, without any preface or ceremony. I could indeed premise something of my own imbecility, littleness of judgment, and the like; but, first, I have no time to lose, I must dispatch the matter as soon as possible. Secondly, I do not think it frank or ingenuous. I think these prefaces are mere artifice.

    The power I have, I never sought. It was the undesired, unexpected result of the work God was pleased to work by me. I have a thousand times sought to devolve it on others; but as yet I cannot. I therefore suffer it till I can find any to ease me of my burden.

    If any one will convince me of my errors, I will heartily thank him. I believe all the Bible, as far as I understand it, and am ready to be convinced. If I am a heretic, I became such by reading the Bible. All my notions I drew from thence; and with little help from men, unless in the single point of justification by faith. But I impose my notions upon none:

    I will be bold to say there is no man living farther from it. I make no opinion the term of union with any man: I think and let think. What I want is, holiness of heart and life. They who have this are my brother, sister, and mother. “But you hold perfection.” True, that is, loving God with all our heart, and serving him with all our strength. I teach nothing more, nothing less, than this. God whatever infirmity, defect, anomia , is consistent with this, any man may teach, and I shall not contradict him.

    As to irregularity, I hope none of those who cause it do then complain of it. Will they throw a man into the dirt, and beat him because he is dirty? 0f all men living, those Clergymen ought not to complain, who believe I preach the Gospel as to the substance of it. If they do not ask me to preach in their churches, they are accountable for my preaching in the fields.

    I come now directly to your letter, in hopes of establishing a good understanding between us. I agreed to suspend, for a twelvemonth, our stated preaching at Huddersfield, which had been there these many years.

    If this answered your end, I am glad: My end it did not answer at all.

    Instead of coming nearer to me, you got farther off. I heard of it from every quarter, though few knew that I did; for I saw no cause to speak against you, because you did against me. I wanted you to do more, not less, good, and therefore durst not do or say anything to hinder it. And lest I should hinder it, I will make a farther trial, and suspend the preaching at Huddersfield for another year. 1. To clear the case between us a little farther. I must now adopt your words: “I, no less than you, preach justification by faith only, the absolute necessity of holiness, the increasing mortification of sin, and rejection of all past experiences and attainments. I abhor, as you do, all Antinomian abuse of the doctrine of Christ, and desire to see my people walking even as he walked. Is it then worth while, in order to gratify a few bigoted persons, or for the sake of the minute differences between us, to encourage all the train of evils which follow contention for opinions, in little matters as much as in great?” 2. If I was as strenuous with regard to perfection on one side, as you have been on the other, I should deny you to be a sufficient Preacher; but this I never did. God yet I assure you, I can advance such reasons for all I teach as would puzzle you and all that condemn me to answer; but I am sick of disputing. Let them bent the air, and triumph without an opponent. 3. “None,” you say “preach in your houses, who do not hold the very same doctrine with you.” This is not exactly the case. You are welcome to preach in any of those houses; as I know we agree in the main points; and whereinsoever we differ, you would not preach there contrary to me.” But would it not give you pain to have any other Teacher come among those committed to your charge, so as to have your plan disconcerted, your labors depreciated, and the affections of your flock alienated?” It has given me pain when I had reason to fear this was done, both at Leeds, Bristol, and elsewhere. And I was “under a temptation of speaking against you;” but I refrained even among my intimate friends. So far was I from publicly warning my people against one I firmly believed to be much better than myself. 4. Indeed I trust “the bad blood is now taken away.” Let it return no more.

    Let us begin such a correspondence as has never been yet; and let us avow it before all mankind. Not content with not weakening each other’s hands, or speaking against each other, directly or indirectly, (which may be effectually done under the notion of exposing this and that error,) let us defend each other’s characters to the uttermost against either ill or well meaning evil speakers. I am not satisfied with, “Be very civil to the Methodists, but have nothing to do with them.” No: I desire to have a league offensive and defensive with every soldier of Christ. We have not only one faith, one hope, one Lord, but are directly engaged in one warfare.

    We are carrying the war into the devil’s own quarters, who therefore summons all his hosts to war. Come then, ye that love Him, to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty! I am now well-nigh miles emeritus senex, sexagenarius ; 21 yet I trust to fight a little longer.

    Come and strengthen the hands, till you supply the place, of Your weak, but affectionate brother, JOHN WESLEY.

    ADDRESS TO THE TRAVELLING PREACHERS.

    ——— MY DEAR BRETHREN, August 4, 1769. 1. IT has long been my desire that all those Ministers of our Church who believe and preach salvation by faith might cordially agree between themselves, and not hinder but help one another. After occasionally pressing this in private conversation, wherever I had opportunity, I wrote down my thoughts upon the head, and sent them to each in a letter. Out of fifty or sixty, to whom I wrote, only three vouchsafed me an answer. So I give this up: I can do no more. They are a rope of sand; and such they will continue. 2. But it is otherwise with the Traveling Preachers in our Connection. You are at present one body. You act in concert with each other, and by united counsels, and now is the time to consider what can be done in order to continue this union. Indeed, as long as I live, there will be no great difficulty. I am, under God, a center of union to all our Traveling as well as Local Preachers.

    They all know me, and my communication. They all love me for my work’s sake; and, therefore, were it only out of regard to me, they will continue connected with each other. But by what means may this connection be preserved when God removes me from you? 3. I take it for granted, it cannot be preserved, by any means, between those who have not a single eye. Those who aim at anything but the glory of God, and the salvation of men; who desire or seek any earthly thing, whether honor, profit, or ease; will not, cannot, continue in the Connection It will not answer their design. Some of them, perhaps a fourth of the whole number, will secure preferment in the Church. Others will turn Independents, and get separate congregations, like John Edwards and Charles Skelton. Lay your accounts with this, and be not surprised if some you do not suspect be of this number. 4. But what method can be taken to preserve a firm union between those who choose to remain together?

    Perhaps you might take some such steps as these: — On notice of my death, let all the Preachers in England and Ireland repair to London within six weeks. Let them seek God by solemn fasting and prayer.

    Let them draw up articles of agreement, to be signed by those who choose to act in concert.

    Let those be dismissed who do not choose it in the most friendly manner possible.

    Let them choose, by votes, a committee of three, five, or seven, each of whom is to be Moderator in his turn.

    Let the Committee do what I do now; propose Preachers to be tried, admitted, or excluded; fix the place of each Preacher for the ensuing year, and the time of the next Conference. 5. Can anything be done now in order to lay n foundation for this future union? Would it not be well, for any that are willing, to sign some articles of agreement before God calls me hence? Suppose something like these: — “WE, whose names are under-written, being thoroughly convinced of the necessity of a close union between those whom God is pleased to use as instruments in this glorious work, in order to preserve this union between ourselves, are resolved, God being our Helper, — “I. To devote ourselves entirely to God; denying ourselves, taking up our cross daily, steadily aiming at one thing, — to save our own souls, and them that hear us.” “II. To preach the old Methodist doctrines, and no other, contained in the Minutes of the Conferences.” “III. To observe and enforce the whole Methodist discipline laid down in the said Minutes.”

    SOME THOUGHTS UPON AN IMPORTANT QUESTION.

    ——— 1. FOR many years I have earnestly advised, both in public and in private all in connection with me, who have been brought up in the Established Church, to continue therein; and of consequence to attend the public service of the church at all opportunities; and my reasons for so doing I published to all the world more than twenty years ago. 2. But a few months ago, I was favored with a letter, which required me to review my sentiments. It is signed by several members of our society, men of a loving spirit, and of an unblamable conversation; and it is worthy of the greater regard, as they speak not only in their own name, but in the name of many who wish to have a conscience void of offense, both towards God and towards man. 3. Part of it runs thus: — “Having read many of your books, and heard many of your Preachers, and being in connection with you, we have from time to time been advised by them and you, constantly to attend the church. But we find that neither you nor your Preachers have given any countenance to the doctrines of Calvinism. This induces us humbly to ask the following questions: — “First. Whether you would have us to go to that church where the doctrines of Calvinism are continually inculcated; and where the doctrines taught by you, Christian perfection in particular, are continually exploded.” “Secondly. Whether you think we shall be profited, in any degree, by hearing such preaching.” “Thirdly. Whether it is not a means of filling our hearts with prejudice either against those Preachers or against the truth.” “Fourthly. Whether hearing them does not expose us to temptation from those who continually ask, ‘How did you like the sermon today?’ We cannot dissemble; and if we do not, we offend them.” “If you please, you may give us your sentiments in the ‘Arminian Magazine.’ “JOHN W——, “FRANCIS B——. “NATHAN O——, “JOSEPH B——. “JOHN R——, “BAILDON, near BRADFORTH, “July 24, 1781.” 4. It is a delicate, as well as important, point, on which I hardly know how to answer. I cannot lay down any general rule. All I can say at present is, If it does not hurt you, hear them; if it does, refrain. Be determined by your own conscience. Let every man in particular act “as he is fully persuaded in his own mind.”\parJOHN WESLEY. November 19, 1781.

    ON HEARING MINISTERS WHO OPPOSE THE TRUTH.

    ——— 1. LAST summer I received a letter from Yorkshire, signed by several serious men, who proposed a difficulty they were under, wherein they knew not how to act. And, indeed, I did not well know how to advise them. So I delayed giving them a determinate answer, till I could lay the matter before our brethren at the ensuing Conference. 2. Their difficulty was this: “You advise all the members of our societies constantly to attend the service of the Church. We have done so for a considerable time. But very frequently Mr. R., our Minister, preaches not only what we believe to be false, but dangerously false, doctrine. He asserts, and endeavors to prove that we cannot be saved from our sins in this life; and that we must not hope to be perfected in love on this side eternity. Our nature is very willing to receive this; therefore, it is very liable to hurt us. Hence we have a doubt, whether it is our duty to hear this preaching, which experience shows to weaken our souls.” 3. This letter I laid before the Conference, and we easily perceived, the difficulty therein proposed concerned not only the society at Baildon, but many others in various parts of the kingdom. It was therefore considered at large; and all our brethren were desired to speak their sentiments freely.

    In the conclusion, they unanimously agreed, first, that it was highly expedient, all the Methodists (so called) who had been bred therein should attend the service of the Church as often as possible: But that, secondly, if the Minister began either to preach the absolute decrees, or to rail at and ridicule Christian perfection, they should quietly and silently go out of the church; yet attend it again the next opportunity. 4. I have since that time revolved this matter over and over in my own mind; and the more I consider it, the more I am convinced, this was the best answer that could be given. I still advise all our friends, when this case occurs, quietly and silently to go out. Only I must earnestly caution them not to be critical; not to make a man an offender for a word; no, nor for a few sentences, which any who believe the decrees may drop without design. But if such a Minister should at any time deliberately, and of set purpose, endeavor to establish absolute predestination, or to confute scriptural perfection; then I advise all the Methodists in the congregation quietly to go away. JOHN WESLEY. LEWISHAM, January 9, 1782.

