Wesley Center Online

The Letters of John Wesley


To Ann Bolton

DUBLIN, July 8, 1785.

MY DEAR NANCY, - It is undoubtedly expedient for you to have a friend in whom you can fully confide that may be always near you or at a small distance, and ready to be consulted on all occasions. The time was when you took ma to be your friend; and (to speak freely) I have loved you with no common affection. I 'have loved you' - nay, I do still; my heart warms to you while I am writing. But I am generally at too great a distance, so that you cannot converse with me when you would. I am glad, therefore, that a good Providence has given you one whom you can more easily see and correspond with. [Probably Hannah Ball.] You may certainly trust her in every instance; and she has both understanding, piety and experience. She may therefore perform those offices of friendship which I should rejoice to perform were I near you. But wherever you can, give me the pleasure of seeing you. You know, while I have an house, you will always be welcome to it.

I desire Brother Day [Simon Day, then in the Oxfordshire Circuit. The Conference opened that day in London.] to meet me in London, on the 16th instant. I do not know how you can have more preaching by the traveling preachers unless you had more preachers; which, indeed, might easily be if your moneyed men did not love their money more than they do their souls.

I hope neither marriage nor business makes Neddy [Edward Bolton, her brother, whose daughter, Mrs. Marriott, gave the letter to Miss J. Ayliff at Witney in 1861.] less zealous for God or less active in his work. Peace be with all your spirits! - I am, my dear Nancy,

Ever yours.

To Thomas Wride [1]

DUBLIN, July 8, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - I wonder at nothing in poor Nicholas, but I wonder much at James .Kershaw. Unless our preachers had already left their preaching-house, surely he would not have let it to any others!

I love John Fenwick well; but I know he was a faulty man that once or twice. However, if there be no fresh matter of complaint, what is past shall go for nothing.

I desire you to come to the Conference. A Conference while I live is 'The preachers whom I invite to confer with me.'

Many years ago one informed me at London, ' The stewards have discovered they are not your stewards, but the people's, and are to direct, not be directed by you.' The next Sunday I let them drop, and named seven other stewards.

No contentious persons shall for the future meet in any Conference. [The Deed of Declaration had disturbed some of the preachers. See letter of July 17.] They may dispute elsewhere if they please. - I am, dear Tommy,

Yours affectionately.

I never said a word of publishing that account.

To Alexander Knox

DUBLIN, July 10, 1785.

DEAR ALLECK, - ...What I advise you to is this: every fair day walk to, if not round, the churchyard. When you are a little hardened by this, you may venture at a convenient opportunity (suppose on a Sunday morning) to attend the public worship. [See letter of June 8.] Till you do I cannot say you are in God's way, and therefore I am not sure you will find His blessing....

Peace be with all your spirits! We axe to sail to-night. My dear Alleck, adieu!

To Arthur Keene

LONDON, July 16, 1785.

DEAR ARTHUR, - I forgot to show you a letter from Mr. Beardmore which I received when I was in Dublin, wherein he says, 'I wrote a letter in January 1783 to Mr. Deaves, [2 James Deaves had been a preacher, and was now settled in Dublin. He removed to Wexford in Sept. 1784. Wesley was his guest at Waterford in 1785. See Crook-shank's Methodism in Ireland, i. 313, 391, and letter of June I6, 1772, to Mrs. Bennis.] to whose son-in-law, Mr. Featherstone, I sent power to recover a debt of upwards of 119lb. from Mr. Neill, now of Ballinasloe, who is well able to pay it.' Has Mr. Featherstone received that power And what has he done in consequence thereof I wish you would ask him and send me word directly, that Mr. B. may know how to proceed.

And pray send me word how my poor Amelia does [See letter of July 31.] I have been much troubled concerning her. She appeared so much affected on Sunday evening when I took my leave, that I was afraid lest it should bring back her fever. Sister Blair [Andrew Blair moved from Dublin to Birmingham.] bore her journey admirably well. She is most comfortably situated at Chester; and all our sisters cleave to her as if they had known her seven years, just as they would to my Bella Keene [Isabella (Mrs. Keene).] if they had her among them. Don't think you have all the love in Ireland. We have a little in England too. For God is here! To Him I tenderly commend you and yours, and am, dear Arthur,

Ever yours.

To Mr. Arthur Keene,

In Dublin.

To Alexander Surer

LONDON, July 26, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I told you in Scotland that you might come to the Conference; but it is no great matter. Mr. Watkinson does not come; but Mr. Ingles and Rob. Johnson are come in his place. [Richard Watkinson was in Edinburgh, with Andrew Inglis as his Colleague, Robert Johnson at Inverness. Johnson was appointed to Edinburgh, McAllum to Dundee.] According to their own desire, I will station both Brothers McAllum and Johnson in the Dundee Circuit.

'Tis pity that Brother Sanderson should be buried alive in one town. God has qualified him for more extensive usefulness. Since this time twelvemonth what has he done in comparison of what he might have done! Perhaps slipped out for a month once or twice! Oh, why does he not rather choose to 'receive a full reward'!

But why do you quarrel with poor Agnes Ramsey Is there no living at Dundee without quarrelling O follow peace with all men, and holiness! - I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Surer, At the Preaching-house,

In Dundee.

To Mrs. Christian

LONDON, July 17, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I sailed from Dublin Bay on Monday morning, came into Holyhead Bay about noon, and on Friday in the afternoon (stopping only a few hours at Chester) was brought safe to London. After the Conference (at which I should be glad to see Mr. Pugh or Mr. Dodwell, or both [Mrs. Christian was a friend of William Dodwell and John Pugh, for whom see letter of Aug. 14, 1782,]) I shall with God's help visit the West of England.

The gravel may be easily prevented by eating a small crust of bread the size of a walnut every morning, fasting. But your nervous disorders will not be removed without-constant exercise. If you can have no other, you should daily ride a wooden horse, which is only a double plank nine or ten feet long, properly placed upon two tressels. This has removed many distempers and saved abundance of lives. [See letters of March 13, 1788 and Aug. 18, 1790.] I should advise you likewise to use nettle tea (six or eight leaves) instead of foreign tea for a month, and probably you will see a great change.

No person will hereafter be present at any Conference but whom I invite by name to come and confer with me. So we will have no more contention there. [The contention seems to have been due to the omission of certain names from the Deed of Declaration. See letter of July 8 to Thomas Wride.] - I am, with love to Brother Christian, my dear sister,

Your affectionate brother.

