Wesley Center Online

The Letters of John Wesley




JANUARY 15, 1767, TO DECEMBER 30, 1769



Rigging-loft rented for Methodist preaching in New York.

Mar. 30. Wesley visits Ireland leaves July 29.

Aug. 18. Conference in London: effort to remove debts on preaching-houses; Francis Asbury received on trial.


Jan. Appointed a domestic chaplain to the Countess Dowager of Buchan.

Apr. 27. Wesley makes a Will.

Aug. 24. Trevecca College opened.


Aug. 1. Conference begins at Leeds: Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor volunteer to go to New York; 50 contributed for the preaching-house there, 20 'given to our brethren for their passage.'

Hannah Ball's Sunday school at High Wycombe.


Three new lady correspondents were added to Wesley's list at this time. Hannah Ball at High Wycombe abounded in good works, and began her Sunday school nearly fourteen years before Robert Raikes started his in Gloucester. Nancy Bolton, of Witney, became one of Wesley's most favoured correspondents. Mary Bishop, of Bath, was a teacher and thinker after Wesley's own heart.

There are signs in the correspondence of the renewal of the Calvinistic Controversy, which was to flame up around the Minutes of the Conference of 1770. George Whitefield is described at the time as 'still breathing nothing but love': but the letter to Joseph Townsend in August 1767 points to the coming storm. The letters to Charles Wesley are of the deepest significance and there is a pathetic touch about the fragment of a letter to his old friend Mrs. Woodhouse asking for particulars of John Whitelamb, who had been his father's curate and had married Mary Wesley. The effort to clear off the debts of the Connexion is one of the outstanding features of this period. Wesley left no stone unturned to accomplish this object, in which preachers and friends gave him the most generous and unwearying support. The last letter is one of unique interest. Wesley had sent his first two preachers to America, where Methodism had already taken root, and was himself thinking of another voyage across the Atlantic, though that was never accomplished.


JANUARY 15, 1767, TO DECEMBER 30, 1769

To Ann Foard

LONDON, January 15, 1767.

DEAR MISS ANN,--Time changes thought, especially in youth and amidst variety of company. So that it would be nothing strange if you should forget those for whom you once had a regard; but you need not. Every reasonable affection is intended to last to eternity. And the true affection for our friends is, as Milton says, a scale whereby to heavenly love thou may'st ascend. [Paradise Lost, viii. 589-92.'Love refines/ The thoughts, and heart enlarges: hath his seat/ In reason, and is judicious; is the scale/ By which to heavenly love thou may'st ascend,']

For the present you seem to be in your place, the place which the wisdom of God has assigned you; and the crosses you now meet with, as they are not of your own choosing, will surely work together for good. Your want of more public opportunities may in a good measure be supplied by private exercises. Let no day pass without more or less private prayer, reading, and meditation. And does not God see in secret Does He not now read your heart, and see if it pants for His pure love If so, are not all things ready May you not now find what you never did before Ask Him that loves you, whose nature and whose name is Love!--I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Rankin


LONDON, January 22, 1767.

DEAR TOMMY,--What has more than once troubled me is this. One Assistant was very zealous for one, two, or three years. Afterwards he quite lost his catholic zeal and usefulness. See that this be not your case.

Are the people there willing that John Ellis should come into Lincolnshire If they are, let the exchange be made without delay.

There is a good work going on in London. But not like that which George Bell and Thomas Maxfield put a stop to. I know not when we shall see an end of the advantage which Satan gained by their means. They made the very name of Perfection stink in the nostrils even of those who loved and honoured it before. And this I told them and others long ago must be a consequence of proceeding in such a manner.

I hope you all labour in training up the children and in visiting from house to house. Take care of the rising generation.--I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Tho. Rankin, At Mr. Hutton's, In Epworth, Near Thorne, Yorkshire.

To his Brother Charles

LONDON, January 27, 1767.

DEAR BROTHER,--Some thoughts occurred to my mind this morning which I believe it may be useful to set down: the rather because it may be a means of our understanding each other clearly; that we may agree as far as ever we can, and then let all the world know it.

I was thinking on Christian Perfection, with regard to the thing, the manner, and the time.

1. By perfection I mean the humble, gentle, patient love of God and man ruling all the tempers, words, and actions, the whole heart by the whole life. I do not include an impossibility of falling from it, either in part or in whole. Therefore I retract several expressions in our Hymns which partly express, partly imply, such an impossibility. And I do not contend for the term sinless, though I do not object against it.

Do we agree or differ here If we differ, wherein

2. As to the manner. I believe this perfection is always wrought in the soul by faith, by a simple act of faith, consequently in an instant. But I believe in a gradual work both preceding and following that instant.

Do we agree or differ here

3. As to the time. I believe this instant generally is the instant of death, the moment before the soul leaves the body. But I believe it may be ten, twenty, or forty years before death.

Do we agree or differ here

I believe it is usually many years after justification, but that it may be within five years or five months after it. I know no conclusive argument to the contrary. Do you If it must be many years after justification, I would be glad to know how many. Pretium quotus arrogat annus [Horace's Epistles, II. i. 35 'What year must claim the reward'] And how many days or months or even years can you allow to be between perfection and death How far from justification must it be And how near to death

If it be possible, let you and I come to a good understanding, both for our own sakes and for the sake of the people. [See letter of Feb. 12.]

To George Merryweather

LONDON, January 29, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--To suppose a combination, does not avail; to prove it, would cast them at once.

You are in the right to lose no time; what is to be done should be done as soon as possible. Delays are never more dangerous than in law proceedings.[See letters of Dec. 20, 1766, and Oct. 6, 1767.]

I have no knowledge of Mr. Dunning [John Dunning (1731-83), first Baron Ashburton 1782; Solicitor-General 1768-70. Sir Fletcher Norton (1716-89); Attorney-General 1763, Speaker of the House of Commons 1770, Baron Grantley of Markenfield 1782. Attacked by Junius in Letter 39.] or Sir Fletcher Norton. Only I have lately retained Sir Fletcher in the behalf of Miss Lewen's executors. Peace be with your spirit!--I am

Your affectionate brother.

To his Brother Charles

LONDON, February 12, 1767.

DEAR BROTHER,--What I mean is, Bishop Lowth is sometimes hypercritical and finds fault where there is none. Yet doubtless his is the best English Grammar that is extant. [In June 1770 Wesley 'looked over Dr. Priestley's English Grammar. I wonder he would publish it after Bishop Lowth's' (Journal, v. 370).] I never saw Hermes; the author of it is a rooted Deist.