    OF ATTENDING THE CHURCH.

    ——— “REVEREND SIR, “February 13, 1782. “ I AM, as you are, an Arminian. I am well acquainted with your religious tenets, and have read most, if not all of your Works; and though I do not entirely fall in with you in every article of your creed, yet I have much respect to your character, great reverence for your principles in general, and an entire affection for your person. Depending upon the acknowledged candor of your disposition, and your uniform zeal for the truth, I expect your attention and answers to the following questions: — “ Is it your wish that the people called Methodists should be, or become, a body entirely separate from the Church?”

    Answer. No. “If not, when, that is, now often, and where, I mean, upon what description of Teachers of the Establishment, are they to attend?”

    A. I advise then to go to church. “More particularly, if the fall, the corruption, and natural impotence of man, his free and full redemption in Christ Jesus, through faith working by love, should be taught and inculcated, and offered to the attention of all, at the church of the parish where they reside, are they then, in your opinion, bound in conscience to hear, or may they, at their own option, forbear?”

    A. I do not think they are bound in conscience to attend any particular church. “Or, if they are at liberty to absent themselves, are they at liberty, that is, have they a Christian privilege, to censure this doctrine in the gross, to condemn such Teachers, and boldly to pronounce them ‘blind leaders of the blind?’” A. No; by no means. “Lastly. Whenever this happens, is it through prejudice, or rational piety?

    Is it through bigotry, or a catholic spirit? Is it consistent with Christian charity? Is it compatible with a state of justification? Or is it even allowable in the high habit of evangelical perfection?”

    A. I think it is a sin. “Your unequivocal answers to these interesting queries in the ‘Arminian Magazine,’ will oblige, Reverend Sir, “ARESPECTFUL READER.”

    I have answered simply to your questions, whether they be proposed out of good or ill will. JOHN WESLEY. February 23, 1782.

    THOUGHTS UPON SOME LATE OCCURRENCES.

    ——— 1. IN June, 1744, I desired my brother and a few other Clergymen to meet me in London, to consider how we should proceed to save our own souls and those that heard us. After some time, I invited the lay Preachers that were in the house to meet with us. We conferred together for several days, and were much comforted and strengthened thereby. 2. The next year I not only invited most of the Traveling Preachers, but several others, to confer with me in Bristol. And from that time for some years, though I invited only a part of the Traveling Preachers, yet I permitted any that desired it, to be present, not apprehending any ill consequences therefrom. 3. But two ill consequences soon appeared: One, that the expense was too great to be born; the other, that many of our people were scattered while they were left without a shepherd. I therefore determined, (1.)That for the time to come, none should be present but those whom I invited; and, (2.)That I would only invite a select number out of every Circuit. 4. This I did for many years, and all that time the term Conference meant not so much the conversation we had together, as the persons that conferred; namely, those whom I invited to confer with me from time to time. So that all this time it depended on me alone, not only what persons should constitute the Conference, — but whether there should be any Conference at all: This law wholly in my own breast; neither the Preachers nor the people having any part or lot in the matter. 5. Some years after, it was agreed, that after the decease of my brother and me, the Preachers should be stationed by the Conference. But ere long a question arose, What does that term mean? Who are the Conference? It appeared difficult to define the term. And the year before last all our brethren who were met at Bristol desired me to fix the determinate meaning of the word. 6. Hitherto, it had meant (not the whole body of Traveling Preachers, it never bore that meaning at all; but) those persons whom I invited yearly to confer with me. But to this there was a palpable objection, — Such a Conference would have no being after my death. And what other definition of it to give, I knew not; at least I knew none that would stand good in law. I consulted a skillful and honest Attorney; and he consulted an eminent Counselor, who answered, “There is no way of doing this but by naming a determinate number of persons. The deed which names these must be enrolled in Chancery: Then it will stand good in law.” 7. My first thought was to name a very few, suppose ten or twelve persons. Count Zinzendorf named only six who were to preside over the community after his decease. But on second thoughts, I believed there would be more safety in a greater number of counselors, and therefore named a hundred; as many as I judged could meet without too great an expense, and without leaving any Circuit naked of Preachers while the Conference met. 8. In naming these Preachers, as I had no adviser, so I had no respect of persons; but I simply set down those that, according to the best of my judgment, were most proper. But I am not infallible. I might mistake, and think better of some of them than they deserved. However, I did my best; and if I did wrong, it was not the error of my will, but of my judgment. 9. This was the rise, and this is the nature, of that famous Deed of Declaration, 23 that vile, wicked Deed, concerning which you have heard such an outcry! And now, can any one tell me how to mend it, or how it could have been made better? “O yes. You might have inserted two hundred, as well as one hundred, Preachers.” No; for then the expense of meeting would have been double, and all the Circuits would have been without Preachers. “But you might have named other Preachers instead of these.”

    True, if I had thought as well of them as they did of themselves. But I did not; therefore I could do no otherwise than I did, without sinning, against God and my own conscience. 10. “But what need was there for any deed at all?” There was the utmost need of it: Without some authentic deed fixing the meaning of the term, the moment I died the Conference had been nothing. Therefore any of the proprietors of the land on which our preaching-houses were built might have seized them for their own use; and there would have been none to hinder them; for the Conference would have been nobody, a mere empty name. 11. You see then in all the pains I have taken about this absolutely necessary Deed, I have been laboring, not for myself, (I have no interest therein,) but for the whole body of Methodists; in order to fix them upon such a foundation as is likely to stand as long as the sun and moon endure.

    That is, if they continue to walk by faith, and to show forth their faith by their works; otherwise, I pray God to root out the memorial of them from the earth. JOHN WESLEY. PLYMOUTH-DOCK, March 3, 1785.

    LETTER TO THE METHODIST CONFERENCE.

    ———\parMY DEAR BRETHREN,CHESTER, April 7, 1785.

    SOME of our Traveling Preachers have expressed a fear, that, after my decease, you would exclude them either from preaching in connection with you, or from some other privileges which they now enjoy. I know no other way to prevent such inconvenience, than to leave these my last words with you.

    I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that you never avail yourselves of the Deed of Declaration to assume any superiority over your brethren; but let all things go on, among those Itinerants who choose to remain together, exactly in the same manner as when I was with you, so far as circumstances will permit.

    In particular, I beseech you, if you ever loved me, and if you now love God and your brethren, to have no respect of persons in stationing the Preachers, in choosing children for Kingswood school, in disposing of the Yearly Contribution, and the Preachers’ Fund, or any other public money:

    But do all things with a single eye, as I have done from the beginning. Go on thus, doing all things without prejudice or partiality, and God will be with you even to the end. JOHN WESLEY. 24 LETTER TO DR. COKE, MR. ASBURY, AND OUR BRETHREN IN NORTH AMERlCA. ———\parBRISTOL, September 10,1784. 1. BY a very uncommon train of providences, many of the provinces of North America are totally disjoined from their mother-country, and erected into independent States. The English Government has no authority over them, either civil or ecclesiastical, any more than over the States of Holland. A civil authority is exercised over them, partly by the Congress, partly by the provincial Assemblies. But no one either exercises or claims any ecclesiastical authority at all. In this peculiar situation some thousands of the inhabitants of these States desire my advice; and in compliance with their desire, I have drawn up a little sketch. 2. Lord King’s “Account of the Primitive Church” convinced me many years ago, that Bishops and Presbyters are the same order, and consequently have the same right to ordain. For many years I have been importuned, from time to time, to exercise this right, by ordaining part of our Traveling Preachers. But I have still refused, not only for peace’ sake, but because I was determined as little as possible to violate the established order of the national Church to which I belonged. 3. But the case is widely different between England and North America.

    Here there are Bishops who have a legal jurisdiction: In America there are none, neither any parish Ministers. So that for some hundred miles together, there is none, either to baptize, or to administer the Lord’s supper. Here, therefore, my scruples are at an end; and I conceive myself at full liberty, as I violate no order, and invade no man’s right, by appointing and sending laborers into the harvest. 4. I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke and Mr. Francis Asbury to be joint Superintendents over our brethren in North America; as also Richard What not and Thomas Vasey to act as elders among them, by baptizing and administering the Lord’s supper. And I have prepared a Liturgy, little differing from that of the Church of England, (I think, the best constituted national Church in the world,) which I advise all the Traveling Preachers to use on the Lord’s day, in all the congregations, reading the Litany only on Wednesdays and Fridays, and praying extempore on all other days. I also advise the Elders to administer the supper of the Lord on every Lord’s day. 5. If any one will point out a more rational and scriptural way of feeding and guiding those poor sheep in the wilderness, I will gladly embrace it. At present, I cannot see any better method than that I have taken. 6. It has, indeed, been proposed to desire the English Bishops to ordain part of our Preachers for America. But to this I object, (1.)I desired the Bishop of London to ordain only one; but could not prevail. (2.)If they consented, we know the slowness of their proceedings; but the matter admits of no delay. (3.)If they would ordain them now, they would likewise expect to govern them. And how grievously would this entangle us! (4.)As our American brethren are now totally disentangled both from the State, and from the English hierarchy, we dare not entangle them again, either with the one or the other.

    They are now at full liberty, simply to follow the Scriptures and the primitive church. And we judge it best that they should stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has so strangely made them free. JOHN WESLEY.

    ON THE

    CHURCH:

    IN A LETTER TO THE REV.

    ——. ——— REVEREND SIR,PLYMOUTH-DOCK, August 19, 1785.

    I WILL tell you my thoughts with all simplicity, and wait for better information. If you agree with me, well; if not, we can (as Mr. Whitefield used to say) agree to disagree.

    For these forty years I have been in doubt concerning that question: “What obedience is due to heathenish Priests and mitred infidels?”

    I have from time to time proposed my doubts to the most pious and sensible Clergymen I knew. But they gave me no satisfaction; rather they seemed to be puzzled as well as are. Some obedience I always paid to the Bishops, in obedience to the laws of the land. But I cannot see, that I am under any obligation to obey them farther than those laws require.