Our Conference begins on Tuesday the 26th instant; but the first two days only traveling preachers are present.

To Arthur Keene

LONDON, July 31, 1785.

MY DEAR ARTHUR, - Yours of the 23rd instant gave me great satisfaction. I am glad that Mr. Featherstone has wrote to Mr. Beardmore, [See letter of July 16.] who will easily concur in his judgment that it is very imprudent to sue a man for what he is not able to pay. I suppose it was some ill-minded man who informed Mr. Beardmore that Mr. Neill was in so flourishing circumstances; which was not likely to be the case while he was only a common clerk to a person in business. And it showed great honesty and generosity in Mr. Featherstone to give so impartial advice. I hope he is diligently engaged in the little affair you entrusted him with in respect of Sister Jaques's legacy. If that be pressed in earnest, it may turn out well; otherwise it will drop into nothing.

I must charge you with another little business. At the Conference it was judged proper that the married preacher should live in our preaching-house at Athlone. But our brother William Rayner writes me word 'He has convinced Brother Joyce [Matthias Joyce was a Papist in early life. He was remarkably loving, and his memory was precious to all who knew him; he was now Assistant at Athlone, and died in 1814. Walter Griffith, who had been appointed to Waterford at the Irish Conference in July, was by Wesley's wish moved to Athlone. See Arminian Mug. 1786, p. 132; Crookshank's Methodism in Ireland, i. 404.] that it cannot be.' Be so kind as to write a line to Brother Joyce and inquire how this matter stands; and desire him to tell Brother Rayner at the same time that I thank him for his letter.

You give me pleasure by talking of my dear Isabella. I love to see her, and I love to hear of her. I love likewise to hear of her twin soul, my precious Amelia. [See letter of July 16.] I was afraid she would grieve too much when I went away, especially as she did not shed a tear - I mean while I was in the room. I rejoice so much the more to hear that our blessed Lord undertook her cause and sent her help in time of need. It would give me pain, indeed, if one that is as my own soul should receive hurt from me. O may we always meet for the better and not for the worse. May we always' love one another with a pure heart fervently.'

I hope both she and you and my Isabella will not forget to pray for, dear Arthur,

Yours most affectionately.

Amelia does well in spending a little time in the country. Nothing will restore her like air and exercise. When is Mrs. Blachford [See letter of Oct. 15, 1777.] to come hither

I had forgot to mention that that excellent woman Sister Cox desired, when there is room, to be admitted to the Widows' House [See Journal, v. 406, vii. 484. It had about twenty-four inmates.]; I think no one is more worthy.

To John Ogilvie

LONDON, August 7, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - As long as you are yourself earnestly aspiring after a full deliverance from all sin and a renewal in the whole image of God, God will prosper you in your labor, especially if you constantly and strongly exhort all believers to expect full sanctification now by simple faith. [Ogilvie was in the Isle of Man. He died in 1839.] And never be weary of well-doing; in due time you shall reap if you faint not! - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To his Brother Charles [2]

PLYMOUTH DOCK, August 19, 1785.

DEAR BROTHER, - I will tell you my thoughts with all simplicity, and wait for better information. If you agree with me, well; if not, we can (as Mr. Whitefield used to say) agree to disagree.

For these forty years I have been in doubt concerning that question, 'What obedience is due to "heathenish priests and mitred infidels"' [From Charles Wesley's 'Elegy on the Death of Robert Jones.' See his Journal, ii. 299. ]I have from time to time proposed my doubts to the most pious and sensible clergymen I knew. But they gave me no satisfaction; rather they seemed to be puzzled as well as me.

Some obedience I always paid to the bishops in obedience to the laws of the land. But I cannot see that I am under any obligation to obey them further than those laws require.

It is in obedience to those laws that I have never exercised in England the power which I believe God has given me. I firmly believe I am a scriptural έπίσκοπος, as much as any man in England or in Europe; for the uninterrupted succession I know to be a fable, which no man ever did or can prove. But this does in no wise interfere with my remaining in the Church of England; from which I have no more desire to separate than I had fifty years ago. I still attend all the ordinances of the Church at all opportunities; and I constantly and earnestly desire all that are connected with me so to do. When Mr. Smyth [The Rev. Edward Smyth.] pressed us to 'separate from the Church,' he meant, 'Go to church no more.' And this was what I meant seven-and-twenty years ago when I persuaded our brethren 'not to separate from the Church.'

But here another question occurs: 'What is the Church of England' It is not 'all the people of England.' Papists and Dissenters are no part thereof. It is not all the people of England except Papists and Dissenters. Then we should have a glorious Church indeed! No; according to our Twentieth Article, a particular Church is 'a congregation of faithful people' (coetus credentium, the words in our Latin edition), 'among whom the word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered.' Here is a true logical definition, containing both the essence and the properties of a Church. What, then, according to this definition, is the Church of England Does it mean 'all the believers in England (except the Papists and Dissenters) who have the word of God and the sacraments duly administered among them' I fear this does not come up to your idea of 'the Church of England.' Well, what more do you include in that phrase 'Why, all the believers that adhere to the doctrine and discipline established by the Convocation under Queen Elizabeth.' Nay, that discipline is wellnigh vanished away, and the doctrine both you and I adhere to. I do not mean I will never ordain any while I am in England, but not to use the power they receive while in England. [This sentence is quoted in the manuscript Life of Benson, ii. 1388.]

All those reasons against a separation from the Church in this sense I subscribe to still. What, then, are you frighted at I no more separate from it now than I did in the year 1758. I submit still (though sometimes with a doubting conscience) to 'mitred infidels.' I do, indeed, vary from them in some points of doctrine and in some points of discipline - by preaching abroad, for instance, by praying extempore, and by forming societies; but not an hair's breadth further than I believe to be meet, right, and my bounden duty. I walk still by the same rule I have done for between forty and fifty years. I do nothing rashly. It is not likely I should. The high-day of my blood is over. If you will go hand in hand with me, do. But do not hinder me if you will not help. [Charles was unconvinced. See letter of Sept. 13.] Perhaps, if you had kept dose to me, I might have done better. However, with or without help, I creep on. And as I have been hitherto, so I trust I shall always be,

Your affectionate friend and Brother.

To Christopher Hopper

REDRUTH, August 27, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - The utmost that can be done at present is to permit him to preach as a local preacher [Hopper was now at Bolton.]; for I will not run my head against all the Conference by reversing what they have determined. I cannot, with either decency or prudence, go any further yet. If his behavior is unblameable in this lower station, by-and-by he may rise higher. - I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Robert Costerdine

BRISTOL, September 4, 1785.

