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The Letters of John Wesley



To Mrs. Johnston, Annandde, Listeen.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I do not remember the receiving any letter from you, either at Dublin or since I left it. Neither have I received any fresh complaint concerning you. [See letter of Feb. 14 to her.] What I formerly heard I gave you an account of, to which you gave me a distinct answer, and I was fully satisfied. I am relieved to think someone talked of making a fresh complaint. But it is very probable his heart failed, and so the child was strangled in the birth. Indeed, I do not wonder if people are not forward to complain of you to me. Because they know I am a prejudicial person: they know the tender regard I have you and yours, and consequently how hard it is for me: to blame you in anything. That God may give you many happy is the prayer of, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Taylor [1]

LONDON, January 15, 1778.

DEAR TOMMY, - I am glad you have seen Mr. Pugh. The Philosophy is finished, [See letter of Feb. 15, 1777.] and will be sent down next month.

I spoke briefly before; but since you urge me to it, I will now come full upon your subject.

As to Preaching, you ought not to preach against that unscriptural, blasphemous, mischievous doctrine constantly - no, nor very frequently. But you ought now and then to bear a full, strong, express testimony against it; otherwise you are a sinner against God and your people and your own soul. I have done this too seldom, scarce once in fifty sermons: ought to have done it once in fifteen or ten.

As to Writing and Publishing, the deadly poison has for many years been spread through England, chiefly by means of those pestilent declamations the Gospel and the Spiritual Magazine. Whatever is designed for an antidote to this poison must be spread in the same manner. Thousands have been thereby poisoned already, and are now twice dead. To guard those who are not poisoned yet (not to get money), I fight them at their own weapons. I oppose magazine to magazine, though of a totally different kind. But it seems you know nothing at all of the matter. You do not appear to have even read the Proposals. This Magazine not only contains no railing, but (properly speaking) no controversy. It proves one point: 'God willeth all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.' It goes straight forward, taking notice of no opponent, but invariably pursuing the one point. And this is the only way to preserve Methodists and to make the Calvinists quiet. Meantime the Letters and the Lives, which will make a considerable part of every number, contain the marrow of experimental and practical religion; so that nothing of the kind has appeared before. Therefore a magazine of this kind is a new thing in the land; and those who formerly spoke against magazines may with a good grace recommend this as being quite another thing and published upon other motives. I do not desire any Calvinist to read it. I publish it not to convince but preserve. I know by long experience they will never bend but when the war is carried into their own quarters. This I will do, as long as God spares my life, in love and in meekness of wisdom. This is the way, and the only way, to establish a lasting peace.

But is it not odd that a Methodist preacher, an Assistant, should be the only one who sees my brother and me, and the bulk of the preachers, and the body of the people to be wrong Tommy, distrust yourself. Do not lean much to your own understanding. 'Tis possible they may be right and you wrong. You do not at all understand the affair.

We are well rid of those turbulent men. With love to Nancy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Duncan McAllum

LONDON, January 17, 1778.

DEAR DUNCAN,-Our brethren at Inverness [McAllum was now in Dundee, and was appointed to the Aberdeen Circuit at the Conference of 1778.] write to me and earnestly desire that you may come thither again. I have no objection: therefore write to the preacher there and change places with him as soon as you can. You should be at Inverness and at Perth by turns. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Carlill

LONDON, January 25, 1778.

DEAR TOMMY, - In my father's poem on the Life of Christ [The Life of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: An Heroic Poem. Dedicated to Her Most Sacred Majesty; in Ten Books. Attempted by Samuel Wesley, Rector of South Ormsby, in the county of Lincoln, 1693.] there are many excellent lines; but they must be taken in connection with the rest: it would not be at all proper to print them alone.

Mr. Toplady might easily have answered Mr. Hervey, and maintained his point, upon supposition of Absolute Decrees; for it is certain whatever is ordained of God is right. If, therefore, 'whatsoever is is ordained of God,' then 'whatever is is right.' Mr. Toplady therefore was consistent with his principles; Mr. Hervey was not.

You two and Brother Pritchard [The preachers at Bristol were John Goodwin, Thomas Carlill, and John Pritchard.] should procure all the subscribers you can to the Magazine. - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Ann Bolton

LONDON, January 24, 1778.

It is surely a wise and gracious Providence which has detained you so long at Withey. You was sent thither and still remain there for the good of the poor people. I wish you could meet all the women of the Society either in band or class. Lay yourself out among them as much as ever your strength and leisure will permit. You was formerly the nursing mother of the Society; they grew and prospered under your hand, and they have not prospered since. They have pined away like poor orphans ever since you was removed from them. [See letter of Jan. 11, 1775, to Francis Woffe.] Possibly now they may spring up and flourish again; and then you will not think much of your labor. It would undoubtedly be of use if a few of you were to meet together for this very purpose, to improve one another in Christian knowledge as well as in love. And you cannot insist too much on that point - that, whatever our past experience has been, we are now more or less acceptable to God as we more or less improve the present moment. But it is no wonder that many are so angry at this assertion, for it strikes at the very root of Calvinism.

That you are tempted to peevishness, to discontent, or to anything else will be no loss as long as you are conqueror over all, yea more than conqueror through Him that loveth you. And so, I doubt not, you will always be; because your trust is not in yourself but in Him. - My dear Nancy,

Yours most affectionately.

To Mary Bishop

LONDON, February 7, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - It is no great matter whether those doubts arose in your mind by conversing with Mr. Hilton, [See letter of Nov. 16, 1777.] by reading (his oracle) Mr. Law's later works, or by your own reasoning. But certainly the subject is of the last importance, and deserves our most serious consideration. Indeed, nothing in the Christian system is of greater consequence than the doctrine of Atonement. It is properly the distinguishing point between Deism and Christianity. 'The scriptural scheme of morality,' said Lord Huntingdon, [Francis, Earl of Huntingdon, son of Lady Huntingdon, was a freethinker.] 'is what every one must admire; but the doctrine of Atonement I cannot comprehend.' Here, then, we divide. Give up the Atonement, and the Deists are agreed with us.

This point, therefore, deserves to be more largely considered than my time will permit. But it is the less needful now because I have done it already in my letter to Mr. Law; to which I beg you will give a serious reading, whether you have read it before or no. It is in the nineteenth volume of the Works. [See letter of Jan. 6, 1756, sect. II. 2, 3, to William Law.] But it is true I can no more comprehend it than his lordship; perhaps I might say than the angels of God, than the highest created understanding. Our reason is here quickly bewildered. If we attempt to expatiate in this field, we 'find no end, in wandering mazes lost.' But the question is (the only question with me; I regard nothing else), What saith the Scripture It says, 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself'; that 'He made Him, who knew no sin, to be a sin-offering for us.' It says, 'He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.' It says, 'We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the atonement for our sins.'

But it is certain, had God never been angry, He could never have been reconciled. So that, in affirming this, Mr. Law strikes at the very root of the Atonement, and finds a very short method of converting Deists. [He is evidently thinking of Charles Leslie (1650-1722), Nonjuror and his A Short and Easy Method with the Deists.] Although, therefore, I do not term God, as Mr. Law supposes, ' a wrathful Being,' which conveys a wrong idea; yet I firmly believe He was angry with all mankind, and that He was reconciled to them by the death of His Son. And I know He was angry with me till I believed in the Son of His love; and yet this is no impeachment to His mercy, that He is just as well as merciful.

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

I do not doubt but your health will be so far re-established that you may either teach school or live in Bath. But I do not know whether you will be able to do both together, to teach school in Bath. A little time will determine. And meanwhile we know that will be which is best. - I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Miss Bishop, At Mrs. Taylor's,


To Duncan McAllum

LONDON, February 11, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - You do not write too often. When I think your letters troublesome, I will tell you. I leave it to your choice how you should divide your time between Perth and Inverness. [See letter of Jan. 17.] It seems to me you should spend at least a month in the North before the Conference. If you have not money for the journey, I will help you. I shall hardly see Scotland this year. About the end of next month I expect to be in Dublin.

