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The Letters of John Wesley



To a Roman Catholic Priest [1]


SIR, -- I return you thanks both for the favor of your letter and for your recommending my father's Proposals to the Sorbonne.

I have neither time nor inclination for controversy with any, but least of all with the Romanists. And that, both because I cannot trust any of their quotations without consulting every sentence they quote in the originals, and because the originals themselves can very hardly be trusted in any of the points controverted between them and us. I am no stranger to their skill in mending those authors who did not at first speak home to their purpose, as also in purging them from those passages which contradicted their emendations. And as they have not wanted opportunity to do this, so doubtless they have carefully used it with regard to a point that so nearly concerned them as the Supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. I am not therefore surprised if the Works of St. Cyprian (as they are called) do strenuously maintain it; but I am that they have not been better corrected, for they still contain passages that absolutely overthrow it. What gross negligence was it to leave his seventy-fourth Epistle (to Pompeianus) out of the Index Expurgatorius, wherein Pope Cyprian so flatly charges Pope Stephen with pride and obstinacy, and with being a defender of the cause of heretics, and that against Christians and the very Church of God! He that can reconcile this with his believing Stephen the infallible Head of the Church may reconcile the Gospel with the Koran.

Yet I can by no means approve the scurrility and contempt with which the Romanists have often been treated. I dare not rail at or despise any man, much less those who profess to believe in the same Master. But I pity them much; having the same assurance that Jesus is the Christ, and that no Romanist can expect to be saved according to the terms of His covenant. For thus saith our Lord, ‘Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.’ And, ‘If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.’ But all Romanists as such do both. Ergo.

The minor I prove, not from Protestant authors, nor even from particular writers of their own communion, but from the public, authentic records of the Church of Rome. Such are the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. And the edition I use was printed at Cologne, and approved by authority.

And, first, all Romanists as such do break and teach men to break one (and not the least) of those commandments; the words of which, concerning images, are these:


Now, (as every smatterer in Hebrew knows) is incurvare se, procumbere, honoris exhibendi causa [‘To bow down before any one in token of honoring him’ (Wesley).] (and is accordingly rendered by the Seventy in this very place by a Greek word of the very same import, pse): but the Council of Trent (and consequently all Romanists as such, all who allow the authority of that Council) teaches (section 25, paragraph 2) that it is legitimus imaginum usus, -- eis honorera exhibere, procumbendo coram eis. [‘That is, the proper use of images is to honor them by bowing down before them’(Wesley).]

Secondly, all Romanists as such do add to those things which are written in the Book of Life. For in the Bull of Pius IV, subjoined to those Canons and Decrees, I find all the additions following:

1. Seven sacraments; 2. Transubstantiation; 3. Communion in one kind only; 4. Purgatory, and praying for the dead therein; 5. Praying to saints; 6. Veneration of relics; 7. Worship of images; 8. Indulgences; 9. The priority and universality of the Roman Church; 10. The supremacy of the Bishop of Rome. All these things, therefore, do the Romanists add to those which are written in the Book of Life. -- I am.

To his Brother Samuel [2]

[January] 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- … I think Bishop Bull's sermon on the Witness of the Spirit (against the Witness of the Spirit it should rather be entitled) is full of gross perversions of Scripture and manifest contradictions both to Scripture and experience. I find more persons day by day who experience a clear evidence of their being in a state of salvation. But I never said this continues equally clear in all as long as they continue in a state of salvation. Some, indeed, have testified, and the whole tenor of their life made their testimony unexceptionable, that from that hour they have felt no agonies at all, no anxious fears, no sense of dereliction. Others have.

But I much fear we begin our dispute at the wrong end. I fear you dissent from the fundamental Articles of the Church of England. I know Bishop Bull does. I doubt you do not hold justification by faith alone. If not, neither do you hold what our Articles teach concerning the extent and guilt of original sin; neither do you feel yourself a lost sinner: and if we begin not here, we are building on the sand.

Oh may the God of love, if my sister or you are otherwise-minded, reveal even this unto you.

Your affectionate Brother.

To George Whitefield [3]

LONDON, February 26, 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Our Lord's hand is not shortened amongst us. Yesterday I preached at St. Katherine's, and at Islington, where the church was almost as hot as some of the Society rooms used to be. I think I never was so much strengthened before. The fields after service were white with people praising God. About three hundred were present at Mr. Sims's; thence I went to Mr. Bell's, then to Fetter Lane, and at nine to Mr. Bray’s, where also we only wanted room. To-day I expound in the Minories at four, at Mrs. West's at six, and to a large company of poor sinners in Gravel Lane (Bishopsgate) at eight. The Society at Mr. Crouch's does not meet till eight; so that I expound, before I go to him, near St. James’s Square, where one young woman has been lately filled with the Holy Ghost and overflows with joy and love. On Wednesday at six we have a noble company of women, not adorned with gold or costly apparel, but with a meek and quiet spirit and good works. At the Savoy on Thursday evening we have usually two or three hundred, most of them at least thoroughly awakened. Mr. Abbot's parlor is more than filled on Friday, as is Mr. Park's room twice over; where I have commonly had more power given me than at any other place. A week or two ago a note was given me there, as near as I can remember, in these words: ‘Your prayers are desired for a sick child that is lunatic, and sore vexed day and night, that our Lord would heal him, as He did those in the days of His flesh; and that He would give his parents faith and patience till his time is come.’

On Saturday se’nnight a middle-aged, well-dressed woman at Beech Lane (where I expound usually to five or six hundred before I go to Mrs. Exall’s Society) was seized, as it appeared to several about her, with little less than the agonies of death. We prayed that God, who had brought her to the birth, would give her strength to bring forth, and that He would work speedily, that all might see it, and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Five days she travailed and groaned, being in bondage. On Thursday evening our Lord got Himself the victory; and from that moment she has been full of love and joy, which she openly declared at the same [Society] on Saturday last: so that thanksgivings also were given to God by many on her account. It is to be observed, her friends have accounted her mad for these three years, and accordingly bled, blistered her, and what not. Come, and let us praise the Lord and magnify His name together.

To George Whitefield

LONDON, March 16, 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- On Thursday, the 8th instant, we breakfasted at Mr. Score's, [Oxford,] who, is patiently waiting for the salvation of God. Thence we went to Mrs. Compton's, who has set her face as a flint, and knows she shall not be ashamed. [See Journal, ii. 147.] After we had spent some time in prayer, Mr. Washington came with Mr. Gibs, and read several passages out of Bishop Patrick's [Simon Patrick (1626-1707). ‘A man of eminently shining life,’ says Burnet. As Rector of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, he stayed in his parish to minister to sufferers during the Great Plague. In 1689 he became Bishop of Chichester, and of Ely in 1691. He was one of the five founders of the S. P.C.K. He was much influenced by the ' Cambridge Platonists.' Extracts from his Works appear in Wesley's Christian Library (vols: xxi. and xxxii.); and ‘Bishop Patrick’s Picture of an Antinomian’ was inserted in the Arminian Mag. 1778, PP. 402-7. There are at least five records of Wesley's use of Patrick's devotional manuals in his early Journal and Diary (see Journal Index). The Parable of the Pilgrim, published in 1665, when he was Rector of St. Paul's, was noticed by Southey, who wrote: ‘Though the parable is poorly imagined and ill-sustained, there is a great deal of sound instruction conveyed in a sober, manly, and not unfrequently a felicitous manner.’] Parable of the Pilgrim, to prove that we were all under a delusion, and that we were to be justified by faith and works. Charles Metcalf [Charles Metcalf, of London. See Journal, i. 455d, if. 143d.] withstood him to the face, and declared the simple truth of the gospel. When they were gone, we again besought our Lord that He would maintain His own cause. Meeting with Mr. Gibs soon after, he was almost persuaded to seek salvation only in the blood of Jesus. Meanwhile Mr. Washington and Watson [‘George Watson has not missed reading prayers there [at the Castle] yet. I have accidentally met him and spoke with him hah an hour, and cannot help thinking him a sober man in the main’ (Clayton to Wesley, Journal, viii. 280).] were going about to all parts and confirming the unfaithful. At four we met them (without design), and withstood them again. From five to six we were confirming the brethren. At six I expounded at Mrs. Ford's; as I designed to do at Mrs. Compton's at seven. But Mr. Washington was got thither before me, and just beginning to read Bishop Bull against the Witness of the Spirit. He told me he was authorized by the minister of the parish so to do. I advised all that valued their souls to go away; and, perceiving it to be the less evil of the two, that they who remained might not be. perverted, I entered directly into the controversy, touching both the cause and the fruits of justification. In the midst of the dispute James Mears's wife began to be in pain. I prayed with her a little when Mr. Washington was gone; and then (having comforted the rest as I was enabled) we went down to Sister Thomas's. In the way Mrs. Mears's pains so increased that she could not avoid crying out aloud in the street. With much difficulty we got her to Mrs. Shrieve's (where also Mr. Washington had been before us). We made our request known to God, and He heard us and sent her deliverance in the same hour. There was great power among us, and her husband also was set at liberty. Soon after, I felt such a damp strike into my soul (and so did Mrs. Compton and several others) as I do not remember to have ever found before. I believed the enemy was near us. We immediately cried to our Lord to stir up His power and come and help us. Presently Mrs. Shrieve fell into a strange agony both of body and mind; her teeth gnashed together; her knees smote each other; and her whole body trembled exceedingly. We prayed on, and within an hour the storm ceased. She now enjoys a sweet calm, having remission of sins, and knowing that her Redeemer liveth.

At my return to Mrs. Fox's, I found our dear brother Kin-chin just come from Dummer. We rejoiced, and gave thanks, and prayed, and took sweet counsel together; the result of which was that, instead of setting out for London (as I designed) on Friday morning, I should set for Dummer, there being no person to supply that church on Sunday. On Friday accordingly I set out, and came in the evening to Reading, where I found a young man, Cennick [See letter of April 27, 1741, to Whitefield.] by name, strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus. He had begun a Society there the week before; but the minister of the parish had now wellnigh overturned it. Several of the members of it spent the evening with us, and it pleased God to strengthen and comfort them.

In the morning our brother Cennick rode with me, whom I found willing to suffer, yea' to die, for his Lord. We came to Dummer in the afternoon. Miss Molly [Charles Kinchin's sister, who was an invalid. See Journal, i. 453d.] was very weak in body, but strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Surely her light ought not thus to be hid under a bushel. She has forgiveness, but not the witness of the Spirit (perhaps for the conviction of our dear brother Hutchings, who seemed to think them inseparable).

On Sunday morning we had a large and attentive congregation. In the evening the room at Basingstoke was full and my mouth was opened. We expected much opposition, but found none at all.

On Monday, Mrs. Cleminger being in pain and fear, we prayed, and our Lord gave her peace. About noon we spent an hour or two in conference and prayer with Miss Molly; and then set out in a glorious storm, but even I had a calm within. We had appointed the little Society at Reading to meet us in the evening; but the enemy was too vigilant. Almost as soon as we went out of town the minister sent or went to each of the members, and, being arguing and threatening, utterly confounded them, so that they were all scattered abroad. Mr. Cennick's own sister did not dare to see us, but was gone out on purpose to avoid it. I trust, however, our God will gather them together again, and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

About one in the afternoon on Tuesday I came to Oxford again, and from Mr. Fox's (where all were in peace) I went to Mrs. Compton's. I-found the minister of the parish had been there before me, to whom she had plainly declared the thing as it was – ‘that she never had a true faith in Christ till two in the afternoon on the Tuesday preceding.’ After some other warm and sharp expressions, ‘he told her upon that word he must repel her from the Holy Communion.’ Finding she was not convinced of her error even by that argument, he left her calmly rejoicing in God her Savior.

At six in the evening we were at Mr. Fox's Society; about seven at Mrs. Compton's: the power of our Lord was present at both, and all our hearts were knit together in love.

The next day we had an opportunity to confirm most, if not all, the souls which had been shaken. In the afternoon I preached at the Castle. We afterwards joined together in prayer, having now Charles Graves added to us, who is rooted and grounded in the faith. We then went to Mr. Gibs's room, where were Mr. Washington and Watson. Here an hour was spent in conference and prayer, but without any disputing. At four in the morning I left Oxford. God hath indeed planted and watered. Oh may He give the increase ! -- I am, &c.

To James Hervey [4]

LONDON, March 20, 1739.

DEAR SIR, -- The best return I can make for the kind freedom you use is to use the same to you. Oh may the God whom we serve sanctify it to us both, and teach us the whole truth as it is in Jesus!

You say you cannot reconcile some parts of my behavior with the character I have long supported. No, nor ever will. Therefore I have disclaimed that character on every possible occasion. I told all in our ship, all at Savannah, all at Frederica, and that over and over, in express terms, ‘I am not a Christian; I only follow after, if haply I may attain it.’ When they urged my works and self-denial, I answered short, ‘Though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and my body to be burned, I am nothing: for I have not charity; I do not love God with all my heart.’ If they added, ‘Nay, but you could not preach as you do, if you was not a Christian,’ I again confronted them with St. Paul: ‘Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, and have not charity, I am nothing.’ Most earnestly, therefore, both in public and private, did I inculcate this: ‘Be not ye shaken, however I may fall; for the foundation standeth sure.’

If you ask on what principle, then, I acted, it was this: A desire to be a Christian; and a conviction that, whatever I judge conducive thereto, that I am bound to do; wherever I judge I can best answer this end, thither it is my duty to go. On this principle I set out for America, on this I visited the Moravian Church, and on the same am I ready now (God being my helper) to go to Abyssinia or China, or whithersoever it shall please God by this conviction to call me.

As to your advice that I should settle in college, I have no business there, having now no office and no pupils. And whether the other branch of your proposal be expedient for me, viz. ‘To accept of a cure of souls,’ it will be time enough to consider when one is offered to me.