I won't complain of the preaching too often at Bath. Pray do you take two things upon yourself: (1) Let punctual notice be given on Sunday, March 8, in the chapel [See Journal, v. 198.] of my preaching there on Tuesday evening, March 10. (2) That notice be given at Bristol on the same Sunday of my preaching at the New Room on Wednesday the 11th, at seven in the evening, and afterwards meeting the Society, at which I desire all who can to be present. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I purpose meeting the classes.

Pray take care that Brother Henderson [Richard Henderson, then Assistant at Bristol.] wants nothing. Sickness is an expensive thing.

You are not yet (nor probably I) aware of pickthanks. [Pickthank, 'one who picks a thank--i.e. one who curries favour with another, especially by informing against someone else' (New Eng. Dic.). See 1 Henry IV. 111. ii. 22 - 5:Yet such extenuation let me beg,/As, in reproof of many tales devised/(Which oft the ear of greatness needs must hear)/By smiling pickthanks and base news mongers. ] Such were those who told you I 'did not pray for you by name in public.' And they are liars into the bargain, unless they are deaf. .

The voice of one who truly loves God surely is--

'Tis worse than death my God to love

And not my God alone.

Such an one is certainly 'as much athirst for sanctification as he once was for justification.' You remember this used to be one of your constant questions. It is not now. Therefore you are altered in your sentiments. And, unless we come to an explanation, we shall inevitably contradict each other. But this ought not to be in any wise, if it can possibly be avoided. [See letter of Jan. 27.]

I still think to disbelieve all the professors amounts to a denial of the thing. For if there be no living witness of what we have preached for twenty years, I cannot, dare not preach it any longer. The whole comes to one point,--Is there or is there not any instantaneous sanctification between justification and death I say, Yes; you (often seem to) say, No. What arguments brought you to think so Perhaps they may convince me too. Nay, there is one question more, if you allow there is such a thing,--Can one who has attained it fall Formerly I thought not; but you (with T. Walsh and Jo. Jones) convinced me of my mistake.

Sat. morning.

The delay of sending this gives me occasion to add a few words. I have heard nothing of the lovefeast; but if I had, I could not go. On Monday I am to set out for Norwich. Divide, then, the men and women at once, as we do in London. I shall not be in town again till this day fortnight.

Oh for an heart to praise my God!

What is there beside Panta gelws kai panta konis. ['All things a jest and all things dust.']

To Lady Maxwell

NORWICH, February 23, 1767.

MY DEAR LADY,--For a considerable time I was under apprehensions that you were in a state of temptation. And as I had no other way of helping you, this put me upon commending you the more frequently to Him that is able to save you. Your last, therefore, was doubly acceptable to me, as it relieved me from my fears concerning you and gave me the occasion of rejoicing over one for whom I have the most sincere and tender affection. Sure it is that the grace of God is sufficient for you in this and in every trying hour. So you have happily experienced it to be already; and so I trust you will experience to the end. But you must not imagine that you are yet out of the reach of temptation: thoughts will be suggested again and again; so that you have still need to be

For ever standing on your guard

And watching unto prayer.

And let my dear friend keep at the utmost distance from temptation and carefully shun all occasions of evil. Oh it is a good though painful fight! You find you are not sent a warfare at your own cost. You have Him with you who can have compassion on your infirmities, who remembers you are but dust, and who at the same time has all power in heaven and earth, and so is able to save you to the uttermost.

Exercise, especially as the spring comes on, will be of greater service to your health than an hundred medicines; and I know not whether it will not be restored in a larger measure than for many years when the peace of God fixes in your heart. [Her Life, p. 25, shows that she was then 'distressed in mind and weak in body.' ] Is it far off Do not think so. His ear is not heavy; He now hears the cry of your heart. And will He not answer Why not to-day Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly! Your openness obliges me to be more than ever, my dear Lady,

Your affectionate friend and servant.

To the Editor of 'Lloyd's Evening Post'


LONDON, March 5, I 767.

SIR,--Many times the publisher of the Christian Magazine has attacked me without fear or wit; and hereby he has convinced his impartial readers of one thing at least--that (as the vulgar say) his fingers itch to be at me, that he has a passionate desire to measure swords with me. But I have other work upon my hands: I can employ the short remainder of my life to better purpose.

The occasion of his late attack is this: Five- or six-and thirty years ago I much admired the character of a perfect Christian drawn by Clemens Alexandrinus. Five- or six-and twenty years ago a thought came into my mind of drawing such a character myself, only in a more scriptural manner, and mostly in the very words of Scripture; this I entitled The Character of a Methodist, believing that curiosity would incite more persons to read it, and also that some prejudice might thereby be removed from candid men. But, that none might imagine I intended a panegyric either on myself or my friends, I guarded against this in the very title-page, saying, both in the name of myself and them, 'Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.' To the same effect I speak in the conclusion: 'These are the principles and practices of our sect; these are the marks of a true Methodist'--i.e. a true Christian, as I immediately after explain myself: 'by these alone do those who are in derision so called desire to be distinguished from other men' (page 11). 'By these marks do we labour to distinguish ourselves from those whose minds or lives are not according to the gospel of Christ' (page 12).

Upon this Rusticulus, or Dr. Dodd, says: 'A Methodist, according to Mr. Wesley, is one who is perfect, and sinneth not in thought, word, or deed.'

Sir, have me excused. This is not 'according to Mr. Wesley.' I have told all the world I am not perfect; and yet you allow me to be a Methodist. I tell you flat I have not attained the character I draw. Will you pin it upon me in spite of my teeth

'But Mr. Wesley says the other Methodists have.' I say no such thing. What I say, after having given a scriptural account of a perfect Christian, is this: 'By these marks the Methodists desire to be distinguished from other men; by these we labour to distinguish ourselves.' And do not you yourself desire and labour after the very same thing

But you insist, 'Mr. Wesley affirms the Methodists' (i.e. all Methodists) 'to be perfectly holy and righteous.' Where do I affirm this Not in the tract before us. In the front of this I affirm just the contrary; and that I affirm it anywhere else is more than I know. Be pleased, sir, to point out the place. Till this is done all you add (bitterly enough) is mere brutum fulmen; and the Methodists (so called) may still declare (without any impeachment of their sincerity) that they do not come to the Holy Table 'trusting in their own righteousness, but in God's manifold and great mercies.'-- I am, sir, Yours, &c.

To George Whitefeld


LIVERPOOL, March 21, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--Yesterday I came hither just in good time; for the ship which sailed a few days ago was the next night overtaken by a storm and is gone to the bottom with all the crew. If I can't find a convenient vessel here very soon, I think to go round (as I did before) by Portpatrick.

I trust before you receive this you will have reason to bless God for His comfortable presence with you at Brighthelmstone. I should have rejoiced could I have made one of the company; but I was called to buffet with the wind and rain. All is well so we are but about our Master's work. Let us work in earnest while the day is.