If Brother Ellis is angry at you, be not you angry at him. A soft answer turneth away wrath. - Dear Duncan,

Your affectionate brother.

To Samuel Bardsley

LONDON, February 14, 1778.

DEAR SAMMY, - So your mother is at rest! We shall go to her, though she will not return to us. I am glad you are so agreeably situated, and that you already see some fruit of your labor. About the 27th of March I expect to be at Chester. If a ship be ready at Parkgate, I purpose to embark directly; if not, I shall pay you a visit at Liverpool. [He sailed from Liverpool on March 31.] I fix upon nothing: let the Lord do as seemeth Him good. - I am, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Johnston, Annandale, Lisleen [2]

LONDON, February 14, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - The fact was true. And there was a grievous mistake with regard to the time of it for that letter (which was wrote, I suppose, a year and a half ago); since that time I have had no complaint of the kind. [See letter of Jan. 8.] If I had, I should have let you know. But you need not be under any apprehension of my being offended at you either on this or any other account. I am not easily offended at those I love, and I have loved you ever since I saw you for your artlessness and sincerity; and I believe you will never quit that character, though it be ever so much out of fashion. I cannot doubt but Robert Swindells' stay at Lisleen was of use to others as well as himself. As Shakespear's 'the man of exceeding honesty,' one may take his word. Therefore I am strongly persuaded he is no Calvinist; yet I do not wonder that it should be imputed to him, for he was leaning toward it for many years. This all our preachers know; but they did not all know that he now sees more clearly.

In about a fortnight I purpose to set out from London, and probably about the end of next month I shall be in Dublin. I intend with God's help to visit the South of Ireland first start, make Londonderry beginning of June. If so, I will have the pleasure of seeing you and your dear family before the end of May. Peace be with all your spirits,-I am, my dear sister,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Thomas Maxfield [3]

February 14, 1778.

I was a little surprised to read in a late publication of yours the following assertions: -

1. Thomas Maxfield was 'some of the firstfruits of Mr. Whitefield's ministry' (page 18).

2. 'When he went abroad, he delivered me and many thousands more into the hands of those he thought he could have trusted them with, and who would have given them back to him again at his return. But, alas! it was not so.' (Ibid.)

'I heard Mr. Whitefield say at the Tabernacle, in the presence of five or six ministers, to Mr. Wesley, a little before he left England for the last time: "I delivered thirty thousand people into the hands of your brother and you when I went abroad. And by the time I came back you had so turned their hearts against me that not three hundred of them would come to hear me." I knew this was true.' (Ibid.)

3. 'I heard Mr. Whitefield say: "When I came back from Georgia, there was no speaking evil of each other. Oh what would I not give or suffer or do to see such times again! But oh that division! that division! What slaughter it has made

'It was doctrine that caused the difference; or, at least, it was so pretended.' (Ibid.)

'He preached a few times in connection with his old friends. But, ah! how soon was the sword of contention drawn!' (Page 19.)

4. 'where can you now find any loving ones of either party They have no more love to each other than Turks.' (Ibid.)

'Read their vile contentions, and the evil characters they give of each other, raking the filthiest ashes to find some black story against their fellow preachers' (page 20).

They 'slay with the sword of bitterness, wrath, and envy. Still more their shame is what they have sent out into the world against each other on both sides about five or six years ago, and till this very day.' (Page 21.)

To satisfy both friends and foes I propose a few queries' on each of these four heads.

I. As to the first, I read a remarkable passage in the Third Journal, the truth of which may, be still attested by Mr. Durbin, Mr. Westall, and several others then present, who are yet alive: 'A young man who stood behind sunk down as one dead; but soon began to roar out and beat himself against the ground, so that six men could scarce hold him. This was Thomas Maxfield.' [See letter of May 28, 1739; and for Henry Durbin, May 3, 1786, n.] Was this you If it was, how are you 'the first-fruits of Mr. Whitefield's ministry' And how is it that neither I nor your fellow laborers ever heard one word of this during all those years wherein you labored in connection with us

II. 'When he went abroad again, he delivered me and many thousands into the hands of Mr. Wesley.'

When where in what manner This is quite new to me! I never heard one word of it before!

But stay! here is something more curious still! 'I heard Mr. Whitefield say at the Tabernacle, in the presence of five or six ministers, a little before he left England the last time, "I delivered thirty thousand people into the hands of you and your brother when I went abroad."'

Mr. Whitefield's going abroad, which is here referred to, was in the year 1741. Did he then deliver you into my hands Was you not in my hands before Had you not then for above a year been a member of the Society under my care Nay, was you not at the very time one of my preachers Did you not then serve me as a son in the gospel Did you not eat my bread and lodge in my house Is not this, then, a total misrepresentation Would to God it be not a willful one!

'I heard,' you say, 'Mr. Whitefield say at the Tabernacle, in the presence of five or six ministers, a little before he left England the last time.' Who, then, can doubt the truth of what follows For here is chapter and verse! Here both the time, the place, and the persons present are specified. And they ought to be, seeing the crime alleged is one of a very heinous nature. Many a man has been justly sentenced to death for sins which in the sight of God were not equal to this. The point, therefore, requires a little more examination. And, first, I desire to know what are the names of those five or six ministers and which of them heard Mr. Whitefield say, 'When I went abroad' (in 1741) 'I delivered thirty thousand people into the hands of you and your brother' Thirty thousand people! Whence did they come Did they spring out of the earth Why, there were not at that time five thousand Methodists in England or in the world. The Societies in London, Bristol, and Kingswood (the only ones I had) contained fourteen or fifteen hundred members. I believe not so many were in his Societies. But, were they fewer or more, they were nothing to me. He never entrusted me with them. He never delivered into mine or my brother's hands either his Society at the Tabernacle in London, or that in Bristol, or in Kingswood, or any other place whatever. He never delivered (that I remember) one single Society into my hands. I bless God I needed it not. I did not need to build upon another man's foundation. A dispensation of the gospel was given me also; and my labor was not in vain. I was constrained to cry out (and you yourself used the same words to God in my behalf), -

O the fathomless love

Which has deigned to approve

And prosper the work of my hands!

With my pastoral crook

I went over the brook,

And, behold I I am spread into bands!

With what view, then, can you charge me with that perfidy which I am no more guilty of than of high treason For what end can you affirm, 'When he went abroad, he delivered many thousands into the hands of those he thought he could have trusted them with' Delivered! when where how What can you mean I flatly deny that ever he delivered one thousand or one hundred souls into my hands. Do you mean, 'He spoke honorably of you to them at Kennington Common and Rose Green' True; but not so honorably as I spoke of you even at London - yea, as late as the year 1763 I Yet was this the same thing with 'delivering the people' at London 'into your hands' Nay, but 'Mr. Whitefield trusted that you would have given them back at his return.' Them! whom His Society at London or Bristol I had them not to give. He never entrusted me with them. Therefore I could not 'give them back.'

But how melancholy is the exclamation that follows: 'Alas ! it was not so.' Was not how Why, I did not give back what I never had received, but went straight on my way, taking the best care I could of those who entrusted themselves to me.

III. So much for the second article. As to the third, your words are, 'I heard Mr. Whitefield say, "Oh that division! that division! What slaughter it has made!"'