But in the meantime you think I ought to be still; because otherwise I should invade another’s office if I interfered with other people's business and intermeddled with souls that did not belong to me. You accordingly ask, ‘How is it that I assemble Christians, who are none of my charge, to sing psalms and pray and hear the Scriptures expounded’ and think it hard to justify doing this in other men's parishes, upon catholic principles.

Permit me to speak plainly. If by catholic principles you mean any other than scriptural, they weigh nothing with me. I allow no other rule, whether of faith or practice, than the Holy Scriptures; but on scriptural principles I do not think it hard to justify whatever I do. God in Scripture commands me, according to my power, to instruct the ignorant, reform the wicked, confirm the virtuous. Man forbids me to do this in another's parish: that is, in effect, to do it at all; seeing I have now no parish of my own, nor probably ever shall. Whom, then, shall I hear, God or man ‘If it be just to obey man rather than God, judge you. A dispensation of the gospel is committed to me; and woe is me if I preach not the gospel.’ But where shall I preach it, upon the principles you mention Why, not in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America; not in any of the Christian parts, at least, of the habitable earth: for all these are, after a sort, divided into parishes. If it be said, ‘Go back, then, to the heathens from whence you came,’ nay, but neither could I now (on your principles) preach to them; for all the heathens in Georgia belong to the parish either of Savannah or Frederica.

Suffer me now to tell you my principles in this matter. I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that in whatever part of it I am I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty to declare, unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation. This is the work which I know God has called me to; and sure I am that His blessing attends it. Great encouragement have I, therefore, to be faithful in fulfilling the work He hath given me to do. His servant I am; and, as such, am employed according to the plain direction of His word--' as I have opportunity, doing good unto all men.' And His providence clearly concurs with His word, which has disengaged me from all things else that I might singly attend on this very thing, ‘and go about doing good.’

If you ask, ‘How can this be How can one do good, of whom men say all manner of evil’ I will put you in mind (though you once knew this--yea, and much established me in that great truth), the more evil men say of me for my Lord's sake, the more good will He do by me. That it is for His sake I know, and He knoweth, and the event agreeth thereto; for He mightily confirms the words I speak, by the Holy Ghost given unto those that hear them. O my friend, my heart is moved toward you. I fear you have herein ‘made shipwreck of the faith.’ I fear ‘Satan, transformed into an angel of light,’ hath assaulted you, and prevailed also. I fear that offspring of hell, worldly or Mystic prudence, has drawn you away from the simplicity of the gospel. How else could you ever conceive that the being reviled and ' hated of all men ' should make us less fit for our Master's service How else could you ever think of ' saving yourself and them that hear you ‘without being’ the filth and offscouring of the world' To this hour is this scripture true. And I therein rejoice--yea, and will rejoice. ‘Blessed be God, I enjoy the reproach of Christ! Oh may you also be vile, exceeding vile, for His sake! God forbid that you should ever be other than generally scandalous; I had almost said universally. If any man tell you there is a new way of following Christ, ‘he is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’

--I am, &c.

To George Whitefield [5]

LONDON, March 20, 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- Would you have me speak to you freely, without any softening or reserve at all I know you would. And may our loving Savior speak to your heart, so my labor shall not be in vain. I do not commend you with regard to our brothers Seward [See heading to letter of May 8.] and Cennick. But let me speak tenderly, for I am but a little child. I know our Lord has brought good out of their going to you; good to you, and good to them -- very much good: and may He increase it a thousand-fold,. how much soever it be! But is everything good, my brother, out of which He brings good I think that does not follow. O my brother, is it well for you or me to give the least hint of setting up our will or judgment against that of our whole Society Was it well for you once to mention a desire which they had all solemnly declared they thought unreasonable Was not this abundant cause to drop any design which was not manifestly grounded on a clear command of our Lord Indeed, my brother, in this I commend you not. If our brother R--- or P--- desired anything, and our other brethren disapproved of it, I cannot but think he ought immediately to let it drop. How much more ought you or I! They are upon a level with the rest of their brethren. But I trust you and I are not: we are the servants of all. Thus far have I spoken with fear and much trembling and with many tears. Oh may our Lord speak the rest! For what shall such an one as I say to a beloved servant of my Lord O pray that I may see myself a worm and no man! I wish to be

Your brother in Christ Jesus.

To James Hutton [6]

BRISlOL, April 2, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN (AND SISTERS TOO), -- The first person I met with on the road hither was one that was inquiring the road to Basingstoke. We had much conversation together till evening. He was a Somersetshire man, [The Diary for Thursday, March 29, says: ‘9.15 set out with Charles, &c.,’ who left him at 10; at 11 he met this man, and reached Basingstoke with him at 8.30.] returning home, very angry at the wickedness of London, and particularly of the infidels there. He held out pretty well to Basingstoke. But during the expounding there (at which between twenty and thirty were present) his countenance fell, and I trust he is gone down to his house saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’

I stayed an hour or two at Dummer in the morning with our brother Hutchings, [Hutchings went part of the way o Newbury with him. He and Chapman had just come from Bristol with horses for Wesley. See Journal, ii. 156n, 167d.] who is strong in faith, but very weak in body; as most probably he will continue to be so long as he hides his light under a bushel. In the afternoon a poor woman at Newbury and her husband were much amazed at hearing of a salvation so far beyond all they had thought of or heard preached. The woman hopes she shall follow after till she attains it. My horse tired in the evening, so that I was obliged to walk behind him, till a tradesman who overtook me lent me one of his, on which I came with him to. Marlborough, and put up at the same inn. As I was preparing to alight here, my watch fell out of my pocket with the glass downward, which flew out to some distance, but broke not. After supper I preached the gospel to our little company, one of whom, a gentleman, greatly withstood my saying, till I told him he was wise in his own eyes and had not an heart right before God. Upon which he silently withdrew, and the rest calmly attended to the things that were spoken.

In the morning I prayed to Him that ‘saveth both man and beast,’ and set out, though my horse was so tired he could scarce go a foot-pace. At Cane [Calne.] (twelve miles from Marlborough) I stopped. Many persons came into the room while I was at breakfast; one of whom I found to be a man of note in the place, who talked in so obscene and profane a manner as I never remember to have heard any one do--no, not in the streets of London. Before I went I plainly set before him the things he had done. They all stood looking at one another, but answered nothing.

At seven, by the blessing of God, I came hither. At eight our dear brother, Whitefield expounded in Weavers' Hall to about a thousand souls; on Sunday morning to six or seven thousand at the Bowling Green; at noon to much the same number at Hanham Mount; and at five to, I believe, thirty thousand from a little mount on Rose Green. At one to-day he left Bristol. I am straitened for time. Pray ye, my dear brethren, that some portion of his spirit may be given to

Your poor, weak brother.

Dear Jemmy, none of my things are come. I want my gown and cassock every day. Oh how is God manifested in our brother Whitefield! I have seen none like him -- no, not in Herrnhut!

We are all got safe to Bristol; praised be God for it! [This line is in another handwriting.]

To his Brother Samuel

BRISTOL, April 4, 1739.

DEAR BROTHER, -- I rejoice greatly at the temper with which you now write, and trust there is not only mildness but love also in your heart. If so, you shall know of this doctrine whether it be of God, though perhaps not by my ministry.

To this hour you have pursued an ignoratio elenchi. Your assurance and mine are as different as light and darkness. I mean an assurance that I am now in a state of salvation; you an assurance that I shall persevere therein. The very definition of the term cuts off your second and third observation. As to the first, I would take notice: (1) No kind of assurance (that I know), or of faith, or repentance, is essential to their salvation who die infants. (2) I believe God is ready to give all true penitents who fly to His free grace in Christ a fuller sense of pardon than they had before they fell. I know this to be true of several; whether these are exempt cases, I know not. (3) Persons that were of a melancholy and gloomy constitution, even to some degree of madness, I have known in a moment (let it be called a miracle, I quarrel not) brought into a state of firm, lasting peace and joy.

My dear brother, the whole question turns chiefly, if not wholly, on matter of fact. You deny that God does now work these effects -- at least, that He works them in such a manner: I affirm both, because I have heard those facts with my ears and seen them with my eyes. I have seen, as far as it can be seen, very many persons changed in a moment from the spirit of horror, fear, and despair to the spirit of hope, joy, peace, and from sinful desires (till then reigning over them) to a pure desire of doing the will of God. These are matters of fact, whereof I have been, and almost daily am, eye- or ear-witness. What, upon the same evidence, as to the suddenness and reality of the change, I believe, or know, touching visions and dreams: this I know, -- several persons, in whom this great change from the power of Satan unto God was wrought either in sleep, or during a strong representation to the eye of their minds of Christ either on the cross or in glory. This is the fact. Let any judge of it as they please. But that such a change was then wrought appears, not from their shedding tears only, or sighing, or singing psalms, as your poor correspondent did by the woman of Oxford, but from the whole tenor of their life, till then many ways wicked, from that time holy, just, and good.

Saw you him that was a lion till then, and is now a lamb; him that was a drunkard, but now exemplarily sober; the whoremonger that was, who now abhors the very lusts of the flesh These are my living arguments for what I assert -- that God now, as aforetime, gives remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost, which may be called visions. If it be not so, I am found a false witness; but, however, I do and will testify the things I have both seen and heard.

I do not now expect to see your face in the flesh. Not that I believe God will discharge you yet; but I believe I have nearly finished my course. Oh may I be found in Him, not having my own righteousness!

When I Try promised Christ have seen,

And clasped Him in my soul's embrace,

Possessed of Thy salvation, then--

Then may I, Lord, depart in peace. [Adapted from Hymns and Sacred Poems. See Poetical Works of J. and C. Wesley, i. 74.]

The great blessing of God be upon you and yours.--I am, dear brother, Your ever affectionate and obliged Brother.

I expect to stay here some time, perhaps as long as I am in the body.

To his Brother Charles

BRISTOL, April 9, 1739.

DEAR BROTHER CHARLES, -- Against next post I will consider your verses. The clergy here gladiatorio anirno ad nos affectant viarn. [Terence's Phormio, v. vii. 71: ‘Aim at us with gladiatorial intent.’] But the people of all sorts receive the word gladly. Hitherto I have so full employment here that I think there can be no doubt whether I should return already or no.

You will hear more from time to time, and judge accordingly. But, whenever it seems expedient I should return, a lot will put it out of doubt. The God of peace fill you with all peace and joy in believing! Adieu.

I forgot, I must subscribe to the Kingswood Colliers' Schoolhouse. [Journal, ii. 171n, 239n. Whitefield laid the first stone on April 2, and on July 10 the schoolhouse was ready for the roof.] So I will take the money of Mr. Wilson.

To John Edmonds [7]

BRISTOL, April 9, I739.

DEAR BROTHER EDMONDS, -- I thank you much for yours. O write as often and as much as you can. For I want stirring up; or rather, I want to be made alive. When shall I hear the voice of the Son of Man and live! Surely there never was such a deceiver of the people as I am. They reverence me as a saint, and I am a poor sinner: or in truth a rich sinner; else I should not be thus poor long. Go and exhort our brother Jennings to count relations, friends, and all things but dung, that he may win Christ.

Adieu, my dear brother! Adieu!

To James Hutton

George Whitefield will be to-night at

Mr. Harris's, jun., bookseller in Gloucester.

BRISTOL, April 9, 1739.

DEAR JEMMY, -- I want nothing of this world. Pray give the guinea to my brother Charles for my sister Kezzy. [Kezia, the youngest sister of the Wesleys. See letter of Aug. 18, 1743.] God will reward our brother Thomas [Probably Thomas Wilson. See letter of April 9 to his brother Charles.] better than with my thanks. I am, you may believe, much straitened for time. Therefore I can write but little. And neither of our brethren here has the pen of a ready writer. [See Journal, ii. 166n.] Why does not Charles Metcalf come I wish you would send me those two letters wrote to me at Oxford by Brother Bray, and those two by our brother Fish [See William Fish's letter (Journal, ii. 108, 111n). He lived in London. C. Wesley's Journal, i. 149, says that Fish was ‘very zealous for lay-preaching.’ C. Wesley and Whitefield declared against it.] in November and December last. They are in my great box at Mr. Bray’s. Can't you get from our brother Shaw [John Shaw. On June 6, 1739, Charles Wesley says: ‘At the Society in the evening Shaw pleaded for his spirit of prophecy .... Fish said he looked upon me as delivered over to Satan, &c.’ On June 13, when John Wesley returned, the French prophetess was discussed. ‘All agreed to disown her. Brother Hall proposed expelling Shaw and Wolf. We consented nem. con. that their names should be erased out of the Society book because they disowned themselves members of the Church of England.’] and send me the Herinhut Experiences and Transcript of Brother Hopsoh's Letters They would be very useful here. Don't neglect or delay. Adieu.

What is the matter with our sisters My brother Charles complains of them.

To James Hutton [8]

BRISTOL, April 9, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETEREN, -- On Sunday evening, the 1st instant, I began to expound at Nicholas Street Society our Lord's Sermon on the Mount. The room, passage, and staircase were filled with attentive hearers.

On Monday I talked with several in private, to try what manner of spirit they were of; and at four in the afternoon went to a brickyard, [For a description of this noted place, see Journal, ii. 172n.] adjoining to the city, where I had an opportunity of preaching the gospel of the kingdom (from a little eminence) to three or four thousand people.

The scripture on which I spoke was this: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ At seven I began expounding the Acts of the Apostles to the Society in Baldwin. Street. We had more company than the room would hold, and the power of our Lord was with us.