We are so far from having any travelling preachers to spare that there are not enough to supply the people that earnestly call for them. I have been this very year at my wits' end upon the account. But some of the local preachers are equal both in grace and gifts to most of the itinerants. Such is Richard Moss in particular. And I heartily rejoice when these are removed into a larger field of action.

I trust you always remember in your prayers

Your ever affectionate brother.

To Peggy Dale

PORTPATRICK, March 29, 1767.

MY DEAR PEGGY,--Those you mention are Israelites indeed, to whom you will do well to speak with all freedom. A few more in Newcastle are of the same spirit; although they are but few in whom the gold is free from dross.

I wish you could help poor Molly Stralliger. I am often afraid for her lest she should be ignorant of Satan's devices and lose all that God had wrought in her.

Do you still find a witness in yourself that God has purified your heart from sin Do you never feel any return of pride, or anger, or self-will, or foolish desire Do you steadily endure, seeing Him that is invisible Are you always sensible of His loving presence Are you constantly happy in Him Does He keep you sleeping and waking, and make your very dreams devout O stand fast in glorious liberty! And be sure to remember daily, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Ann Foard

LONDONDERRY, April 20, 1767.

DEAR SISTER,--Certainly the point we should always have in view is, What is best for eternity And I believe it would be best for you to change your condition if a proper person offers. But I should scruple doing this without a parent's consent. If your mother is willing, I see no objection to your marrying one that fears God and is seeking salvation through Christ. Such an one is not an unbeliever in the sense wherein that word is taken in 2Corinthians vi. 14.

I love to think of you and hear from you. I want you to be always holy and happy. And why not You have a strong Helper; and shall not His strength be made perfect in your weakness Why, then, should you stop short of His whole promise--'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart' Hold Him to His word, and let not your hope be weakened by the subtle reasonings of men. Still let the language of your heart be,

Big with earnest expectation,

Let me sit at Thy feet,

Longing for salvation [1]

As long as you are in this spirit you will not forget

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Crosby

SLIGO, May 2, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--It is a long time since I heard either of you or from you. I hope you think of me oftener than you write to me. Let us but continue in prayer,

And mountains rise and oceans roll

To sever us in vain.

I frequently find profit in thinking of you, and should be glad if we had more opportunities of conversing together. If a contrary thought arises, take knowledge from whom it comes: you may judge by the fruit of it; for it weakens your hands and slackens you from being instant in prayer. I am inclined to think I found the effect of your prayer at my very entrance into this kingdom. And here especially we have need of every help, for snares are on every side. Who would not, if it could be done with a clear conscience, run out of the world, wherein the very gifts of God, the work of God, yea His grace itself in some sense, are all the occasion of temptation

I hope your little family remains in peace and love and that your own soul prospers. I doubt only whether you are so useful as you might be. But herein look to the anointing which you have of God, being willing to follow wherever He leads, and it shall teach you of all things.

There is an amazing increase of the work of God within these few months in the North of Ireland. And no wonder; for the five preachers [James Dempster, John Johnson, James Morgan, James Rea, and Robert Williams.] who have laboured there are all men devoted to God, men of a single eye, whose whole heart is in the work, and who

Constantly trample on pleasure and pain.

Do they gain ground in London I am afraid perfection should be forgotten. Encourage Richard Blackwell [See letter of July 4, 1763.] and Mr. Colley [Benjamin Colley, a clerical helper of Wesley, was misled by George Bell and Maxfield; but he saw their errors, and was restored to Methodism. Wesley buried him on Nov. 8. See Journal, v. 238 and letter of Sept. 18, 1773, to John Valton.] to speak plainly and to press believers to the constant pursuit and earnest expectation of it. A general faintness in this respect is fallen upon this whole kingdom. Sometimes I seem almost weary of striving against the stream both of preachers and people. See that you all strengthen the hands of, my dear sisters, [She was at Leytonstone with Miss Bosanquet and Mrs. Ryan.]

Your affectionate brother.

To Lady Maxwell

CASTLEBAR, May 7, 1767.

MY DEAR LADY,--Your silence is not enough. I will not believe you are tired of my correspondence unless I have it under your own hand. But when I have heard nothing from you for six or eight weeks I begin to be full of fears. I am afraid either that you are dead; or that you are extremely ill, not well able to write; or that your affection is cooled, perhaps to me, perhaps to Him that loves you a thousand times better than I do. It lies upon you to put a period to my fears, to show me that you are still the same, only more and more determined, in spite of all temptations, to go on in the most excellent way.

I knew not whether it was proper to make any inquiry concerning the trial out of which you said God had delivered you, because there are some things of so delicate a nature that one scarce knows how to commit them to paper. Otherwise I think there is nothing which you might not mention to me, as I believe none is more nearly concerned for your happiness. Have you found a return of the trial you mentioned Still the God whom you serve is able to deliver you. I do not indeed wonder that things should make a deep impression upon so tender a spirit. But still, is not His grace sufficient for you and shall not His strength be made perfect in your weakness Are not you still determined to seek your happiness in Him, and to devote to God all you have and all you are Is it not your desire to be all given up to Him and to glorify Him with your body and with your spirit Go on in His name and in the power of His might! Through Him you shall be more than conqueror. Frequently He has chastened and corrected you; but He has not given you over to death, and He never will. 'Thou shalt not die, but live, and declare the loving-kindness of the Lord.'

I shall hope to receive a particular account of your health and of your present situation in all respects. Need there be any reserve between us Cannot you speak to me with all simplicity May the peace and love of God fill and rule your heart!--I am, my dear Lady,

Your most affectionate servant.

A letter directed to Dublin will always find me.

To Peggy Dale

CASTLEBAR, May 17, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--Concerning that displeasure, one may doubt whether it was any other than the concern you ought to have felt on the occasion; or, at least, whether it was any more than temptation to sin. But if it was, what would it prove Not that your heart had not been cleansed, but that, being off your guard, you suffered a degree of evil to re-enter. Was it so Then (if it be not done already) the Lord cleanse you from it this moment! Woman, be it unto thee even as thou wilt! Believe, and feel the blessing! Certainly the more vigorously you follow after Him the clearer will that unction be, without which it is not possible on some occasions to distinguish between temptation and sins. But you take the right way, without perplexing your mind about anything else. Now give yourself up to God. This is all you have to do. And even while you are doing it light will spring up. I feel it does me good to converse with you even at a distance. O never diminish either your love or your prayers for, my dear Peggy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Lady Maxwell

CORK, June 4, 1767.

