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The Letters of John Wesley





To John Fletcher [1]

LONDON, February 28, 1766.

DEAR SIR,-In my journey northward (which I am to begin from London on Monday, March 10, from Bristol on Monday, March 17) I am obliged to go from Evesham by Binningham to Nottingham; so that I shall not then be able to reach Madeley. But if I live to return from the Conference at Leeds (which is to begin on Tuesday, August 12, and at which it is possible you may favor us with your company), I hope to cross over from Yorkshire to Shropshire. If so, I shall probably be at Madeley on Wednesday, August 20.

What I mean by Perfection I have defined both in the first and in the Farther Thoughts upon that subject: 'Pure love, rejoicing evermore, praying always, in everything giving thanks.' And I incline to think the account you give will amount to the very same thing. But we may observe that, naturally speaking, the animal frame will affect more or less every power of the soul; seeing at present the soul can no more love than it can think, any otherwise than by the help of bodily organs. If, therefore, we either think, speak, or love aright, it must be by power from on high. And if our affections or will continue right, it must be by a continued miracle. Have we reason to believe, or have we not, that God will continually sustain the stone in air

Allow yourself compass enough, and I do not doubt the work you speak of will be of use. But I think you will want, to close the whole, a dialogue on Christian Perfection.

Unity and holiness are the two things I want among the Methodists. Who will rise up with me against all open or secret opposers either of one or the other Such are in truth all prudent, all delicate, all fashionable, all half-hearted Methodists! My soul is weary because of these murderers of the work of God. O let us go through with our work! Why should not we give totum pro toto I hope you will always love and pray for, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother and servant.

The Rev. Mr. Fletcher, At Madeley, Near Shrewsbury.

To John Newton [2]

LEWISHAM, February 28, 1766.

DEAR SIR, - You are exceeding happy in having 'done with controversy,' or rather in having never begun it, as necessity was not laid upon you. And he must be a madman that will leap into the fire without necessity. To 'follow peace with all men' is an admirable help to the following after holiness. And even outward peace, when we can have it upon honest terms, is an invaluable blessing.

The late sermon I have published eo nomine to explain my sentiments on that head. This very day I answered a letter from a good man (and one of considerable sense and learning) who thinks (as you seem to do) that I have therein contradicted some of my former writings. But I think not; and a man should understand himself best. I think I have not wrote one line, either in verse or prose (I mean since the year 1737), which contradicts any sentiment in that sermon, much less the grand leading sentiment. And I desire the sense of any doubtful expression which occurs in any of my other writings may be ascertained by this, wherein I purposely explain myself on the head.

I do not only insinuate, but affirm, and that upon full personal knowledge, (1) That 'people otherwise well-meaning' (yea, true believers, holy till then both in heart and life) 'have been deluded and hardened,' at least for the present, 'chiefly, if not merely, by the too frequent' and improper 'use of the phrase imputed righteousness.' These melancholy instances stare me in the face continually. I affirm, (2) That some of 'those who love that expression are remarkably remiss in showing their zeal and care for practical holiness.' They do not enforce it, as Dr. Owen [John Owen (1616-83) was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University.] does, with whom (though I do not like some of his opinions) I should never have disputed had he been alive now. And I suppose I should never dispute with you. I want only that He who died for us may live in us, and that He may reign alone in our hearts. I have just printed (but I know not that I shall publish it all; for I would not, if possible, afford more matter of controversy to the children of God) for the satisfaction of my serious friends, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection as believed and taught by the Rev. Mr. John Wesley from the year 1725 to the year 1765. If you care to give it a reading, you shall be welcome to a copy. I hope Mrs. Newton and yourself will never forget in your prayers, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother and servant.

On Monday se'nnight I am to set out for Bristol and the North.

To Mrs. Bennis [3]

MANCHESTER, March 29, 1766.

MY DEAR SISTER, - One of our preachers [James Oddie. See letter of July 24, 1769.] has lately advanced a new position among us-that there is no direct or immediate witness of sanctification, but only a perception or consciousness that we are changed, filled with love, and cleansed from sin. But if I understand you right, you find a direct testimony that you are a child of God.

Now, certainly, if God has given you this light, He did not intend that you should hide it under a bushel. 'It is good to conceal the secrets of a king; but it is good to tell the loving-kindness of the Lord.' Every one ought to declare what God has done for his soul, and that with all simplicity; only care is to be taken to declare to several persons that part of our experience which they are severally able to bear, and some parts of it to such alone as are upright and simple of heart.

One reason why those who are saved from sin should freely declare it to believers is because nothing is a stronger incitement to them to seek after the same blessing. And we ought by every possible means to press every serious believer to forget the things which are behind and with all earnestness go on to perfection. Indeed, if they are not thirsting after this, it is scarce possible to keep what they have: they can hardly retain any power of faith if they are not panting after holiness.

A thousand infirmities are consistent even with the highest degree of holiness, which is no other than pure love, an heart devoted to God, one design and one desire. Then whatever is done either in word or deed may be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Press after all the residue of the promises. - I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Peggy Dale

MANCHESTER, April 1, 1766.

MY DEAR PEGGY, - I perceived that, about the time when you wrote before, your treadings had wellnigh slipped. You was within a little of casting away your confidence and giving up what God had wrought. But His eye pitied you, and His hand held you up and set your feet again upon the rock. Now, my dear maid, abide simple before God! And if the thought comes (as it may do a thousand times), 'How do you reconcile this or this with pure love' do not reason, but look unto Jesus, and tell Him earnestly and without delay, 'Thou shalt answer for me, O Lord, my God.' Continue to love and pray for, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Miss Dale, At the Orphan House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. North Post.

To John Newton

MANCHESTER, April 1, 1766.

DEAR SIR, - I do not perceive that there is an hair's breadth difference between us with regard to the nature of Sanctification: only you express a little less plainly and a little less scripturally than I am accustomed to do. However, I understand your expressions perfectly well, 'A cordial, admiring, believing apprehension of Christ.' And it is of little consequence whether we call this sanctification or sanctifying faith.

Neither can I discern that there is any more difference between us with regard to the means of sanctification; or with regard to the fruit of those means, which we both continually maintain to spring wholly and solely from the almighty grace of God, which alone worketh all in and by them all.

And yet it is true that there is often a considerable difference in our manner of speaking. Although we think alike-namely, that there is nothing good either in our heart or in our life which we do not receive from Christ, and that He is fountain and life of sanctification (which should be in all our thoughts) -yet we do not speak alike. The words 'Christ' and 'faith' are far oftener in your mouth than mine. I am glad you give me an opportunity of explaining myself on this head.