On Tuesday, 3rd, I began preaching at Newgate (as I continue to do every morning) on the Gospel of St. John. Many Presbyterians and Anabaptists came to hear. Afterwards I transcribed some of the rules of our Society for the use of our (future) brethren here. In the evening I expounded on ‘Blessed are those that mourn’ at Nicholas Street Society. I hope God spake to the hearts of many there.

The next day the audience increased at Newgate. At four in the afternoon I offered the free grace of God from those words, ‘I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely,’ to about fifteen hundred in a plain near Baptist Mills, a sort of suburb or village, not far from Bristol; where many, if not most, of the inhabitants are Papists. Oh may they effectually lay hold on the one Mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus!

About seven in the evening, three women who desire only to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified (Mrs. Norman, Mrs. Grevil, and Mrs. Panou) agreed to meet together once a week, to confess their faults to one another, and pray one for another, that they may be healed. And Mrs. Panou desired she might propose their design to her two sisters, and offer them the liberty of joining with them. At eight Samuel Wathen (surgeon), Richard Cross (upholsterer), Charles Bonner (distiller), and Thomas Westall (carpenter) met and agreed to do the same; who also desired they might make the offer of joining with them to three or four of their acquaintance. If this work be not of God, let it come to naught. If it be, who shall overthrow it

On Thursday, at five in the evening, I began the Epistle to the Romans at a Society in Castle Street, where, after the expounding, a poor man gave glory to God by openly confessing the things he had done. About eight a young woman of Nicholas Street Society sunk down as one dead; we prayed for her, and she soon revived, and went home strengthened and comforted both in body and in spirit.

A Presbyterian minister was with us at Newgate on Friday and Saturday. On Friday evening we were at a Society without Lawford's Gate, where, the yard being full as well as the house, I expounded part of the 1st chapter of the First Epistle of St. John at the window. On Saturday evening Weavers’ Hall was quite full. A soldier was present at the preaching on Monday, two at the expounding on several of the following days, and five or six this evening. I declared to them all ’that they were damned sinners, but that the gospel was the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’

Beginning at seven (an hour earlier than usual) at the Bowling Green (which is in the heart of the city) yesterday morning, there were not, I believe, above a thousand or twelve hundred persons present. And the day being very cold and stormy (beside that much rain had fallen in the night) many who designed it were hindered from going to Hanham Mount, which is at least four miles distant from the town. Between ten and eleven I began preaching the gospel there in a meadow on the top of the hill. Five or six hundred people from Bristol (of whom several were Quakers) were. there, and (I imagine) about a thousand of the colliers. I called to them in the words of Isaiah, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.'

On Rose Green (which is a plain upon the top of an high hill) are several small hills, where the old coal-pits were. On the edge of one of these I stood in the afternoon, and cried in the name of my Master, ' If any man thirst, let him come unto Me. and drink. He that believeth on Me (as the Scripture hath said) out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' About five thousand were present, many of 'whom received the word gladly, and all with deep attention.

From thence we went to the Society in Baldwin Street, whose room containing but a small part of the company, we opened the doors and windows, by which means all that was spoken of the true Christian life described in the end of the and chapter of the Acts was heard clearly by those in the next room, and on the leads, and in the court below, and in the opposite house and the passage under it. Several of the soldiers and of the rich were there; and verily the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

My dear brethren, who among you writes first to strengthen our hands in God Where is our brother Bray and Fish, and whosoever else finds his heart moved to send unto us the word of exhortation You should no more be wanting in your instructions to than your prayers for

Your affectionate but weak brother.

To James Hutton

BRISTOL, April 16, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN, -- Sunday, April 8, about eight in the evening, Mr. Wathen and his brethren met and received several persons into their little Society. After prayer their leaders were chose and the bands fixed by lot in the order following:

I Band. Richard Leg (haberdasher), leader; Thomas Mitchell, Charles Bonner, William Wynne, Richard Cross.

II Band. Jo. Palmer, leader; James Lewis, John Davis, James Smith, William Waters.

III Band. Henry Crawley (barber), leader; Thomas Harding, John Wiggins, Samuel Wathen, Thomas Westall.

It was farther agreed that a few other persons then mentioned might be admitted into the Society.

Monday, April 9, at two in the afternoon, Mrs. Panou and Mrs. Grevil met together with Esther Deschamps and Mary Anne Page (Mrs. Panou's sisters), whom they then received as sisters, and Esther Deschamps was by lot chose leader of the band, which stood as follows:

Esther Deschamps, J. Panou, M. Page, Eliz. Davis (then proposed and admitted), and Eliz. Grevil.

At five in the evening, Anne Williams, Mary Reynolds, Eliz. Ryan, Esther Highham, Frances Wilds, and Rachel England met together and agreed to meet every Sunday; Anne Williams was chose their leader.

The Assizes prevented my preaching at Newgate this week, except only on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday at four I preached to three or four thousand people at the Brickyard on ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ On Tuesday about one, having sent our brethren Easy and Purdy before, I set out for Bath. Soon after I came in, the person who rented the ground, where many people were met, sent me word ‘I should not preach on his ground. If I did, he would arrest me.’ Presently after, a good woman sent to tell me I was welcome to preach on hers. Thither we went at five. It is a meadow on the side of the hill, close to the town, so that they could see us from Lady Cox's [See letter of March 7, 1738.] in the square plainly. Here I offered God's free grace to about two thousand souls. At eight in the evening I preached remission of sins to many casual hearers, from some steps at the end of an house in Gracious Street. Griffith Jones [Griffith Jones, Rector of Llandowror, instituted the circulating Welsh Free Schools, to teach the poor to read Welsh and to give religious instruction. He maintained these schools by subscriptions for twenty-four years, and when he died in 1761 they numbered more than 3,000, and had 158,000 scholars, some of whom were sixty years old. See Tyerman's Whitefield, i. 189-90n.] was one of them, who afterwards refreshed us with his company about an hour at our inn.

On Wednesday morning Mr. Chapman [See heading to letter of March 29, 1737.] stayed with us a while, to whom we spake the truth in love. At ten I preached in the meadow again, to, I judge, about two thousand five hundred. At four I offered Jesus Christ as our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption to above three thousand. At seven all the women in band met together, and, having received Mary Cutler into fellowship with them, spent the evening in conference and prayer. At eight the bands of men met at the Society room in Baldwin Street, and received into fellowship with them William Lewis, James Robins, Kenelm Chandler, Anthony Williams, and Thomas Robins. The remainder of the evening was spent in singing, conference, and prayer.

Thursday, 12th, we went to pitch on a proper place upon Rose Green, to raise a little place for me to stand on in preaching. At the Societies in the evening there was great power, and many were convinced of sin; but I believe more on Friday evening at both the Societies.

On Saturday I waited on one of the clergy of this city, who had sent me word, ‘I was welcome to preach in his church if I would tell nobody of it’; but he had altered his mind, and told me now ‘he could not let me preach.’ [John Gibbs, Vicar of St. Mary Redcliffe 1704-44. See Journal, ii. 179d.] At four I began preaching on the steps at the door of the Poorhouse; four or five hundred of the richer sort were within, and I believe fifteen hundred or two thousand without. About an hour and half I spent with them in prayer and in explaining and applying those words, ‘When they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.’

Weavers’ Hall was quite filled in the evening, and many, I trust, were cut off from their confidence in the flesh. On Sunday morning I applied the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican to six or seven thousand attentive hearers in the Bowling Green. It rained, till I began preaching on Han-ham Mount. Therefore I stood near the door of the house (in which we put the women); three thousand (at least) were content to stand without. I preached at Newgate after dinner to a crowded audience. Between four and five we went (notwithstanding the rain) to Rose Green. It rained hard at Bristol; but not a drop fell on us while I preached, from the fullness which was given me, to about five thousand souls, 'Jesus Christ, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.’

At six, being with the Lawford’s Gate Society, I did not go up into the room, but stood on a table below; by which means not only all in the room and shop, but those in the yard and entries could hear; to whom I declared that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.’

I am still dead and cold, unless while I am speaking. Write often to and pray much for, my dear brethren,

Your poor brother.

PS.--Having a desire to receive an holy woman of deep experience into the female bands, we doubted what to do because she is a Dissenter. The answer we received from Scripture was Galatians iii. 8. This seemed clear. However, having determined to cast lots, we did so, and our direction was, ‘Refer it to the bands (at London), to be decided by lot.’

To James Hutton

BRISTOL. April 26, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHREN,--On Sunday evening, the 15th, the women had their first lovefeast.

On Monday about three thousand were at the Brickyard. In the evening the brother of the person who owns it told me 'his brother did not care I should be there any more, and desired me to look out for some other place.' There was much power at the Society this night.

Tuesday, 17th, at three in the afternoon, eleven unmarried women met at Mrs. Grevil's, [The sister of the Rev. George Whitefield. She lived in Wine Street, Bristol, and John Wesley lodged there for some weeks on his coming to the city.] and desired three others might be admitted among them. They were then divided into three bands.

The same day we were with the two prisoners who are under sentence of death, the younger of whom seemed much awakened. At five I was at a Society where I had not been before. The upper room in which we were was propped beneath; but the weight of people made the floor give way, so that in the beginning of the expounding the post which propped it fell down with much noise. However, we stayed together till seven. I then went to Baldwin Street Society, where it was much impressed upon me to claim the promise of the Father for some that heard it, if the doctrine was of God. A young woman (named Cornish) was the first who felt that our prayer was heard, being after a short agony fully set at liberty; the next was another young woman (Eliz. Holder); the third was one Jane Worlock; the last (a stranger in Bristol), John Ellis, was so filled with the Holy Ghost that he scarce knew whether he was in the body or out of the body. He is now gone home to declare the marvelous works of the Lord. Behold how He giveth us above what we can ask or think! When Miss Cornish began to be in pain, we asked God to give us a living witness that signs and wonders were now wrought by the name of His holy child Jesus. We asked for one, and He hath given us four.

Wednesday, 18th, about two thousand five hundred were present at Baptist Mills. At six the female bands met and admitted Lucretia Smith (late a Quaker, who was baptized the day before), Rebecca Morgan (deeply mourning), Elis,. Holder, Hannah Cornish, Jane Worlock, and Mary Cutler. Lucretia Smith was by lot chose leader. At seven, all the female bands being met together, Rebecca Morgan received the promise of the Father.

At eight the men met and received into fellowship with them Richard Hereford (leader), William Farnell, Jo. Goslin, Jos. Ellis, Capel Gilas, Thomas Oldfield, and John Purdy.

Likewise William Lewis was by lot added to the first, Kenelm Chandler to the second, and James Robins to the third band.

Then the married band was filled up as follows: John Brooks (a soldier), leader; Jo. Williams, Thomas Arnot (a soldier), William Davis, Anthony Williams, and Thomas Robins. But Thomas Robins has since declined meeting.

Two boys were also admitted: Thomas Davis, aged fourteen, and Deschamps Panou, aged ten; both of whom ‘have found the Savior in their hearts.’

Thursday, 19th, Mr. Griffith Jones called in his return to Wales, and went with us to Castle Street Society, where two were deeply convinced of sin. At seven several in Nicholas Street received much comfort. On Good Friday, at five in the evening, Mr. Wathen's mistress received remission of sins; as at seven did Samuel Goodson and Anne Holton, who had long been in heaviness. On Easter Eve the rain obliged me to preach in the Poorhouse (not at the door, as usual). While we were afterwards in prayer at Weavers' Hall, a young man was seized with a violent trembling, and in a few minutes sunk down on the ground. We prayed on, and he was soon raised up again. On Easter Day was a thorough rain, so that we could not stand in the Bowling Green nor in the open air at Hanham Mount. All I could do was to preach at Newgate at eight in the morning and two in the afternoon, and to as many as the house would hold at Hanham at eleven in the forenoon. In the afternoon we likewise gathered at an house near Rose Green as many of the neighbors as we could together, after which we had a large company at Nicholas Street, where many were wounded and many comforted.

Every day this week I have been out of town, which prevented my writing sooner. Pray ye much that, after I have preached to others, I may not myself be a castaway.--I am, my dear brethren, Your ever affectionate brother.

To James Hutton [9]

BRISTOL, April 30, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN, -- Monday, the 23rd, about twenty-four of us walked to Pensford, a little town five or six miles off, where a Society is begun, five of whose members were with us at Baldwin Street the Tuesday before. We sent to the minister to desire the use of the church; and after waiting some time and receiving no answer, being neither able to get into the church nor the churchyard, we began singing praise to God in the street. Many people gathered about us, with whom we removed to the market-place, where from the top of a wall I called to them in the name of our Master, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.’ At four in the afternoon we met about four thousand people in another brickyard, a little nearer the city. To these I declared, ' The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and they that hear shall live.’

The rain on Tuesday morning made them not expect me at Bath; so that we had not above a thousand or twelve hundred in the meadow. After preaching, we read over the rules and fixed two bands, one of men and one of women. The men are Joseph Feachem (a man full of the Holy Ghost), Mr. Bush, Mr. Cotton, and Mr. Richards (of Oxford). The women are Rebecca Thomas (one of Lady Cox's servants), Sarah Bush, Grace Bond, Mary Spenser (mourning, and refusing to be comforted), and Margaret Dolling. Their general meeting is on Tuesday, their particular meeting on Monday evening, at five o'clock.

A gray-headed old man, one Dibble, a silversmith, at eleven gladly received me into his house, where I preached on the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, at the window of an upper room, to those in the yard and street as well as the house. At four in the afternoon I met the colliers by appointment at a place about the middle of Kingswood called Two-Mile-Hill. After preaching to two or three thousand, we went to the stone our brother Whitefield laid. [See letter of April 9,n, to his brother Charles.] I think it cannot be better placed. ‘Tis just in the middle of the wood, two mile every way from either church or school. I wish he would write to me, positively and decisively, that 'for this reason he would have the first school there, or as near it as possible.’ In the evening, at Baldwin Street, John Bush received remission of sins.