DEAR ROBERT, - All I can say at present is, If matters be as you represent, the thing shall be set right at the next Conference, and the [money] paid you. [Costerdine was third preacher in the Birmingham Circuit.]

But our friends at Wednesbury are afraid lest you should inflame the old quarrel. O beware of this! Meddle not with Francis Whitehead. Live peaceably with all men! - I am, dear Robert,

Your affectionate brother.

To John Valton [3]

BRISTOL, September 5, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - Neither Sister Brisco nor her husband ever made application to me for money. Now and then I have given her a guinea; but, I think, never more at a time. We could not regularly give her any more for her child; but I would have given her five pounds at a word speaking. Now she must take some trouble to get it. [Thomas Brisco was stationed at Thirsk, and was evidently in financial straits.]

Our preachers (I mean many of them) are unable as yet to judge and undervalue each other. Henry Foster is a weak man, but by no means a weak preacher. This was never objected to him before in any circuit where I have followed him. He is a sound, judicious man and one of deep piety.

I am thinking that her best way is, if any one will give T. Brisco five guineas, I will repay it.

Consider, a person that was very happy and good is now less happy than he was. Then he thinks, 'I should be happier if I was married.' Is not this feeling

Love's all-sufficient sea to raise

With drops of creature happiness [Poetical Works, i. 132.]

I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Valton, At Captain Robinson's,

In Bridlington Key, Yorkshire.

To Thomas Wride [4]

BRISTOL, September 5, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - When you do what you can, you do enough. I trust you will now use every possible means of redeeming the time. I wish you would never neglect sleeping early and rising early. Beware of anything like lightness or trifling. Wherever you are be obliging and be serious. Disappoint those who wait for your halting. - I am, with love to Sister Wilde, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Wride, At the Preaching-

house, In Norwich.

To Mary Cooke

BRADFORD[-ON-AVON], September 10, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - While I had the pleasure of sitting by you I quite forgot [what] I intended before we set out. [Two days previously Wesley had been at Trowbridge, where Miss Cooke lived, See letter of Sept. 24 to her.] Considering the bent of your mind, I cannot doubt but you have many copies of verses by you. Probably you have some (beside those on Mr. Turner) made upon affecting subjects. Will you favor me with two or three of them Do, if you have any desire to oblige, my dear friend,

Yours affectionately.

To his Brother Charles [5]

BATH, September 13, 1785.

DEAR BROTHER, - I see no use of you and me disputing together; for neither of us is likely to convince the other. You say I separate from the Church; I say I do not. Then let it stand.

Your verse is a sad truth. I see fifty times more of England than you do, and I find few exceptions to it.

I believe Dr. Coke is as free from ambition as from covetousness. He has done nothing rashly that I know; but he has spoken rashly, which he retracted the moment I spoke to him of it. To publish as his present thoughts what he had before retracted was not fair play. He is now such a right hand to me as Thomas Walsh was. If you will not or cannot help me yourself, do not hinder those that can and will. I must and will save as many souls as I can while I live without being careful about what may possibly be when I die.

I pray do not confound the intellects of the people in London. You may thereby a little weaken my hands, but you will greatly weaken your own. - I am

Your affectionate Brother.

[The following answer, sent by Charles on the 19th, is given at the foot of his brother's letter:]

DEAR BROTHER, - I did not say, You separate from the Church; but I did say, If I could prove it, I would not.

That 'sad truth' is not a new truth. You saw it when you expressed in your Reasons such tenderness of love for the unconverted clergy.

Of the second T. Walsh we had better talk than write.

How 'confound their intellects' How 'weaken your hands' I know nothing which I do to prevent the possible separation but pray. God forbid I should sin against Him by ceasing to pray for the Church of England and for you while any breath remains in me. - I am

Your affectionate Brother.

To Jasper Winscom [6]

BRISTOL, September 13, 1785.

DEAR JASPER, - I think I can serve you as far as 100 will go. If you can pay me in a year, you may; if not, I shall not quarrel with you about it. I want no interest. You may draw upon John Atlay for it, to whom I shall write this morning. - I am, dear Jasper,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Fletcher [7]

BRISTOL, September 16, 1785.

My DEAR SISTER, - I wanted much to hear from you, being desirous to know whether you have thought where you should settle if God should please to prolong your life. I should love to be as near you as I could; and on that account should be glad if you chose Bristol or London. I expect to be in town on Monday fortnight, October the 1st. Mr. Ireland has printed a thousand or two of your Letters, [About her husband's last illness.] with some little variations, I think for the worse!

Peace be with your spirit! - I am, my dear sister,

Ever yours.

I am glad the people desire to join us. I shall reprint your letter when I come to London.

To Mrs. Fletcher, at Madeley,

Near Shifnal, Salop.

To Thomas Wride

KINGSWOOD, September 16, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - Your next will, I suppose, find me in London, where I hope to be in about a fortnight. We know not what stops our northern schoolmaster, and expect to see him every day. As soon as he comes, Mr. Jones [Thomas Jones was his colleague, just admitted on trial. He does not seem to have been able to leave Kingswood, and James M. Byron was sent. See letter of Nov. 8 to Wride.] will make the best of his way to Norwich. I leave it wholly to you whether and how far you should accept of Dr. Hunt's offer. [See letter of Feb. 25.] With regard to Mr. Proud and your capital singer, you acted exactly right; but I expect you will hear of it at both ears.

Those doggerel verses [A monument had been placed in Norwich chapel in memory of Mr. Turner, and the doggerel verses on it greatly displeased Wride.] must not remain in the chapel. I wish Zac. Houlton [See letter of Oct. 8 to Wride.] would spend two or three weeks with you. He is not eloquent, but he is useful.

You do well in insisting on every person showing his ticket. I wonder Jon. Coussins [Jonathan Coussins had been Assistant the previous year.] did not. It is of importance to mind the Select Society; that, I apprehend, he never neglected. If the leaders and the bands are closely attended to, they will do well; otherwise not. - I am, with love to Sister Wride, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Richard Locke

BRISTOL, September 19, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - The matter of Shepton Mallet is at an end. But I should have been glad to see you on other accounts. I wanted to know what was become of you Now you in some measure inform me. Pity but you had informed me before. Then much evil might have been either prevented or remedied. Instead of hiding everything you ought to have hid nothing from me. But tell me all or nothing. I will never bring your name into question, if you tell me who those four blessed preachers are. It is good for them that I should know them. [Wesley was with Locke at Almondsbury on Sept. 18. This letter throws light on their 'talk.' See Journal, vii, 117d.] Any service that is in my power you may expect from

Your affectionate brother.