But who made that division It was not I. It was not my brother. It was Mr. Whitefield himself; and that notwithstanding all admonitions, arguments, and entreaties. Mr. Whitefield first wrote a treatise against me by name. He sent it to my brother, who endorsed it with these words: 'Put up again thy sword into its place.' It slept a while; but after a time he published it. I made no reply. Soon after Mr. Whitefield preached against my brother and me by name. This he did constantly both in Moorfields and in all other public places. We never returned railing for railing, but spoke honorably of him at all times and in all places. But is it any wonder that those who loved us should no longer choose to hear him Meantime was it we that 'turned their hearts against him' Was it not himself

But you say, 'It was doctrine that caused the difference' (oddly enough expressed!); 'at least, it was so pretended.' It was so pretended 'I What do you mean that difference of doctrine was only pretended that we were agreed at the bottom, and only fought like prize-fighters to show our skill Nay, here was no pretence. The thing was as plain as the sun at noonday. Did not Mr. Whitefield proclaim upon the house-top the difference between us and him And yet it was not merely the difference of doctrine that caused the division. It was rather the manner wherein he maintained his doctrine and treated us in every place. Otherwise difference of doctrine would not have created any difference of affection; but he might lovingly have held particular redemption and we general to our lives' end.

He did indeed ' preach a few times in connection with his old friends. But how soon was the sword of contention drawn! 'By whom Truly, by himself. Do not you know (thousands do, if you do not) that when he preached in the very Foundry, and my brother sat by him, he preached the absolute decrees in the most peremptory and offensive manner What was this but drawing the sword and throwing away the scabbard Who, then, is chargeable with the contention and division that ensued

IV. 'But where,' you ask, 'can you now find any loving ones of either party' Blessed be God, I can find many thousands, both in London, in Bristol, in Kingswood, and in various parts, not only of England, but also of Scotland and Ireland; persons as full of love both to God and man as any I knew forty years ago.

Some of these I find (and much rejoice to find) in Mr. Whitefield's Societies. And I pray God they may increase a thousand-fold both in number and in strength. Nay, they have no more love to each other than Turks.' They! who This is not the case with our Societies. They not only love each other, but love their enemies, even those that still despitefully use them. But 'read their vile contentions, and the evil character they give each other, raking the filthiest ashes to find some black story.' I will answer for one. I give no 'evil character' of my 'fellow preachers.' I ' rake into no filthy ashes for black stories.' Let him who does take it to himself. 'They slay with the sword of bitterness, wrath, and envy.' I do not. I plead, Not guilty. As I envy no man, so neither my wrath nor bitterness slays any human creature. 'Still more to their Shame is what they have sent out into the world against each other on both sides about five or six years ago, and till this very day.'

'What they have sent out against each other on both sides about five or six years ago.' Within five or six years I have been vehemently called to answer for myself: twice by Mr. Richard Hill, and afterwards by his brother. [See Green's Anti-Methodist Publications.] Have you read what we 'have sent out into the world against each other on both sides' If you have not, how can you so peremptorily affirm what 'both sides' have done You cannot possibly be a judge of what you have not read; and if you had read, you could not have passed such a sentence. Three tracts I have wrote; but in none of these do I 'slay with the sword of bitterness or wrath or envy.' In none of them do I speak one bitter or passionate or disrespectful word. Bitterness and wrath, yea low, base, virulent invective, both Mr. Richard and Mr. Rowland Hill (as well as Mr. Toplady) have poured out upon me in great abundance. But where have I in one single instance returned them railing for railing I have not so learned Christ. I dare not rail either at them or you. I return not cursing, but blessing. That the God of love may bless both them and you is the prayer of

Your injured yet still affectionate brother.

To Christopher Hopper

LONDON, February 21, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - Many angry opponents we are to expect; but they may say just what they please. It is my determination to answer none, but to go straight on my way. [Hopper was in Bradford. Wesley was severely attacked in the press. See Tyerman's Wesley, iii. 261-7; and previous letter.]

On Sunday evening, March 1, I am to leave London. After spending a few days at Bristol, I purpose making the best of my way to Chester in order to embark for Ireland. I hope to be in Dublin about the end of March. If so, I shall be able to visit all the Societies before July. - I am, with love to Sister Hopper,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mary Bosanquet

LONDON, February 23, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Although I hope to see you next week, I cannot but write a few lines. Who knows but the illness of Miss Bishop might be permitted for this very thing-that you might have a more clear and open way to help the women at Bath forward What you have to do at Bristol does not yet appear; Providence will open itself by-and-by. I am glad Philly Cousins retains her confidence. See that she has something to do. ['Brother Cousins was restored to the love of God' a few days after Miss Bosanquet reached Bath in December. See letters of Dec. 2, 1777, and Nov. 1, 1778.]

I had not heard anything of Tommy Westall's daughter; and am glad she is so well disposed of. Let Brother Taylor and Nancy Tripp do all they can for God. [Richard Taylor, her business man at Cross Hall. Ann Tripp (1745-1823) was governess to the orphans at Leytonstone, and lived with Miss Bosanquet in Yorkshire. For Thomas Westall, see letter of Dec. 20, 1746.] This is an acceptable time. I hope to see you on Tuesday afternoon [He was at Bath on March 3.]; and am, my dear sister,

Yours very affectionately.

To Miss Bosanquet, In the Orange Grove,


To John Valton [4]

LONDON, February 25, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - You would do well to take a cup of decoction of nettles every morning and to observe what food agrees with you best. Inure yourself to the open air by going into it more or less every day when it does not rain. It would not be proper for you to spend another year in the Gloucester-shire Circuit. You are called to another part of the vineyard; and God does all things well. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Valton, At the Methodist

Preaching-house, In Worcester.

To Alexander Knox

LONDON, February 26, 1778.

DEAR ALLECK, - In the latter end of March I hope to be in Dublin, and about the 28th of May in Londonderry. [preached on May 28 in Londonderry, and stayed till June 4.] It is a place I always loved; but I shall love it more than ever if I have the pleasure of lodging with you. With regard to your health, both of body and mind, if you could take one advice it would have a surprising effect. It is this: 'Take no thought for the morrow.' You know not how much even your body suffers by this. To-day only is yours. Look up, and He will bless you all to-day. - I am, my dear Alleck,

Very affectionately yours.

To Kitty Warren

BRISTOL, March 5, 1778.

DEAR SISTER WARREN, - I believe your sister saw me several times, though I saw her but once. It was only a few hours before we set out that I had any thoughts of visiting Ireland. And when I came to Llyngwair, I was in hopes of leaving it immediately. But we were providentially detained a little and a little and a little longer, and I believe not in vain.

I am not at all sorry that you are not called to remove from Haverford. You seem to me to be just in your place. You have many opportunities of personal improvement, such as you could not have had in a country village and in an hurry of various business, and you have now a sufficient sphere of action wherein you may employ whatever talents you have received. Now live for eternity! Be a good steward of the manifold gifts of God. Be equally ready to do and to suffer His whole will, and aspire after all His promises!

You send me a pleasing account of the work of God among you. God will bless those that serve Him with a single eye. Only cure Brother Broadbent [John Broadbent, the Assistant at Pembroke, 'frequently so exhausted himself in preaching that he was ready to drop down when he concluded his sermon.' See letters of Dec. 21, 1775, and Oct. 31, 1778 (to Miss Warren).] of screaming, and you will do him a real kindness. It is strange that so many good men are guilty of self-murder.

You see, upon reading your postscript, I have mended my address. I am willing to amend any fault you will tell me of. Indeed, I do not desire there should be any ceremony between us; but as much love as you please. The more I converse with you, the more near you are to, my dear Kitty,

Yours affectionately.

My love and service attend Mrs. Vaughan and your mother.

To Miss Warren, Haverfordwest.

To Alexander Knox

DUBLIN, April 2, 1778.

MY DEAR ALLECK, - I came hither this morning, after a rough passage, from Liverpool; and purpose (if God continue my life and health) to be with you at Londonderry on Friday, May 28.

It is right to know ourselves, but not to stop there, as you are apt to do. This is only of use if it leads us to know Him that loves and saves sinners; and, I doubt not, He will save you. Trust Him, and you shall praise Him. I hope my dear Sally has not forgotten me. Peace be with all your spirits! - I am, dear Alleck,

Yours affectionately.

To Thomas Wride [5]

NEAR MARYBOROUGH, April 20, 1778.