I was now in some doubt how to proceed. Our dear brethren, before I left London, and our brother Whitefield here, and our brother Chapman since, had conjured me to enter into no disputes, least of all concerning Predestination, because this people was so deeply prejudiced for it. The same was my own inclination. But this evening I received a long letter (almost a month after date) charging me roundly with ' resisting and perverting the truth as it is in Jesus' by preaching against God's decree of predestination. I had not done so yet; but I questioned whether I ought not now to declare the whole counsel of God: especially since that letter had been long handed about in Bristol before it was sealed and brought to me, together with another, wherein also the writer exhorts his friends to avoid me as a false teacher. However, I thought it best to walk gently, and so said nothing this day.

Wednesday, 25th, I dined at Frenchay, about four miles from Bristol, at Anthony Purver's, a Quaker, one of much experience in the ways of God. At four I believe about four thousand people were present at Baptist Mills, to whom (as God enabled me) I expounder that scripture, 'Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.' At seven, the female bands meeting, four new members were proposed. One was accepted, and the rest postponed, of whom one has now shown what spirit she was of by turning a most bitter opposer. At eight, the men meeting, several new members were proposed, some of whom were postponed, and eight admitted upon trial.

Thursday, 26th, preaching at Newgate on those words, 'He that believeth hath everlasting life,' I was led, I know not how, to speak strongly and explicitly of Predestination, and then to pray 'that if I spake not the truth of God, He would stay His hand, and work no more among us. If this was His truth, He would not delay to confirm it by signs following.' Immediately the power of God fell upon us: one, and another, and another sunk to the earth; you might see them dropping on all sides as thunder-struck. One cried out aloud. I went and prayed over her, and she received joy in the Holy Ghost. A second falling into the same agony, we turned to her, and received for her also the promise of the Father. In the evening I made the same appeal to God, and almost before we called He answered. A young woman was seized with such pangs as I never saw before; and in a quarter of an hour she had a new song in her mouth, a thanksgiving unto our God.

This day, I being desirous to speak little, but our brother Purdy pressing me to speak and spare not, we made four lots, and desired our Lord to show what He would have me to do. The answer was, ‘Preach and print.’ Let Him see to the event.

At midnight we were waked with a cry of fire. It was two doom [away], and, being soon discovered, was soon extinguished.

Friday, 27th, all Newgate was in an uproar again, and two women received the Spirit of adoption, to the utter astonishment of all and the entire conviction of some who before doubted.

At four on Saturday five-and-twenty hundred (I suppose) were at the Poorhouse. My spirit was enlarged to pray for the rich that were there, especially ‘that our Lord would show them they were poor sinners.’ At night many were convinced of sin and one received remission of sins at Weavers' Hall.

On Sunday morning (being so directed again by lot) I declared openly for the first hour against ‘the horrible decree’ before about four thousand persons at the Bowling Green. I then went to Clifton (a little mile off), and thence to a little plain near Hanham Mount, being desired by some of the neigh-hours to remove thither. About three thousand or three thousand five hundred were present. Thence I went to Clifton again. The church was more than full at the prayers and sermon, as was the churchyard at the burial that followed. From Clifton we went straight to Rose Green, where were upwards of seven thousand; and thence to the Society at Gloucester Lane, where also were many that have this world's goods. Two very fine young women, who came in a chariot, stood close to the table on which I was, and patiently heard me expound on the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. And one or two were seized with strong pangs, which, I hope, has before now ended in true comfort. Thence we went to our lovefeast in Baldwin Street, where the spirit of love was present with us.

Praise ye the Lord, who reneweth my bodily strength. May I feel in my soul that He is my strength and my salvation!

Your affectionate brother.

To James Hutton

BRISTOL, May 7, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN, -- We understood on Monday that the Keeper of Newgate was much offended at the cries of the people on whom the power of God came. And so was a physician, who wishes well to the cause of God, but feared there might be some fraud or delusion in the case. To-day one who had been his patient and his acquaintance for many years was seized in the same manner. At first he would hardly believe his own eyes and ears; but when her pangs redoubled, so that all her bones shook, he knew not what to think; and when she revived in a moment and sang praise, he owned it was the finger of God.

Another that sat close to Mr. Dagge, [Abel Dagge, Keeper of Newgate and a convert of Whitefield's. See Journal, ii. 173n; and letter of Jan. 2, 1761.] a middle-aged woman, was seized at the same time. Many observed the tears trickle down his cheeks; and I trust he will be no more offended.

Tuesday, May. 1, I went to the colliers in the middle of Kingswood, and prayed with them (several being in tears) in a place formerly a cock-pit, near which it was agreed to build the schoolhouse, being close to the place where the stone was laid by our brother Whitefield. Many were offended at Baldwin Street in the evening; for the power of God came mightily upon us. Many who were in heaviness received the comforts of the Holy One, and ten persons remission of sins. A Quaker who stood by was very angry at them, and was biting his lips and knitting his brows, when the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he fell down as one dead. We prayed over him, and he soon lifted up his head with joy and joined with us in thanksgiving.

Wednesday, 2nd, another mourner received comfort at Newgate. We afterwards went to a neighboring house, to read a letter wrote against me as a false teacher for opposing Predestination. A rigid asserter of it was present when a young woman came in (who had received remission of sins) all in tears and in deep anguish of spirit. She said she had been in torment all night by reasoning, and verily believed the devil had possession of her again. In the midst of our prayers she cried out, ‘He is gone, he is gone: I again rejoice in God my Savior.’ Just as we rose from giving thanks, another young woman reeled four or five steps and then dropped down. We prayed with her; she is now in deep poverty of spirit, groaning day and night for a new heart.

I did not mention that one John Haydon, a weaver, was quite enraged at what had occurred in Baldwin Street, and had labored above measure to convince all his acquaintance that it was all a delusion of the devil. We were now going home, when one met us and informed us that John Haydon was fallen raving mad. It seems he had sat down with an intention to dine, but had a mind first to end the sermon on Salvation by Faith. At the last page he suddenly changed color, fell off his chair, and began screaming terribly and beating himself against the ground. I came to him between one and two, and found him on the ground, the room being full of people, whom his wife would have kept away; but he cried out, ‘No; let them all come; let all the world see the just judgment of God.’ Two or three were holding him as well as they could. He immediately fixed his eyes upon me, and, stretching out his arm, said, ‘Aye, this is he I said was a deceiver of the people. But God has overtaken me. I said it was a delusion; but this is no delusion.’ Then he roared aloud, ‘O thou devil! thou cursed devil! yea, thou legion of devils! thou canst not stay in me. Christ will cast thee out. I know His work is begun. Tear me to pieces, if thou wilt; but thou canst not hurt me.’ He then beat himself again against the ground, and with violent sweats and heavings of the breast strained as it were to vomit (which, with many other symptoms I have since observed in others at or near the time of their deliverance, much inclines me to think the evil spirit actually dwells in every one till he receives the Holy Ghost). After we had been praying about half an hour, he was set at liberty.

From him I went to Baptist Mills, where about two thousand persons stayed, notwithstanding several showers. I testified to them the holiness and happiness of true believers from those words of St. Peter, ‘Him hath God exalted . . . to give unto Israel repentance and remission of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that believe Him.’ Returning to John Haydon, we found his body quite worn out and his voice lost; but his soul was in peace, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, and full of love and the Holy Ghost. [See Journal, ii. 189.]

The female bands meeting at seven, and a young woman complaining of blasphemous thoughts and an inability to pray, we began praying for her, during which another young woman (Miss [Elizabeth] Cutler) fell into a strong agony, and received power in a few minutes to cry out, ‘My Lord and my God!’ The next day I visited Anthony Purver [See previous letter.] (a Quaker) at Frenchay; with whom was a Dutchman, lately arrived from Ireland, who I verily think is full of the Spirit and breathes nothing but Jesus Christ. On Friday evening at Gloucester Lane Society a woman [Mrs. England.] received remission of sins.

Saturday, 5th, six Quakers, three from Ireland, one from the North, and two from Frenchay, met six of us by appointment. We prayed together, and our hearts were much enlarged towards one another. At four (being forbid to preach any more at the Poorhouse) I preached at the Bowling Green to about two thousand on those words (at the request of an unknown friend), 'Be still, and know that I am God.'

Sunday, 6th, I preached in the Bowling Green to about seven thousand on Matthew xviii. 3; on Hanham Mount to about three thousand on Galatians iii. 22 (after a young woman had received remission of sins); at Clifton to a church full and many hundred in the churchyard on Christ our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and at Rose Green to about five thousand on ‘The scripture hath concluded all under sin, &c.’

O my dear, dear brethren, pray that, when I have preached to others, I may not myself be a castaway!

To James Hutton [10]

BRISTOL, May 8, 1739.

DEAR JEMMY, -- You seem to forget what I told you: (1) that, being unwilling to speak against Predestination, we appealed to God, and I was by lot commanded to preach and print against it [See letter of April 30.]; (2) that, the very first time I preached against it explicitly, the power of God so fell on those that heard as we have never known before, either in Bristol or London or elsewhere. Yet generally I speak on faith, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Our brother Seward promised to give us five hundred or a thousand Homilies to give away. These are better than all our sermons put together. Adieu!

Brother Hutton, you are desired to send our brother Wesley six of Dr. James Knight's [See letter of Jan. 13, 1735.] Sermons (Vicar of St. Sepulchre's) as soon as you can. It would be better to send our brother Wesley's sermons on Faith. They are the best to lay the foundation.

To his Brother Samuel

BRISTOL, May 10, 1739.

DEAR BROTHER, -- The having abundance of work upon my hands is only a cause of my not writing sooner. The cause was rather my unwillingness to continue an unprofitable dispute.

The gospel promises to you and me, and our children, and all that are afar off, even as many of those whom the Lord our God shall call as are not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, 'the witness of God's Spirit with their spirit that they are the children of God’ [See letters of Nov. 30, 1738, and Jan. 1739.]; that they are now at this hour all accepted in the Beloved: but it witnesses not that they shall be. It is an assurance of present salvation only; therefore not necessarily perpetual, neither irreversible.

I am one of many witnesses of this matter of fact, that God does now make good this His promise daily, very frequently during a representation (how made I know not, but not to the outward eye) of Christ either hanging on the cross or standing on the right hand of God. And this I know to be of God, because from that hour the person so affected is a new creature both as to his inward tempers and outward life. ‘Old things are passed away, and all things become new.’

A very late instance of this I will give you. While we were praying at a Society here, on Tuesday the 1st instant, the power of God (so I call it) came so mightily among us that one, and another, and another fell down as thunder-struck. In that hour many that were in deep anguish of spirit were all filled with peace and joy. Ten persons, till then in sin, doubt, and fear, found such a change that sin had no more dominion over them; and, instead of the spirit of fear, they are now filled with that of love and joy and a sound mind. A Quaker who stood by was very angry at them, and was biting his lips and knitting his brows, when the Spirit of God came upon him also, so that he fell down as one dead. We prayed over him, and he soon lifted up his head with joy and joined with us in thanksgiving.

A bystander, one John Haydon, was quite enraged at this, and, being unable to deny something supernatural in it, labored beyond measure to convince all his acquaintance that it was a delusion of the devil. I was met in the street the next day by one who informed me that John Haydon was fallen raving mad. It seems he had sat down to dinner, but wanted first to make an end of a sermon he was reading. At the last page he suddenly changed color, fell off his chair, and began screaming terribly and beating himself against the ground. I found him on the floor, the room being full of people, whom his wife would have kept away; but he cried out, ‘No; let them all come; let all the world see the just judgment of God.’ Two or three were holding him as well-as they could. He immediately fixed his eyes on me, and said, ‘Aye, this is he I said deceived the people; but God hath overtaken me. I said it was a delusion of the devil; but this is no delusion.’ Then he roared aloud, ‘O thou devil! thou cursed devil! yea, thou legion of devils! thou canst not stay in me. Christ will cast thee out. I know His work is begun. Tear me to pieces if thou wilt; but thou canst not hurt me.’ He then beat himself again, and groaned again, with violent sweats and heaving of the breast. We prayed with him, and God put a new song in his mouth. The words were, which he pronounced with a clear, strong voice: ‘This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from this time forth for evermore.’ I called again an hour after. We found his body quite worn out and his voice lost. But his soul was full of joy and love, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.

I am now in as good health (thanks be to God) as I ever was since I remember, and I believe shall be so as long as I live; for I do not expect to have a lingering death. The reasons that induce me to think I shall not live long [enough to be] old are such as you would not apprehend to be of any weight. I am under no concern on this head. Let my Master see to it.

Oh may the God of love be with you and my sister more and more! -- I am, dear brother,

Your ever affectionate Brother.

To James Hutton [11]

BRISTOL, May 14, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHREN, -- On Monday, the 7th instant, about twelve of us met at six in the morning at our room in Baldwin Street. Others came after; some of whom were employed until six in the evening in intercession, prayer, and thanksgiving.

About eight I was preparing to go to Pensford (the minister having sent me word I was welcome to preach in either of his churches), when a messenger brought me the following note:

SIR,--Our minister, being informed you are beside yourself, does not care you should preach in any of his churches.

We found, however, a very convenient place on Priest-down, near Publow, half a mile from Pensford, where was an attentive, serious congregation. But many of them appeared not a little amazed at hearing that strange doctrine that.

‘Christ is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’

About four thousand were afterwards at the Brickyard, whom I exhorted ‘to become as little children.’