To Robert Cart Brackenbury

BRISTOL, September 24, 1785.

DEAR SIR, - It is well that the Lord sitteth above the water-floods and remaineth a King for ever. It is no wonder that Satan should fight for his own kingdom when such inroads are made upon it. But

Beyond his chain he cannot go;

Our Jesus shall stir up His power

And soon avenge us of our foe.

After we have observed a day of fasting and prayer, I have known the most violent commotions quelled at once. But doubtless all probable means are to be used. One in particular it might be worth while to attempt - namely, to soften the spirit of that angry magistrate. [See letter of Nov. 24.] God has the hearts of all men in His hand; and if the heart of that warrior was once turned, then those who have hitherto been encouraged by him would vanish away like smoke. It is not improbable but your answer to that scandalous libel may be one means of abeting his prejudice. - I am, dear sir,

Your very affectionate friend and brother.

To Mary Cooke [8]

BRISTOL, September 24, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - It is highly probable my letter to you was intercepted by some person of the same name, who, opened it (likely by a mistake) was afterwards ashamed to send it you. However, as you have now favored me better information, I hope there will be no such mistake the time to come. But I beg, when you write to do not write as to a stranger, but a friend. Be not afraid me because I have lived so much longer than you. I nothing upon that account, but wish to stand upon ground with you and to converse without either disguise reserve. I love you all three and not a little, especially your sisters spoke so freely to me; yet I do not say in the same degree. There is a mildness and sweetness in your spirit, such as I wish to find in one that is more to me than a common friend. Not that I impute this to nature; whatever is truly amiable is not of nature, but from a higher principle. Cultivate this, my dear friend, to the uttermost. Still learn of Him who was meek and lowly in heart. Oh, what a blessing it is to be little and mean and vile in our own eyes! You are an amiable woman, it is true; but still you are a sinner, born to die! You are an immortal spirit come forth from God and speedily returning to Him. You know well that one thing, and one only, is needful for you upon earth - to ensure a better portion, to recover the favor and image of God. The former by His grace you have recovered; you have tasted of the love of God. See that you cast it not away. See that you hold fast the beginning of your confidence steadfast unto the end! And how soon may you be made a partaker of sanctification! And not only by a slow and insensible growth in grace, but by the power of the Highest overshadowing you in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, so as utterly to abolish sin and to renew you in His whole image! If you are simple of heart, if you are willing to receive the heavenly gift, as a little child, without reasoning, why may you not receive it now He is nigh that sanctifieth; He is with you; He is knocking at the door of your heart!

Come in, my Lord, come in,

And seize her for Thine own.

This is the wish of, my dear friend,

Yours in tender affection.

I pray be not so brief in your next.

To Simon Day

BRISTOL, September 24, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I expect to see James [Tosmer] next week, and I am in hopes he will be induced to keep his promise. [Day was second preacher in the Bradford (Wilts) Circuit.] But if he loves his money more than h'ls conscience, we shall find another way. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Francis Asbury [9]

BRISTOL, September 30, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - It gives me pleasure to hear that God prospers your labors even in the barren soil of South Carolina. [Asbury had visited Chariestown on Feb. 24.] Near fifty years ago I preached in the church at Charlestown and in a few other places, and deep attention sat on every face. But I am afraid few received any lasting impressions.

At the next Conference it will be worth your while to consider deeply whether any preacher should stay in one place three years together. I startle at this. It is a vehement alteration in the Methodist discipline. We have no such custom in England, Scotland, or Ireland. We [allow no one] except the Assistant, who stays a second, to stay more than [one year].

I myself may perhaps have as much variety of matter as many of our preachers. Yet, I am well assured, were I to preach three years together in one place, both the people and myself would grow as dead as stones. Indeed, this is quite contrary to the whole economy of Methodism: God has always wrought among us by a constant change of preachers.

Newly awakened people should, if it were possible, be plentifully supplied with books. Hereby the awakening is both continued and increased.

In two or three days I expect to be in London. I will then talk with Mr. Atlay on the head. Be all in earnest for God. - I am

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mrs. Fletcher [10]

BRISTOL, October 2, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - There is much of Divine Providence in this, that the people are permitted to choose their own curate. I believe Mr. Horne to be a sound Methodist, and think he will serve them well if he can procure ordination. If he cannot, Mr. Dickinson may do near as well - a very pious and sensible young man, who has for two or three years served good Mr. Perronet at Shoreham, but expects to be turned away by the new vicar.

Surely your thought of spending much of your time in London is agreeable to the will of God. I never thoroughly approved of your going so far from it, although much good was drawn out of it. I hope to be there to-morrow. Should not you now consider me as your first human friend I think none has a more sincere regard for you than, my dear sister,

Yours most affectionately.

To Ann Loxdale

LONDON, October 8, 1785.

MY DEAR MISS LOXDALE, - Not once but many times I have been making all the inquiries I could concerning you; the rather as I was afraid you might suffer loss by the severe trials you had met with. I should not have wondered if you had contracted a degree of suspicion towards all who professed either friendship or religion; I rather wonder how you have escaped. But, indeed, as long as you can say from your heart, 'Lord, not as I will, but as Thou wilt,' no weapon formed against you shall prosper. You unquestionably did enjoy a measure of His pure and perfect love. And as you received it at first by naked faith, just so you may receive it again; and who knows how soon May you not say,

If Thou canst so greatly bow,

Friend of sinners, why not now

You send me comfortable news concerning Mrs. Eden. And certainly this gracious visitation is designed for a blessing not only to her, but likewise to her poor husband. You should lose no opportunity of speaking a word to him whenever Providence throws him in your way. Let not a voluntary humility hinder you. God can bless a few and ordinary words. Nay, and let it not hinder you from praying with as well as for your friends. I advise you, my dear Nancy, to begin without delay. Why not this very day Make haste, my friend, to do whatever may be for the good of your own or any other soul. I thank you for writing freely to me. If I had you now by the hand, I would tell you you can never write or speak too freely to, my dear Miss Loxdale,

Yours most affectionately.

To Thomas Wride

LONDON, October 8, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - On Monday se'nnight, the 17th instant, I hope to be at Norwich (coming by the mail-coach); on Tuesday at Yarmouth; on Wednesday and Thursday at Lowestoft, preaching everywhere at half-hour past six in the evening. On Friday noon at Beecham, or where you please; in the evening at Loddon; and on Saturday evening at Norwich.