DEAR TOMMY, - I do not remember J. Woodcock. But if the accout you give of her be just (and I have no reason to believe the contras), I cannot see any objection to your choosing her; although you do well not to depend upon her brother, for his humor may easily change. Whatever you do should be done with much prayer, as the matter is of no small importance. - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate brother.

I hope the 'Sword-drawer' is not a preacher.

To Mary Bishop

CASTLEBAR, May 15, 1778.

MY DEAR MISS BISHOP, - When I received Miss Flower's last letter, I was utterly astonished. [See letters of Nov. 16, 1777, and Aug. 20, 1778.] It was a civil (shall I say, or uncivil) discharge from writing to her any more, and seemed to me to express every passion which I thought she ought not to feel. I was therefore at a full stand, not knowing whether it was advisable to write again or not. After pausing a while, I thought it would not be amiss to write one letter more. I did so, writing in as plain and sincere a manner as I could, and yet mildly and affectionately. I believe this was about a month ago. I have not had a line from her since. I cannot therefore write again; it would be quite out of character. Yet I am greatly concerned for her, and was thinking but yesterday, 'What can I do farther Is there no prudent and affectionate friend, for whom she has still a respect, and whom I might desire to interpose on this delicate occasion, and if possible to remove this misunderstanding' You are the woman! As soon as ever I read your letter I saw it clear as the day. She loves you still; and you have an affection for her. Use, therefore, the privilege of friendship. I am afraid she has one with her that does her no good - that, instead of laboring to remove any prejudice, would endeavor to increase it, and gradually to wean her from all her friends. If you pay her a visit, you will easily perceive whether my fears are just or no. And you will soon discover whether any one has taken pains to increase rather than heal this little breach. Go in God's name, and add this to the other instances of friendship which you have on all occasions shown either to her, or to, my dear Miss Bishop,

Yours affectionately.

To Miss Bishop, Near the Cross Bath, In Bath.

To Mrs. Johnston, Annandale, Lisleen

LONDONDERRY, June 1, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - My little complaint left me almost as soon as I left Lisleen, and has not returned since. It is well that our life and all things pertaining to it are in His hands. He orders all things well; and being assured of this, we need be careful for nothing: it is enough that in all things we may make our requests with thanksgiving. I make no doubt but He will hear the prayers on behalf of your whole family; but the time and manner of answering our prayers He reserves in His own power. And He has given you a token for good, - already you have one if not more children that love and fear Him; and the rest are not such enemies of the gospel as persons of their rank usually are. You have reason to thank God for what He has done, and to expect all that He has promised.

Mr. Abraham is beset on every side; but hitherto he stands like a rock. He seems fixed in his resolution to give up all things that he may win Christ. I believe he will set out with me on Thursday for Coleraine, and then I trust we shall part no more. Mr. Smyth was unable to meet us here, but hopes to do so at Ballymena. [See letters of Feb. 22, 1777, and July 12, 1778.] If I live a year or two longer, there islittle doubt but that I shall see the North of Ireland again.

I commend you and all our dear friends that are with you to Him that has loved us and given Himself for us; and am, my dear sister,

Yours very affectionately.

To Samuel Bradburn [6]

LONDONDERRY, June 4, 1778.

DEAR SAMMY, - I have wrote this morning to Mrs. Karr, and suppose she will answer me either to Belfast or Lisburn.

It is now your part to be instant in prayer that God may order all things well.

I hope to be at the Man of War [A small decayed hamlet in co. Dublin. Bradburn went there to meet Wesley on June 26, and slept there. Wesley married him on the 28th to Betsy Nangle.] on the 26th instant at five or six in the evening; at Dublin on the 27th. On Monday and Tuesday I may meet the classes; so the Conference will begin on Tuesday, July the 7th. - I am, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate brother.

To a Friend

LONDONDERRY, June 5, 1778.

DEAR SIR, - I have a long letter from an anonymous correspondent respecting the Arminian Magazine. It appears to be wrote with a friendly design and in an excellent spirit. The objections mentioned therein seem to be partly his own, partly repeated from others.

The first is: 'It is too short; some other magazines are almost as long again. It is true there are as many pages as in others; but there are not so many lines in a page, not so many by ten or twelve, as in the Spiritual Magazine.'

I answer by confessing the charge. It is undeniably true that it does not contain so many lines either in prose or verse as the Spiritual Magazine. And

Tonson, who is himself a wit,

Weighs writers' merits by the sheet. [Prior's Epistle to F. Shephard.]

So do thousands besides; but I do not write for these. I write for those who judge of books not by the quantity but by the quality of them, who ask not how long but how good they are. I spare both my reader's time and my own by couching my sense in as few words as I can. Those who prefer the dealers in many words may find them on every side. And from these they may have not only as much more but ten times as much for their money.

A second objection is: 'Here is not variety enough.' I answer, Here is all the variety I promised: I promised the bulk of the Magazine (as the very title implies) should treat of Universal Redemption. And hence you had reason to expect that the greatest part of every number would turn on that single point. Do you blame me for keeping close to my point for not rambling from my subject It is not my manner; I do not aim at it. Whether in speaking or writing, I endeavor to avoid this kind of variety, and to keep one thing always in view.

'But there is not variety in the historical part.' What do you mean Would you have me insert bits and scraps of history or give in each number part of the life of one man and part of that of another I never proposed this: I think it is far better to select a few of the best lives I know, and to go entirely through one before I enter upon another.

In the letters there is certainly as much variety as any reasonable man can expect. Indeed, they are all serious. And they all relate to one thing, the work of God in the heart. But this also was what I promised at first, what I proposed from the beginning.

'But would it not be advisable to procure and print letters from various correspondents' Yes, if I could hope for better than I have already; but I have no hope of this. I believe very many of those that now lie by me will not easily be excelled, either in point of sentiment or expression, by any other I can receive.

'But would not many of your correspondents propose objections, and thereby occasion more variety 'They would; but that is a kind of variety which I peculiarly dislike. I have studiously avoided it from the beginning, and shall to the end of the work. I design going straight on in proving my point without turning aside to the right hand or the left.

'But you have no pictures or other decorations or embellishments which other magazines have.' It is true. But I will tell you what I have (if you cannot find it out without telling) - such paper as no magazine in England was ever printed upon before. Consider l this one single article costs more than all their fine embellishments put together.

Permit me to say once for all: to men of taste, men of sense, and men of piety I am in hopes this Magazine will recommend itself without any but its own intrinsic ornaments.

But if any of these will inform me how it may be improved, consistently with my first design, the favor will be thankfully acknowledged by, dear sir,

Your affectionate servant.

To Alexander Knox

KILREA, June 5, 1778.

MY DEAR ALLECK, - I advise you,

1. Never sit up later than ten.

2. Never rise later than six.

3. Walk at least an hour daily in the open air: if it rains all day, in the dining-room.

. . . . .

7. Spend the first hour in the morning and from five to six in the evening in private prayer and reading the Scriptures in order, with the Notes and any other closely practical book.

8. Spend some time afterwards in the morning in reading Bishop Pearson or any other book of divinity; and spend more or less time in the afternoon in reading history, poetry, or philosophy.

9. Trust in God. Resist every distrustful thought the moment it is injected. God is on your side. Believe not the old murderer who tells you the contrary.

Write all your mind to me from time to time. I hope you will all find a blessing when you meet on Sunday. Peace be with all your spirits! - I am

Yours affectionately.

To George Gidley [7]

DUBLIN, July 4, 1778.

My DEAR BROTHER, - I am glad to hear that the work of God begins to increase even in poor Exeter. If Jos. Jones is able and willing to preach morning and evening, I should have no objection to his laboring next year in your circuit. [Joseph Jones was appointed to Cornwall East in 1778.]