After preaching at Newgate the next morning, I set out for Bath. We were turned out of the ground where I used to preach. But God opened the heart of a Quaker (one Richard Merchant) to offer me his ground, where I preached ‘Christ our wisdom’ to a thousand or fifteen hundred people. Afterwards he called me aside and said, ‘My friend, deal freely with me. I have much money, and it may be thou hast little. Tell me what thou wilt have.’ I accepted his love, after expounding at Mr. Dibble's window to many in the house and many out of it. O pray ye for the soul of Richard Merchant!

On Wednesday, 9th, after the service at Newgate, we took possession of the ground where the room is to be built. [See Journal, ii. 194n; and letter of April 27, 1741, to Whitefield.] We have also articled to pay the workmen about 160 pounds as soon as it is finished. As to the money, God will see to that. At four I was much enlarged at Baptist Mills, in recommending the childlike temper. The company was about two thousand or two thousand five hundred, our usual congregation there. It was this evening agreed at our Society that the leaders of the bands meet together at 5.30 every Wednesday evening.

The next day, several curious persons being at Nicholas Street, and a fine lady among the rest, I was desired in a note given me to pray for her; and she was ‘almost persuaded to be a Christian.’

Friday, 11th, as we were going to the second Society in the evening, we were desired to call upon a young woman who was in the agonies of despair. With much difficulty we brought her to the Society; where, almost as soon as we began praying for her, the enemy was cast out, and she was filled with peace and joy in believing.

Saturday, 12th, Mr. Labbe, who had been often in doubt, chiefly from the objections his wife made, was quite astonished at Newgate; for God overtook her there, so that she knew she was accepted in the Beloved. Thence we went and laid the first stone of our house with the voice of praise and thanksgiving. Three or four thousand were present at the Bowling Green this afternoon; and at Weavers’ Hall in the evening, in answer to our prayers ‘that our Lord would then show whether He was willing that all men should be saved,’ three persons immediately sunk down, and in a short time were raised up and set at liberty.

Sunday, 13th, about six thousand were at the Bowling Green, where I explained the beginning of the 13th of the First of Corinthians. At Hanham I ended my sermon on ‘The scripture hath concluded all under sin, &c.’ to about four thousand, our usual congregation. The church at Clifton was much too small for us in the afternoon; but those who were without could hear as well as they within. About six thousand were at Rose Green, where I was desired by a young woman to go into her chariot, whom I found quite awakened, and longing for Christ, after having been for some years the finest, gayest thing in Bristol. She came with me to Gloucester Lane Society, where God overtook her three or four weeks ago. Here a young woman, after strong pangs, received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

My dear brethren, pray much for and write all of you to

Your weak but loving brother.

Dear Jemmy, send me fifty more Hymns immediately. I give the Homilies [See letter of May 8.] and sell the sermons on Free Grace. Is that right Adieu!

[This note is written on the outside of the letter by someone who had carried out the commission:]

‘B. W.'s [Brother Wesley's] things is left at the Inn by Hobburn bridge.’

To James Hutton

BRISTOL, May 28, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN,--On Sunday, the 13th, I began expounding the 13th of the First of Corinthians at the Bowling Green. [On Saturdays and Sundays Wesley preached a course of sermons on Charity at the Bowling Green (where All Saints and Wellington Streets now stand). See entries in Diary; and next letter.] About six thousand were present. More than half that number were at Hanharn Mount, to whom I explained ‘the promise by faith of Jesus Christ’; as I did to about six thousand at Rose Green after I came from Clifton, where it pleased our good God to give me a strong mouth in speaking on those words, ‘He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whoso drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water which I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’

Monday, 14th, about five thousand were at the Brickyard, whom I exhorted to be ‘as little children.’ Three mourners were comforted this evening, as was one the night before.

Mrs. Labbe (educated as an Anabaptist) was baptized the next day and filled with the Holy .Ghost. At three in the afternoon I preached at Two-Mile-Hill on those words of Isaiah (upon which the book opened) [Here a line is left blank in the letter.] ....

Afterwards we went to look out a proper place for the school, and at last pitched on one between the London and Bath Roads. Soon after five I began expounding at the Back Lane on the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; but, the house being too small, I stood in a little garden at one end of the lane, so that all who were in the lane or at the windows or on the adjoining walls (about a thousand) could hear well. The power of God fell on several of those that heard, one or two of whom were soon comforted; as were three others at the Society in Baldwin Street. About ten, two that had before been comforted, but were in heaviness again, came to Mrs. Grevil. We prayed, and they were again filled with peace and joy in believing.

Wednesday, 16th, the rain prevented many from coming to Baptist Mills; but twelve or fifteen hundred stayed. While I was taking occasion from those words of Isaiah, chap. liii. verses 5 and 6, to call poor sinners to Christ, a young man began beating his breast and strongly crying out for mercy. During our prayer God put a new song in his mouth. Some mocked, and others believed, particularly a maid servant of Baptist Mills, who went home full of anguish, and is now full of peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The portion of scripture which came (in turn) to be explained to-day at Newgate was the former part of the 7th of St. John. The words I was led chiefly to insist on were, ‘The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.... And there was murmuring concerning Him among the multitude. For some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.’ When I was going out, a message was delivered me ‘that the Sheriffs had ordered I should preach there for the future but once a week.’

I called on Thursday at the house of one [Mr. Godly. See Journal, ii. 200d, 204d.] who said I had driven his daughter mad, and indeed as such they used her, confining her and obliging her to take physic. He would not suffer me to come in. But we went to prayers for him; and in two days God turned his heart, so that he has now set her at liberty.

On Friday I began preaching in a large, convenient room, [Journal ii. 200d: ‘11 preached at the Dial.’] which held near as many as the chapel at Newgate; which I did for three days. And then the Mayor and Aldermen (to whom the tenant was in debt) sent and put a padlock on the door.

We had a sweet day in Baldwin Street on Saturday. In the afternoon about two thousand were at the Bowling Green. I wish you would constantly send me extracts of all your foreign letters, to be read on our Intercession Day. At Weavers’ Hall a young woman first and then a boy (about fourteen years old) were deeply bruised and afterwards comforted.

At the Bowling Green on Sunday we had about seven thousand. To two thousand at Hanham I explained the same scripture (1 Cor. xiii.). Seeing at Clifton Church [Journal, ii. 201. He was assisting the Rev. John Hedges, the incumbent, and preached for him on the Sunday afternoons of April 29, May 6, 13, and 20, and conducted marriages.] many of the great and rich, my heart was enlarged and my mouth opened toward them. My Testament opened on those words, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ The power of the Lord was indeed present to heal them!

His sending forth lightning with the rain did not hinder about fifteen. hundred poor sinners from staying with me at Rose Green. Our scripture was, ‘It is the glorious God that maketh the thunder. The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice,’ In the evening God spake to the hearts of three that were sore vexed, and there ensued a sweet calm.

Monday, 21st, the minister of Clifton died. Oh what has God done by adding those four weeks to his life! In the afternoon, as I was enforcing those words, ‘Be still, and know that I am God,’ He began to make bare His arm in the eyes of two thousand five hundred witnesses. One, and another, and another were struck to the earth; and in less than an hour seven knew the Lord and gave thanks. I was interrupted in my speaking on the same subject at Nicholas Street by the cries of one that was cut to the heart. I then recapitulated what God had done among us already in proof of His free love to all men. Another dropped down close to one who was a rigid asserter of the opposite doctrine. While he stood astonished at-her cries and groans, a little boy standing by was seized in the same manner. A young man who was near smiled at this, and sunk down as one dead; but soon began to roar out and beat himself against the ground, so that six men could scarce hold him. [‘His name was Thomas Maxfield’ (Journal, ii. 203). See Telford's Wesley, pp. 214-16; and letters of April 21, 1741, and Nov. 2, 1762.] I never saw any one (except John Haydon) so torn by the evil one. Before he was delivered many others began to cry out, so that all the room (and indeed all the street) was in an uproar. And it was near ten before the Spirit of life set some of them free from the law of sin and death.

A Presbyterian (who a little before was much offended) took me home with him to supper; whence I was called in haste to a woman who had run out of the Society for fear she should expose herself; but the power of God went with her, so that she continued in the same agony till we prayed and she found rest in Christ. We then besought our Lord for one that was sick in the same house, and her soul was straightway healed. About twelve we were importuned to visit one more. She had only one struggle after we came, and then was comforted. I think twenty-nine in all were accepted in the Beloved this day. Brethren, pray for us. Adieu.

To James Hutton

BRISTOL, June 4, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN, -- Tuesday, 22nd, about a thousand were present at Bath, and several fine gay things among them, whom I exhorted in St. Paul's words, 'Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead; and Christ shall give thee light.' The next morning I was sent for to the young woman whose relations had confined her as mad. They now agreed she should go where she would, and seem themselves ‘not far from the kingdom of God.’[See previous letter.]

I preached to about two thousand on Wednesday at Baptist Mills on ‘Hear what the unjust judge saith.’ In the evening the female bands admitted seven women on trial and ten children; and Eliz. Cutler and six other women, having been on trial their month, were by lot fixed in their several bands. At eight we received into our Society (after the month's trial) Jonathan Reeves [Jonathan Reeves was afterwards ordained and appointed the first chaplain of the Magdalen Hospital in June 1758, and held that position till 1764. He afterwards had a curacy in Whitechapel. See Compston's Magdalen Hospital, pp. 46, 63; Stamp's Orphan House, p. 41; Atmore's Memorial, pp. 345-6; and letter of Dec. 10, 1751.] and six others, who at the lovefeast on the 27th instant were by lot fixed in their bands. We then received upon trial John Haydon and eight other men, and Thomas Hamilton (aged fourteen) with four other children.

Thursday, 24th, we breakfasted at Richard Champion's, [See Journal, ii. 204d; W.H.S. v. 6. R. Champion (1743-91), the founder of the pottery works at. Bristol, where the ‘British China Ware’ was made, was perhaps his son.] where were eight or nine other Quakers. We had a mild conference on justification by faith alone, concluded with prayer, and both met and parted in love. At three I preached again on Priestdown, near Publow, to a larger congregation than before, on ‘The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.’

On Friday I preached (the first time) at the Fishponds, on the edge of Kingswood, about two mile from Bristol, on the same words, to about a thousand souls. The next morning one came to us in deep despair. We prayed together an hour, and he went away in peace. About two thousand (as is usual on Saturdays) were at the Bowling Green, to whom, and to about six thousand on Sunday morning, I farther explained the great law of love. To about two thousand five hundred at Hanham I preached on Isaiah liii. 5-6; at Rose Green, to upwards of ten thousand, on ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.’ At the Society in the evening at Gloucester Lane eleven were cut to the heart and soon after comforted.

Monday, 28th, I began preaching in the morning at Weavers’ Hall, where two persons received remission of sins; as did seven in the afternoon at the Brickyard, before several thousand witnesses; and ten at Baldwin-Street in the evening, of whom two were children.

On Tuesday in the afternoon I preached at Two-Mile-Hill to about a thousand of the colliers; and at five expounded to about the same number in the Back Lane at John Haydon's door. The next morning a young woman (late a Quaker) was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. In the afternoon I (unknowingly) fell in with a famous infidel, [See Journal, ii. 206n.] a champion of the unfaithful in these parts. He was shocked, desired I would pray for him, and promised to pray earnestly himself that God would show him the right way to serve Him.

We went from him to Baptist Mills. Two or three thousand were present; on whom I enforced those words on which my

Testament opened: ‘And all the people which heard Him, and the publicans, justified God .... But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves.’

On Holy Thursday many of us went to King's Weston Hill, four or five miles from Bristol. As we were sitting on the grass two gentlemen went by; and by way of jest sent up many persons to us from the neighboring villages, to whom therefore I took occasion to speak on those words, 'Thou hast ascended up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, &c.' In the evening, our landlady in Baldwin Street not permitting us to meet there any more, we had our second Society at Weavers' Hall; where I preached the next morning also. In the afternoon I was at a new brickyard, where were twelve or fifteen hundred. The rain was so violent on Saturday that our congregation in the Bowling Green consisted of only nine hundred or a thousand. But in the morning we had about seven thousand, to whom I described (in concluding the subject) a truly charitable man.

At Hanham were about three thousand, to whom I explained those words, ‘That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God.’ The same I again insisted on at Rose Green, to (I believe) eight or nine thousand. We could not meet in the evening at Nicholas Street; but we made shift to do so in the shell of our schoolroom, without and within which (I suppose) about two thousand or two thousand five hundred were present. [In the Horsefair. See letter of May 14.] We had a glorious beginning; the scripture that came in turn to be read was, ‘Marvel not if the world hate you.’ We sung, ‘Arm of the Lord, awake, awake.’ [In J. and C. Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739).] And God, even our own God, gave us His blessing.

Farewell in the Lord, my dear brethren; and love one another!

To James Hutton [12]

BRISTOL, June 7, 1739.

MY DEAR BRETHERN, -- After I came from preaching at Weavers, Hall on Monday, many came to advise me in great sincerity 'not to go to the Brickyard in the afternoon, because of some terrible things that were to be done there if I did.' This report brought many thither of what they call the better sort, so that it added a thousand at least to the usual audience; on whom I enforced (as not my choice, but the providence of God directed me) those words of Isaiah, ' Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.' My nose began bleeding in the midst of the sermon, [For his nose-bleeding at Oxford, see letter of Sept. 23, 1723, to his mother.] but presently stopped, so that I went on without interruption; and the power of God fell on all, so that the scoffers stood looking one on another, but none opened his mouth.