    It is in obedience to those laws, that I have never exercised in England the power which I believe God has given me. I firmly believe, I am a scriptural Episkopov , as much as any man in England or in Europe. (For the uninterrupted succession I know to be a fable, which no man ever did or can prove.) But this does in nowise interfere with my remaining in the Church of England; from which I have no more desire to separate than I had fifty years ago. I still attend all the ordinances of the Church; at all opportunities. And I constantly and earnestly desire all that are connected with me so to do. When Mr. Smyth pressed us to “separate from the Church,” he meant, “Go to church no more.” And this was what I meant seven and twenty years ago, when I persuaded our brethren, “Not to separate from the Church.” But here another question occurs, “What is the Church of England?” It is not “all the people of England.” Papists and Dissenters are no part thereof. It is not all the people of England except Papists and Dissenters. Then we should have a glorious Church indeed!

    No; according to our Twentieth Article, a particular church is “a congregation of faithful people,” (caetus credentium , the words in our Latin edition,) “among whom the word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered.” Here is a true logical definition, containing both the essence and the properties of a church. What then, according to this definition, is the Church of England? Does it mean “all the believers in England (except the Papists and Dissenters) who have the word of God and the sacraments duly administered among them?” I fear this does not come up to your idea of “the Church of England.” Well, what more do you include in that phrase? “Why, all the believers that adhere to the doctrine and discipline established by the Convocation under Queen Elizabeth.”

    Nay, that discipline is well-nigh vanished away, and the doctrine both you and I adhere to.

    All those reasons against a separation from the Church in this sense, I subscribe to still. What then are you frighted at? I no more separate from it now, than I did in the year 1758. I submit still (though sometimes with a doubting conscience) to mitred infidels. I do indeed vary from them in some points of doctrine, and in some points of discipline; by preaching abroad, for instance, by praying extempore, and by forming societies; but not a hair’s breadth further than I believe to be meet, right, and my bounden duty. I walk still by the same rule I have done for between forty and fifty years. I do nothing rashly. It is not likely I should. The high-day of my blood is over. If you will go hand in hand with me, do. But do not hinder me, if you will not help. Perhaps, if you had kept close to me, I might have done better. However, with or without help, I creep on. And as I have been whither to, so I trust I shall always be, Your affectionate friend and brother, JOHN WESLEY.

    OF SEPARATION FROM THE CHURCH.

    ——— 1. EVER since I returned from America, it has been warmly affirmed, “You separate from the Church.” I would consider how far, and in what sense, this assertion is true. 2. Whether you mean by that term the building so called, or the congregation, it is plain I do not separate from either; for wherever I am, I go to the church, and join with the congregation. 3. Yet it is true that I have in some respects varied, though not from the doctrines, yet from the discipline, of the Church of England; although not willingly, but by constraint. For instance, above forty years ago, I began preaching in the fields; and that for two reasons, — first, I was not suffered to preach in the churches; secondly, no parish-church in London or Westminster could contain the congregation. 4. About the same time, several persons who were desirous to save their souls, prayed me to meet them apart from the great congregation. These little companies (societies they were called) gradually spread through the three kingdoms. And in many places they built houses in which they met, and wherein I and my brethren preached. For a few young men, one after another, desired to serve me, as sons in the Gospel. 5. Some time after, Mr. Deleznot, a Clergyman, desired me to officiate at his chapel, in Wapping. There I read Prayers, and preached, and administered the Lord’s supper to a part of the society. The rest communicated either at St. Paul’s, or at their several parish-churches.

    Meantime, I endeavored to watch over all their souls, as one that was to give an account; and to assign to each of my fellow laborers the part wherein I judged he might be most useful. 6. When these were multiplied, I gave them an invitation to meet me together in my house at London; that we might consider, in what manner we could most effectually save our own souls, and them that heard us.

    This we called a Conference; meaning thereby, the persons, not the conversation they had. At first I desired all the Preachers to meet me; but afterwards only a select number. 7. Some years after, we were strongly importuned by our brethren in America to go over and help them. Several Preachers willingly offered themselves for the service; and several went from time to time. God blessed their labors in an uncommon manner. Many sinners were converted to God; and many societies formed, under the same rules as were observed in England; insomuch, that at present the American societies contain more than eighteen thousand members. 8. But since the late revolution in North America, these have been in great distress. The Clergy, having no sustenance, either from England, or from the American States, have been obliged almost universally to leave the country, and seek their food elsewhere. Hence those who had been members of the Church, had none either to administer the Lord’s supper, or to baptize their children. They applied to England over and over; but it was to no purpose. Judging this to be a case of real necessity, I took a step which, for peace and quietness, I had refrained from taking for many years; I exercised that power which I am fully persuaded the great Shepherd and Bishop of the church has given me. I appointed three of our laborers to go and help them, by not only preaching the word of God, but likewise by administering the Lord’s supper and baptizing their children, throughout that vast tract of land, a thousand miles long, and some hundreds broad. 9. These are the steps which, not of choice, but necessity, I have slowly and deliberately taken. If any one is pleased to call this separating from the Church, he may. But the law of England does not call it so; nor can any one properly be said so to do, unless out of conscience he refuses to join in the service, and partake of the sacraments administered therein. JOHN WESLEY. CAMELFORD, August 30, 1785.

    AFTER

    Dr. Coke’s return from America, many of our friends begged I would consider the case of Scotland, where we had been laboring so many years, and had seen so little fruit of our labors. Multitudes indeed have set out well, but they were soon turned out of the way; chiefly by their Ministers either disputing against the truth, or refusing to admit them to the Lord’s supper, yea, or to baptize their children, unless they would promise to have no fellowship with the Methodists. Many who did so, soon lost all they had gained, and became more the children of hell than before. To prevent this, I at length consented to take the same step with regard to Scotland, which I had done with regard to America. But this is not a separation from the Church at all. Not from the Church of Scotland; for we were never connected therewith, any further than we are now: Nor from the Church of England; for this is not concerned in the steps which are taken in Scotland. Whatever then is done, either in America or Scotland, is no separation from the Church of England. I have no thought of this: I have many objections against it. It is a totally different case. “But for all this, is it not possible there may be such a separation after you are dead?” Undoubtedly it is. But what I said at our first Conference, above forty years ago, I say still, “I dare not omit doing what good I can while I live, for fear of evils that may follow when I am dead.”\parBRISTOL, July 22, 1786.

    PERHAPS there is one part of what I wrote some time since which requires a little further explanation. In what cases do we allow of service in church hours? I answer, 1. When the Minister is a notoriously wicked man. 2. When he preaches Arian, or any equally pernicious, doctrine. 3. When there are not churches in the town sufficient to contain half the people; and, 4. When there is no church at all within two or three miles. And we advise every one who preaches in the church hours to read the Psalms and Lessons, with part of the Church Prayers; because we apprehend this will endear the Church service to our brethren, who probably would be prejudiced against it, if they heard none but extemporary prayer.

    THOUGHTS UPON METHODISM.

    ——— 1. I AM not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. 2. What was their fundamental doctrine? That the Bible is the whole and sole rule both of Christian faith and practice. Hence they learned, (1.)That religion is an inward principle; that it is no other than the mind that was in Christ; or, in other words, the renewal of the soul after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness. (2.)That this can never be wrought in us, but by the power of the Holy Ghost. (3.)That we receive this, and every other blessing, merely for the sake of Christ: And, (4.)That whosoever hath the mind that was in Christ, the same is our brother, and sister, and mother. 3. In the year 1729 four young students in Oxford agreed to spend their evenings together. They were all zealous members of the Church of England, and had no peculiar opinions, but were distinguished only by their constant attendance on the church and sacrament. In 1735 they were increased to fifteen; when the chief of them embarked for America, intending to preach to the heathen Indians. Methodism then seemed to die away; but it revived again in the year 1738; especially after Mr. Wesley (not being allowed to preach in the churches) began to preach in the fields.

    One and another then coming to inquire what they must do to be saved, he desired them to meet him all together; which they did, and increased continually in number. In November, a large building, the Foundery, being offered him, he began preaching therein, morning and evening; at five in the morning, and seven in the evening, that the people’s labor might not be hindered. 4. From the beginning the men and women sat apart, as they always did in the primitive church; and none were suffered to call any place their own, but the first comers sat down first. They had no pews; and all the benches for rich and poor were of the same construction. Mr. Wesley began the service with a short prayer; then sung a hymn and preached, (usually about half an hour,) then sang a few verses of another hymn, and concluded with prayer. His constant doctrine was, salvation by faith, preceded by repentance, and followed by holiness. 5. But when a large number of people was joined, the great difficulty was, to keep them together. For they were continually scattering hither and thither, and we knew no way to help it. But God provided for this also, when we thought not of it. A year or two after, Mr. Wesley met the chief of the society in Bristol, and inquired, “How shall we pay the debt upon the preaching-house?” Captain Foy stood up and said, “Let every one in the society give a penny a week, and it will easily be done.” “But many of them,” said one, “have not a penny to give.” “True,” said the Captain; “then put ten or twelve of them to me. Let each of these give what they can weekly, and I will supply what is wanting.” Many others made the same offer. So Mr. Wesley divided the societies among them; assigning a class of about twelve persons to each of these, who were termed Leaders. 6. Not long after, one of these informed Mr. Wesley that, calling on such a one in his house, he found his quarreling with his wife. Another was found in drink. It immediately struck into Mr. Wesley’s mind, “This is the very thing we wanted. The Leaders are the persons who may not only receive the contributions, but also watch over the souls of their brethren.” The society in London, being informed of this, willingly followed the example of that; in Bristol; as did every society from that time, whether in Europe or America. By this means, it was easily found if any grew weary or faint, and help was speedily administered. And if any walked disorderly, they were quickly discovered, and either amended or dismissed. 7. For those who knew in whom they had believed, there was another help provided. Five or six, either married or single men, met together at such an hour as was convenient, according to the direction of St. James, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, and ye shall be healed.” And five or six of the married or single women met together for the same purpose. Innumerable blessings have attended this institution, especially in those who were going on to perfection. When any seemed to have attained this, they were allowed to meet with a select number, who appeared, so far as man could judge, to be partakers of the same “great salvation.” 8. From this short sketch of Methodism, (so called,) any man of understanding may easily discern, that it is only plain, scriptural religion, guarded by a few prudential regulations. The essence of it is holiness of heart and life; the circumstantials all point to this. And as long as they are joined together in the people called Methodists, no weapon formed against them shall prosper. But if even the circumstantial parts are despised, the essential will soon be lost. And if ever the essential parts should evaporate, what remains will be dung and dross. 9. It nearly concerns us to understand how the case stands with us at present. I fear, wherever riches have increased, (exceeding few are the exceptions,) the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore do I not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches. 10. How, then, is it possible that Methodism, that is, the religion of the heart, though it flourishes now as a green bay-tree, should continue in this state? For the Methodists in every place grow diligent and frugal; consequently, they increase in goods. Hence they proportionably increase in pride, in anger, in the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life. So, although the form of religion remains, the spirit is swiftly vanishing away. 11. Is there no way to prevent this? this continual declension of pure religion? We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and frugal: We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can, and to save all they can; that is, in effect, to grow rich! What way, then, (I ask again,) can we take, that our money may not sin; us to the nethermost hell? There is one way, and there is no other under heaven. If those who “gain all they can,” and “save all they can,” will likewise “give all they can;” then, the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven. LONDON, August 4, 1786.