As to the house, it would undoubtedly be a means of much good if it can be procured. All the difficulty is to procure the money. We cannot do much because of the building at London. [City Road Chapel was being built.] But 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.' - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Alexander Knox

DUBLIN, July 11, 1778.

MY DEAR ALLECK, - It is a natural effect of your bodily weakness and of the turn of your mind that you are continually inclined to write bitter things against yourself. Hence you are easily persuaded to believe him that tells you that you 'are void of every degree of saving faith.' No; that is not the case. For salvation is only by faith; and you have received a degree of salvation. You are saved from many outward sins - from the corruption that overspreads the land as a flood. You are saved in a degree from inward sin; from impenitence, for you know and feel yourself a sinner. You are saved in a degree from pride; for you begin to know yourself poor and helpless. You are saved from seeking happiness in the world: this is not a small thing. O praise God for all you have, and trust Him for all you want ! Peace be with your spirits! - I am, dear Alleck,

Yours affectionately.

To Mrs. Johnston, Annandale, Lisleen

DUBLIN, July 12, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Our friends in London are by this time pretty well recovered from their panic. They will no more be afraid of my going into the South of Ireland than into the South of England. The truth is, God allots us health or sickness, ease or pain, just as He sees one or the other is best for us.

Mr. Abraham is exceedingly happy, and I believe will be exceedingly useful. I do not despair of Mr. Creighton. [See letters of Dec. 23, 1777, and Sept. 29, 1779.] His heart seems entirely with us. If they thrust him out, I will take him in. Peace be with you and yours. - I am, my dearest sister,

Affectionately yours as ever.

To Duncan McAllum [8]

DUBLIN, July 14, 1778.

DEAR DUNCAN, - I would have you change once in two months, and will help you as to the expense. Dwell in the land, and be doing good, and verily thou shalt be fed. You have nothing at present to do in Afric. Convert the heathen in Scotland.-I am, dear Duncan,

Yours affectionately.

To Pendope Newman

NEAR LEEDS, August 2, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I just snatch time to write a few lines, I had desired to go through Gloucestershire to Bristol; but I am disappointed.

It will be necessary on several accounts that I shoed go round by London. After spending two days there and one at Bristol (if God permit), I must hasten forward to Cornwall.

Keep the poor people about Gutherton, [Gotherington, near Tewkesbury.] if you can, in that lovely simplicity. I must if possible save Mr. Valton's life. [See letter of Feb. 25.] - I am, dear Penny,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs P. Newman, In Cheltenham,


To Arthur Keene [9]

LEEDS, August 3, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I am of the same opinion with you. It seems to me Jeremiah Brettell will be useful in the Liverpool Circuit. Upon this consideration I have altered my first appointment and stationed him there for the ensuing year.

I hope you will always be diligent in business, as one branch of the business of life. But let this be still uppermost in the thoughts of you and my dear Bella [Mrs. Keene.]! - I am, dear Arthur,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Woodhouse

LEEDS, August 3, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Which would be the most prudent way it is hard to say (although it is an old proverb, Do not stir fire with a sword). But one may easily tell which is the most Christian way to return blessing for cursing. A gentleman in Dublin has been abusing his wife all manner of ways for above twenty years. And for several months past he prays and weeps and says his wife is the best woman in the world. God is able to make Mr. Woodhouse like Mr. Fetherston. [For a Francis Fetherston in Dublin, a student at Trinity College in 1756, see Crookshank's Methodism in Ireland, i. 108.] If thou canst believe, thou shalt see the glory of God. - I am, my dear sister, Affectionately yours.

To Mrs. Woodhouse, Owston Ferry.

To Alexander Knox

LONDON, August 16, 1778.

MY DEAR ALLECK, - You have long been under that temptation of despising the day of small things; although, indeed, they are not small things which God has done for you already. That you are still too lukewarm is most certain: you have need to stir up the gift of God that is in you; and you have need to praise Him that His hand is still upon you for good, preserving you from presumptuous sins. You ought to be sensible of this, and to be thankful for it, which you may be without 'applauding yourself.' That you have 'no right to expect the continuance of your health 'is undoubtedly true - that is, you cannot claim it from God's justice; you do not merit it at His hands. But is this the measure whereby He deals with His poor creatures Does He give us no more blessings than we deserve Does He treat us in all things according to His justice Not so; but mercy rejoices over judgment! Therefore expect from Him, not what you deserve, but what you want -health of soul and health of body: ask, and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; not for your worthiness, but because 'worthy is the Lamb.'

The peace of God be with all your spirits! - I am, dear Alleck,

Yours affectionately.

To Mary Bishop

TAUNTON, August 20, 1778.

MY DEAR MISS BISHOP, - My dear friend (that was) received no reproach from me, deserved or undeserved. But when I found I could not speak to her alone, I unbosomed myself by writing, telling her mildly and plainly (as friendship obliged me to do) all I heard and all I feared concerning her. I had no conception of her taking it amiss; and was therefore utterly amazed at her answer; - I think, unkind and unjust to the highest degree, and more proper to be wrote to a young schoolboy than to one who had been a preacher for fifty years and who for above twenty had watched over her soul!

Be that to herself whether her correspondence with me be ever renewed or no. Blessed be God, I have correspondents enough; and I want no one living to correspond with me, unless those that do it for their own sake, and that hope to be some way profited by it. Truly I think if any one has reason to resent, it is me and not her; for I do not remember that I have received such an answer to such a letter for twice twenty years. [Miss Flower. See letter of May 15.]

It is, I trust, a good Providence which has brought you to Frome, that you may do a little work for your Master. But you must be content to do a little; otherwise you will soon do nothing. If you stay there two or three weeks longer, I shall have the pleasure of seeing you there; as I hope to be at Frome the Tuesday after I return to Bristol. - I am, my dear Miss Bishop,

Yours very affectionately.

To Miss Bishop, At Miss Hancock's, In the Market-place, Frome.

To Richard Locke [10]

BRISTOL, September 6, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I am quite satisfied with regard to Mr. Brisco. My coming round by South Petherton prevented my accepting your kind offer. You have sometimes had earnest desires of being altogether a Christian. O beware those desires do not grow cold. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Richard Locke, Burnham,

Near Bridgwater.

To Kitty Warren

SHAFTESBURY, September 8, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - It is true that some of our friends of Brecon have intimated to me that they feared a prophet would not be honored in his own country, and that Billy Church [He was the younger son of John Church, of Brecon, and grandfather of the Rev. H. L. Church, Wesleyan minister 1844-93. See Young's Methodism in Wales, p. 136; and letter of Oct. 13.] might do more good elsewhere. But they did not mention his changing with Brother Pescod. And I should have a particular objection to it - namely, that he would not have those opportunities of preaching in Welsh which he has now. There is therefore no danger of Joseph Pescod's [Pescod, now at Pembroke, died in 1805, aged fifty-four, after serving twenty-eight years as a preacher, with unblemished character and sound judgment. His preaching was pleasing and profitable.] quitting his circuit before the end of the year. Let all of you now make the full use of the advantages which you enjoy; especially of meeting in band, which I hope none of you neglect who have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

I am glad you feel the want of a deeper change. Whereunto you have attained hold fast; but rest not till you experience the full rest that remaineth for the people of God. You will never weary me with your letters. The oftener you write the more I love you. Peace be with all your spirits! - I am, my dear Kitty,

Yours affectionately.

To Alexander Knox

BRISTOL, September 27, 1778.

MY DEAR ALLECK, - I am afraid the late return of your fits was in some measure my fault, because I did not provide you with the remedy which probably would have prevented it. I thought of it, indeed; but went no farther when you said your grandmother would send you down to the salt water. I doubt you have not been there this fine autumn, and now the year is too far spent.