All Bath on Tuesday was big with expectation of what a great man was to do to me there; and I was much entreated not to preach, 'because no one knew what might happen.' By this report also I gained (I believe) a thousand new hearers of the rich and great of this world. I told them plainly 'the scripture had concluded them all under sin,' high and low, rich and poor, one with another. They appeared not a little surprised and sinking apace into seriousness, when their champion appeared, and, having forced his way through the people, asked ‘by what authority I did these things.’ I answered, ‘By the authority of Jesus my Master, conveyed to me by the (now) Archbishop of Canterbury.’ He said ‘it was contrary to the Act of Parliament; there was an Act of Parliament against conventicles.’ I replied, ‘The conventicles there mentioned were seditious meetings. But there was no such here.’ He said, ‘Yes, it was; for I frighted people out of their wits.’ I asked if he had ever heard me preach. If not, how he could judge of what he never heard He said, ‘By common report, for he knew my character.’ I then asked, ‘Pray, sir, are you a justice of peace or the mayor of this city’ Answer: ‘No, I am not.’ ‘Why then, sir, pray by what authority do you ask me these things’ Here he paused a little, and I went on: ‘Give me leave, sir, to ask, Is not your name Nash’ Answer: ‘Sir, my name is Nash.’ ‘Why then, sir, I trust common report is no good evidence of truth.’ Here the laugh turned full against him, so that he looked about and could scarce recover. Then a bystander said, ‘Sir, let an old woman answer him.’ Then, turning to Mr. Nash, she said, ‘Sir, if you ask what we come here for, we come for the food of our souls. You care for your body: we care for our souls.’ He replied not one word, but turned and walked away.

We immediately began praying for him, and then for all the despisers. As we returned, they hollowed and hissed us along the streets; but when any of them asked, ‘Which is he’ and I answered, ‘I am he,’ they were immediately silent. Ten or twelve fine ladies followed me into the passage of Richard Merchant's [See letter of May 14.] house. I turned back to them, and told them I supposed what they wanted was to look at me, which they were very welcome to do. Perceiving them then to be more serious, I added: ‘I do not expect the rich of this world to hear me; for I speak plain truth -- a thing you know little of, and do not desire to know.’ A few words more passed between us, and, I hope, not in vain.

Wednesday, 6th, two men and one woman were baptized. [Diary: ‘10.45 Newgate, three christened; ... 9.45 [p.m.] with Mrs. Cooper, she spoke; 11 at Mr. Labbe's! 11 supper; 12’ (Journal, ii. 213).] About two thousand five hundred were at Baptist Mills, to whom I explained the 9th of St. John. In the evening, after our meeting in Baldwin Street, I went (in obedience to God's command by lot) to the house of Mrs. Cooper, the supposed prophetess. Her agitations were nothing near so violent as those of Mary Piewit are. [See Journal, ii. 136n.] She prayed awhile (as under the hand of God), and then spoke to me for above half an hour. What spirit she spoke by I know not. The words were good. Some of them were these: ‘Thou art yet in darkness. But yet a little while and I will rend the veil, and thou shalt see the King in His beauty.’ I felt no power while she spoke. Appearances are against her; but I judge nothing before the time.

On Thursday, after exhorting the little Society at Pensford (who stand as a rock, continually battered, but not shaken), I went to Priestdown, where we had a larger company than before. I preached on ‘What must I do to be saved’ It rained hard; but none went away, except one young woman, who came again in a few minutes. In the midst of the prayer two men (who came for that purpose) began singing a ballad. After a few mild words (for I saw none that were angry), we began singing a psalm, which utterly put them to silence. We then prayed for them, and they were quite confounded. I offered them books, but they could not read. I trust this will be a day much to be remembered by them for the loving-kindness of the Lord.

My brethren, be meek and lowly; be wise, but not prudent. Stir up the gift that is in you by keeping close together. Love one another, and be ye thankful. You are much on the heart as well as in the prayers of

Your affectionate brother in Christ.

Jemmy Hutton, if I have not fifty more Hymns next Friday, I will not thank you. Where are the twelve Haliburton's and the Nelson's Sermons, which Mr. Seward writes me word he ordered you to send me, with twenty Hymns on his account O Jemmy, Jemmy! [See letter of May 8.]

June 10, 1739.

To his Brother Charles [13]

BRISTOL, June 23, 1739.

DEAR BROTHER, -- My answer to them which trouble me is this:--

God commands me to do good unto all men; to instruct the ignorant, reform the wicked, confirm the virtuous.

Man commands me not to do this in another's parish--that is, in effect, not to do it at all.

If it be just to obey man rather than God, judge ye.

‘But’ (say they) ‘it is just that you submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.’

True; to every ordinance of man which is not contrary to the command of God.

But if any man (bishop or other) ordain that I shall not do what God commands me to do, to submit to that ordinance would be to obey man rather than God.

And to do this I have both an ordinary call and an extraordinary.

My ordinary call is my ordination by the Bishop: ‘Take thou authority to preach the word of God.’

My extraordinary call is witnessed by the works God doeth by my ministry, which prove that He is with me of a truth in this exercise of my office.

Perhaps this might be better expressed in another way: God bears witness in an extraordinary manner that my thus exercising my ordinary call is well-pleasing in His sight.

But what if a bishop forbids this I do not say, as St. Cyprian, Populus a scelerato antistire separare se debet. [‘The people ought to separate themselves from a wicked bishop.’] But I say, God being my helper, I will obey Him still; and if I suffer for it, His will be done.

To James Hutton [14]

July 2, 1739.

DEAR BRETHERN, -- I left London about six on Monday morning [June 18]; and on Tuesday evening at seven preached (as I had appointed if God should permit) to about five thousand people in the Bowling Green at Bristol, whose hearty affection moved me much. My subject was the same as at Kennington. About nine that faithful soldier of Christ, Howell Harris, [See letter of July 29, 1740.] called upon me. He said he had been much tempted not to do it at all; that many had told him I was an Arminian, a Free-wilier, and so on; so that he could hardly force himself to come to the Bowling Green. ‘But,’ he added, ‘I had not been long there before my spirit was knit to you, as it was to dear Mr. Whitefield; and before you had done, I was so overpowered with joy and love that I could scarce stand, and with much difficulty got home.’

It is incredible what advantage Satan had gained here by my absence of only eight days. Disputes had crept in, and the love of many was waxed cold; so that all our Society was falling in pieces. I preached on Wednesday at Newgate at eleven and at four at Baptist Mills on those words, ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.’ At seven I met the women bands at Eliz. Davis's house (Mrs. Grevil having forbidden them hers). I found disputes had hurt them also, so that many were resolved to quit the Society. Finding it necessary to speak to them apart, I fixed times to meet each band singly; which I did on the days of the following week, and all of them were (I hope) established in the faith. At eight I met our brethren in Baldwin Street, where, instead of disputing, we prayed together; the Spirit of the Holy One was with us. All divisions were healed; all misunderstandings vanished away; and we all felt our hearts drawn together and sweetly united in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, 21st, I talked an hour or two with a young man of Gloucester, who was deeply prejudiced against my dear brother Whitefield and me. He went away of another mind. In the afternoon I preached at Publow as usual, without any disturbance, on Isaiah xlv. 22. In the evening I was at the schoolroom, and had a large and attentive audience, though it was uncovered and it rained hard. Afterward I met with Molly Deacon's band, whose openness and childlike simplicity pleased me much; where also I spoke with a young man who was fully determined ‘naked to follow a naked Master,’ [The ideal of Francis of Assisi: Nudes nudum Christum sequens. Jerome used the expression (Epistles, No. 125), and also St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Coulton's Five Centuries of Religion, ii. 108). See Journal, i. 179.] having been turned out of doors by his friends the night before for coming to the Societies.

Friday, 22nd, I writ to a Society just begun at Wells, which I hope to visit when God permits. At nine I called on Mr. Whitehead, [Thomas Whitehead, ‘a professed Quaker about sixty years of age,’ was baptized by Whitefield on April 17, 1739 (see his Journal). He was afterwards led astray by the French prophets. See Journal, ii. 226; and letter of Feb. 10, 1748.] whom G. Whitefield baptized at Gloucester. ‘Ye did run well; who hath bewitched you’ ‘Woe unto the prophets, saith the Lord, which prophesy in My name, and I have not sent them.' At Weavers' Hall I endeavored to point them out, and exhorted all to cleave to the law and the testimony.

In the afternoon I preached at Fishponds on the same words as at Publow, but had no life or spirit in me. I came back to the band on trial, whose behavior (especially Mrs. Thorn-hill) a little revived and comforted me; but when I left them to go to Gloucester Lane Society, I was more dead and cold than ever, and much in doubt whether God would not now lay me aside and send more faithful laborers into His harvest. When I came thither, my soul being grieved for my brother Whitehead, I began in much weakness to exhort them to try the spirits whether they were of God. I told them they must not judge of the spirits, either by common report, or by appearances, or by their own feelings -- no, nor by any dreams, visions, or revelations made to their souls, or outward effects upon their bodies. All these I warned them were of a doubtful nature in themselves, which might be of God or of the devil; and were not either to be simply condemned or relied on, but to be tried by the law and the testimony. While I was speaking a woman dropped down before me, and presently a second and third, and one after another five others. All the outward symptoms were as violent as those at London the Friday before. Upon praying, five of them were comforted, one continued in pain an hour longer, and one for two or three days.

Saturday, 23rd, I spoke severally with those which had been so troubled the night before; some of whom I found were only awakened, others had peace in the blood of Christ. At four I preached to about two thousand at the Bowling Green on ‘Do all to the glory of God’; at seven, in the morning, to four or five thousand, and at ten to about three thousand at Hanham. As I was riding afterwards to Rose Green in a smooth plain road, my horse pitched upon his head and rolled over and over. I received no other hurt than a little bruise on the side I fell, which made me lame for two or three days; for the present I felt nothing, but preached there on the same words to six or seven thousand people, and in the evening explained the 12th of the Acts to twelve or fifteen hundred at the New Room.

On Saturday evening Ann Allin (a young woman) was seized with strong pangs at Weavers’ Hall; they did not continue long before the snare was broken and her soul delivered. Sara Murray (aged thirteen) and four or five other persons (some of whom had felt the power of God before) were as deeply convinced on Sunday evening; and with most of the same symptoms groaned for deliverance. At Weavers’ Hall on Monday, 25th, a young woman named Mary Pritchard was cut to the heart and soon after comforted; as was Mary Greenwood at four in the afternoon. At Gloucester Lane in the evening one Mary Conway (who, as she was sitting at work at ten in the morning, was suddenly seized with strong trembling and bitter agonies of soul, in which she had continued all the afternoon) was restored to peace; as were four or five others who were there cut to the heart.

On Tuesday, 26th, I preached the first time under the sycamore-tree near the school at Kingswood, during a violent rain, on those words of Isaiah, ‘As the rain cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud: . . . so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’

After expounding to some hundreds in the Back Lane, I went as usual to the schoolroom, where the pains of hell came about three persons, who soon after saw the light of heaven.

At Baptist Mills on Wednesday I explained to two thousand or two thousand five hundred, ‘All things are lawful for me; but all things edify not.’ At seven the women bands met, and agreed to defer admitting any new members till the next month and to wait a little longer before they excluded those who had for some time excluded themselves, if haply they might return. At Baldwin Street William Farnell and Richard Hereford were excluded the Society, as being not only unwilling to attend it, but utterly incapable (as yet) of improving by it. I was afterward much enlarged in prayer for Mrs. Grevil. Oh that she could again feel herself a lost sinner!

I went on Thursday in the afternoon to preach on the south edge of Kingswood, near a sort of a village called the Cupolas; but the people not having notice, but few came: so that, having used some prayer with them, I promised to come again the next day, and then preached on ‘Believe, and thou shalt be saved.’

Saturday, 30th, Anne Williams (Ant. Williams's wife) was the thirteenth time tapped for the dropsy. She desires to be dissolved and to be with Christ; but gives herself up to Him for life or for death.

To about twelve hundred in the Bowling Green I showed many lawful things edify not. At Weavers’ Hall Kitty Deschamps (about fourteen), Prudence Woodward, and five more roared for the very disquietness of their heart, and all, upon prayer, were relieved and sang praise unto our God and unto the Lamb that liveth for ever and ever.

Yours in Christ.

[Wesley wrote to the Rev. John Oulton (Baptist pastor of Leominster) on July 9 and 28; but these letters have not been preserved. See Journal, ii. 240d, 247d; W.H.S. xi. 118-19. Mr. Oulton's reply to the first letter is given in the Supplement to the Arrninian Magazine, 1797, PP. 25-6.]

To Dr. Stebbing [15]

July 31, 1739.

REVEREND SIR, -- 1. You charge me (for I am called a Methodist, and consequently included in your charge) with ‘vain and confident boastings; rash, uncharitable censures; damning all who do not feel what I feel; not allowing men to be in a salvable state unless they have experienced some sudden operation, which may be distinguished as the hand of God upon them, overpowering, as it were, the soul; with denying men the use of God's creatures, which He hath appointed to be received with thanksgiving, and encouraging abstinence, prayer, and other religious exercises, to the neglect of the duties of our station.’ O sir, can you prove this charge upon me The Lord shall judge in that day!

2. I do, indeed, go out into the highways and hedges to call poor sinners to Christ; but not in a tumultuous manner, not to the disturbance of the public peace or the prejudice of families. Neither herein do I break any law which I know; much less set at naught all rule and authority. Nor can I be said to intrude into the labors of those who do not labor at all but suffer thousands of those for whom Christ died to ‘perish for lack of knowledge.’