    AN ANSWER TO AN IMPORTANT QUESTION.

    ——— DEAR SIR,ARMAGH, June 18, 1787.

    YOU ask, “Why do not the Clergy, whether in England or Ireland, avail themselves of the Methodist Preachers?” You say, you wonder they do not thankfully accept of their assistance, who desire no pay for their service, in repressing error and wickedness of every kind, and propagating truth and religion. You inquire, “Upon what rational principles can this be accounted for?”

    To give a complete answer to this question would require a whole treatise.

    I have not leisure for this; but I will give as full an answer as my time will permit.

    Only, before I answer, I must observe, that many both of the English and Irish Clergy are entirely out of the question. They are not only learned, but truly religious men; and, as such, are an honor to their profession. I speak only of those that are of a different character, be they many or few.

    Let them wear the cap whom it fits. That is no concern of mine.

    This premised, I think it easy to be accounted for, even upon heathen principles. Horace observed long ago — Oderunt hilarem tristes, tristemgue jocosi, etc. Accordingly, grave and solemn men (though too few are guilty of this fault) dislike many of the Methodist Preachers, for having nothing of that gravity or solemnity about them. Jocose Clergymen, on the other hand, cannot but dislike those who are steadily serious; and those that love to take a cheerful glass are not fond of such as are strictly temperate. You need go no farther than this consideration to have a clear answer to the question, “Why do many of the Clergy refuse to receive any assistance from the Methodist Preachers?”

    But this may be more fully accounted for upon Christian principles. What says our Lord to the first Preachers of the Gospel, and in them to all their successors? — “If the world hate you, we know that it hated me, before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you. These things will they do unto you, because they know not Him that sent me.” (John 15:18, et seq .)

    Does not this give us sufficient reason to expect, that, if we are not of the world, all the world, all who know not God, whether Clergy or laity, will be so far from accepting our assistance, that they will sincerely hate us, and openly or privately persecute us, so far as God permits? We have, therefore, reason to wonder, not that they do not desire any union or coalition with us, but that they bear with, yea, and on many occasions treat us with courtesy and civility. This is a peculiar instance of the providence of God, causing, in some measure, the scandal of the cross to cease. “But do not many Clergymen, who are not pious men, acknowledge that the Methodists do good, and encourage thence to persevere therein?” They do; but observe how far they would hare them go. They wish them to repress outward sin; to reclaim the people from cursing, and swearing, and drunkenness, and Sabbath-breaking, unless the Squire gains by it. They are well pleased, that their parishioners grow more diligent and honest, and are constant attendants on the church and sacrament. Nay, they are glad that they are brought to practice both justice and mercy; in a word, to be moral men.

    But the truth is, the Methodists know and teach that all this is nothing before God; that whoever goes thus far and no farther is building upon the sand; that he who would worship God to any purpose, must worship him “in spirit and in truth;” that true religion is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;” even giving God our heart; the seeking and finding happiness in Him. Here, then, they divide from the Methodists, whom they judge to be going too far. They would have the parishioners moral men; that is, in plain terms, honest Heathens; but they would not have them pious men, men devoted to God, Bible Christians. If, therefore, the Methodist Preachers would stop here, would preach outward religion and no more, many Clergymen would not only encourage them therein, but likewise cordially join them. But when they persuade men, not to be almost, but altogether, Christians; to maintain a constant “fellowship with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ;” to be transformed into that “image of God wherein they were created,” and thenceforth to live that “life which is hid with Christ in God;” let them not expect that any will give them the right hand of fellowship, but those God hath “chosen out of the world.”

    I am Yours, etc., JOHN WESLEY.

    THOUGHTS ON SEPARATION FROM THE CHURCH.

    ———\parMY DEAR FRIEND, THE question properly refers (when we speak of a separation from the Church) to a total and immediate separation. Such was that of Mr. Ingham’s people first, and afterwards that of Lady Huntingdon’s; who all agreed to form themselves into a separate body without delay, to go to church no more, and to have no more connection with the Church of England than with the Church of Rome.

    Such a separation I have always declared against; and certainly it will not take place (if ever it does) while I live. But a kind of separation has already taken place, and will inevitably spread, though by slow degrees. Those Ministers, so called, who neither live nor preach the Gospel, I dare not say are sent of God. Where one of these is settled, many of the Methodists dare not attend his ministry; so, if there be no other church in that neighborhood, they go to church no more. This is the case in a few places already, and it will be the case in more; and no one can justly blame me for this, neither is it contrary to any of my professions. JOHN WESLEY. BRISTOL, September 20, 1788.

    THOUGHTS UPON A LATE PHENOMENON.

    ——— 1. A GLORIOUS work of God began upon the earth on the day of the descent of the Holy Ghost, on the day of Pentecost; which so swiftly increased, that, in a very short time, in Jerusalem alone thousands of sinners were brought from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Those were effectually changed from all vice to all holiness:

    Indeed, being all filled with the Holy Ghost, they were all of one heart and one mind. And their life was suitable thereto: “They continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine, in the breaking of bread, in prayers; and having all things in common, there was none among them that lacked; but distribution was made to every one as he had need.” 2. But in the mean time, the God of this world was not idle: He did not fail to sow tares among the wheat. The mystery o£ iniquity began to work almost as soon as the mystery of godliness. This grew up to a considerable height, even in the days of the Apostles; insomuch that, before St. John had finished his course, the fine gold was become dim; and iniquity had overspread the Christian church, as well as the heathen world: Although it did not come to its height till the fatal time when Constantine called himself a Christian. 3. Yet God never left himself without witness. In every age, and in every nation, there were a few that truly feared God and wrought righteousness; and these were raised up, in their several generations, that they might be lights shining in a benighted world. But few of them answered the design of Providence for any considerable time. In every age, most of the excellent ones of the earth, being weary of the contradiction of sinners, separated from them, and retired, if not into deserts, yet into distinct churches or religious bodies. So their light no longer shone among men, among those that needed them most; but they contentedly gave up the world to the service of its old master. 4. Again and again this has been the case, for fifteen or sixteen hundred years; and it has chiefly been by this means that many revivals of religion have been of so short a continuance, seldom lasting (as Martin Luther observes) longer than a generation, that is, thirty years. Generally in that time a considerable number of men, being awakened, thought they could stand alone. So they formed themselves into a distinct body, and left the world to themselves. Hence the world received no more benefit from them; and by degrees their own love waxed cold, till either their memorial perished from the earth, or they remained a dry, cold sect. 5. But between fifty and sixty years ago, a new phenomenon appeared in the world. Two or three young men, desiring to be scriptural Christians, met together for that purpose. Their number gradually increased. They were then all scattered. But fifty years ago, two of them met again; and a few plain people joined them, in order to help one another in the way to heaven. Since then they increased to many thousands, both in Europe and America. They are still increasing in number, and, as they humbly hope, in the knowledge and love of God; yea, and in what they neither hoped for nor desired, namely, in worldly substance. 6. All of these were, when they first set out, members of the established Church; and a great majority of them, probably nine in ten, continue such at this day. But they have been solicited again and again, from time to time, to separate from it, and to form themselves into a distinct body, independent of all other religious societies. Thirty nears ago, this was seriously considered among them at a general Conference. All the arguments urged on one side and the other were considered at large; and it was determined, without one dissenting voice, that they “ought not to separate from the Church.” 7. This is a new thing in the world: This is the peculiar glory of the people called Methodists. In spite of all manner of temptations, they will not separate from the Church. What many so earnestly covet, they abhor:

    They will not be a distinct body. Now, what instance of this have we before, either in ancient or modern history; of a body of people, in such circumstances, who will not be a distinct party, but choose to remain in connection with their own Church, that they may be more effectually the servants of all? 8. This, I say again, is an utterly new phenomenon. I never saw, heard, or read of anything like it. The Methodists will not separate from the Church, although continually reproached for doing it; although it would free them from abundance of inconveniences, and make their path much smoother and easier; although many of their friends earnestly advise and their enemies provoke them to it, the Clergy in particular; most of whom, far from thanking them for continuing in the Church, use all the means in their power, fair and unfair, to drive them out of it. 9. One circumstance more is quite peculiar to the people called Methodists; that is, the terms upon which any person may be admitted into their society. They do not impose, in order to their admission, any opinions whatever. Let them hold particular or general redemption, absolute or conditional decrees; let them be Churchmen or Dissenters, Presbyterians or Independents, it is no obstacle. Let them choose one mode of baptism or another, it is no bar to their admission. The Presbyterian may be a Presbyterian still; the Independent or Anabaptist use his own mode of Worship. So may the Quaker; and none will contend with him about it. They think, and let think. One condition, and one only is required, — a real desire to save their soul. Where this is, it is enough:

    They desire no more: They lay stress upon nothing else: They ask only, “Is thy heart herein as my heart? If it be, give me thy hand.” 10. Is there any other society in Great Britain or Ireland that is so remote from bigotry? that is so truly of a catholic spirit? so ready to admit all serious persons without distinction? Where, then, is there such another society in Europe? in the habitable world? I know none. Let any man show it me that can. Till then let no one talk of the bigotry of the Methodists. NOTTINGHAM, July 13, 1788.

    TO CERTAIN PERSONS IN DUBLIN.

    ———\parMY DEAR BRETHREN,WHITEFRIAR- STREET,DUBLIN, March 31, 1789.

    I MUCH approve of the manner and spirit wherein you write concerning these tender points. I explained myself upon them, in some measure, on Sunday: I will do it more fully now.

    At present, I have nothing to do with Dr. Coke: But I answer for myself. I do not separate from the Church, nor have any intention so to do. Neither do they that meet on Sunday-noon separate from the Church, any more than the did before: Nay, less; for they attend the church and sacrament oftener now than they did two years ago. “But this occasions much strife.” True; but they make the strife who do not attend the service. Let them quietly either come or stay away, and there will be no strife at all. “But those that attend say, those that do not are fallen from grace.” No, they do not give them a bad word: But they surely will fall from grace, if they do not let them alone who follow their own consciences.