MY DEAR LADY,--My belief is that a journey to England might be of great service to your health. And it is not improbable you might receive much benefit from the water of the Hot Wells near Bristol. In August I hope to be at Bristol, and again in the latter end of September. My chaise and horses are at Bristol, which you would oblige me much if you would please to use as your own (if you do not bring any with you) during your stay there; for you should if possible ride out daily. My wife, who is at Newcastle, will be exceeding glad to wait upon you there. And if you choose to rest a few days, I should be happy if you would make use of the Orphan House. You would be pleased with the Miss Dales, [See letter of Sept. 29.] and they with you; you and they have drank into one Spirit. Miss Peggy is one of the holiest young women that I have any knowledge of; indeed, I think both the sisters have no desire but to glorify God with their body and with their spirit. You will be so kind as to let me know when you expect to be at Newcastle, and possibly I may meet you there.

As you were providentially called to the place where you now are, I cannot doubt but you will be preserved. But you have need of much prayer and continual watching, or you may insensibly lose what God has given. I am jealous over you; I cannot but be interested in whatever concerns you. I know your tender spirit, your desire to please all for their good, your unwillingness to give pain. And even these amiable dispositions may prove a snare; for how easily may they be carried too far! If you find anything hurts you or draws your soul from God, I conjure you flee for your life! In that case, you must not stand upon ceremony; you must escape without delay. But I hope better things: I hope you are sent to Brisbane, [Her father Thomas Brisbane, lived at Brisbane, in the county of Ayr.] not to receive hurt, but to do good, to grow in grace, to find a deeper communion than ever with Him that gave Himself for you; and to fulfil the joy of, my dear Lady, Your most affectionate friend.

To Peggy Dale


ATHLONE, June 18, 1767.

MY DEAR PEGGY,--By conversing with you I --should be overpaid for coming two or three hundred miles round about. But how it will be I know not yet. If a ship be ready for Whitehaven, then I shall aim at Whitehaven and Newcastle; otherwise I must sail for Holyhead or Chester.

I hope you now again find the inward witness that you are saved from sin. There is a danger in being content without it, into which you may easily reason yourself. You may easily bring yourself to believe that there is no need of it, especially while you are in an easy, peaceful state. But beware of this. The witness of sanctification as well as of justification is the privilege of God's children. And you may have the one always clear as well as the other if you walk humbly and closely with God.

In what state do you find your mind now Full of faith and love Praying always Then I hope you always remember, my dear Peggy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Christopher Hopper

ATHLONE, June 18, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--Sometimes the children forget the parents; but it is seldom the parents forget their children. I suppose it was the death of honest Paul Greenwood [See letter of Oct. 8, 1755.] which occasioned the report of yours. He could ill be spared: but he was ready for the Bridegroom; so it was fit he should go to Him.

Michael [See letter of Nov. 27, 1766.] should take care to be either in Dublin or in the North of Ireland before the end of July. If it be possible for him to be a simple, plain man, pretending to nothing but to follow Christ, God will find him employment. And if he walk circumspectly and humbly in Ireland, the people of England will soon be reconciled to him.

I wish you joy of having full employment. [After his breakdown in health.] You know, the more work the more blessing. There is good work to be done in this kingdom also; and many of our preachers do it in good earnest. But we want more labourers, especially in the North, where one preacher is increased into seven! and the people cry aloud for more. But, alas! we can neither make them nor hire them!--I am, with love to Sister Hopper,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

I hope to see you and honest John [John Fenwick, who was helping Hopper.] at the Conference. An exact account of the Societies you will bring with you.

To his Brother Charles


ATHLONE, June 21, 1767

DEAR BROTHER,--For some time I have had many thoughts concerning the work of God in these kingdoms. I have been surprised that it has spread so far, and that it has spread no farther. And what hindered Surely the design of God was to 'bow a nation to His sway': instead of which, there is still only a Christian here and there, and the rest are yet in the shadow of death; although those who would profit by us have need to make haste, as we are not likely to serve them long.

What, indeed, has hindered I want to consider this. And must we not first say, Nos consules ['We who are the chiefs.'] If we were more holy in heart and life, and more throughly devoted to God, would not all the preachers catch our spirit and carry it with them throughout the land Is not the next hindrance the littleness of grace (rather than of gifts) in a considerable part of our preachers They have not the whole mind which was in Christ; they do not steadily walk as He walked. And therefore the hand of the Lord is stayed; though not altogether; though He does work still, but not in such a degree as He surely would were they holy as He that hath sent them is holy.

Is not the third hindrance the littleness of grace in the generality of the people Therefore they pray little and with little fervency for a general blessing; and therefore their prayer has little power with God. It does not, as once, shut and open heaven. Add to this, that as there is much of the spirit of the world in their hearts, so there is much conformity to the world in their lives. They ought to be both burning and shining lights; but they neither burn nor shine. They are not true to the rules they profess to observe; they are not holy in all manner of conversation. Nay, many of them are salt that has lost its savour, the little savour they once had. Wherewith, then, shall the rest of the land be seasoned What wonder that their neighbours are as unholy as ever

But what can be done to remedy this I wish you would give an attentive reading to the Minutes of the last Conference, and see if it will not be worth our while to enforce them with our might. We have weight enough, and can force them. I know not who can or will when we are gone. Let us now fix things on as firm a foundation as possible, and not depend upon seeing another Conference.

Richard Bourke, John Dillon, and one or two more in this kingdom are truly devoted men; so are a few of the preachers in England. Si sic omnes! ['Oh that the rest were likeminded!'] What would be able to stand before them

How go you on in London How is G. Whitefield, and my Lady, and Mr. Madan, and Romaine, and Berridge Do you converse with those that are most alive, and sparingly and warily with them that are dead while they live

I hope Sally and your young ones are well. Oh what a work is it to train up children for heaven!

Peace be with you and yours! Errwso. ['Farewell.']

To Miss March

PORTARLINGTON, Junc 29, 1767.

For some days you have been much on my mind. Are you still making the best of life employing a few days exactly in such a manner as you judge is most to the glory of God And do you still hold fast what you have received and expect the fullness of the promise Surely you may retain all that earnestness of expectation to which Mr. Maxfield [See Journal, v. 5-7; and letter of Oct. 13, 1764.] used to incite you without any prejudice either to humility or sobriety of spirit. Doubtless it is possible, with Mr. Dryden's leave, 'to be wise and love' [Palamon and Arcite, ii. 364-5 (Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur-- Publius Syrus): The proverb holds, that to be wise and love / Is hardly granted to the gods above.] at the same time; and neither of these need interfere with the other, seeing the spirit of love is also the spirit of wisdom. Are all your family breathing this spirit and strengthening each other's hands in God I hope you have the satisfaction of observing the same thing in most of those that are round about you, and of seeing the work of God prosper, wherever you have occasion to be. When you are with the genteel part of your acquaintance, you have more immediate need of watching unto prayer, or you will insensibly drink into the lightness of their spirit and abate a little of the accuracy of your walking. Nay, stand fast, walking in every point as Christ also walked. Fashion and custom are nothing to you: you have a more excellent rule. You are resolved to be a Bible Christian; and that, by the grace of God, not in some but in all points. Go on in the name of God and in the power of His might. [Compare with his last letter, to Wilberforce, Feb. 26, 1791.] Still let your eye be single; aim at one point; retain and increase your communion with God! You have nothing else to do.