Seven-and-twenty years ago the Moravian Brethren objected to me, 'That I did not speak enough of Christ and of faith.' My answer was: 'The Bible is my standard of language as well as sentiment. I endeavor not only to think but to speak as the oracles of God. Show me any one of the inspired writers who mentions Christ or faith more frequently than I do, and I will mention them more frequently. But otherwise I cannot without varying from my standard.' At length the Count said frankly, 'You do speak scripturally; but the Lamb has taught us a better language.' I cannot believe it: therefore I keep to my old way, and speak neither better nor worse than the Bible.

In food, apparel, and all things else I advise all those under my care to save all they can (with a safe conscience) in order to give all they can. And I never knew any one repent of it in a dying hour.

Peace be with you and yours! - I am, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother.

To Samuel Furly

CHESTER, April 3, 1766.

DEAR SAMMY, - It would have been a great satisfaction to me to have waited upon Mrs. Venn, [Henry Venn was Vicar of Huddersfield, where his wife died on Sept. 11, 1767.] had I received yours a few days sooner. But it did not reach Sheffield till I was gone, so that I did not receive it till I came to Manchester.

One of our preachers that was (I mean Hampson) has lately made a discovery that there is no such thing in any believer as a direct, immediate testimony of the Spirit that he is a child of God, that the Spirit testifies this only by the fruits, and consequently that the witness and the fruits are all one. Let me have your deliberate thoughts on this head. It seems to me to be a point of no small importance. I am afraid lest we should get back again unawares into justification by works.

My best wishes attend Mrs. Venn, Mr. Roland, [See heading to letter of June 22,1763.] and all at your house.-I am Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Peggy Dale [4]

April 1766.

MY DEAR PEGGY, - Is our intercourse drawing toward a period Let it be so, if that be best for you. But I have another doubt: I am afraid if you go to Leytonstone you will give up perfection; I mean by placing it so high as I fear none will ever attain. I know not one in London that has largely conversed with Sally Ryan who has not given it up - that is, with regard to their own experience. Now this, I think, would do you no good at all. Nay, I judge it would do you much hurt: it would be a substantial loss. But I do not see how you could possibly avoid that loss without a free intercourse with me both in writing and speaking. Otherwise I know and feel I can give you up, though you are exceeding near and dear to me. But if you was to be moved from your steadfastness, that would give me pain indeed. You will write immediately to, my dear Peggy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Woodhouse


DEAR MADAM, - Yesterday I received the following lines from Mr. Miller at Edinburgh:

Yours I received this day at one o'clock, and immediately went to Dr. Monro [Alexander Monro, M.D. Edin. (1697-1767); first Professor of Anatomy, Edinburgh University, 1720.] and showed him your letter. He said: 'It is my opinion he was born deaf. I cannot give any particular advice: I do not think it is necessary for him to come hither. But if it be desired, I will write and order medicines for him.' The doctor seems to have little hopes of his recovery.

It seems, therefore, you have no call at present to so long and expensive a journey. But if you desire it, I will endeavor when I am at Edinburgh to talk with Dr. Monro myself. If it be in my power to do anything for Mr. Woodhouse [Wesley was at Epworth on April 24, when Mrs. Woodhouse had evidently sought his help as to her father's illness. See letter of May 17.] or you, it will be a pleasure to, dear madam,

Your affectionate servant.

To Ebenezer Blackwell

SUNDERLAND, May 6, 1766.

DEAR SIR, - William Matthews [He had evidently been one of Silas Told's scholars. John Matthews died in 1764. See letter of April 24, 1757.] writes me word that he has quitted the school at the Foundry, and begs me to speak to you in his behalf. I should be glad to serve him in anything that was in my power, either for his late brother's sake or his own. I judge him to be a right honest man, one that may be trusted in every respect, and one that would perform with all diligence whatever he undertook, not so much for gain as for conscience' sake.

I am not yet quite free from the effects of the fall which I had at Christmas, [Riding through the Borough on Dec. 18, 1765, on his way to Shoreham, his mare fell. Wesley was badly bruised. See Journal, v. 152.] and perhaps never shall in this world. Sometimes my ankle, sometimes my knee, and frequently my shoulder, complains. But, blessed be God, I have strength sufficient for the work to which I am called. When I cannot walk any farther, I can take an horse, and now and then a chaise; so that hitherto I have not been hindered from visiting any place which I purposed to see before I left London.

The fields in every part of England are indeed white for the harvest. There is everywhere an amazing willingness in the people to receive either instruction or exhortation. We find this temper now even in many of the higher rank, several of whom cared for none of these things. But surely the time is coming for these also; for the scripture must be fulfilled, 'They shall all know Me, from the least even to the greatest.'

We who have lived more years have need of more earnestness and vigor in running the race which is set before us, or some of those that come after us will get before us in the way. Many of those who have lately set out run well. Grey heads stand upon green shoulders.

They make their morning bear the heat of day.

Let us mend our pace! What is there here that is worth lingering for A little while, and this world of shadows will vanish, and all will be boundless, bottomless eternity!

My wife, who has been very ill, but is much better, joins with me in wishing Mrs. Blackwell and you every blessing which is purchased for you with the blood of the covenant. - I am, dear sir,

Your ever affectionate servant.

To Lady Maxwell [5]


MY DEAR LADY, - It was well that I did not hear anything of a trial you lately had till it was past. You have great reason to bless God that this did not turn you out of the way. You might easily have inferred from it that 'all these people are alike'; and thence have given way to a thousand reasonings, which would have brought you into utter darkness. But it is plain you are not left to your own weakness. You have a strong Helper. The Lord stands on your right hand; therefore you are not moved. And I make no doubt but He will continue to help till His arm brings you salvation. But in the meantime you have need of patience; and the more so, because you have a weak body. This, one may expect, will frequently press down the soul, especially till you are strong in faith. But how soon may that be, seeing it is the gift, yea and the free gift, of God! Therefore it is never far off. The word is nigh thee! 'Only believe!' Look unto Jesus! Be thou saved! Receive out of His fullness grace upon grace; mercy, and grace to keep mercy.

On the 24th instant I hope to be at Edinburgh with my wife and daughter. [See Journal, v. 168. The previous letter shows that Mrs. Wesley had been very ill.] But perhaps you will see the salvation of God before you see, my dear Lady,

Your ever affectionate servant.

To Mrs. Woodhouse


MY DEAR SISTER, - It is a doubt with me whether Dr. Monro will attempt anything in Mr. Woodhouse's case [See letters of May 2, 1766, and Feb. 3, 1768.] and the person at Sunderland who was so strongly recommended to me I fear knows nothing of the matter. I hope to be at Edinburgh next week. If I can learn anything more, I will send you word.