The verses [See letters of Sept. 16 and Dec. 14.] must be effaced some way before I come down. Be as exact in discipline as you please. Luke Houlton [See letter Sept. 16.] was on the road; but one met him and told him he was not wanted. I always lodge in our own houses. I think those sermons may stop bottles. - I am, with love to Sister Wride, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mr. Wride, At the Preaching-house,

In Nonrich.

To Charles Atmore

LONDON, October 15, 1785.

DEAR CHARLES, - If God gives you and your fellow laborers union of spirit, He will surely bless you together. When you build at Blackburn, do not build a scarecrow of an house. But take either Keighley or Colne House for your pattern. Observe in this and in all things the Large Minutes of the Conference. If I live till spring, I shall probably spend more time there than I have done hitherto. As long as you feel your own weakness and helplessness you will find help from above. - I am, dear Charles,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mrs. Fletcher [11]

NORWICH, October 22, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - This morning I received and read over your papers. You have done justice to the character of that excellent man as far as you could be expected to do in so small room. I do not observe any sentence that need be left out, and very few words that need to be omitted or altered; only I omit a very little, which I had inserted before I received yours, in that part of my sermon which I had transcribed I hope to procure some more materials in order to the writing of his Life. May the Lord bless you, and keep you! - I am, my dear sister,

Yours in tender affection.

To Mrs. Fletcher, At Madeley,

Near Skifinal, Salop.

To Joseph Benson [12]

LONDON, October 30, 1785.

DEAR JOSEPH, - You have given me a clear and satisfactory account of Mr. Fletcher's behavior at Trevecca and of the reason of his leaving it; the same in effect but far more full than that which he gave me himself. I hope to glean up many more circumstances of his life from a few of his surviving friends, particularly Mr. Ireland, if he is as willing as he is able to inform me. Your caution as to the manner of writing is very proper. For no one should write or speak of him in any other spirit than he wrote and spoke. - I am, dear Joseph,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mary Cooke [13]

LONDON, October 30, 1785.

My dear Miss Cooke leans to the right-hand error. It is safer to think too little than too much of yourself. I blame no one for not believing he is in the favor of God till he is in a manner constrained to believe it. But, laying all circumstances together, I can make no doubt of your having a measure of faith. Many years ago when one was describing the glorious privilege of a believer, I cried out, 'If this be so, I have no faith.' He replied, 'Habes fidere, sed exiguam: "You have faith, but it is weak."' The very same thing I say to you, my dear friend. You have faith, but it is only as a grain of mustard-seed. Hold fast what you have, and ask for what you want. There is an irreconcilable variability in the operations of the Holy Spirit on the souls of men, more especially as to the manner of justification. Many find Him rushing upon them like a torrent, while they experience

The o'erwhelming power of saving grace.

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

He deigns His influence to infuse,

Sweet, refreshing, as the silent dews.

It has pleased Him to work the latter way in you from the beginning; and it is not improbable He will continue (as He has begun) to work in a gentle and almost insensible manner. Let Him take His own way: He is wiser than you; He will do all things well. Do not reason against Him; but let the prayer of your heart be,

Mould as Thou wilt Thy passive clay

I commit you and your dear sisters to His tender care; and am, my dear friend,

Most affectionately yours.

To William Robarts

LONDON, November 8, 1785.

DEAR BILLY, - Yesterday I read your tract, which I thoroughly approve of, but I dare not depend on my own single judgment. I will desire someone that has more judgment to read and consider it, and then send you word what I think is best to be done. But I apprehend that debt will never be paid, because the numerous villains who gain by its continuance will never consent to the abolishing of it.

I should apprehend your best way would be to sell the estate which you purchased some years ago. What if you sold it for only half the value It seems this would be better than to remain in such perplexities. [See letters of Aug. 16, 1783, and Dec. 6, 1785, to him.] - I am, dear Billy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Wride

LONDON, November 8, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - I suppose James Byron is now in the Circuit, as he set out from Thirsk on the 3rd instant. He is an amiable young man, at present full of faith and love. If possible guard him from those that will be inclined to love him too well. [Byron was admitted on trial at the next Conference. See letter of Nov. 17.] Then he will be as useful a fellow laborer as you can desire. And set him a pattern in all things. - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Zachariah Yewdall

LONDON, November 11, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I hope Sister Yewdall and you will be a blessing to each other. [See letter of May 26.] I think it a pity to remove you from Kent. Otherwise Oxford Circuit is nearer to London than Canterbury Circuit; for High Wycombe is nearer to it than Chatham. I cannot visit all the places I want to visit in Kent in one journey. I purpose (God willing) to begin my first journey on the 28th instant. Shall I visit Margate or Sheerness first - I am, dear Zachary,

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Tattershall [14]

LONDON, November 13, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - I heard all the complaints in Norfolk face to face, and trust that they will go on well. The affair of Derby House should be mentioned at the Conference; that is the proper time. You must immediately drop any preacher that gives any countenance to Nathaniel Ward. While I live I will bear the most public testimony I can to the reality of witchcraft. Your denial of this springs originally from the Deists; and simple Christians lick their spittle. I heartily set them at open defiance. I know of no extracts from novels; but I publish several excellent extracts from the Spectator; and I am certainly a better judge of what is fit to be published than those little critics. But let them pass over what they do not like. There never was so useful a plan devised as that of the Methodists. But what is this James Desyes says that you received 10 and a guinea towards building an house at Waterford and carried it away. - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To John Bredin

LONDON, November 16, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I hope James Rogers will exert himself in behalf of G. Penington and ..; who should send me a particular account of the .. I will give them ten pounds, and I am in hopes of procuring a little more in London, and I advise Molly Penington [See letters of Sept. 16, 1780, and April 20, 1787.] to write to Miss March. I trust God will .. It will be my part to replace her books.