Happy and wise, the time redeem,

And live, my friend, and die to Him.

At some times we must look at outward things: such is the present condition of humanity. But we have need quickly to return home; for what avails all but Christ reigning in the heart

Daily in His grace to grow

What else have we to care for Only now to use all the grace we have received and now to expect all we want! The Lord Jesus swallow you up in His love!

To Duncan Wright

July 4, 1767.

DEAR DUNCAN,--You have chosen the better part, and will never repent of your choice. Write down the sermon you preached upon that subject with what additions you see good, and I will correct and print it if I live to return to London. Perhaps I may likewise print the Advice concerning Children as a separate tract. I am glad Richard Blackwell [See letter of May 2. Wright was then in London. At the Conference in August he was appointed to Canterbury and Blackwell to Dundee.] goes to Colchester. Perhaps he and you by turns may spend the ensuing year in London.--I am Yours affectionately.

To the Printer of the 'Freeman's Journal'



SIR,--Two or three days ago I was desired to read a letter printed in the Dublin Mercury of June 27. I cannot possibly believe what I have heard strongly asserted that the author is a clergyman of our own Church; the slander is so dull, so trite, so barefaced, and so clothed in so base, ungenteel Billingsgate language. 'Cursed gospel gossip, sanctified devils, scoundrels, canting hypocritical villains,'--these are some of the flowers which he strews abroad with no sparing hand. The writer therefore must needs be one of the lowest class, as void of learning and good manners as even of conscience.

His wonderful tale confutes itself. 'At the last lovefeast at midnight she fell into a trance.' Ex pede Herculem. Let every man of reason judge of the rest by this; none of our lovefeasts last till midnight--no, nor till ten, rarely till nine o'clock. But the poor man confounds a lovefeast with a watch-night (at which the service does usually continue till midnight or a little longer), knowing just as much of the one as the other.

I call upon him hereby, if he does 'carry on a considerable trade in the city,' or any trade at all (except perhaps that of retailing whisky or crying bloody murders through the streets), to give up his name and place of his abode with the name of the curate whom he brought to reason with his wife. No evasion here can be received. Unless this be done without delay, all candid men will believe the whole story to be a senseless, shameless slander.

If Mr. B (with whom I had formerly the pleasure of conversing at his own house, and who behaved like a gentleman and a Christian) had had objections to me or my fellow labourers, he would not have proposed them in such a manner. He would have spoken (in private or in public) as a gentleman to a gentleman; and I would have answered him plainly and directly. Indeed, I am ready to give any man of understanding a reason of the hope that is in me that I have a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.--I am

Your humble servant.

To Mrs. Bennis


DUBLIN, July 25, 1767.

DEAR SISTER BENNIS,--When you write to me, you have only to 'think aloud,' just to open the window in your breast. When we love one another, there is no need of either disguise or reserve. I love you, and I verily believe you love me; so you have only to write just what you feel.

The essential part of Christian holiness is giving the heart wholly to God; and certainly we need not lose any degree of that light and love which at first attend this: it is our own infirmity if we do; it is not the will of the Lord concerning us. Your present business is not to reason whether you should call your experience thus or thus, but to go straight to Him that loves you, with all your wants, how great or how many soever they are. Then all things are ready; help, while you ask, is given. You have only to receive it by simple faith. Nevertheless you will still be encompassed with numberless infirmities; for you live in an house of clay, and therefore this corruptible body will more or less press down the soul, yet not so as to prevent your rejoicing evermore and having a witness that your heart is all His. You may claim this: it is yours; for Christ is yours. Believe, and feel Him near.--My dear sister, adieu.

Yours affectionately.

To Joseph Townsend


EDINBURGH, August 1-3, 1767.

DEAR SIR,--When I saw you here some years since, I could not but admire you, such was your simplicity and godly sincerity. You knew the poor little flock, though a proverb of reproach, were a living people of God. You knew their preachers were messengers of Christ; and you espoused their cause in the face of the sun. You returned to London. You conversed with Mr. Madan and others, most of whom owe the Methodists their own souls also. You came to Edinburgh again. But you did not know the Methodists, unless one or two honourable ones. You had no fellowship with them; you neither joined with them in public nor strengthened their hands in private. You stood aloof from them as though they would have infected you. Nay, you preached just by them at the very hour of their preaching. You lessened their congregations; you threw many of the Society into vain reasonings; you opened many mouths against them; you exceedingly grieved the spirit of the preachers and caused their hands to hang down. Was this well done Was it of a piece with your former conduct Did it do any honour to the gospel Did it do any real good Did it cherish any Christian temper in Mr. Walker or Dr. Erskine [Robert Walker, a minister of the Established Church in Edinburgh, was a friend and correspondent of Lady Glenorchy. He and Erskine preached at the opening of her chapel in Edinburgh on May 8, 1774. For Dr. John Erskine, see letter of April 24, 1765.] Was it a proof of love to me Was it a means of increasing the knowledge or love of God in your own soul Alas, my brother! I know you would do well; but surely herein you have mistaken your way.

Do you say, 'Nay, but I have acted right; for the Methodist people are a fallen people and the preachers preach only dry morality. They are in grievous error, denying election, perseverance, and the righteousness of Christ. Therefore their work is at an end, and the work of God which is now wrought is wrought by the awakened clergy. If I had preached in their chapels, I should thereby have abetted all their errors.'

This is home to the point. Convince me of this, and I have done with the Methodists and with preaching. But is it the true state of the case Let us consider it point by point.

1. Are the Methodists a fallen people Blessed be God, they are not: there never were more, there never were so many of them, either in England, Scotland, or Ireland, standing fast in loving, holy faith, as at this day.

2. 'But the preachers preach only dry morality.' With what ears must they hear who think so With the same as the honest Predestinarian at Witney, who, when I had been enforcing Galatians vi. 14 (and indeed with uncommon freedom of spirit), said, 'It was a pretty moral discourse.' My brother, distrust yourself; you may possibly mistake. I think we likewise have the Spirit of God. I think even I, to speak as a fool, can judge a little of preaching the gospel, perhaps as well as either Mr. Madan or Romaine.