    But you “fear this will make way for a total separation from the Church.”

    You have no ground for this fear. There can be no such separation while I live. Leave to God what may come after.

    But, to speak plainly, do not you separate from the Church? Yea, much more than those you blame? Pray, how often have you been at church since Christmas? twelve times in twelve weeks? And how long have you been so fond of the Church? Are you fond of it at all? Do not you go oftener to a Dissenting meeting than either to St. Patrick’s or your parishchurch?

    My dear brethren, you and I have but a short time to stay together. “My race of glory is run, and race of shame; and I shall shortly be with those that rest.” Therefore, as one that loves you well, and has loved you long, I advise you, in the presence and in the fear of God,1. Either quietly attend the Sunday service, or quietly refrain from it; then there will be no strife at all. Now you make the strife of which you complain. 2. Make not this a pretense for being weary of well-doing. Do not, for so poor a reason, withdraw your subscription from the School or the Preachers. What a miserable revenge would this be! Never let it be said that my friend A——K——, that brother D——, or B——, were capable of this!

    From this hour, let this idle strife be buried in eternal oblivion. Talk not of it any more. If it be possible, think not of it any more. Rather think, “The Judge standeth at the door;” let us prepare to meet our God!\parJOHN WESLEY.

    TO THE PRINTER OF THE DUBLIN CHRONICLE.

    ——— SIR,LONDONDERRY, June 2, 1789. 1. AS soon as I was gone from Dublin, the “Observer” came forth, only with his face covered. Afterwards he came out under another name, and made a silly defense for me, that he might have the honor of answering it.

    His words are smoother than oil, and flow (who can doubt it?) from mere love both to me and the people. 2. But what does this smooth, candid writer endeavor to prove, with all the softness and good humor imaginable? only this point, (to express it in plain English,) that I am a double-tongued knave, an old crafty hypocrite, who have used religion merely for a cloak, and have worn a mask for these fifty years, saying one thing and meaning another.

    A bold charge this, only it happens that matter of fact contradicts it from the beginning to the end. 3. In my youth I was not only a member of the Church of England, but a bigot to it, believing none but the members of it to be in a state of salvation. I began to abate of this violence in 1729. But still I was as zealous as ever, observing every point of Church discipline, and teaching all my pupils so to do. When I was abroad, I observed every rule of the Church, even at the peril of my life. I knew not what might be the consequence of repelling the first Magistrate’s niece from the sacrament, considering, on the one hand, the power lodged in his hands, on the other, the violence of his temper, shown by his declaration, “I have drawn the sword, and I will never sheathe it till I have satisfaction.” 4. I was exactly of the same sentiment when I returned from America. I attended St. Paul’s church, and advised all our society either to attend there every Sunday, or at their several parish-churches. In the year 1743 I published the Rules of the Society; one of which was, that all the members thereof should constantly attend the church and sacrament. We had then a large society at Newcastle upon Tyne; but one of the members totally left it after a few months, “Because,” said he, “they are mere Church of England men.” 5. About the year 1744 a Clergyman offered me a chapel in West — street, Seven Dials, (formerly a French church,) and I began to officiate there on Sunday mornings and evenings: We did the same (my brother and I alternately) soon after at the French church in Spitalfields, as soon as it came into our hands. This we continued from that time; and no one in England ever thought or called it leaving the Church. It was never esteemed so by Archbishop Potter, with whom I had the happiness of conversing freely; nor by Archbishop Secker, who was thoroughly acquainted with every step we took; as was likewise Dr. Gibson, then Bishop of London; and that great man, Bishop Lowth. Nor did any of these four venerable men ever blame me for it, in all the conversations I had with them. Only Archbishop Potter once said, “Those gentlemen are irregular; but they have done good, and I pray God to bless them.” 6. It may be observed, that all this time, if my brother or I were ill, I desired one of our other Preachers, though not ordained, to preach in either of the chapels, after reading part of the Church Prayers. This both my brother and I judged would endear the Church Prayers to them; whereas, if they were used wholly to extemporary prayer, they would naturally contract a kind of contempt, if not aversion, to forms of prayer: So careful were we, from the beginning, to prevent their leaving the Church. 7. It is true, Bishop Gibson once said, (but it was before I had ever seen him,) “Why do not these gentlemen leave the Church?” The answer was very ready: “Because they dare not: They do not leave the Church, because they believe it is their duty to continue therein.” 8. When the Rev. Mr. Edward Smyth came to live in Dublin, he earnestly advised me to leave the Church; meaning thereby, (as all sensible men do,) to renounce all connection with it, to attend the service of it no more, and to advise all our societies to take the same steps. I judged this to be a matter of great importance, and would therefore do nothing hastily; but referred it to the body of Preachers, then met in Conference. We had several meetings, in which he proposed all his reasons for it at large. They were severally considered and answered, and we all determined not to leave the Church. 9. A year ago, Dr. Coke began officiating at our chapel in Dublin. This was no more than had been done in London for between forty and fifty years.

    Some persons immediately began to cry out, “This is leaving the Church, which Mr. Wesley has continually declared he would never do.” And I declare so still. But I appeal to all the world, I appeal to common sense, I appeal to the “Observer” himself, could I mean hereby, “I will not have service in church hours,” when I was doing it all the time? Could I, even then, deny that I had service in church hours? No; but I denied, and do deny still, that this is leaving the Church, either in the sense of Bishop Gibson, or of Mr. Smyth at the Dublin Conference! Yet by this outcry many well-meaning people were frighted well-nigh out of their senses. 10. But see the consequences of having Sunday service here. See the confusion this occasioned! Some time since, while a popular Preacher was preaching at Leeds, one cried out, “Fire! fire!” The people took fright, — some leaped over the gallery; and several legs and arms were broken. But upon whom were these consequences to be charged? Not on the Preacher, but on him that made the outcry. Apply this to the present case. I have kindled no more fire in Dublin, than I did in London. It is the “Observer” and a few other mischief-makers who fright the people out of their senses; and they must answer to God for the consequence. 11. This is my answer to them that trouble me, and will not let my gray hairs go down to the grave in peace. I am not a man of duplicity: I am not an old hypocrite, a double tongued knave. More than forty years I have frequented Ireland. I have wished to do some good there. I now tell a plain tale, that “the good which is in me may not be evil spoken of.” I have no temporal end to serve. I seek not the honor that cometh of men. It is not for pleasure that, at this time of life, I travel three or four thousand miles a year. It is not for gain.

    No foot of land do I possess, No cottage in this wilderness; A poor way-faring man, I lodge awhile in tents belong, Or gladly wander to and fro, Till I my Canaan gain.

    JOHN WESLEY.

    P.S. At the desire of a friend, I add a few words in answer to one or two other objections.

    First. When I said, “I believe I am a scriptural Bishop,” I spoke on Lord King’s supposition, that Bishops and Presbyters are essentially one order.

    Secondly. I did desire Mr. Myles to assist me in delivering the cup. Now, be this right or wrong, how does it prove the point now in question, — 1. That I leave the Church? I ask, 2. What law of the Church forbids this? and, 3. What law of the primitive church? Did not the Priest, in the primitive church, send both the bread and wine to the sick by whom he pleased, though not ordained at all?

    Thirdly. The “Observer” affirms, “To say you will not leave the Church, meaning thereby all the true believers in England, is trifling.” Certainly; but I do not mean so when I say, “I will not leave the Church.” I mean, unless I see more reason for it than I ever yet saw, I will not leave the Church of England as by law established while the breath of God is in my nostrils FARTHER THOUGHTS ON SEPARATION FROM THE CHURCH. ——— 1. FROM a child I was taught to love and reverence the Scripture, the oracles of God; and, next to these, to esteem the primitive Fathers, the writers of the three first centuries. Next after the primitive church, I esteemed our own, the Church of England, as the most scriptural national Church in the world. I therefore not only assented to all the doctrines, but observed all the rubric in the Liturgy; and that with all possible exactness, even at the peril of my life. 2. In this judgment, and with this spirit, I went to America, strongly attached to the Bible, the primitive church, and the Church of England, from which I would not vary in one jot or little on any account whatever.

    In this spirit I returned, as regular a Clergyman as any in the three kingdoms; till, after not being permitted to preach in the churches, I was constrained to preach in the open air. 3. Here was my first irregularity; and it was not voluntary, but constrained. The second was extemporary prayer. This, likewise, I believed to be my bounden duty, for the sake of those who desired me to watch over their souls. I could not in conscience refrain from it; neither from accepting those who desired to serve me as sons in the Gospel. 4. When the people joined together, simply to help each other to heaven, increased by hundreds and thousands, still they had no more thought of leaving the Church than of leaving the kingdom. Nay, I continually and earnestly cautioned them against it; reminding them that we were a part of the Church of England, whom God had raised up, not only to save our own souls, but to enliven our neighbors, those of the Church in particular.

    And at the first meeting of all our Preachers in Conference, in June, 1744, I exhorted them to keep to the Church; observing, that this was our peculiar glory, — not to form any new sect, but, abiding in our own Church, to do to all men all the good we possibly could. 5. But as more Dissenters joined with us, many of whom were much prejudiced against the Church, these, with or without design, were continually infusing their own prejudices into their brethren. I saw this, and gave warning of it from time to time, both in private and in public; and in the year 1758 I resolved to bring the matter to a fair issue. So I desired the point might be considered at large, whether it was expedient for the Methodists to leave the Church. The arguments on both sides were discussed for several days; and at length we agreed, without a dissenting voice, “It is by no means expedient that the Methodists should leave the Church of England.” 6. Nevertheless, the same leaven continued to work in various parts of the kingdom. The grand argument (which in some particular cases must be acknowledged to have weight) was this: “The Minister of the parish wherein we dwell neither lives nor preaches the Gospel. He walks in the way to hell himself, and teaches his flock to do the same. Can you advise them to attend his preaching?” I cannot advise them to it. “What, then, can they do on the Lord’s day, suppose no other church be near? Do you advise them to go to a Dissenting meeting, or to meet in their own preaching-house?” Where this is really the case, I cannot blame them if they do. Although, therefore, I earnestly oppose the general separation of the Methodists from the Church, yet I cannot condemn such a partial separation in this particular case. I believe, to separate thus far from these miserable wretches, who are the scandal of our Church and nation, would be for the honor of our Church, as well as to the glory of God. 7. And this is no way contrary to the profession which I have made above these fifty years. I never had any design of separating from the Church: I have no such design now. I do not believe the Methodists in general design it, when I am no more seen. I do, and will do, all that is in my power to prevent such an event. Nevertheless, in spite of all that I can do, many of them will separate from it: Although I am apt to think, not one half, perhaps not a third, of them. These will be so bold and injudicious as to form a separate party; which, consequently, will dwindle away into a dry, dull, separate party. In flat opposition to these, I declare once more, that I live and die a member of the Church of England; and that none who regard my judgment or advice will ever separate from it. JOHN WESLEY. LONDON, December 11, 1789.