You have great reason to praise God for what He has done and to expect what He has promised. That spark of faith which you have received is of more value than all the world. O cherish it with all your might! Continually stir up the gift of God which is in you, not only by continuing to hear His word at all opportunities, but by reading, by meditation, and above all by private prayer. Though sometimes it should be a grievous cross, yet bear your cross, and it will bear you: your labor shall not be in vain. Is not our Lord just now ready to bless you to increase your faith, and love, and patience, and gentleness You have no need to be any more overcome of evil. Through Him you shall overcome evil with good. Surely His grace is sufficient for you: sufficient to subdue all things to Himself. I want you to be all like Him. Your openness and freedom of behavior when we were at Epworth endeared you to me much. At any time you should speak to me without reserve just what rises in your heart. The peace that passes all understanding keep you heart and mind in Christ Jesus. - I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

If you write in two or three weeks, please to direct to me in Edinburgh.

To Subscribers to 'Notes upon the Old Testament' [6]

GLASGOW, June 20, 1766.

From the time that I published the Notes on the New Testament I was importuned to publish Notes on the Old. I long resisted that importunity; but at length yielded and began the work, supposing that it need not be above twice as long as the former, otherwise all the importunity in the world would not have prevailed on me to undertake it. But I had not gone through the Book of Exodus before I began to find my mistake. I perceived the work would be considerably longer than I expected if I designed to make it intelligible to common readers, and therefore immediately consulted with my friends what was best to be done.

Here was a difficulty on each hand. If I had went on as I begun, and explained every text so as to be understood by every reader, then the work would swell to 100, perhaps 110 or 112 numbers. This, it was easily foreseen, many would complain of, especially those who did not observe that it was not possible to make the notes shorter without making them almost useless. On the other hand, if I left many texts unexplained, they would have reason to complain This was judged the greater evil of the two: so that every one to whom I spoke earnestly desired me to go on as I had begun and not to cramp the work. Several of them added that, even if the work should swell to 120 numbers, it would be far better than by laboring to shorten the notes to make them unintelligible to ordinary readers.

In the meantime I myself have far the worst of it: the great burthen falls upon me-a burthen which, if I had seen before, all the world would not have persuaded me to take up. I am employed day and night, and must go on, whether I will or no, lest the printer should stand still. All my time is swallowed up, and I can hardly catch a few hours to answer the letters that are sent me.

Does any one who knows anything of me suppose that I would drudge thus for money What is money to me Dung and dross. I love it as I do the mire in the streets. But I find enough that want it; and among these I disperse it with both hands, being careful only to owe no man anything, to 'wind my bottom round the year.' [Prior's An Epitaph, 11. 45-8: 'They neither added nor confounded; They neither wasted nor abounded. Each Christmas they accompts did clear, And wound their bottom round the year.'] For my own sake I care not how short the work is; for I am heartily tired of it. It is for the reader's sake that I say as much on each verse as I think will make it intelligible. And there is no fear I should say any more; for I am not a dealer in many words.

To Lady Maxwell

GLASGOW, June 22, 1766.

MY DEAR LADY, - How great was the satisfaction which I received in several of our late conversations! The fears which I long entertained concerning you are now wellnigh at an end. I am not now afraid of your being entangled again by your honorable relations or acquaintance; or of your regarding the pleasures that perish in the using, or seeking happiness in the things of earth. God has given you a taste for better things, and has taught you to see the honor that comes from Him only. Oh what is all the applause or admiration of our poor fellow worms to this! Let them censure or praise: of how small concern is this, so your great Judge says, 'Servant of God, well done.' This is the applause which I trust you will always seek, and of which you cannot be disappointed, seeing 'every one that seeketh, findeth; every one that asketh, receiveth.'

Before this I hope it is made plain to you whether you should comply with St. James or no. I incline to think something of the kind would be good for your body. All the doubt is whether your soul will prosper. [Wesley was in Edinburgh from May 24 to June 1, and probably stayed with Lady Maxwell.] I commend you for being more careful on this than on any other account. And unless you have a clear, particular conviction from God that He will preserve you in the fiery furnace, I cannot advise you to venture into it. Your mind is as yet exceeding tender. You are weak as an infant; your bones are not knit; you are not able to bear.

Yet if it should please our Lord to call you into the combat, He would strengthen you for it, and you would be able to testify, 'I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me.'

Pray let me hear (at Newcastle-upon-Tyne) that you use some exercise every day. I cannot tell you how tender a concern I feel for you. Fulfill you my joy by receiving all the promise. Then I am sure you will love and pray for, my dear Lady,

Your ever affectionate servant.

To his Brother Charles [7]

WHITEHAVEN, June 27, 1766.

DEAR BROTHER, - I think you and I have abundantly too little intercourse with each other. Are we not old acquaintances Have we not known each other for half a century and are we not jointly engaged in such a work as probably no two other men upon earth are Why, then, do we keep at such a distance It is a mere device of Satan. But surely we ought not at this time of day to be ignorant of his devices. Let us therefore make the full use of the little time that remains. We at least should think aloud and use to the uttermost the light and grace on each bestowed. We should help each other,

Of little life the best to make,

And manage wisely the last stake. [Anacreon's Age. Cowley's translation.]

In one of my last I was saying I do not feel the wrath of God abiding on me; nor can I believe it does. And yet (this is the mystery) [I do not love God. I never did]. Therefore [I never] believed in the Christian sense of the word. Therefore [I am only an] honest heathen, a proselyte of the Temple, one of the foboumenoi Qeon. ['Those that fear God.'] And yet to be so employed of God! and so hedged in that I can neither get forward nor backward! Surely there never was such an instance before, from the beginning of the world! If I [ever have had] that faith, it would not be so strange. But [I never had any] other elegcos of the eternal or invisible world than [I have] now; and that is [none at all], unless such as fairly shines from reason's glimmering ray. [I have no] direct witness, I do not say that [I am a child of God], but of anything invisible or eternal.

And yet I dare not preach otherwise than I do, either concerning faith, or love, or justification, or perfection. And yet I find rather an increase than a decrease of zeal for the whole work of God and every part of it. I am feromenos, ['Borne along.'] I know not how, that I can't stand still. I want all the world to come to on ouk oida. ['What I do not know.'] Neither am I impelled to this by fear of any kind. I have no more fear than love. Or if I have [any fear, it is not that of falling] into hell but of falling into nothing.

I hope you are with Billy Evans. If there is an Israelite indeed, I think he is one. O insist everywhere on full redemption, receivable by faith alone I Consequently to be looked for now. You are made, as it were, for this very thing. Just here you are in your element. In connection I beat you; but in strong, pointed sentences you beat me. Go on, in your own way, what God has peculiarly called you to. Press the instantaneous blessing: then I shall have more time for my peculiar calling, enforcing the gradual work.

We must have a thorough reform of the preachers. I wish you would come to Leeds [Where the Conference was held on Aug. 12. 'A happier Conference we never had, nor a more profitable one. It was both begun and ended in love, and with a solemn sense of the presence of God.' See Journal, V. 181-2; and letter of July 9 to brother.] with John Jones in the machine. It comes in two days; and after staying two days, you might return. I would willingly bear your expenses up and down. I believe it will help, not hurt, your health. My love to Sally.