3. 'But they deny election and perseverance and the righteousness of Christ.' They are not Calvinists; but they no more deny the righteousness of Christ than they do the godhead of Christ. Let this never be said more; it is a shameless slander. They deny only the vile abuse of that precious truth.

4. 'But they teach perfection.' They do exhort believers to go on unto perfection; and so do you, if you speak as the oracles of God.

5. 'Their work is at an end.' Far from it; sinners are still convinced and converted throughout the land.

6. 'The work of God is now wrought by the clergy.' The more the better; but where, and by whom How many has any one of them convinced or converted since Whitsuntide I fear, when we come to particulars, there will be small room to boast. If you put things on this issue, 'Whose word does God now bless' the matter will soon be determined.

7. 'My preaching in your chapel would have been in effect to tell the people of Edinburgh that the Methodists did not deny the Calvinist doctrines.' Amazing! Did Mr. Gillies [Dr. John Gillies. See letter of March 24, 1761 n.] tell them so when he preached in our house Just the contrary. He told them: 'In some opinions I do not agree with the Methodists; but I know they are a people of God: therefore I wish them good luck in the name of the Lord.' Might not you have done the very same May you not still Can you be clear before God without doing it

I have now told you all that lay upon my mind. If you can receive it, I shall rejoice for your sake and for the people's. If not, I have delivered my own soul. For many years I have been labouring for peace, though I have had little thanks for my pains. However, my record is above, and my reward with the Most High. It is but a little while that I have to endure the contradiction either of sinners or good men. May God enable you, that stand up in my stead, to labour more successfully! So prays, dear sir,

Your affectionate brother and servant.

To Ann Foard

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE:, August 8, 1767.

DEAR SISTER,--We have many instances of this: persons cold and dull, and scarce knowing how to believe their own words, have asserted as they could the truths of the gospel and enforced them upon others, and at that very time God has caused light and love to spring up in their own hearts. Therefore, however you feel it in your own breast, speak as well as you can for God. Many times you will see some fruit upon others; if not, you shall have a recompense in your own bosom. In one sense you do believe that God is both able and willing to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and to do it now; but not in that sense wherein all things are possible to him that believeth. But what if He should give you this faith also yea, while you have this paper in your hand! To-day hear His voice! O listen! and heaven springs up in your heart.

Among the hearers of Mr. Madan and Mr. Romaine (much more among those of Mr. Whitefield) there are many gracious souls, and some who have deep experience of the ways of God. Yet the hearing them would not profit you; it would be apt to lead you into unprofitable reasonings, which would probably end in your giving up all hope of a full salvation from sin in this life. Therefore I advise you, check all curiosity of this kind and keep quite out of the way of danger.

Hannah Harrison is a blessed woman.[See letter of Nov. 26, 1768.] I am glad you had an opportunity of conversing with her. And why should not you enjoy the same blessing The Lord is at hand.-- I am

Your affectionate brother.

To John Whitehead

LONDON, August 15, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--As you desired it, you may labour in Lancashire for the ensuing year. [His name appears second of the four preachers for Lancashire. William Whitwell was his colleague at Bristol when this was written. See letter of Oct. 15, 1766.]

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

O let us be all alive to God and all athirst for His whole image!--I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mary Bosanquet


LONDON, August 16, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--So the Lord has chastened and corrected you. But He hath not given you over unto death. It is your part to stand ready continually for whatever He shall call you to. Everything is a blessing, a means of holiness, as long as you can clearly say, 'Lord, do with me and mine what Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt, and how Thou wilt.'

Undoubtedly she was (and so was I) in the third stage of a consumption. And physicians have long since agreed that this is not curable by any natural means. But what signifies this in the sight of God As,

When obedient nature knows His will,

A fly, a grapestone, or an hair can kill [See letter of Aug. 14, 1731.];

so, when it is His will to restore life or strength, any means shall be effectual. But we are slow of heart to believe that He is still the uncontrolled, Almighty Lord of hell and earth and heaven.

You judge right. I never knew, till you wrote me word, that Richard Taylor had been at Leytonstone at all. At this Conference [Conference met in London on Aug. 18.] it will be determined whether all our preachers or none shall continually insist upon Christian perfection. Remember in all your prayers, my dear sisters,

Your ever affectionate brother.

To Miss Bosanquet, At Mr. Michael Hemmings, In Bath.

To Peggy Dale


WITNEY, August 27, 1767.

MY DEAR PEGGY,--I thought it was hardly possible for me to love you better than I did before I came last to Newcastle. But your artless, simple, undisguised affection exceedingly increased mine. At the same time it increased my confidence in you, so that I feel you are unspeakably near and dear to me. Oh what a cordial is this which is given to quicken us in our way! Surely

An earnest of our great reward

On earth our Master pays!

We have all reason to give ourselves up to Him without reserve and to glorify Him with our bodies and with our spirits!

If you cleave to Him with simplicity of heart, certainly you need not feel sin any more. Indeed, you will feel temptation of various kinds, and sometimes closing you in on every side. But still your soul may stand fast, believing on the Lord. By faith you will overcome all!

Believe, while saved from sin's remains!

Believe yourself to heaven .

--I am, my dear Peggy,

Your affectionate brother.

Don't forget what you have learnt in music. [She married Charles Avison the organist.]

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

To William Orpe


PEMBROKE, September 2, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I advise you to tell her immediately, either in person or by letter (whichever you think safest), 'I dare not settle in any one place: God has called me to be a travelling preacher. Are you willing to accept of me upon these terms And can you engage never directly or indirectly to hinder me from travelling If not, it is best for us to part. It cannot be avoided.'--I am, dear Billy,

Yours affectionately.

To Mr. Will. Orpe, At Mr. Michael Dobinson's, In Derby. With speed.

To Peggy Dale

BRISTOL, September 29, 1767.

MY DEAR PEGGY,--I hope Mr. Whitefield was an instrument of good at Newcastle [Whitefield preached at Newcastle on Sept. 20, 1767, in the Castle Garth. He says, 'I am become a downright street- and field-preacher.' See Tyerman's Whitefield, ii. 532-4.] and a means of stirring up some. He is very affectionate and very lively, and his word seldom falls to the ground: though he does not frequently speak of the deep things of God or the height of the promises.

But you say not one word of Lady Maxwell! [See letter of June 4.] Did she call at Newcastle going and coming Did you converse with her alone And did she break through her natural and habitual shyness How did you find her Seeking heavenly things alone, and all athirst for God It will be a miracle of miracles if she stands, considering the thousand snares that surround her.