3. They perish for want of knowing that we as well as the heathens ‘are alienated from the life of God’; that ‘every one of us,’ by the corruption of our inmost nature, ‘is very far gone from original righteousness’ -- so far, that ‘every person born into the world deserveth God’s wrath and damnation’; that we have by nature no power either to help ourselves or even to call upon God to help us, all our tempers and works in our natural state being only evil continually. So that our coming to Christ as well as theirs must infer a great and mighty change. It must infer not only an outward change, from stealing, lying, and all corrupt communication, but a thorough change of heart, an inward renewal in the spirit of our mind. Accordingly ‘the old man’ implies infinitely more than outward evil conversation, even ‘an evil heart of unbelief,’ corrupted by pride and a thousand deceitful lusts. Of consequence the ‘new man’ must imply infinitely more than outward good conversation, even ‘a good heart, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness’ -- an heart full of that faith which, working by love, produces all holiness of conversation.

4. The change from the former of these states to the latter is what I call The New Birth. But you say I am not content with this plain and easy notion of it, but fill myself and others with fantastical conceits about it. Alas, sir, how can you prove this And if you cannot prove it, what amends can you make, either to God or to me or to the world, for publicly asserting a gross falsehood

5. Perhaps you say you can prove this of Mr. Whitefield. What then This is nothing to me. I am not accountable for his words. The Journal you quote I never saw until it was in print. But, indeed, you wrong him as much as me. First, where you represent him as judging the notions of the Quakers in general (concerning being led by the Spirit) to be right and good; whereas he speaks only of those particular men with whom he was conversing. And again, where you say he supposes a person believing in Christ to be without any saving knowledge of Him. He supposes no such thing. To believe in Christ was the very thing he supposed wanting; as understanding that term believing to imply, not only an assent to the Articles of our Creed, but also ‘a true trust and confidence of the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’

6. Now, this it is certain a man may want, although he can truly say, ‘I am chaste; I am sober; I am just in my dealings; I help my neighbor, and use the ordinances of God.’ And, however such a man may have behaved in these respects, he is not to think well of his own state till he experiences something within himself which he has not yet experienced, but which he may be beforehand assured he shall if the promises of God are true. That something is a living faith, ‘a sure trust and confidence in God that, by the merits of Christ, his sins are forgiven and he reconciled to the favor of God.’ And from this will spring many other things, which till then he experienced not; as, the love of God shed abroad in his heart, the peace of God which passeth all understanding, and joy in the Holy Ghost--joy, though not unfelt, yet ‘unspeakable, and full of glory.’

7. These are some of those inward fruits of the Spirit which must be felt wheresoever they are; and, without these, I cannot learn from Holy Writ that any man is ‘born of the Spirit.’ I beseech you, sir, by the mercies of God, that if as yet you know nothing of such inward feelings, if you do not ' feel in yourself these mighty workings of the Spirit of Christ,' at least you would not contradict and blaspheme. When the Holy Ghost hath fervently kindled your love towards God, you will know these to be very sensible operations. As you hear the wind, and feel it too, 'while it strikes upon your bodily organs, you will know you are under the guidance of God's Spirit the same way -- namely, by feeling it in your soul: by the present peace and joy and love which you feel within, as well as by its outward and more distant effects. -- I am, &c.

To James Hutton [16]

BRISTOL, August 3, 1739.

I had opportunity to talk largely with our brother [Whitefield] concerning the outward signs which had here attended the work of God. But there was little need of disputing; for God answered for Himself. He had been told these things were owing to my encouraging them, and that if they were not encouraged no such thing would ever be. But the next day, no sooner had he himself begun to call all sinners to be in Christ, than four were seized before him in a moment. One of them dropped down and lay without motion; a second trembled exceeding; the third was in strong convulsions, but made no noise unless by groans; the fourth, equally convulsed, called upon God with strong cries and tears also. From this time I hope we shall all suffer God to carry on His own work His own way.

Thursday, July 12, after dinner I went to a person much troubled with lowness of spirits, as they term it! Many such I have seen before, but I can by no means believe it to be a bodily distemper. They wanted something they knew not what, and were therefore uneasy. The plain case was they wanted God, they wanted Christ, they wanted faith ;.and God convinced them of this want in a way which themselves no more understood at first than their physician did. Nor did any physic avail till the great Physician came; for, in spite of all natural means, He who made them for Himself would not suffer them to rest till their soul rested in Him.

To James Hervey [17]

BRISTOL, August 8, 1739.

DEAR SIR, -- Why is it I have never had a line from you since I wrote to you from London Have you quite forgotten me Or have the idle stories which you once despised at length prevailed over you If so, if try brother offend thee, what is to be done ‘Tell him of his fault between thee and him alone.’ God is able to do whatsoever pleaseth Him. How knowest thou, O man, but thou mayest gain thy brother

But what are you doing yourself Sleeping on, taking your rest. I cannot understand this. Our Lord calls aloud for labourers in His vineyard, and you sit still. His people perish by thousands for lack of knowledge, and the servant of the Lord hideth himself in a cave. Come forth, my brother! Come forth, work for our Lord, and He will renew your strength!

Oh that He would send you into this part of His harvest! Either with or without your preaching, here is work enough. Come, and let us again take sweet counsel together. Let me have joy over you once more. Think if there be no way for your once more seeing, my dear friend,

Your affectionate brother.

To James Hutton [18]

BRISTOL, August rS, x739.

Thursday, July 26, in the evening at the Society several were deeply convinced of sin, but none was delivered. The children came to the birth, but there was not strength to bring forth. The same thing was observed many times before. Many were the conjectures concerning the reason of it. Indeed, I fear we have grieved the Spirit of God by questioning His work, and that therefore He is withdrawn from us for a season; but surely He will return and abundantly pardon.

Monday, 30th, I had much conversation with a good and friendly man concerning those outward signs of the inward work of God. I found my mind much weakened thereby and thrown upon reasonings which profited nothing. At eight two persons were in strong pain; but though we cried to God, there was no answer, neither did He deliver them at all.

The 31st, &c.: I was enabled to speak strongly to them on those words, 'Ask, and ye shall receive,' and to claim the promise in prayer for those that mourned, one of whom was filled with joy and peace in believing; as was also this day a young woman who had been a strenuous opposer of this work of God, and particularly zealous against those who cried out, saying she was sure they might help it if they would. But on Monday night at the Society in the midst of her zeal she was struck in a moment, and fell to the ground trembling and roaring for the disquietness of her heart. She continued in pain twelve or fourteen hours, and then was set at liberty; but her master immediately forbade her his house, saying he would have none with him who had received the Holy Ghost.

From James Hervey [19]

August 21, 1739.

DEAR AND HONORED SIR, -- Your letter from London occasioned a speedy answer and a thankful acknowledgement. I suppose my epistle miscarried, otherwise you would not have taxed me with forgetfulness of a friend whom I am infinitely obliged to and whom I dearly esteem. You ask, what I am doing in my present situation I answer: The same that Basil and Nazianzen did in the wilderness -- studying the Scriptures, furnishing my mind with saving knowledge, and sitting a poor deacon for the service of Christ's Church. With this farther difference betwixt my inconsiderable self and those excellent persons, that they retired in the vigor of health, I under the infirmities of a crazy constitution, which I hope to have repaired by enjoying the most comfortable conveniences of life and a respite from labor. At present, had I the strongest inclination, I have no manner of ability to bestir myself in the way you propose. I a thundering Boanerges! I a speaking-trumpet from heaven! I lift up my voice to the whole world and make the canopy of the skies ring!

Never, dear sir, never could you have made choice of so improper a person, so vastly unequal to the task. Besides, I freely own I cannot approve of itinerant-preaching. I think it is repugnant to the Apostolical as well as to the English Constitution. I find Timothy settled at Ephesus, Titus stationed at Crete, and other of our Captain's commanders assigned to their particular posts. These laborers (and industrious laborers they were) did not think it necessary or expedient to travel from this country to that with words of exhortation in their mouth, but chose to lay out their pastoral vigilance upon the flock consigned to their care. Thus would I advise my dear Mr. Wesley to act: be content to imitate these primitive (and only not inspired) preachers. Fix in some parish; visit carefully your people; let every individual be the object of your compassionate zeal; in a word, be a living Ouranio. Oh what good might this do to the cause of Christianity! How might neighboring ministers follow the unexceptionable example; and, from inveighing against my good friend (as they now unanimously do), honor him and tread in his steps! Straithess of time obliges me to put an end to my letter; but no difference of opinion, no long absence, nothing, I trust, in time or through eternity, shall be able to put an end to my most respectful and honorable regard, my affectionate and grateful esteem for dear Mr. Wesley; whom I love, and whose I am, with the greatest sincerity,


To Ebenezer Blackwell [20]

BRISTOL, August 23, 1739. DEAR SIR, -- I have not had half an hour's leisure to write since I received yours of the 14th instant, in which the note for 15 11s. was enclosed.

The Captain's [Captain James Whitefield, master of a ship, brother of George Whitefield, died suddenly in Feb. 1766 at the Countess of Huntingdon's house in Bath.] journey to London, as he owns it was the happiest, so I believe it was the most useful one he ever had. His resolution was a little shaken here; but he now appears more settled than before. Satan hath indeed desired to have us, that he may sift us as wheat. But our Lord hath prayed for us; so that the faith of few has failed. Far the greater part of those who have been tempted has come as gold out of the fire.

It seems to me a plain proof that the power of God is greatly with this people, because they are tempted in a manner scarce common to men. No sooner do any of them begin to taste of true liberty, but they are buffeted both within and without. The messengers of Satan close them in on every side. Many are already turned out of doors by their parents or masters; many more expect it every day. But they count all these things dung and dross, that they may win Christ. O let us, if His name be called upon us, be thus minded !--I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate friend and servant in Christ.

To Mr. Blackwell, At Mr. Martin's,

Banker, In Lombard Street, London.

To James Hutton

BRISTOL, August 24, 1739.

August the 6th, breakfasted with some persons who were much offended at people's falling into those fits (as they called them), being sure they might help it if they would. A child of ten years old came on a message while we were at breakfast, and in a few minutes began to cry out, ' My heart, my heart 1 ' and fell to the ground trembling and sweating exceedingly. One of her aunts went to her to hinder her from beating herself and tearing her hair; but three or four could scarce restrain her. After calling upon God above two hours with strong cries and tears, and all possible expressions of the strongest agonies of soul, that horrible dread was in a good measure taken away, and she found some rest. The 8th, the child which had been ill on Monday was in as strong an agony as before, to the conviction of many who doubted; but others still mocked on, nor indeed would these [believe], though one rose from the dead. August rr, two were seized with strong pangs at Weavers' Hall, but were not as yet set at liberty. Sunday, four were wounded in the evening, but not healed. Our time is in Thy hand, O Lord. Four were seized the next evening in Gloucester Lane; one of whom was on the point of leaving our Society, but she hath now better learned Christ.

To his Brother Charles [21]

ISLINOTON, September 21, 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- A Scotch gentleman who was present here [Diary: ‘4.45 Islington, within to man.’ ‘Sat. 22--7.3o at Exall's, tea.’ He evidently finished the letter there.] gave us a plain account of Mr. Erskine and his associates, the substance of which was this :-

Some years since, Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, preaching before the Assembly, reproved them for several faults with all simplicity. This was so resented by many that in a following Assembly he was required to make an open recantation; and, persisting in the charge, the Assembly determined that he, with three other ministers who spoke in his behalf, should be deprived and their livings declared vacant. Four messengers were sent for this purpose; but they returned re infecta, fearing the people lest they should stone them. In another Assembly directions were given to the neighbouring ministers to procure informations concerning the doctrine and behavior of Mr. Erskines [Ebenezer and Ralph] and their adherents, Out of these informations an indictment was formed, to which they were summoned to answer in the next Assembly.

Here it was debated whether they should be suffered to come in, and carried by a small majority that they should. The Moderator then spoke to this effect: ‘My reverend brethren, ye are summoned to answer an indictment charging you with erroneous doctrine and irregular practices; but if ye will submit to the Kirk and testify your amendment, we will receive you with open arms.’

Mr. Erskine answered for himself and brethren (they were now increased to eight) to this purpose: ‘Moderator, both you and those that are with you have erred from the faith, and your practices are irregular too; and you have no discipline: therefore you are no Kirk. We are the Kirk, and we alone, who continue in her faith and discipline. And if ye will submit to us and testify your amendment, we will receive ye with open arms.’

None answered a word; so after a short time they withdrew. The Moderator then asked, ‘My reverend brethren, what shall we do’ One replied, ‘Moderator, I must answer you in our proverb —“You have put the cat into the kirn (i.e. churn), and ye must get her out again how you can.”’

Again silence ensued; after which the Moderator asked, ‘Shall these men be excommunicated or only deposed’ Answer was made, ‘The question is not right. Let it be asked, “Shall they be deposed or not”’ This was accordingly done, and it was carried by five votes ‘that they should not be deposed.’ Having received help from God, they continue to this day; declaring to all that their congregation is the Kirk of Scotland; that they (the ministers, now ten in all) are the proper Presbytery, and there is no other; those commonly so called having made shipwreck both of the faith and discipline once delivered to the saints.

Friday, September 14, I expounded again at Islington; but the house being too small for the company, I stood in the garden and showed them how vainly they trusted in baptism for salvation unless they were holy of heart, without which their circumcision was actually become uncircumcision. Afterwards I went to Fetter Lane, where I brought down the high looks of the proud by an exposition of those words, ‘All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.’

Saturday, September 15, I expounded those words on which the book opened at Lady Hume’s: ‘The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires of other things, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.’ At Fetter Lane I was directed to those words, ‘I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.’ Many were cut to the heart, both here and at Mr. Exall’s, where I enforced those words of our Lord, ‘Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the kingdom of God.’

Sunday, the 16th, I preached at Moorfields to about ten thousand, and at Kennington Common to between twenty and thirty thousand, on those words, ‘We desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know it is everywhere spoken against.’ At both places I described in very plain terms the diffrence between true old Christianity, commonly called by the new name of Methodism, and the Christianity now generally taught.