To Mrs. Ryan

WHITEHAVEN, June 28, 1766.

MY DEAR SISTER, - For some time I have been convinced it was my duty to tell you what was on my mind. I will do it with all plainness. You may answer or not, as you judge best.

Many things I have observed in you which gave me pleasure; some which gave me concern: the former I need not mention; the latter I must, or I should not myself be clear before God.

The first of these is something which looks like pride. You sometimes seem to think too highly of yourself, and (comparatively) to despise others. I will instance in two or three particulars: -

1. You appear to be above instruction - I mean instruction from man. I do not doubt but you are taught of God. But that does not supersede your being taught by man also. I believe there is no saint upon earth whom God does not teach by man.

2. You appear to think (I will not affirm you do), that none understands the doctrine of Sanctification like you. [See letter in April to Peggy Dale; Tyerman's Wesley, ii. 561-5, as to the feeling about Perfection at this time; and letter of July 9 to his brother.] Nay, you sometimes speak as if none understood it besides you: whereas (whether you experience more or less of it than some) I know several, both men and women, who both think and speak full as scripturally of it as you do; and perhaps more clearly, for there is often something dark and confused in your manner of speaking concerning it.

3. You appear to undervalue the experience of almost every one in comparison of your own. To this it seems to be owing that you some way or other beat down almost all who believe they are saved from sin. And so some of them were, in the only sense wherein I either teach or believe it, unless they tell flat and willful lies in giving an account of their experience.

A second thing which has given me concern is, I am afraid you are in danger of enthusiasm. We know there are divine dreams and impressions. But how easily may you be deceived herein! How easily, where something is from God, may we mix something which is from nature! especially if we have a lively imagination, and are not aware of any danger.

I will mention one thing more. It has frequently been said, and with some appearance of truth, that you endeavor to monopolize the affections of all that fall into your hands; that you destroy the nearest and dearest connection they had before, and make them quite cool and indifferent to their most intimate friends. I do not at all speak on my own account; I set myself out of the question. But if there be anything of the kind with regard to other people, I should be sorry both for them and you.

I commend you all to God and to the word of His grace. - I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Lady Maxwell

HARTLEPOOL, July 8, 1766.

MY DEAR LADY, - You have certainly taken the safest step. There would have been danger if you had acted otherwise. There is something infectious in the familiar conversation of persons that know not God. Unless we are continually on the watch, it damps and deadens the soul. So much the more reason you have to praise God for the liberty He has given you. He has dealt exceedingly tender with you. He has given you a thousand tokens for good. Do not dare to distrust His goodness any more. Check every thought of that kind. It cometh not from Him that calleth you. Christ is yours. Here is your foundation. Let nothing remove you from this. Jesus hath loved you. He hath given Himself for you. And the Father Himself loves you, and will withhold from you no manner of thing that is good.

I am in much hope Mr. Taylor [Thomas Taylor. See letter of Dec. 17, 1765.] will be of use to you. You will not object to his plainness of speech, but rather encourage him from time to time to tell you all that is in his heart concerning you.

Mrs. Douglas spent a day with our friends at Newcastle, and I believe a profitable one. I have desired my wife to call upon her next week and bring the Colonel and her to York.[Wesley himself reached York on Saturday, July 19, and stayed till the following Wednesday. For Dr. Douglas of Kelso, with whom Wesley stayed in June 1782, see Journal, vi.358.] If she could spend a few days with the simple Christians there, I hope it would be the means of establishing her for ever.

I rejoice to hear that you have the resolution to sleep and rise early. The uneasiness of it will soon be over, but the advantage will remain for ever. O fear no cross! God is on your side, and will command all to work together for good. - I am, my dear Lady, Your most affectionate servant.

To his Brother Charles

STOCKTON, July 9, 1766.

DEAR BROTHER, - I hope Sam. Richards has not left his wife destitute. Sister Purnell certainly is unqualified for an housekeeper. [Evidently for housekeeper at Kingswood School.] I will give her five pounds that she may not be distressed before she is in some way of life. I have wrote to Nancy Smith to go to Bristol directly. By all the accounts I have had from others, and by talking with her myself, I judge she is a proper person. I am sure she has grace and sense, and is willing to learn.

I shall judge of the bands at Kingswood when I am there. They have not met tolerably for these dozen years.

I have set aside J. H., and will stand by it. But I expect to meet more critical cases than his. How apt are you to take the color of your company! When you and I [talked] together, you seemed at least to be of the same mind with me, and now you are all off the hooks again! - unless you only talk because you are in an humor of contradiction; and if so, I may as well blow against the wind as talk with you. I was not mad, though Thomas Maxfield was. I did not talk nonsense on the head as he did. I did not act contrary to all moral honesty. When your hymns on one hand were added to his talking and acting on the other, what was likely to be the consequence

I will tell you a secret. I will not be opposed at the Conference; for I will not dispute. I shall find them other work. But (as I wrote in my last) it is highly expedient you should be there. Don't mind four or five pounds expense; I have enough for you and me.[See letter of June 27.]

One word more, concerning setting perfection too high. [See letter of June 28.] That perfection which I believe, I can boldly preach, because I think I see five hundred witnesses of it. Of that perfection which you preach, you do not even think you see any witness at all. Why, then you must have far more courage than me, or you could not persist in preaching it. I wonder you do not in this article fall in plumb with Mr. Whitefield. For do not you as well as he ask, 'Where are the perfect ones' I verily believe there are none upon earth, none dwelling in the body. I cordially assent to his opinion that there is no such perfection here as you describe-at least, I never met with an instance of it; and I doubt I never shall. Therefore I still think to set perfection so high is effectually to renounce it.

Pray tell Mr. Franks [His Book Steward at the Foundery. Pine was printing Wesley's Notes upon the Old Testament and his Plain Account of Christian Perfection. See letter of June 20.] I have this moment received Mr. Pine's letter and agree with every article of it.

I believe the sooner Sister Smith goes to Bristol the better. I wish you would advise and encourage her a little.

Both James and Jonas had much grace. But you and I are no Calvinists. I know nothing of Jonas's escape. It is not strange that an high nervous disorder should terminate in madness, yet she too had much grace, and perhaps has still.

Miss Lewen [Wesley's fall in Southwark had shaken him severely (see letter of May 6). This chaise was a great boon.] gave me a chaise and a pair of horses.