I have much satisfaction when I consider in how different a situation you and my dear Molly Dale are. You have every outward advantage for holiness which an indulgent Providence can give. And, what is happier still, you have a fixed determination to use all those advantages to the uttermost. Let your eye be steadily fixed on the mark! to be all love! all devoted! to have one desire, one work, one happiness, one Christ reigning alone and filling you with His fullness!--I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To George Merryweather

BRISTOL, October, 6, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I rejoice at the behaviour of Mr. Whitefield. [Whitefield had visited Yarm on Sept. 23.] At length he meets me half way. I have no objection to Mr. Oddie's changing places with Matthew Lowes [Oddie was at Newcastle, and Lowes at Yarm.] for a round or two. If they will be quiet, be you quiet too. [The law suit See letter of Jan. 29.] Get out of the fire as soon as you can. I have carried many suits in the King's Bench, but never was reimbursed in one.-- I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Christopher Hopper


BRISTOL, October 9, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--Tis pity but we could follow the blow at Belford [Fifteen miles beyond Alnwick. Wesley preached there on May 22, 1766: 'The hearers were seriously attentive, and a few seemed to understand what was spoken.' See Journal, v. 167.]; I think something might be done there. I appointed John Atlay to be at Glasgow till February, and Jos. Thompson in the Dunbar Circuit. Two preachers, if they are zealous and active, will do better than one. But why is not Joseph Thompson there I will not have my plan altered! Whoever does not observe the twelfth rule of a preacher ['Act in all things, not according to your own wish, but as a son in the gospel, and in union with your brethren, &c.'] renounces connexion with me! If Joseph Thompson does not intend to renounce this, let him come to Dunbar immediately. I will be on or off! I tell them what these two preachers are to do. 'Each preacher is to be a fortnight in the city and in the country alternately'--viz. at Leith, Dalkeith, Linlithgow, and Burrawytowys. Let them keep to this, and the fruit will soon appear. And if they do not keep to this, notwithstanding any reason or presence to the contrary, I will no farther concern myself with them. I will not attempt to guide those who will not be guided by me. There is a round cut out already. Let them keep to it, or renounce all intercourse with me!

Legacy or not, Samuel Franks [Wesley's Book Steward; Olivers was Hilton's colleague in Dublin.] will answer your demands. But what do you make of John Hilton Did he do nothing in Scotland He was all life--all fire. I will tell Thomas Olivers part of my mind.

Now let you and I go on in the name of God. We know in whom we have believed.--I am

Yours affectionately.

To Ann Foard

SALISBURY, October 14, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--At length I get a little time (after having been some weeks almost in a perpetual motion) to write a few lines to one I sincerely love. Grow in grace every hour, the more the better. Use now all the grace you have; this is certainly right: but also now expect all the grace you want! This is the secret of heart religion--at the present moment to work and to believe. Here is Christ your Lord, the lover of your soul. Give yourself up to Him without delay; and, as you can, without reserve. And simply tell Him all you desire and all you want. What situation is it that hurries you Is it not determined whether you shall change your condition or no [She was engaged to John Thornton, of Southwark. See heading to letter of June 3, 1763.] Be it either way, God sitteth on the throne and ruleth all things well.--I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Robert Costerdine


LONDON, November 24, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--A few days since, I received a letter from a gentleman, the substance of which with a few alterations I subjoin:--

REVEREND SIR,--In the Minutes of the Conference held at Leeds last year the whole debt of the Methodists, considered as one body, appeared to be 11,338. I suppose it is much the same now, perhaps a little more or less. The Yearly Subscription was designed to pay off this. And it has helped a little toward it, as well as answered many other excellent purposes, for which also it was intended from the beginning. But it must be long before it can answer that design; as it has hitherto been so small, that it has very little more than supplied the yearly wants. Meantime this debt remains as a constant load on your shoulders and a constant reproach on all the Societies. If this debt could be discharged, it would be an ease to your mind, an honour to the whole body, and a glorious proof of our care to provide things honest in the sight of all men.

But how is it possible to raise so large a sum as 11,000 I believe it is not only possible, but easy, far easier than many may conceive, to do it in two years' time, by the following simple method, without burthening either the rich or poor. First, as it is for the glory of God and the promoting of His cause, let us beg His blessing upon our honest endeavours. Then let us willingly and earnestly set our shoulders to the work, and by His grace it shall be accomplished. I suppose the Societies in Great Britain and Ireland contain twenty-four thousand members: one-fourth part of these, if they subscribe according to the following scheme, will discharge the whole debt in two years:

Subscribers Guineas In two years.

1,000 at two 4,200

1,000 one and a half 3,150

1,000 one 2,100

1,000 three quarters 1,575

1,000 half 1,050

1,000 a quarter 525

In all 12,600

This may be paid either yearly, quarterly, or in any such manner as the subscribers please. The grand objection is, there are not so many persons in our Societies who are able and willing to contribute so much. Perhaps so. But are there not some who are both able and willing to contribute more Are there none who clear several hundred pounds a year or who are two or three thousand pounds beforehand And will none of these give ten, twenty, perhaps fifty guineas in such a case as this a case of so general concern, and that can occur but once in their lives By this method the poor will be quite excused, unless any of them choose to throw in their mite.

Praying God to give good success to this and to all your undertakings for His glory, I remain Your affectionate friend and servant, A. H.

I think you love me and the cause wherein I am engaged. You wish to ease me of any burthen you can. You sincerely desire the salvation of souls and the prosperity of the work of God. Will you not, then, exert yourself on such an occasion as this Will you not gladly embrace the opportunity Surely you will not be straitened in your own bowels. Do according as God has prospered you. And do it willingly, not of necessity, knowing God loveth a cheerful giver.--I am

Your affectionate brother.

Thus far the printed circular, which is signed 'J. Wesley.' In a note to Costerdine, then in the Haworth Circuit, Wesley adds:

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have wrote to T. Colbeck, Jam. Greenwood, Jo. Greenwood, Sutcliffe, Southwell, Garforth, and Littledale. The rest in your circuit I leave to you. Leave no stone unturned. When you receive the printed letters, seal, superscribe, and deliver them in my name to whom you please. Be active. Adieu!

To Robert Costerdine

CANTERBURY, November, 26, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I am glad you have spent a little time at Whitehaven: the poor people there need every help. There and in every other large town both you and your fellow labourers should take care of those two principal points: (1) to instruct the children; and (2) to visit the parents from house to house, according to the plan laid down at the last year's Conference. Then you will see the fruit of your labour, and the work of the Lord will prosper in your hands. Wherever you are, you should encourage the people to read as well as to pray. And to that purpose it is well to carry little books with you. Peace be with your spirit!--I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Robert Costerdine


NORWICH, December 2, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--We judge it will be to the glory of God to make a push without delay toward the payment of the General Debt. Send me a list (to London) by the next post of ten, twenty, or more of the most able persons whom you can recollect in your circuit. I will first write to each of them myself. The rest (when you have the plan) I must leave to you. Let much prayer be made concerning this.-- I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Ann Foard

NORWICH, December 2, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--In the way of life you are entering upon you will have need of great resolution and steadiness. It will be your wisdom to set out with two rules, and invariably adhere to them: (1) 'I will do everything I can to oblige you, except what I cannot do with a clear conscience'; (2) 'I will refrain from everything I can that would displease you, except what I cannot refrain from with a clear conscience.' Keep to this on both sides from the hour you meet, and your meeting will be a blessing. You will do well likewise constantly to pray with as well as for one another.