    THE CASE OF BRISTOL HOUSE.

    RECOMMENDED TO THE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION OF THE PEOPLE CALLED METHODISTS.

    ——— 1. AS many persons have spoke much upon this subject without well understanding it, I believe it is my duty to throw all the light upon it that I can. And in order to this, I will, First, Endeavor to state the case; Secondly, Argue a little upon it. 2. In order to state the case fully, I must look back; to ancient times. As soon as the heat of persecution was over, and Christians increased in goods, some built preaching-houses, afterwards called churches. In following times those that built them were termed Patrons, and appointed whom they pleased to preach in them. And when they annexed lands to them, they disposed of house and lands together. 3. At the Reformation many rich men built new churches, and disposed of them at their pleasure. And when many Presbyterians and Independents in England built preaching-houses, they placed in them whom they pleased; which power they left to their heirs. 4. I built the first Methodist preaching-house, so called, at Bristol, in the year 1739. And knowing no better, I suffered the deed of trust to be drawn up in the Presbyterian form. But Mr. Whitefield, hearing of it, wrote me a warm letter, asking, “Do you consider what you do? If the Trustees are to name the Preachers, they may exclude even yon from preaching in the house you have built! Pray let this deed be immediately canceled.” To this the Trustees readily agreed. Afterwards I built the preaching-houses in Kingswood, and at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. But none beside myself had any right to appoint the Preachers in them. 5. About this time a preaching-house was built at Bristol, by contributions and collections. And John Nelson, knowing no better, suffered a deed to be drawn in the Presbyterian form, giving twelve or thirteen persons power not only of placing, but even of displacing, the Preachers at their pleasure.

    Had Mr. Whitefield or I known this, we should have insisted on its either being canceled, like that at Bristol, or so altered as to insure the application of the house to the purpose for which it was built, without giving so dangerous a power to any Trustees whatever. 6. But a considerable difficulty still remained. As the houses at Bristol, Kingswood, and Newcastle were my property, a friend reminded me, that they were all liable to descend to my heirs. (Pray let those consider this, who are so fond of having preaching-houses vested in them and their heirs for ever!) I was struck, and immediately procured a form to be drawn up by three of the most eminent Counselors in London, whereby not only these houses, but all the Methodist houses hereafter to be built, might be settled on such a plan, as would secure them, so far as human prudence could, from the heirs of the proprietors, for the purpose originally intended. 7. In process of time the preaching-house at Bristol became abundantly too small for the congregation. It was then proposed to build a new one.

    And a new deed was prepared, which, like the old, gave a few persons the power of placing and displacing the Preachers at their pleasure. This was brought and read to me at Daw-green. As soon as ever I heard it, I vehemently objected to it, and positively refused to sign it. I now thought I had done with it: But in the evening, several persons came again, and importunately urged me to sign it averring that it was the same in effect with the old deed, and the old deed could not be altered. Not adverting, that it was altered in the new one, I at length unwillingly complied.

    But, observe: Whether I did right or wrong herein, or in any other instance, it does not affect the merits of the cause. The dwelling upon this is mere finesse, to divert us from the one question, “Is that deed right or wrong?” 8. These things were mentioned at the ensuing Conference; and it was asked, “What can be done?” The answer was, “If the Trustees still refuse to settle it on the Methodist plan; if they still insist, that they will have the right of placing and displacing the Preachers at their pleasure, then,” “First, Let a plain state of the case be drawn up.” “Secondly, Let a collection be made throughout England, in order to purchase ground, and build another preaching-house, as near the present as may be.” 9. This I take to be a plain state of the case, separating it from all unimportant circumstances, of what this or the other person said or did, all which only puzzle the cause. Now this, neither more nor less, being the naked fact, I proceed, secondly, to argue a little upon it.

    If it be asked, “Why should not the Bristol preaching-house, or any other, be settled according to that deed?” I answer, Because whenever the Trustees exert their power of “placing and displacing Preachers,” then, 1. Itinerant preaching is no more. When the Trustees in any place have found and fixed a Preacher they like, the rotation of Preachers is at an end; at least, till they are tired of their favorite Preacher, and so turn him out. 2. While he stays, is not the bridle in his mouth? How dares he speak the full and the whole truth, since, whenever he displeases the Trustees, he is liable to lose his bread? How much less will he dare to put a Trustee, though ever so ungodly, out of the society?

    If you say, “But though they have this power, they will not exert it. They never have exerted it at Bristol.” Reason good; because they have it not till my death. And if they had, prudence, if not gratitude, would restrain them till I am out of the way. But it does not follow, that neither they nor their heirs will exert it by and by. 3. But suppose any beside the Conference (who as long as they subsist, will be the most impartial judges) name the Preachers, should it be thirty or forty men, or the whole society? Nay, why not the entire congregation; or at least all the subscribers? 4. The power of the Trustees is greater than that of any nobleman; yea, or of the King himself. Where he is Patron, he can put in a Preacher, but he cannot put him out.

    But you ask, “Since this power will not commence till your death, why should you oppose it? Why should not you keep yourself out of the broil, and let them fight it out when you are at rest? Why should you pull an old house upon your own head, when you are just going out of the world?

    Peace be in your days. Why should you take upon yourself the burden which you may leave to your successors?”

    I answer, In this very respect I have an advantage which my successors cannot have. Every one sees, I am not pleading my own cause; I have already all that I contend for. No; I am pleading for Mr. Taylor, Mr. Bradburn, Mr. Benson, and for every other Traveling Preacher, that you may be as free, after I am gone hence, as you are now I am at your head; that you may never be liable to be turned out of any or all of our houses, without any reason given, but that so is the pleasure of twenty or thirty men.

    I say, “any;” for I see no sufficient reason for giving up any house in England. Indeed, if one were given up, more would follow: It would be “as the letting out of the water.”

    I insist upon that point, and let everything else go: No Methodist Trustees, if I can help it, shall, after my death, any more than while I live, have the power of placing and displacing the Preachers.

    Observe: “Placing and displacing the Preachers!” This is the one point. Do not ramble from the question. Do not puzzle it by a multitude of words. If the Trustees will not give it up, we must proceed according to the Minute of the Conference. “But why should we not wait till another Conference?”

    First. Because that will not alter the merits of the cause. To lodge the power of placing and displacing the Preachers in Trustees, would be as wrong then as it is now.

    Secondly. Because you cannot insure my life till another Conference.

    Therefore, whatever is done, should be done quickly. “But then,” it is said, “you occasion endless strife, animosity, confusion, and destroy the work of God.” No; not I. It is these Trustees that occasion all the strife, animosity, and confusion, by insisting upon a right to place and displace Preachers. I go on in the old way, as I did at Bristol, Kingswood, and Newcastle. It is they, that by obstinately going out of it hinder, yea, destroy, the work of God. And I charge them with the blood of all those souls that are destroyed by this contention. It is they that do the wrong, that will place and displace Preachers, who bawl and pour out bitter words. But let them take care; for God heareth. And He will arise and maintain His own cause!\parLONDON, Reprinted , January 12, 1788.JOHN WESLEY.

    A LETTER TO THE METHODIST PREACHERS. (CIRCULAR) ——— REDRUTH, August 23, 1789.

    SOME years since, Mr. Valton wrote to me from Yorkshire, informing me there was great want of a larger preaching-house at Dewsbury, and desiring leave to make subscriptions and collections, in order to build one. I encouraged him to make them. Money was subscribed and collected and the house built, which the Trustees promised to settle in the usual form.

    But when it was finished, they refused to settle it, unless a power was given them to displace any Preacher they should object to.

    After all possible means had been used to bring them to a better mind, the case was referred to the Conference; and it was unanimously agreed to build another house; as soon as possible, that the flock might not be scattered.

    I therefore entreat every one that wishes well to Methodism especially to the itinerant plan; to exert himself on this important occasion, that a work so absolutely necessary may be finished as soon as possible. I say, absolutely necessary; for if the Trustees of houses are to displace Preachers, then itinerancy is at an end.

    I am, my dear brother, Your affectionate brother and servant for Christ’s sake, JOHN WESLEY.

    N.B. Make this collection immediately. Lose not one day THE CASE OF DEWSBURY HOUSE.

    RECOMMENDED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE PEOPLE CALLED METHODISTS.

    [ PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1790 .] ——— 1. WHEN, about fifty years ago, one and another young man offered to serve me as sons in the Gospel, it was on these terms, — that they would labor where I appointed; otherwise, we should have stood in each other’s way. Here began itinerant preaching with us. But we were not the first itinerant Preachers in England: Twelve were appointed by Queen Elizabeth, to travel continually, in order to spread true religion through the kingdom; and the office and salary still continues, though their work is little attended to. Mr. Milner, late Vicar of Chipping in Lancashire, was one of them. 2. As the number of Preachers increased, it grew more and more difficult to fix the places where each should labor from time to time. I have often wished to transfer this work of stationing the Preachers once a year, to one or more of themselves. But none were willing to accept of it: So I must bear the burden till my warfare shall be accomplished. 3. When preaching-houses were built, they were vested immediately in Trustees, who were to see that those preached in them whom I sent, and none else; this, we conceived, being, the only way whereby itinerancy could be regularly established. But lately, after a new preaching-house had been built at Dewsbury, in Yorkshire, by the subscriptions and contributions of the people, (the Trustees alone not contributing one quarter of what it cost,) they seized upon the house, and, though they had promised the contrary, positively refused to settle it on the Methodist plan; requiring, that they should have a power of refusing any Preacher whom they disliked. If so, I have no power of stationing the Dewsbury Preachers; for the Trustees may object to whom they please. And themselves, not I, are finally to judge of those objections. 4. Observe, here is no dispute about the right of houses at all. I have no right to any preaching-house in England. What I claim is, a right of stationing the Preachers. This these Trustees have robbed me of in the present instance. Therefore, only one of these two ways can be taken; either to sue for this house, or to build another: We prefer the latter, being the most friendly way.