You must not expect much health [See letters of Nov. 30, 1781, and June 1, 1789, to him.] on this side the grave; it is enough that His grace is sufficient for you. In the Minutes of the Conference as well as in the Magazine there is a clear account of all that concerns the late ordination. [For America.] It is a wonder the High Churchmen are so silent; surely the bridle of God is in their mouth. Whatever you judge would be proper for the Magazine, send. You can comprise much in a sheet. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

[On the fly-leaf of the above letter appears the following one, in Wesley's handwriting:]

To Matthew Stuart [15]

LONDON, November 16, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - It is very probable the desire you have of going to America comes from God. If it is, you may very possibly (if you are a single man) go over with Dr. Coke at the late end of next summer. - I am

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Wride

LONDON, November 17, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - Deal plainly yet tenderly with James Byron, and he will be a very useful laborer. But none can be a Methodist preacher unless he is both able and willing to preach in the morning, which is the most healthy exercise in the world. I desire that none of our preachers would sing oftener than twice at one service. We need nothing to fill up our hour. [See letters of Nov. 8 to him, and Dec. 14 to McKersey and Byron.]

In every place where there is a sufficient number of believers do all you can to prevail upon them to meet in band. Be mild, be serious, and you will conquer all things. - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Robert Carr Brackenbury

LONDON, November 24, 1785.

DEAR SIR, - God will hearken to the prayer that goeth not out of feigned lips, especially when fasting is joined therewith. And, provided our brethren continue instant in prayer, the beasts of the people will not again lift up their head. [See letters of Sept. 24, 1785, and Jan. 18, 1786, to him.] The work of God still increases in Ireland, and in several parts of this kingdom. I commend you and all our brethren to Him who is able to preserve you from all evil and build you up in love; and am, dear sir,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mrs. Pawson

LONDON, November 26, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I thank you for the dear and circumstantial account you have given me of the manner wherein God wrought upon your soul. As He wrought the work both of justification and sanctification so distinctly you have the less temptation to cast away your confidence. But you cannot keep it unless you are zealous of good works. Be fruitful, therefore, in every good work, and God shall see very soon His whole image. - I am

Yours affectionately.

To the Rev. Mr. Pawson, At the

Preaching-house, In Edinburgh.

To Walter Churchey

LONDON, December 6, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - If affliction drives you nearer to God, it will prove an unspeakable blessing. You are welcome to send your children to Kingswood, and to pay for them when and as it is convenient for you.--I am, with love to Sister Churchey,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mr. Walter Churchey,

Near the Hay, Brecon.

To William Robarts

LONDON, December 6, 1785.

DEAR BILLY, - I am glad it was in my power to give you some little assistance, and should have rejoiced if I had been able to do more. [He was on the verge of bankruptcy when he owed Wesley 70. See letters of Nov. 8, 1785, and Sept. 25, 1786, to him.] Mr. Atlay will answer your demands. Your tract is the most sensible I have seen on the subject. But all the booksellers here say it will never sell; so I will deliver it to whom you please. Wishing all happiness to Sister Robarts and you, I am, dear Billy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To Mrs. Winscom [16]

NEAR LONDON, December 10, 1785.

DEAR MRS. WINSCOM, - When Mr. Winscom went up into the chamber with me, he told me with tears in his eyes that although he had no enmity to you, yet he did not dare to invite you to his house, because he was afraid it might be an encouragement to his other children to act as their brother had done; and who can convince him that this is a needless fear I am not able to do it. But as long as this remains I do not see how he can act otherwise than he does. I know no way you have to take but this: behave as obligingly to him as you can; never speaking against him, for whatever you say will come round to him again. Then you will gain him by little and little. - I am, dear Jenny,

Yours affectionately.

To Mrs. Jane Winscom, At Mr. Tiller's,

In Winton.

To Mary Cooke

LONDON, December 14, 1785.

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

Though it seem to tarry long,

True and faithful is His word.

A small measure of it you have frequently found, which may encourage you to look for the fullness. But if you were to give scope to your reasonings, there would be no end: the

further you went the more you would be entangled; so true it is that, to our weak apprehension,

The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate,

Puzzled with mazes, and perplexed with error. [The Spectator.]

But that peace will silence all our hard thoughts of God and give us in patience to possess our souls. I believe, at the time that any first receive the peace of God, a degree of holy boldness is connected with it, and that all persons when they are newly justified are called to bear witness to the truth. Those who use the grace which is then freely given to them of God will not only have the continuance of it, but a large increase; for 'unto him that hath' (that is, uses what he hath), 'shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly.' We shall grow in boldness the more, the more we use it; and it is by the same method, added to prayer, that we are to recover anything we have lost. Do what in you lies, and He will do the rest,

My best service attends Mr. L----, who I hope will be holier and happier by means of his late union. He certainly will if Mrs. L---- and he provoke one another to love and to good works. I do not despair of having the pleasure to wait on them at the Devizes. My best wishes wait likewise on Miss S----. I hope you two are one. Indeed, I am, my dear Miss Cooke,

Yours in tender affection.

To John McKersey and James Byron [17]

LONDON, December 14, 1785.

If you do not choose to obey me, you need not: I will let you go when you please and send other preachers in your place. If you do choose to stay with me, never sing more than twice, once before and once after sermon.

I have given Mr. Wride directions concerning the singers; pray assist him in seeing these directions observed. You are young; I am in pain for you. Follow his advice. He is older and wiser than you. You would do well to meet the children and the select society, though it be a cross. I will thank you if you will do all you can to strengthen Mr. Wride's hands. Beware of strengthening any party against him. Let you three be one. Nothing will give greater satisfaction than this to

Your affectionate brother.

To Thomas Wride

LONDON, December 14, 1785.

DEAR TOMMY, - Have patience with the young men, and they will mend upon your hands. But remember! soft and fair goes far. For twenty years and upwards we had good morning congregations at Norwich; but they might begin at six till Lady Day. I desire Brother Byron [See W.H.S. i. 140-5; and previous letter.] to try what he can do: better days will come.

I pray let that doggerel hymn be no more sung in our chapel. [See letter of Oct. 8.] If they do not soon come to their senses at Norwich, I will remove you to Colchester Be mild! Be serious! - I am, dear Tommy,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To the Editor of the 'Gentleman's Magazine'

CITY ROAD, December 24, 1785.

MR. URBAN, - If you will insert the following in your Magazine, you will oblige your humble servant.

This morning a friend sent me the Gentleman's Magazine for last May, wherein I find another letter .concerning my eldest brother. I am obliged to Mr. Badcock for the candid manner wherein he writes, and wish to follow his pattern in considering the reasons which he urges in defense of what he wrote before. [See 'Some Remarks on Article X of Mr. Mary's New Review for December 1784' in Works, xiii. 408-11; and heading to letter of June 17, 1724.]