Some time since, I was reading an account of a person in France, whom his confessor absolutely forbade (for such a time) to think of his sins, and ordered him 'to think only of the mercies of God in Christ.' It had an admirable effect on that desponding man. I know not but it might have the same upon you. Do not look down, but look up. Let not the corruptible body press down the soul, and give no place to the evil one, who would keep you continually poring on the dark side of the prospect. There is good determined concerning you, and not evil. God has not forsaken you. Thou shalt not die, but live, and declare the loving-kindness of the Lord. He has, indeed, chastised and corrected you, but He hath not given you over to death. But you must not coop yourself up in the house: you must be in the open air as much as possible; nay, and you should be on horseback as often as you can....

I commend you all to Him that careth for you; and am, dear Alleck,

Yours affectionately.

To Samuel Tooth [11]

BRISTOL, September 27, 1778.

DEAR SAMMY, - A thought comes into my mind, which is to rest between you and me. What if I was to undertake building one of the front houses myself and to employ you alone thereon Consider, and answer me two questions: (1) What would the whole expense of it be for what sum would you begin and finish it (2) What credit could you give me - I am, dear Sammy,

Your affectionate brother.

Would you like to build the next house on your own account

To Mr. Sam. Tooth, Carpr., Worship

Street, Moorfields, London.

To Samuel Tooth

BRISTOL, October 1, 1778.

DEAR SAMMY, - I took it for granted that you had seen the plan of the houses [See previous letter.] drawn by Mr. Peacock. We had it, and agreed to it some months ago. In this both the elevation and everything else 'is marked. Pray go to Mr. Matthews as soon as you receive this, and tell him I desire he would show you the plan. I think it was he that brought it to us. You may, if you please, show him this letter. I believe the elevation of the houses is also specified in our lease from the City. On Friday the 9th instant I hope to be at the Foundry; where you may meet

Your affectionate brother.

To his Wife [12]

BRISTOL, October 2, 1778.

As it is doubtful, considering your age and mine, whether we may meet any more in this world, I think it right to tell you my mind once for all without either anger or bitterness.

After alluding to the fact that his wife left him without his consent or knowledge, he goes on to observe:

Ever since (and, indeed, long before) you have made my faults the constant matter of your conversation. Now, suppose an husband has many faults, is it the part of a prudent wife to publish or conceal them You have published my (real or supposed) faults, not to one or two intimates only (though perhaps that would have been too much), but to all Bristol, to all London, to all England, to all Ireland. Yea, you did whatever in you lay to publish it to all the world, thereby designing to put a sword into my enemies' hands.

He concludes:

If you were to live a thousand years, you could not undo the mischief that you have done. And till you have done all you can towards it, I bid you farewell.

To Elizabeth Ritchie [13]

SALISBURY, October 6, 1778.

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

I doubt whether any embodied spirit can feel such entire self-abasement as is felt by those spirits that see the face of our Father which is in heaven. And undoubtedly the nearer they approach the throne the more abused they will be.

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

I rejoice to hear of the continuance of your health. [She had written, 'My own health also is better than when you were here. I have been three weeks in the North, chiefly on the edge of a cold moor, which has agreed with me very well.'] But you will still need constant exercise; to which should be added as often as may be change of air. That you may enjoy more and more health, both of soul and body, is the prayer of

Yours affectionately.

To Cornelius Bayley [14]

NEAR LONDON, October 12, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I will read over and consider your MS. the first opportunity.

Before I read it I cannot but mention a little remark which I have frequently made. There are many good-natured creatures among the Methodists who dearly love to make matches; and we have many other good-natured creatures who dearly love to make authors. Whereas it is the glory of the Methodists to have few authors. And a young man can hardly be too slow in this matter.

To save her postage I write a line or two in yours to poor Sister Bastable. [The widow of Cornelius Bastable, See letter of Dec. 15, 1763.]

Peace be with your spirits! - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Corn. Bayley, At the New

Room, In Bristol.

To William Church [15]

WALLINGFORD, October 13, 1778.

DEAR BILLY, - The soul and the body make a man; the spirit and discipline make a Christian. Let John Watson [Watson was his superintendent.] and you agree together, and be exact in this wherever you go. Insist upon the observance of all the Society rules, and on the observance of all, even the least, of the band rules by all who meet in band. I give, for instance, no band tickets to any woman who wears either ruffles or an high-crowned cap. If any will not lay aside these rather than lose that blessed means of improvement, she is not worthy of it. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Samuel Bradburn [16]

LONDON, October 17, 1778.

DEAR SAMMY, - I think you judge exactly right. You are called to obey me as a son in the gospel. But who can prove that you are called so to obey any other person What I require, according to the twelfth Rule of an Helper, of John Hampson and you is that each of you in his turn spend four weeks, and no more, first at Cork and then at Bandon. When, therefore, you have been four weeks at Bandon, I desire you to return straight to Cork. And if John Hampson will not then go to Bandon, I will order one that will. Pray show this letter to Mr. Mackrill, [One of the Cork leaders and stewards.] whom I beg to assist you in this matter.

The Friday following the full moon is the watch-night, the next Sunday but one the lovefeast. Pass smoothly over the perverseness of those you have to do with, and go straight forward. It's abundantly sufficient that you have the testimony of a good conscience toward God. - I am, with tender love to Betsy, dear Sammy,

Yours affectionately.

To Mary Bishop [17]

LONDON, October 18, 1778.

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

The original Methodists were all of the Church of England; and the more awakened they were, the more zealously they adhered to it in every point, both of doctrine and discipline. Hence we inserted in the first Rules of our Society, 'They that leave the Church leave us.' And this we did, not as a point of prudence, but a point of conscience. We believe it utterly unlawful to separate from the Church unless sinful terms of communion were imposed; just as did Mr. Philip Henry, [The favorite pupil of Busby at Westminster School preached as a Nonconformist 1672-81. See letter of June 14, 1786.] and most of those holy men that were contemporary with them.

'But the ministers of it do not preach the gospel.' Neither do the Independent or Anabaptist ministers. Calvinism is not the gospel; nay, it is farther from it than most of the sermons I hear at church. These are very frequently un-evangelical; but those are anti-evangelical. They are (to say no more) equally wrong; and they are far more dangerously wrong. Few of the Methodists are now in danger from imbibing error from the Church ministers; but they are in great danger of imbibing the grand error - Calvinism from the Dissenting ministers. Perhaps thousands have done it already, most of whom have drawn back to perdition. I see more instances of this than any one else can do; and on this ground also exhort all who would keep to the Methodists, and from Calvinism, 'Go to the church, and not to the meeting.'

But, to speak freely, I myself find more life in the Church prayers than in the formal extemporary prayers of Dissenters. Nay, I find more profit in sermons on either good temper or good works than in what are vulgarly called gospel sermons. That term is now become a mere cant word. I wish none of our Society would use it. It has no determinate meaning. Let but a pert, self-sufficient animal, that has neither sense nor grace, bawl out something about Christ and His blood or justification by faith, and his hearers cry out, 'What a fine gospel sermon!' Surely the Methodists have not so learnt Christ. We know no gospel without salvation from sin.

There is a Romish error which many Protestants sanction unawares. It is an avowed doctrine of the Romish Church that 'the pure intention of the minister is essential to the validity of the sacraments.' If so, we ought not to attend the ministrations of an unholy man; but, in flat opposition to this, our Church teaches in the 28th Article that 'the unworthiness of the minister does not hinder the validity of the sacraments.' Although, therefore, there are many disagreeable circumstances, yet I advise all our friends to keep to the Church. God has surely raised us up for the Church chiefly that a little leaven may leaven the whole lump. I wish you would seriously consider that little tract Reasons against a Separation from the Church of England. [See Works, xiii. 225-32; Green's Bibliography, No. 201; and letters of July 7, 1777.] These reasons were never answered yet, and I believe they never will be.

I am glad you have undertaken that labor of love, and I trust it will increase both your spiritual and bodily health. - I am, my dear Miss Bishop,

Yours very affectionately.

To Miss Bishop, At Mrs. Hancock's, In Frome, Somersetshlre.