    I beg therefore, my brethren, for the love of God; for the love of me, your old and well-nigh worn-out servant; for the love of ancient Methodism, which, if itinerancy is interrupted, will speedily come to nothing; for the love of justice, mercy, and truth, which are all so grievously violated by the detention of this house; that you will set your shoulders to the necessary work. Be not straitened in your own bowels. We have never had such a cause before. Let not then unkind, unjust, fraudulent men, have cause to rejoice in their bad labor. This is a common cause. Exert yourselves to the utmost. I have subscribed fifty pounds. So has Dr. Coke. The Preachers have done all they could. O let them that have much give plenteously! Perhaps this is the last labor of love I may have occasion to recommend to you: Let it then stand as one more monument of your real gratitude to, My dear brethren, Your old, affectionate brother, JOHN WESLEY.

    FOUR LETTERS TO MR. JOHN ATLAY.

    27 ———\parMY DEAR BROTHER,PEMBROKE, August 23, 1788.

    IF YOU are persuaded that such a promise (which is the whole and sole cause of the breach at Dewsbury) is binding, etc., you must follow your persuasion. You will have blame enough from other persons: My hand shall not be upon you. If I can do you good, I will; but shall certainly do you no harm. George Whitfield is the person I choose to succeed you: I wish you would teach him as much as you can without delay.

    I am, with kind love to S. Atlay, Your affectionate brother. BRISTOL, August 31, 1788.

    I PRAY, brother Atlay, do not serve me so. If you will not serve me yourself, do not hinder others from serving me: Do not fright George Whitfield from it; but encourage him to it; and instruct him as quick as possible. My death is nothing to the purpose. I have now nothing to do with the Dewsbury people: Go with them, and serve them; but I am still Your affectionate brother. MY DEAR BROTHER,BRISTOL, September 4, 1788.

    I WAS once afraid that you had dissuaded George Whitfield from taking charge of the books; but I can take your word. Now I awfully satisfied that you did not; and I believe you will teach him everything relating to that charge. But one thing is much upon my mind: I wish you would hire one or two proper persons, and take an inventory of all the books that are either in the shop or under the chapel. This will be worth all the pains:

    Then George will know what he has to do.

    I am Your affectionate brother. MY DEAR BROTHER, September 24, 1788.

    FROM the time that you gave me warning of quitting my service, and informed me you was determined to stay no longer with me (unless upon impossible conditions) than the 25th instant, I resolved to say nothing more or less about it, but to let the matter go as it would go. Whether you made a wise choice in preferring your present to your former station, we shall see, if you and I should live two or three years longer. Meantime, I am, as ever, Your affectionate brother, JOHN WESLEY.

    P.S. I say nothing about you to the people of Bristol.

    A WORD TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. ——— IN August, 1788, Mr. Atlay wrote me word I must look out for another servant, for he would go to Dewsbury on September the 25th. So far was I from bidding him go, that I knew nothing of it till that hour. But I then told him, “Go and serve them;” seeing I found he would serve me no longer.

    He sent me word that I had in London, £13,751. 18s . 5d . stock in books.

    Desiring to know exactly, I employed two booksellers to take an account of my stock. The account they brought in, October 31, 1788, was, “Value of stock, errors excepted, — £4,827. 10s . 3 1/2d .” “JOHN PARSONS,” “THOMAS SCOLLICK.”

    Why did John Atlay so wonderfully overrate my stock? Certainly to do me honor in the eyes of the world.

    I never approved of his going to Dewsbury; but I submitted to what I could not help.

    With regard to Dewsbury house, there never was any dispute about the property of preaching-houses, — that was an artful misrepresentation; but merely the appointing of Preachers in them.

    If John Atlay has a mind to throw any more dirt upon me, I do not know I shall take any pains to wipe it off. 28 I have but a few days to live; and I wish to spend those in peace. JOHN WESLEY. LONDON,CITY-ROAD, February 25, 1790. 352 A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE SCHOOL IN KINGSWOOD, NEAR BRISTOL. [ PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1768.] ——— 1. OUR design is, with God’s assistance, to train up children in every branch of useful learning. 2. We teach none but boarders. These are taken in, being between the years of six and twelve, in order to be taught reading, writing, arithmetic, English, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, history, geography, chronology, rhetoric, logic, ethics, geometry, algebra, physics, music. 3. The school contains eight classes.

    In the first class the children read “Instructions for Children,” and “Lessons for Children;” and begin learning to write.

    In the second class they read “The Manners of the Ancient Christians;” go on in writing; learn the “Short English Grammar;” the “Short Latin Grammar;” read “Prælectiones Pueriles ;” translate them into English, and the “Instructions for Children” into Latin; part of which they transcribe and repeat.

    In the third class they read Dr. Cave’s “Primitive Christianity;” go on in writing; perfect themselves in the English and Latin Grammar; read “Corderii Colloquia Selecta ,” and “Historæ Selectæ ;” translate “Historæ Selectæ ” into English, and “Lessons for Children” into Latin; part of which they transcribe and repeat.

    In the fourth class they read “The Pilgrim’s Progress;” perfect themselves in writing; learn Dilworth’s Arithmetic; read Castellio’s Kempis, and Cornelius Nepos; translate Castellio into English, and “Manners of the Ancient Christians” into Latin; transcribe and repeat select portions of “Moral and Sacred Poems.”

    In the fifth class they read “The Life of Mr. Haliburton;” perfect themselves in arithmetic; read Select Dialogues of Erasmus, Phaedrus, and Sallust; translate Erasmus into English, and “Primitive Christianity” into Latin; transcribe and repeat select portions of “Moral and Sacred Poems.”

    In the sixth class their read “The Life of Mr. De Renty,” and Kennet’s “Roman Antiquities;” they learn Randal’s Geography; read Caesar, select parts of Terence and Velleius Paterculus; translate Erasmus into English, and “The Life of Mr. Haliburton “ into Latin; transcribe and repeat select portions of “Sacred Hymns and Poems.”

    In the seventh class they read Mr. Law’s “Christian Perfection,” and Archbishop Potter’s “Greek Antiquities;” they learn “Bengelii Introductio ad Chronologiam ,” with Marshall’s “Chronological Tables;” read Tully’s Offices, and Virgil’s Aeneid; translate Bengelius into English, and Mr. Law into Latin; learn (those who have a turn for it) to make verses, and the “Short Greek Grammar;” read the Epistles of St. John; transcribe and repeat select portions of Milton.

    In the eighth class they read Mr. Law’s “Serious Call,” and Lewis’s “Hebrew Antiquities;” they learn to make themes, and to declaim; learn Vossius’s Rhetoric; read Tully’s Tusculan Questions, and “Selecta ex Ovidio, Virgilio, Horatio, Juvenale, Persio, Martiale ;” perfect themselves in the Greek Grammar; read the Gospels, and six books of Homer’s Iliad; translate Tully into English, and Mr. Law into Latin; learn the “Short Hebrew Grammar,” and read Genesis; transcribe and repeat “Selecta ex Viryilio, Horatio, Juvenale .” 4. It is our particular desire, that all who are educated here may be brought up in the fear of God; and at the utmost distance, as from vice in general, so in particular from idleness and effeminacy. The children therefore of tender parents, so called, (who are indeed offering up their sons and their daughters unto devils,) have no business here; for the rules will not be broken in favor of any person whatsoever. Nor is any child received unless his parents agree, (1.)That he shall observe all the rules of the house; and, (2.)That they will not take him from school, no, not a day, till they take him for good and all. 5. The general rules of the house are these: — First. The children rise at four, winter and summer, and spend the time till five in private; partly in reading, partly in singing, partly in selfexamination or meditation, (if capable of it,) and partly in prayer. They at first use a short form, (which is varied continually,) and then pray in their own words.

    Secondly. At five they all meet together. From six they work till breakfast; for as we have no play days, (the school being taught everyday in the year but Sunday,) so neither do we allow anytime for play on any day: He that plays when he is a child, will play when he is a man.

    On fair days they work; according to their strength, in the garden; on rainy days, in the house. Some of them also learn music; and some of the larger will be employed in philosophical experiments. But particular care is taken that they never work alone, but always in the presence of a Master.

    We have three Masters: One for teaching reading, and two for the languages.

    Thirdly. The school begins at seven, in which languages are taught till nine; and then writing, etc., till eleven. At eleven the children walk or work. At twelve they dine, and then work or sing till one. They diet nearly thus: — Breakfast. — Milk-porridge and water-gruel, by turns.

    Supper. — Bread and butter or cheese, and milk, by turns.

    Dinner. —SUNDAY. — Cold roast beef. MONDAY. — Hashed meat and apple-dumplings. TUESDAY. — Boiled mutton. WEDNESDAY. — Vegetables and dumplings. THURSDAY. — Boiled mutton or beef. FRIDAY. — Vegetables and dumplings. And so in Lent. SATURDAY. — Bacon and greens, apple-dumplings.

    They drink water at meals: Nothing between meals. On Friday, if they choose it, they fast till three in the afternoon. Experience shows, this is so far from impairing health, that it greatly conduces to it.

    Fourthly. From one to four, languages are taught; and then writing, etc., till five. At five begins the hour of private prayer; from six they walk or work, till supper; a little before seven the public service begins; at eight they go to bed, the youngest first.

    Fifthly. They lodge all in one room, (now in two,) in which a lamp burns all night. Every child lies by himself. A Master lies at each end of the room. All their beds have mattresses on them, not feather-beds.

    Sixthly. On Sunday, at six, they dress and breakfast; at seven, learn hymns or poems; at nine, attend the public service; at twelve, dine and sing; at two, attend the public service; and at four, are privately instructed. 6. The method observed in the school is this: — The First Class.

    Morning, 7. Read. 10. Write till eleven.

    Afternoon, 1. Read. 4. Write till five. The Second Class. Morn. 7. Read “The Manners of the Ancient Christians.” 8. Learn the English Grammar; when that is ended, the Latin Grammar. 10. Learn to write.

    Aftern. 1. Learn to construe and parse Prælectiones Pueriles . 4. Translate into English and Latin alternately. The Third Class .

    Morn. 7. Read “Primitive Christianity.” 8. Repeat English and Latin Grammar alternately. 9. Learn Corderius; and when that is ended, Historiæ Selectæ . 10. Write.

    Aftern. 1. Learn Corderius, and Historiæ Selectæ. 4. Translate. The Fourth Class.

    Morn. 7. Read “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” 8. Repeat the Grammar. 9. Learn Castellio’s Kempis; and when that is ended, Cornelius Nepos. 10. Write; and learn arithmetic.

    Aftern. 1. Learn Kempis, and Cornelius Nepos. 4. Translate. The Fifth Class.

    Morn. 7. Read Mr. Haliburton’s Life. 8. Repeat the Grammars. 9. Learn Erasmus; afterwards Phaedrus; then Sallust. 10. Learn arithmetic.