1. Mr. B. says: 'His brother cannot be ignorant that he always bore the character of Jacobite, a title to which I really believe he had no dislike.' Most of those who gave him this title did not distinguish between a Jacobite and a Tory; whereby I mean 'one that believes God, not the people, to be the origin of all civil power.' In this sense he was a Tory; so was my father; so am I. But I am no more a Jacobite than I am a Turk; neither was my brother. I have heard him over and over disclaim that character.

2. 'But his own daughter affirmed it.' Very likely she might; and doubtless she thought him such. Nor is this any wonder, considering how young she was when her father died especially if she did not know the difference between a Tory and a Jacobite; which may likewise have been the case with Mr. Badcock's friends, if not with Mr. Badcock himself.

3. Mr. W. says, 'He never published anything political.' This is strictly true. 'He never wrote, much less published, one line against the King.' He never published one. But I believe he did write those verses entitled 'The Regency,' and therein, 'by obliquely exposing the Regents, exposed the King himself.' In this my brother and I differed in our judgments. I thought exposing the King's Ministers was one way of exposing the King himself. My brother thought otherwise; and therefore without scruple exposed Sir Robert Walpole and all other evil Ministers. Of his writing to Sir Robert I never heard before, and cannot easily believe it now.

4. From the moment that my mother heard my brother and me answer for ourselves she was ashamed of having paid any regard to the vile misrepresentations which had been made to her after our return from Georgia. [See letter of July 31, 1742.] She then fully approved both our principles and practice, and soon after removed to my house, and gladly attended all our ministrations till her spirit returned to God.

To Joseph Taylor [18]

LONDON, December 29, 1785.

DEAR JOSEPH, - I advise you: (1) Till March do not preach more than twice a day. (2) Never preach above three-quarters of an hour. (3) Never strain your voice. (4) For a month (at least) drink no tea: I commend you if you take to it no more. The wind is not an original disease, but a symptom of nervous weakness. (5) Warm lemonade cures any complaint in the bowels. (6) If you have a bathing-vessel, put a gallon of boiling water into the cold water. Then you might bathe thrice a week. And send me word next month how you are. - I am, dear Joseph,

Your affectionate friend and brother.

To the Rev. Mr. Joseph Taylor,

In Aberdeen.

To Mrs. Bradburn [19]

[December 31, 1785.]

MY DEAR BETSY, - I write you a few lines because I think you stand in need of comfort; and I would give you all in my power, as I know you would me on a like occasion. I will tell you how to do it then: Look kindly on them that have wronged you most. Speak civilly, yea affectionately, to them; they cannot stand it long:

Love melts the hardness that in rocks is bred;

A flint will break upon a feather-bed.

I have set my heart upon your being a happy woman and overcoming all your enemies by love; and then I shall be more than ever, my dear Betsy,

Your affectionate brother.

To Mrs. Fletcher [20]

LONDON, December 31, 1785.

MY DEAR SISTER, - I thank you for the papers. It was not needful that you should copy them over again, as they are very legibly written and I am well acquainted with your hand. I love to see it. Indeed, I love everything that belongs to you, as I have done ever since I knew you. A few more materials

I have procured from Mr. Vaughan and some more from Joseph Benson. I am willing to glean up all I can before I begin putting them together. But how am I to direct to Mr. Ireland Or would your writing a line be of more weight to induce him to give me what assistance he can by the first opportunity I thank you for mentioning that mistake in the Sermon. I doubt not but you and Mr. Ireland may set me right in many other particulars wherein I have hitherto been mistaken. But it would be pity to stay till next year. Was it in London he met with the honest Jew That is a very remarkable circumstance. Do you know any particulars of his ill usage at the Custom House Where was this Custom House

Tenderly commending you to Him who will make all things work together for your good, I am, my dear sister,

Your ever affectionate brother.

From and to John Gardner [21]

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR, - A few of us are subscribing a penny a week each, which is to be' carried on the Sabbath by one of ourselves, who read and pray with the afflicted, who, according to the rules enclosed, must be poor strangers, having no parish, or friend at hand to help them. Our benevolent plan is opposed by my class-leader; therefore we are constrained to seek your approbation before we proceed. We are very poor, and our whole stock is not yet twenty-shillings: will thank you, therefore, for any assistance you may please to afford your very humble servant,


[This is Wesley's reply. It marks the beginning of the Strangers' Friend Society, which has done such service to the poor in London and elsewhere. Gardner became a doctor, and is buried in the churchyard of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. His tomb bears the curious inscription--

Dr. John Gardner

Last and Best Bedroom.


HIGHBURY PLACE, December 31, 1785.

MY DEAR BROTHER, - I like the design and rules of your little Society and hope you will do good to many. I will subscribe threepence per week, and will give you a guinea in advance if you call on me Saturday morning. - I am

Your affectionate brother.


Editor's Introductory Notes

[1] Wride was readmitted as a preacher in 1783, and appointed to Gainsborough, where Thomas Corbet was his superintendent. Wride sent a letter to Wesley on July 3, 1784, by John Cawkwell, 'on whose information Brother Corbit accused me of preaching about sparrows going to church without being converted. Brother Cawkwell remembers his speaking about it to Brother Cotbit: but it was in a way of free conversation, not as any fault in me; much less did he think it would be made an article of accusation. If you, sir, please to be at the trouble to ask them, you will from his own mouth be informed which bears the highest place in the esteem of Brother Cawkwell, whether it be Brother Corbit or him who in sincerity subscribes himself, reverend sir, your dutiful son, Tho. Wride.'

Wride was at Epworth when he received this letter. He went to the Conference, which met on July 26 in London, and wrote to Wesley on the 23rd, forwarding 'a curiosity' which he had received from someone, to whom it had been sent by post, and who disapproved of the proposal. There is nothing to show what it was.

[2] Charles Wesley had written on August 14 to say he had been reading over again his brother's Reasons against a Separation (printed in 1758), and his Works, and entreated him to read them again himself. Charles says: 'When once you began ordaining in America, I knew, and you knew, that your preachers here would never rest till you ordained them.' See Jackson's Charles Wesley, it. 394.

[3] At the Conference in July, Valton had consulted Dr. Whitehead, who advised him to preach little. He says: 'But my honored and much-esteemed friend Mr. Fletcher gives me advice of another kind--namely, to follow his example, and look out for a suitable companion to nurse mo in the retreat and under the infirmities of life. That, however, must bo a subject of prayer.' Fletcher recommended Mrs. Purnell, whom he afterwards married. Valton adds a note to Wesley's 'I should be happier if I was married': 'Blessed be my God that this is a mistake of my ever dear and truly venerable father.' He wrote to her; and though she did not refuse, she would 'not consent to travel.' When compelled to become a supernumerary about two years later, he asked her again, and they were married in Bristol. 'Our reciprocal love, I believe, increased to the last.' She died on November 16, 1795; and Valton wrote a beautiful account of her for the Arminian Magazine, 1794, P. 141. Valton died on March 23, 1794. See Wesley's Veterans, vt. 97, 101-4; and letter of December 24, 1784, to Thomas Taylor.