Thence I went to Lambeth (where I found oar congregation considerably increased), and exhorted them to cry mightily to our Lord that He might say unto them, as unto the sick of the palsy, 'Be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee.' From our lovefeast at Fetter Lane I went to Islington House. Sufficient for this day was the labor thoreof.

Pray my love to Brother Mitchell; and let the leaden cistern be gone about. On Monday se'nnight I intend, God willing, to set out. Tuesday I hope to spend at Oxford. On Wednesday night let James Ellis meet me at Gloucester. Then I will lay out the three or four following days as we ,shall agree, if God permit. I heartily thank our brothers Westall, Oldfield, Cross, Haydon, and Wynne; and our sisters Deftel, Shafto, Oldfield, Thomas, Stephens, Mrs. Thomas, and Mrs. Deschamps. I wish any would write by Wednesday post. Pray for us. Adieu.

Sat. night, Mrs. Exall's.

To Nathanael Price [22]

BRISTOL, December 6, 1739.

MY DEAR BROTHER, -- 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 our 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 them 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 rightings, 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 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 of late at night, so as their work nay not be hindered.

‘It is true, although the masters will not take nay pay (for the love of Christ constrains them, as they 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 My. Glascot. [Thomas Glascot, one of the overseers of the poor, entertained Wesley on Oct. 18 1739, and went with him to Newport next morning. Charles Wesley stayed with him on his first visit to Cardiff in Nov. 1740 (W.H.S. iii. 176). On Sept. 1, 1758, many followed Wesley to Mr. Glascot’s house, ‘where two of three were cut to the heart, particularly both his daughters and cried to God with strong cries and tears.’ On May 10, 1781 Wesley is at Cardiff, and refers to him as a member of the old Society now ‘gone hence.’ See letter of May 13, 1764.] – I am, in haste, my dear brother,

Your Affectionately.

Editor’s Introductory Notes

[1] This letter was written to a priest who had brought some proposals of the late Rector of Epworth before the Sorbonne in the University of Paris. The proposals may have had reference to the Rector's scheme for an octavo edition of the Bible in Hebrew, Chaldee, and the Septuagint and the Vulgate. On January 26, 1725, he asks his son John's help in this labor, ‘some time since designed.' He had long been engaged in such studies. His translation of Hebrew poetry had been destroyed in the fire of 1709. His last work was the Dissertations o~ Job, which was almost through the press when he died. He acknowledges in the Preface the valuable help of his three sons in this work. John spent some time in London in x754 overlooking the printing, and before he sailed for Georgia was able to present a copy of the work to Queen Caroline, to whom it was dedicated. See letter of October 15, 1735.

[2] Samuel Wesley wrote on December 13, 1738: ‘Your misapplication of the witness of the Spirit is so thoroughly cleared by Bishop Bull, that I shall not hold a candle to the sun’ (Whitehead's Wesley, ii. 109, where this letter is dated ' in the beginning of the present year'). George Bull (1634-1710) became Bishop of St. David's in 1705. His Sermons were published in 1713 by Robert Nelson in three volumes. See letter of August 22, 1744.

[3] The date of 'the following letter is February 2o' in Whitefield's Works; but Wesley's Journal gives ‘26,’ where the Diary says ‘writ to G. Whitefield.’ Whitefield was in Bristol, and received the letter there on March 1. The incumbent of St. Katherine's near the Tower was the Hon. John Berkeley. The meeting at Mr. Crouch's was on Tuesday {ibid. ii. 146d).

[4] James Hervey had been one of Wesley's pupils at Lincoln College and one of the Oxford Methodists. His sympathy and support were very grateful to Wesley in his later days of persecution at Oxford. When the brothers were in Georgia, Hervey refers to them as ‘glorious combatants.’ After Wesley's return from Georgia, he wrote to ‘welcome the friend of my studies, the friend of my soul, the friend of all my valuable and eternal interests.’ See Tyerman’s Oxford Methodists, p. 215.

Wesley gives this letter in his Journal, under date June 11, 1739, and describes it as written ‘some time since.’ The Diary for March 20 says ‘writ to J. Hervey.’ Hervey’s criticism which called forth the letter has not been preserved; but its purport may be gathered from Wesley’s reply and from Hervey’s letter of August 21. Wesley's vindication is one of the classics of the Evangelical Revival. It supplies the famous saying on the Wesley tablet in Westminster Abbey, and lays bare the secret springs of his labors as an evangelist.

[5] Whitefield replied: ‘I thank you most heartily for your kind rebuke, &c.’ See Tyerman's Whitefield, i. 193.

[6] Whitefield had begun to preach in the open air at Kingswood on February 17. He begged Wesley to come to his help; on March 23 he wrote: ‘I beseech you, come next week; it is advertised in this day's journal. I pray for a blessing on your journey and in our meetings. The people expect you much.’ Wesley consulted the Society at Fetter Lane about the invitation; and they finally agreed by lot that he should go (Journal, ii. 157-8; C. Wesley's Journal, i. 146). He left London the next day (the 29th), and met Whitefield in Bristol on the evening of the 31st.

Wesley's letters to James Hutton and his friends at Fetter Lane gave the first intelligence as to the great awakening in Bristol and kindled expectation of similar blessing in London. They throw light at many points on the record which appeared later in the Journal. This letter is dated on the day he ' submitted to be more vile' by preaching in the open air (Journal, ii. 172).

[7] John Edmonds lived in London. He was influenced by l~Iolther, and later in the year agreed with Hutton and others, who wished ' to raise a Church' (i.e. a Moravian Church) in England. See ii. 327-3I, 366.

[8] This letter describes one of the most memorable weeks in Wesley's life--the first week of his field-preaching in Bristol. When compared with his Journal (ii. 168-76) for the same time, it adds some vivid touches tot he scene. The closing paragraph shows how much he counted on the prayers and counsels of his friends in Fetter Lane.

[9] Anthony Purver (1702-77) was a poor schoolmaster at Andover, who spent thirty years in making a new translation of the Bible, but could not get it published. Dr. Fothergill, the Quaker physician, examined and approved the work, gave Purver 1,000 for it, had it printed at his own expense, and revised the sheets. It was issued in two large folio volumes in 1764. Purver married in 1739 Rachel Cotterill, mistress of a girls' boarding-school in Frenchay, and settled there. See Journal, ii. 188n; Fox's Dr. John Fothergill and His Friends, p. 27; W.H.S. iv. 49-50, v. 6; and next letter.

[10] William Seward, of Badsey, near Evesham, had worked successfully in reviving the Charity Schools in London. Six days after meeting Charles Wesley, he ' testified faith,' on November 19, 1738. Early in 1739 he became Whitefield's traveling companion, and in August went with him to America. While on a preaching-tour with Howell Harris in October 1740 he was struck senseless by a rioter at Hay, and died a few days after, the first Methodist martyr. See Journal, ii. 285-6n, 395-6n.

The last paragraph of this letter is in another hand, probably Mr. Seward's. See at end of letter of June 7.

[11] The Diary shows that this letter was ‘writ to Fetter Lane.’ Richard Merchant (or Marchant) proved a true friend for a time, but afterwards told Wesley he could not let him preach any more in his ground, as the crowd spoiled it and his neighbors were displeased. It was probably on Merchant's field, now covered by the Circus and the Park, that Beau Nash interrupted Wesley (see letter of June 7). Other details of this time are given in the Journal, ii. 193-8; see also 244, 256.

[12] Wesley's encounter with the King of Bath is one of the historic events of the time. Richard Nash was an adventurer and a gamester; but he held the gay city and its fashionable crowd under strict control; not even royalty was allowed to deviate from the Rules which he posted in the Pump Room. He went to Bath in 1705, and established the Assembly Rooms there. Nash (whose father was a glass manufacturer in Wales) was born on October 18, 1674, at Swansea, where the Corporation has affixed a memorial tablet to the house. He was educated at Carmarthen Grammar School; and was expelled from Jesus College, Oxford,' for his wild conduct. His success at the gambling-tables enabled him to wear costly clothes adorned with lace, and to drive about in a postchaise with six gray horses, with outriders, footmen, and French horns. He scattered his money freely, but died in poverty in 1761. The city had allowed him 10 a month, and gave him a magnificent funeral. See Journal, ii. 210-12n; Tyerman's Wesley, i. 237; Telford's Wesley, pp. 125-7.

[13] Charles Wesley's Journal for June 23 says: ‘My inward conflict continued. I perceived it was the fear of man; and that, by preaching in the field next Sunday, as George Whitefield urges me, I shall break down the bridge and become desperate, &c.’ Next day (Sunday) he preached to near ten thousand in Moorfields. ‘My lead was gone, and all my doubts and scruples. God shone upon my path; and I knew this was His will concerning me.’ See the letter of March 20 to James Hervey.

[14] Wesley set out at 4 a.m. on June 12, and reached London on the 13th, in response to a pressing appeal to return from Bristol, as the brethren in Fetter Lane were in great confusion for want of his presence and advice. That same evening, when he met them, many misunderstandings were removed. The next day he went with Whitefield to Blackheath, where his friend ‘a little surprised’ him by asking him to preach, which he did to about 12,000 or 14,000, his brother Charles being present. On Sunday, at seven, he preached in Upper Moorfields to 6,000 or 7,000, and at five on Kennington Common to about 15,000; then early on Monday morning returned to Bristol. For further details referred to in this letter, see Journal, ii. 219-30.

[15] Henry Stebbing, D.D. (1687-1763), was Preacher at Gray's Inn 1732, and Chaplain to George II 1732. Bishop Sherlock made him Chancellor of Sarum in 1739, for his writing against Hoadly in the Bangorian Controversy. He published in 1739 A Caution against Religious Delusion. A Sermon on the New Birth: Occasioned by the Pretensions of the Methodists. Price 3d. Six editions were sold the same year. Stebbing also issued, in 1745, An Earnest and Affectionate Address to the People called Methodists. He wrote as a scholar and a gentleman. See Journal, ii. 248-9n; Green's Anti-Methodist Publications, Nos. 17,200. For Whitefield's position, see Tyerman's Whitefield, i. 261-3, 286.

[16] This extract and two others written in August 1739 are in another handwriting than that of Wesley, but are evidently copied from his letter to the Moravian Synod. They are headed ‘Extract from a letter from Mr. John Wesley directed for Mr. James Hutton, Bookseller, near Temple Bar, concerning persons falling into fits at their being new born.’ The conversation is referred to in Wesley's Journal and Diary for July 7; on which date Whitefield says he 'had a useful conversation about many things with my honored friend Mr. John Wesley.' See Journal, ii. 239-40; Tyerman's Whitefield, i. 259.

[17] Hervey's reply to the letter of March 20 (or a later one) seems to have miscarried. Wesley therefore wrote the following letter from Bristol. See letter of August 21.

[18] This and the letter of August 24 give additional details to those in the Journal, ii. 246-8, and show how close were the relations between Wesley and his friend and convert.

[19] Hervey was ordained deacon in September 1736 by Dr. Potter, Bishop of Oxford, and had been curate to Charles Kinchin, Rector of Dummer, near Basingstoke. He was in feeble health, and was for two years the guest of Mr. Paul Orchard at Stoke Abbey in Devonshire, where he heard reports about Wesley. This letter and the one to Kinchin on April 18 (Tyerman's Oxford Methodists, pp. 220-1) show his feeling concerning Wesley's actions, especially his itinerant preaching. Hervey's health improved so much that in 1740 he was able to accept the curacy of Bideford, which he held till about July 1743. He afterwards became curate to his father at Weston Flavel, near Northampton, where he died in 1758. See letter of October 15, 1756.

‘Ouranius’ (in Law's Serious Call, chap. xxi.) ‘is an holy priest, full of the spirit of the gospel, watching, laboring, and praying for a poor country village. Every soul in it is as dear to him as himself, and he loves them all as he loves himself, because he prays for them all as often as he prays for himself.’ This is a beautiful picture; but Providence had raster and harder tasks for Wesley. See letters of March 20 and August 8 to Hervey.

[20] Ebenezer Blackwell was born at Tewkesbury, and in 1731 became a principal clerk and then junior partner in Martin's Bank, Lombard Street. He was one of Wesley's most faithful friends, in whose judgment he had great confidence, and at whose house in Lewisham he became a frequent and honored guest. Blackwell retired in 1780, and died on April 21, 1782.

The money mentioned had been collected on Blackheath on Sunday, August 12, when Whitefield preached his last sermon there before he sailed for America. ‘When I said, Finally, brethren, farewell I thousands immediately burst out into strong cryings and tears! . . . I continued my discourse till it was near dark, and collected near 15 for Kingswood School.’ It was with great difficulty that he got away by coach to Lewisham, ‘where an hospitable entertainment was prepared for me and my friends.’ Next day he went to Blendon, and then to Gravesend, whence he sailed for Philadelphia on the Tuesday. (Whitefield's Journal.) Wesley did not yet know Blackwell. The banker had supped on the Sunday night with Whitefield and William Seward, who promised to send him the collection. This he forwarded by ‘our Shop Note.’ See Journal, ii. 259-60n.

[21] Wesley was keenly interested in the Erskines, about whom he had been reading in the previous February. They were formally deposed in 1740, and on May 13 he read the Account. 'See Journal, ii. 146d, 230-1; viii. 165-6.

[22] Wesley directed this letter to Thomas Price, of Cardiff. It appears with some variations in the Journal, ii. 322-3, where Wesley says it was written to ‘Mr. D. according to his request.’ The letter was begun and ended by Wesley. The part given in the Journal was transcribed by John Purdy, and ‘Nathanael’ is substituted for ‘Thomas’ in the address (see also ii. 342n, vi. 316). It was evidently sent to several friends who were instated in Kingswood.

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