    Aftern. 1. Learn Erasmus, Phædrus, Sallust. 4. Translate. The Sixth Class.

    Morn. 7. Read Mr. De Renty’s Life. 8. Repeat the Grammars. 9. Learn Caesar; afterwards Terence; then Velleius Paterculus. 10. Learn geography.

    Aftern. I. Learn Caesar, Terence, Paterculus. 3. Read Roman Antiquities. 4. Translate. The Seventh Class.

    Morn. 7. Read Mr. Law’s “Christian Perfection.” 8.MON.,WED.,FRI. — Learn the Greek Grammar; and read the Greek Testament.TUES.,THURS., SAT. — Learn Tully; afterwards Virgil. 10. Learn chronology.

    Aftern. 1. Learn Latin and Greek alternately, as in the morning. 3. Read Grecian Antiquities. 4. Translate and make verses alternately. The Eighth Class.

    Morn. 7. Read Mr. Law’s “Serious Call.” 8.MON.,THURS. — Latin. TUES.,FRI. — Greek.WED.,SAT. — Hebrew; and so at one in the afternoons. 10. Learn rhetoric.

    Aftern. 3. — Read “Hebrew Antiquities.” 4. Mon.,THURS. — Translate. TUES.,FRI. — Make verses.WED. — Make a theme.SAT. — Write a declamation.

    All the other classes spend Saturday afternoon in arithmetic, and in transcribing what they learn on Sunday, and repeat on Monday morning.

    The price for the board and teaching of a child, including his books, pens, ink, and paper, is fourteen pounds a year, while he is in the school: After he has gone through the school, twenty; and he is then to find his own books.

    N.B. The following method may be observed by those who design to go through a course of academically learning: — FIRST YEAR.

    Read Lowth’s English Grammar; Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French Grammars; Cornelius Nepos; Sallust; Caesar; Tully’s Offices; Terence; Phaedurs; Aeneid; Dilworth; Randal; Bengel; Vossius; Aldrich and Wallis’s Logic; Langbaine’s Ethics; Hutchinson on the Passions; Spanheim’s “Introduction to Ecclesiastical History;” Puffendorf’s “Introduction to the History of Europe;” “Moral and Sacred Poems;” Hebrew Pentateuch, with the Notes; Greek Testament, — Matthew to the Acts, with the Notes; Xenophon’s Cyrus; Homer’s Iliad; Bishop Pearson on the Creed; ten volumes of the “Christian Library;” Telemaque .

    SECOND YEAR.

    Look over the Grammars; read Velleius Paterculus; Tusculan Questions; Excerpta ; “Vidæ Opera ;” “Lusus Westmonasterienses ; “ Chronological Tables; Euclid’s Elements; Wells’s Tracts; Newton’s “Principia ;” Mosheim’s “Introduction to Church History;” Usher’s “Annals;” Burnet’s “History of the Reformation;” Spencer’s “Fairy Queen;” Historical Books of the Hebrew Bible; Greek Testament, ad finem ; Kurou Anabasiv Homer’s Odyssey; twelve volumes of the “Christian Library;” Ramsay’s Cyrus; Racine.

    THIRD YEAR.

    Look over the Grammars; Livy; Suetonius; Tully “De Finibus ;” “Musæ Anglicanæ ;” Dr. Burton’s “Poemata ;” Lord Forbes’s Tracts; Abridgment of Hutchinson’s Works; “Survey of the Wisdom of God in the Creation;” Rollin’s “Ancient History;” Hume’s “History of England;” Neal’s “History of the Puritans;” Milton’s Poetical Works; Hebrew Bible, — Job to the Canticles; Greek Testament; Plato’s Dialogues; (Greek Epigrams; twelve volumes of the “Christian Library;” Pascal; Corneille.

    FOURTH YEAR.

    Look over the Grammars; Tacitus; “Grotii Historia Belyica ;” Tully “De Natura Deorum ;” “Prædium Rusticum ;” “Carmina Quadragesimalia ;” “Philosophical Transactions abridged;” Watts’s Astronomy, etc.; “Compendium Metaphysicæ ;” Watts’s Ontology; Locke’s Essay; Malebranche; Clarendon’s History; Neal’s “History of New England;” Antonio Solis’s “History of Mexico;” Shakespeare; rest of the Hebrew Bible; Greek Testament; Epictetus; Marcus Antoninus; Poetæ Minores ; end the “Christian Library;” “La Faussete de les Vertues Humaines ;” Quesnel sur les Evangiles .

    Whoever carefully goes through this course will be a better scholar than nine in ten of the graduates at Oxford or Cambridge.

    A PLAIN ACCOUNT OF KINGSWOOD SCHOOL. [ PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1781.] ——— 1. IT was remarked concerning one of our poets, “Whenever he wrote, he seemed to take it for granted, that whatever he understood himself all his readers would understand.” But this mistake is not peculiar to Mr. Dryden: I have fallen into it abundance of times; supposing, because the thing was so plain to me, it must be so to all mankind. I have fallen into it particularly with regard to the school some time since begun in Kingswood. I have long taken it for granted, that it would be quite sufficient to publish the bare rules of that school, and to set down simply the method therein pursued, in as few words as possible. I supposed the reasons whereon those rules were grounded were not only so strong, but so obvious, that every person of common understanding must discern them as well as myself. However, after above twenty years’ trial, I am convinced this was a supposition not to be made. What is as clear to me as the sun at noon-day, is not so clear to every one. At length, therefore, I judged it needful to enlarge a little upon the nature of that institution; to lay down the grounds of those rules, and the reasons of what is peculiar in our method. 2. About forty years ago, one or two tracts upon education fell into my hands, which led me to consider the methods pursued in that great school wherein I had been educated, and in such others as were in the highest repute, particularly those in and near London. I spent many thoughts on the subject, and frequently conversed upon it with some of the most sensible men I knew. A few years after, I had an opportunity of inquiring concerning some of the most celebrated schools in Holland and Germany.

    But in these, as well as our own, I found a few particulars which I could not approve of. 3. One regarded the situation of them, which itself seemed a circumstance of some importance. The very most of them were placed in a great town; perhaps in the principal town in that country. The inconveniences which naturally attended this were more easy to be discovered than removed.

    The children, whenever they went abroad, had too many things to engage their thoughts, which ought to be diverted as little as possible from the objects of their learning. And they had too many other children round about them, some of whom they were liable to meet everyday, whose example (perhaps their advice too) would neither forward them in learning nor religion. I say, “neither learning nor religion.” For if we have any religion ourselves, we certainly desire that our children should have some too. But this they are not likely to have, or retain, if they converse promiscuously with the children in a great town. 4. The promiscuous admission of all sorts of children into a great school, was another circumstance I did not admire. Are children likely (suppose they had it) to retain much religion in a school where all that offer are admitted, however corrupted already, perhaps in principle (though that is not quite so frequent) as well as practice? And what wonder, when, as frequently happens, the parents themselves have no more religion than their ungodly offspring? It may be, they do not desire to have any of their family infected with the plague of virtue. A gentleman removed his son, then at Westminster School, from boarding with my eldest brother, for teaching him the Catechism; telling him, “Sir, I do not want my son to learn religion, but Latin and Greek.” 5. But this is no common fault: generally heathen parents may meet with heathen schoolmasters. A third inconvenience in many schools is, the Masters have no more religion than the scholars. And if they have little or no religion themselves, we may be well assured they will give themselves little trouble about the religion of the children that are committed to their care. Every part of the nation abounds with Masters of this kind; men who are either uninstructed in the very principles of Christianity or quite indifferent as to the practice of it, “caring for none of these things.”

    Consequently, they are nothing concerned whether their scholars are Papists or Protestants, Turks or Christians:

    They look upon this as no part of their business; they take no thought about it. 6. But it is not only with regard to instruction in religion, that most of our great schools are defective. They are defective likewise (which is a fourth objection) with regard to learning; and that in several respects. In some, the children are taught little or no arithmetic; in others, little care is taken even of their writing. In many, they learn scarce the elements of geography, and as little of chronology. And even as to the languages, there are some schools of note wherein no Hebrew at all is taught; and there are exceeding few wherein the scholars are thoroughly instructed even in the Latin and Greek tongues. They are not likely to be; for there is a capital mistake in their very method of teaching. The books which they read are not well choose, not so much as with regard to language. The language of them is not standard; not even in the Latin. Were even this circumstance duly considered, would Eutropius or Lucius Florus have any place among them? “O, but I want to give a sketch of the Roman history.” And cannot you do this much better by English authors? Cannot you give the marrow of Roman history without ruining their style by bad Latin?

    But the sense too of the authors read in many schools is as imperfect as their language. And this betrays an inexcusable negligence in those who teach these empty books For there is no necessity for it. It is well known there are excellent both Greek and Roman authors, who excel them as much in strength of understanding, as in purity and elegance of style.

    Again: In most schools little judgment is shown in the order of the books that are read. Some very difficult ones are read in the lower classes, “Phædrus’s Fables” in particular: And some very easy ones are read long after, in utter defiance of common sense. 7. Another fault common in almost all our schools is, the Masters not only take no care to train up their scholars in true religion, but they themselves teach them what is utterly destructive of all religion whatever: They put authors into their hands, that, with all the beauty of language, all the sweetness of expression, instill into their tender minds both obscenity and profaneness; — Virgil’s Alexis, the lewd Epigrams of Martial, and the shameless Satires of Juvenal, (even the sixth,) so earnestly recommending sodomy as well as adultery! Nonne putas melius, quod tecum pusio dormit?

    Here you see is the blessed moral! Nay, in spite of the loud complaint made by St. Austin, fourteen hundred years ago, we read there still of the great God, Qui templa cæli summa sonitu conulit, coming down from heaven upon that blessed errand, Fucum factum muleri!

    And to this day we retain, for the edification of our children, Tonantem et fornicantem Jovem! 8. After long inquiring, but inquiring in vain, for a school free from these palpable blemishes, at last a thought came into my mind, of setting up a school myself. The first point was, to find a proper situation; not too far from a great town; which I saw would be highly inconvenient for a large family: Nor yet too near, and much less in it; which would have been attended with greater evils. After mature consideration, I chose a spot in the middle of Kingswood, three miles from Bristol. It was quite private, remote from all high roads, on the side of a small hill sloping to the west, sheltered from the east and north, and affording room for large gardens. I built the house capable of containing fifty children, besides Masters and servants; reserving one room, and a little study, for my own use. 9. I then set myself to procure Masters. And in this respect I had such an advantage as few besides have, in being acquainted with every part of the nation: And y