To Alexander Knox

LONDON, October 26, 1778.

DEAR ALLECK, - You need never be afraid of writing me too often. I am nearly concerned in all that concerns you, and am therefore always well pleased to hear from you and to find you are still setting your face heavenward.

The directing as to this or that means is as much an answer to prayer as if the cure was immediately wrought. But it will be a double blessing if you give yourself up to the Great Physician, that He may heal soul and body together. And unquestionably this is His design. He wants to give you and my dear Mrs. Knox both inward and outward health. And why not now Surely all things are ready: believe, and receive the blessing. There can be no doubt but your bodily disorder greatly affects your mind. Be careful to prevent the disease by diet rather than physic. Look up, and wait for happy days! - Dear Alleck,

Yours affectionately.

To Christopher Hopper

LONDON, October 31, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - At a General Conference David Evans [Hopper was at Bradford. Evans 'desists from traveling' at the Conference of 1776, and is readmitted in 1779.] was judged unqualified for a traveling preacher. At the last Conference we determined to receive no more married preachers. For what reason For an exceeding plain one - because we cannot keep them. I cannot: if you can, you may. But the people cannot or will not keep any more.

James Kershaw's prophecies are very ingenious, and as authentic as Jacob Behmen's. [See heading to letter of March 1777.]

I really think the French will burn their fingers. [See letter of July 10, 1779, to Samuel Bradburn.] We are much obliged to them for making our countrymen friends with each other.

I am glad the knotty affair at Bolton is concluded, and hope the sour man is now in a good humor. - I am, with love to Sister Hopper,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Kitty Warren

LONDON, October 31, 1778.

MY DEAR MISS WARREN, - You did well to write. You are a woman of candor and tolerably able to judge on critical occasions. I do not find that Mr. Broadbent [John Broadbent was then Assistant at Glamorgan. See letters of March 5, 1778, and April 4, 1782 (to John Atlay).] has been to blame or that he has done anything more than he believed it was his duty to do. It seems you are called to calm as far as possible the warm spirits on both sides. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Do all the good you can; and you will give more and more comfort to, my dear Kitty,

Yours affectionately.

To Mrs. Cousins

LONDON, November 1, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - It is just as it should be. I have formerly said, 'I wonder how Mr. Whitefield can go on! For he has honor, and (comparatively) no dishonor. And this is "a test for human frailty too severe."' Now I have not that insupportable burthen. I have honor enough in all reason. But it is properly balanced with dishonor. I have good report, and (what is absolutely necessary) evil report too. To-day I am to open our new chapel. [See Journal, vi. 215-16; and letter of Sept. 27 to Samuel Tooth.] Hence also will arise both honor and dishonor. Yet a little while and all these things that seem considerable now will pass away like a dream.

You do well, as often as you have opportunity, to make a little excursion among your neighbors. You have already seen the fruit of your labor of love; and more fruit will follow. I do not at all despair of poor Mr. Wood. He has not yet shaken off his convictions. Work your work betimes [See letter of Feb. 23.] and in His time He will give you a full reward. - I am, my dear Penny,

Yours affectionately.

To Mrs. Barton

LONDON, November 13, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I am glad Sister Crosby has been at Beverley and that you had an opportunity of hearing her. She is useful wheresoever she goes, particularly in exciting believers to go on to perfection.

There is frequently something very mysterious in the ways of divine Providence. A little of them we may understand; but much more is beyond our comprehension, and we must be content to say, 'What Thou doest I know not now, but I shall know hereafter.' At present it is sufficient for me to know that all His ways are mercy and truth to them that love Him.

Even in these troublous times there is a very considerable increase of the work of God. Cleave to Him with your whole heart, and you will have more and more' reason to praise Him.-I am, my dear Jenny,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Woodhouse

LONDON, November, 18, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I have no intimacy with Lord North. I never saw him. I never wrote to him; very probably I never shall. I never asked any favor of him. I would not on any consideration whatever. It is a saying, You do not know what kind of animals great men are. They will not move an hair's breadth out of their line. They will on no account interfere in each other's province. Now, I told you before, only the Commissioners at the Customs dispose of Custom House places. And I know not one of those Commissioners. Therefore I can do nothing in this matter. [Compare letter of Dec. 26.] I am not sparing of my pains; but I know what I can do and what I cannot. If I could do it, you would not need to ask anything twice of

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Woodhouse, At Mr. Hutton's,

In Epworth, Near Thorne, Yorkshire.

To Hannah Ball

[ROBERTSBRIDGE], December 2, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - Little things contrary to our will may be great blessings. We have need to apply the general word, 'Take up thy cross, and follow Me,' to a thousand little particulars: a smoky room, a cold morning, a rainy day, the dullness or perverseness of those we are with-these and innumerable little crosses will help us onward to the kingdom. But the most profitable of all crosses to your own soul may be the unfaithfulness or unfruitfulness of your sisters, without one or other of which they never could have lost any blessing which God had given them. Nothing can exercise and therefore increase your faith and love like the seeming to spend all your strength for naught. Oh how this increases, my dear Hannah, my love to you! How much more does it increase His love for whom you labor!

We do not thoroughly understand the meaning of that word, 'The times anti seasons God hath reserved in His own power.' Undoubtedly He has wise reasons for pouring out His Spirit at one time rather than another; but they lie abundantly too deep for human understanding to fathom. To us He says, 'What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter!' - I am, my dear Hannah,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Crosby

DOVER, December 9, 1778.

MY DEAR SISTER, - It is no new thing for the temple to be built in troublous times. And in the end all the fierceness of man shall turn to His praise. Meantime we know the Lord sitteth above the water-floods and will give His people the blessing of peace. He is pleased to ghre lite just the same health and strength that I had forty years ago.

Fire and water cannot well dwell together, nor warm Calvinists and Arminians. Let us love them and help them all we can. But the less intercourse our people have with them the better.

It is well you spent a little time at pool Beverley. The little flock there stand in need of all the help we can give them. Hardly any Society in England has been as they have been from the very beginning. It is almost a miracle that two of them are left together.

The work of God 1orospers well in London. A new chapel brings almost a new congregation, and hereby the old is greatly stirred up. Let us all work while the day is! - I am, with love to both Brother Robinsons, [Thomas and William Robinson, of Bridlington Quay. See letter of May 22, 1770.] dear

Your affectionate brother.

To John Toocks

NEAR LONDON, December 26, 1778.

Never was there a time (at least in my remembrance) when employments of this kind were so difficult to be procured. I know several young persons who are well qualified for any such place; but they cannot get any, and are almost perishing for want. So that what I can do for you I know not. [Compare letter of Nov. 18.] - I am

Yours affectionately.

To Mr. John Tooelm, At Mr. Treffs,

Taylor, Near the White Hart, East

Street, Colchester.

To Captain Richard Williams

LONDON, December 30, 1778.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - The January Magazine was filled up before yours came. Because I do not care to depend on myself alone, I usually submit all the verses which are sent me to the judgment of my brother and the other preachers that are with me. And whatever they agree is proper I publish as soon as convenient.

It seems to me the 'Address to the Watchman' may be of general use. I believe it will be published in one of the following magazines. [The letter on Dueling appeared in March. See Arminian Mag., 1779, pp. 146-8; and letters of Sept. 13, 1774 (to him), and Feb. 25, 1783 (to Joseph Taylor).] I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Capthin R. Williams, Crarick, Near Redruth.

Editor's Introductory Notes

[1] Taylor was at Wednesbury. ' Calvinism, Antinomianism, and downright Ranterism had so laid waste this county, that there was small hopes of doing much good.' He preached out of doors with much success; and 'when the new year came in, God revived His work.' 'Near two hundred were this year added to the Societies.' It is interesting to note that Taylor objected to all kinds of miscellaneous reading, and wrote rather strongly to Wesley, objecting to his proposed Magazine. See letter of November 24, 1777.