You are a long time getting to London. Therefore I hope you will do much good there. Yes, says William, 'Mr. Charles will stop their prating in the bands at London, as he has done at Bristol.' I believe not. I believe you will rather encourage them to speak humbly and modestly the words of truth and soberness. Great good has flowed and will flow herefrom. Let your 'knowledge direct not quench the fire.' That has been done too much already. I hope you will now raise, not depress their hopes. 'They consider us,' says honest George, [Whitefield. On Aug. 21 Charles Wesley writes to his wife from London: 'Last night my brother came. This morning we spent two blessed hours with G. Whitefield. The threefold cord, we trust, will never more be broken.'] 'as setting suns. And yet it may please God we should outlive many of them.' The proposal is good. But I fear our Council is a little like the Senate of Capua. [The Senate of Capua was attached to Rome, but lost its control when Hannibal appeared, and he entered the city in triumph.] Come, try. Name me four senators, and I will name four more. Find such as you can, till you can find such as you would. Don't expect men 'without spot or blemish.' I could name six if need were, and yet not one angel; but oioi nun brotoi eisi ['Such are mortals now.']

My wife continues in an amazing temper. Miracles are not ceased. Not one jarring string. O let us live now! My love to Sally.

To Samuel Furly

YARM, July 9, 1766.

DEAR SAMMY, - What a blessing it is that, where we do not think alike, we can agree to disagree! Seventeen or eighteen years ago, after much searching of the Scriptures and mature deliberation, I wrote my thoughts concerning the witness of God's Spirit and the witness of our own spirit. [In Wesley's first volume of Sermons, published in 1746.] I have not yet seen any reason to change my judgment on either of these subjects; rather I am confirmed therein more and more both by the living and dying children of God. And this is no peculiarity of the Methodists. Many I have found in various parts both of Great Britain and Ireland (to say nothing of Holland, Germany, and America) who enjoyed that immediate witness before they had any sort of connection with the Methodists or any knowledge either of their persons or writings. Most of the Papists call it a peculiarity of the Protestants. And they have some color from the 'Harmonia Confessionum'; which does undoubtedly prove that this was the general opinion of the Protestant Churches. But not of them alone; for many of the Romanists too both held and experienced it.

Wishing you and yours every gospel blessing, I am, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To the Rev. Mr. Furly, At Crossport, Huddersfield.

To Francis Wanley, Dean of Ripon [8]

YARM, July 9, 1766.

REVEREND SIR, - The regard which I owe to a fellow Christian, and much more to a clergyman and a magistrate, constrains me to trouble you with a few lines, though I have no personal acquaintance with you. Ralph Bell has just been giving me an account of the late affair at Ripon. What he desires is (1) to have the loss he has sustained repaired; and (2) liberty of conscience - that liberty which every man may claim as his right by the law of God and nature, and to which every Englishman in particular has a right by the laws of his country. I well know the advantage these laws give us in the present case: I say us, because I make the case my own, as I think it my bounder duty to do. I have had many suits in the King's Bench, and (blessed be God) I never lost one yet. [See letter of Dec. 20.] But I would far rather put an amicable end to any dispute where it can be done. Not that I am afraid of being overborne by the expense: if I am not, I know them that are able to bear it. But I love peace. I love my neighbor as myself, and would not willingly bring loss or trouble upon any man. Be so good as to impute to this motive my interfering in this matter. - I am, reverend sir,

Your servant for Christ's sake.

To James Rea [9]

YORK, July 21, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - Preach abroad at Newry, Newtown, Lisburn, and Carrick, if ever you would do good. It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has damped the work of God, which never was and never will be carried on to any purpose without going out into the highways and hedges and compelling poor sinners to come in.

Papists converted may read their recantation or not; it is of no great consequence. But I go to church whether the minister is good or bad, and advise others so to do.

But what is become of Robert Williams He is usually a reviver of the work wherever he comes. Let him and you go on hand in hand, and you will carry all before you. But preach abroad in every place. Mind not lazy or cowardly Methodists. 'Tis a shame to preach in an house before October unless in a morning. At the Conference we will consider where it is best for you to be. Meantime be all in earnest. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

I don't recollect who Brother Clendearning is.

To Jane Hilton [10]

YORK, July 22, 1766.

MY DEAR SISTER, - See that you stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. You need never more be entangled either with pride or anger or desire of any creature. Christ is yours; all is yours. O be all His, and admit no rival into your heart! But, above all, beware of unbelief. Beware of the reasoning devil. In every cloud or shadow of doubt look up, and help, while yet you ask, is given. All you want is ready! Only believe! - I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother in Christ.

I hope your health is better.

To Mrs. Bennis [11]

LEEDS, August 14, 1766.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Although I am at present exceedingly hurried with various business, yet love constrains me to write a few lines. Your letters are always welcome to me as the picture of an honest and affectionate heart.

What you say concerning the witness of the Spirit is agreeable to all sound experience. We may in some measure be satisfied without it in the time of broad sunshine: but it is absolutely necessary in the time of clouds and heaviness and temptation; otherwise it would be hardly possible to hold fast your confidence.

Beware of voluntary humility; even this may create a snare. In the Thoughts on Christian Perfection and in the Farther Thoughts you have the genuine experience of the adult children of God. Oppose that authority to the authority of any that contradict (if reason and Scripture are disregarded), and look daily for a deeper and fuller communion with God. O what is it to walk in the light as He is in the light!

Do not cease to pray for

Your truly affectionate brother.

To Ann Foard

LONDON, August 21, 1755.

DEAR MISS ANN, - Your letters will always be agreeable to me; and the more largely and freely you write the better. I am deeply concerned for your happiness; and a measure of happiness you may enjoy as long as you feel any love in your heart to God, though it be but in a small degree. Be thankful for what you have, and in peace and love wait for the whole promise. God has not only promised, but confirmed that promise by an oath, that, 'being delivered from all your enemies, you shall serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of your life.' By what art can this be made to mean the last day or the last moment of your life Look for it now! To-day hear His voice. Do not reason against God, against yourself. 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.' 'The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.'

I advise you: (1) Get all the opportunities you can of hearing the preaching and conversing with the children of God. (2) Avoid disputing with your might. (3) Spend some time every day in private prayer, in meditation, and in reading the Notes on the New Testament, the first volume of Sermons, and the Appeals. (4) When you may be free, use it rather. Peace be with your spirit. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Crosby [12]

ST. Ives, CORNWALL, September 12, 1766.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Last night I received yours, and was in some doubt whether to write again or no; and if I did, whether to write with reserve or without. At length I resolved upon the latter, and that for two reasons: (1) because I love you; (2) because I love myself. And if so, I ought to write, and to write freely; for your letters do me good.

I see little difference in our sentiments on the head of friendship: only in two particulars you do not seem to . . . . . rally. I really think she has more love than light. Herein I want her to know what is her own gift and wherein she has need of others.

I still say I never saw one text in the Bible which speaks of a state from which it is not possible to fall; although I see several which speak of the plerophory (or full assurance) of hope. And whoever has this is divinely assured 'I shall dwell with God in glory.'