[4] Wride was appointed Assistant at Norwich. In a letter from Chatham in 1786 he refers to his wife's bereavements, and nursing her mother. 'These things, together with the usage she met with at Norwich, has exceeded her ability to bear.' It is said in the History of Norwich Methodism, p. 27, that Wride's eccentricities were of the most ludicrous description, both in and out of the pulpit, and there were destructive disputes in the Society.

[5] On September 8 Charles replied to his brother's letter of August 19, saying, 'That juvenile line of mine, I disown, renounce, and with shame recant. I never knew of more than one "mitred infidel," and for him I took Mr. Law's word.' He speaks of the present friendliness of some of the bishops, and does not dispute that John is a scriptural έπίσκοπος, 'and so is every minister who has the cure of souls.' He says he is frightened at Dr. Coke's rashness and his brother's supporting him in his ambitious pursuits.

[6] Winscom had bought some old ruinous buildings in that part of Winchester called Silver Hill. The chapel was erected here at a cost of 400. 50 was raised in the neighborhood. 250 was borrowed, and the interest provided by letting the old preaching-room for 12 10s. per year; other places connected with the purchase were let for 2 10s.; seat rents yielded 5 10s.; and these amounts, with a yearly collection, yielded the 12 10s. required. On November 24 Wesley opened the chapel for which he made this loan. See Journal, vii. 127; and letters of May 9, 1785, and October 23, 1786.

[7] John Fletcher died at Madeley on August 14 at the age of fifty-six. His widow wrote to Wesley on the 18th. She continued to live at Madeley till her death on December 9, 1815, See Journal, vii. 106n; Moore's Mrs. Fletcher, pp. 169-79, 410.

[8] Mrs. Cooke was the widow of a prosperous clothier at Trowbridge. She had five daughters, three of whom were members of the Methodist, Society in the town. Mary, the eldest, married Adam Clarke at the parish church on April 17, 1788; and another sister married Joseph Butterworth, M.P., the law stationer, who belonged to Great Queen Street Chapel, and became the lay treasurer of the Missionary Society in 1819, in succession to Thomas Thompson, M.P. See letters of September 10, 1785, and July 2, 1786.

[9] This letter was found in the Scientific Museum of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, about 1924. It measures 6 inches by 8, and is written on both sides. It has been torn, so that the close of the second paragraph is fragmentary. The letter is given in Emory's Defense of Our Fathers (New York, 1854), p. 121. It shows how jealous Wesley was of anything that was like to interfere with the itinerancy of his preachers, and how much he relied on religious books to continue and increase the spiritual awakening among his people.

[10] Mrs. Fletcher thought she would have to leave the Vicarage; but Mr. Kenerson, the patron, wrote that she might rent it. His son became vicar; and Melville Horne, who had been one of Wesley's preachers, and whom Fletcher wanted to be his successor, became curate. See letter of April 6, 1786.

[11] Wesley wrote the sermon referred to at Norwich on October 22-4, and delivered it in London on November 6. He quoted Mrs. Fletcher's account at great length. See Journal, vii. 121, 124; Works, vii. 431-49. For A Short Account of the Life and Death of the Rev. John Fletcher, which was published in December 1786, see Journal, vii. 211; Works, xi. 271-365; W.H.S. vi. 95; and next letter.

[12] Benson had supplied Wesley with various particulars about Fletcher, and offered some suggestions as to the Life he was preparing. James Ireland replied to his request for material that he would send whatever information he could to Mrs. Fletcher, and leave her to use it as she thought best. See Tyerman's Wesley's Designated Successor, p. 569; and letter of December 31.

[13] An interesting epitome of the work of grace in the heart, based on Wesley's large and long experience. See his conversations with Peter Bhler in 1738 (Journal, i. 454-5).

[14] This letter was published in an anonymous hostile Life of Wesley (20 pages, 1842), p. 7. The original is there said to be 'preserved as a curiosity in the Pottery Mechanics Institute Exhibition.'

Tattershall, in 1784 the Assistant at Waterford, where Desyes lived, was now at Derby; in which circuit Ward had been the previous year, but had now retired. See letters of July 16, 1785 (to Arthur Keene), and August 2, 1788 (to Mrs. Ward).

[15] James Stuart who began to travel in 1792, was perhaps a brother.

[16] This letter bears the Government frank on the back, and is dated. 'Mrs. Winscom was a poetess residing in Bristol in that period.' Wesley was at Winchester on November 24, when he probably had the conversation with Jasper Winscom. On October 13, 1783, he had interceded with her husband's father, but with little effect.

[17] McKersey and Byron were Wride's colleagues at Norwich. See next letter and that of November 17.

[18] Joseph Taylor had been ordained for the work in Scotland. See letter of August 19, and Journal, vii. 101.

[19] There is no date or address to this letter. Mrs. Bradburn was ill and died on February 28, 1786. She was buried at the Temple Church, Bristol. She was an old friend of Wesley's, who did much to meet the opposition to her marriage; and this letter may have been sent to her.

[20] Vaughan was an Excise officer whom Fletcher met at Atcham, where he preached his first sermon. He took to Lord Dartmouth Fletcher's political pamphlet referred to in the letter of December 24, 1775. The Custom House was in London, and there Fletcher met the honest Jew. See Wesley's Designated Successor, p. 353; and for Wesley's treatment by a Government official, letter of November 14, 1790.

Wesley said in the sermon that Fletcher came to England to be tutor to Thomas Hill's sons. In the Life he states that he had been in England eighteen months when he was recommended by Mr. Dechamps to Mr. Hill. See Works, xi. 28o-x; and letters of October 22 and 30 to Joseph Benson.

[21] In December 1785 Wesley received the following letter from John Gardner, 14 Long Lane, Smithfield:

Edited by Michael Mattei 2002 Wesley Center for Applied Theology. All rights reserved. No for-profit use of this text is permitted without the express, written consent of the Wesley Center for Applied Theology of Northwest Nazarene College, Nampa, Idaho 83686 USA. Direct all inquiries to the Web Administrator.