[2] Swindells reconciled George Piggott, of Chetwynd, near Cork, to his only son, whom he had disinherited. After his conversion Piggott altered his will in his son's favor, who settled an annuity on the Methodist preacher, which he enjoyed till his death. Wesley knew his Shakespeare; but this is an interesting reference to Othello, III. iii. 258 - 'This fellow's of exceeding honesty.' See letters of February 28, 1748, n, and December 7, 1782.

[3] Maxfield had issued a pamphlet which contained grievous misrepresentations and severe reflections on Wesley. Wesley writes on February 4, 1775: 'I had much conversation with Thomas Maxfield. He said his printing that wretched book against me was owing to the pressing instances of Mr. Whitefield and Lady Huntingdon. I cannot tell how to believe it; but if it was, they might have been better employed.' See Journal, v. 497-8; and letters of May 1763 (to a Friend), and February 12, 1779.

[4] Valton was appointed to Bristol in 1778. The long rides from Stoutport, Worcester, and Stroud taxed his strength. For some weeks he had a bilious fever at Stroud, where Mrs. Scudamore and her family 'had me removed to their house and showed me no litfie kindness.' See Wesley's Veterans, vi. 76-7; and letter of August 2.

[5] A little memorandum in Wride's writting gives some particulars of his family: 'Elenr Woodcock died -; John (her son), May 10; Susan Harrison, Jan. 3, about 15 months after we came togr; Tristram, while we were in Kent, about six months after John Woodcock; John Harrison, 20 of July, while we were at Whitehaven; Betty Elizth Hind, about a year after we came to York; Chas. Harrison, in 18o1.' In a letter to Wesley, dated Chatham, October 27, 1785, Wride says that another preacher told him that he 'had thoughts of mantaue-maker at Welbourn' ; but Wride replied, 'You are too late. She is my wife.' He tells Wesley also that in May 1786 she heard of the death of her only brother - 'whom she loved, I think, to a degree of idolatry.'

[6] The letter to Mrs. Karr, which would have shown Wesley as Brad-burn's ally in his match-making, has not been preserved; but we can reconstruct the romance behind it. Miss Nangle's father, a jeweler in Dublin, died when she was three. Her mother married John Karr, also a jeweler, and died a year later. Mr. Karr then married the widow of Mr. Palmer. She was a well-to-do Methodist, and showed great kindness to Miss Nangle. Karr's behavior led the girl to remove to the house of Mrs. King; and after his death, Bradburn told Wesley of his affection. Wesley wrote to Mrs. Karr, who replied that, were Miss Nangle her own daughter, she would be guided by him. Bradburn says: 'Before Mr. Wesley arrived, I prepared everything, giving Mrs. Karr to understand our design; but she gave me equivocal answers. Contrary, however, to her expectations, Mr. Wesley invited her to breakfast with him at Mrs. King's, the morning after his arrival, being his birthday. As soon as she entered, he began the ceremony, and married us in the parlor. Pride would not let her affront Mr. Wesley, and she was forced to appear satisfied. Thus were the wise taken in their own craftiness.' See Bradburn's Memoirs, pp. 62-9.

[7] The first Methodist meeting-place in Exeter was in Theatre Lane, behind the Guildhall. They next met in a room over Northgate; and were now treating for the chapel in Musgrave's Alley, which became known as 'Gidley's Meeting.' It had been the High School, founded by Dean Brayleigh in 1343, and was on lease from the Dean and Chapter. Dr. Musgrave lived there for thirty years. Wesley preached in it on August 31, 1779. 'It is both neat and solemn, and is believed to contain four or five hundred people.' The new chapel in the Mint was opened in xSx3. See Journal, vi. 252-3.

[8] Tyerman thought McAllum was the young man who offered to go to Africa at the Conference of 1778; but this was John Prickard. See Wesley' s Veterans, iii. 256-7.

[9] For more than thirty years Keene was one of the Dublin Stewards. In 1817 he took part in opposing the administration of the Sacraments by the preachers, and helped to form the Primitive Wesleyan Society. He died in 1818.

Brettell had been stationed at Lisburn. Wesley altered the appointment in the Minutes of 1778, where he is down for Macclesfield and the next year also. See letter of October 12, 1780, to J. Brettell.

[10] Wesley preached in the evening at South Petherton on September 3. Locke had evidently invited him to stay with him at Burnham. Thomas Brisco was Assistant in Gloucestershire.

[11] Samuel Tooth had been an itinerant for one year; then he became a timber merchant and builder. He built City Road Chapel, which Wesley opened on November 1, and was now preparing to build the house in which Wesley first slept on October 8, 1779 died in 1791, See next letter.

[12] In an article in the Methodist Recorder the Rev. Charles H. Kelly refers to a letter sold by auction in London on Bierember 4, 1898, for 12 10s. Is this a part of that letter It is described as 'the last, perhaps, that Wesley wrote to his wife. It has no word of affectionate commencement or finish. It simply begins with a bald sentence. It is plain-spoken, strong in reproof and expostulation, and decisive.' See letter of September 1, 1777.

[13] Miss Ritchie wrote on September 25: 'A few days ago I was conversing with one of the Lord's highly favored ones about the deep things of God. He was speaking of the full assurance of hope, and said the Apostle exhorted those who were partakers of faith and love "to show the same diligence in seeking the full assurance of hope."' He told her that he believed this was the privilege of all who were renewed in love. 'On hearing this I could not help thinking, if such a testimony is really to be enjoyed, it is no wonder I have it not, as I have never believingly sought it.' See Arminian Magazine, 1788, p. 550.

[14] Cornelius Bayley (afterwards D.D. of Trinity College, Cambridge) had been a master in the Grammar School at Whirchurch, Salop, and was second master at Kingswood. He helped Wesley in the morning service at Manchester on May 18, 1783, and on the 25th read prayers for him at Nottingham and gave the wine at the Sacrament. Wesley had married him the previous day at Buxton. In 1788 he became the first incumbent of St. James's, Manchester, which he built. The MS. referred to was probably his Hebrew Grammar, published in 1782. See Journal, vi. 410-13; History of Kingswood School, pp. 76, 79-80; and letter of October 31, 1784.

[15] William Church was born at Brecon in 1749, became a Methodist preacher in 1777, and ceased from traveling in 1790. He was employed in 1796 by Mr. Eyre, of Hackney, as a Home Missionary in Surrey and Sussex. He opened a Charity School at Deptford for Welsh boys, as the Government had transferred several hundred shipwrights from Pembroke to Depfford. The Earl of Dartmouth, several of the Welsh bishops, and John Newton of St. Mary Woolnoth supported him in this work. He often enjoyed a pipe with Newton. On St. David's Day, when one of the Welsh bishops preached the annual sermon on behalf of the Welsh Charity School in Gray's Inn Lane, in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, Church acted as clerk, and received a guinea and a bottle of wine. He died in 1830 at the age of eighty-one. Dr. Adam Clarke, who was his colleague in Cornwall East in 1784, says in his Letter to a Preacher that Church was found out in the free use of Keach's Metaphors. His grandson had his copy of Keach, and in his manuscript Account admits the soft impeachment. See letter of September 8.

[16] This letter shows how Wesley kept his hand on his preachers and placed them where he felt they could do the best service. John Humpson, sen., was Bradburn's superintendent at Cork. They quarreled about the monthly interchange. Humpson found 'the accommodations' at Bandon very disagreeable, though Bradburn was content with them, See Memoirs, p. 69.

[17] This letter was found by Mr. H. J. Mills, of Bath, among his father's papers. Miss Bishop became the second wife of Mills's grandfather, who was a member of the Society of Friends. She consulted Wesley as to the step she was about to take. Mills's father sent Wesley's letter to Bishop Phillpotts of Exeter, who describes it as 'the singularly interesting letter.' 'I consider the document very singularly valuable. I return it with a strong sense of the favor conferred on me by the communication.'

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