I shall add a little on a subject more difficult to speak on (unless to a friend indeed), namely, myself. In times past you thought very wrong concerning me. I believe God tore you from me on that very account. You told me at Leeds you was convinced of your mistake; you told me so again at London. But I doubt you are now as deep in it as before. And are you not brought into that opinion of me the second time by the very same persons who brought you into it at first O Sally, beware! Evil is before you! Remember poor Thomas Walsh! [See Wesley's Veterans, v. 188-98.]

'You lose your authority with many of the people and preachers by not living closer with God.' Who knows whether I live more or less closely with God You know something by my own testimony. Your companions know nothing about it but by those surmisings with which God is not well pleased. For that they have the discernment of spirits I do not believe. And what can Brother Jones or Penington [William Penington. See letter of Sept. 21, 1764.] know but by my outward walking Wherein I will be bold to say they see nothing but what might become Gregory Lopez.

'I used to wonder, said one, that you was so little affected at things that would make me run mad. But now I see it is God's doing. If you felt these things as many do, you would be quite incapable of the work to which you are called.' Consider this well. I am called to a peculiar work. And perhaps the very temper and behavior which you blame is one great means whereby I am capacitated for carrying on that work. I do not 'lessen my authority' (perhaps there have been six exceptions, perhaps not) over two hundred preachers and twenty thousand men and women by any tenderness either of speech or behavior, whether to preachers or people. God exceedingly confirms my authority thereby; of which I have such proofs as you cannot have.

The wants I feel within are to God and my own soul; and to others, only so far as I choose to tell them. If they descant upon them any farther, it is their own loss, not mine. But He that sends me does not take it well at their hands. I take well all that you say; and I love you the more, the more free you are. That is another total mistake, that I dislike any one for plain dealing. And of all persons living Sarah Crosby has least room to say so. - My dear sister, adieu.

To Mrs. Crosby, At Miss Bosanquet's, In Leytonstone, Near London.

To John Haime [13]

ST. IVES, CORNWALL, September 16, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER,-I think you have no need to go to London; God has, it seems, provided a place for you here. Mr. Hoskins [See letter of July 15, 1765.] wants a worn-out preacher to live with him, to take care of his family and to pray with them morning and evening.

To William Orpe [14]

TIVERTON, September 18, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - Certainly Mr. Ward ought not to be a trustee, nor any person who is not a member of our Society. Neither can Francis Whitehead or Thomas Underhill, seeing the majority of the present trustees are against them. You must needs have men of peace and those who love the cause of God and the whole Methodist plan. A new conveyance may include the whole. But I doubt whether you should not discharge such a lawyer immediately. Go on, calm and steady. - I am, dear Billy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

TO Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mrs. Wright's, Baker, In Wednesbury. Per Bristol and Gloucester.

To Thomas Rankin [15]

BRISTOL, October 9, 1766.

DEAR TOMMY, - I am persuaded good will be done in Lincolnshire. They are in general a simple, teachable people. And Billy Brammah will do much good, if he continues to sleep early and rise early, and denies himself with regard to tobacco and eating flesh suppers.

One or other of the remedies against an ague in the Primitive Physick will hardly fail. I depend most on (1) the pills. If these fail, (2) on the sal prunellae. If that fail, (3) on the spirits of hartshorn.

Cornwall in general is in a good way. Most of the large Societies there have subscribed for the Notes for the use of the preachers. I know not why the Society at Epworth should not follow their example.

Perhaps those advices may be printed separate by-and-by. Be calm and steady. Be clothed with firmness and humility.- I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To John Whitehead [16]

KINGSWOOD, October 15, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I am of your mind that there is need of three preachers in the North, [Of Ireland.] and that there would be sufficient provision for them. Send me word which of those who are there now you think would be most proper to act as Assistant. If they can persuade the people to give a penny a quarter for horses, it may prevent much inconvenience. If James Morgan judges it best, I have no objection to James Mears being the General Steward.

It is not advisable to take any step with a young woman without the full and free consent of her parents. So let what is past be forgotten, and be more wary for the time to come. Let your eye be single, that your whole body may be full of light. Mind one thing! What have you to do but to save your own soul and them that hear you - I am

Your affectionate brother.

I desire James Morgan, Mark Davis, John Johnson, W. Thompson, and T. Brisco to act as Assistants this year

To Peggy Dale

LONDON, November 7, 1766.

MY DEAR PEGGY, - How happy is it to sit loose to all below! Just now I find a paper on which is wrote (in Miss Lewen's hand), 'March 24, 1762. Margaret Dale, Anne Dale, Margaret Lewen wonder in what state of life they will be in the year 1766.' How little did any of you think at that time that she would then be in eternity! [Miss Lewen had died in October. see letter in June 1764 to her.] But she now wonders at nothing and grieves at nothing:

Extinct is the animal flame,

And passion is vanished away

You say, 'Do not forget me till that time!' I think there is no danger. I remember your determination to be all for God, your childlike confidence in Him, your tenderness to your friends, your honest, artless simplicity! O give all the glory to Him for every gracious thought or word that brings you nearer heaven! A few days remain for you and me: let us husband them to the uttermost. I long for you to burn with the flame of the seraphim, to love with love like theirs! O press forward! Wrestle and fight and pray! And sure neither life nor death shall separate you from, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To George Merryweather [17]

LONDON, November 15, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - Go on in the name of the Lord and in the power of His might. The Lord is on your side. Fear not what man can do unto you.

So far you may fairly go. You may mildly reprove a swearer first. If he sets your reproof at naught, then you ought to proceed as the law directs.

I have no manner of objection as to the inoculating grown persons. I have some scruples as to inoculating children, unless the physician could promise me the child shall not die of it.

The lawyer in London whom I can best trust is Mr. Hunt, No. 15 Friday Street. - I am, dear George,

Your affectionate brother.

To Christopher Hopper [18]

LONDON, November 20, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - The letter now before me runs thus:

SUNDERLAND, November 10.

Mr. Hopper has been here preaching for a fortnight; and he proposes to come to live here and be our minister; and an house is to be built for him. Then we shall not want the traveling preachers so often. And I hope he will give us the sacrament.

You must explain this to me yourself. I can say nothing to it; for I know nothing of the matter. - I am

Yours affectionately.

To Christopher Hopper

LONDON, November 27, 1766.

It is well my letter was overlooked till I came home: so one will do for two. John Fenwick will set out to-morrow morning, which is as soon as he could be spared from hence.

Nay, it is you must make the best of M. Fenwick. Cure him of his coxcomicality, and he may do good. If Mrs. Robinson continues to walk closely with God, I expect her health will continue.

Miss Lewen's Will probably will be a nine days' wonder. [Under her will Wesley received l,000, which he soon distributed amongst the poor. See letter of Nov. 7n.] Mr. Whitefield acted according to the light he had; but I durst not have done so, because I am God's steward for the poor.

We all join in love. Adieu!

To Ann Foard [19]

LONDON, November 30, 1766.