Now, Nancy, put on by the grace of God the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left! Beware of foolish desires! Beware of inordinate affections! Beware of worldly cares! But, above all, I think you should beware of wasting time in what is called innocent trifling. And watch against unprofitable conversation, particularly between yourselves. Then your union may be (as it ought) a type of the union between Christ and His Church; and you may in the end present each other before Him holy and unblameable at His coming. [See letter of Oct. 14, 1767. ] I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Moon


NORWICH, December 6, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--I can easily believe that nothing would be wanting to me which it was in your power to supply; for I am persuaded your heart is as my heart, as is the case with all the 'souls whom Himself vouchsafes to unite in fellowship divine.' What is always in your power is to bear me before the throne of grace. One thing in particular which I frequently desire is 'a calm evening of a various day'; that I may have no conflicts at the last, but rather, if God sees good, before 'my flesh and my heart faileth.'

In every place where Mr. Whitefield has been he has laboured in the same friendly, Christian manner. God has indeed effectually broken down the wall of partition which was between us. Thirty years ago we were one; then the sower of tares rent us asunder; but now a stronger than him has made us one again.

There is no weakness either in our body or mind but Satan endeavours to avail himself of it. That kind of dullness or listlessness I take to be originally a pure effect of bodily constitution. As such it is not imputable to us in any degree unless we give way to it. So long as we diligently resist, it is no more blameable than sleepiness or weariness of body.

Do many of those who were saved from sin in your neighbourhood stand fast in their liberty or have one half, if not the greater part, been moved from their steadfastness How is it that so many are moved that in many places so few comparatively stand Have you lately conversed with Sister Heslop Does she retain all the life she had Does John Eland and some others at Hutton

Peace be multiplied upon you!--I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Emma Moon, At George Merryweather's, In Yarm, Yorkshire. North Post.

To James Oddie

LONDON, December 15, 1767.

DEAR JAMES,--I have written myself to Miss Dales, T. Moses, Brother Hewitson, Fenwick, Smith, Watson, Hosmer, Morrison, Davison, Parker, Lipton, Bowmaker, Al. Patterson, T. Dobson, Rd. Parker, Brother Bell, Joblin, W. Newton, R. Foster, Jon. Simpson, Brother Coward, Gibson, Jos. and George Morrison, Capt. Robinson, Mark Middleton, Jo. Allen, and Mrs. Bate. Do all you can with the rest; think not that one of you will be poorer for this. I will send you printed letters, which you may seal and deliver in my name to as many as you please (except the above). [Oddie was the Assistant in Newcastle. see letter of Jan. 12, 1768.] Speak, and spare not, trusting in God. But never let one thought come into your mind of dropping the Yearly Collection; not if any one would give me 20,000 to-day. Wherever this is dropped you drop me, for I cannot go on one year without it. I should think you had never been present at a Conference nor ever read the Minutes of any for these four years. Talk nothing discouraging, but encouraging. Prophesy good and not evil.--I am, dear James,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mrs. Woodhouse


LONDON, December 23, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--Your letters are always welcome to me; but especially when they bring me the good news of your welfare. Whereunto you have attained, hold fast without reasonings and disputings. Stand fast in that degree of liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. And continually expect all the residue of His precious promises; even to rejoice evermore, to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. . . . . . . .

leads to God, and generally leaves a solemn awe upon the spirit. The same I would say with regard to that extraordinary influence which you have sometimes felt. By the fruit you shall know from what root it springs. Has it any particular effect on your body or soul If you can inform me of this (and in the most minute manner as to all the circumstances), then I shall be able to form a more certain judgement of it. That Sunday morning you speak of . . . . .was in bed when it came over you I suppose .....

To Mrs. Woodhouse, At Mr. Hutton's, In Epworth, Near Thorne, Yorkshire.

To John Fenwick


December 25, 1767.

Well said, John Fenwick! Go on in the name of God! One year will suffice if you have faith. Richard Pearce, of Bradford, [Bradford-on-Avon. See Wesley's Veterans, i. 216.] writes he will give 20; Mr. Iles, of Stroud, that he will give 50. Surely God's time is come. Set all your shoulders to the work, and it shall be done.

Have you Mr. Heaton's (the lawyer's) bill I think Michael Callendar [See heading to letter of Sept. 7, 1749.] will settle.

To George Merryweather

LONDON, December 28, 1767.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I thank Mr. Waldy and you for your ready and generous assistance. It seems the time is come. But John Fenwick writes from Newcastle: 'We are all here of opinion that what is done should be done at once; and we think the debt may be paid off in one year. Only let us set about it in faith. I will give 25; Mr. Davison will give 25; Jo. Morrison 25; Miss Dales 50.' Very well. This will not interfere. Some may give at once, some quarterly, some yearly. You will encourage your neighbours all you can. [See letters of Dec. 15, 1767, and Jan. 9, 1768.] I am, with love to Sister Merryweather,

Your affectionate brother.

To Miss G. Wood


MY REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER,--We were this day most agreeably surprised to hear of your recovery before we had so much as heard of your illness

It appears plain that the Lord has more for his labourer both to do and to suffer. For though a glorious share of both has fallen to thy lot, yet thy gracious Master seems resolved to qualify His faithful servant even for a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!

Our respects and best wishes are with you and yours. The Lord Jesus Christ be with all of us!

I need not tell my brother that, if Shoreham can any way contribute to his health, all at Shoreham will rejoice to see him.--I am

Yours most affectionately, VIN. PERRONET.

LONDON, December 31, 1767.

MY DEAR SISTER,--In my last (which, it seems, you did not receive) I gave you both two advices: To beware of that levity which many serious people think innocent if not commendable between married people. Let your intimacy incite you to watch over one another that you may be uniformly and steadily serious. Do not talk on trifles with one another any more than you would with strangers; but let your freest conversation be always such as tends to make you wiser and better.

My little indisposition is passed away. Health we shall have, if health be best. I have Brother Gilbert's of the 28th instant, and am obliged to you for your kind assistance. I knew nothing would be wanting on your part. [As to the debt. See letter of Nov. 24.] I purpose writing to several of our friends in Ireland. Peace be with all your spirits!--I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

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