DEAR SISTER, - Your letter was exceeding acceptable to me, and the more so because I was almost afraid you had forgotten me. I am glad to find you have not forgotten the blessing which God gave you when at Newcastle and the resolutions which you formed there; and I trust you never will, till God gives you the full enjoyment of the glorious liberty which you then tasted. Do not imagine that this is afar off; or that you must do and suffer a great deal before you attain it - I dare not affirm that. Has not Christ done and suffered enough for you The purchase is made; the price is paid already; you have only to believe and enter into rest, to take the purchased possession; all is ready, and to-day is the day of salvation! Why should you not now be all love all devoted to Him that loves you Is it not the language of your heart -

Henceforth may no profane delight

Divide this consecrated soul;

Possess it Thou, who hast the right,

As Lord and Master of the whole.

You are to obey your parent in the Lord only, not in opposition to Him. If, therefore, any means should offer whereby you might enjoy that full liberty of conscience which every creature has a right to, I judge it would be not only lawful but your bounder duty to accept of such an offer.

You did nothing amiss in showing the letter, especially to so good and sensible a man as Mr. Thornton.

Mrs. Wilberforce's charity is a good omen: what is it God will not do if we can trust Him Only cast your whole care upon Him, and He will do all things well; He will withhold from you no manner of thing that is good. O let Him have all your heart!-I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To William Orpe

LONDON, December 16, 1766.

DEAR BILLY, - I did intend to give William Fugill [See letter of June 18, 1762, to Christopher Hopper.] four or five guineas-if his behavior was unblameable. But it has not been so; therefore I alter my intention, and give the rest to them that deserve it better. The circumstances you mention are very considerable, and I am afraid amount to a full proof that at this very time his heart is not right either with God or with his brethren.

I do not see but in a particular case you may preach in such a meeting-house. We may repair, but we must not build houses yet.

If you require another preacher, I will look for one. But Assistants are not so plenty as blackberries.

I hope you are visiting from house to house. This will do execution! - I am, dear Billy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Orpe, At Mr. Ezekiel King's, In Stroud, Gloucestershire.

To Peggy Dale

LONDON, December 19, 1766.

MY DEAR PEGGY, - Indeed, it is an unspeakable blessing to be convinced that God does all things well! But what wonder is it that such poor short-sighted creatures as we are cannot explain the reasons of His acting! Many times these are among the secrets of His government which we shall not understand till death opens our eyes. [The death of Miss Lewen had probably strengthened her feeling that she would die early (Life and Letters, i. 14).] Oh what a scene will then be unfolded, when we shall see what we now believe!

Do you find faith's abiding impression, realizing things to come Do you feel no decay of love Is the eye of your soul always fixed and always unclouded And yet what a depth of blessing remains for you! It is indeed

A sea of life and love unknown,

Without a bottom or a shore!

It comforts me to think that you are sinking deeper and deeper into this, and receiving more and more of Him that loves you. I hope you are not weary of visiting the poor and sick. Abound more and more in the work of the Lord! And still love and pray for, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To George Merryweather

LONDON, December 20, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - When the actions [Probably the trouble at Ripon. See letters of July 9, 1766 (to Dean Wanley), and Jan. 29, 1767.] are brought, then it is soon enough to apply to the King's Bench. If they are cast, I suppose it will cost you little if anything. If you are cast, it cannot easily be determined what the expense will be. But one thing you should keep in your own breast, and it may stand you in good stead. Get proof, if it be possible, that those gentlemen are a confederate body. And if they should swear through thick and thin, so that all things should go against you, you have only to prove 'There is such a combination,' and the suit turns on your side at once.

Go on in the work whereto God has called you, and He will do all things well. I hope our preachers preach and live the gospel. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Walter Sellon

LONDON, December 30, 1766.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - It is certain that nothing less than the mighty power of God can ever effect that union. However, in me mora non erit ulla ['No delay will occur.']; and I doubt not you are of the same mind.

Begin then. Set upon John Goodwin [See Tyerman's Wesley, iii. 55; and letters of Dec. 1, 1757, and July 9, 1768.] as soon as you please. You are very capable of the work; and you have something more leisure than I have. But I would not have you stint yourself for room. The book should be in the letter wherein my Abridgement of the Serious Call is printed. And if it have three hundred and fifty pages, well.

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

Your affectionate brother.

Editor's Introductory Notes

[1] John Fletcher was born at Nyon in 1729. Wesley became acquainted with him in 1752, soon after he came to London; and when he was ordained at Whitehall in 1757, he hastened to West Street to help Wesley in his sacramental service. Their friendship grew more and more intimate, till Fletcher's death in 1785. He was twenty-five years Vicar of Madeley, and both by his personal influence and his masterly writings rendered constant service to the friend with whom he said 'I gladly would both live and die.' Wesley says, 'We were of one heart and of one soul'; and when he wrote his Life, bore witness: 'I have known many excellent men, holy in heart and life; but one equal to him I have not known, one so uniformly and deeply devoted to God.' See Works, xi. 273-365.

Wesley went to Lewisham on Sunday evening, February 23, 'and finished the notes on the Book of Job' for his Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament. Fletcher wrote on the 17th as to an exact definition of Perfection, and spoke of his 'desire to execute the plan of a work' to consist of six dialogues on cardinal Christian doctrines. See Tyerman's Wesley, ii. 563-4.

[2] The sermon on The Lord our Righteousness was preached at West Street, London, on November 24, 1765. He says in his Journal, v. 150-1: 'I said not one thing which I have not said at least fifty times within this twelvemonth.' The Plain Account, published in 1766, is Wesley's classic exposition of the doctrine of Christian Perfection, and has had world-wide influence. See Works, xi. 366-446; Green's Bibliography, No. 238.

[3] Mrs. Bennis wrote on March 11 about her religious experience. She asked whether there may not be imperfections where there is no sin, &c. See letter of August 23, 1763.

[4] 'Peggy submitted her judgment to John Wesley's, and stayed at home.' Wesley thought it would not be altogether good for her to come under the influence of Mrs. Ryan, who was living at Leytonstone with Miss Bosanquet. See Dale's Life and Letters, i. 13; and letters of October 12, 1764, October 5 and 12, 1765, and June 28, 1766.

[5] Lady Maxwell's biographer says she had 'become zealous in the cause of religion, and was deeply affected when anything occurred calculated to stain its purity or to lead the unwary to question its reality. Something of this nature had happened in Edinburgh, which led her ladyship to state the matter to Mr. Wesley.' See Life, p. 23.

[6] This circular letter was found by the Rev. Wilfrid J. Moulton, M.A., in his copy of Wesley's Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament. The work was expected to fill sixty numbers, each containing three sheets and sold at 6d. The printer adds this footnote to the circular:

As it cannot be exactly ascertained in how many numbers the work will be completed, it is judged most necessary (for the sake of uniformity) with the last number to give the title-pages and likewise directions to the binder to divide the volumes: by which means it will be done with greater exactness than otherwise it possibly can be. And as the work unavoidably exceeds what was at first intended, the subscribers shall receive GRATIS a Print of Mr. Wesley with each of the volumes to serve as a frontispiece.

See Green's Bibliography, No. 234.

[7] This is an extraordinary outpouring of Wesley's deepest religious feeling. It is impressive to find the leading spirit of the Evangelical Revival, who is growing daily in zeal and in influence, exercising such discipline over himself. It is no wonder that the words in brackets were in shorthand, as only intended for his brother's eye. He is severe with himself, but quick to acknowledge the devotion of others.

William Evans the jeweler lived at Woodsclose, Clerkenwell, whence Charles Wesley (in his Journal) dates a letter to his wife on July 12, 1766. Wesley writes on February 25, 1776: 'I buried the remains of William Evans, one of the first members of our Society. He was an Israelite indeed, open (if it could be) to a fault; always speaking the truth from his heart.' In Stevenson's City Road Chapel, p. 34, his name appears in the band list for June 1745 among the 'single' members.

[8] The Methodists at Ripon had suffered much harsh and unlawful treatment. Francis Wanley (1709-91), Dean of Ripon and Rector of Stokesley, was a magistrate, but refused to administer justice in the case of the Methodists. Ripon was in the Yarm Circuit, where Wesley evidently saw Ralph Bell at the Quarterly Meeting which was held that day. On May 2, 1780, Wesley was at Ripon. 'The great hindrance of the work of God in this place has suddenly disappeared, and the poor people, being delivered from their fear, gladly flock together to hear His word.'

[9] James Rea was one of four preachers from Ireland received on trial at the Conference of 1765, and was appointed to Newry. He 'desisted from traveling' in 1770. An unpublished diary by Jonathan Hern, then stationed at Castlebar, says he rode to Dublin with Mr. Clendinnen on July 14, 1772, and attended a watch-night service there that night. John C. Clendinnen, of Downpatrick, was received on trial as a preacher in 1796 and appointed to Ballyshannon. He died at Bideford in 1855.

Robert Williams preached in the market-place at Whitehaven on June 29, 1766, to some thousands of people, all quiet and attentive. Wesley met him in Ireland the previous April. He was a strong dissenter, and went to America in 1769, where he became the Apostle of Methodism in Virginia and South Carolina and led thousands to Christ. See Journal, v. 173, 202, 315-6; Crookshank's Methodism in Ireland, i. 225, 298.

[10] Francis Hilton was 'a respectable shoemaker' in Beverley, in whose house Methodist preaching was first held. When this became too small, he hired and fitted up at his own expense a large and commodious room in Mr. Turner's yard, a very central situation. He had a numerous family. His daughter Jane joined the Methodist Society on September 10, 1764. Wesley preached in Hilton's yard on July 14, 1759. Miss Hilton consulted him about her marriage to William Barton, of Beverley. See Methodist Magazine, 1828, pp. 222-5; and letter of September 30, 1768.

[11] Mrs. Bennis told Wesley on July 10, 'I had got into a new world! I found an entire change; I had that perception or consciousness that I was changed; but I also found doubts, fears, and questionings,' till she cried mightily for the witness of the Spirit, which was granted 'in such a manner as was very clear to me.'

[12] The Leytonstone circle was disposed to be critical of Wesley's spiritual experience. His patience and readiness to listen to the advice of these friends are remarkable; and this letter, part of which is missing, gives an insight into his inner life which is of great interest. See letters of March 25, 1764, and June 28, 1766, to Mrs. Ryan.

A name was blotted out at the end of the original letter. It is evidently 'Sarah Crosby'; but 'S. R. and M. B.' (Sarah Ryan and Mary Bosanquet), with 'has' altered to 'have,' appear in the draft, probably written by Michael Fenwick, who had taught himself to write so like Wesley that Atmore says 'it was difficult without strict scrutiny to discriminate between them' (Memorial, p. 123).

[13] In Wesley's Veterans, i. 54, Haime writes: 'In the beginning of September 1766 I was living at Shaftesbury, when, Mr. Wesley passing through on his way to Cornwall, I asked if it would be agreeable for me to be at his house in London a few days. He said, "Yes, as long as you please." But before I set out I received the following letter':

[14] Orpe was now the Assistant in the Staffordshire Round. The Minutes for 1767 show that special attention was being given to the trust deeds and that Wednesbury trustees were afraid that Conference might impose one preacher on them for many years. Francis Ward was one of the first Methodists in the town, and Wesley was writing in his house when it was beset by the mob in 1743. See Journal, iii. 98; and letter of December 14, 1765.

[15] Rankin was appointed Assistant at Epworth, with William Brammah ('a plain, honest man of deep piety and great zeal') and Lancelot Harrison as his colleagues. He had not been more than two months there when he was seized with fever and ague, which made his work a burden. Hence Wesley's remedies. See Wesley's Veterans, vi. 162.

[16] John Whitehead became an itinerant in 1765, and was a preacher for some years. He then married, and entered into business in Bristol. Afterwards he opened a school at Wandsworth, where two sons of Dr. Lettsom were his pupils. Under Dr. Lettsom's direction he studied medicine, and took his M.D. at Leyden. He became Wesley's medical adviser, attended him on his death-bed, and wrote his Life. See Moore's Wesley, i. v-vi.

Whitehead was now in his second year at Athlone. With him were William Thompson, the Irish preacher who in 1791 became the first President; and Thomas Brisco, whose health gave way, and who died at Chester in 1797. John Johnson and James Morgan were in the North-West Round.

[17] Merryweather's daughter married Matthew Naylor, a local preacher, who introduced Methodism into Bishop Auckland and other places in Durham. Their son, Mr. B. S. Naylor, became a teacher of elocution in Melbourne. When he died, this letter was found among his papers left to Mr. John Ross, and was sent to the Australian Spectator by the Rev. Dr. Sugden. Wesley's view on inoculation and his advice about a lawyer show how he touched life at all points. See W.H.S. xiii. 88-9.

[18] Hopper, who was stationed in Newcastle, says: 'I was just worn out; my bodily strength failed. I was on the verge of eternity.' He became a supernumerary in 1767, but after a year's rest was able to take a circuit. See Wesley's Veterans, i. 146.

[19] Mrs. Wilberforce was sister to John Thornton, of Clapham. Her husband was guardian to his nephew William Wilberforce, who lived with them for some time at Wimbledon. His mother was afraid of the Methodist influences of that home, and called him back to Hull. Mrs. Wilberforce was a friend and disciple of Wilberforce, and afterwards lived at Blackheath. She died in 1788. See A Sect that moved the World, pp. 44, 66, 91, 97, 100.

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